Political Science | Pol of Ident in China/Inner Asia
Y401 | 3737 | Bovingdon

What does it mean to be Chinese, Uyghur, Hakka, or Khanty?  If
identities can be invented, can they be eliminated?

Many people take terms like "Chinese," "Taiwanese," or "Kazakh" to
represent straightforward concepts.  This course will challenge that
assumption.  Battles over states and borders have powerfully affected
the formation of identities in China and Inner Asia.  As rulers and
alliances changed, some identities emerged, some merged, and some
disappeared.  Through a study of theories of identity and modern
state formation, combined with careful attention to the history of
China and Inner Asia over the last century or so, we will examine the
politics of identity in this vast region.  We will explore  and
explode  such easy associations as identity and descent, language
and ethnicity, citizenship and nationality. We will also consider the
intersections of nationality, ethnicity, gender, and class in various
states in the modern era.