Presentation "Circulations and Convergences: Mecca in the Conceptions and Mobilities of Chinese Muslim Diasporas in Saudi Arabia" by Dr. Janice Hyeju Jeong
On May 17, 2021, Dr. Janice Hyeju Jeong delivered a digital lecture on "Circulations and Convergences: Mecca in the Conceptions and Mobilities of Chinese Muslim Diasporas in Saudi Arabia" at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS), the University of Hong Kong. An article relating to the lecture and an interview with Janice Jeong appeared in "The Diplomat" in July 2021. Read More
Mecca is often viewed through the angles of the pilgrimage, empires, Saudi foreign policy, and a source of religious movements elsewhere. While building on such transnational angles, this talk proposes to view Mecca as a convergence point and an intermediary site that has hosted and re-directed mobilities of diaspora populations from across Asia. Specifically, I will focus on an eclectic community of first to third-generation Chinese Muslim settlers in the Hejaz (western coasts of the Arabian Peninsula) who themselves or whose predecessors arrived in the region at different points in time between the 1930s and 2010s — as pilgrims, exiles, and students. The talk shows that the variegated routes between Mecca and China, coupled with imaginaries on the city as a distant home place of origin, served as a rare constant orienting force that sustained two-directional mobilities of Chinese Muslim diasporas through the wars and revolutions of the modern times.