Community Still Matters: Uyghur Culture and Society in Central Asian Context

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edited by Aysima Mirsultan, Eric Schluessel and Eset Sulaiman

Just as global perceptions of Xinjiang have shifted dramatically, so too has scholarship on the history, culture, and politics of the Uyghur homeland experienced a sea-change. A field once dominated by philology and geopolitical analysis has, since the 1990s, become a site of vibrant interdisciplinary practice. Uyghur studies – particularly research on gender, family, and the village economy – are now often found at the intersection of anthropological fieldwork, discursive analysis, textual studies, and social history. This volume collects a series of studies on these themes, drawing upon the innovative work of one of the field’s leading figures, Ildikó Bellér-Hann. The result is a snapshot both of the Uyghur region (and beyond) in the midst of change, and of a field of scholarship that is evolving as the voices of people from the region themselves increasingly come to the fore. More than a reflection on the genealogy of this field’s knowledge and methodologies, this is a celebration of scholarly community – and of the people at its centre.

"In the academic field, which is increasingly divided on the Uyghur question between those who deny the oppression and those who work to report it, this book is outstandingly committed to rigorous, diverse research that spans epistemologies and disciplines, providing voices from different geographical, linguistic and subject areas." - Chiara Olivieri, International Quarterly for Asian Studies

Aysima Mirsultan is a librarian in the East Asia Department of the Berlin State Library. Her research explores family law among the Uyghurs and linguistic peculiarities from ancient to premodern Uyghurs.

Eric Schluessel is an assistant professor of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University and a specialist in the social history of the Uyghur homeland.

Eset Sulaiman is an independent scholar of Uyghur literature, folk culture, and the modern history of East Turkistan (Ch. Xinjiang) based in Washington, DC.

Publication year: 2022
359 pp / 229mm x 152mm
24 imagegs (9 in colour)
ISBN: 978-87-7694-317-2, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-315-8, Hardback

NIAS Press