Sinologie in Würzburg

Public lecture: Dr. David O'Brien, "Racial Nationalism: How China’s CCP justifies its ‘re-education’ campaign in Xinjiang" (10.11.2021)


The Department of Sinology welcomes all students as well as everybody who is interested for the third public lecture of the winter semester 2021/22. The lecture will be held on November 10th 18:00 in Hörsaal 2 (Philosophiegebäude) by Dr. David O'brien (Ruhr-Universität Bochum).

This talk explores the social context of the ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang, China, arguing that the wider ‘Sinicization’ or ‘rectification’ of Islam occurring in the region reveals an increasing emphasis on ‘Chineseness’ which makes use of ‘racialised’ nationalism.

It argues that despite the CCP’s official line that these ‘training centers’ are part of a de-radicalisation / anti-terrorism campaign, these camps should be contextualised within wider discourses around ‘Sinicization’. It is in these wider discourses that we trace out particular themes: the positioning of ethnic minorities on ‘scales’ of development from the primitive to the modern, discourses of cultural superiority around minorities’ indebtedness to ‘Chinese’ ‘civilization’, as well as an increased emphasis upon ‘bloodlines’ and genetics as the basis of national identity.