"Reimagining the Medieval Maritime Silk Route through a Tang Period Shipwreck, Quanzhou Muslim Tombstones, and a Contemporary Chinese Art Exhibit in Qatar”
By Professor Jacqueline M. Armijo, Qatar University (emerita)
Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
New place: East Asia Library Room 224 (Lathrop Library, 518 Memorial Way, Stanford University, building next to CEAS, near Littlefield Center)
In 2012, two very different museums exhibits, one in Singapore and one in Qatar, dramatically brought to light different dimensions of the historic maritime silk route connecting China and the Persian Gulf. The exhibit in Singapore displayed an extraordinary collection of 9th century ceramic objects that had been custom-made for Persian Gulf markets in kilns spread throughout China. The objects were recovered from a shipwreck off the coast of Indonesia that was discovered in 1998 and offered heretofore unknown evidence of the extent of the early China-Persian Gulf trade. The exhibit in Qatar on the other hand, was the first one by a Chinese artist in the Middle East. It included a range of monumental works of art created by Cai Guo-qiang that were inspired by the history of Arab and Persian traders who had settled in his hometown, Quanzhou, beginning in the Song period.
This talk will discuss both the extent and range of the early trade along China’s maritime silk routes, as well Cai Guo-qiang’s ability to capture and shed light on the lives of the myriad of Muslim traders who settled in China over the centuries, and their role in the history of Islam in China.
Dr. Armijo was Associate Professor at Qatar University, Department of International Affairs, 2010 – 2016.
She has also taught at Zayed University, Stanford University’s Department of Religious Studies, Clark Atlanta University, Cornell University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,
Her Ph.D. in Inner Asian and Altaic Studies is from Harvard University, with a dissertation on “Sayyid ‘Ajall Shams al-Din: A Muslim from Central Asia, Serving the Mongols in China, Bringing ‘Civilization’ to Yunnan.”
Her publications include:
· “DragonMart: The Mega-Souk of Today’s Silk Road,” in Middle East Report special issue on “China in the Middle East,” 270 (May 2014).
· “China and the Gulf: The Social and Cultural Implications of their Rapidly Developing Economic Ties,” chapter in Asia-Gulf Economic Relations in the 21st Century: The Local to Global Transformation, edited by Tim Niblock and Monica Malik. (Berlin & London: Gerlach Press, 2013).
· “Turning East: The Social and Cultural Implications of the Gulf’s Increasingly Strong Economic and Strategic Relations with China,” with Lina M. Kassem. The Singapore Middle East Papers. Volume 1 (Spring 2012), published by the Middle East Institute and the National University of Singapore.
This lecture is sponsored by the Silk Road Foundation, Center for East Asian Studies, and the Stanford Archaeology Center.
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