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As many of our readers will know, the nation’s Title VI Centers were recently the target of sharp cuts. The long-standing congressional mandates supporting international area studies took a notable hit in the last Federal budget, as did federal funding as a whole for language and cultural studies as critical national projects...

Erbil, Kurdistan, October 2017

By Ben Priest


Ben Priest is a graduate student working on Kurdistan and Kurdish nationalism. He is currently in Erbil, Iraq, where there has been unrest as a result of a referendum on independence, conducting dissertation research. The following is a brief summary of his experiences to date.


Ramila Mukshairoeva came to Bloomington this January as a Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) fellow. Originally from Khorog, Tajikistan, she currently works as a manager and librarian and at the University of Central Asia’s Resource Center in Dushanbe. Intent on continuing her education and ultimately pursuing a graduate degree in information and library science, Ms. Mukshairoeva saw the opportunity to spend a semester as a visiting scholar here at IU as an important first step towards achieving her goals.

The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) increased efforts for student research and professional development during the 2015 fall semester through collaboration with CEUS faculty and other centers on campus. The IAUNRC worked with the Association of Central Eurasian Students (ACES) to respond to student interests and requests in organizing these events. These efforts resulted in a small workshop series that the IAUNRC will continue in the spring semester.  

There are currently nine top-notch IU graduate and undergraduate students currently studying on FLAS fellowships under the auspices of the IAUNRC. We’ve asked each of the recipients to share a little bit about themselves here.

Eurasian-related events have become a regular part of Indiana University’s cultural programming: every week lectures are held, holidays are celebrated, and even cooking competitions have become a frequent occurrence on campus. The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center is closely involved with many of these events, and we do our best to report on cultural and academic moments of note throughout the year. The internet doesn't yet let us share plov via the IAUNRC website, but we do try to highlight as many lectures, visiting professors, and festivals as we can.

Professor Edward Lazzerini, Director of the IAUNRC and the Initiative’s Coordinator at IU, was invited this October to Kazan, where he was able to spend nearly a month working with the VKI’s Russian partners on the future of the Initiative.

The IAUNRC has long developed and provided lesson plans to K-12 educators – the first Central Asia-related school units were written and published by the Center in 1978, and can still be found online today. As local and national standards have changed over the years, moreover, the IAUNRC has worked to stay ahead of the curve and made sure to continuously update its lesson plan offerings. In the past year especially, the Center has significantly improved and expanded the free lesson plans available on its website. Today, the IAUNRC offers more than twenty lesson plans free to elementary, middle, and high-school teachers on a variety of subjects and geographic topic areas.