Bio

Salam and welcome! I am Dr. Elise Anderson, a human rights advocate, scholar, translator, and performer currently based in Washington, D.C., where I work as Senior Program Officer for Research and Advocacy at the Uyghur Human Rights Project, a research-based advocacy organization fighting for the rights of Uyghurs and other oppressed Turkic and/or Muslim peoples in East Turkistan.

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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, and earned dual Ph.D. degrees in Central Eurasian Studies and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University-Bloomington (IU) in 2019 after conducting years of primary field and archival research on muqam, classical Uyghur music. 

Prior to UHRP, my professional background included a stint as a Liu Xiaobo Fellow at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (Summer 2019) and experience gained as a graduate assistant in grant-writing, university teaching, and academic editing at IU. I have earned numerous grants for my academic research, including a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant (China, 2012-13) and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship (China and Sweden, 2013-14). Additionally, I run a small business specializing in Uyghur-English translation and interpretation, and I occasionally perform Uyghur folksong on vocals and dutar.

I regularly comment on the Uyghur crisis in public forums, including in full-length talks and panel discussions for universities and 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 and gave expert testimony before the Uyghur Tribunal in London.

I have given commentary on the Uyghur genocide 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 a number of 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 UHRP, please contact me at eanderson at uhrp dot org. For all other requests, please write me at eliseanderson at gmail dot com. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndersonEliseM (work-focused) and on Instagram @eliseanderson (personal).

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