The Mongols’ Imperial Space: From Universalism to Glocalization

Speaker: Michal Biran
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2020-12-3 | 18:00-19:30 (Shanghai)
2020-12-3 | 5:00-6:30 (New York)
2020-12-3 | 14:00-15:30 (Abu Dhabi)

This paper seeks to explain how the Mongol imperial space was created, organized, and conceived by the Mongols and their subjects in the various realms. I stress the interplay between the Mongols’ universal vision during the heydays of Chinggis Khan and his immediate heirs, the construction of a “Chinggisid space,” and the revival of “glocal” (that is, local with global characteristic) spatial concepts in Mongol-ruled China and Iran. I conclude in assessing the impact of the Mongol Empire on the shaping of the post-Mongol imperial space.

Michal Biran (PhD HUJI 2000) is a historian of pre-modern Inner Asia, China and the Muslim world and a member of the Israeli Academy of Science and Humanities. She is the Max and Sophie Mydans Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she led the ERC-funded project “Mobility, Empire and Cross-Cultural Contacts in Mongol Eurasia,” and teaches at the Dept. of Asian Studies and the Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She has published extensively on Mongol and Pre-Mongol Central Asia (10th-14th centuries), including Qara Khitai, the Qarakhanids and the Chaghadaids; the Mongol Empire; cross-cultural contacts between China, nomads, and the Islamic world; nomadic empires; conversion; and Ilkhanid Baghdad. She has authored three monographs and more than 70 articles, and has edited or co-edited eight volumes, the last out is Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia: Generals, Merchants, Intellectuals (with Jonathan Brack and Francesca Fiaschetti, University of California Press 2020) and another The Limits of Universal Rule: Eurasian Empires Compared (with Yuri Pines and Jörg Rupke. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) is due to appear in January 2021. She is currently working on two book projects and, together with Hodong Kim, is editing The Cambridge History of the Mongol Empire.

Introduction by Tansen Sen, Director of the Center for Global Asia, Professor of History, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Professor, NYU.

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