This article draws on archival materials from late Qing Turpan Prefecture to explore Qing colonialism within the context of mass vaccination efforts in Xinjiang from 1880 to 1911. Following the reconquest of the region in 1877, Xiang Army leaders established official vaccination bureaus across Xinjiang—a colonial administration that encompassed all of East Turkestan—to combat smallpox outbreaks within Musulman (Uyghur) communities and the Qing army garrison. The vaccination bureau in Turpan, although led by Han vaccinators from Inner China, depended heavily on the labor of Musulman graduates from the region's assimilationist Confucian schools. The Turpan Vaccination Bureau reinforced the Xiang Army's broader project of colonial assimilation by training Musulman apprentices in various Chinese medical texts and using them to disseminate these ideas across the prefecture through the medium of vaccination. However, Turpan's Musulmans possessed their own sophisticated body of knowledge regarding epidemics and healing and routinely resisted the imposition of normative Qing/Chinese medical behavior.

You do not currently have access to this content.