Wilson Center Experts
Morgan Yih-yang Liu
Morgan Y. Liu is a cultural anthropologist studying Islamic revival, postsocialist states, and social justice movements. An Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, The Ohio State University, he teaches about the Middle East, Central Asia, Islamic revival and social justice, and cultural theory. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. His Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan in Anthropology.
His 2012 book, Under Solomon’s Throne: Uzbek Visions of Renewal in Osh (University of Pittsburgh Press), concerns how ethnic Uzbeks in the ancient Silk Road city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan think about political authority and post-Soviet transformations, based on research using vernacular language interviews and ethnographic fieldwork of urban social life from 1993 to 2011.
Morgan’s current research investigates Islamic notions of just society in Central Asia, and comparatively across the Middle East, Russia, China, and elsewhere in Asia. He wishes to investigate how Central Asians believe Islam could address structural problems such as “corruption” and social inequality.
Liu's recent Annual Review of Anthropology article gives an accessible scholarly introduction to post-Soviet Central Asia, and makes a few arguments about what's at stake in our knowledge of the region: