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Talk Dr Diana Ibanez Tirado, University of Sussex, on ‘Gendered worlds and cosmopolitan lives: Muslim female traders in Yiwu and Dushanbe’

When Nov 13, 2020
from 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM
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Cambridge Central Asia Forum in collaboration with the Centre of Development Studies and GCRF COMPASS invites you to a talk by

Dr Diana Ibanez Tirado, University of Sussex


‘Gendered worlds and cosmopolitan lives: Muslim female traders in Yiwu and Dushanbe’


Date: 13 November 2020

Time: 11-1pm

Venue: Webinar (Zoom link on request from

Abstract: Abstract: Based on anthropological work conducted with female traders from Central Asia in Yiwu, China, this talk investigates how gender dynamics of international trade, Muslim subjectivities, and dispositions towards cosmopolitanism coalesce. Existing scholarship on historical and contemporary international trading networks and cosmopolitanism has focused mainly on the activities of men, but the role played by female traders has been under- examined until recently. Building upon recent works that recognise how women’s participation in business activities and marketplaces contribute to the shaping of Muslim cosmopolitanism (e.g. Aljunied 2017), I will provide a detailed consideration of the trajectories of Gulnora and Parveena. These Muslim women are Tajik traders who live and work between China and Tajikistan. In contrast to the Central Asian female traders in the 1990s who have been theorised as having undertaken ‘shuttle-trade’ (chelnoki) as a form of ‘survival’, I will scrutinise how Gulnora and Parveena cite being a trader and working in China as the most desirable way of making a living. Whilst trying to prosper as international traders, they also pursue self-directed forms of cosmopolitan life that, despite its contradictions, they embrace as rewarding.