Adams, Laura L. 2010. The Spectacular State: Culture and National Identity in Uzbekistan. Durham: Duke University Press, 256. Abstract
Laura L. Adams offers unique insight into nation building in Central Asia during the post-Soviet era through an exploration of Uzbekistan’s production of national culture in the 1990s. As she explains, after independence the Uzbek government maintained a monopoly over ideology, exploiting the remaining Soviet institutional and cultural legacies. The state expressed national identity through tightly controlled mass spectacles, including theatrical and musical performances. Adams focuses on these events, particularly the massive outdoor concerts the government staged on the two biggest national holidays, Navro’z, the spring equinox celebration, and Independence Day. Her analysis of the content, form, and production of these ceremonies shows how Uzbekistan’s cultural and political elites engaged in a highly directed, largely successful program of nation building through culture. Adams draws on her observations and interviews conducted with artists, intellectuals, and bureaucrats involved in the production of Uzbekistan’s national culture. These elites used globalized cultural forms such as Olympics-style spectacle to showcase local, national, and international aspects of official culture. While these state-sponsored extravaganzas were intended to be displays of Uzbekistan’s ethnic and civic national identity, Adams found that cultural renewal in the decade after Uzbekistan’s independence was not so much a rejection of Soviet power as it was a re-appropriation of Soviet methods of control and ideas about culture. The public sphere became more restricted than it had been in Soviet times, even as Soviet-era ideas about ethnic and national identity paved the way for Uzbekistan to join a more open global community.
Adams, Laura L, and Asel Rustemova. 2009. “Mass Spectacle and Styles of Governmentality in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.” Europe-Asia Studies 61: 1249-1276.
Adams, Laura L. 2009. “Strategies for Measuring Identity in Ethnographic Research.” Identity as a Variable:A Guide to Conceptualization and Measurement of Identity, edited by Rawi Abdelal, Yoshiko Hererra, Ian Johnston, and Rose McDermott, 316-341. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Adams, Laura L. 2008. “Globalization, Universalism and Cultural Form.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 50: 614-640.
Adams, Laura L, Miguel Centeno, and Charles Varner. 2007. “Frameworks of Resistance to Cultural Globalization.” The Cutures and Globalization Series, Volume 1: Conflicts and Tensions, edited by Helmut Anheier and Yudhishthir Raj Istar, 80-89. Los Angeles: Sage.
Adams, Laura L. 2007. “Uzbekistan’s National Holidays.” Everyday Life in Central Asia: Past and Present, edited by Jeff Sahadeo and Russell Zanca, 198-212. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Adams, Laura L. 2007. “Globalization of Culture and the Arts.” Sociology Compass.
Adams, Laura L. 2005. “Modernity, Postcolonialism, and Theatrical Form in Uzbekistan.” Slavic Review 64. United States: 333-354. Publisher's Version
Adams, Laura L. 2004. “Cultural Elites in Uzbekistan: Ideology Production and the State.” The Transformation of Central Asia: States and Societies from Soviet Rule to Independence, edited by Pauline Jones-Luong, 93-119. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Adams, Laura L. 2003. “A Central Asian Theatrical Mecca?” Transitions Online. Publisher's Version
Adams, Laura L. 2000. “Who's Afraid of the Market? Cultural Policy in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan.” The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society 30: 29-41.
Adams, Laura L. 1999. “Invention, Institutionalization, and Renewal in Uzbekistan's National Culture.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 2: 355-373.
Adams, Laura L. 1999. “The Mascot Researcher: Identity, Power, and Knowledge in Fieldwork.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 28: 331-363.
Adams, Laura L. 1998. “What is Culture? Schemas and Spectacles in Uzbekistan.” Anthropology of East Europe Review 16: 65-71.