Call for Papers: “Political Strategies of Identity Building in Non-Han Empires in China:”

Munich, 18th – 19th Jun 2012
Deadline: 8th Apr 2012

A Continuation of the Workshop “Ethnicity and Sinicization Reconsidered”
This workshop is especially aimed at post-graduate students of East Asian and Central Asian history, sociology, anthropology, political science, or ethnology (i.e. Sinology, Mongolian Studies, Korean Studies, Central Asian Studies etc.). Participants are asked to give a talk of no longer than 20 minutes.


Francesca Fiaschetti (, Institute for Sinology, LMU Munich University
Julia Schneider (, Institute for Sinology, Ghent University

Date and Place

June 18th–19th, 2012
Institute for Sinology, LMU Munich University, Kaulbachstraße 51a, 80539 Munich.

Deadline for Application

April 8th, 2012
Number of Participants: 20-26 graduate students
Language: English
Registration Fees: € 35,-


Prof. Hans van Ess, LMU University Munich (welcome address)
Prof. Evelyn Rawski, University of Pittsburgh


During times of foreign rule in China – i.e. the dynasties of the Tuoba Wei (386–534), Khitan Liao (907–1125), Jurchen Jin (1115–1234), Mongol Yuan (1271–1368) and Manchu Qing (1644–1912) to name only the largest and most influential empires –, the emphasis of the awareness of the own identity as well as the definition of otherness was a major device for both conquerors and conquered people in dealing with each other. The conquerors used these differentiations to legitimate their sovereignty. Under the Northern Wei, Liao, Jin, Yuan and Qing emperors, cultural-ethnical classifications were employed to divide their subjects administratively, judicially and with regard to their social position. Thus, ethnic and cultural inclusion or exclusion became leading criteria to claim important official posts for the ruling elite. As for the conquered people, holding up the differences between them and their foreign rulers fostered revivalistic sentiments, which would eventually lead to a restoration of their own power. At the same time, processes of mutual cultural influence unavoidably caused all parties to change in respects of customs, culture and social structures. However, these mutual exchanges mostly did not blur the dividing lines between the ethnic groups to such an extent that it affected the hierarchy of government and social divisions. At this workshop we aim to trace the various strategies of cultural-ethnical differentiation employed by rulers and officials of non-Han dynasties. How did they ensure their own distinction as the ruling cultural ethnicity? Did they learn from each other and referred to predecessors, that is, did they define their own identity within the frame of certain cultural, historical and ethnical traditions? And how did they position themselves in relation to the ethnic Han dynasties?


This Workshop will focus mainly on presentations by post-graduate students. Please submit your abstract of max. 200 words and a one page CV until April 8th, 2012 to:

Francesca Fiaschetti (Institute for Sinology, LMU Munich University),“>
Julia Schneider (Institute for Sinology, Ghent University),“>

Successful candidates will be notified by April 15th, 2012.

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