Féaux de la Croix, Jeanne & Madeleine Reeves (eds.). 2023. The Central Asian world (The Routledge Worlds). London & New York: Routledge.
This landmark book provides a comprehensive anthropological introduction to contemporary Central Asia. Established and emerging scholars of the region critically interrogate the idea of a ‘Central Asian World’ at the intersection of post-Soviet, Persianate, East and South Asian worlds. Encompassing chapters on life between Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Xinjiang, this volume situates the social, political, economic, ecological and ritual diversity of Central Asia in historical context. The book ethnographically explores key areas such as the growth of Islamic finance, the remaking of urban and sacred spaces, as well as decolonising and queering approaches to Central Asia. The volume’s discussion of More-than-Human Worlds, Everyday Economies, Material Culture, Migration and Statehood engages core analytical concerns such as globalisation, inequality and postcolonialism. Far more than a survey of a ‘world region’, the volume illuminates how people in Central Asia make a life at the intersection of diverse cross-cutting currents and flows of knowledge. In so doing, it stakes out the contribution of an anthropology of and from Central Asia to broader debates within contemporary anthropology.