This presentation discusses the findings of an in-depth structural and comparative analysis of folk narratives of the Dungan people, Sino-Muslims who first migrated from northwest China to Russian Central Asia after the suppression of the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877). Conducted in the second half of the twentieth century by Boris Riftin, Makhmud Khasanov, and Il′ias Iusupov, 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.
The Noontime Scholars Lecture will be held in a virtual format over Zoom. To register, visit: https://go.illinois.edu/YinNTS.
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. He is the author of Dungan Folktales and Legends (Peter Lang, 2021) [https://doi.org/10.3726/b18299] and Mystical Forest: Collected Poems and Short Stories of Dungan Ethnographer Ali Dzhon (Peter Lang, 2023) [https://doi.org/10.3726/b18961].