short bio

Vincent Fourniau is Professor (Directeur d’études) of Central Asian studies at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS-Paris). He teaches master and doctoral seminars on Central Asia during the Modern (XVI-XVIII c.) and contemporary periods (XIX c. and Soviet period).

His dissertation “History of irrigation in the Uzbek space. Ethno-social strategies of settlement in Central Asia, XVI-XIX c.” was defended in 1986. He then got a Post-doctoral grant in Istanbul-Turkey (1986-1989) at the French Institute of Anatolian studies (IFEA), at a period where the USSR still existed and where it was not possible to go there for long stays.

He then was invited to teach on a Tenure track position the history of Central Asia at the University of Madison-Wisconsin (USA, 1989-1994), before being elected at the EHESS in 1994 where he teaches since then.

In 1998-2002, he was the director of the French Institute of Central Asian Studies in Tashkent-Uzbekistan, this institute is a regional one acting in and coordinating research on the 5 ex-Soviet republics of the region.

affiliation and current position

Professor (directeur d’études) of Central Asian studies at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS-Paris).


History of Central Asia in the XVIII c., History of Central Asia during the Soviet period, History of irrigation in Central Asia.

works/publications on Central Asia

Transformations soviétiques et mémoires en Asie centrale. De l’ « indigénisation » à l’indépendance (Soviet transformations and Memory in Central Asia. From « indigenization » to independence ), Paris, Les Indes savantes, 2019.

– « Le Semiretchie et la Transoxiane : leurs liens dans l’histoire des turcisations et des sédentarisations en basse Asie centrale » (Semirechie and Transoxiana : their links in the history of turkizations and sedentarizations in Lower Central Asia), Hommes et terres d’islam. Mélanges offerts à Xavier de Planhol, 2000, IFRI, p. 229-242.

– « Quelques aspects du thème timouride dans la culture française du XVIe au XIXe siècle » (Some aspects of the Timurid topic in the French culture, XVI-XIX c.), Oriente Moderno (volume named La civiltà timuride come fenomeno internazionale), Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, n.s XV (LXXVI), 2, 1996, Rome, p. 283-304.

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