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Arienne M. Dwyer
University of Kansas, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS 66045-7505)
Narratives and Metanarratives of the Silk Road

This book combines critical analysis with linguistics and ethnohistory to analyze stories told by and about the "Chinese Turkmens," the Salars, as a way of understanding ideologies of culture. The Salars are a formerly nomadic indigenous Central Asia group with a historical memory of the Silk Road. Alternately taking the perspective of the Salar storyteller, the Chinese anthropologist, and the Western explorer, this book explores the competing 20th century ideological uses of these texts by storytellers and outsiders. The study is part literary criticism and part case study of regional, national, religious, and cultural ideologies as revealed through Salar literature and what people today say about it. The book analyzes the content, stylistics, and ideologies of these stories and presents 20 sample texts, audio of which will be made freely available over the web. Criticism and translations are combined into one volume to encourage interdisciplinary exploration of the materials.

Project fields:
East Asian Literature

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014