The Contested Archive

Contributed by Eric Schluessel
Assistant Professor of History
George Washington University

In conjunction with the Xinjiang Victims Database, students will analyze primary sources to develop their own understanding of the situation based the evidence at hand. This is a “history of the present” exercise in which students will spend a class period conducting simulated research in a “Xinjiang archive.” They will begin with a simple question—“What is happening in Xinjiang?”—and come to their own conclusions through a guided activity. Prof. Schluessel’s research focuses on the social and economic history of Xinjiang. He has published a monograph on the Qing empire’s efforts to transform Xinjiang into a culturally Chinese territory, Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia, as well as articles on the region’s experiences with local government and the law.

Lesson Plan

Genocide Today

Contributed by Magnus Fiskesjö
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Cornell University

This course has three components: Background on genocide and on the Genocide Convention of 1948, the Rohingya genocide in Burma which was started in 2017, and the genocide against the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other native people of western China (Xinjiang), also started in 2017. The course objective is to have students learn about the history of mass inter-ethnic atrocities and about the concept of genocide as the intentional annihilation of a group or nation, and to understand and compare the origins, development, and criticism of the current ongoing genocides in Burma and in China. Prof. Fiskesjö’s research interests include ethno-politics and interethnic relations in East and Southeast Asia, as well as cultural heritage and archeology. He has published a book on ethnicity, genocide, on forced confessions, and more.

Syllabus (Spring 2020)

Language, Knowledge, and Power

Contributed by Sam Liao
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Puget Sound

Language, Knowledge, and Power is an introductory philosophy course that draws on current events in Xinjiang to examine the intersection of technology, social epistemology, and oppression. Students will contextualize their reading of primary sources such as leaked official documents with theoretical texts on language games and knowledge production. This teaching plan was originally published on Medium.com. Prof. Liao’s research interests include etiquette, race, and decolonization, and he has published articles on topics such as imaginative resistance.

Syllabus (Fall 2019)