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February 25, 2011

Winter 2011 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Stefan Henning

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Stefan Henning (PhD, '05), Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University

"History of the Soul": A Chinese Writer, Nietzsche, and Tiananmen 1989

Part of Alumni Lecture Series: The coming academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U-M Center for Chinese Studies. Many events are being planned to mark this historic milestone, including inviting our alumni to give some of the presentations in the CCS Noon Lecture Series. We hope you will be able to join us for all of the many interesting noon lectures planned for this coming year and next.

March 8, 2011
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

Zhang Chengzhi (born 1948) was in the 1980s one of China's most important short story writers and in the 1990s among the most prominent Chinese essayists. The talk presents a close reading of Zhang's History of the Soul, a genre-transcending text at once history of a Chinese Sufi group, religious parable, and autobiographic account of Zhang's turn to Islam. I try to show that History of the Soul, which was published in 1992, was Zhang's response to the Tiananmen Incident which itself is not mentioned in the text.

Stefan Henning graduated from the doctoral program in anthropology and history at the University of Michigan. He is now a visiting assistant professor in anthropology and sociology at Northwestern University, after three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford. Henning studies the intersection of religious ethics and political action in twentieth century China, with a view on Nietzsche's analysis of religious morals in Europe. He has conducted fieldwork with Muslim activists in Beijing, Lanzhou, and Ningxia.

Posted by zzhu at 09:57 AM

February 24, 2011

CANCELED - The Confucius Institute at U-M presents: A music director's life in China: A personal story - CANCELED

We regret to inform you that this event has been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Apologies for any inconvenience this might cause.


A CI-UM Distinguished Lecture by Maestro CHEN Zuohuang (陈佐湟)
Artistic Director – Music, National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing

Friday, March 11, 2011 | 4pm
Vandenberg Room, Michigan League
Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Maestro CHEN Zuohuang (MMUS'82, PhD'85) was awarded the first ever Doctorate in Music Arts by the University of Michigan, and was the first holder of such a degree in China. Currently the Artistic Director - Music of the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Chen enjoys great renown on the international music scene. He was a long-time music director of Wichita Symphony Orchestra and of Rhode Island Philharmonic. He has also guest conducted orchestras around the world such as Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Festival Orchestra, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, and Pusan Philharmonic Orchestra. From Shanghai to Ann Arbor to Wichita to Beijing – and everywhere in between – Maestro Chen returns to his alma mater to reflect on a fascinating journey that is both personal and musical.

Posted by zzhu at 03:48 PM

The Confucius Institute at U-M presents: On the Borders of Art


A CI-UM Distinguished Lecture by Pan Gongkai (潘公凯)
Contemporary artist, art historian, and president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | 4PM
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Renowned Chinese artist Pan Gongkai will reflect upon the borders constructed for art by nations, critics, and individuals. Rather than reify those borders, Dr. Pan will reflect upon their shifting shapes through the prism of “misstructure,” a critical concept he has developed in numerous publications over the past decade. UM audiences will be the first to hear Dr. Pan discuss his theories in North America, in sequential translation. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

Posted by zzhu at 03:31 PM

February 17, 2011

Winter 2011 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Andrew Walder

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Andrew Walder (PhD, '81), Denise O’Leary and Ken Thiry Professor, Department of Sociology, Stanford University

Re-thinking the Cultural Revolution: The Red Guards and Beyond

Part of Alumni Lecture Series: The coming academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U-M Center for Chinese Studies. Many events are being planned to mark this historic milestone, including inviting our alumni to give some of the presentations in the CCS Noon Lecture Series. We hope you will be able to join us for all of the many interesting noon lectures planned for this coming year and next.

February 22, 2011
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

The scholarly understanding of mass political conflict during the first two years of China's Cultural Revolution has undergone pronounced changes in recent years. Professor Walder will talk about how this understanding has changed, beginning with his recent book, Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement, and with his subsequent work on the power seizure and factionalism in Nanjing, and his new research project on the rapid spread of the movement throughout China's provinces, down to the level of rural counties.

Andrew Walder is the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Michigan in 1981. A political sociologist, Walder has long specialized in the sources of conflict, stability, and change in communist regimes and their successor states. He joined the Stanford faculty the fall of 1997, and previously held faculty positions at Columbia, Harvard, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His recent publications include Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement (2009); The Chinese Cultural Revolution as History, edited with Joseph Esherick and Paul Pickowicz (2006); "Ambiguity and Choice in Political Movements: The Origins of Beijing Red Guard Factionalism," in the American Journal of Sociology (2006); and "Nanjing's Failed January Revolution of 1967: The Inner Politics of a Failed Power Seizure;" China Quarterly 203 (2010).

Posted by zzhu at 12:17 PM

Winter 2011 Chinese Documentary Film Series - Before the Flood II (淹没 II -- 龚滩)

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The film showing is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, February 19, 2011
Time: 7:10pm
Place: Angell Hall, Auditorium A
(enter via glass doors at fishbowl, off diag)

A film by Yan Yu (鄢雨); 2008; China; 60 minutes (Mandarin and Sichuan dialect with English subtitles)


Three years after Yan Yu’s documentary Before the Flood (CCS Film Series Winter 2006) generated global criticism towards the Three Gorges Dam Project, Yan Yu achieves intimate access again, this time to the Gongtan villagers as they protest official meetings and face off with construction workers eager to tear down their homes for a day’s pay. “Yan Yu’s long-term commitment to the subject matter shines through in his latest effort to chronicle the human cost of a project that has forced 1.4 million people to relocate.” (Ling Woo Liu, Time Magazine).

Posted by zzhu at 12:06 PM

February 15, 2011

A talk on Dunhuang digitization project

The Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan (CI-UM) presents

Digitizing Dunhuang: Applying Digitization and Virtual Space Technology to Exhibition Design

(Image: gongfu_king/flickr.com via asiasociety.org)

A roundtable presentation by faculty from Zhejiang University Center for Art and Archaeology
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 • 4pm
Koessler Room • Michigan League, 911 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
Light refreshments will be served.

For the past two years, Zhejiang University has been cooperating with the Dunhuang Research Institute to produce a comprehensive, high resolution digital archive of the murals and sculpture contained in the world-famous Buddhist grottoes of Mogao, located southeast of the city of Dunhuang in the province of Gansu, China. As part of ongoing preparations for its new Museum of Art and Architecture, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2014, Zhejiang University is exploring the possibility of utilizing this digital archive as the basis for a virtual exhibit that would be displayed in the university museum and could also travel to other venues in China and around the world. In an effort to clarify the opportunities and challenges of such exhibits, faculty from Zhejiang University have been warmly invited to initiate a roundtable discussion on virtual exhibits with experts from across the University of Michigan. The discussion will be preceded by brief introduction to the plans for the Zhejiang University Museum of Art and Architecture and a synopsis of the Dunhuang digitization project.

Posted by zzhu at 12:31 PM

February 14, 2011

Museum Studies Brown Bag, February 17, 2011 - National Taiwan Museum

Posted by zzhu at 04:55 PM

February 10, 2011

Legacies of Taste: An International Conference on Food Narratives in China

15-17 December, 2011
Call for Papers

The representation of gastronomy has a long tradition in China as one of its most distinguished and cherished heritages. No matter Su Shi’s gourmet search for the perfect taste, or Yuan Mei’s emphasis on Confucian taste in culinary art, or Cao Xueqin’s elaboration of the delicacies in The Dream of the Red Chamber, the unique appeal of food demonstrates its special cultural significance and influence in Chinese society. The School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong is pleased to sponsor an international conference on food narratives in China, which will be part of the centennial celebration of the founding of the University of Hong Kong in 1911. We cordially invite scholars from China and overseas to participate in this event. It is hoped that the conference provides an interdisciplinary and intercultural forum for interested scholars to explore manifold literary, artistic representations and cultural implications of food in China.

The papers may be presented either in Chinese or in English. Possible topics may include:

1. The legacy of food writings in China
2. Food writings as/and/vs. literature
3. Food: gender and power
4. Food and identity
5. Food and body
6. Food literature in translation
7. Visual arts and the representation of food
8. Chinese food in world literature

Each paper presentation has a limit of 20 minutes, followed by a brief Q&A session. Please send an abstract of 500 words and a single-page CV to Dr Isaac Yue (isaacyue[at]hku[dot]hk) by March 1, 2011, or to any member of the Conference Organizing Committee listed at http://hku.hk/chinese/seminars%20and%20conferences/29-11-2010-conference-e.html.

There is no registration fee and lunch will be provided to participants of the conference. Announcement of the acceptance of papers will be made in May, 2011.

Posted by zzhu at 11:45 AM

February 09, 2011

Winter 2011 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Enno Giele

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Enno Giele, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona

Ways to Assess Ancient Literacy

February 15, 2011
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

The ability to read and write is so much taken for granted in our modern societies that it requires considerable effort to even imagine how societies work where this element is lacking or less developed. What is more, through these efforts we come to realize that this problem is not one-dimensional. Literacy is not simply a matter of being or not-being literate. There are degrees and different forms of literacy. Measuring these degrees is also not simply a matter of establishing the extent of schooling. This is especially true, if we look at literacy in ancient societies, with no or only a much less standardized educational system. Focusing on early imperial China, this talk tries to review the means we have at our disposal as well as the limitations we are facing, when we try to say something about the forms and purposes of literacy in ancient societies.

Enno Giele completed his Ph.D., at the Free University of Berlin and currently holds the position of Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies, University of Arizona. He has a background in Chinese and Japanese Studies. Along with extended stays at the Academia Sinica in Taibei, he has taught Ancient Chinese history at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany, and the University of California, Berkeley, before coming to the University of Arizona. Professor Giele’s research interests focus on early China (up to the Han and Sanguo periods), its institutions, social structure, and material as well as everyday culture. Pet projects include early Chinese manuscripts, ancient literacy and the public, as well as games and the loo in early China.

Posted by zzhu at 02:10 PM

February 03, 2011

Happy Lunar New Year!

Artist: ZHANG Shaojun

All the best in the Year of the Rabbit!

Posted by zzhu at 10:28 AM

February 02, 2011

Symposium in Honor of Shuen-fu Lin

Symposium in Honor of Shuen-fu Lin
Professor of Chinese Literature
U-M Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Friday, February 11, 2011
4:00 P.M. Room 2022 South Thayer Building (2nd Floor)

Moderator: Donald Lopez


Xinda Lian, Professor of Chinese, Denison University
"To Act by Not Acting: Spontaneity or Ziran as an Art of Life"

Gang Liu, Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
"The Poetics of Birds and Makeups: Artifices and Symbolism in Wen Tingyun’s Fourteen Pusaman"

Benjamin Ridgway, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies, Valparaiso University
"East Slope and the Fisherman's Coat: Performance and Local Identity in the Huangzhou Song Lyrics of Su Shi (1037-1101)"

Brook Ziporyn, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Northwestern University
"Stomach Versus Eye: Laozi and Zhuangzi on Life, Knowledge, and the Life of Knowledge"

Shuen-fu Lin will provide his comments after all of the presentations are given.

A reception will follow the symposium.

Please join us.

Posted by zzhu at 03:10 PM

Winter 2011 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Andrew Mertha

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Andrew Mertha (PhD, '01), Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University

Ambivalent Allies: China, Cambodia, and the Politics of Mutual Resistance

Part of Alumni Lecture Series: The coming academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U-M Center for Chinese Studies. Many events are being planned to mark this historic milestone, including inviting our alumni to give some of the presentations in the CCS Noon Lecture Series. We hope you will be able to join us for all of the many interesting noon lectures planned for this coming year and next.

February 8, 2011
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

In this talk, Professor Mertha will sketch the relationship between the China and Democratic Kampuchea (DK) between 1975 and 1979. His particular focus is on Chinese foreign aid, infrastructure assistance, and trade, and he argues that the Sino-DK relationship was complex and contradictory, reflecting the domestic convulsions of the two countries as it evolved. It was not simply a response to the downturn in Sino-Vietnamese relations; nor was it a function of revolutionary solidarity. Beijing’s support for the regime in Phnom Penh was based on international commercial and strategic interests which suggest important continuities with Chinese external aid, assistance, and investment today.

Andrew Mertha is associate professor of government at Cornell University, specializing in Chinese and Cambodian politics. His Ph.D. (2001) is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Professor Mertha has written two books, The Politics of Piracy: Intellectual Property in Contemporary China (Cornell University Press, 2005) and China’s Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (Cornell University Press, 2008) and has articles published in The China Quarterly, Comparative Politics, International Organization, and Orbis/. He has provided public testimony for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, briefed the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and in July 2009 accompanied a U.S. congressional staff delegation to Beijing, Xinjiang, and Shanghai to discuss issues of terrorism and narcotics trafficking. He has appeared on National Public Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Voice of America. Altogether he has lived in China for seven years as an English teacher (1988-1989), a representative for a toy company (1991-1994, 1995, and 1996), and as a scholar (1998-present). Professor Mertha is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the National Committee on US-China Relations, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Comparative Politics.

Posted by zzhu at 11:44 AM

February 01, 2011

Screening of Wang Bing (王兵)'s West of the Tracks (铁西区)

Wang Bing's West of the Tracks (「铁西区」, 王兵 导演)

Do you love film?
Do you love film enough to watch a nine hour masterpiece?

Come watch West of the Tracks at Projectorhead Extreme...

We dare you!

PHExtreme will show the entire film on Saturday, and for those wimps who can't hack the entire film in one sitting, Part III will be shown again on Sunday. Audience is welcome to bring survival supplies: pillows, food, Red Bull, etc.

Projectorhead will supply the coffee!

COST: Free!
PLACE: 1175 North Quad

February 19 (Saturday):
Part I: 11:00~2:45
Part II: 3:30~6:30
Part III: 8:00~10:15

February 20 (Sunday):
Part III: 3:00~5:15

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards

Grand Prize, International Documentary Festival, Marseille, 2003
Grand Prize, Robert and Frances Flaherty Grand Prize, Yamagata, 2003
Grand Prize, International Documentary Festival, Lisbon, 2002
Berlin International Film Festival, 2002
Montgolfiere d'Or juried prize for documentary, 3 Continents Festival, Nantes
Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Ithaca, NY, 2009
forumdoc.bh.2009, Brazil

"Without question the greatest work to have come out of the Chinese documentary movement, and must be ranked among the most extraordinary achievements of world cinema in the new century." — Lu Xinyu, New Left Review

"Capturing moments both large and small...this profoundly empathetic and humanist work bears witness to a vanished way of life and the real cost of progress." — Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times

"A transfixing experience - if an undeniably demanding one - Wang Bing's nine-hour documentary on Chinese industrial decay should take its place as a key work of socially minded vérité" — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

More on West of the Tracks:
• Jie Lie in Jump Cut
• Just Another Film Buff blog
• Eight Rooks on Twitch

Director's biography: Wang Bing is a leading figure of the exciting and unprecedented documentary movement that has been gathering vital momentum within the Chinese cinema over the last decade. Wang’s epic documentariesWest of the Tracks, Fengming: A Chinese Memoir and Crude Oil define the brave political outspokenness, tenacity and artistic sophistication that continues to inspire a new and ambitious generation of young Chinese filmmakers. From the vast, nine-hour panorama of a dying factory town meticulously crafted byWest of the Tracks to Fengming’s transformation of the Cultural Revolution into a gripping first person narration and Crude Oil’s real time portrait of the grueling fourteen hour working day of oil workers, Wang’s formally daring films offer profound meditations on history and the paradox of the industrial ruin and human suffering caused by the inexorable “progress” of modern China. A different, more dedicated, mode of spectatorship is required and infinitely rewarded by the awesome scale and sheer length of Wang’s features, which treat time as almost a sculptural element, using their intense duration to give a solidity and presence to the crumbling factories, shantytowns and lonely rooms that they explore and cohabit. Forging a rare intimacy with the workers, widows and chronically unemployed whose voices and struggles are made poignantly real within his films, Wang takes the observational ideal championed by cinema verité to a radical and important new level. Using no-frills digital video equipment, Wang creates intensely cinematic films that draw a raw, tragic beauty and power from the world of slow time defined by decaying industrial infrastructure and landscapes imploded by the steady exploitation of their resources. In his latest, shorter documentaries, Happy Valley and Coal Money, Wang has embraced a more essayistic mode of inquiry that condenses the hierarchy of labor and regulated capitalism into stubborn and fascinating riddles. Wang’s contribution to the omnibus film State of the World marks his first foray into fiction filmmaking and points towards his greatly anticipated narrative feature, The Ditch(2010).

And in March director Wang will give a talk at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which will show more of his stunning work.

Brought to you through a collaboration between the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Center for Chinese Studies, and the Confucius Institute.

Projectorhead is the free film series of the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures: to join our list email Phil Hallman at phallman[at]umich[dot]edu.

Posted by zzhu at 06:06 PM

College of Engineering highlights Chinese New Year celebration

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Click on image to read the story, watch a video and view beautiful photos.

Posted by zzhu at 05:00 PM

The Flight of the Red Balloon (2007): Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝贤)’s Long Take and D.W. Winnicott’s Clinic

With Catherine Liu, UC Irvine

February 11, 3:30-5:00
SAC Conference Room
6330 North Quad
105 South State Street, Ann Arbor
Sponsored by U-M Department of Screen Arts & Cultures

This paper is a discussion of Hou Hsiao-hsien's long take analyzed as a component of a theory of cinematic realism. I want take up a close reading of Hou’s 2007 film, Flight of the Red Balloon: the first in a series of films commissioned by the Musée d’Orsay on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Flight of the Red Balloon (2007) expands Hou’s “distinctive aesthetic project” to include Paris and the travails of a modern mother as artist trying to survive in the contemporary metropolis. In the paper, I will try to draw out parallels between Hou's long take and D. W. Winnicott's theories of "play" and "holding." I will, in particular look at temporality, regression and representations of childhood, fantasy and intersubjectivity.

When Hou Hsiao-hsien first attracted international attention his aesthetic ambitions were overshadowed by an emphasis on his commitment to Taiwanese history and the particular issues of cultural memory in its geopolitics. As early as 1996, Nick Browne tried in the pages of Asian Cinema Journal, to recalibrate the critical reception of Hou’s film by engaging in a close reading of Hou’s 1993 film The Puppetmaster.[1] According to Browne, academic discussions of Hou’s work, had tended to obscure the “distinctive features of [Hou’s] aesthetic project by seeming to bring the work closer, and in some cases even to subordinate it, to theoretical discussions of ‘Third Cinema’ and contemporary critiques of colonialism.”[2] Indeed Taiwanese history would seem to lend itself to such discussions of post-colonialism since the island lived under occupying forces, from the Japanese to the Kuomintang for most the 20th century. Browne’s analysis of Hou’s The Puppetmaster presents a masterful demonstration that Hou’s cinema of place offers a particular and powerful intervention in the politics and aesthetics of realism. I want to take Browne’s arguments further and show that Hou is working so in the name of a cinematically forged form of penetrating psychological and even psychoanalytic realism particular to the conditions of modern life.[3]

[1]Xi meng reng shen, (1993), title also translated into English as In the Hands of a Puppetmaster.”
[2]Nick Browne, “Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Puppet Master: The Poetics of Landscape,” in Island on the Edge: Taiwan New Cinema and After. Edited by Chris Berry and Feii Lu (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005), pp. 79-88: 79.
[3]André Bazin. What is Cinema? Vol. 1.

Catherine Liu is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies and Visual Studies. She has just completed a manuscript called "The American Idyll: Anti-Elitism as Cultural Critique." She is interested in Cold War culture and science fiction, the charisma of the ordinary and the historiography of cultural theory and its production and reception. She has published on psychoanalytic theory and cultural theory: she is also the author of a novel, Oriental Girls Desire Romance (1997) as well as a scholarly monograph, Taking Notes for the Automaton (2000).

Posted by zzhu at 04:46 PM

Entrepreneurship in Michigan-- Riding China and US Opportunities

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Time: 4:00-5:30PM, Feb 10, Thursday
Location: R0320, Ross School of Business

• President/CXO with 20+ year global industry experience in Consulting, Manufacturing, IT etc.
• Outsourcing/leveraging resources with developing world in a flattening globe
• managing cultural differences in-action between the U.S. and China,

Three panelists are from Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce
Jimmy Hsiao: founder of Logic Solutions, a company specializing in Internet technologies and innovative distributed applications
Peter Wong: President of APACC, President of Roy Smith Company, as a Total Solution Provider for your Gas & Welding Needs
Janny Lu: CEO, Ebinger Manufacturing Company and Jets Glove Manufacturing, President of Fuchi Textile North America
Wan-thai Hsu: CTO for U-M start-up Discera Inc., received the EE Times 3rd Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) award for Innovator of the Year.

Please click on flier to register.

Posted by zzhu at 12:10 PM

Learn about a less-known ethnic minority in China

The Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan (CI-UM) presents

The Turkic Yugurs* in Chinese Gansu: An introduction to their language, society and culture
(*Yugurs – 裕固族, not to be confused with Uygurs – 维吾尔族)

A lecture by Professor DU Yaxiong (杜亚雄)
Monday, February 7, 2011 • 4pm
Room 4 • Michigan League, 911 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
Light refreshments will be served.

Speaker’s Abstract: I lived in the area where the Western Yugur language is spoken during 1968 to 1978. At that time, I studied their language, their folksongs and collected many first-hand materials. Originally, I’d wanted to write a paper to introduce their folk songs, but Dr. Osman Karatay suggested that I write a paper to introduce the nation and its culture to fit a resurgence of interest in Yugur nation. Therefore, it was with great pleasure that I accepted his proposal. The purpose of this paper is to introduce Turkic speaking Yugurs, their origin, language, tribal system, life style, some important customs and their music heritage to other Turkic nations and experts interested in Yugur and its culture.

Posted by zzhu at 01:32 AM