Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam

Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam

Rachel Harris
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/03/2020
Format: Paperback 24 b&w photos, 6 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-05020-5
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China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is experiencing a crisis of securitization and mass incarceration. In Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam, author Rachel Harris examines the religious practice of a group of Uyghur women in a small village now engulfed in this chaos. Despite their remote location, these village women are mobile and connected, and their religious soundscapes flow out across transnational networks. Harris explores the spiritual and political geographies they inhabit, moving outward from the village to trace connections with Mecca, Istanbul, Bishkek, and Beijing. Sound, embodiment, and territoriality illuminate both the patterns of religious change among Uyghurs and the policies of cultural erasure used by the Chinese state to reassert its control over the land the Uyghurs occupy. By drawing on contemporary approaches to the circulation of popular music, Harris considers how various forms of Islam that arrive via travel and the Internet come into dialogue with local embodied practices. Synthesized together, these practices create new forms that facilitate powerful, affective experiences of faith.

Author Bio

Rachel Harris is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of Research for the School of Arts at SOAS, University of London. She is author of The Making of a Musical Canon in Chinese Central Asia and Singing the Village, and she has coedited several books, including Theory and Practice in the Music of the Islamic World and Ethnographies of Islam in China.

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Table of Contents

1. Sound, Place, and Religious Revival
Interlude 1: Rabiya Acha's Story
2. Affective Rituals in a Uyghur Village
3. Text and Performance in the Hikmät of Khoja Ahmad Yasawi
4. Style and Meaning in the Recited Qur'an
Interlude 2: Tutiwalidu (They'll Arrest You)
5. Mobile Islam: Mediation and Circulation
6. Song-and-Dance and the Sonic Territorialization of Xinjiang
7. Erasure and Trauma
References