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"To Construct an Unknown China": Ethnoreligious Historiography in Zhang Chengzhi's Islamic Fiction

"To Construct an Unknown China": Ethnoreligious Historiography in Zhang Chengzhi's Islamic Fiction “To Construct an Unknown China”: Ethnoreligious Historiography in Zhang Chengzhi’s Islamic Fiction Howard Y. F. Choy China is a polyethnic country with the Han as the dominant majority. Among the fifty-five officially grouped “minority nationalities” (shaoshu minzu), the Manchu, the Mongolians, the Hui, and the Tibetans are the largest. Regarding the discourse of minzu, usually translated as “nationality” or “ethnic group,” Jonathan N. Lipman describes contemporary Chinese history as the “creation of a hegemonic narrative, a unified story that could demonstrate the bedrock truth of minzu continuity and consanguinity in the past, for the present.”1 This unified story serves to construct a unified modern Chinese nation-state. Lipman goes on to suggest that “in this account, each minzu, at its own pace and according to its own environmental and historical conditions, has followed the most advanced minzu, the majority Han people, toward higher steps on the ladder of history. . . . For Han — that is, Chinese — history, unlike other minzu histories, constitutes the story of Civipositions 14:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2006-018 Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press positions 14:3 Winter 2006 lization or Culture itself and thus represents the Chinese version of History, the linear and rigidly structured http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

"To Construct an Unknown China": Ethnoreligious Historiography in Zhang Chengzhi's Islamic Fiction

positions asia critique , Volume 14 (3) – Dec 1, 2006

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
© 2006 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1067-9847
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2006-018
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

“To Construct an Unknown China”: Ethnoreligious Historiography in Zhang Chengzhi’s Islamic Fiction Howard Y. F. Choy China is a polyethnic country with the Han as the dominant majority. Among the fifty-five officially grouped “minority nationalities” (shaoshu minzu), the Manchu, the Mongolians, the Hui, and the Tibetans are the largest. Regarding the discourse of minzu, usually translated as “nationality” or “ethnic group,” Jonathan N. Lipman describes contemporary Chinese history as the “creation of a hegemonic narrative, a unified story that could demonstrate the bedrock truth of minzu continuity and consanguinity in the past, for the present.”1 This unified story serves to construct a unified modern Chinese nation-state. Lipman goes on to suggest that “in this account, each minzu, at its own pace and according to its own environmental and historical conditions, has followed the most advanced minzu, the majority Han people, toward higher steps on the ladder of history. . . . For Han — that is, Chinese — history, unlike other minzu histories, constitutes the story of Civipositions 14:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2006-018 Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press positions 14:3 Winter 2006 lization or Culture itself and thus represents the Chinese version of History, the linear and rigidly structured

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2006

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