Society of Scholars
The Society of Scholars is an intellectual community of humanists of diverse generations, academic ranks, and departmental affiliations who contribute to and learn from one another’s work. Each year, approximately eight faculty and three dissertation research fellowships support members of the Society of Scholars. Scholars in year-long residence at the University of Washington may be invited to participate as well. The group meets biweekly throughout the year to discuss their research in progress.
2022 - 2023 Society of Scholars
2017 - 2018 Society of Scholars Fellow
Darren Byler (he/him/his)
The Art of Life in Chinese Central Asia: Precariousness, Art, and Minority Politics in the City
Following a series of "terrorist events" in 2009, officials of Ürümchi, an ethnically-diverse border city in Northwest China, announced plans to resettle 300,000 indigenous Turkic-Muslim Uyghur inhabitants from “slums” to state-subsidized public housing. They also announced 800 million-yuan investments in art and culture projects across the city which address the goal of building a "global city." Routing my ethnographic research through Uyghur and Han artistic and literary representations of precarious life in the city, this project offers a theoretical framework for understanding the effects of Chinese settler-colonialism and urbanism, and how the lived experience of structural violence gives rise to new forms of art and politics.