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Xinjiang and Islam
MINORITY PEOPLES OF CHINA
WINTER QUARTER 2012
Instructor: Stevan Harrell
Wednesday and Friday 1:30-3:20
Office: Denny M41 (Rarely there)
Office hours: Make an appointment; I'm flexible.
Phone: 543-9608 (Rarely there)
This course is designed to acquaint you with the peoples around the periphery of China, particularly but not exclusively those that are included today within the borders of the People's Republic of China. The primary theme is boundaries and the way people draw, sharpen, blur, or cross them at different times and in different places. We will consider five regional cases: the Mongols and other peoples of the steppes to the North, the Muslim cultures of the Northwest and elsewhere, the Tibetans of the plateau to the West, the ethnically mixed areas of the Southwest, and the multilayered identities of Taiwan.
In every case, we will examine the life of peripheral peoples as part of the Sinocentric world; at the same time, we will attempt to hear not just the voices of the Chinese observers and overlords, but the voices ofthe local people as well. Lectures will be supplemented with slide presentations, guest lectures, etc.
There will be five essay assignments, one for
each of the five case study units, each posted on the first day of the unit
and due at at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 16; Monday, January 30; Monday, February 13; Thursday, March 1; and Monday, March 12. You are required to hand
in essays on three of these five assignments. If you want to hand in four
or five, you may drop the lowest grade of your four or the lowest two grades
of your five. There will be no exams; your entire class grade will be based
on your essays. All essays will be "handed" in and "handed" back by email.
Books and Other Readings:
There are six required books for this class:
Familiar Strangers, by Jonathan N. Lipman
Down a Narrow Road, by Jay Dautcher
Nomads of Western Tibet, by Melvyn C. Goldstein and Cynthia M. Beall*
The Struggle for Tibet, by Wang Lixiong and Tsering Shakya
Chopsticks only Work in Pairs, by Shanshan Du
Passage to Manhood by Shao-hua Liu
All except for Nomads of Western Tibet are available at the University Bookstore. Nomads is out of print, but Amazon lists enough used and new copies that you should all be able to purchase it. It's a beautiful book, suitable for coffee tables and worth owning.
Other readings are accessible as .pdf files or as UW library resources from links on this website.