9 Apr 2005 - 10 Apr 2005 All day CRASSH


CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, UK
An International Network 2004-2006 funded by the British Academy & CRASSH


The Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit (MIASU), Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
The Weatherhead East Asian Institute (WEAI), School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia, USA

Saturday 9 April: 9.00-12.30, 14.00-17.00
Sunday 10th April: 9.00-12.30, 14.00-15.00.

This project brings together researchers working on contemporary China, and particularly on nationality issues, with anthropologists and others working on studies of the late socialist period in the USSR and other former socialist countries, with late socialism defined loosely here to include the late- and post-Kruschev era in the Soviet block, and the post-Mao era in China. The project also seeks to privilege the insights of self-reflective anthropologists – those who apply anthropological methods of critical analysis to what are or were their own societies, notably in the USSR, Mongolia and China.

The project establishes a mini-network of scholars with expertise in this field who use historical, anthropological and other critical methods. They include researchers who focus on the USSR, Mongolia and the nations of Eastern Europe, as well as scholars working on Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang and other areas of China.

The project concerns the study of cadres in these areas and the discursive systems that underpin their work, their thinking and their lives. We began this exercise by posing a deliberately crude analogy between the late socialist Soviet block and contemporary China nationality areas, which can in fact also be applied to other parts of China. The purpose here is to provoke questions about whether the study of one area can learn from the study of the other.

In particular, we wanted to focus on the people who in those societies produced or disseminated writings, policies and public speech: the cadres. So the project looks at ways in which their functions are or were sustained by discourse, and, if so, how those discourses operate, change and maintain themselves. Essentially, we are seeking tools for reading cadres and the discourses within which they operate in these societies.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk