Mention in The Kansan

Just ran across this mention regarding next week’s conference in


Kauffman Museum will host ‘Great Trek’ scholar, filmmaker


The upcoming “Mennonites and Modernity” conference at Bethel College will bring visitors from different parts of the world, including Uzbekistan.
Dr. Dilaram Inoyatova of the National University of Uzbekistan and Walter Ratliff, a journalist and religion scholar from Washington, D.C., will be the special guests of the Kauffman Museum-Ichan Kala Museum Partnership at a come-and-go reception from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus.
Inoyatova is a historian who has studied the modernizing impact of Mennonites in Central Asia in the Tsarist and Soviet eras.
In the 1880s, Mennonite families emigrated from south Russia to Central Asia in what has been called the Great Trek.
Ratliff directed and co-produced the 2008 documentary film “Through the Desert Goes Our Journey on the Great Trek,” which showed during Bethel’s Fall Festival in 2008 and later on the local public television station, KPTS-Channel 8.
Ratliff recently published “Pilgrims on the Silk Road: A Muslim-Christian Encounter in Khiva” (Wipf & Stock, 2010), which discusses the Great Trek in the context of 19th-century political rivalries and includes new evidence of Muslim-Christian cooperation.
“Pilgrims on the Silk Road” is available for purchase in the Kauffman Museum store and Ratliff will sign books during the reception.
Inoyatova and Ratliff will make brief remarks to the group at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
The public is invited to meet these two scholars, who will be participating in the history conference at Bethel College on Friday and June 26.
For more information, contact Kauffman Museum at 283-1612 or
For more about “Marginal or Mainstream?: Anabaptists, Mennonites and Modernity in European Society,” see