UCSB History Profesor to Discuss Significance of Ethnicity and Identity in Afghanistan, Central Asia

The political factions of Afghanistan and its surrounding countries in Central Asia are often described according to their ethnic makeup.

The Northern Alliance is composed of ethnic minorities such as Uzbeks, Tajiks and Turkmen.

The Taliban is mostly Pashtuns.

But according to Adrienne Edgar, assistant professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, while ethnic identity may be an easy tool for describing the players in the unfolding Central Asian drama, it really is of minor importance to those involved.

Edgar will discuss her views on Central Asian identity in a talk titled "How to Tell a Tajik from an Uzbek: A Historian's Perspective on Ethnicity and Identity in Central Asia," at noon, Tuesday, Jan. 22 during a UCSB History Associates Lunch and Lecture at Andria's Restaurant, 214 State Street, Santa Barbara.

Admission to the talk is $18 to History Associates members and $20 to nonmembers and includes the price of lunch.

Reservations are required and must be received by Jan. 18. Contact the UCSB Office of Community Relations for further details, (805) 893-4388.

Edgar earned a Ph.D. in Russian history at UC Berkeley.

Her thesis was titled, "The Creation of Soviet Turkmenistan, 1924-1938."

Among her most recent publications is "Genealogy, Class, and Tribal Policy in Soviet Turkmenistan, 1924-1934," which appeared in the summer 2001 issue of "Slavic Review."

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