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November 13, 2012

Fall 2012 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Benjamin Levey


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Benjamin Levey
Assistant Professor of History
University of Michigan-Dearborn

In the Land of the People Without Sutras: Jungar Refugees and Qing-Kazakh Relations, 1758-1775

November 20, 2012
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

Narratives of violence have dominated the historiography on the Qing conquest of Jungaria. Nearly every history of the Qing conquest highlights the Qing’s violent massacres against the Jungars, with several works even asserting these massacres were tantamount to “ethnic genocide.” While there is no doubt that Qing armies unleashed terrible violence upon the Jungar people, a singular focus on these massacres has obscured the important historical role that Jungar refugees played in the decades following the disintegration of the Jungar confederation.

Based on a large corpus of previously unstudied Manchu language documents, this presentation discusses the fate of Jungar refugees in the fifteen years following the disintegration of the Jungar confederation. The Jungars no longer had a state of their own, but were ruled over by their two former enemies: the Kazakhs in the west and the Qing in the east. In examining the Jungars’ experience as refugees, Professor Levey will discuss the following topics: kinship networks that connected Jungar refugee populations living under both Qing and Kazakh control; the important role that bilingual refugees played in mediating Qing-Kazakh relations; the continued importance of Oirat as the lingua franca of the Qing-Kazakh borderlands; and disputes between the Kazakhs and the Qing over the issue of runaway Jungar slaves.

Ben Levey is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. Professor Levey’s research interests focus on Qing and Inner Asian history, Manjuristics, and borderlands in comparative perspective. He completed his MA training at Indiana University and Ph.D. at Harvard University.

Posted by zzhu at November 13, 2012 04:36 PM