Why “Ketmen”?

Ketmen means a hoe and it is used to dig the ground for a variety of purposes: soil tillage, creating irrigation ditches, mixing clay for bricks, making foundation for yurts, etc. One can think of all kinds of analogies: Ketmen will help till the soil of Central Asian academia and dig irrigation ditches for watering it and for connecting distant parts of the region with each other. It will help dig the foundations and mix the clay for raising the walls in the houses of local academic knowledge

Ketmen is also associated with hard and honest labor, connection to the folk on the ground and non-elitist status of the journal and its contributors.


Regional multi- and interdisciplinary focus

Ketmen publishes across a wide range of human and social sciences and encourages its contributors to use interdisciplinary approach and to collaborate with specialists from the variety of fields and countries within and outside Central Asia.

Types of submissions and peer-review process


All submissions made in the format of traditional academic articles undergo the blind peer-review process and are read by at least two reviewers.


Submissions made in other formats do not need to be peer-reviewed; the decision on their publication is made by Ketmen’s editorial board.



We also encourage submission of artistic projects, which do not to be peer-reviewed either.

Publishing in multiple languages

Marshall McLuhan famously claimed that “Medium is the message”. That is why the language of publication is just as important as its contents. In order to raise local Central Asian voices, Ketmen allows authors to publish in English, Russian and any local languages of their choice (Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tajik, Uzbek or Turkmen). This adds to the experimental nature of Ketmen and to the multiplicity of its forms of expression.
Ketmen new peer-reviewed Central Asian journal

Foundation at the American University of Central Asia

Over the last three decades, the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) has been a flagman in academic research and publishing. While it is not the only liberal arts university in the region, its location in Kyrgyzstan – the most democratic of all Central Asian states – makes it most vocal and free in academic expression. Thus, it is only reasonable that AUCA takes on a leadership role in this endeavor and becomes a regional anchor that brings together scholars from the entire region. 



Innovative and experimental approach

One of the main missions of Ketmen is to help Central Asian authors develop new theories, methodologies and academic styles. This is difficult to do without innovation and experimentation. That is why Ketmen is open to a variety of academic genres beyond traditional academic papers: essays, creative nonfiction, autoethnographies, storytelling, oral histories and others. It also encourages authors to experiment and innovate with methodologies, analysis and interpretations of their research.

Editorial board

At the core of Ketmen, there is a group of highly motivated, experienced and productive scholars from AUCA and other partnering institutions who are committed to the idea of promoting local Central Asian scholarship. The board will engage in administering the journal and the peer review process, attracting contributions, popularizing the journal, providing feedback and making suggestions for improvement, proposing themes for special issues and fundraising. 


Publication frequency

Ketmen publishes three or four issues a year. It welcomes special issues devoted to specific themes proposed by the guest-editors or initiated by the members of Ketmen’s editorial board.

Formal registration of Ketmen

The journal is registered with the Ministry of Justice of Kyrgyz Republic and it follows the Ministry’s registration policy on academic journals. It is also registered with the Higher Attestation Committee of the Kyrgyz Academy of Science.

Collaboration and Funding

The journal is open to collaboration with and support by international and local organizations and foundations.

Ketmen international journal

Decolonizing knowledge on Central Asia

For many decades during the Soviet period, local academia was dominated by the Soviet scholarly tradition. In the period of independence, it was replaced by the scholarship from the global West. 

The time has come and resources are abound to establish and expand local knowledge on the region. Ketmen is a platform that brings this knowledge together.