Ildikó Bellér-Hann: Homogenization and Fragmentation: knowledge production of the Uyghur elite in Xinjiang during reform socialism


22 January 2019, 10:00


Krizkovskeho 14, room KC-1.07


In my talk I would like to introduce my research project titled “Between homogenization and fragmentation: textual practices as strategies of integration and identity maintenance among the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, China (20th‒21st centuries)” which has been running since 2017 and which is supported by the Danish Velux Foundation. Using the concepts of homogenization and fragmentation, this interdisciplinary project explores textual strategies employed by Turkic speaking Muslims (nowadays known as the Uyghur) to demarcate and sustain their ethno-religious group identity and negotiate their subjecthood within the Chinese polity in the 20th and early 21st centuries, emphasizing multiple, cross-cutting loyalties and sense of belonging, indigenous subjectivity, local practice and agency. Three of the four distinct text corpora were produced in the post-reform era (1980–2010s) and represent fiction, local history and native ethnography, while the fourth explores 150 legal manuscripts produced by Islamic courts during the republican era (1912–1949). After introducing the four sub-projects, I will demonstrate my approach by giving some examples from my own research on local history.