In this talk, Professor Magnus Marsden explores the forms of cosmopolitanism that form an important element of the identities and activities of long-distance Muslim merchants involved in the global trade in Chinese commodities. Focusing on two central nodes for this type of trade: Odessa on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast and Yiwu in China’s Zhejiang Province, Professor Marsden examines the commercial and social ties that exist between Muslim traders from Afghanistan and those who identify with the country’s dispersed Hindu ethno-religious minority. He posits that the ability to manage heterogeneous social and religious relationships is of critical significance to the activities and identities of these commodity traders.
Magnus Marsden is Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of Sussex Asia Centre at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex. His publications include Living Islam (Cambridge, 2006), Fragments of the Afghan Frontier (Oxford, 2011) and Trading Worlds (Oxford, 2016).
Introduction and moderation of the Q&A by Post-Doctoral Fellow Ka Kin Cheuk, a social and cultural anthropologist.
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