HTOR0002EU China's borderlands

Volume 2018/2019

Curriculum for the BA programme in Asian Studies with specialisations in Indology, Japanese Studies, China Studies, Korean Studies, Southeast Asian Studies and Tibetology, The 2015 Curriculum

Curriculum for the BA programme in Asian Studies with specialisations in Indology, Japanese Studies, China Studies, Korean Studies, Southeast Asian Studies and Tibetology, The 2010 Curriculum

Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Tibetology The 2007 Curriculum

Curriculum for Master´s Programme in Asianstudies The 2008 Curriculum

Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Religious Studies the 2016 Curriculum



This course focuses on the significance of China’s borderlands and the diverse groups that live there from both a historical and a contemporary perspective. As spaces on the real and conceptual margins of imperial and modern China, borderlands for long have played an important defining role in Chinese history. While China is often perceived by the outside world as a largely homogenous entity with the Tibetans as its most significant internal other, the People’s Republic of China defines itself as a multi-ethnic state with fifty-five groups recognized as ethnic minorities. The socialist state’s recognition of its internal diversity has historical antecedents in imperial China. As part of its self-legitimation, socialist China rejects many aspects of the imperial past while simultaneously making claims on its territorial legacy and perpetuating social, cultural and political approaches to its borderlands inherited from the past. These ideological inconsistencies are also reflected in the changing valorizations of Qing rule throughout the 20th century both in and outside China, a topic also to be taken up by the course.

In the contemporary context, the course will scrutinize the role played by ethnic minorities situated in the borderlands in defining the majority, despite their demographic insignificance. Economically, the borderlands are rich in natural resources and offer opportunities for transnational trade. Politically, the dangers of secession and invasion require heightened security and border surveillance. Culturally, the people(s) that inhabit the borderlands play a central role in definitions of what it means to be (Han-) Chinese. With an emphasis on the three most significant groups - the Tibetans, the Uyghurs, and the Mongols –  and paying attention to relevant concepts (minority, majority, border, state, etc.), the course explores how Chinese borderlands are shaped by minority policies emanating from the Chinese state, by resource extraction and trade, by the infrastructure of roads and borders, and by historical legacies and ideas about friendship and enmity that inform interactions between Han Chinese and their significant others from the level of intimate encounters to that of international relations.

For students in China Studies, there are additional text reading lessons with Bent Nielsen For additional text reading in Tibetan language, contact Trine Brox

Learning Outcome

Asienstudier BA 2015-ordning:
Indologisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HIDB00891E)
Japansk realia 1 (fagelementkode HJAB00831E)
Japansk realia 2 (fagelementkode HJAB00871E)
Japansk realia 3 (fagelementkode HJAB00891E)
Kinesisk realia 1 (fagelementkode HKIB00841E)
Kinesisk realia 2 (fagelementkode HKIB00881E)
Kinesisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HKIB00891E)
Koreansk realia 1 (fagelementkode HKOB00831E)
Koreansk realia 2 (fagelementkode HKOB00871E)
Koreansk realia 3 (fagelementkode HKOB00891E)
Tibetologisk realia 1 (fagelementkode HTIB00831E)
Tibetologisk realia 2 (fagelementkode HTIB00871E)
Tibetologisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HTIB00881E)

Asienstudier BA 2010-ordning:
Indologisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HIDB00761E)
Japansk realia 3 (fagelementkode HJAB00761E)
Koreansk realia 3 (fagelementkode HKOB00761E)
Tibetologisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HTIB00761E)

Tibetologi BA tilvalg 2007-ordning:
Tibetologisk Realia A (fagelementkode HTIB10041E)
Tibetologisk Realia B (fagelementkode HTIB10061E)

Religionsvidenskab BA tilvalg 2016-ordning:
Valgfrit område (fagelementkode HRVB10181E)

Religionsvidenskab BA gymnasierettede tilvalg 2015-ordning:
Valgfrit område med sprog (fagelementkode HRVB10121E)

Asienstudier KA 2008-ordning:
Tværfagligt tema:
Tibetologi (fagelementkode HTIK03021E)
Japanstudier (fagelementkode HJAK03032E)
Kinastudier (fagelementkode HKIK03022E)


To be announced in Absalon

Lectures, discussions, exercises
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 384,5
  • Total
  • 412,5
Type of assessment