Bio

Salam and welcome! I am Dr. Elise Anderson, an expert on Uyghur issues currently based in Washington, D.C., where I work at the intersections of human rights, international development, and research. I am currently a senior program officer at Freedom House and nonresident fellow at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, where I coordinate the Uyghur Scholars Working Group.

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Photo by China Radio International’s English-language service
November 2015

I have more than a decade of close experience with Uyghur language and culture gained while conducting primary field and archival research on muqam (a genre of Uyghur music) and its many political (and other) meanings. I earned dual Ph.D. degrees in Central Eurasian Studies and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University-Bloomington (IU) in 2019.

Previously, I worked at the Uyghur Human Rights Project and served as a Liu Xiaobo Fellow at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. I also have professional experience in grant-writing, university teaching, and academic editing, all gained through graduate assistantships at IU. Additionally, I am an occasional translator/interpreter and performer.

My graduate studies and research were supported by numerous grants, including a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant (China, 2012-13), a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship (China and Sweden, 2013-14), and five Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships for the study of the Uyghur and Tajik languages.

I speak about the Uyghur crisis in public forums and have delivered dozens of talks through universities and other organizations around the globe. In 2020, I testified before the International Human Rights Committee (SDIR) of the Canadian House of Commons. In 2021, I interpreted between Uyghur and English at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. Congress in May and gave expert testimony before the Uyghur Tribunal in London in September.

I also give regular commentary on the crisis to a number of major outlets, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, BBC, New Statesman, and Der Spiegel, among many others. My writing has appeared in several scholarly and public-facing venues, including Asian Music, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to request an interview. For requests connected to my work at Freedom House, please contact me at anderson at freedom house dot org. To reach me in my capacity at New Lines, please contact me at eanderson at newlinesinstitute dot org. For all other requests, please write me at eliseanderson at gmail dot com.

I tweet (ok, mostly retweet) about my professional work at @AndersonEliseM and occasionally share images and reflections from my personal life on Instagram @eliseanderson. You can find me on Linkedin, too.

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