Hammond to Discuss History, Politics and the Opening of Taipei Grand Mosque, Tonight

Kelly Hammond, assistant professor of history and Asian studies at the University of Arkansas.
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Kelly Hammond, assistant professor of history and Asian studies at the University of Arkansas.

Kelly Hammond, assistant professor of history and Asian studies at the University of Arkansas, will give a lecture titled "Cold War Mosque: Asian geopolitics, the politicization of religious spaces, and the Taipei Mosque." The lecture will take place virtually via Zoom on Thursday, September 10 at 5:30 p.m. (CST). This lecture is free and open to the public.

Join the Zoom Meeting

  • Meeting ID: 860 7739 2859
  • Passcode: MidEast#1

As a follow-up to her forthcoming book China's Muslims and Japan's Empire: Centering Islam in World War II (available November 2020 from the University of North Carolina Press in their "Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks" series), Hammond will present new research for a second book project tentatively called Islam and Politics in the East Asian Cold War.

Her talk will center on the construction and opening of the Taipei Grand Mosque in 1958. Soon after the Chinese Nationalists retreated to Taiwan after their defeat by the Chinese Communists, they enlisted the services of Bai Chongxi, a long-time Sino-Muslim ally, to lead the Chinese Islamic Association and to organize construction of a mosque on the island. This was a purposeful political gesture, intended to help the Chinese Nationalists re-establish connections with Muslim allies they had been recruiting since the 1920s and 1930s.

Using the construction of the Taipei Grand Mosque as a starting point, Hammond focuses on the outreach efforts of the Chinese Nationalists to new, post-colonial Muslim nation-states during the 1950s. By bringing attention to a segment of the Chinese Muslim community who were staunchly anti-communist and deeply opposed to the Communist treatment of Muslims on the mainland, we begin to see alternative visions for a Chinese Muslim future, as articulated by Muslims exiled from their homes and living in Taiwan. This helps to reinforce the important point that Muslims in China were not only diverse in their religious beliefs, but in their political views as well.

Hammond specializes in modern Chinese and Japanese history, and her work focuses on Islam and politics in 20th-century East Asia. Her work has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS China Studies postdoctoral fellowship, the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, the American Philosophical Association, and the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. Hammond serves on the editorial board of Twentieth-Century China. She is also a fellow in cohort VI of the Public Intellectual Program sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Learn more about the event on its Facebook page.

This lecture is presented by the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, the Department of History, and the Asian StudiesInternational and Global Studies and Religious Studies Programs at the University of Arkansas.

About the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies: The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, dedicated to the study of the modern Middle East and the geo-cultural area in which Islamic civilization prospered and continues to shape world history. More information about the King Fahd Center can be found at mest.uark.edu. For ongoing news, follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter.


Nani Verzon, project/program specialist
Middle East Studies Program
479-575-2175, hverzon@uark.edu


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