NEW YORK—Khatchig Mouradian will deliver an illustrated lecture titled “’Don’t Fall off the World’: Armenian Communities in China from the 1880’s to the 1950’s” at Columbia University on March 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the Armenian Center and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, the lecture will be held at Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive (enter via Wein courtyard on E. 116th St.).
Hundreds of Armenians journeyed eastward to China in the late 19th century in search of opportunity, anchoring themselves in major cities, as well as in Harbin, a town that rose to prominence with the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway. A few thousand others arrived in the region escaping the Armenian Genocide and turmoil in the Caucasus in the years that followed. Many of these Armenians coupled their personal success with a dedication to community life, helping build small but vibrant communities (even a church and community centers) in Harbin, Shanghai, Tientsin, and other cities, despite conflicts, war, and foreign occupation that beset the history of China in the first half of the 20th century. In this illustrated lecture, Mouradian presents the rich, yet understudied, history of the Armenian communities in China based on interviews and archival research conducted in China, Armenia, Lebanon, Europe, and the U.S.
“From Madras to Montevideo, the study of our diaspora continues to inform our understanding of Armenian identity. Dr. Mouradian’s fascinating research into how that diaspora was created in East Asia sharpens not only our sense of social history, but sheds light on the meaning of multiculturalism,” said Mark Momjian, chair of the Armenian Center of Columbia University.
Dr. Khatchig Mouradian is the Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor at Columbia University. In 2014, he received the Calouste Gulbenkian Armenian Studies research fellowship to study the Armenian community in China. Mouradian has taught courses on imperialism, mass violence, human rights, concentration camps, urban space and conflict in the Middle East, and collective memory at Rutgers University, Worcester State University, and California State University – Fresno.
A reception will follow.