"In the late nineteenth century, the meeting of the Russian and Qing empires in Central Asia radically transformed local Muslim communities. Along this new frontier, a political space emerged that was shaped by the interplay of categories of imperial and spiritual loyalty, institutions of autonomy and extraterritoriality, and complex negotiations between rulers and ruled. As exiles or émigrés, traders or seasonal laborers, a diverse diaspora of Muslims from Chinese Turkistan came into being on tsarist territory, linking China's northwest to intellectual and political trends among the Muslims of Russia. This book explores the history of transnational and national discourses of communal identity within this community, focusing on the Russian Revolution and Civil War, from which emerged the new notion of a Uyghur nation as a political rallying point. In a detailed study of this poorly known but formative period, the book eschews national teleology to instead show how a shifting alliance of constituencies with ties to Xinjiang, often at loggerheads in the fractious politics of the Soviet 1920s, nevertheless reached an unlikely consensus on the existence of a Uyghur nation. It traces efforts to mobilize this diaspora to intervene in the emerging Soviet structures of national autonomy, and to spread the revolution to Xinjiang. Delving into archives from across the Eurasian continent, and fully informed by local Uyghur sources, it offers the first study of modern Central Asia to span the historiographical divide between Russian and Chinese Turkistan. The book's bottom-up perspective encourages a reconsideration of dominant state-centered understandings of nation-building in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China."--Provided by publisher.
Cambridge, Massachusetts :
Harvard University Press,
Includes bibliographical references (pages 327-338) and index.
9780674660373 (alk. paper)
0674660374 (alk. paper)