Professor at the Modern China Institute, Aichi University (Japan).
Professor at the Modern China Institute, Aichi University (Japan). Her main research interests include the ecology of nomadic society, globalization, localization and minorities in modern China.
During her stay at the ANU, Prof. Gao Mingjie is working on a project that looks at how Inner Mongolia has been portrayed by outsiders. She takes the case of the so-called ‘intellectual youth’ (zhishi qingnian) who were sent from their urban living environment to rural areas to be re-educated during the cultural revolution (1966-1976) in China. There were over one million such young people who were sent to the countryside of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region from all over China. Their length of stay varied from a few years to over ten years. Shilingol League was the first in Inner Mongolia to receive such young people and the number of people who were sent there was also bigger than other places. Most of these young people lived together with the herders as part of their family and gained detailed knowledge about local society and the Mongolian ways of life. Their way of looking at the Mongol society was different and more objective than their Chinese peers who had never experienced the Mongolian way of life and considered the Mongols simply as ‘the other’. Prof. Gao Mingjie’s project focuses on these young people (mostly Chinese) who lived on the Shilingol steppe. By examining these people’s diaries, memoirs and reports, the project analyses the complex interactions between politics, ethnicity and human relations.