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.
He received his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Washington.