Archive of Michael Hancock-Parmer

Michael earned an MA in Central Eurasian Studies in 2011 and remains a student at Indiana University pursuing a dual PhD in Russian History and Central Eurasian Studies. He served 6 months in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan in 2005. After the events in Andijan and the subsequent closure of the program, he served 2 years in southern Kazakhstan, returning to the Midwest in 2007. His general area of interest is on post-Timur Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, centered on the Syr Darya river valley.

Michael has written 20 articles at Registan.


Nazarbaev and Kazakh Yeli

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

-Біздің еліміздің атауында Орталық Азияның басқа да елдеріндегі сияқты “стан” деген жалғау бар. Сонымен бір мезгілде, шетелдіктер халқының саны небәрі екі миллионды құрайтын Моңғолияға қызығушылық танытады, бірақ оның атауында “стан” жалғауы жоқ. Сірә, еліміздің атауын уақыт өте келе “Қазақ елі” деп өзгерту мәселесін қарастыру керек шығар, бірақ алдымен міндетті түрде халықтың талқысына салған жөн, – [...]

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Latinization and Kazakhstan

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

I’m writing this post to share some concerns about the Latinization program for Kazakhstan announced by President Nazarbaev in connection with other progressive changes to the Republic. The Too Long; Didn’t Read analysis of what I’m about to write is simple: I am not as excited for Latinization as I used to be. I am [...]

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Abai – the Historical Figure

by Michael Hancock-Parmer
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Registan Bloggers Michael Hancock-Parmer and Christopher Schwartz have teamed up to write about Abai Kunanbaiev (or, if you prefer, Abay Kunanbayev). A force of nature in the Republic of Kazakhstan, he was similarly popular in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. Born Ibrahim, he took Abai (“careful”) as his takhallus (تخلص), or pen-name. He is most [...]

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Some History

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

In an effort to clear my brain while I construct some kind of cogent argument about the depth and nature of the relations  between Kazakhs and Cossacks in the middle of the 19th century, I will share some choice citations from the works I’ve been reading. I understand that I’m dropping these into a blog [...]

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Desert Floods

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

The Syr Darya is a mighty river. It may seem small in comparison to the larger regional river, the Amu Darya, and naturally also to those familiar with larger rivers in areas with more rainfall – like here in the US with the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, etc. Let all of that be as it may [...]

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Critical Journalism and Janaozen

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

Prologue   Criticism and Critique are often confused. This might be partly because their adjectival forms are usually written the same way. Is a critical report critical in the sense of important? I think that definition is the least confusing from context. But what about other meanings? Is the report critical because it judges the [...]

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Book Review: A Small Key Opens Big Doors

by Michael Hancock-Parmer
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Chen, Jay, ed. A Small Key Opens Big Doors. 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories, Volume Three: The Heart of Eurasia. Travelers Tales: Palo Alto, 2011.336 pages, includes Foreword, Preface, Introduction, Acknowledgments. Disclosure: Jay Chen is a friend and fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). We served in the same group in Kazakhstan starting in [...]

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Oil is the Wealth of the Nation

by Michael Hancock-Parmer
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The events in Kazakhstan on its Day of Independence have made headlines around the world, but the motivations and consequences of the events continue to evade observers inside and outside the country. Several videos capturing both the violence and the shocked onlookers’ comments have surfaced on Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty and their affiliate Radio Azattyq. [...]

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Kazakhstan – 20 Years After Independence

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

Prologue Kazakhstan twenty years into its first independent statehood is a difficult animal to categorize, describe, analyze, etc. Why would we want to? My aim in this exercise is to find a general sense of how Kazakhstan has changed since the late 1980s and how it has stayed the same. I am treating the year [...]

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The Story of Kazakh-Land ™

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

This is Michael Hancock again – it’s been a little while since I’ve posted last.  As it turns out, I have something to share that will both tickle your fancy and have something to do, however tangentially, with my still-unfinished-thesis on the history of Kazakhstan circa 1723. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Kazakh-Land!  Situated [...]

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