Map of Central Asia

Historical and Contemporary Migrations of Central Asian Muslims: History, Culture and Identity

Central Asian Studies Unit, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 3-5 April 2024

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for our upcoming conference on Central Asia (CA), a vast geographical area stretching from Western China to Caucasus in the west and from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan in the south. The conference aims to bring together scholars from various disciplines to discuss and exchange ideas on a wide range of topics related to the historical and contemporary regional and transnational migrations of Central Asian Muslims.

Migration is a complex, multi-layered, multi-generational, and meta-territorial phenomenon which is triggered and influenced by multiple factors including personal and family decisions, socio-economic and political conditions in the lands of origin and destination, and international rules and regulations. Migration acquires various forms and often leads to the formation of diaspora, with its own case-specific dynamism rooted in the history, contextual realities and culture of the migrant communities. Central Asia has witnessed intense movements of people in the course of history which shaped the cultural composition of Central Asian nations with their dominant Muslim population. In contemporary period the outward migration has become an important characteristic of the developments in the region. The conference aims to explore and analyse the trends, the forms and the transformations experienced by the Central Asian migrant communities in various contexts and their influence on the homeland.   

We invite the submission of original research papers that contribute to the advancement of knowledge and to our deeper understanding of the migration in its various manifestations. The exchange of ideas and research findings by scholars from different disciplines will result in new insights into historical and contemporary regional and transnational movements of Central Asian Muslims.

The conference will cover a broad spectrum of subjects, including but not limited to:

Historical and Contemporary Cases of Central Asian Regional and International Movements

  • The socio-economic, political and ecological factors which contribute to migration from Central Asia;
  • The region’s history of colonization and Soviet influences;
  • Regular and irregular migration from CA countries.

Forced Migration and its Consequences for Migrant Communities

  • Refugee, asylum and immigration laws and policies in host countries;
  • Inclusion and exclusions (citizenship, social mobility);
  • Support networks (friends, family, and communities) during separations and reunions.

Transforming Identities of Migrant Communities

  • Preservation of ethnic, national, and religious identities and cultural practices (language, food, music, clothes, and art) in the host country;
  • Migratory transformations in host and migrant communities;
  • Formation of diasporas and organisation of migrants;
  • Gender, marriage, educational opportunities, and multi-/bi-cultural identity.

This will be a hybrid event and the papers accepted can be presented on-line or in person.  


Important dates:

Abstract deadline: Authors are expected to submit their abstract (up to 500 words) by 30 December 2023 to

Notification of accepted abstracts: Submissions will undergo a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the quality and relevance of accepted papers. Accepted papers will be notified by 15 January 2024.

Dates of the Conference: 3-5 April 2024


We look forward to receiving your submissions and participation at the conference.