Morgan Liu

Morgan Liu

Morgan Liu

Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

614 292-5619

331 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Road
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Languages: Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, French
  • Cultural Anthropology of Central Asia, including Xinjiang


  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, Anthropology

 Morgan Liu is a cultural anthropologist studying Islamic knowledge and practice in post-Soviet Central Asia, focusing on Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He is interested in ethnographic approaches to the state, postsocialism, space, and agency. Courses he teaches are about Middle Eastern culture, Central Asia, Islamic revival and social justice, and cultural theory. Before coming to the Ohio State University he was a postdoc at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. His Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan in Anthropology. Morgan’s current project investigates the connections between prosperity and piety among the newly wealthy class in southern Kyrgyzstan, how Islam legitimates economic activity, and how Islam is understood to address systemic problems in post-Soviet society.

His 2012 book, Under Solomon’s Throne: Uzbek Visions of Renewal in Osh, concerns how ethnic Uzbeks in the city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan think about political authority and post-Soviet transformations, based on research using vernacular language interviews and ethnographic fieldwork of urban social life from 1993 to 2011.  This book won the Central Eurasian Studies Society’s 2014 award for Best Book on Central Eurasia in the Social Sciences published in 2012 or 2013.