In the 1920s, the Bolsheviks sought to eradicate the power of pre-revolutionary elites, and in Central Asia, this included repression of Muslim religious leaders. This presentation concerns oral history and primary source research concerning one such family associated with an important Muslim shrine in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Using photos, government land documents, a family genealogy, oral history interviews with the Eshon’s grandchildren, and background research in IU's SRIFIAS collection, we examine the ways that some of the members of this elite family adapted to new Soviet modes of achieving social status, while others were arrested and executed. We also explore the ways that Soviet terror silenced some of the bearers of a family legacy, and the ways that collective memory within an extended family became a resource for reconstructing what happened to children of the Eshon.
Elyor Karimov is a Historian with advanced degrees from the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences, Institute of History. He teaches at Hofstra University and is a UNESCO consultant. His principal scholarly interest is the history of Central Asia defined within a broader context of Medieval to Modern Middle Eastern history, using sources starting from Mediaeval Persian and Chaghatai manuscripts and documentary sources, expanding into Soviet era archival documentation, and then employing oral tradition and extensive anthropological interviews. His research now lies on intersection of social history, religious studies and anthropology.
Marianne Kamp is Associate Professor of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University. She earned a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. She has conducted research about women and unveiling in Uzbekistan, agricultural collectivization in Uzbekistan, and transitions in family formation in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan using oral history and archival methods. She serves as book review editor for Central Asian Survey.