Azade-Ayse Rorlich

Professor Emerita of History

Research & Practice Areas

Russia/USSR/Eurasia : modernity studies, identity, gender,
visual culture.

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Center for the Languages of the Central Asian Region, Advisory Board Member
  • Initiative to Study Political Violence,
  • International Turkic Eurasia Foundation, Advisory Board Member


  • Ph.D. History, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1/1976
  • M.A. Russian History, University of Wisconsin Madison, 12/1972
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Rorlich studies Russian and Eurasian social and cultural history, including the history of the Turkic Muslim peoples of Russia. Her special research interests include : the social history of Muslim women in late imperial Russia,the identity discourse of the Muslim modernizers, Muslim visual culture, as well as the socio-political and cultural landscape of the post-Soviet Turkic republics.

    Research Keywords

    Russia/USSR/ Eurasia: Islam, identity, gender, visual culture .

    Detailed Statement of Research Interests

    My teaching and research interests are intimately intertwined and have been shaped by an appreciation of the imperial dimension of Russian history. Within this context, the Turkic Muslim peoples of Eurasia, whether as subjects of the Russian imperial state, citizens of the Soviet Union, or those of the independent states that emerged after its demise represent the main focus of my research. My work on Muslim modernity and identity construction is informed by the relevance of ambiguities in shaping equations of cultural and political interaction and challenges dichotomous approaches. I continue to study the role that markers such as religion and gender play in the construction of identity, just as I maintain an interest in issues of cultural reproduction and politics of culture with regard to Muslim modernizers in particular.

    • 1. Forbidden and Blessed Images.The Visual Culture of the Volga Tatars:1906-1917 [Monograph]
      2.Vignettes of Women’s Lives and the Woman Question: The Muslims of Late Imperial Russia[Monograph]
      3. Film and Identity :the Eurasia Film Festival [Journal article].
      4. “The Golden Minbar” Islamic Film Festival and “Euroislam” [Journal article].
      5.”Working Within the System: A Muslim Woman Judge and Soviet Law” (Journal article)
    • USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, USC General Education Teaching Award, 2000-2001
  • Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Member, Editorial Board :2007-8, International Journal of Turkish Studies, USA, 2006-2007
    • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Communist and Post Communist Studies, USA, 2006-2007
    • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, UK, 2006-2007
    • Member, Editorial Board, Miras, Russia, 2006-2007
    • Member, Editorial Board, Otan , Kazakhstan, 2006-2007

    Professional Offices

    • Member , Board of Directors, International Turkic Eurasia Foundation, 2006-2007

    Professional Memberships

    • American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies; Central Eurasian Studies Society; European Society of Central Asian Studies; Association for the Study of Nationalities, 2006-2007