Category Archives: Frontiers

In praise of contamination – Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy

Students who take my World Regional Geography course know that one of my favorite metaphors for understanding and appreciating the world’s cultural diversity is ‘contamination.’  But this is not an idea that I dreamed up.  Nearly a decade ago, Kwame … Continue reading

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Migration as ethnic integration

Last May, following a deadly suicide attack on an Urumqi street market that left 39 dead and 94 injured, Xi Jinping called for further integration of Uighurs into mainstream Chinese society.  Uighur separatism, China’s leaders have assumed, was responsible for … Continue reading

Posted in Frontiers, Migration, Minzu | Leave a comment

The Hong Kong protests and China’s unsettled territory

There has been no shortage of commentary and interpretation in the media about the recent and on-going protests in Hong Kong.  While there are many fascinating and important aspects of the situation being discussed – most prominently the questions of … Continue reading

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Living fossils of the frontier: Zhelaizhai’s “Roman Culture”

Two of my favorite topics when teaching about China’s geography, as many of my students know, are the cultural mixing that has occurred historically throughout China’s frontiers, and the ways localities in China have contrived all sorts of fantastic cultural … Continue reading

Posted in Frontiers, Imaginative Geographies, Rural China, Tourism | Leave a comment

Dreaming of marriage and a ‘Fragrant Princess’ on the frontier

Xinjiang has been in the news a lot recently,  After a series of violent incidents earlier this year, attention has turned to the ways the Chinese government has been managing ethnic relations in the region, particularly between Uighur and Han.  … Continue reading

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Criminalizing facial hair, head scarves, T-shirts, and other absurdities

The irony of recent efforts by authorities in Xinjiang to ban visible symbols of Muslim piousness – under the pretense of combating terrorism, preserving social order, and “modernizing” the Uighurs – is that it will most likely result in the further … Continue reading

Posted in Frontiers, Minzu, Religion | 2 Comments

China enters the veil fray

I have commented, in another context, on ‘L’Affair Foulard’ in France – the dust-up over the government’s attempt to symbolically enforce secularism by singling out Muslims and criminalizing the wearing of veils in public.  Now China has apparently  decided to … Continue reading

Posted in Frontiers, Minzu, Regions of China | 2 Comments