2018 | Eurasian Connections | Max Moerman

Max Moerman

Columbia University

Biography

D. Max Moerman (Ph. D. Stanford University, 1999) is Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Columbia University and Co-Chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Buddhist Studies. His research interests lie in the visual and material culture of pre-modern Japanese Buddhism. His publications have examined such topics as the representation of pilgrimage landscapes in painting, literature, and ritual; the burial of sutras and Buddhist images at sites in Northern Kyushu and at the Ise shrines; the death of the Buddha in medieval painting and Edo-period print culture; islands of women in the history of Japanese cartography; narrative and iconographic traditions of lepers and hot springs; woodblock printed talismans used in feudal oaths, economic contracts, and legal disputes; and the history of the Japanese Buddhist world map.

「 Japan, Jambudvipa, and the European World: Cartographic and Cosmological Hybridity in Japanese Folding Screens 」

Maps of the world painted on large-format folding screens constituted a radically new and profoundly hybrid form of visual and material culture in seventeen-century Japan. First produced at Jesuit painting academies within Japan –– and based on such European cartographic sources as the world maps of Mercator, Ortelius, Blaeu, and van den Keere –– these screens display a level of appropriation and transformation far beyond any simple notion of cartographic reproduction and reveal the transcultural encounter between Europe and Asia as multidirectional and multivalent. This paper analyzes examples of cartographic folding screens in which a map of the global world introduced by European Jesuits, entitled the World as a Globe (Typus Orbis Terrarum) is paired with a map of the Japanese archipelago situated within the Buddhist geography of a flat earth, entitled Map of Great Japan within the Continent of Jambudvīpa (Nansenbushū dainihon shōtōzu).  I examine such examples of cartographic bilingualism to explore the contestation and negotiation of Asian and European worldviews within the context of visual and material culture. By tracing the articulation of Buddhist and Christian cosmology within Japanese and European cartography, this paper offers an alternative reading of Japanese map screens that challenges positivist and Eurocentric interpretations.

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Magnus Marsden

Magnus Marsden

University of Sussex

Biography

Magnus Marsden is Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Asia Centre at the University of Sussex. He has conducted long term field research in adjacent parts of South and Central Asia with a focus on the role played by religious, political, and commercial networks in the region’s integration into global dynamics. Having focused on the impact of reformist Islamic teachings on the everyday lives of Muslims in northern Pakistan, he then initiated a study of Afghan trading networks, initially focusing on the role these played in cross-border relations between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, and then expanding the scope of his study to Eurasia and West Asia. He is currently the PI of a European Research Council Advanced Grant that is exploring the status of Yiwu – an international trade city in China’s Zhejiang Province – as a node in the global trade of low-cost commodities. His most recent monograph is Trading Worlds: Afghan Merchants across Modern Frontiers (New York: OUP, 2016).

「 Afghan Networks and Circulations in and beyond Eurasia 」

This paper will explore the insights that a consideration of Afghan traders operating in the city of Yiwu in China’s Zhejiang Province offer into understanding the shifting dynamics of trans-Eurasian trade. Simultaneously tracking the movement of commercial personnel, commodities and capital across a vast geographical expanse that stretches between China’s eastern seaboard and the Black Seaport of Odessa, the paper will identify significant junctures in the consolidation of Afghan trading networks across Eurasia over the past fifty years. From the role these merchants played in forging routes between China and Russia in the early 1990s to their ‘discovery’ of the city of Yiwu’s potential significance as a node for their activities in the late 1990s, and their more recent decision to invest profits made in Russia and Ukraine into business and industry in China, Afghan traders have collectively accumulated substantial knowledge of the Eurasian arena. The paper will reflect specifically on what a consideration of such networks stands to offer into understanding long term changes and continuities in the importance of middleman groups to the conduct of overland trade, addressing in particular the question of whether or not Islamicate Eurasia’s status as an arena of circulation and exchange is as vanished a phenomenon as some recent historical work has suggested. The paper builds on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with traders from Afghanistan over the past 15 years. 

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Bill Mak

Bill Mak

Kyoto University

Biography

Bill M. Mak completed his linguistic training at McGill University (B.A. Hons.) specializing in Sanskrit and East Asian languages and received his Ph.D. in Indian literature and Buddhist philology from Peking University. Mak held a number of research and teaching positions at Hamburg University, Hong Kong University and Kyoto Sangyo University, Chulalongkorn University, New York University and Brown University, and is currently Associate Professor at Kyoto University. His research interests include history of science in Asia, Sanskrit manuscripts and Buddhist philology. Some of his major publications include “The last chapter of Sphujidhvaja’s Yavanajātaka critically edited with notes” (SCIAMVS, 2013), “Yusi Jing – A treatise of ‘Western’ astral science in Chinese and its versified version Xitian yusi jing” (SCIAMVS, 2014), and Foreign Astral Sciences in China: From Six Dynasties to Northern Song (Forthcoming, Routledge).

「 Greek Astral Science in China 」

This paper examines the three phases of Greek astral sciences introduced to China by the Nestorians, Perso-Arabs and the Jesuits. Though ultimately springing from the same sources, largely based on the works of Ptolemy and his contemporaries, who have established themselves as authority in the subject in Western Europe and the Byzantine Empire from the middle of the first millennium for over a thousand years, the Greek science practiced and brought by these foreigners carried unique characteristics of their own. As the cosmologies encapsulated in these works as well as the accompanying scientific concepts and techniques were drastically different from those of the indigenous Chinese, each of these “foreign waves” left a different impression in the Chinese world, with different degrees of impact which can be observed both historically even today. Some of the legacies of these ongoing dialogues between the Greek and the Chinese can be seen in the East Asian planetary week, the Zodiac, and a myriad of hybridized forms of genethlical astrology.

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | David Ludden

David Ludden

New York University

Biography

David  Ludden teaches Asian History at NYU-NY, where he is Chair of the History Department and founding director of the New York Center for Global Asia. His specialization is in agrarian history and the transformation of rural environments from ancient to modern times. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978, served on the faculty there from 1981 to 2007. He served as President of the Association for Asian Studies in 2002.  

「 Eurasian Trade and Imperial Nations in Southern Asia 」

Current crises facing Kashmiris and Rohingyas have analogous origins in the military reterritorialization of social spaces which had been formed over many centuries by patterns of mobility and settlement along Eurasian trade routes. Territorial identities in Kashmir and Arakan had combined sedentary and mobile features; mingling trade with farming; combining political and religious cultures in South, Central and Southeast Asia; and connecting East and West along trade routes around the Silk Road and Indian Ocean. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, complex, mixed, local populations — formed by many centuries of trade, migration, settlement, conquest, and mobility — became victims of imperial wars that defined modern nations in South and Southeast Asia. The forced incorporation of Arakan into what became Myanmar and Kashmir into what became India and Pakistan imposed upon Muslims in both these regions two versions of the marginalization and persecution that afflicts many peoples forced into rigidly nationalist territorial boundaries during the violent demise of modern empires and rise of national states.

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Yong Liu

Yong Liu

Xiamen University

Biography

Associate Professor Liu Yong received his doctorate in history in 2006 from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is currently working at the Research School for Southeast Asian Studies, Xiamen University, China. His main interests include the history of Sino-European trade as well as overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia.

「 The Dutch Tea Trade with China in the Early Modern Period 」

This talk examines the Dutch tea trade with China between 1729 and 1822. It explores not only the commercial transactions in Canton and the sales of the “Dutch teas” in Europe, but also the Dutch trade representatives’ business strategy in the Pearl River Delta, the roles of the China Committee of the Dutch East India Company and the High Government in Batavia in the Dutch direct China trade, and the internal and external factors which had great impact on the Dutch tea trade with China.

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      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Heather Ruth Lee

Heather Ruth Lee

NYU Shanghai

Biography

Heather Lee is an assistant professor of history at NYU Shanghai. She is completing a book on the history of Chinese restaurants in New York City anddeveloping a database of historical Chinese restaurants in the United States. Her research has been featured in NPR, Atlantic magazine, and Gastropod, a podcast on food science and history. She has advised and curated exhibitions at the New York Historical Society, the National Museum of American History, and the Museum of Chinese in America.

「 Restaurant Politics: How the Chinese Brokered Alliances with New York's Political Machine, 1878-1887 」

This paper looks at how Tom Lee, the founder of Chinatown’s most powerful organization forged political alliances through ritualistic banquet meals. Starting in 1878, Lee invited important persona in New York’s political machine, Tammany Hall, for formal dinners. He timed these events for moments of Chinese weakness, when physical and legal attacks on Chinese persons and businesses intensified in the city. He also invited reporters to cover the evening in newspaper articles that were syndicated across the United States. Through these carefully orchestrated dinners, Lee explained to the wider world his influence over and beyond Chinatown. He held the first banquet at his private home, though these gatherings outgrew his parlor room in size and political significance. Expanding the meeting space to match his ambitions, Lee transformed several Chinatown addresses into upscale banquet halls in the mid-1880s. These restaurants served as the Chinese’s dancehall and clubhouse. At them, Lee held all significant gatherings, from annual evenings for Tammany Hall to cultural celebrations for Chinese New Year and 1-year birthdays American-born sons. This paper covers the early history of Lee’s political dinners, showing how he preserved the Chinese toehold in urban politics and economy through alliances with the attendees.

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Mikiya Koyagi

Mikiya Koyagi

New York University

Biography

Mikiya Koyagi is an Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He completed his Ph.D. in Middle Eastern history at University of Texas at Austin. His current research examines local, national, and transnational sites of encounter between mobility infrastructure and heterogeneous social forces that planned, built, operated, and used it through the case of the Trans-Iranian Railway project. He also studies intra-Asian connections since the late nineteenth century, focusing particularly on the interactions between Japanese pan-Asianists and the Muslim world. His scholarship has appeared in a number of journals, including The International Journal of Middle East Studies, The Journal of World History, and The International Journal of the History of Sport.

「 Sikh Drivers in the Indo-Iranian Borderlands 」

The British construction of the Quetta-Dozdab (present-day Zahedan in the Province of Sistan and Baluchistan) railroad during World War I transformed the obscure village of Dozdab in interior Baluchistan into a nodal point of the Indo-Iranian borderlands. In the post-WWI period, various groups, including Parsee philanthropists, Shi’i pilgrims, and Sikh merchants, started to travel through Dozdab to visit Yazd, Mashhad, and other Iranian urban centers. In particular, a large number of Sikh truck drivers and merchants started to settle in Iran and played a pivotal role in the making of a new infrastructural network of railways and highways. This paper examines how this network enabled Sikh anti-colonial activities that took advantage of the weak central authority in the borderlands to connect with the global network of Indian revolutionaries. 

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      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Yoichi Isahaya

Yoichi Isahaya

Rikkyo University

Biography

Yoichi Isahaya (PhD at the University of Tokyo in 2015) is currently a post-doctoral fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at Rikkyô University, after working as a post-doctoral fellow of the ERC project “Mobility, Empire and Cross Cultural Contacts in Mongol Eurasia” at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interest is in the exchange of knowledge in pre-modern Eurasia. His publications include “Entangled Representation of Heaven: A Chinese Divination Text from a Tenth-Century Dunhuang Fragment (P. 4071) (with Jyuh Fuh Lin, Historia Scientiarum 26/3 (2017): 153–171) and “The Tārīkh-i Qitā in the Zīj-i Īlkhānī: the Chinese Calendar in Persian” (SCIAMVS 14 (2013): 149–258). He is also the second author of the Thābit ibn Qurra’s Restoration of Euclid’s Data (Kitāb Uqlīdis fī al-Muʿṭayāt): Text, Translation, Commentary (with Nathan Sidoli, New York: Springer, 2018).

「 The “Second” Impact on Chinese Astral Tradition: Islamicate Astral Knowledge in the Yuan-Ming Period. 」

In this paper, I aim to single out the uniqueness of the impact of Islamicate astral knowledge on the Chinese astral tradition in the Yuan and early Ming periods in comparison with the “first” impact from Buddhist corpus and the “third” impact from Jesuit missionaries. To calibrate each impact, I introduce the concept of the “translation-naturalization paradigm.” The paradigm is defined as a typical pattern of the long-standing integration process of “foreign” sciences into a certain culture, which consists of the initial translation and the following naturalization—albeit, in general, the two processes overlap to some extent. This paradigm can be well applied to the “first” and “third” impacts on the Chinese astral tradition, while the “second” impact from the Islamicate astral sciences did not develop the paradigm in the sense that, first of all, no foreign text was translated into Chinese in this period as far as extant sources are concerned. In considering the characteristics of the “second” impact, I attach a certain importance to the attitude of the Mongol rulers. The Mongols were ultimately responsible for the remarkable expansion of Islamicate astral knowledge on the Chinse astral tradition; on the other hand, their attitude towards these sciences might have also functioned as an obstacle for the integration of Eurasian scientific knowledge.

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      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Chao Huang

Chao Huang

Sun Yat-Sen University

Biography

Dr. Chao Huang is postdoctoral researcher at History of Department, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, P.R. China. His main fields of interest are world history, history of technology, history of metallurgy and archaeometallurgy. Recent publication: The Research on Chinese Paktong and Its Transmission to Europe during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2016.

「 The Ultimate Seal of Approval: The Use of Lead and Tin in the Chinese Tea Trade during the 18th and 19th Centuries 」

The 18th and 19th centuries saw a massive expansion from various European nations and North America into China which was led, in the main, by a quest for tea; a quest that was to make tea an international commodity. The Chinese tea trade has been a favourite area of focus for study and research over the past few decades, from different research disciplines and varying perspectives. Collectively, the more recent studies have helped expand our understanding of and broaden our outlook on what was undoubtedly a highly complex trade. Equally, from the stance of different research disciplines, the significance of lead and tin for lining and sealing of tea containers to preserve the integrity of tea has not generally received sufficient attention. Processed tea leaves are very fragile and delicate that might lessen the qualities if not properly preserved. They are extremely vulnerable to outside fragrances and odours, and easily absorb moisture that might cause the escape of the aromas and the damage of the flavour. The delicate nature of tea decides necessary and proper ways of packing and sealing for conveying and transporting in the tea trade. The use of lead and tin for the tea containers is the ideal way to protect tea against aeration and contamination when moving inland or shipping on board. By investigating specific and practical examples of lead-lined wooden chests and tin/pewter canisters of the period, a more comprehensive understanding may be gained from the issues related to this use of these metals by the China tea trade. New light will be shed on the topic of the Chinese tea trade from textual materials, visual resources, and experimental research findings.

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

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      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Jun Gu

Jun Gu

Beijing Foreign Studies University

Biography

GU Jun received his Ph. D. from Peking University and is now professor of comparative literature and deputy director of International Institute of Chinese Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University. He is the author of Samuel Wells Williams and Early American Sinology (2009), Lu Xun as a Translator of Foreign Literature (2009), The First Group of American Students in Beijing (2015), Essays on American Sinology (2016) and Yearly Dissemination of Chinese Cultural Classics in the 20th-century America (2017), and about 60 journal papers. He has finished 4 national- and ministerial-level academic projects in cross-cultural studies. He has been a visiting fellow of Yale University, University of London and Kansai University. In 2011, he was admitted into the Program for New-century Excellent Talents under the Ministry of Education.

「 Modernity and Nationalism: Lu Xun’s Translation of European Fiction, 1902-1909 」

From April 1902 to August 1909, Lu Xun spent 7 years in Japan, where he started his literary career as a translator of European fiction. In his first two years in Japan Lu Xun was preoccupied with science and made free translations of Jules Verne’s De la guerre à la lune and Voyage au centre de la terre. Treating western science fiction most seriously, he wrote in his preface: “The fictional heritage in our country abounds in works dealing with sentimental, historical, satirical, and bizarre subjects. But only science fiction is scarce. This is on of the reasons for the primitiveness of our knowledge. Therefore, if we wish to fill in the gap of today’s translations and to lead the Chinese people toward progress, we must begin with science.” Lu Xun’s arguments made it clear that science fiction was not only a literary genre new to China, but also, more importantly, a medium of national progress. Lu Xun’s search for modernity and nationalism continued, although his literary interests switched to European short stories after 1906 when he gave up medical studies. Before returning to China he published Collections of Stories from Abroad, which contained 16 pieces in translation, mainly from Russian and East European authors. Lu Xun’s choice was based on their avant-garde literary technique as well as “a spirit of militant resistance.” With these two major translation projects as examples, this paper will explore the impact of European civilization on a leading Chinese intellectual in early 20th century.

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      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Xi Gao

Xi Gao

Fudan University

Biography

Xi Gao is professor of history at Fudan University. Xi Gao has contributed widely to the history of science, medicine, and global history from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Her research interests include the medical missionary and the Chinese medical modernity, the history of medical cultural exchange between West and East from the global perspective. Recently she has worked on the history of material culture in the global trade. She has published a monograph entitled A Biography of John Dudgeon A British Missionary and Chinese Medical Modernization in the Late Qing and several research articles in English volumes and international journals on the history of culture. 

「 Western Study of the History of Chinese Medicine in the Nineteenth Century 」

The process in which Occidental doctors propagated modern European medical knowledge in China impacted the understanding and perception of Chinese medicine. This presentation focuses on Western doctors’ concise account of Chinese medicine and relevant history, aiming to probe into how these aspects influenced Chinese historians and Chinese doctor’s view points with regard to traditional Chinese medicine, along with the mode of writing of history of Chinese medicine, under the context of “otherness” and scientific narrative.

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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      Email: cga@nyu.edu

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      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Alan Crawford

Alan Crawford

Shanghai Jiaotong University

Biography

Alan Crawford is a postdoctoral researcher at Shanghai Jiaotong University. Prior to arriving at STJU he taught at Bristol University in the UK, where he completed a PhD in history, and at NYU Shanghai as a Global Perspectives on Society teaching fellow. He is currently working on a book manuscript on Russian concessions in Hankou and Tianjin before 1917, and beginning a new project on Russian commerce and shipping in East Asia in the 19th century.

「 The Tea Trade with China in Russian Imperial Imaginaries (19th/early 20th centuries) 」

This paper will examine aspects of the organisation and representation of the Russian Empire’s trade in tea in the second half of the nineteenth century. Access to the treaty ports of China from 1860 allowed Russian tea traders to begin transporting their goods by sea, through the Indian Ocean and, after it opened, the Suez Canal. However, the older cross-border trade was maintained, largely for geopolitical reasons. I suggest that the ways in which these two routes were represented interacted with processes of identity formation and the production of space, primarily through comparison with other empires. The tea trade through these two different environments was thus a mechanism by which transnational circulations of both ideas and commodities contributed to the imagined geography of Russian imperialism.

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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      Email: cga@nyu.edu

      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

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      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Ka-Kin Cheuk

Ka-Kin Cheuk

NYU Shanghai

Biography

Ka-Kin Cheuk is Post-doctoral Fellow at the Center for Global Asia, New York University, Shanghai. Trained as a social and cultural anthropologist, Ka-Kin has conducted long-term ethnographic research on the Sikh migrants in Hong Kong and the Indian textile traders in southeast China. His most recent research is a multi-sited ethnographic study of China-Europe flower trade connections and its everyday implications for environmental ethics. He has published articles in journals such as The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology and is currently co-editing a journal special issue for Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration (Intellect Ltd). He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford and his first post-doctoral fellowship from the Leiden University.

「 The Emerging China-Netherlands Flower Trade and Its Eurasian Mobility Nexus 」

Accounting for over 50% of the world floricultural trade, the Netherlands still dominates the flower supply chain. However, this dominance continues to be weakened by economic recessions looming in Europe. By stark contrast, China’s flower industries is on a spectacular rise, with its production sector growing at least 20% per year and the flower consumption reaching US$22 billion by 2020 – both of which are the fastest growths in today’s flower economy. While rising as a competitive flower exporter, China has also become the most lucrative destination for tulips, daffodils, and other high-value bulb flowers imported from the Netherlands. Given a mix of new challenges and opportunities, it is evermore inevitable for Dutch and Chinese florists to engage with each other. Without doubt, the current global flower economy is being re-configured by the ever-growing China-Netherlands connections.

When a new China-Netherlands flower nexus begins to take shape, this global development is entangled in an ethical debate on environment and sustainability. The debate is mainly about how a sustainable human-environment relation should be maintained in tandem with an ever-globalizing economy, which has been thus far environmentally detrimental to a large extent. Indeed, flower production necessitates intensive use of water, pesticides, and fertilizers, which often causes irreversible environmental degradation. This problem is particularly serious in East Africa, where flower farming has been rampantly outsourced from European countries, including the Netherlands. Precisely for this reason, the rapid expansion of China-Netherlands flower trade should also warrant a close scholarly scrutiny. Is China-Netherlands trade reproducing the contentious European model of outsourcing, which, in many cases, hides the transnational exploitation of environmental resources? What ethical interventions should be made in dealing with the growing complexity of China-Netherlands flower trade? How should people come to terms with the everyday ethics of trading a floricultural commodity that is increasingly China-related? This paper, which is based on preliminary ethnographic research, explore these questions by mapping out some related Eurasian mobilities.

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

      WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Alex Boodrookas

Alex Boodrookas

New York University

Biography

Alex Boodrookas is a Ph.D. Candidate in the joint program in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU. His  dissertation research addresses the intersection between citizenship, migration, state formation, and labor protest in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf from 1900 to 1975.

「 The Making of a Citizen-Merchant Class: The Reorientation of Credit Networks in the Persian Gulf, 1940-1965 」

My presentation traces how new geographies of credit in the Persian Gulf shaped – and were shaped by – new banking infrastructures, reconfigured political networks, and shifting conceptions of indigeneity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, merchants with links to the Indian subcontinent – particularly Bombay – created a sprawling network of trade and credit within the British imperial system. But starting in the 1940s, as national differences sharpened and British banks aggressively fought to profit from an expected oil boom, the web of trust and credit that had once provided a financial scaffold for imperial rule across the Indian Ocean world was destroyed by emerging financial institutions.

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Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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© 2018 All Rights Reserved

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

            CONTACT US

      Email: cga@nyu.edu

      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

      WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

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2018 | Eurasian Connections | Cynthea Bogel

Cynthea Bogel

Kyushu University

Biography

Cynthea J. Bogel (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1995) is Professor (Japanese Art History and Buddhist Visual Cultures of Asia) in the Faculty of Humanities, Co-Chair of the International Masters and Doctorate Programs in Japanese Humanities, Kyushu University since 2012; and Editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University since 2015. She was previously a professor of art history at the Universities of Oregon and Washington (Seattle) for nearly 20 years and was curator of Asian art and ethnology at the RISD Museum of Art. Bogel’s awards include grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Getty Foundation. Her book publications range from Hiroshige: Birds and Flowers (1988) to With a Single Glance: Buddhist Icon and Early Mikkyō Vision (2009). Her articles focus primarily on Buddhist icons and temples in Japan, imported Chinese icons, Edo prints, art historiography, and aesthetics.

「 Cosmoscapes and Hybrid Traces on an Eighth-century Japanese Buddhist Icon 」

Yakushi-ji, a monastery dedicated to the Yakushi Buddha (Healing Buddha), houses a cast-bronze Buddha seated on a ca. 150 cm. multi-tiered pedestal. The pedestal’s curious and exceptional gathering of motifs and figures is arguably of paradigm significance to understanding the character of Buddhism and icon-making in ca. 700 Japan. Embellishing the edges and vertical surfaces of the stepped pedestal are all manner of hybrid creations. Grapevine arabesques, creatures from the Roman and Indic worlds, and geometric patterns from Europe, West Asia, and East Asia strongly convey the sense of a world beyond and seem out of place on a Buddhist icon. Twelve crouching figures within niches may be traced to Rome, India, and/or China; they occupy a liminal position between the foreign or demonic and the converted. Adding to the mix is the appearance of the four spirits— Chinese animal-symbols of the four directions. The four animals and grapevine motifs, along with the appearance of two pudgy pillar-supporting figures that again evoke Rome and India, are unique in all of East Asia. Generally described as a testimonial of Silk Road transmission or a “naïve expression of Buddhist figuration,” the decoration of this early eighth-century Japanese Buddha pedestal offers us much more food for thought. At the same time, this paper examines questions of transmission and hybridity when tracing EuroAsian motifs. We attempt to situate the multi-faceted intentions of this plethora of talismanic marks in a specific time and place, and to consider the ontological filters that created these foreign designs.

CONTACT US

Email: cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

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Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

            CONTACT US

      Email: cga@nyu.edu

      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

      WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

      Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.

2018 | Eurasian Connections | Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson

University of Cambridge

Biography

Dr Paul Anderson is the Prince Alwaleed Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, the Assistant Director of the University’s Prince Alwaleed Centre of Islamic Studies, and a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge. Dr Anderson is a social anthropologist interested in the articulation of economic, moral and religious life. His research has a particular focus on Islam, value, moral personhood and the sociality of trade. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Syria and China, and is currently part of an ERC-funded research project studying the global trade in low-grade Chinese commodities. He is also working on a monograph of Aleppo as a trading city before the outbreak of the current conflict in Syria. At the University of Cambridge, he teaches courses and supervises research on the anthropology of the Middle East, and the anthropology of Islam.

「 Rethinking the "war economy": locating Syria in Eurasian trade routes 」

Many attempts to analyse the economic and social effects of the ongoing Syrian conflict have drawn on the paradigm of the “war economy”. For all its strengths, this paradigm is limited by a methodological nationalism, which obscures our understanding of the regional and transregional Eurasian circuits of exchange in which Syria is embedded, and of the way in which these have been reconfigured by the conflict. The paper describes some of these wider circuits of commerce, industry and investment which have operated since 2011, and which connect Syria both to neighbouring countries and to China, Africa, and the Gulf. First, it documents transAsian supply routes for mundane non-essential goods such as toys and cosmetics, between the city of Yiwu in southeast China, and the Syrian capital Damascus – which complicates our understanding of Syria simply as a war economy. Second, it describes how Syria’s conflict-generated diaspora has fostered the emergence of new patterns of investment. Rather than constituting a “war economy” characterised by capital flight from Syria to Sudan, these have embedded Aleppo in ongoing regional and transregional circulations that connect Yiwu, Aleppo, Khartoum and Riyadh. Third, it describes the new regional trading patterns that have emerged with the shifting of zones of sovereignty and the opportunities for smuggling that these present. Such routes include Yiwu-Mersin-Sarmada-Turkey; Yiwu-Mersin-Sarmada-Lebanon; Yiwu-Lattakia-Beirut; Yiwu-Mersin-Sarmada-Jordan. Again, they indicate that Syria is party to new regional circulations and should not simply be understood as an isolated war economy. Fourth, it argues that the regional trading patterns enabled by these shifting zones of sovereignty have fostered new and reemerging regional identities which contest the official (“Syrian Arab”) discourse of the Baathist nation state. These identities (“Levantine, not Arabian”) serve to facilitate and legitimate the new regional patterns of trade. By describing how the Syrian conflict has altered the way that low-grade Chinese commodities move around the Middle East, it argues that far from being an isolated “war economy”, Syria is embedded in shifting patterns of regional and wider Eurasian circulation.

CONTACT US

Email: cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

            CONTACT US

      Email: cga@nyu.edu

      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

      WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

      Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.

2018 | Eurasian Connections | Rochelle Almeida

Rochelle Almeida

New York University

Biography

The ports of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Cochin and Karachi saw an enormous amount of human traffic as steamer-loads of young, ambitious, optimistic and cheerful Eurasians (Anglo-Indians) left India for greener pastures soon after Indian Independence in 1947. While not much is known about their sea-faring lives as potential immigrants to Britain, I had the unique opportunity of conducting ethnographic research in the UK among elderly members of the Anglo-Indian community that had left India while still youthful and ambitious. My research has led to the discovery of little-known facts about their trajectory from exit to integration with particular emphasis on the environment prevailing at South Asian port cities in the lead-up to Independence and in its immediate aftermath. Individual interviews as well as group-surveys unearthed substantial data about financial means employed to purchase sea passages to Britain, preparation undertaken to transfer belongings overseas, and challenges faced in working with severe Indian foreign exchange control regulations.  Furthermore, my research had produced information about the development of a shipboard lifestyle and culture unique to the community—a result of their Westernized customs and traditions—as well as their forays into port cities such as Mombasa and Aden en route to the UK. 

Through this presentation, I will provide data gleaned from a vast number of immigrants that throws light on the manner in which Eurasians surmounted financial and bureaucratic obstacles on their journey from Indian port cities to disembarkation at Tilbury or Southampton in the UK. I will also comment on the extraordinary bi-lateral partnerships that existed between European shipping company officials and their South Asian counterparts that facilitated mass-migration of Eurasians and the creation of a mixed-race diasporic South Asian community in Britain. Finally, in an attempt to make this paper interdisciplinary, I shall compare real-life accounts of Eurasian passengers with those of literary ones—such as the port and shipboard experiences delineated by Michael Ondatje’s autobiographical account of his own voyage from Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to England in 1954 in his book The Cat’s Table(2011).      

「 Westward Ho! Eurasian (Anglo-Indian) immigrants, sea ports, steamers, and passenger culture in mid-twentieth century India 」

The ports of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Cochin and Karachi saw an enormous amount of human traffic as steamer-loads of young, ambitious, optimistic and cheerful Eurasians (Anglo-Indians) left India for greener pastures soon after Indian Independence in 1947. While not much is known about their sea-faring lives as potential immigrants to Britain, I had the unique opportunity of conducting ethnographic research in the UK among elderly members of the Anglo-Indian community that had left India while still youthful and ambitious. My research has led to the discovery of little-known facts about their trajectory from exit to integration with particular emphasis on the environment prevailing at South Asian port cities in the lead-up to Independence and in its immediate aftermath. Individual interviews as well as group-surveys unearthed substantial data about financial means employed to purchase sea passages to Britain, preparation undertaken to transfer belongings overseas, and challenges faced in working with severe Indian foreign exchange control regulations.  Furthermore, my research had produced information about the development of a shipboard lifestyle and culture unique to the community—a result of their Westernized customs and traditions—as well as their forays into port cities such as Mombasa and Aden en route to the UK. 

Through this presentation, I will provide data gleaned from a vast number of immigrants that throws light on the manner in which Eurasians surmounted financial and bureaucratic obstacles on their journey from Indian port cities to disembarkation at Tilbury or Southampton in the UK. I will also comment on the extraordinary bi-lateral partnerships that existed between European shipping company officials and their South Asian counterparts that facilitated mass-migration of Eurasians and the creation of a mixed-race diasporic South Asian community in Britain. Finally, in an attempt to make this paper interdisciplinary, I shall compare real-life accounts of Eurasian passengers with those of literary ones—such as the port and shipboard experiences delineated by Michael Ondatje’s autobiographical account of his own voyage from Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to England in 1954 in his book The Cat’s Table(2011).      

CONTACT US

Email: cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

            CONTACT US

      Email: cga@nyu.edu

      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

      WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

      Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.

2018 | Eurasian Connections | Wifag Adnan

Wifag Adnan

New York University Abu Dhabi

Biography

Ph.D. Princeton University

B.S. Duke University (magna cum laude with distinction)

Other Affiliations: Research Affiliate at IZA, Research Associate at ERF and Visiting Scholar at INSEAD

Wifag Adnan’s research focuses on how labor markets function in developing and emerging economies and the topics she has worked on span labor mobility, job search, unemployment, labor market segmentation, wage differentials, female labor force participation and education. Her recent publications quantify the labor market costs of conflict in politically volatile regions such as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Other work also includes how differences in politically ideologies, provide for using voting patterns at the municipality level, may be associated with gender disparity, measured at the individual level. Current research proposals include evaluating labor reforms in various contexts to examine subsequent mobility patterns and the potential effects on wages, employment, and well-being. Her most recent project involves how European and US labor markets integrate first and second generation immigrants, with a key focus on immigrants of Asian origin.

「 The Role of Culture and Institutions in the Social Mobility of EU Immigrants and their Descendants 」

For a long time, immigrants sought to improve their economic prospects and that of their descendants by migrating to another country. The causes of migration range from political corruption and war in the source country to the lack of economic opportunities in its formal and informal labor markets. The wide-ranging circumstances of each source country led to diverse social and cultural norms worldwide. Thus, each group of immigrants arrives to the destination country with its source country’s culture. Additionally, upon arrival, immigrants discover that the destination country utilizes a set of social, political and economic institutions that are backed by a robust legal framework to acculturate immigrants. The assimilation of immigrants across destination countries is far from uniform and may partially depend on the immigrants’ source country or region. This paper investigates the extent in which the degree of social mobility experienced by immigrants and their descendants in several European countries is shaped by the culture of the immigrant groups’ source country. Additionally, the paper investigates the role of the destination country’s political and economic institutions on the relative success of various immigrant groups. In the past, some have argued that the culture of the source country plays a large role in predicting the economic outcomes of second generation Americans. This paper aims to address two shortcomings in the literature: 1.) studies on second generation Americans do not include a wide-range of Asian countries as source countries, 2.) studies on second-generation immigrants have not been applied to the European context.

CONTACT US

Email: cga@nyu.edu

Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

            CONTACT US

      Email: cga@nyu.edu

      Phone Number: +86 (21) 20595032

      WeChat: NYUShanghaiCGA

      Address: 1555 Century Avenue,

      Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China.