Dr. Steenberg Rune

Project position

Excellent researcher

Reading group

Material culture and cultural anthropology

Research field(s)

Kinship, border trade, marriage, economic transformation, customs, informality, re-education camps, state violence, formalization, commodification, propaganda, narrative strategies


Dr. Steenberg Rune is an anthropologist who focusses on Xinjiang and Uyghurs. Extended fieldwork in Xinjiang, Kyrgyzstan and earlier in mainland China and Indonesia. Fluent in Uyghur and Chinese, functional communication in Kyrgyz.


  • Steenberg, Rune. “Transforming Houses-the Changing Concept of the house in Kashgar.” Internationales Asien Forum. International Quarterly for Asian Studies. Vol. 45. No. 1/2., 2014.
  • Steenberg, Rune. “The art of not seeing like a state. On the ideology of “informality”.” Journal of Contemporary Central and eastern europe 24.3 (2016): 293-306.
  • Steenberg, Rune. “Embedded rubber sandals: trade and gifts across the Sino–Kyrgyz border.” Central Asian Survey 35.3 (2016): 405-420.
  • Steenberg, Rune. “13 “Keep the wealth within the family”: Cousin Marriage and Swedish Uncles in Kashgar.” Kashgar Revisited: Uyghur Studies in Memory of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring. Brill, 2017. 277-301.
  • Steenberg Reyhé, Rune. “Qing Policies and Close Marriage: Transforming Kinship in Kashgar.” Xinjiang in the Context of Central Eurasian Transformations. The Toyo Bunko, 2018. 3-28.
  • Steenberg, Rune. “Accumulating Trust: Uyghur traders in the Sino–Kyrgyz border trade after 1991.” Routledge Handbook of Asian Borderlands (2018).
  • Steenberg, Rune, and Alessandro Rippa. “Development for all? State schemes, security, and marginalization in Kashgar, Xinjiang.” Critical Asian Studies 51.2 (2019): 274-295.
  • Steenberg, Rune. “The formal side of informality: non-state trading practices and local Uyghur ethnography.” Central Asian Survey 39.1 (2020): 46-62.