Brown Bag Talk: From barbarians to minorities to assimilation: The future of China's ethnic minorities

Brown bag talk by Associate Professor Magnus Fiskesjö, Dept. of Anthropology, Cornell University.

Abstract: We are currently witnessing a sharp turn in Chinese ethno-politics, with forced assimilation of ethnic minorities, especially in Western China. There is now a question of whether the recognition of ethnic minorities as such will be sustained, or whether they will be formally and effectively abolished, if the system of minority nationalities in place since the 1950s is cancelled and replaced with a new, neo-nationalist arrangement recognizing only a Chinese national identity. In this presentation I discuss these issues, and how they trace back to the unfinished legacy of the empire.

Bio: Magnus Fiskesjö is Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Cornell University. His research interests include: General anthropology; historical and political anthropology; civilizations and barbarians; sovereignty, state power, citizenship; autonomy; slavery; ethno-politics and interethnic relations; archaeology; cultural heritage, museums and modernity; East and Southeast Asia (China, Burma, etc.) and Europe.