Dr. des. Baktygul Tulebaeva

Teaching and Research Associate

Tel.: +49 (0) 69 / 798-33066
Fax: +49 (0) 69 / 798-33065
Email: tulebaeva (at) em.uni-frankfurt.de
Room: IG 552
Office hours:
 Mondays 1 – 3 pm, registration by Email

Research focus

Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), South Asia (India), anthropology of childhood and personhood, anthropology of Islam, Sufism in India, online religion, medical anthropology


Contact person for the area "Central Asia"

Central Asia is a geographically and culturally diverse region stretching from west to east from the Caspian Sea to China and Mongolia, and from north to south from Russia to Afghanistan and Iran. The entire region is topologically diverse and includes high mountain ranges such as the Tian Shan, grassy steppes, deserts, as well as subtropical and semi-arid regions.

Historically, Central Asia is associated with pastoral nomads who have developed special forms of adaptation to their environment. Some of these social and cultural characteristics of the nomadic way of life remain relevant today or have adapted over time to changing conditions.

Traditionally, Central Asia is identified with the region through which the routes of the so-called "Great Silk Road" once ran. It connected Asia and Europe and enabled exchanges of different cultures. From a political perspective, the term Central Asia refers primarily to the five post-Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. For most of the 20th century, this part of Central Asia was ruled and governed first by the Russian Empire and then by the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s led to a sudden transition from a planned economy to a market economy. This so-called transformation period had profound socio-economic and cultural consequences. At the same time, the revival of values ​​defined as “traditional” and the return to Islam in the region have resulted in a unique combination of ethnographic characteristics that offer a broad spectrum for social and cultural anthropological research.

From an anthropological point of view, we are particularly interested in local expressions of social and political formations, variations of everyday Islam, the role of “ethnic” classifications in political communities, various pastoral and agricultural economic practices, as well as nomadic and sedentary lifestyles. So far, research has been carried out on topics such as: mobile lifestyle, human-nature relationships, yurts and material culture, holy places, land and water resources, kinship, the role of tribal orders in socio-political life, life-cycle rituals and celebrations, the revival of Islam, the role of women and children, traditional medicine, labor migration and much more.

We have been working with partner universities in Central Asia (see below) for a long time. Students have the opportunity to visit these institutions as part of exchange programs and be supervised for short-term field research.

Cooperation

American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
International University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
Deutsch-Kasachische Universität, Kazakhstan
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran
The University of Isfahan, Iran

>South Asia
>Caucasus


Academic career

2017 PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Research Project: ‘Born Kyrgyz, Raised as Russians and Buried as Arabs: Negotiating Childhood and Personhood in Kyrgyzstan
2009 Master of Science in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh
Research Project: 'Cross-cultural study of the concept of child well-being'

Publications

2020

Research Ethics (Izildöönun Etikasy). In: Toktogulova, M. (Ed.). Scientific Research Methods: Handbook on Social and Human Sciences. Bishkek: Online University, pp. 28-43 (in Kyrgyz)

2020

Methodological Foundation of Research (Izildöönün Usulduk Paidubaly). In: Toktogulova, M. (Ed.). Scientific Research Methods: Handbook on Social and Human Sciences. Bishkek: Online University, pp. 61-77 (in Kyrgyz)

2020

Interview Strategies (Interview Aluu Strategialary). In: Toktogulova, M. (Ed.). Scientific Research Methods: Handbook on Social and Human Sciences. Bishkek: Online University, pp. 91-113 (in Kyrgyz, co-authored with Gulzat Bayalieva)

2017

In Search of the Good Life. Value Conflicts and Dilemmas in the Practice of Islam in Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan. In: Hardenberg, R. (Ed.). Approaching Ritual Economy: Socio-Cosmic Fields in Globalized Contexts. Tübingen: SFB 1070 Publications, pp. 71-103

2015

Being a Kyrgyz Child. In: Behera, D.K. (Ed.). Contemporary Society: Tribal Studies (Vol. X: Tribal Children and their Childhood). New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company, pp. 38-55

2014

Revisiting Ethics in Ethnographic Research with Children. The Oriental Anthropologists, 14(2), 223-236

2009

Belief and Knowledge in Healing Practices. In: Aitpaeva A. (Ed.). Sacred Sites of Issyk-Kul: Spiritual Powers, Pilgrimage, and Art. Bishkek: Aigine RC, pp. 299-309

2009

Let's Learn to Express our Thoughts. In ScholarForum: The Journal of the Open Society Institute's Network Scholarship Programs, 12, 4-5


Workshops and Panels (from 2014 onwards)

2020

Co-organizer of the International workshop “Social Media and Religion”, October 22-23, GRADE, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Online workshop)

2019

Chair/discussant of the panel “Women, Agency and Identity in Central Asia”, 20th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), October 10-13, George Washington University, Washington, USA

2018

Chair of the working group “Innovation and (Dis)Empowerment”, Workshop “Resource-based perspectives on the good life (Buen Vivir) in the humanities”, June 25-29, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

2015

Organizer of the panel “Education and identity in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan”, 14th Bi-Annual Conference of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) “Central Asia in the XXI Century. Historical Trajectories, Contemporary Challenges and Everyday Encounters”, October 8-11, Zurich, Switzerland

2014

Convenor/chair/discussant of the panel “Childhood(s) and youth(s) of the future: children as cultural and social resources”, IUAES inter-congress “The Future with/of Anthropologies”, May 14-18, Chiba, Japan


Conferences and presented papers (from 2014 onwards)

2020

“‘Journey to the saint’: Materiality and mediation in the practice of Sufism in India”, 16th EASA Biennial Conference: New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe, Lisbon (Online Conference)

2019

“Work as part of good tarbiya (upbringing) in Kyrgyzstan”, 20th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), Washington, USA

2019

“The economy of light: Sufi networks and the role of Sufi shrines in the pursuit of well-being” poster presentation, Summer Symposium, Frobenius Institute for Research in Cultural Anthropology, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

2019

“Re-Islamization processes and value-conflicts in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan”, workshop “Religious Speakers and Religious Speech – Authority and Influence of Word and People”, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

2018

“Pilgrimage to Sufi shrines as a resource to achieve a good life”, workshop “Values and Valuation: Identifying Resources in the Quest for the Good Life”, Isfahan, Iran

2018

Value-conflicts in bringing up a ‘healthy’ child in Kyrgyzstan”, 19th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), Pittsburgh, USA

2015

“Between the Past and Present. The Role of Schools in Shaping Values and Identities”, 14thBi-Annual Conference of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) “Central Asia in the XXI Century. Historical Trajectories, Contemporary Challenges and Everyday Encounters”, Zurich, Switzerland

2015

Yrym (ritual) and its Role in ‘Constructing’ a Child”, Altay Communities conference “Religion and Belief Rituals – Language and History Issues”, Antalya, Turkey

2015

“The Value of a ‘Constructed’ Child”, 3rd International Conference of the International Childhood and Youth Research Network “Theory and Method in Child & Youth Research”, Nicosia, Cyprus

2014

“Taking away our child’s anxiety: Islamic and non-Islamic concepts of healing child illnesses”, Summer School workshop “Religion and Resource: Local and Global Discourses”, Tübingen, Germany

2014

“Bringing up a child in a Kyrgyz way”, IUAES inter-congress “The Future with/of Anthropologies”, Chiba, Japan

2014

“Between Development, Soviet Science and Traditional Healing: An Ethnography of Childhood and Child Health in Kyrgyzstan” poster presentation, Global Supplementary Grant Program-Europe Conference “Active Academia: A Catalyst for Societal Change”, Oxford, UK

2014

“Self-identification and changing values of Kyrgyz people on the examples of child-related rituals”, workshop “Living in Asian Borderlands: An Appreciation of Resources”, Tübingen, Germany


Research grants

2021

Goethe Research Academy for Early Career Researchers (GRADE), 
Junior Researchers in Focus, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

2018

Goethe Research Academy for Early Career Researchers (GRADE), 
Junior Researchers in Focus, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

2013

Global Supplementary Grant Program, Open Society Foundation research grant

2012

Global Supplementary Grant Program, Open Society Foundation research grant

2012

University of Central Asia research grant

2011-2014

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and University of Central Asia (CAFDP fellowship)

 


Taught Courses

  • Methoden
  • Culture, health and healing
  • Einführung in die Ethnographie Indiens
  • Einführung in die Materielle Kultur
  • Religious pluralism in India: Between dialogue and communalism (co-taught)
  • Islam in India: Anthropological approaches to the cultural and religious life of Muslims in India
  • Children in different cultures: Cross-cultural perspectives
  • The latest research on current societal issues in Central Asia
  • Introduction to the anthropology of Central Asia
  • Kyrgyz language (beginners – advanced level)