Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Rebecca Martusewicz, EdD, Co-Chair

Committee Member

Paul Ramsey, PhD, Co-Chair

Committee Member

Joe Bishop, PhD

Committee Member

Gary Schnakenberg, PhD


This research provides critical discourse analysis (CDA) of primary archival materials that captured the experiences of Central Asian people in the early 1900s first by the Tsarist and later the Bolshevik governments in Central Asia (CA). Using two postcolonial theories, an EcoJustice theoretical approach and settler colonialism, I parse out colonial discourses that created a new social, economic, and ecological order which drastically altered the ecosystem and lifestyles of both pastoral nomads and sedentary populations like the merchants, farmers, craftsmen, and intellectuals. Using archival materials, I tell the story of how these settler colonizers first degraded Central Asian people and then dispossessed/displaced them to further their economic and geographic gain. Then, to deny their wrongdoing to the land and people of CA, they created settler colonial systems like schools and knowledge production uplifting settlers’ way of being, history, and actions to normalize their violence and manufacture the consent of the locals and the world to their actions. These colonial impositions caused an enclosure of ecological commons, famine that took the lives of many in CA, and the rise of monoculture that left Central Asian people vulnerable to further upheavals. My research shows the same colonial discourses that portrayed Central Asian people then are still actively shaping CA today. Thus, challenging the history of CA told from the imperial perspective, I argue to deconstruct the knowledge and colonial discourses that still justify ongoing control, colonization, and ecological and social devastation exercised on “third world countries” and urge for the importance of grassroot changes that recognize cultural and ecological interconnectedness and interdependence.