In accordance with the directives of the City and County of San Francisco and the State of California to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Society for Asian Art has cancelled the remaining classes on March 29 and April 5, 2020. Thank you for your understanding.
Central Asia has been a cultural crossroads for millennia but for much of the twentieth century, while the region was part of the Soviet Union, little information about its people or its culture reached the West. At the same time, under communism, new ways of life and thought developed in Central Asia: literature in local languages flourished, and new ideas about socialism and equality mixed with older forms of Central Asian culture, producing a unique body of fiction and memoir. In this course, we’ll start with two different takes on Soviet Central Asia in the 1930’s: the Russian Andrei Platonov, who saw the region as a tabula rasa where socialism could be built from scratch; and Langston Hughes, who visited and found an analogue to the American south. Then we’ll work our way through the twentieth century, with texts by Sadriddin Aini, Chingiz Aitmatov, and Hamid Ismailov, through which we’ll explore the modern and ancient history of this complex region.
Emily Laskin is finishing her doctoral degree in UC Berkeley’s Department of Comparative Literature, where she teaches Russian and English literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. She works in English, Russian, and Persian and her writing focuses on the literature of borderlands and regions where multiple linguistic and literary traditions coincide.
The Society for Asian Art's cancellation policy requires at least one week's advance written notice in order to receive a refund of registration fees. This excludes our Travel programs, which have separate cancellation policies, as well as any programs where a specific refund policy is stated on the event page. Your fees will be returned to you through a check in the mail. To cancel, please contact us.
For programs located within the Asian Art Museum, the museum entrance fee must be paid separately and is not included with your registration fee.
Please note that by registering for a program, you are giving consent to the SAA to be photographed or videoed as a participant.