Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker is the Director of the Central Asian Studies Institute and Head of the Master of Arts in Central Asian Studies at AUCA. His research focuses on the literary imagination of classification and on the efforts of Kazakh artists to categorize complex historicities in imperial and Soviet Eurasia, themes he addressed in his dissertation, “Ethnic Words and Soviet Things” (Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University).

His accomplishments as CASI Director include shifting the orientation of the Institute to the humanities and chairing and organizing its Literature and History in Central Asia Workshop, a gathering of scholars first convened in 2014 to shape and define the field of literary studies in Central Asia. Before coming to AUCA, he supervised the compilation and editing of a 1700-page Kazakh-English dictionary with the aid of grants from the US Diplomatic Mission in Kazakhstan and Nazarbayev University.