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Gender-based violence, (geo)politics, and Islam continue to dominate the production of knowledge about Central Asia. While using a gender lens, this Special Issue offers a different perspective on the region. The authors link historical analyses of imperial and Soviet gendered modernities to contemporary Central Asians’ daily lives and local nationalisms to shed light on often overlooked areas in the literature, such as a systematic screening out of historical and contemporary gender diversity, sex work, virginity tests, in-bodiment (as in corporeality, not just the performance of social norms,) queer activism, and the use and abuse of discourse on traditions. As a platform for a conversation about negotiating gender in Central Asia and indigenizing gender theory from within other than Euro-American contexts, this Issue is an example of knowledge production by and with Central Asians. This Issue is also an invitation to continue using a gender lens, as there are still several research areas that remain unexplored and would, we believe, benefit from such an approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-175
JournalCentral Asian Affairs
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Central Asia
  • Gender
  • Postcolonialism


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