Special meeting at CESS/MSU – Scholars and the Media in Central Asia

We would like to bring to your attention the following special meeting
that will be held at the CESS conference this weekend at MSU-East
Lansing.  All who are concerned about improving public discourse about
urgent social/political issues in the region are urged to come!
Initiative on Scholars and the Media in Central Asia
Time:  6:30 pm
Venue: Room no. 62

In the aftermath of the shocking violence in Kyrgyzstan of June this
year, it is clear that researchers on Central Asia can and should have
a much greater presence in the public sphere to ensure a high quality
of public analysis, and consequently policy-making. Many of us feel
the need for more competence in contributing to media discussions. The
challenges Central Asia faces call for a long-term engagement and
re-thinking of the relationship between academic research, journalism
and the public sphere. Such an engagement must include scholars and
journalists based both within and outside of Central Asia.

In order to further these aims, this meeting proposes to establish a
working group to address these questions practically and to foster an
atmosphere that allows for self-reflection as well as curiosity about
the research and communication practices of different professions and
circumstances. We will discuss two concrete ideas:

* Create a web-portal and associated events that promote
communication and co-operation between journalists and experts on
Central Asia.

* Develop workshops that meet the training needs of academics seeking
to engage with the media or public sphere.

We very much welcome further suggestions to be discussed at the
meeting. If you are not able to attend but would like to be involved
in the initiative, please write to:

Jeanne Féaux de la Croix at: feaucroj@hu-berlin.de and
John Schoeberlein at: schoeber@fas.harvard.edu.