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Turkic Muslims and Local Government from Empire to Republic 
Kevin Kind (Johns Hopkins University)
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Jun Sugawara (Lanzhou University)
Jun Sugawara (Lanzhou University)
Thursday 14 October, 9:15-10:45 (UTC-4)

Long Abstract

In the past decade, the study of Turkic Muslims (largely referred to today as Uyghurs) in the administration of local institutions during the late Qing (1877-1911) and Republican (1911-1949) periods has benefited immensely from a wide array of newly available Chinese and Turkic language sources. Whereas before scholars were largely limited to discussions of high-level, Beijing-centered political narratives, these new sources have made it possible to examine the essential role of Turkic Muslims within the mechanisms of local state and society across a variety of fields. In the realm of legal and family history, Aysima Mirsultan draws upon a series of Turkic language adoption documents to emphasize the importance of local legal systems in Uyghur communities in Khotan, Yarkant, and Kashgar in the early Republican period. Also drawing upon never before utilized Turkic sources and Chinese archival documents, Eric Schluessel’s work examines the institution of the Qing Charitable Granary System to explore how Turkic Muslim elites in Turpan mobilized to facilitate the demands of the local bureaucracy at levels below the offices of the prefectural yamen. Local archives also inform work by Kevin Kind, who investigates the role of Turpan’s Turkic Muslim communities in late Qing security institutions. Finally, Yuan Gao utilizes a pair of reports produced by the Xinjiang Hydrology Council from 1915 to 1917 to examine the importance of Turkic Muslim knowledge and experience in early Republican irrigation projects. Thus, taken together, the papers of this panel place Turkic Muslim agency and expertise at the center of local government and society during and beyond the turn of the 20th century.

Accepted papers: