The Silk Road: connecting histories and futures

Speaker: Tim Winter
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2021-10-30 | 20:00-21:30 (Shanghai)
2021-10-30 | 8:00-9:30 (New York)
2021-10-30 | 16:00-17:30 (Abu Dhabi)
2021-10-30 | 20:00-21:30 (Perth)

Today the Silk Road is rapidly becoming one of the key geocultural and geostrategic concepts of the twenty-first century. A narrative of connected histories, it now operates as a platform for international trade, diplomacy, infrastructure development and digital connectivity. Identified by two principal routes – maritime and overland, the Silk Road stretches across the Indian Ocean and Eurasian landmass; regions that will be of paramount importance in an increasingly multi-polar world.

In the Silk Road-Belt and Road nexus an architecture of cooperation has emerged that utilises discourses of civilisational dialogue, shared heritage, and a language of South-South cooperation built around solidarity and mutual-understanding.

This presentation asks how we should make sense of such developments and modes of connectivity. Moving beyond increasingly tired accounts of soft power, the talk argues Chinaā€™s Silk Road internationalism carries world ordering implications.

Tim Winter is an Australian Research Council Professorial Future Fellow, UWA and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His interdisciplinary work seeks to understand how histories are constructed and reconstructed for public audiences and for diplomatic, geopolitical and nationalistic purposes. He has introduced the concept of geocultural power to the analysis of international affairs and has been at the forefront in the conceptual development of heritage diplomacy. This has led to current work on trends in cultural internationalism and the re-emergence of civilizational discourses via rising and middle powers across Eurasia. He is author of Geocultural Power: Chinaā€™s Quest to Revive the Silk Roads for the Twenty First Century (University of Chicago Press 2019) and The Silk Road: connecting histories and futures (NY: Oxford University Press, 2022). See

Introduction by Maria Adele Carrai, Assistant Professor of Global China StudiesĀ at NYU Shanghai.



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