Morgan Liu

Morgan Liu

Morgan Liu

Associate Professor


331 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Rd.
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Ethnographic approaches to cities, space, materiality, compl
  • Anthropology of the state, postsocialism, neoliberalism
  • Oil and energy industries in Central Asia & Azerbaijan
  • Cultural Anthropology of Muslim societies, Islamic knowledge


  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, Anthropology


Morgan Y. 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 structural inequalities and abuses of power.  This includes using an ethnographic lens on the developing connections between Central Asia, Turkey, and China. He is an Associate Professor in Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, The Ohio State University.

Before coming to the Ohio State University he was a postdoc at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. His Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan in Anthropology.  Courses he teaches are about Middle Eastern culture, Central Asia, Islamic revival and social justice, and cultural theory.

His 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.

See my personal website (link on this page) for more about my work, teaching, and useful resources about Central Asia.