Lecture with Prof. Kenneth J. Yin: “Dungan Folktales and Legends: The Sino-Muslim Folkloric Narrative Tradition of Central Asia”

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@ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

July 13 @ 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

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. His book publications include 𝘋𝘶𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘯 𝘍𝘰𝘭𝘬𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘓𝘦𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 (Peter Lang, 2021) and 𝘔𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘍𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵: 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘗𝘰𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘚𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘚𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘋𝘶𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘯 𝘌𝘵𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘈𝘭𝘪 𝘋𝘻𝘩𝘰𝘯 (Peter Lang, 2023).

This lecture will be held over Zoom. Interested attendees must register prior to the meeting start date in order to attend. See link below to register.