Seminar – 14 November – Hurelbaatar Ujeed

November 2nd, 2017 by anna.c


Tuesday 14  November 2017

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Hurelbaatar Ujeed

Inner Mongolia Normal University

Merging peoples: shifting economy, transforming environment and surviving culture in a typical Horchin village

The Horchin Region of Inner Mongolia has long seen waves of immigration and cultural integration. The Horchin Mongols, ruled by the descendants of Chinggis Khan’s younger brother Hasar, had originally lived in the vast territory of Hulun Buir and southern Baikal region. Around the mid-16th century, they moved to the current Horchin region. Since then, the Horchin nobility had ruled the peoples of the region throughout the Qing period, the early Chinese Republic and Japanese occupation until the first half of the 20th century when it came under the jurisdiction of the People Republic of China until present day.

During these periods, various peoples were merged into the Horchin Mongols. Now the Mongolian population in the Horchin region is up to 2.1 million which occupies 43.5% of the total population of the region. The region provides a perfect case study of how cultural identities interact, merge and evolve at a time where cultural integration is evermore important, not only in China but the world as a whole.

This paper documents the process of formation and expansion of a typical Horchin Mongolian village from the 18th century to the present day. It aims to focus on three major themes. First, the merging of Chinese immigrants and Mongolian internal immigrants into Horchin Mongols; second, the changing of economy and transforming of environment in the region as a result of this and finaly, the how Horchin Mongolian culture itself has endured and evolved throughout the period.


Seminar – 31 October – Heonik Kwon

October 19th, 2017 by anna.c


Tuesday 31  October 2017

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Heonik Kwon

University of Cambridge

On Universal Hospitality

Immanuel Kant’s vision for a peaceable world society is crucially based on a theory of hospitality. Hidden in his rendering of universal hospitality, however, is a notion of reciprocity, the idea that the act of providing hospitality to strangers assumes the possibility of receiving hospitality from strangers. This paper will explore the conceptual relationship between the law of hospitality (which assumes a dual concentric hierarchy of inside versus outside and the subject’s self-conscious position as an insider) and the principle of reciprocity (in which both the inside and the outside become constitutive of the historical self). The discussion will be partly based on a consideration of the moral philosophy of Nguyen Du, a powerful literary scholar of the eighteenth-century Vietnam.

Visiting Scholars – Michaelmas 2017

October 5th, 2017 by anna.c

Michaelmas Term 2017

We welcome the following visiting scholars this term –

October 2016 – November 2018: Sören Urbansky, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich
‘Faces of Fear – Anti-Asian sentiments in a global perspective’

September  2017 – August 2018: Chen Xiangjun, South-Central University for Nationalities (SCUN), Hubei province, China
‘Nomadic Society of the Altai Steppes: Environmental and Visual Anthropology’

October  2017 – October 2018: Uranchimeg Ujeed
‘Mongolian Spiritual Culture including Buddhism, shamanism, popular beliefs and folklore’ Research project: ‘Becoming shamans to be healed – Self healing practices in Horchin Mongolian shamanism in contemporary China’

November 2017 – May 2018: Shanshan Liu, Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, CASS, Beijing, China
‘A Study of Modern British Research on Xinjiang’

Seminar – 17 October – Bumochir Dulam

September 19th, 2017 by anna.c


Tuesday 17  October 2017

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Bumochir Dulam

University College London

The Power of a Master: Respect among Mongols in Rural China

This paper attempts to understand the Mongolian concept of ezen (master or host) by observing how his power works. Unlike the conventional understanding of political power that oppresses and encounters resistance, power of a master is primarily based on respect. The paper uses the term ‘respect’ as a socially constructed attitude that exalts the other, or his characteristics, achievements, skills, acts etc. Going beyond considerations of respect, the paper also argues that by exalting, some cases of respect produces the power of a master. Respect as the main mechanism for masters to maintain power helps us understand the nature of a master. Moreover, this paper shows how this kind of power of a master extends beyond the term master, and how village cadres employ the power of a master to win in the village grassroots election in Qinghai, China.  Although cadres are not called ezen or a master they practice the power of a master based on respect. The ethnography explores the village grassroots election and shows how the local, informal, traditional mechanisms of power, not necessarily contradicts, but amalgamates the formal government power through locally elected village cadres.

Michaelmas Term – Seminar Programme

September 11th, 2017 by anna.c

Please see below for this term’s programme which begins on Tuesday October 17 2017.

Research Seminars are held in the Mond Building Seminar Room, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RF from 4.30–6.00