A word about the Central Asian Falconry Project…

Dennis Thorsted Keen, the young and enthusiastic fellow in Central Asian studies, is well remembered by the Silk Road House folks who attended its events in 2011-2012. In December 2011, Dennis had a lovely preliminary talk on his falconry research. In March 2012, he had a quite different lecture on the modern world of Kyrgyz music. The presentation was entitled: “When the Komuz Met the Keyboard: Folk and Pop Music in Modern Kyrgyzstan”… It was the period of his Fulbright and then Stanford Fellowships…

Since June of 2013, Dennis has been based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Silk Road House sponsored his work as one of its branded project. And now we’re happily reading Dennis’ triumphal report: “I’m proud to say that my website is just completed. It’s available online now: centralasianfalconry.org…”

Let’s quote a bit from there: “The Central Asian Falconry Project was started in 2009 with a simple goal: to share a fascinating tradition with the world. … Almost five years in the making, the Central Asian Falconry Project has come full circle back to the land of the Kazakhs, and it is there that the website was finally pounded out. The Stanford thesis is featured in its entirety, but in a beautiful new digital form. Citations are no longer limited to just books from the library – every interview has been transcribed and shared, every field notebook scanned, every photo uploaded, and this research data that is usually obscured by an author is available for inspection and collaboration. Annotated bibliographies provide a starting point for further exploration, and they’re growing all the time as Dennis scours the National Library of Kazakhstan for more material to bring to the world…” A truly fascinating project, indeed! Just have a look – you will not tear yourself away from this site.

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