Asia brown bag lecture: Ildiko Beller-Hann

NIAS and ADI invite you to a brown bag lecture by Ildikó Bellér-Hann from the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. 

Islam, legitimation, identity: Uyghur historical narratives from Eastern Xinjiang
While imperial China recognized a certain degree of internal diversity, more specifically the presence of Han, Manchu, Muslims, Tibetans and Mongols, socialist China, which makes territorial claims on the imperial legacy, projects herself as a multi-ethnic state comprising 56 ethnic groups,  ten of  which profess Islam. Neither of these classifications is without problems: where the modern ethnic discourse is based on the social engineering inspired by the Soviet model in the early 1950s and shows mixed criteria for separating certain groups, the Muslim label in imperial China masked internal divisions.

The paper demonstrates how religion is used as a source of identity and legitimation in non-hegemonic Uyghur language history production in the oasis of Hami/Qumul today under conditions of strained majority-minority relations and strict censorship. The selected vignettes taken from accounts situated on the margins of mainstream, official history make important comments about the complex patterns of modern Uyghurs’ self-positioning both within China’s Muslim community and in relation to the Chinese power-holders.

Ildikó Bellér-Hann is associate professor at the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. Her main interests span the histories, societies and cultures of the Turkic speaking world, with special focus on Xinjiang, Central Asia and Turkey. In her work she combines text-based research with empirical methods of data collection. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in NE Turkey, NW China (Xinjiang) and Kazakhstan.

Time: 11 May 2015, 12:00-13:00
Place: NIAS, CSS, room 18.1.08

Feel free to bring your own lunch. There will be coffee/tea.