Dr. Rachel Harris is Professor of Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London. Dr. Harris’ research focuses on expressive and religious culture, heritage and state policy in China’s Muslim borderlands. Harris led the Leverhulme Research Project “Sounding Islam in China” (2014-2017) and now heads a British Academy Sustainable Development Project to revitalize Uyghur cultural heritage in the diaspora. She is the author of Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam, and her edited volume Ethnographies of Islam in China will be published in Spring 2021.
Thousands of items of built heritage – mosques and sacred shrines – have been demolished in the course of China’s efforts to secure the region, and the communities surrounding them have been uprooted. Uyghur expressive culture – music, dance, and community gatherings – has been transformed into a propaganda tool.