Ildiko Beller-Hann

Ildiko Beller-Hann

Associate Professor Emerita

Member of:

After studying Turkish, Archaeology, and English at the Lórand Eötvös University in Budapest, I received my Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (in Turkish Studies) and my habilitation degree  from the Humboldt University, Berlin in Central Asian Studies. My main interests span the histories, societies and cultures of the Turkic speaking world, with special focus on Xinjiang, Central Asia and Turkey. In my work I combine text-based research with empirical methods of data collection. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in NE Turkey, NW China (Xinjiang) and Kazakhstan. 


Primary fields of research

societies and cultures  of the Turkic speaking world

historical anthropology

social support, kinship

oral and literate traditions

local history

the construction of history

history and identity

regional focus: Xinjiang (NW China), Central Asia, Turkey

Current research

Feudalism, Socialism and the Present Mixed Economy in Rural Eastern Xinjiang (joint project with Chris Hann)

Between homogenization and fragmentation: textual practices as strategies of integration and identity maintenance among the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, China


Supported by the Velux Foundation



Perspectives on Central Asia: regions, networks and identities on the periphery of the great powers

China’s Minorities

Continuity and Change among the Uyghur of Xinjiang

The interaction of nomadic groups and sedentary societies in Central Asia in the course of history

State policies and local responses in Western China

Religious currents in Central Asia

Qualitative research methods

Who controls the past? History and nationalism in Central Asia

Ethnographies of Central Asia

Topics in cultural history

Topics on state and society in modern Central Asia

Introduction to modern Turkish literature (with original and translated texts)

Xinjiang: past and present

The Silk Road

Travel in Central Asia: pilgrims, merchants, missionaries, explorers and adventurers along the Silk Road

Great Games, Old and New. Politics and Society in Modern Central Asia

The Literature of the Traveller, Travel in Literature

China’s Borderlands

Nationalism and Ethnicity in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran

Empires, states, tribes. An Introduction to the history and peoples of Central Eurasia

Readings of Turkish texts for advanced students

Post-Soviet Transformation in Central Asia and Afghanistan

Scientific Theory for Students of China and Tibetan Studies

Islam in Central Asia: from Everyday Islam to Radical Movements

Middle Eastern Literatures: Turkish literature

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Kashgar Revisited: Uyghur Studies in memory of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko (ed.), Schlyter, B. (ed.) & Sugawara, J. (ed.), 2017, 1 ed. Leiden: Brill. 338 p. (Inner Asian Library).

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Negotiating Identity: Work, Religion, Gender, and the Mobilization of Tradition among the Uyghur in the 1990s

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko, 2016, Berlin: LIT Verlag. 296 p. (Halle Studies in the Anthropology of Eurasia , Vol. 31).

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    Oasis history in eastern Xinjiang: a contested field

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko, 2016, History Making in Central and Northern Eurasia: Contemporary Actors and Practices. Jacquesson, S. (ed.). Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, p. 79-99 21 p. (Iran-Turan).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    The burden of the past: Uyghur peasants remember collectivisation in southern Xinjiang

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko, 2016, Inside Xinjiang: Space, Place and Power in China's Muslim far Northwest. Hayes, A. & Clarke, M. (eds.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, p. 15-31 17 p. (Routledge Contemporary China Series).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    The Bulldozer State: Chinese Socialist Development in Xinjiang

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko, Jan 2014, Ethnographies of the State in Central Asia: Performing Politics. Reeves, M., Rasanayagam, J. & Beyer, J. (eds.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, p. 173-197 25 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  6. Published

    On the Fringes of the Harmonious Society: Tibetans and Uyghurs in socialist China

    Brox, Trine (ed.) & Beller-Hann, Ildiko (ed.), 2014, Copenhagen: NIAS Press. 352 p. (NIAS Studies in Asian Topics, Vol. 53).

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

  7. Published

    Strategies of Social Support and Community Cohesion in Rural Xinjiang

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko, Dec 2013, In: ASIEN – The German Journal on Contemporary Asia. 129, p. 7-21 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  8. Published

    Local History as an Identity Discipline: Special Issue of Central Asian Survey

    Jacquesson, S. (ed.) & Beller-Hann, Ildiko (ed.), 2012, Taylor & Francis. 139 p. (Central Asian Survey; No. 3, Vol. 31).

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

  9. Published

    Frontiers and Bounderies: Encounters on China's Margins

    Rajkai , Z. (ed.) & Beller-Hann, Ildiko (ed.), Oct 2012, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. 253 p. (Asiatische Forschungen, Vol. 156).

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

  10. Community Matters in Xinjiang 1880-1949: Towards a historical anthropology of the Uyghur

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko, 2008, Leiden: Brill. 476 p. (China Studies, Vol. 17).

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

  11. Published

    The Great Dispossession: Uyghurs between Civilizations

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko & Hann, C., 2020, Münster: LIT Verlag. 296 p. (Halle Studies in the Anthropology of Eurasia , Vol. 42).

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

  12. Published

    Voiced and Voiceless in Xinjiang: Minorities, elites and narrative constructions across the centuries. Edited by Ildikó Bellér-Hann, Rune Steenberg and Aysima Mirsultan

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko (ed.), Steenberg, Rune (ed.) & Mirsultan, A. (ed.), 2021, 2021 ed. Taylor & Francis. (Asian Ethnicity, Vol. 22).

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearch

  13. Published

    From voice to silence: the shrinking space for Uyghur narratives of belonging in reform China

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko, Jan 2021, In: Asian Ethnicity. 22, 1, p. 155-170 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Selected activities

  1. Research Associate (External organisation)

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko (Member)

    1999 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership in research network

  2. Kashgar Revisited

    Beller-Hann, Ildiko (Organizer)

    10 May 201212 May 2012

    Activity: Participating in an event - typesOrganisation of and participation in conference

ID: 16290139