My Blog Reading List (March 2012)

A few friends have asked recently what blogs I read, and where to learn about Central Asia. I have to admit I don’t follow the news in-depth – please send me interesting tidbits if you do! – but a sampling of some of my favorite blogs and websites is below:



1. Shapely Women 

Yep, this is narcissistic in more ways than one. SW’s a blog I started a couple years ago for some… curvespiration? I collect art showing women in a positive way, and I’m always trying to develop this. If you’re into art and would have anything to say or contribute here, let me know!

2. 100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School

About five times a day, I think… maybe I should go back to grad school. And then I read this, and remember why I’m not ready yet. This hasn’t stopped me from dreaming, but does remind me that I need a department that’s convivial, a school that’s well-regarded, an exciting project, and a degree that’s fully funded!

3. The Chronicle of Higher Education

Regardless of the above, I’m still addicted to reading professors’ complaints and college-improvement ideas on the Chronicle. Not quite as good as the old RYS, but the forums can get appropriately snarky…

4. Savage Minds 

This is hands-down the best trade blog for academic anthropologists, with lively discussion in the comments section. I read this one religiously nerdily.

5. The Browser 

A wide selection of long-form articles from around the net; see also and I had to take all of them off my feeds, though, because I was reading too much in English to ever even pretend to be studying Russian!

6. Anthrocybib 

If you’re at all into academic commentary on social aspects of Christianity (?!), this is the resource for you. Three anthropologists who study Christianity (Jon Bialecki, James Bielo, Naomi Haynes) keep a running list of the latest publications in the field… It’s a great format to keep track of the latest publications. The guys over at Savage Minds have also been talking about doing something similar for digital/open-access anthropology.

7. Sociological Images

SocImages is light but kind of fun, where they juxtapose advertising, video, news, and political images against sociological perspectives on culture. Kind of like, but a little less snarky. Also! I recently guest-posted; look for it :-)

8. The Wondering Minstrels

It hasn’t been active in years, but I keep it in my feed, because some day I mean to go and read back through this beautiful collection of poetry.

9. The 99 Percent

Yeah, postings are sluggish now, but in the early years (i.e. two months ago?) this was an engaging site where people would complain about their lives in America. It made me feel self-satisfied about being in Kazakhstan every time I looked at it. Umm… maybe that wasn’t the point…

10. Hide My Ass

So this is the sort of thing I use if I need to, say, read a blog about libraries for work, as most blogging platforms are blocked in this country. This may have been totally embarrassing recently when sales reps projected my browser onto a big screen at the library, and HideMyAss is the first thing that popped up in the address bar…

11. EurasiaNet

Far and away my favorite blog on Central Asia, because it’s thoughtful, to the point, and readable – and it’s well-designed to be pretty and attention-catching. I’d welcome hearing about other CenAsia sites you recommend!

12. Shared Talk 

Not an RSS feed, but a great free website to meet international pen-pals in almost any language! Hosted by the Rosetta Stone software company, you can trade your English knowledge for their Bulgarian knowledge, or whatever. I’ve met people through here who are now my colleagues!


Friend Blogs

And of course there are friends’ blogs:

“Britain Going Blog Crazy”

Aquiling – My super-cool falconer friend, Lauren, posts pictures from eagle-hunting meets around the world. .

Travel by Cassidy – Cassidy’s on Fulbright in Macedonia and is very committed about posting her experiences in Macedonia — with pictures!

Journey2wonder – My mother, and by far my most reliable commenter. She also blogs at Lybrook about her educational work in rural New Mexico.

Cynthia Werner – One of my most-viewed sites, even though it’s static, because I can download all of my former advisor’s articles here! Today in the library, a student wanted to research marriage customs in Kazakhstan, and the only anthropologist who had written about it was her. Props!

Lisa Min – Beautiful photography by my colleague Lisa, who recently finished up a Fulbright interviewing Koreans deported by Stalin from the far east into, of all places, rural Kazakhstan… I look forward to seeing what else comes out of her projects!

A colleague recommended this as a place to read interesting Russian articles… I’m trying to read in Russian, really… but the truth is I mostly end up going back to the same old English websites! I’m open to any other websites you recommend for good and easy Russian practice!

Any blogs or websites you think I’d really like??