The decision has been made during the St Petersburg International Conference in Afghan Studies at SPbU. It primarily aims to support academic research, young scientists and establish a peer-reviewed journal.

Research will be primarily academic in nature, regardless of the political situation in Afghanistan and member states of the association, according to the Association’s Charter. The regions is a cross-road of various nationalities and cultures, so the Association will focus on Afghanistan and other territories of the same language, ethnic, and social identity. The Association will serve to promote research in history, archeology, linguistics, literature studies, arts, religion, and anthropology.

In the Association, St Petersburg University will be represented by Prof Mikhail Pelevin and Associate Prof Sergei Grigoriev. “We had been discussing the idea with Sergei Andreev. He graduated SPbU, and now is Doctor of the University of Oxford. He had been working in Afghanistan for a long time and Pakistan, and he has a clear view of how the Association can operate. That is why he has become its first president.  I agreed to support him”, — said Prof Pelevin. “Today the Association has no equals across the globe, an only exception is American Institute of Afghan Studies at Boston Unievrsity, which comprises only specialists in Oriental studies within the USA”, — said he.

The executive committee of the Association also comprises the world’s leading specialist in Afghanistan: Associate Prof Benjamin Hopkins from the George Washington University (USA), Prof Magnus Marsden from the University of Sussex (UK), and senior researcher Katia Manuela Milke from the Institute of Peace and Conflict Research (Bonn, Germany). The Associate can comprise private researchers and organizations from any country in the world, including students. The Associate is planning to establish its own e-journal, award scholarships to young scientists for the best thesis and hold a conference on Afghan studies every four year.

About the conference

St Petersburg International Conference on Afghan Studies is an interdisciplinary platform to discuss the key issues on Afghanistan: historiography and source studies, written traditions, languages, literatures and folklore, religions, culture and archeology, and political patterns. The event is visited by scientists from Russia, Germany, USA, UK, Poland, France, Finland, and Switzerland. The Conference is held on the 150th anniversary of the Afghan studies at SPbU and teaching Pushto at SPbU which had been initiated by an academician Boris Dorn, who also founded Afghan studies in Russia.