Join CSEEES and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures for a guest lecture on Dungan folk narratives by Kenneth J. Yin (City University of New York).
First migrating from northwest China to Russian Central Asia after the suppression of the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877) under the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, the Dungan people boast a rich oral tradition, which served as an important breeding ground for the development of Dungan written literature in the Soviet period. This presentation discusses the findings of an in-depth structural and comparative analysis of Dungan folk narratives conducted in the second half of the twentieth century by a team of leading Soviet scholars comprising Russian sinologist Boris Riftin, Dungan writer and literary scholar Makhmud Khasanov, and Dungan historian Il′ias Iusupov. Primarily based on Dungan oral narratives recorded between 1951 and 1974 in the Soviet Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, the study indicates that Dungan folk narratives are deeply rooted in Chinese storytelling traditions but also exhibit substantial Middle Eastern, East Asian, and Central Asian influence. Detailed findings of this study and the full texts of seventy-eight folk stories are available for the first time in an annotated English version by Kenneth J. Yin, under the title Dungan Folktales and Legends (2021), volume 16 in the Peter Lang International Folkloristics series.
About the Speaker
Kenneth J. Yin teaches modern languages, literatures, and linguistics at the City University of New York. His scholarly work centers on the Dungan literature and culture of Central Asia, as well as the Tungus literatures and cultures of North Asia—namely Siberia and the Russian Far East—with a focus on Udege, Nanai, and Evenk. A graduate of Cornell University and Georgetown University, he has received fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the City University of New York. He is the author of Dungan Folktales and Legends (Peter Lang, 2021) and Mystical Forest: Collected Poems and Short Stories of Dungan Ethnographer Ali Dzhon (Peter Lang, 2023).
Co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures.
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