Khatchig Mouradian to Speak at NAASR on Armenian Communities in China


BELMONT, Mass. — Dr. Khatchig Mouradian will present a lecture titled “‘Don’t Fall Off the Earth’: The Armenian Communities of China from the 1880s to the 1950s,” on Thursday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave.

Hundreds of Armenians journeyed eastward to China in the late 19th century, 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. After the Chinese Communist Revolution, Armenians fled the country mainly in two directions: Soviet Armenia and the Americas.

In 2014, Mouradian received the Calouste Gulbenkian Armenian Studies research fellowship to study the Armenian community in China. After conducting archival research and interviews in China, Armenia, and the US, Mouradian submitted a research report, and is currently working on an edited book on the subject. In this illustrated lecture, Mouradian presents the rich, yet understudied, history of the Armenian communities in China.

Mouradian is a visiting assistant professor at Rutgers University and the coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the university’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (CGHR). Mouradian is also adjunct professor at the Philosophy and Urban Studies departments at Worcester State University. He holds a PhD in history from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University.