Liu appointed chair of Department of Near Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures

June 21, 2022

Liu appointed chair of Department of Near Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures

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We are very excited to announce that Morgan Liu, associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures, has been appointed chair of the department for a four-year term, effective July 1, 2022. He’s also an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and holds courtesy appointments in the following Arts and Sciences departments and centers: Department of Comparative Studies, Department of French and Italian, Center for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and the Center for East Asian Studies. Liu is a cultural anthropologist studying the globalization of financial and economic elites in Central Eurasia, Muslim communities in former socialist states, informal social networks as formations of power, collective agency, emergent complexity of interactions between corporation/state/and non-state actors, urban space, and Islamic ideas of social justice. His broadest interests concern how Central Eurasians make sense of and act on their society’s structural problems. This includes turning an ethnographic lens onto the connections between Central Asia, Turkey, Russia and China. Starting in 2019, he served as president of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, an international scholarly organization promoting the study of the region roughly between Turkey and Mongolia. Eight years of vernacular language interviews and ethnographic fieldwork culminated in Liu’s 2012 book Under Solomon’s Throne: Uzbek Visions of Renewal in Osh, which examines how ethnic Uzbeks in the city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, view political authority and post-Soviet transformations. He received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan.