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About this Blog | About the Writers | A Note on Transliterations

About the New Dominion

The New Dominion is a blog about Xinjiang, China’s largest, northwestern-most, and, in our opinion, most fascinating region.

Nowadays, the Chinese term Xinjiang (新疆) tends get translated character-for-character as “New Frontier.” Most audiences, be they Eastern seaboard expats or journalists writing up the latest turbulence, will certainly find this rendering of Xinjiang as evocative and appealing, since the whole concept of “frontier” places emphasis on how removed Xinjiang is from conventional “China proper.”

A journey down memory lane into the annals of Google Books, however, will reveal that for a significant period of time, up until the mid-20th century, the more conventional translation of Xinjiang was “New Dominion.” It is this older term that we’ve decide to pull out from the dusty archives and plant on the top of our site as we think the evocative nature of the term “Dominion” has returned in full force, raising questions about empire, control, authority, power-relations, and identity. What, exactly, lead scholars and journalists of earlier times to draw on a specific political term that gained most of its connotations within the context of the British Empire to translate Xinjiang (or rather, Sinkiang) into English, during the late Qing, Republican, and early Communist eras?

Please join us as we explore questions like these and work our way through that physical, cultural, political, and ideological landscape known as the New Dominion.

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About Us

Porfiriy studied anthropology and Chinese at a West Coast university in the US. He speaks conversational Uyghur and passable Mandarin. Porfiriy is interested in information access, freedom of speech, minority rights and issues, the role of information technology in dissent, and representation. He has lived in Xinjiang and near Shanghai. Porfiriy may be contacted at porfiriy[at]thenewdominion.net.

Tewpiq is interested in the ways that Xinjiang’s modern history contributed to the social configurations we see today. Tewpiq may be contacted at tewpiq[at]thenewdominion.net.

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A Note on Transliterations

Pinyin will be the standard transliteration system for rendering Mandarin into the Latin alphabet. For our Mandarin-reading visitors, we will follow unclear names and references with Mandarin characters within parentheses on the first mention and from then on use the pinyin version.

We will use Uyghur Latin Yéziqi (ULY) to render Uyghur into the Latin alphabet. A thorough scholarly discussion of the logic behind the ULY system can be read here, in an article by Waris Abdukerim Janbaz, Imad Saleh, and Jean Rahman Duval. A chart displaying ULY alongside other Uyghur writing systems and the IPA sounds they represent can be seen at Wikipedia.

When translating quotes or articles into English, we intend, where feasible, to include the text of the original language within the title attribute of the html element surrounding the translated text. In layman’s terms, that means when you hover a mouse over a translated text, you should see a pop-up containing the same text in the original language. For example:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

When you hover your mouse over the above quoted text, you should see a pop-up in your browser containing the same text in Uyghur. This is intended to aid in people interested in scrutinizing the exact terminology of the translated language. We invite Uyghur and Mandarin speakers to take advantage of this tool and offer criticisms and suggestions for our translations.

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