Building with Tel-Hai logo

faculty member

  • Dr. Oded Abt
  • Lecturer
  • East Asian Studies
  • Multidisciplinary Studies - B.A.
  • [email protected]
  • Historical anthropology; soical religious and ethnic history of Late Imperial and Modern China; Cross strait relations; ethnic and religious minorities in China and Israel. 

  • Oded Abt is a researcher and lecturer in Chinese social and religious history at Tel Hai College and Tel Aviv University. In 2012, he completed his PhD in the School of Historical Studies in Tel Aviv University. During that period he conducted extensive research as a visiting fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations at Harvard University and the Center for Chinese Studies at the National Library of Taiwan. Between 2013 and 2016 he carried out fieldwork and research in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Manila as a post-doctoral fellow. After returning from Hong Kong in 2016, he joined the faculty of the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel Hai College. Among his recent publications is Islam and Chinese Society: Genealogies, Lineage and Local Communities (2020) co-edited with Ma Jianxiong and Yao Jide.

  • His research focuses on historical anthropology, and ethnic and religious heritage of descendants of Muslims in China and overseas. Between 2013 and 2016 he carried out fieldwork and research in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Manila as a post-doctoral fellow and a research fellow of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (2013-2015), the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University (2014-2016), the Area of Excellence Scheme: The Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society, Centre for Historical Anthropology in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2016), and the Gerda Henkel Foundation Research Scholarship (2016). His current project is based on anthropological and historical research into the ethnic and religious heritage of descendants of Muslims in Southeast China, Taiwan and the Philippines. 

  • 2016 – present 

    Department of East Asian Studies and Department of Multidisciplinary Studies Tel-Hai Academic College. 

    Faculty member (since 2017), lecturer  

    East Asian Studies:

    Religion in China

    Religious policies in China and Taiwan

    China in the Asian Arena

    Ethnicity and nationalism in Asia

    Society and Culture in late Imperial China

    Tourism and Pilgrimage from East Asia to Israel

    Multidisciplinary studies:

    Intercultural Encounters: World Explorers and the Shaping of Religion, Culture and Consciousness in Asia and Europe

    How do Anthropologists Study the Past?  - Lessons in Historical Anthropology

    Ethnographies of National and Ethnic Minorities in Israel and East Asia  

     

  • 2021-2022: “Excellent Teacher,” Department of East Asian Studies, Tel-Hai College.

    September – October 2016

    Changing Narratives of Muslim Descent across the South China Sea

    Gerda Henkel Foundation Research Scholarship

    Research trip to Manila and Fujian

     

    2016

    Historical Anthropology of communities of Descendants of Muslims in China

    CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong

    Post-doctoral research fellow in the Area of Excellence Scheme: The Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society

     

    2014 – 2016

    Descendants of Muslims in Southeast China

    The Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace

    Post-doctoral research fellow

     

    2013 – 2015

    Descendants of Muslims in Southeast China and Taiwan

    Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange     

    Post-doctoral research fellow

     

    August - October 2013

    Muslim lineages in Guangdong Province

    CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong  

    Research associate

     

    2008-2009

    Muslim Ancestry and Chinese Identity 

    Rothschild Fellowship      

    Grant for carrying out research at Harvard, China and Taiwan  

     

    January 2008 – April 2008

    Muslim Ancestry and Chinese Identity

    The Center for Chinese Studies (ccs), the National Taiwan Library, Taipei

     

    2007-2008

    Muslim Ancestry and Chinese Identity

    The Dan David Prize Scholarship

     

  • Edited Book

    1. Ma Jianxiong, Oded Abt, Yao Jide (Eds.). Islam and Chinese Society: Genealogies, Lineage and Local Communities. London: Routledge.

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

    • 2014. "Muslim Ancestor, Chinese Hero or Tutelary God: Changing Memories of Muslim Descendants in China, Taiwan and the Philippines." Asian Journal of Social Science 42(6):747-776.
    • 2014. "Nation, Ethnicity and Lineage: Historical Memories of Zheng He in Fujian." Ming Qing Yanjiu 18(1):159-189.
    • 2015. "Chinese Rituals for Muslim Ancestors." Review of Religion and Chinese Society 2(2):216-240.
    • Accepted 2022. "Unlocking the Gates of Memory: The Role of Family Narratives in Muslim-Chinese Identity Formation." Monumenta Serica Journal of Oriental Studies.

    Peer-Reviewed Articles in Edited Volumes

    • 2014. "Muslim Memories of Yuan-Ming Transition in Southeast China". In Francesca Fiaschetti, Julia Schneider (Eds.), Political Strategies of Identity Building in non-Han empires in China [Asiatische Forschungen 157] (pp. 147-167). Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
    • 2020. "Genealogy Compilation and Identity Formation: Muslims' Descendants in Guangdong and Fujian". In Ma Jianxiong, Oded Abt and Jide Yao (Eds.), Islam and Chinese Society: Genealogies, Lineage and Local Communities. London: Routledge.

    Peer-Reviewed Articles in Conference Proceedings 

    • 2014. Locking and Unlocking the City Gates; Muslim Memories of Song - Yuan - Ming Transition in Southeast China. Harvard Conference on Middle Period China, 800-1400. (Pre-circulated and peer-reviewed).
    • 2017. "A Cycle of the South China Sea." Second Conference on Middle Period Chinese Humanities (Pre-circulated and peer reviewed).

     

    Organizer of International Academic Events

    • Organizer of Tel Hai and Truman Institute international workshop on "Cross Border Ethno-histories in Asia." Tel Hai College, March 2017.
    • Organizer of Colloquium on Local Histories in China and the Middle East. Tel Hai College, 30-31 May 2018.
    • Organizer of special Colloquium on Israel, Taiwan and China relations. Tel Hai College, December 2019.
  • INVITED LECTURES

    November 2022. Ben- Gurion University – History Department Seminar.

    Invited lecture: "The Historical Legacy of Muslims' Descendants in Southeast China."

    1 June 2022. Tel-Hai Academic College – Multidisciplinary Studies Department Seminar.

    Invited Lecture: "Borders and Identities: Religion and Ethnicity on Both Sides of the Taiwan Strait." (in Hebrew)

    17-20 November 2019. Jerusalem - 11th GERMAN-ISRAELI FRONTIERS OF HUMANITIES SYMPOSIUM “Positioning Self and Society”. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities - Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

    Invited lecture: "Nation, Kinship and the Reordering of Ethnic Identities in China".

    10 May 2016. AoE Seminar, CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Invited lecture: "Muslim Ancestor, Chinese Hero or Tutelary God; Changing Memories of Muslim Descent across the South China Sea."

    28 December 2015. Haifa University – Department of Asian Studies Seminar.

    Invited lecture: "Family, Ethnicity and Nation: Changing Boundaries of Chinese Identities in China, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines." (in Hebrew)

    3-4 December 2015. Centre for the Study of Islamic Culture, the Chinese University of Hong Kong – Chinese Muslim (Hui) in Diaspora: Culture, Gender, Identity, and Religious Traditions.

    Invited lecture: "Superscribing Symbols of Identity: Changing Narratives of Muslim Descent across the South China Sea."

    23-24 October 2015. European University Institute, Florence – 3rd EURASIATRAJECO Conference «Empires, Migrations and Trade—10th-20th Century».

    Invited lecture: "The Great Pu Lineage of Southeast China."

    29-30 July 2015. Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore – The Second Alagil Arabia Asia Annual Conference - Silk Roads, Muslim Passages: The Islam Question in China’s Expansion.

    Invited lecture: "Muslim Descent and Kinship Networks across the South China Sea."

    9 June 2015. The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research), Paris – seminar on Asia's networks: 16th-20th century

    Invited lecture: "Muslim Memories of Song-Yuan-Ming Transition in Southeast China"

    10-12 January 2015 - Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Centre for Historical Anthropology – Conference on the Hui in Yunnan and Guizhou

    Invited lecture: "Nation, Ethnicity and Lineage; Historical Memories of Zheng He in Fujian"

    26 February 2014. The Hebrew University – East Asian Studies Department Seminar.

    Invited lecture: "Memories of Forced Assimilation: Changing Narratives of Muslims' Descendants in South East China"

    18 September 2013. CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Invited lecture: "Muslim Narratives of Forced Assimilation."

    9 January 2013. The Chinese University of Hong Kong – Sun Yat-sen University Centre for Historical Anthropology – Conference on The Hui Genealogy in the Ming and the Qing.

    Invited lecture: "Genealogy Compilation and Identity Formation; Muslims' Descendants in South East China"

     

    CONFERENCE PAPERS

    15 June 2022. Tel Hai Academic College – Food in Asia: A Journey through Space and Time.

    Paper presented: "Pure and True: Kosher (Halal) and Muslim Chinese Identity." (in Hebrew)

    10-11 January 2020. Miriam College, the Philippines - International Conference on The State of Scholarship on the Chinese in the Philippines: Problems, Perspectives, and Possibilities.

    Paper presented: "Narratives of Kinship and Ethnicity across the South China Sea: The Manila Muslim Five-Surname Association".

    30 June - 3 July 2019. Bangkok - AAS-in-ASIA 2019 – Asia on the Rise?” (Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies).

    Paper presented: "Memories of Muslim Descent across the South China Sea"

    28-29 November 2018. Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem - A Taiwanese Soft Power? Taiwanese Contemporary Politics, Society and Culture.

    Paper presented: "Chinese Memories of Muslim Descent in Taiwan and the Philippines".

    23-24 May 2018. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - The 14th Conference of Asian Studies in Israel (ASI 2018).

    Paper presented: "Muslim Ancestor, Chinese Hero or Tutelary God".

    23-24 March 2018. Centre for the Study of Islamic Culture, the Chinese University of Hong Kong – Islam in the China Seas.

    Paper presented: "Muslim Memories and Chinese Identities across the South China Sea"

    11-12 March 2018. Bar Ilan University - The 2nd yearly conference of the Israeli Association for the Study of Religions.

    Paper presented: "Genealogical Compilation and Ethnic Identification: Family Histories of Descendants of Muslims in South China". (in Hebrew)

    14-17 September 2017. Leiden University - Second Conference on Middle Period Chinese Humanities.

    Paper presented: "A Cycle of the South China Sea; Historical Memories of Muslim Descent."

    May 2017. Tel Aviv University - Asian Spaces: Border-Crossing Dialogues.

    Paper presented: "Ancestral Spaces and Communities of Muslim Descent in

    China, Taiwan and the Philippines."

    27-29 March 2017. SOAS, University of London. Ethnographies of Islam in China.

    Paper presented: "Traversing Time, Crossing Seas: Beyond the minzu Paradigm - Descendants of Muslims in Fujian, Taiwan and the Philippines."

    6-7 March 2017. Tel Hai Academic College.

    Organizer: International Workshop on Cross Border Ethno-histories in Asia.

    Paper presented: "Cultural and Political Boundaries of Chineseness in China Taiwan and the Philippines"

     24-26 June 2016. Doshisha University, Kyoto – Association for Asian Studies in Asia.

    Paper presented: "Ancestral Cult and Southeast China's Muslim Spirits"

    22-24 June 2015. Academia Sinica, Taipei (Taiwan) – Association for Asian Studies in Asia.

    Chair: panel on The Reception and Localization of Foreign Religions in Yuan and Ming China.

    Paper presented: "Chinese Rituals for Muslim Ancestors"

    29 March 2015. Chicago – Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies.

    Paper presented: "Glory, Shame, and Muslim Descent: Genealogical Narratives of Identity in Southeast China"

    5-7 June 2014. Harvard University – The International Interdisciplinary Conference on Middle Period China, 800-1400.

    Paper presented: "Locking and Unlocking the City Gates: Muslim Memories of Song - Yuan - Ming Transition in Southeast China"

    25 May 2014. Haifa University – The 12th Biennial Conference of Asian Studies in Israel.

    Panel Organizer: Changing Interpretations of Asian Traditions; Myth, Ritual and Identity in India, Vietnam, China & Japan

    Paper presented: "Genealogical Compilation and Ethnic Identification: Family Histories of Descendants of Muslims in South China." (in Hebrew)

    28 March 2014. Philadelphia – Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies.

    Paper presented: "Re-imagining Sinicization: Muslim Narratives of Becoming Chinese in Contemporary East Asia."

    21 April 2013. The Ezri Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies, University of Haifa. The Annual Conference of the Persian Gulf Studies in Israel: The Persian Gulf and the Far East.

    Paper presented: "The Historical Legacy of Muslims' Descendants in Southeast China."