The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Seminars, Symposia, and Academic Conferences

Sunday, June 19, 2005
《International Symposium》Frontier Modernity: Inner Mongolia in the Twentieth Century

Organizers: Uradyn E. BULAG & Yuki KONAGAYA
Venue: Seminar Room #4, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan
Date and Time: June 19, 2005, Sunday, 9:15 am - 5:30 pm
Languages: English and Japanese (with simultaneous translation)


The great debates about "modernity" have bypassed the Mongols, not least because Mongolia and the Mongols are imagined even now to be living a carefree life roaming vast open grasslands. It is an image that has been taken up by an international tourism eager for signs of the exotic in a world of untrammeled nature. This symposium aims to examine modernity in Inner Mongolia, a landlocked frontier and a crossroads where major political powers in twentieth century Inner Asia- Russia, Mongolia, Japan, and China- repeatedly clashed. Challenging the lineal Sinicization model of modernity, which is supposed to have traveled from the West to China to the frontier, this symposium will explore alternative ways to account for Mongolian embrace of and resistance to particular aspects of modernity, and multifarious and unexpected manifestations of the modern in the frontier. Specifically, we will examine two major dimensions of the Inner Mongolian project of modernity in the twentieth century: defining the Inner Mongolian boundary vis-a-vis both the independent state of Mongolia and minority areas in China; and successive cognitive and material transformations in the fields of agriculture, pastoralism, and industrialization, informed by universal ideas of progress, equality, friendship, secularization, and scientific imaginaries.

9:15 - 9:30 Opening Address: Yuki KONAGAYA (Minpaku)
Morning Session
Chair: Yuki KONAGAYA (Minpaku)
9:30 - 10:00 Keynote Speech I: Mark SELDEN (Cornell University)
"Class, Nationality, Space: The Structuring of Inequality in China's Revolutions"
10:00 - 10:15 Discussion
10:15- 10:45 HUHBATOR (Showa Women's University)
"Outer Mongolia as the Other: Khalkh Mongols in the Eyes of the Inner Mongolian Intellectuals"
10:45 - 11:15 Discussant:
Hiroshi FUTAKI (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
11:15 - 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:00 SHINJILT (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science & Minpaku)
"The Connotation of the 'Inner Mongolia Effect' "
12:00 - 12:30 Discussant: Tatsuo NAKAMI (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch Break
Afternoon Session
Chair: Haiying YANG (Shizuoka University)
13:30 - 14:00 Keynote Speech II: David SNEATH (Cambridge University),
"Land, Locality and the State: Technologies of Power and Mongolian Pastoral Lifeworlds"
14:00 - 14:15 Discussion
14:15 - 14 45 Burensain BORJIGIN (Waseda University)
"Between Peasants and Herders: the Predicament of the Mongolian Identity in China"
14:45 - 15:15 Discussant: Junichi YOSHIDA (Waseda University)
15:15 - 15:30 Tea Break
15:30 - 16:00 Uradyn E. BULAG (City University of New York & Minpaku)
"The Flight of the Golden Pony: Industrialization and the Stillbirth of the Mongolian Working Class"
16:00 - 16:30 Discussion: Mitsuyuki KAGAMI (Aichi University)
General Discussion
Chair: Uradyn E. BULAG (City University of New York & Minpaku)
16:30 - 17:30 Hiroshi FUTAKI (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Mitsuyuki KAGAMI (Aichi University)
Yuki KONAGAYA (Minpaku)
Tatsuo NAKAMI (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Mark SELDEN (Cornell University)
David SNEATH (Cambridge University)
Haiying YANG (Shizuoka University)
Junichi YOSHIDA (Waseda University)