Lunchtime Seminar – 10 March – Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi

February 28th, 2015 by

A lunchtime seminar will be held in the Mond Building Seminar Room, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RF

Tuesday 10 March 2015, 12.00–1.00

All welcome

Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi

Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich

Production of Spatial Meaning and Shifting Geographies at China’s Northwestern Border

In the process of place-making, life experiences guide individuals to invest places with specific meanings. At the same time, ethnic and national collectives establish specific relationships with places; it is through this assignment of meaning that a place comes to be viewed as a “homeland,” “fatherland,” “native place,” “periphery,” “center” and so forth. Starting from the idea that places are socially constructed, in my talk I will explore how places are established and lived in Xinjiang by the members of the region’s two largest ethnicities, the Uyghur and the Han. While there are differences in the ways Han and Uyghur imagine and “live” Xinjiang, Uyghur and Han do not establish distinct spatial relationships only because of their ethnicity, but also to enhance ethnic solidarity and boundaries vis-à-vis the other. In the talk I will demonstrate that places are historically contingent, and discuss the ways in which the influx of Han migrants—and Han capital—has generated new layers of spatial meaning and new power differentials.