Svetlana Jacquesson is the director of the Central Asian Studies Institute at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and head of the MA program in Central Asian studies at the same university. She holds a PhD in ethnology (2000) from the National Institute of Oriental Languages and the High School for Social Sciences in Paris, France. After her PhD she was first elected research fellow at the French Institute for Central Asian Studies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (2000-2003), then a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany (2006-2009). In 2010-2012, she was a Volkswagen Stiftung grant holder at the Centre for Interdisciplinary studies of Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany.
In her research activities Dr Jacquesson has been experimenting with various approaches towards “identification” and “categorization” as crucial social and political phenomena. Within this common framework, she has been working on the use of hunting birds among Kyrgyz and Kazakhs and the importance of local knowledge in identity constructions, on the past and present of pastoralism in northern Kyrgyzstan and on genealogy- and history-making in post-independent Kyrgyzstan. All through her research career, she has been variously involved in organizing and supervising research activities and junior scholars.