Uyghur History Course 

We are starting our first history course to attempt to bridge the gap in our education. 

Course Description

The course will briefly cover readings from early historical periods through to the present. This includes: early periods and 8th century, 9th-16th centuries, 16th-19th centuries, 19th-20th centuries, 1910s-40s, the Republic of China, the East Turkistan Republics, 1950s-80s, 1990s-2000s, and the current decade. 

These classes are designed to run as a series of seminars. There will be no regular lecturer in the class; it will be led by moderators. This class requires active attendance (asking questions and speaking in the sections) from each student during and after the class. Students must read the required texts every week to have an active discussion section. We invite the participants to engage critically with the readings. Each student will be required to write a short reflection every week regarding the readings - general thoughts, questions, concerns, or issues are all acceptable.

Book List (draft, subject to change)

  • Bellér-Hann, Ildikó et al., eds. Situating the Uyghurs Between China and Central Asia. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007.

  • Chanisheff, Söyüngül.  The Land Drenched in Tears, tr. Rahima Mahmut. London: Hertfordshire Press, 2018.

  • Dautcher, Jay. Down a Narrow Road: Identity and Masculinity in a Uyghur Community in Xinjiang China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2009.

  • Dawut, Rahile. Mazar: Studies on Islamic Sacred Sites in Central Eurasia, ed. Sugawara Jun and Rahile Dawut. Tokyo: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Press, 2016.

  • Dughlat, Mirza Haydar. Tarikh-i-Rashidi: A History of the Khans of Moghulistan, tr. W. M. Thackston. Cambridge: Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 1996.

  • Eden, Jeff tr. & ed., The Life of Muhammad Sharif: A Central Asian Sufi Hagiography in Chaghatay. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2015

  • Eden, Jeff. Warrior Saints of the Silk Road: Legends of the Qarakhanids Leiden: Brill, 2019.

  • Esherick Joseph W, et al., eds. Empire to Nation: Historical Perspectives on the Making of the Modern World. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006.

  • Freeman, Joshua L. Print and Power in the Communist Borderlands: The Rise of Uyghur National Culture. Ph.D. Diss., Harvard University, 2019.

  • Harris, Rachel. Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020.

  • Jacobs, Justin M. Xinjiang and the Modern Chinese State. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016.

  • Kashghari, Muḥammad Ṣadiq. In Remembrance of the Saints: The Rise and Fall of an Inner Asian Sufi Dynasty, tr. David Brophy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.

  • Klimeš, Ondřej. Struggle by the Pen: The Uyghur Discourse of Nation and National Interest. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

  • Mackerras, Colin & Clarke, Michael, eds. China, Xinjiang and Central Asia. New York: Routledge, 2009.

  • Millward, James A. Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021.

  • Onuma Takahiro. Yūboku sekai to nōkō sekai no setten: Ajiashi kenkyū no aratana shiryō to shiten. Tokyo: Research Institute for Oriental Cultures, Gakushuin University, 2012.

  • Roberts, Sean. The War on the Uyghurs: China's Internal Campaign against a Muslim Minority. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.

  • Schluessel, Eric. Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.

  • Thum, Rian. The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.

  • Tursun, Nabijan. The Uyghur Community. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2017


10 weeks from June 18th, 2022

Time Commitment

3-5 hours per week



Course Language

English (with optional Uyghur readings and guests)


Zoom, Online only


Free (donations appreciated)