HIS-07
Geographies of Piety in Kashgaria: New Sources, New Perspectives

Convenors:
Joshua Freeman (Harvard University)
Rubina Salikuddin (Bryn Mawr)
Chair:
Joshua Freeman
Discussant:
Rubina Salikuddin
Theme:
HIS
Location:
Posvar 3610
Start time:
28 October, 2018 at 11:00
Session slots:
1

Abstract:

New manuscript sources for the history of pious institutions in Xinjiang reveal powerful new insights into the region's social, religious, and economic life. However, most research in Xinjiang has concerned individual institutions or has taken a mainly philological approach. In order to advance our understanding of piety across sacred sites and between oases, each of these papers applies a geographical analysis to different aspects of the experience and management of religious life in the area of Kashgar: One uses a unique manuscript document to map the socioeconomic reach of pious endowments across Kashgaria. Another details the urban geography of piety in the city of Kashgar itself, relating neighborhoods to the institutions that anchored them. The third reads a travelogue in verse from the eighteenth century as a source for the social geography of Xinjiang, showing how villages became cities, and cities reduced to memories. In this way, we show how the large amount of new sources currently emerging from Xinjiang can be combined with geographical analysis of networks, space, and land usage to inform a new economic history of the region.