Welcome to Steppe Sisters
Steppe Sisters (founded 2017) is an international networking group dedicated to connecting women and underrepresented groups in academia, who conduct research in Central Asia (specifically CIS countries) and neighboring regions. We bridge boundaries and encourage cross-cultural exchange of ideas, resources, and support to encourage the professional advancement of women researchers.
Our remit is focused upon human science researchers, specifically, those who work in fields which investigate humans and their environment both today and in the past. This includes the disciplines of history, archaeology, anthropology, palaeoecology, archaeogenetics, and other related fields of human sciences. However, researchers from all other disciplines are also welcome.
Steppe Sisters Network is currently supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with a Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives, 2021-2024.
News and information
Symposium & Book Launch
Mapping the Past: History and Culture of Central Asia
European-Chinese Imperial Maps and Gazetteers Related to the Kazakh Khanate and Its Adjacent Regions from the 16th to the 19th Centuries
Time: Friday, 29th September 2023, 10:00-15:00 (BST)
Venue: British Library, 96 Euston Road, London
Dilnoza Duturaeva, a steering committee member of Steppe Sisters, is set to host a one-day symposium and book launch in celebration of the release of Nurlan Kenzheakhmet's latest work titled European-Chinese Imperial Maps and Gazetteers Related to the Kazakh Khanate and Its Adjacent Regions from the 16th to the 19th Centuries (Ostasien Verlag, 2023). This event will also include a presentation about the Steppe Sisters Network by Ashleigh Haruda, Kristen Hopper, and Aiya Raissova.
RSVP to register for webinar: https://forms.gle/nKuasDf63xJVPAMd9
Ashleigh Haruda (University of Oxford)
Kristen Hopper (Durham University)
Gai Jorayev (UCL)
Richard McClary (University of York)
Alexander Morrison (University of Oxford)
Aiya Raissova (Durham University)
Rebecca Roberts (University of Cambridge)
Dilnoza Duturaeva | University of York
Nurlan Kenzheakhmet | Eurasian Research Institute, Akhmet Yassawi University
University of York
Eurasian Research Institute, Akhmet Yassawi University
Steppe Sisters Network
10:00 – Opening Remarks
Panel 1: Archaeology and Art | Chair: Kristen Hopper (Durham University)
10:15 to 10:45 – Rebecca Roberts (University of Cambridge) & Gai Jorayev (UCL)
Maps, Metadata, Margins and Machines: Historic Maps as an Archaeological Resource
10:45 to 11:15 – Richard McClary (University of York)
Mapping Changes and Dispersal Over Time: Two Shah-i Zinda
Tombs and their Lajvardina Tiles
11:15 – 11:30 Coffee Break
Panel 2: History | Chair: Ashleigh Haruda (University of Oxford)
11:30 to 12:00 – Dilnoza Duturaeva (University of York)
Mapping the Qarakhanids: A Song Dynasty Map of Central Asia
12:00 to 12:30 – Alexander Morrison (University of Oxford)
Russian Colonialism and the Qazaq Steppe, 1731 – 1916
Panel 3: Network | Chair: Dilnoza Duturaeva (University of York)
12:30 to 1:00 – Ashleigh Haruda (University of Oxford), Kristen Hopper (Durham University) & Aiya Raissova (Durham University)
Mapping Women Working on the Past & Present of Central Asia: Steppe Sisters Network
1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
2:00 to 3:00 – Book Presentation by Nurlan Kenzheakhmet (Eurasian Research Institute, Akhmet Yassawi University)
European-Chinese Imperial Maps and Gazetteers Related to the Kazakh Khanate and Its Adjacent Regions from the 16th to the 19th Centuries (Ostasien Verlag, 2023)
Steppe Sisters Newsletter - Summer 2023
Read the latest from the Steppe Sisters- including announcements about our upcoming Annual General Meeting, news from the field, and more! Click here to download if you aren't subscribed to our email list.
Blog post/Video competition
We are pleased to announce the launch of the first Steppe Sisters blog post/video contest! This year, we would like applicants to answer the question: In what ways can we reconceptualize the Silk Roads as more than just a means of trade, but as a social and cultural phenomenon with a lasting legacy? In a video or a blog post, tell us what the Silk Roads means to you and why it matters today! Find more HERE.
UPDATE! Steppe Sisters Small Grants Program 2023
Steppe Sisters Annual Meeting & Lecture
The Steppe Sisters Network, in collaboration with York Asia Research Network (YARN), is organising its 2nd Annual Meeting at the University of York on 21st October 2023, from 2pm to 6pm. This event, which will be conducted both in-person and online, is open to postgraduates and early career researchers who are interested in Central Asian research. Participants are invited to join us and help establish a community of scholars in this field.
For more information:
Steppe Sisters Newsletter - Winter 2023
Read the latest news from the Steppe Sisters group, including information about our conference in Tashkent, new online library, and grant database! Click here to read the Winter 2023 newsletter, or enter your email in our "Contact Us" box to subscribe to our mailing list to receive this directly to your inbox.
ArchéOrient - Le Blog about the Steppe Sisters Network
Cecilia Conte and Kristen Hopper wrote a blog post about the Steppe Sisters Network.
Check it out here: https://archeorient.hypotheses.org/22109
Steppe Sisters & Humboldtians Early Career Conference Programme
Steppe Sisters New Publication by Elissa Bullion
This article by Steppe Sister Elissa Bullion and her colleagues discusses the discovery and excavation of an early Islamic cemetery in the highlands of Central Asia at the site of Tashbulak, in modern-day Uzbekistan. The Tashbulak cemetery demonstrates the presence of an early Islamic community in a rural region, challenging narratives that Islam was slowly adopted in these areas as it diffused from urban centers.
Find the article here (open access):
Steppe Sisters New Publications
Duturaeva, Dilnoza. Qarakhanid Roads to China: A History of Sino-Turkic Relations. Leiden: Brill, 2022.
Qarakhanid Roads to China reconsiders the diplomacy, trade and geography of transcontinental networks between Central Asia and China from the 10th to the 12th centuries and challenges the concept of “the Silk Road crisis” in the period between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the rise of the Mongols. Utilizing a broad range of Islamic and Chinese primary sources together with archaeological data, Dilnoza Duturaeva demonstrates the complexity of interaction along the Silk Roads and beyond that, revolutionizes our understanding of the Qarakhanid world and Song-era China’s relations with neighboring regions.
The e-book version of this publication is available in Open Access: https://brill.com/view/title/61452
Steppe Sisters & Humboldtians Early Career Conference
The Steppe Sisters Network supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation will hold a conference for early career researchers at the National Center of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan in Tashkent from September 5-7, 2022. The training workshop is designed to enhance the capacity of women researchers in history, archaeology, ecology and anthropology and create a community of scholars interested in Central and Inner Asian Research. The conference will focus on topics to help early career researchers and students succeed in a wide range of academic fields.
For information see: https://www.steppesisters.org/early-career-conference
Lecturer in Modern Russian History at Cardiff University (Deadline 29th March 2022)
The School of History, Archaeology and Religion wishes to appoint a fixed-term full-time lecturer in Russian History. The post is for 12 months to cover a period of externally funded leave. You will possess a record or potential for excellence in research in modern Russian History and evidence of high-quality teaching at undergraduate level.
For more information see:
Who we are
Membership to our closed forums and discussion groups is limited to Steppe Sisters members only to provide opportunities for women*. Men who wish to support Steppe Sisters will be allowed to join as friends of the group to access our mailing list, website, and Twitter, and can contribute through offering training opportunities. Members of the public can interact with the group through our public Twitter profile and the webpage. Discussion is encouraged in the language of your choice. You can access our constitution here.
*Women encompasses all women, as based on gender identity or/and biological sex, and underrepresented groups, as well as those discriminated against based on their gender identity
Our aims are:
- To network to bridge cultural divides
- To support early-career women researchers
- To promote research by women in the past and present
- To advance equality, diversity and inclusion in academia
We support women-led professional academic development through:
- Providing online discussion forums for networking and communication
- Online and in-person training sessions, lectures and seminars
- Mentorships that link senior and early career scholars with students
- Small-Grant Programmes for early career researchers (supported by funding organizations)
Our steering committee leads and directs Steppe Sisters and is responsible for organising conferences, online events and acting as admins in our online community spaces.
Steppe Sisters Newsletter Editor
US Natural Resources Conservation Service and University of Pittsburgh, US
University of Cambridge, UK
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
University of Kansas, US
Steppe Sisters Social Media Coordinator
Humboldt Universität, Germany
Steppe Sisters Treasurer
University of York, UK
Steppe Sisters Membership Chair and Webmaster
University of Oxford, UK
Steppe Sisters Chair
Durham University, UK
Art Historian and Archaeologist
Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art Culture & Design in Honolulu, Hawaii, US
Yale University, USA
Steppe Sisters Secretary
University of Michigan, US