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Afghan Studies at UCLA

Since its inception in 2008, the UCLA Asia Institute's Program on Central Asia has created an ongoing series of conferences and seminars devoted to the cultural and intellectual heritage of Afghanistan.

Events bring together UCLA scholars with a wide public audience in Southern California, including many members of the SoCal Afghan community. Our events are regularly made available online and to an international audience through podcast and video recordings on the PoCA website.

Several edited conference volumes and working papers have been published from the scholarship developed in PoCA’s Afghan Studies series, including Afghanistan in Ink: Literature Between Diaspora and Nation, edited by Nile Green (UCLA, History) and Nushin Arbabzadah (UCLA, Center for the Study of Women) (Columbia/Hurst, 2012); a roundtable in the International Journal of Middle East Studies on ‘The Future of Afghan History’; and several UCLA Central Asia Working Papers. Nushin Arbabzadah is also completing her book, The Afghan Rumor Bazaar (Hurst, forthcoming), on contemporary Afghan society and politics.

With generous support from the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, PoCA is pleased to provide a series of events in 2011-2012, including “Great Games?”; “The Emergence and Tides of a Contemporary Saint: Bibi Nushin of Shibirghan, Afghanistan,” a lecture by Ingeborg Baldauf, Humboldt University of Berlin; “Heroin Heroines: Women and the Men Who Work with Them in Afghanistan's Drug Trade”, a book talk by author Fariba Nawa; and "Concepts of Statehood and Territoriality in Early Modern Afghanistan," a lecture by Christina Nölle-Karimi, Austrian Academy of Sciences.

In Fall 2011, the Young Research Library presented an exhibition of its rare Afghan books and manuscripts and in the History Department an undergraduate and graduate seminar on the modern history of Afghanistan was taught by Nile Green, marking the entry of Afghan studies onto the UCLA syllabus.