Oasis Identities by Justin Rudelson; Justin J. RudelsonThe rising tide of ethnic nationalism that has swept across Central Asia in the past decade has energized efforts by the Chinese government to win favor among its ethnic minorities. As a result, China has granted the Uyghurs -- a Turkic Muslim people who inhabit the oases of China's far northwestern province, Xinjiang -- special previledges, opening up international borders, reestablishing long-severed transborder contacts and trade networks, and allowing intellectuals the liberty to construct their own versions of Uyghur history. From the outset, however, this process has been problematic, heightening intra and interoasis tensions. Greater freedoms for the Uyghur people have threatened China's economic, ideological, and military control over this vital region and have produced resistance movements and separatist terror attacks. In this study, a leading expert on Central Aisa explores the history, culture, politics, and geography of Xinjiang's oasis communities, shedding new light on the competing ideas, symbols, and allegiances that make up the many diverse Uyghur identities. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork in the Xinjiang oasis of Turpan, Justin Jon Rudelson assesses the factors that undermine the creation of a pan-Uyghur identity. He explains the historical and contemporary impact of the geography of the region, where oases are relatively isolated from one another; the fragmented visions and cross-cutting allegiances of the three major social groups (intellectuals, peasants, and merchants); and the inability of the Uyghur elite who spearheaded the nationalist movement to transcend their own provincialism, thereby engendering rival oasis identities and subverting ethnic unity. Oasis identities is a vivid, ground-breaking work offering insight into not only the trumoil besetting this important but little-studied region but also the barriers facing all emerging nations and cultures struggling to define their national identities.
Situating the Uyghurs Between China and Central Asia by Joanne Smith Finley; Rachel Harris; Idiko Beller-Hann (Editor); M. Christina CesaroThis volume offers a unique insight into the social and cultural hybridity of the Uyghurs, an officially recognised minority mainly inhabiting the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, with significant populations also living in the Central Asian states.
The Uyghurs by Gardner BovingdonFor more than half a century many Uyghurs, members of a Muslim minority in northwestern China, have sought to achieve greater autonomy or outright independence. Yet the Chinese government has consistently resisted these efforts, countering with repression and a sophisticated strategy of state-sanctioned propaganda emphasizing interethnic harmony and Chinese nationalism. After decades of struggle, Uyghurs remain passionate about establishing and expanding their power within government, and China's leaders continue to push back, refusing to concede any physical or political ground. Beginning with the history of Xinjiang and its unique population of Chinese Muslims, Gardner Bovingdon follows fifty years of Uyghur discontent, particularly the development of individual and collective acts of resistance since 1949, as well as the role of various transnational organizations in cultivating dissent. Bovingdon's work provides fresh insight into the practices of nation building and nation challenging, not only in relation to Xinjiang but also in reference to other regions of conflict. His work highlights the influence of international institutions on growing regional autonomy and underscores the role of representation in nationalist politics, as well as the local, regional, and global implications of the "war on terror" on antistate movements. While both the Chinese state and foreign analysts have portrayed Uyghur activists as Muslim terrorists, situating them within global terrorist networks, Bovingdon argues that these assumptions are flawed, drawing a clear line between Islamist ideology and Uyghur nationhood.
Call Number: Main Reserves Reader Services Desk --DS731.U4 B68 2010
Xinjiang: China's Muslim borderland by S. Frederick StarrEastern Turkestan, now known as Xinjiang or the New Territory, makes up a sixth of China's land mass. Absorbed by the Qing in the 1880s and reconquered by Mao in 1949, this Turkic-Muslim region of China's remote northwest borders on formerly Soviet Central Asia, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Mongolia, and Tibet, Will Xinjiang participate in twenty-first century ascendancy, or will nascent Islamic radicalism in Xinjiang expand the orbit of instability in a dangerous part of the world? This comprehensive survey of contemporary Xinjiang is the result of a major collaborative research project begun in 1998. The authors have combined their fieldwork experience, linguistic skills, and disciplinary expertise to assemble the first multifaceted introduction to Xinjiang. The volume surveys the region's geography; its history of military and political subjugation to China; economic, social, and commercial conditions; demography, public health, and ecology; and patterns of adaption, resistance, opposition, and evolving identities.