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Frontier China: Migrants, Nomads, and Borderland Nobodies

Regions Covered: 
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Historical Central Eurasia

There is a rich China, a beautiful China. And there is a China that is anything but: poor, marginal, and hardscrabble. In our minds, a Great Wall separates the two. High civilization, productivity, and the state lie on one side, crude lawlessness lies on the other. Yet, throughout Chinese history, ordinary people straddled the line between heartland and frontier: settlers, immigrants, merchants, missionaries, runaways, and nomads. What, then, did the Great Wall represent? What dynamics defined the historical relations between settled and mobile communities in China?

Course Code: 
When Taught: 
Fall 2013

Oil, Islam, and Geopolitics

Regions Covered: 
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Historical Central Eurasia

Introduction to the politics of modern Central Asia, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, with reference to the timely themes of energy politics, global Islam, and geopolitics.

Course Code: 
When Taught: 
Fall 2012

Mongolia and Tibet: Nation-building at the dawn of the nation-state era

On the evening of April 6th, 2013, the conference goers of the 20th Annual Central Eurasian Studies Conference filled a lecture room in Woodburn Hall for the keynote address. This year’s keynote speaker was Professor Tsering Shakya, Canada Research Chair in Religion and Contemporary Society in Asia, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia.

The World of Lao Kidai: Travels, Trades and Spoken Chinese Described in the Chinese Textbook during Mongol Period

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

PRESENTER: Yoshiyuki Funada (Faculty of Humanities, Kyushu University; Visiting Scholar, Central Eurasian Studies, IU Bloomington)

Karma Exhausted: The Role of Tibetans and Mongols In High Asia’s Most Traumatic Event of the 13th Century

On March 19th, 2013, as part of the Tibetan Studies Student Association Lecture Series sponsored by the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and the IU Student Association, Dr. Roberto Vitali shared some of his preliminary findings that critically reexamined one of the defining moments in Tibetan-Mongol relations—the Drikung Rebellion of 1290. This rebellion resulted in the devastating massacre at Drikung Monastery by the Mongol armies of Qubilai Qan.

Mao in Tibetan Disguise: the Social Truths in Excesses

On February 28th, 2013, Professor Carole McGranahan presented a puzzling story that painted an unusual picture of Mao Zedong in Tibet. McGranahan, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was part of the Tibetan Studies Student Association Lecture Series sponsored by the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, and the Indiana University Student Association.

The Peculiar Lives of Texts in Translation: Common Challenges in Medieval Studies across Cultural and Disciplinary Boundaries

To engage directly with the challenges brought by the global scope of Medieval Studies, IU’s Medieval Studies Institute brought together scholars whose work spanned the Eurasian continent to discuss their common challenges as well as their common grounds for cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Panelists included Asma Afsaruddin (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures), Christopher Atwood (Department of Central Eurasian Studies), Christopher Beckwith (Department of Central Eurasian Studies), Manling Luo (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures), and John Walbridge (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures). The panel was moderated by Rosemary McGerr, Director of the Medieval Studies Institute and Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature.


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