Science and Education
Khatchig Mouradian, Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor, Columbia University
Hundreds of Armenians journeyed eastward to China in the late 19th century in search of opportunity, 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. In this illustrated lecture, Mouradian presents the rich, yet understudied, history of the Armenian communities in China based on interviews and archival research conducted in China, Armenia, Lebanon, Europe, and the U.S.