Professor Frank Karioris, Assistant Professor of Sociology & General Education at American University of Central Asia and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Men’s Studies Association has cofounded the Center for Critical Gender Studies at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Other faculty founders are Elena Kim and Elena Molchaneva in Psychology, and Mohira Suyarkulova of the Central Asia Studies Institute. Professor Karioris is its current Director
The Center opened June 1, 2017 to provide an innovate forum and network for research on issues related to gender and sexuality, at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, and beyond. It offers the first academic program in Gender Studies in Central Asia and is a research hub located at the University that is connected with scholars both within Bishkek and globally and a resource for the University and its students, that also engages those outside the bounds of the university.
The Center anchors faculty research projects, conferences, and workshops, hosts visiting scholars, and sponsors an Annual Lecture series. It offers an Undergraduate Minor in Gender Studies, a Concentration for Liberal Arts & Sciences Majors, and a Concentration for Sociology MA students. These programs offer an Interdisciplinary set of classes related to topics of gender and sexuality that engage issues theoretically as well as empirically.