Preston Decker G'20

Preston  Decker
Doctoral Student
History
University of Kansas

Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation Travel Grants to China 2020
Doctoral Student
History
University of Kansas
Toward a Modern Makan and Jiayuan: Discourses of Environmental Modernity in Twentieth Century Xinjiang

This study examines discourses of environmental modernity in Xinjiang during the early and mid twentieth century (1912-1966). The introduction of modern ideas and technologies in Xinjiang during this time was supported and buttressed in Han Chinese, Uyghur (Turki), and other communities in Xinjiang by an assortment of modern discourses regarding such components of the everyday environment as weather events, public hygiene, bacterial regimes, and control over the environment itself. These discourses, 'arriving' in Xinjiang from China proper, Central Asia, and elsewhere, and subsequently modified within Xinjiang itself, both derived from and challenged the meta-discourses of the modern state and citizen, ultimately providing a discursive foundation for the construction of a new Xinjiang in the Republican and PRC eras.