How the Northwest was Made: Exploring the Legacies of the Great Northwestern Muslim Rebellion (1860–1872)

Hannah Theaker
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17:00 - 18:30
University of Oxford China Centre
Dickson Poon Building
Canterbury Road
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Kin-ku Cheng Lecture Theatre

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Lectures and seminars
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The Great Northwestern Muslim Rebellion (1860–74) transformed the northwest of China. The rebellion itself left millions dead and in the wake of the violence, Zuo Zongtang embarked on an ambitious programme of social engineering in the interior provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi, intended to resettle Muslims away from non-Muslims to ensure that rebellion could never re-occur. This presentation seeks to explore the consequences of those resettlements across time, arguing that the creation of new areas of dense Muslim settlement created the conditions for a late Qing Islamic revival in eastern Gansu that paralleled currents of Islamic modernism and the turn to textual orthodoxy seen in Central Asian Islam.

Hannah Theaker is the Plumer Junior Research Fellow in Oriental Studies at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Her PhD project, undertaken here at Oxford, explored nineteenth-century rebellion, reconstruction and social transformation within the Muslim communities of Gansu’s Sino-Tibetan borderlands.