9. Dec 2022 / 22 min

People, Place, Race, and Nation in Xinjiang, China: Territories of Identity

A conversation with David O’Brien and Melissa Shani Brown. Hosted by Julie Yu-Wen Chen

Entitled People, Place, Race, and Nation in Xinjiang, China: Territories of Identity (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022), David O’Brien and Melissa Shani Brown’s new book focuses upon the ways in which ethnic difference is writ through the banalities of everyday life: who one trusts, what one eats, where one shops, even what time one’s clocks are set to (Xinjiang being perhaps one of the only places where different ethnic groups live by different time-zones).

In this episode, Julie Yu-Wen Chen talk to David O’Brien and Melissa Shani Brown who are both working at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany now. The conversation unpacks how discourses of Chinese nationalism romanticise empire and promote racialised ways of thinking about Chineseness, how cultural assimilation (‘Sinicisation’) is being justified through the rhetoric of ‘modernisation’, how Islamic sites and Uyghur culture are being secularised and commodified for tourist consumption.

Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Dr. Chen serves as one of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). Formerly, she was chair of Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and Editor-in-Chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis). You can find her on University of Helsinki Chinese Studies’ websiteYoutube and Facebook, and her personal Twitter.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the University of Helsinki.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

About NIAS: http://www.nias.ku.dk/

Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast

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