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Visiting Fulbright addresses gender issues in Central Asia

Oct. 15, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Zulaikho Usmanova, a visiting Fulbright Scholar from Khujand University in Khujand, Tajikistan, will speak on "Gender Issues in Central Asia" at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in the Brown and Gold Room of the Bernhard Center at Western Michigan University.

Usmanova, who is using her Fulbright Scholarship to visit WMU this year, is associate professor of history and director of the Office of International Affairs at Khujand. She will discuss the definitions of gender roles in post-Soviet Tajikistan and pay special attention the function of gender in Islam.

Fluent in Tajik, Russian, English and Uzbek, her work has concentrated on an anthropological analysis of gender. Tajikistan is a multilayered society, and Usmanova has challenged conventional views of the role of women play in that culture.

Usmanova received her doctorate in philosophy in 1994 from the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan in Dushanbe. She is the author of several articles and textbooks, including "Tajikistan: Ethnic Identity and Perspectives of Nationalism," and co-author of "History of Tajik Culture."

Contact Dr. Allen Zagarell, WMU professor of anthropology, at allen.zagarell@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3978 for more information.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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