UCLA International Institute
Asia Institute

Advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary research on Asia worldwide


Eurasian Empires & Central Asian Peoples: The Backlands in World History

Eurasian Empires & Central Asian Peoples: The Backlands in World History

2013-2014 Seminar Series, co-sponsored by the UCLA Program on Central Asia and the Center for Near Eastern Studies

Too often the locus of world history is conceived as the oceanic littoral, the maritime borderland where “Asia met Europe.” By instead looking inland to the terrestrial frontiers of Eurasia’s empires, this public seminar series examines the mutual impact that the peoples and polities of Central Asia and the great empires of Eurasia had on each other. Whether in terms of knowledge production, economic exchange, literary and artistic practice, identity formation, religious customs or political culture, imperial interactions with Central Asian peoples created symbiotic (and at times parasitic) motors of historical development that radiated from the landlocked core of Eurasia.

Through presentations by specialists on early modern and modern Chinese, Middle Eastern, Russian and Indian empires, the seminar series repositions peoples, environments and practices from the interior of the Eurasian landmass as active participants in empire. In turn, the seminar series aims to shift conceptions of Central Asia from the backlands of empire into key spaces for transaction and transformation in world history.

Co-organized by Nile Green, Director of the Program on Central Asia, and Gabi Piterberg, Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Series Schedule:

October 15, 2013
Looking Inland: From the Coast to the Steppe in Eurasian History
Inaugural Forum
Click to Watch Youtube Video

October 24, 2013
The World in the Year 1000: The View from Beijing
Valerie Hansen, Yale University

November 6, 2013
The Ottoman Garden of Eight Paradises: Idris Bitlisi's Persian History
Ali Anooshahr, UC Davis

January 28, 2014
Xinjiang in Central Asian and World History
James Millward, Georgetown University
Click for Podcast

February 11, 2014
Ottoman-Safavid Frontiers, Real and Imagined
Kaya Sahin, Indiana University

February 24, 2014
Chinese Islam, Islam in China: Four Centuries of a Eurasian Religious and Intellectual Dilemma
Jonathan Lipman, Mt. Holyoke College

March 3, 2014
Discovering Empire in China
Mark Elliott, Harvard University

April 3, 2014
Alexandre Papas, CNRS, Paris
 

April 17, 2014
The Empire of the Steppe:  Russia's Colonial Experience on the Eurasian Frontiers
Michael Khodarkovsky, Loyola University, Chicago

May 06, 2014
Central Asia Today: Empire and Reimaging the Past
Martha Brill Olcott, Colgate University

May 20, 2014
Blessed Images, Troubling Images: Modernity and the Visual Culture of the Muslims of Late Imperial Russia
Azade-Ayse Rorlich, USC