Category Archives: Messages

Previous Meetings: 57th Annual Meeting of the PIAC, Vladivostok 2014

Dear Reader,

there is a constant flow of material of previous meetings that is not (hopefully, yet) included in the PIAC website altaist.org. Thanks to Olga Dyakova who shared the source documents of the Programme and Book of Abstracts of the 57th Annual Meeting which took place in Vladivostok in 2014, the programme of said Meeting and nearly all abstracts are now available online: 57th Annual Meeting of the PIAC, 2014: Programme.

Oliver Corff, October 2021.

63rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC successfully closed

Dear Reader,

the 63rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC closed on August 28th, 2021. The meeting was held under the most unusual, but hopefully unique circumstances. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic had forced the organizers first to postpone the Meeting from 2020 to 2021, and then to conduct the Meeting in electronic form, i.e. as a video conference.

Despite so many “firsts”, the Meeting went smoothly and was appreciated by all participants. A detailed report can be found here.

Oliver Corff, Sept. 6th, 2021.

 

63rd Annual Meeting, 2021: Second Day

Dear Reader,

the second day of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC featured two sessions, one on Mongolian Language and Thought,, chaired by D. Tumurtogoo, the other one on Turkic Studies, chaired by L. Bold. Both sessions ended in lively discussions.

In the meantime, more Mongolian media report on the 63rd Annual Meeting, e.g. medee.mn. The article shows Bat-Ireedüi during his opening speech and also allows a glimpse into the “command post” of this year’s meeting.

Oliver Corff, August 27th, 2021.

63rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC

Dear Reader,

due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 63rd Annual Meeting which was scheduled for 2020 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, had to be postponed to August 26–28, 2021. The pandemic situation, however, relentlessly continued as a global emergency  into this year 2021, making a reunion impossible again. So, instead of postponing the Annual Meeting for another year, it was decided to overcome health concerns and travel restrictions by conducting the 63rd Annual Meeting in electronic form.

August 26, 2021, witnessed the opening ceremony of the 63rd Annual Meeting and successful sessions of the first day. The number of active participants  is close to 50. The programme is available here.

Besides a report on the homepage of the Institute for Language and Literature at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, there are also first Mongolian media reports (e.g. by mpress.mn) on the PIAC.

Oliver Corff, August 26, 2021.

 

Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting 2013 Published

Dear Reader,

sometimes, things take quite a while, but today it is with great pleasure that I can announce the publication of the Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the PIAC:

Expressions of Gender in the Altaic World

Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference (PIAC), Kocaeli, Turkey, July 7-12, 2013

I wish to thank all contributors, and my special thanks goes to De Gruyter, the publisher. De Gruyter has acquired the Klaus Schwarz Verlag, owned by the late Gerd Winkelhane, and continues his work under the “Edition Klaus Schwarz” label.

Oliver Corff, August 12, 2021.

In memoriam Dmitry D. Vasiliev (1946 – 2021)

Dmitry Vasilyev

Дмитрий Дмитриевич Васильев (October 11, 1946 – January 18, 2021)

On January 18, 2021, due to complications resulting from coronavirus infection, Dmitry D. Vasiliev (Дмитрий Дмитриевич Васильев, October 11, 1946 – January 18, 2021) PhD (Hist.) famous Russian orientalist-turkologist, head of the Department of History of the Orient, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, passed away at the age of 75.

He was a talented organizer of science and particularly successful as the– head of epigraphic expeditions of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, for the study of monuments of ancient Turkic writing in Southern Siberia. He was a vice-president of the Society of Orientalists of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Honored Scientist of the Republic of Tuva, and an honorary member of the Atatürk Kültür, Dil ve Tarih Yüksek Kurumu (Atatürk Culture, Language and History High Authority).

The main field of Dmitry D. Vasiliev’s scientific investigations was research and systematization of monuments in ancient Turkic script. In 1983 he defended his PhD thesis on the topic “Paleographic systematization of monuments in the Turkic runic script of the Asian area”.

Dmitry D. Vasiliev is the author of a large number of scientific monographs and articles, including “Corpus of monuments in the Turkic runic script of the Yenisei basin” (1983), “Graphic fund of monuments in the Turkic runic script of the Asian area” (1983), “ORHUN” (1995), “Orthodox shrines of the Balkans” (co-authored) (2004), “Corpus of Turkic runic inscriptions of South Siberia” (2013), “From Central Asia to Anatolia. City and Man” (2013) (in Russian, English and Turkish), “Crimea in the Past in Old Photographs” (2006) (co-authored).

D. Vasiliev’s scholarly prestige was also underlined by his membership of editorial boards of Russian and foreign scientific periodicals such as “Vostok” (Orient), “Vostochnyy Archiv” (Oriental Archives), “Epigrafika Vostoka” (Epigraphy of the East), “Tyurkologiya” (Turkology) (Turkestan, Kazakhstan), “Vestnik Instituta Vostokovedeniya RAN” (Journal of the Institute of Oriental Studies RAS), “Vostochnyy kur’yer” (Oriental Сourier).

Paying great attention to scientific and teaching activities, D. Vasiliev taught since 1995 at the Russian State University for the Humanities where he held Turkish language classes and gave the courses “Introduction to Turkology”, “Country Studies”, and “Historiography of Turkey”. He educated a pleiad of young scholars who now successfully work in various Russian research institutes.

D. Vasiliev made a huge contribution to the development of Turkology in Russia. He had the honour of winning numerous awards, including the Kublai Khan medal (Mongolian Academy of Sciences), the medal “For services in the development of science of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, the commemorative medal “For the contribution to the study of history and culture of the Republic of Tuva”, the “I. Yu. Krachkovsky medal” of the Institute of Oriental Studies, the award “For services in the field of culture, history, language and literature of the world of the Turkic peoples” from the Turkish Foundation “International Valeh Hacilar Foundation of Science and Research”. In 2020, by the decree of the Government of the Republic of Tuva, D. Vasiliev was awarded the order “For Labor Valor” for his contribution to the development of science in the republic.

D. Vasiliev was a high-level professional, distinguished by deep knowledge of the subject of research, breadth of scientific interests, as well as high human qualities.

Dmitry Vasiliev’s sudden departure from life is an irreparable loss for his relatives, friends and colleagues.

Source: Homepage of the Institut Vostokovedenia RAN, translated by Elena V. Boykova.

The Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the RAN also published an obituary.

The international PIAC family mourns D. D. Vasiliev who attended a number of Annual Meetings where his jovial presence, kindness and fine humour were appreciated by everybody.

63rd Annual Meeting Postponed to 2021

Dear Reader,

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, global travel restrictions and a fundamental disruption of everyday life, the organizers of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC, originally scheduled to be held in Ulaanbaatar in 2020, could not but postpone the meeting to 2021. The 63rd Meeting is still to be held in Ulaanbaatar under the auspices of the Institute of Language and Literature of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences and the International Association for Mongolian Studies.

63rd Meeting 2021, Ulaanbaatar

The annual theme of the meeting remains unchanged.

With the best wishes for everybody’s health and the well-being of your beloved ones,

Oliver Corff.

 

Obituary: Roger Finch

In Memoriam
Roger Finch
(April 17, 1937 – October 4, 2019)

Let us all go cultivate our gardens.
(Voltaire, Candide)

Roger Finch was born on April 17, 1937, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, son of Willard and Phyllis (Creek) Finch, and died on October 4, 2019, of cardiac arrest.

Roger Finch graduated from George Washington University with a B.A. majoring in music and Harvard University with a PhD in linguistics. In 1977, after graduating from Harvard he was offered a position in Tokyo, Japan, writing textbooks for Japanese learning English. He started teaching English at Waseda University. and later moved to Sophia University in Tokyo where he taught—besides English—Modern American Poetry and phonology as well as historical and comparative linguistics. Through an introduction by Professor Paul Takei, he accepted a tenured position at Surugadai University near Tokyo in 1990 when he had already been pondering a possible return to the United States, intending to settle at his house in Maine which he had bought a long time ago.

The position at Surugadai University proved to be most fortunate; as he once wrote, he was impressed by the modern, new, attractive and well-equipped premises of the University (which had only been established three years earlier, in 1987). Given his profound love for nature, the trees and the hilly surroundings of the university campus certainly were hugely attractive to him, as he confessed once when resigning from his post. Yet, it was most important to him that he quickly made friends with colleagues, staff members and students alike, developing lasting friendships. Of his students, he spoke in terms of admiration, affectionately praising their polite manners, desire to learn and profound attention. Prior to his return to the United States in 2008, he honoured these bonds developed over two decades by encouraging his friends to visit him in Maine.

After retirement, Roger Finch dedicated his life to the things he loved most: linguistic research, writing poetry, and music composition. He once estimated that the share of his scholarly work would decrease in favour of poetry and music, but nonetheless he continued to contribute substantial, well-researched papers, combining his favourite interests when writing. His papers about subjects as diverse as folk bird taxonomies in Japan (“日本の鳥類の民間分類”, [Nihon no chôrui no minkan bunrui], Surugadai daigaku ronsô, No. 36 (2008), pp. 49–80 (this is the Japanese version of a paper presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the PIAC in Berlin, 2006), or „Christianity among the Cumans“ Surugadai daigaku ronsô, No. 35 (2008), pp. 75–96, or „The Reconstruction of Proto-Altaic *p-“, Surugadai daigaku ronsô, No. 28 (2004), pp. 69–99, or „Musical Instruments in Uigur Literature and Art“ Surugadai daigaku ronsô, No. 24 (2002), pp. 23–53, to mention just a few papers he published during his tenure at Surugadai University, demonstrate Roger Finch’s encyclopaedic scholarship. It is difficult to say whether his attention to minutiae, combined with a broad scope of diverse interests, as demonstrated in his scholarly work was an inborn personal trait or perhaps was acquired in the scholarly environment in Japan, but one way or the other, his personal mindset and Japan‘s scholarly values complemented each other in a most auspicious and beneficial way.

Over nearly two decades Roger Finch has been a faithful PIAC member, participating at least eight times since 1998, yet the earliest connection can be traced to 1989 when Denis Sinor announced some of Roger Finch‘s recent publications in the PIAC Newsletter. His contribution to the 56th Annual Meeting, Kocaeli 2013, waits to be published.

Roger Finch was also praised for his knowledge and command of Turkish. Let him describe, in his own translation of a prophetical masterpiece of Turkish poetry by Yahya Kemal Beyatli (1884-1958), the last voyage he embarked on:

Silent ship

If there comes a time to raise anchor from time, one day more,
A ship will set out from this harbor toward an unknown shore.
It makes way silently, as though it held no living soul;
At that unrocking parting no hand waves as the lines unroll.

Roger Finch leaves his spouse, Louis Hargan, equally faithfully a PIAC member, and his sisters, to whom I offer my deepest condolences.

Oliver Corff, October 12, 2019.

(Note: Edited the same day: two forgotten words added, and poem properly attributed to Yahya Kemal Beyatli. OC, 2019-10-12, 21:47 CEST/CEDT)

Past Meetings: 56th Annual Meeting Izmit/Kocaeli, 2013: Programme and List of Participants

Dear Reader,

Most of the information of the 56th Annual Meeting, held 2013 at Kocaeli University, is now online. This includes the original programme and the list of participants, both of which can be found at the page dedicated to the 56th Meeting Izmit, 2013.

Oliver Corff, September 04th, 2019.