Methods Training Workshop – Remote Ethnography of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Remote XUAR”)


Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Germany

June 19 – June 22, 2023

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is at the heart of the Central Asian region and at the crossroads between different cultures. During its rich history a unique cultural blend and a complex demographic mosaic  emerged in Xinjiang. The region is the homeland of the Uyghurs, China’s most populous Muslim-majority ethnic group. It is also the site of grave human rights violations but has been off limits for social researchers over the last few years. Therefore, the field of Xinjiang studies has developed a range of new methods and sources to study the region from a distance. The EU-funded project “Remote XUAR” is specifically devoted to further advancing these efforts and exploring new approaches for the purpose of documenting and analyzing the ongoing developments and day-to-day changes and transformations in XUAR.

This workshop will bring together some leading experts to present cutting-edge methodologies and discuss how these can be used for the purpose of Xinjiang studies. The following fields will be covered:

  • Policy and documentary analysis (mostly web-based)
  • (Critical) remote sensing
  • Digital ethnography

We invite both established scholars and young researchers interested in learning about these methodological approaches in the field of Xinjiang studies to apply for attending this workshop. Please send in a short statement of motivation plus a CV no later than Friday, May 26, 2023, to On-site accommodation and food are fully covered by the organizers. In addition, junior researchers may apply for a travel stipend. We envisage this to be the first of a series of workshops that will contribute to building up the community of Xinjiang scholars in Europe.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe coordination and support action 101079460 – Remote XUAR – HORIZON-Widera-2021-ACCESS-03.

Björn Alpermann (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg)

Vanessa Frangville (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Rune Steenberg (Palacký University, Olomouc)