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The Satire and the Punditry of Molla Nǝsrǝddin: Selected Cartoons

Thu, Oct 18, 12:00 pm to Sun, Oct 21, 12:00 pm
Indiana Memorial Union, Frangipani Room

Molla Nǝsrǝddin, the folkloric purveyor of popular humor known throughout the Turkic-speaking world, was also the title of the earliest satirical periodical published in the Russian Empire in a Turkic language: Azerbaijani. From its first issue that appeared in 1906, Molla Nǝsrǝddin exhorted its readers to ponder the nature of their society and respond positively to the need for change in the face of modernity's challenges. A voice for progressive opinion, Molla Nǝsrǝddin persisted well past 1917 in its critique of political authoritarianism and cronyism, economic backwardness, religious obscurantism, educational waste, and social hypocrisy. Few escaped the sharp pen of a coterie of talented writers and artists, who employed humor as a subversive weapon. Cosmopolitan in its worldview, unyielding in its insistence on a new society, and tolerant of diverse viewpoints, Molla Nǝsrǝddi defended human rights "in living color."

During the annual conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, enjoy a selection of Molla Nǝsrǝddin cartoons.