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- Room 303A
- Thursday 10 October, 17:00-18:45 (UTC+0)
Michael Hancock-Parmer (Ferrum College)
Paper long abstract:
One of the defining characteristics of nationalism is its promise of building something larger than the sum of its parts, a program shared selflessly by its many members, for the benefit of its members, including children, the elderly, the otherwise incapable, and those not yet born. In other words, there is a striking contrast between the personal importance of the mission to each member of the nation and the impersonal reality of the experience. National music is not, after all, a song belonging to a specific person, family, or tribe. National food, national (folk) literature, national crafts, national traditions are for the masses, even if they had earlier origins and were at one point unique, individualized, personal. In the early twentieth century, for example, the personal family histories of a select group of individuals came to stand in for the national history of the newly minted Kazakh nation. At the same time, many of the individuals later accused and punished (and much later lauded and memorialized) as Kazakh nationalists had serious misgivings about the project of nationalism, which they associated with terrorism, senseless bloodshed, and the excesses of European chauvinism. By looking at a selection of the staunchly anti-nationalistic writings of some of these individuals we gain an insight into the process of nationalism and the reasons for the annihilation of the Kazakh nationalists as bourgeois enemies of the very state that fomented the nations in the first place.
Jacob Rowe (Northfield High School )
Paper long abstract:
In 1755 the Qing Dynasty under the leadership of Emperor Qianlong destroyed the final great Nomadic Empire the Dzungar Khanate. This was accomplished through pre-mediated genocide that sought to eradicate the Dzungars from Western China clearing the way for greater Han and Manuch migration. This genocide almost completely succeeded in killing The Dzungars who were made up of a coalition of Western Tribes of Mongolians called Oriats. This empire ruled from the 1630s to 1750s but was always at odds with the Qing Dynasty and the ruling Khalka Mongolians of Eastern Mongolia. The two largest groups of Mongolians are the Oriats of the West and the Khalkhas of the East who united under Chinggis. When the Mongolian Empire fell in the late 1300s the Mongolian tribes were plagued with a great deal of infighting leading to a fracturing of groups and the eventual rise of the Dzungar Empire in Western Mongolia and China the early 1600s.
Emperor Qianlong saw the Dzungars as different because they had refused at every chance to agree to be a vassal or tributary state like the Tibetans or the Khalkhas. Although massacres were common in Chinese and Mongolian military history, the planned complete destruction of one group was something unprecedented but Qianlong believed it was necessary for his goal of controlling the West. So Qianlong's armies crushed the Dzungars in battle and killed everyone they could.
Many of the few survivors of the genocide settled in Western Mongolia that was one the most distant outpost of the Qing rule. While this genocide seems very distant the impact lives on today in the memory of the Oriat Mongolians of Western Mongolia. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Mongolia, I spent a lot of time hearing stories of the "evil Manchu" that had killed so many Oriats. The hatred of China in Western Mongolia has continued to this day but has its origin from this distant genocide.
This largely forgotten genocide has never been fully reconciled by the Chinese Government. There is no doubt that formal recognition of this genocide by the Chinese Government could go a long way in helping to repair the state of relations between Western Mongolians and China. Although the governments of Mongolia and China work closely together, anyone who has spent time in Mongolia will know the serious mistrust and anger most Mongolians have towards China.