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Politics of Identity in China and Inner Asia

CEUS-R595

Professor

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.

Regions Covered

Afghanistan
China
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Historical Central Eurasia

When Taught

Spring 2013

Department

Department of Central Eurasian Studies