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Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL)
Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
The History of Xinjiang
CEUS-R 332/532
Gardner Bovingdon

The region today known as Xinjiang has had a tumultuous political history, often at the margin of other empires, sometimes itself the seat of empires, and sometimes parceled into warring statelets.  It is geographically part of Central Asia, though it has also come under the political ambit of China.  Peoples inhabiting the region have been animists, Zoroastrians, Nestorian Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims.  Nomads and settled farmers, poets and philologists, Turkic warriors, Chinese monks, and Arab traders have lived in the region – and archeologists have recently unearthed there ancient mummies some consider European. This course will introduce Xinjiang's complex cultural, ethnic, religious, and geopolitical history from the first millennium BCE to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911. We will consider the link between ecology and economy, the effects of Uyghur, Chinese, Mongol, and Manchu empire-building, the process and consequences of Islamicization, the abortive Jadidist movement, and the first stirrings of nationalism. We will give attention to the problem of sources and contemporary historiographic controversies.

Course Requirements:
Students are expected to attend all classes having done all the readings and prepared to discuss them. Final grades will combine class participation and a final research paper of approximately 20 pages for graduate students, 10 to 15 pages for undergraduates. The subject of the research paper should be arranged with the instructor.  Grading will combine the research paper (66%) and class participation (33%).

Course Materials:

  •           Kim, Ho-dong. 2004. Holy war in China: the Muslim rebellion and state in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  •           Perdue, Peter C. 2005. China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  •           Remaining readings on ERES or online.