Up until recently the historiography of late nineteenth-and early twentiethcentury Central Asia has been focused on the study of modern ethnogenesis processes and modernization movements, in the framework of an overall rhetoric of nation building. A Marxist-Leninist tint was instilled, notably through a special interest in nineteenth-century “popular movements,” some of which were presented as progressive, and admitted as constitutive elements of proletarian Central Asian nations. (See for instance the tradition of academic works, in Soviet Tajikistan, about the Baljuan revolt led by Mulla ‘Abd al-Wasc‘, alias Vose, in 1885-7/8). Since the mid-1970s, the early twentieth-century reform and modernization movements (recalled “Jadidism”), and the debates of that period on the reformed teaching of literacy, have been integrated into this nation-centered historiography. Then, during the last years of perestroika, the eventual re-examination of the period of national autonomies (from 1917 to 1923) has put the concept of statehood (deroavnost’) at the center of the official historiographical literature. Finally, the proclamation of national independences, in 1991, has reinforced this priority given to the historical legitimation of the nations of the USSR. At the same time, the present continuity of the old oligarchies, and that of the Soviet culture of power, have reassessed the ever-growing dependency of history and historians on politics and politicians, at least in Central Asia, if not elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).1