Morgan Y. Liu, associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, has been named interim chair of the department, effective July 1.
Liu is a cultural anthropologist studying Muslims in former communist countries, the impact of oil extraction on Central Asian societies, urban space and Islamic ideas of social justice. His broadest interests concern how Central Asians make sense of and act on their society’s structural problems. This includes using an ethnographic lens on the developing connections between Central Asia, Turkey, Russia and China. Liu teaches courses about Middle Eastern culture, Central Asia, Islamic revival and social justice, and cultural theory.
Before coming to Ohio State, Liu was a postdoc at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan in anthropology.
Liu’s 2012 book, Under Solomon’s Throne: Uzbek Visions of Renewal in Osh, concerns how ethnic Uzbeks in the city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, think about political authority and post-Soviet transformations, based on research using vernacular language interviews and ethnographic fieldwork of urban social life from 1993 to 2011. The book won the Central Eurasian Studies Society’s 2014 award for Best Book on Central Eurasia in the Social Sciences published in 2012 or 2013.