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.
2014-15 Series Schedule:
October 9, 2014
The Qing Empire and Inland Eurasia: The Search for Perspective
Matthew Mosca, College of William and Mary
January 15, 2015
Muslim Notables and the Qing Empire in Chinese Central Asia, 1759-1864
Kwangmin Kim, University of Colorado, Boulder
February 17, 2015
Islamic Practices and Institutions among Inner Asian Nomads: A Need for Reevaluation
Allen Frank, Independent Scholar
April 2, 2015
Rethinking History in Chinese Central Asia
Rian Thum, Loyola University
May 12, 2015
Eurasian Imperial Interactions: The 'Tatar' Ulama, Russia's Civilizing Mission and the Overlapping of Religious-Political Spaces in Late Tsarist Russia
Stephane Dudoignon, EHESS, Paris
2013-2014 Eurasian Empires Series Archive
The UCLA Program on Central Asia seminar series, Eurasian Empires & Central Asian Peoples: The Backlands in World History, is co-sponsored bythe Center for Near Eastern Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Center for European and Russian Studies.