Xinjiang Studies: The Third Wave

Peter C. Perdue, Yale University

Kwangmin Kim. Borderland Capitalism: Turkestan Produce, Qing Silver, and the Birth of an Eastern Market. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016. 312 pp. $65 (cloth).

Rian Thum. The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014. 336 pp. $40 (cloth).

David J. Brophy. Uyghur Nation: Reform and Revolution on the Russia-China Frontier. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. 368 pp. $40 (cloth).

Judd Kinzley. Production and Power in China’s Far West: Gold, Wool, and Oil in the Transformation of Xinjiang, 1893–1965. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming.

Justin M. Jacobs. Xinjiang and the Modern Chinese State. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016. 320 pp. $50 (cloth).

Tom Cliff. Oil and Water: Being Han in Xinjiang. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 280 pp. $90 (cloth); $30 (paper/e-book).

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As the publication of these six books shows, the field of Xinjiang studies has flourished in recent years. A new generation of Western scholars has published a wealth of scholarship based on new sources and ethnographic research. Both in the news media and in academic research, Xinjiang is no longer considered a neglected, remote area. For better or worse, Xinjiang is, and always has been, connected to China and the world beyond China. The primary goal of most scholars of Han China in recent years has been to place China in the broader world, and in light of this new scholarship on Xinjiang, we see that it, too, deserves to be placed in the context of recent global developments. Despite some resistance, Chinese history—the history of all the peoples of China—has become world history...