About the seminar
Based on recent ethnographic fieldwork carried out in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, this presentation explores the construction and maintenance of ethnic identity among Han and Uyghur living in the provincial capital Urumqi. It examines the impact on feelings of 'belonging' and senses of 'home' of recent unrest and conflict, and demonstrates how both identities gain their meaning largely from a process of interaction with the 'other'.
David O’Brien is an Assistant Professor at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies. He has lived and worked in Xinjiang for a number of years and has been a frequent visitor to the region since 2003. His research focuses on the construction of ethnicity and the relationship between state-assigned and self-ascribed identities. He previously worked as a journalist for a number of years.