This seminar intends to examine different narratives (including archival materials, travelogues, journals and newspapers) related to connections across Asia from the 19th and 20th Centuries. These narratives impart numerous perspectives on the notion of connections, journey and migration as ideological and intellectual pursuits in the Asian context. The documents describe the unstable social and political environment and provide an account of both the human and governmental enterprises. The narratives, describing cultural and linguistic experiences, espionage, different eye-witness and archival account of communist revolutions, disillusionment with socialist China reveal an empirical discourse. By examining the narratives and archival works, the seminar examines the connection between personal and collective memories which become a means to substantiate the knowledge about the past and their understanding of the present.
About the Speakers
Arpita Bose is an assistant professor of History at Hooghly Mohsin College. She did her PhD from the University of Burdwan on the history of the Chinese community. She has contributed papers in South Asia Research, Studies in History, Indian Historical Review.
Barnali Chanda is a China Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ashoka University. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. Barnali’s research interests include classical Chinese and Indian literatures, travel writings, translation studies, comparative literature and poetics.
James Gethyn Evans is a doctoral student in History at Harvard University, specializing in modern China and Taiwan and the global history of the Cold War. His research interests span modern history, international relations, and comparative politics, and more specifically include China's foreign relations with non-state actors, the global impact of Maoism, and anti-imperialism and decolonization movements. He is also the Communications Officer for Harvard's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
Sudarshana Chanda entered the PhD program at Harvard University in 2018 and studies transnational history in Asia in the 20th century. Sudarshana is particularly interested in interactions between Chinese and Indian migrants in British Malaya. She holds an M.A. in History (China Studies) from the Yenching Academy of Peking University, and a B.A. (Hons.) in History from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. From 2014-16 she was a teaching assistant at the Department of History at Ashoka University.
About the Chair
Tansen Sen is professor of history and director of the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai, China, and Global Network Professor at NYU, Shanghai, China. He received his MA from Peking University, China, and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. He specializes in Asian history and religions and has a special academic interest in India–China interactions, Indian Ocean connections, and Buddhism. He is the author of Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600–1400 (2003, 2016) and India, China, and the World: A Connected History (2017). He has co-authored (with Victor H. Mair) Traditional China in Asian and World History (2012), edited Buddhism Across Asia: Networks of Material, Cultural and Intellectual Exchange (2014), and co-edited (with Burkhard Schnepel) Travelling Pasts: The Politics of Cultural Heritage in the Indian Ocean World (2019). He is currently working on a book about Zheng He’s maritime expeditions in the early fifteenth century and co-editing (with Engseng Ho) The Cambridge History of the Indian Ocean, Volume 1..
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