Between Homogenization and Fragmentation – University of Copenhagen

Between Homogenization and Fragmentation

Textual Practices as Strategies of Integration and Identity Maintenance among the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, China (20th‒21st centuries)

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. It emphasizes multiple, cross-cutting loyalties and senses of belonging, indigenous subjectivity, local practice and agency.

Three of the four distinct text corpora to be studied were produced in the post-reform era (1980–2010s). These represent fiction, local history and native ethnography. The fourth explores a large corpus of legal manuscripts produced by Islamic courts during the republican era (1911–1949).

The project is funded by the Danish Velux Fonden (Velux Foundation).