Constructions of Liao (907-1125) dynastic identities in Eastern Eurasian context, 900-1100

Xue, Chen (2020). Constructions of Liao (907-1125) dynastic identities in Eastern Eurasian context, 900-1100. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis questions the effectiveness of “ethnicity” as a prevailing analytical framework in research on medieval Eastern Eurasian history, by the means of a study of the dynastic identities of the Liao 遼 state (907-1125). “Dynastic identities” is primarily used to refer to three aspects: the imperial designations of Liao monarchs, the constructed origins of the Liao imperial and consort clans, and the perceived spatial location of the Liao state in the cosmos. The thesis rethinks assumptions of the Liao identity as either a “conquest dynasty” or a sinicised regime, and the oversimplistic yet deeply engrained ethnic binary of Han/Chinese and non-Han/Chinese behind these assumptions in many scholarly works on regimes with perceived non-Han/Chinese origins. I argue that this ethnic discourse is anachronistic and inappropriate with regard to many aspects of Liao history. Liao dynastic identities were primarily based on appropriating cultural elements with Sinic origins, which nevertheless were perceived by the Liao elite as universal and common legacies rather than those exclusively owned by Han/Chinese, and which they reconstructed in new ways to underscore the Liao preeminence in their contemporary world.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: Other
Other Funders: University of Birmingham, UK, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham, UK, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Germany
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology


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