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Prof. Selçuk Esenbel (Department of History, Boğaziçi University Istanbul): „Japan and China on the Silk Road: A Global History of Politics and Culture in Eurasia“

18. June 2019, 18:00 - 20:00

Japan on the Silk Road is a global history of politics and culture from the late 19th century until the end of the second world war connected to the Great Game between competing empires of Russia, Britain, and China in the vast area of Eurasia across the Middle East and Central Asia. Between 1868-1945 Japanese diplomats, military officers, archaeologists, and linguists traversed the land locked and maritime Silk Roads pursuing imperial interest and exploring ancient civilizations.

A global team of scholars bring to light Japan’s intellectual and political encounters with the peoples and cultures of Asia, in particular Turks and Persians, Hindus and Muslims of India, Mongolians and the Uyghur of Inner Asia, and Muslims in China. The study exposes the entanglements of pre-war Japanese Pan-Asianism with Pan-Islamism, Turkic nationalism and Mongolian independence as a global history of imperialism and the Japanese connections to Ottoman Turkey, India, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and China. At the same time it reveals a discrete global narrative of cosmopolitanism in Japan’s intellectual and political encounters with the peoples and cultures of Eurasia Asia along this transnational geography. The Japanese experience also shows the background to the One Belt One Road vision of China today and the revival of the “Silk Road” as a geography of competition and contestation.

Short bio:
Prof. Selçuk Esenbel got her BA from George Washington University, M.S. from Georgetown University and Ph.D from Columbia University. She has been Chair of History Department, Director of Asian Studies Center, Turkish Director of Confucius Institute, and University Administrative Council Member; she is President of Japanese Studies Association in Turkey since 2002. Her latest publications include: Turk-Cin Iliskilerine Turkiye’den Bakislar (Turkish-Chinese Relations: Perspectives from Turkey, 2012), Japan, Turkey, and the World of Islam: The Writings of Selcuk Esenbel (2011), and Japan and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1868-1945 (forthcoming, 2014). She got the High Achivement Award for Senior Scholars from Boğaziçi University in 2005, and the Special Prize for Japanese Studies from Japan Foundation in 2007.


18. June 2019
18:00 - 20:00


Ostasiatisches Seminar


KWZ 0.609


Kulturwissenschaftliches Zentrum, KWZ 0.609

Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14
37073 Göttingen
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