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Scholar's Corner - If I know everything, can I fix anything?

A researcher in the world of development

Thursday May 19th, 6 pm - 7:30 pm on 24th Floor, Blue Sky Hotel, Ulaanbaatar

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The first of this summer's gatherings, the topic for discussion is where does academia fit into international development. where is the border between research and activism? What are the opportunities for collaboration?

Participating will be Dr. Julian Dierkes from UBC, Dr. Marie-Luise Ermisch for CIRDI, and a student group from the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsilvania.

Scholar's Corner events are informal gatherings where interested individuals can meet, share their research, their interests and make new connections. It is open to students, academics, experts and arm chair scholars. The event is organized by the American Center for Mongolian Studies. Cash bar will be available for those wishing to have a beverage.

For more information contact the ACMS at 7711-0486 or 

You can also register on Facebook by clicking on the link Scholar's Corner  


Speaker Series - Alex Skinner

Putrefaction and Prototyping: the political economy of spatial and temporal transformation in Ulaanbaatar. 

May 10th, 2016 - Starting 5:30 PM

Location: American Corner, Ulaanbaatar Public Library

Tel: 976 7711-0486

What can a single building in central Ulaanbaatar reveal about the bricolage of social, political and material transformations at play within in Ulaanbaatar today? 

In the wake of socialism and colonialism, a rich vein of transitology offers us array of concepts through which to render the potentialities of space, place, networks and meanings as they are yoked to temporal transformations. Amidst a burgeoning discourse on urban planning in Ulaanbaatar, I present this paper as a means to initiate discussion on the very material basis of emergent and unintended transformations in a rapidly developing urban society. 

The grey carcass of the building in question looms imposingly over the political, cultural and now bustling business heart of the Mongolian Capital. Straining skywards since the height of a mining-led investment boom in Mongolia, the structure currently stands unfinished and dormant, ringed by diminutive apartment buildings that once housed high-ranking members of socialist society. As the construction protrudes from one of the most intensive sites of socialism in Mongolia, it has attracted questions over legitimacy of land transfers and planning permissions within the capital. 

In tracing the swimming potentialities of this structure single structure, we can witness how it continues to invoke peculiar intensities of political networks that emerged from the socialist political economy as arteries and organs that can no longer function to support an ideal body, if they ever fully did. From and with these disrupted material and social remnants, a new array of forms also continues to emerge, which themselves remain visibly incomplete or decaying vis-à-vis their idealized natures. 

Following these trajectories, this paper initiates discussion of a politics of urban development that draws epistemological and ethical import from the capacity to productively resist closure, excavate interiority and render salient the contradictions that beset and are productively constitutive of an array of new ideal and wholesome forms of politics, space and society in Ulaanbaatar.

Speaker Series - Odbaatar Tserendorj
Preliminary Results of the National Museum of Mongolian “Airagiin Gozgor” Project Research in Jargalant sum, Orkhon province.  

March 22th, 2016 - Starting 5:30 PM

Location: American Corner, Ulaanbaatar Public Library

Tel: 976 7711-0486
In addition to historical documents, archaeological excavations are one of the most important sources for information on the ancient history of Mongolia. Results of excavations at the site of Airagiin Gozgor in Jargalant sum, Orkhon province will shed new light on Mongolian ancestors and clarify our understanding of Mongolia. This project excavated 9 tombs over 2 years that display evidence of unique ritual practices. These tombs are quite different than other tombs excavated in the territory of Mongolia. Preliminary results suggest that tombs date back to the end of Xiongnu Empire to subsequent nomads. 
ACMS to Release New Series “Mongolian Field Notes”

The ACMS is excited to announce the launching of a new online research publication called Mongolian Field Notes which will be available periodically tentatively starting May 1st, 2016. Mongolia Field Notes will communicate academic research about Mongolia to broader audiences. They are modeled on the successful Asia Pacific Field Note’s produced by the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia (http://www.asiapacificField

Mongolia Field Notes connect research work conducted by Mongolian and international researchers to issues in contemporary Mongolia. The goal is to highlight researchers and their areas of expertise, and to provide information in a concise format. Field Notes can cover any topic related to Mongolia, including politics, economics and business, science, environment and technology, or people, history and society.

We are currently encouraging American, Mongolian and other international researchers to submit their short articles for review. Write a 300 to 1000 word Field Note using lively, jargon-free language and clear writing. At this time, only submissions in English are accepted. A Field Note should explore an academic concept or research related to contemporary Mongolia. Where possible, integrate current events into your Field Note. Your submission should effectively convey a key idea or point, backed up by concise arguments and evidence.

Submissions are now being accepted for the May 1st as well as future editions of Mongolia Field Notes.   In order to be considered for the May 1st edition, your submission must be received by April 11th, 2016.

For more information about how to submit as well as the full submission guidelines email Julia Clark at

Deadline extended to March 15th for 2016 NEH Summer Institute on Modern Mongolia

Apply now for our NEH Summer Institute “Modern Mongolia: Heritage and Tradition Amid Changing Realities”! The institute is a four-week workshop (June 6-July 1, 2016) designed to provide 25 US undergraduate university and college educators with resources needed to be able to expand curricular offerings in East, Inner, or Central Asian Studies. The question of how Modern Mongolia is navigating its place in the world will be explored through the humanities; art, literature, music, and dance provide useful lenses to view how cultures in Mongolia are changing and still yearning for the past.

The Institute will engage educators with stimulating presentations, materials, and discussions, and provide them with necessary tools to build draft course modules tailored to their institutional and individual teaching circumstances. Ultimately, we strive to provide context to enable teaching about a changing Mongolia. The Summer Institute will be held at the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) on the historic campus of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

For full details on the program, including speakers and detailed schedule of activities, see the NEH Institute part of our website .

Now Receiving Applications: Deadline extended to March 15, 2016
Includes: Free Tuition and a $3,300 Stipend to defray housing (which will be available on campus) and transportation expenses.

Speaker Series - Caleb Pan

The State and Fate of Mongolia’s Environment

March 1st, 2016 - Starting 5:30 PM

Location: American Corner, Ulaanbaatar Public Library

Tel: 976 7711-0486 

Mongolia is uniquely located in the heart of the Asian landmass and as a consequence this geographic location facilitates one of the strongest continental climates on earth. Largely governed by its unique climate, Mongolia is a water restricted country. Despite Mongolia’s limited access to water, the country has been rapidly developing water dependent economies including mining, livestock, and agriculture. This talk will discuss the progression of Mongolia’s climate from the Pleistocene to the present with special respect to lakes and glaciations and how Mongolia’s water availability has been influenced over time. More importantly, this talk will describe the future sustainability of Mongolia’s economic sectors as its climate continues to evolve.
ACMS Annual Meeting, Poster Session, and Reception in Seattle, Friday, April 1st, 2016
Please join us for our Annual Meeting, coming up on Friday, April 1st, 2016! This year's meeting will be in Seattle, in conjunction with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annual meeting at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel (1400 6th Avenue, Seattle). As usual, a reception, cultural program, and poster session will be held after the membership meeting, and are free and open to public and all interested parties. Registration to AAS is not required for this ACMS event. We also have a call for posters and displays at this time (see below). Our event will be at 7:30pm, Friday, April 1st, in the Willow A Ballroom, Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Hope to see you there!

This reception will be co-sponsored by the Mongolia Studies program at Western Washington University
Call for Posters and Displays for the ACMS Annual Meeting, 7:30pm Friday, April 1st, 2016
The ACMS is organizing a poster session on topics related to Mongolia to be held on Friday, April 1st, 7:30-9:30pm at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Willow A Ballroom (in conjunction with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annual meeting. Posters or displays on any topic related to Mongolia, Mongolian people are welcome. All presenters are required to appear at the meeting to discuss their work. Posters and displays may be in either English or Mongolian language, and students and scholars from all countries and fields of study are invited to participate in the poster session and reception. The audience is expected to include students, scholars, and local residents from Mongolia, and members of the community interested in Mongolia. To propose a poster or display for the session, please send a brief abstract or description (no more than 250 words) to David Dettmann at on or before March 1, 2016. Posters and displays will be accepted on a rolling basis. You do not need to be registered for the AAS conference to participate, but poster presenters should be a member of the ACMS at the time of the meetings.
ACMS welcomes Dr. Julia Clark as resident Cultural Heritage Program Coordinator
With support from the Henry Luce Foundation, the American Center for Mongolian Studies has initiated a Cultural Heritage Program (CHP) that is being directed from its Ulaanbaatar office. This program will host several fellows each year in the area of cultural heritage in Mongolia. Researchers will support the documentation and preservation of both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Inner Asia, with a focus on the people and geographic area that is now in the nation of Mongolia.

Dr. Julia Clark, a recent graduate from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, has been selected as the CHP coordinator. Dr. Clark has been conducting archaeological fieldwork in Mongolia annually since 2007 working primarily in Arkhangai, Bayan Ulgii, Hovsgol, and Uvs Aimags. She has been the director of the Northern Mongolia Archaeology Project (formerly the Targan Nuur Archaeology Project) in the Darkhad Depression, Hovsgol Aimag since 2011. Dr. Clark utilizes a variety of archaeological and ethnographic methods to investigate the introduction of food production and its effect on Mongolia and the surrounding regions, from the adoption of domesticated animals several millennia ago through the present. For more information on this program and upcoming cultural heritage projects, you can reach Julia at 
ACMS Mongolia Cultural Heritage Fellowship

 Active ImageThe 2016-17 Mongolia Cultural Heritage Research Fellowship program supports academic research projects that will contribute to the documentation and preservation of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Inner Asia, with a focus on the people and geographic area that is now in the nation of Mongolia. The ACMS Cultural Heritage program is supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation (

 ACMS Mongolia Cultural Heritage Fellowship has two goals: 1) to improve knowledge about Mongolia’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and 2) to make that knowledge accessible to people in Mongolia and around the world. Fellows will be expected to contribute to the development of data management systems and collections of Mongolian cultural heritage either with their own research materials and/or with the research materials of others, working to make information more accessible to scholars, officials, and the general public. Projects utilizing archives or collections from Mongolian institutions are encouraged, but must be willing to share this data with the ACMS Cultural Heritage Program and Mongolian Cultural Heritage Center, and should be accompanied by a brief letter of support from the host institution. Any fellow who wishes to use the research materials of others, please contact the Cultural Heritage Program ( for more information on available data sets. Research projects that relate to the preservation of Mongolia’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage are welcome, from humanities and digital humanities fields such as archival studies, archaeology, language and literature, performing arts, history, religious studies, and others. Social science, natural science, and information technology projects may also be considered if they have a strong cultural element or application to cultural heritage issues. Scholars will have the opportunity to work with ACMS partners and may have the opportunity to take part in workshops and/or trainings funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Fellows will be expected to spend some time working directly on Cultural Heritage Project initiative such as workshops, conferences and data management projects when it does not directly interfere with their own research. Project proposals should clearly outline an intended time frame indicating if they are proposing a short-term fellowship (of 1-3 months), or a long-term fellowship (of up to 9 months).

All applicants should be advanced graduate students or graduated from a university in the US or Canada. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2016.

Questions about the program should be directed to, or to the US or UB ACMS offices.

ACMS Holiday Schedule

This schedule may be subject to change.


1/1/2016ThursdayNew Year's DayUSA/Mongolian
1/18/2016MondayMartin Luther King, Jr's BirthdayUSA
2/9/2016TuesdayLunar New Year*Mongolian
2/10/2016WednesdayLunar New Year*Mongolian
2/11/2016ThursdayLunar New Year*Mongolian
2/12/2016FridaySubstitute for President's day, Feb 15USA
3/8/2016MondayIntl Women’s DayMongolian
5/31/2016MondayMemorial Day substitute for May 30thUSA
6/1/2016WednesdayMother & Child DayMongolian
7/4/2016Monday4th of JulyUSA
7/11/2016MondayNadaam National HolidayMongolian
7/12/2016TuesdayNadaam National HolidayMongolian
7/13/2016WednesdayNadaam National HolidayMongolian
7/14/2016ThursdayNadaam National HolidayMongolian
7/15/2016FridayNadaam National HolidayMongolian
9/5/2016MondayLabor DayUSA
10/10/2016MondayColumbus DayUSA
11/11/2016FridayVeteran's DayUSA
11/14/2016MondayChinggis Khaan's Day*Mongolian
11/24/2016ThursdayThanksgiving DayUSA
12/26/2016Mondaysubstitute day of Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec 25USA
12/30/2016MondayNational independence Day - substitute for Dec 29Mongolia