Speaker: Rian Thum, University of Manchester
Respondent: Ali Gibran Siddiqui, Princeton University
Rian Thum is a specialist in the history and anthropology of Muslims in China at the University of Manchester, where he is a Senior Lecturer. His book, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History, argues for the central role of sacred sites and local Islamic texts in the maintenance of Uyghur identity. Thum is Associate Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies and a former fellow of the National Humanities Center and the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition to his academic publications, Thum’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and The Nation. Thum’s current book project, Islamic China, is a re-examination of Chinese Islams that takes full account of the numerous Persian and Arabic sources that Chinese-speaking Muslims have used and written.