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Dru Gladney

Professor of Anthropology
With Pomona Since: 2006
  • Expertise


    Dru Gladney specializes in the peoples, cultures and politics along the ancient and modern Silk Road—in particular, issues of globalization and transnationalism in China and its close neighbors. Over the last few years, he has engaged in a large comparative survey of nomadic families in Western China, bolstered by in-depth fieldwork with nomadic Kazakhs in the Altai Mountains bordering China and Mongolia.

    He is currently completing an ethnography of three Hui, Uyghur and Kazakh extended families and their connections between China, Central Asia and Europe, examining how cultural identity is translated across national boundaries and time. His multi-sited work in these cultures of distinctly “Asian Islam” takes him beyond traditional China studies in his concerns with such issues as globalization, diaspora and marginalization. He is also working on a new book on Chinese ethnic film. 

    Research Interests

    • Peoples, cultures, and politics along the ancient and modern Silk Road
    • Globalization and transnationalism in Eurasia
    • How cultural identity is translated across national boundaries
    • Chinese ethnic film

    Areas of Expertise


    • Asia
    • Politics – Asia; Central Asia
    • Nationalism in Asia
    • The Silk Road
    • Globalization
    • Human Rights
    • Ethnicity Policy
    • Islam
    • Muslim Chinese
    • Research Methods – Anthropology
    • China
    • Religion
  • Work


    Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities, and Other Subaltern Subjects (University of Chicago Press, 2004)

    Editor, Making Majorities: Constituting the Nation in Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Fiji, Turkey, and the U.S. (Stanford University Press, 1998)

    Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic (Harvard University Press, 1991, 2nd ed., 1996)

    Ethnic Identity in China: The Making of a Muslim Minority Nationality (Wadsworth Publishers, 1998)

    “Islam in China: Beijing’s Hui and Uighur Challenge” Global Dialogue, Vol. 9, Number1-2. Winter/Spring 2007. Pp. 89-95

    "China's Ethnic Faultlines: Rising Tensions and Resistance to Beijing's Control Challenge China's 'Harmonious' Society," Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2009

    "An Ethnic Struggle in China Goes Global," Yale Global Online, July 9, 2009

    “Ethnic Identity in China: The New Politics of Difference” in Color Struck – Essays on Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective (Julius O. Adekunle and Hettie V. Williams, eds., University Press of America, 2008)

    “Islam in China: State Policing and Identity Politics” in Politics of Religion in China (David Wank and Yoshiko Ashiwa, eds., Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008)

    “Lessons (Un)Learned: 20 Years of Fieldwork in China” in Anthropology of China: State of the Field (L. Xin, ed., Institute of East Asian Studies Publications, 2005)

  • Education


    Language training at Peking University, Bosphorus University (Istanbul), Moscow State University, Xinjiang University

    University of Washington, Seattle

    Master of Arts
    University of Washington, Seattle

    Master of Arts
    Fuller Theological Seminary

    Bachelor of Arts
    Westmont College

    Professional Experience

    Academy Scholar, Kukin Fellow, Harvard Academy of International Affairs, Harvard University, 1987-1990

    MacArthur Fellow, Social Studies Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ 1990-1991

    Senior Research Fellow, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii 1993-1998

    Inaugural Academic Dean, Asia-Pacific Center, Honolulu, Hawai'i 1998-2000

    Senior Scholar, Max Planck Institute, Halle, Germany 2002-2003

    President, Pacific Basin Institute, Pomona College, 2006-2010

    Indigenous Peoples Expert, Asian Development Bank, 2004-2006

    Senior Project Consultant, Agriteam, Canadian Foreign Affairs project in China, 2013-14 

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Anthropology of Food
    • Anthropology of Sports
    • Comparative Muslim Societies in Asia
    • Ethnic Nationalism
    • Introduction to Social Anthropology
    • Summer Reading and Research
    • Independent Study: Asian Studies
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Ford Foundation. Xinjiang and Western China: Ford Foundation, Collaborative Research Network project of the American Council of Learned Societies, Western China project. 3 years.

    World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Human Equality and Respect, 2008, 2009, 2010. Council Member and delegate for “Ending Racism, Discrimination, and Hate”, "Values," and "Human Rights," Dubai, UAE

    U.S. Department of Education; Title VI Funds, National Resource Center-East Asia Grant, “Islam in East and Southeast Asia, 2003-2006; National Resource Center-East Asia Grant, “Alternative Voices: China and Central Asia,” 2000-2003

    U.S. Institute for Peace, Research Grant, “Ethnic Conflict Resolution in China: Prospects for Peace in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Yunnan,” 1997

    Fulbright Research Fellowship, Council on International Educational Exchange, Istanbul, Turkey, 1992-1993

    Phi Kappa Phi, Book Award, for Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic (Harvard University Press, 1991), 1992

    Harvard University, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Post-Doctoral Fellow and Kukin Scholar, 1987-1989; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Member of School of Social Studies, 1990-91; Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, 2002-03