Alima Bissenova is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the department of Sociology and Anthropology at Nazarbayev University. She obtained her PhD in 2012 at Cornell University, has Bachelor’s degree in Kazakh language and literature from the Karaganda State University and a Master’s in Middle East Studies. In her current research, she investigates the social implications of post-Soviet development through the prism of the changing environment of Kazakhstan’s cities, newly emerging lifestyles and subjectivities, strategies of mobility, and new religious sensitivities in the urban space. She is in the process of completing her first book manuscript Learning to Be Bourgeois: the Rise of the Middle Classes in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan. She is also leading an interdisciplinary project which deals with the issues of coloniality of knowledge, contemporary and historical intellectual networks, knowledge transfers and transformations of cultural capital from generation to generation and from one locality to another.

Selected Publications:

(2017) “The Fortress and the Frontier: Mobility, Culture, and Class in Almaty and Astana,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 69 No. 4, 642-667

(2016) Бисенова А., Медеуова К. “Давление метрополий и тихий национализм академических практик,” AB Imperio, No. 4, 207-255

(2014) “The Master Plan of Astana: Between the ‘Art of Government’ and ‘the Art of Being Global’,” In the Ethnographies of the State in Central Asia: Performing Politics, ed. Reeves, Rasanayagam and Beyer, 127-148, Indiana University Press


Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
Anthropology of Development
Capitalism in Crisis
Introduction to Eurasia
Postcolonial Theory and its Application to Eurasia
Kazakh Culture through Ethnography, Literature, and Film