Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1999
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Texas / Austin
Discourses of Affiliation: Sociocultural and Geopolitical Relations Between Turkey and the Turkic Republics

I propose to study the processes by which Turkish and Central Asian politicians, scholars and businesspersons, acting both as interested individuals and representatives of their respective nations, have employed language in the creation, negotiation and maintenance of sociocultural and geopolitical relations in the post-Soviet era. Focusing on the power of language to reflect as well as construct such relations, I will examine: 1) the public oratory of diplomats and politicians, 2) the debates surrounding two cooperative projects designed to unite the disparate Turkic peoples under a common rubric of linguistic identity, and 3) the discourse of ordinary citizens of Turkey and the Turkic republics as it reflects their conscious and unconscious attitudes toward one another. Such an investigation will l) explicate the processes by which affiliations among the Turkic peoples are constructed through language and 2) shed light on similar processes in other geographical regions.