Svetlana A. Peshkova F'11

Svetlana A. Peshkova
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of New Hampshire

ACLS Fellowship Program 2011
Assistant Professor
Anthropology
University of New Hampshire
Public Life in Private Space: Religion and Change in the Ferghana Valley

This project explores Muslin women’s leadership and post-Soviet Central Asia’s Ferghana Valley, two sensationalized but poorly understood subjects. It describes the everyday lives of local Muslim women teachers and leaders, their feelings about being Muslim, and their visions of social change. By analyzing these women’s roles in religious renewal in the region, this study educates readers and Muslim women’s leadership, history, and the sociocultural diversity of post-Soviet Central Asia. It also challenges existing assumptions about Islam as an oppressive and inherently violent religion. As a result, it presents a more complete post-Soviet social history of the region and provides a corrective to a common perception of the region as a source of religious radicalism.