A series of online seminars has highlighted recent research related to Mongolia, including on the likely site of Chinggis Khan’s ordu and the use of traditional Mongolian verbal art to deliver Covid-19 health messages.
In May, the ANU Mongolia Institute began fortnightly virtual events during which experts presented recent research or fieldwork on a topic related to Mongolia or the Mongolian diaspora.
Institute Director Dr Jack Fenner said the lunchtime seminar series was initially set up as a way to keep in contact during the pandemic.
“I’m very pleased with the response, especially from our international colleagues who have joined the sessions,” he said.
“There’s so much interesting work being done on Mongolia and the Mongolian diaspora; the presentations have used anthropology, archaeology, political science and linguistics and featured film, music and photography.”
Four online seminars were held during semester one, including a special panel held in collaboration with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (University of British Columbia) ahead of the 2020 Mongolian election.
The panel featured Associate Professor Julian Dierkes the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada; Dr Byambajav Dalaibuyan, Director of the Mongolian Institute for Innovative Policies; Badamdash Dashdavaa, a Director of the Parliamentary Research Institute; and Professor Li Narangoa, from the Australian National University.
Other seminars included a presentation from Dr Natasha Fijn on the significance of the marmot and the plague to herding communities in Mongolia, and from Dr Fenner on recent dating and diet work related to the Avraga archaeological site in eastern Mongolia.
Dr Gegentuul Baioud, from the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University, presented a seminar on the transformation of Mongolian verbal art in contemporary Inner Mongolia, exploring the recontextualisation of khuuriin ülger (“fiddle story”) by Mongolian folk singers in the context of the spread of Covid-19.
Dr Fenner said the seminar series would resume in second semester.
The Mongolia Institute is also planning an online capstone event late in the year that will include discussions about the wider Inner and Central Asia region.
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