Islamic Soundscapes of China Programme and Abstracts

Islamic Soundscapes of China Conference

Keynote speaker: Professor Jonathan Lipman

Date: 10 January 2014 Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 10 January 2014 Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116


Sounding Islam In China Conference at SOAS, London 10/01/2014


In recent years, with the rising global connectedness of China’s Muslims, the topic of Islam in China has become of greater interest to academics, policy makers, and Muslim communities in the West. Rapid changes are now occurring in religious beliefs and practices across China against a backdrop of great diversity in local histories of transmission, socio-economic factors, language and life-ways. There is a clear need for research into Islamic practices in contemporary China with a focus on the local production of meaning.

The aim of this conference is to draw together an interdisciplinary group of international scholars interested in the ethnographically grounded, theoretically informed study of local Islamic practices within Muslim communities across China. The conference will privilege sound as the key medium of investigation with the goal of providing new ways of understanding the nature of religious practice, meaning and power.

Further information




10 January 2014
9.00am Registration
9.30 – 11.00amBut is it Music? Chair: Martin Stokes
Arienne Dwyer (Department of Linguistics, University of Kansas); May the Pious Sing?
Ma Qiang (Institute for Western Frontier Region of China, Shaanxi Normal University); Calling Adhan or Knocking Bangzi: Changing interpretation of sonic expression of Jahariyyah groups in contemporary China
Mukaddas Mijit (University of Paris Nanterre); From spiritual soundscape to musical soundscape: Nurjan Hapiz, a brother who sings his beliefs
11.00 – 11.30am Coffee
11.30 – 1.00pmSound and MemoryChair: Jonathan Lipman
Alexandre Papas (CNRS, Paris); Creating a Sufi soundscape: Recitation (dhikr) and spiritual audition (samā‘) according to Ahmad Kāsānī Dahbidī (d. 1542)
Mutellip Iqbal (Sociology Department, Istanbul University); Continuity of Musical Tradition: Performance of Islamic Stories among Uyghur
Maria Jaschok, (Oxford University, Centre of Gender Studies); Women’s Mosque Education, Female Ignorance and Chants to Save Souls: Chinese Hui Muslim Women Remembering Jingge, Remembering their History
1.00 – 2.00pm Lunch
2.00 – 4.00pmSounding Place Chair: Joanne Smith-Finley
Xiao Mei & Wei Yuqun (Shanghai Conservatory: Ritual Music Research Centre): The soundscapes between Hui and Han: a report from Linxia, Gansu province
Rahile Dawut (Xinjiang University): The Religious Soundscape of the Imam Asim Mazar festival in Khotan, China
Min Wenjie (Northwest University for Nationalities, Lanzhou): An Investigation on Migrant Muslims & Temporary Prayer Sites in Contemporary Tibet of China
Aynur Kadir (SFU, Canada), Soundscapes of the Mazar shrines among the Tajiks of Xinjiang.
4.00 – 4.30pm Coffee
4.30 – 6.00pmDigital mediation and transnational flowsChair: Ruard Absaroka
Rachel Harris (Department of Music, SOAS); Internet rumours and the changing Uyghur religious soundscape: the case of the Snake-Monkey Woman
Mu Qian (Independent scholar, Beijing); Islam and Chinese Popular Music
Lisa Ross, (Independent artist, New York); Presenting a Uyghur Shrine Festival in New York
6.00 – 8.00pm Dinner
8.00 – 10.00pm  Special viewing: Living Shrines
With Lisa Ross (Independent artist, New York)Drinks and snacks provided.Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, 22 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8DE

Book of Abstracts




Registration is required of all participants.

  • £10 standard
  • £5 student*

*Students must show a valid student ID card on the day.

Cancellation and refund policy

Cancellations must be reported in writing to the Conference Manager.  Cancellations must be received by 2 January 2014 in which case registration fees will be refunded, less a £5 processing fee.  No refund will be given to cancellations received after 2 January, or to those people registered at the student rate.


Online Registration


Public Lecture by Jonathan Lipman

Head-Wagging and Obscene Music:  Conflicts over Sound on the Qing-Muslim Frontiers

7pm on Thursday, 9 January 2014
Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS


Sounding Islam in China, An AHRC Research Network

The project promotes collaboration between Western and Chinese researchers through joint field research, and an international conference. It also seeks to disseminate current theoretical approaches to postgraduate students in China through a series of training workshops in the Anthropology of Sound. It aims to reach out to the wider public, especially to Muslim communities in the West, amongst whom there is growing interest in Islam in China, and to preserve an audio-visual record of the diverse religious practices and oral histories of Muslims in China, mediating this material for English-speaking audiences.

Further details


Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4892/3

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