Ünver Rüstem – Justice, Conquest, and Victory: The Evolving Symbolism of Istanbul’s Nusretiye Mosque

in Academic Service - Archive by on February 17th, 2015

Event Date: 17 February 2015
Royal Asiatic Society
Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Dr  Ünver Rüstem (Fari Sayeed Visting Fellow in Islamic Art , Pembroke College, University of Cambridge) – Justice, Conquest, and Victory: The Evolving Symbolism of Istanbul’s Nusretiye Mosque

In 1826, the great reformist Ottoman sultan Mahmud II inaugurated two major new institutions in his capital, Istanbul: a modern army to replace the unruly janissary corps, and an imperial mosque gracing the Bosphorus shoreline. Although begun in 1823, the mosque became firmly associated with the military reforms that occurred during its completion three years later. Not only was the opening of the mosque timed to correspond with Mahmud’s announcement of his reforms, but the building rapidly underwent a series of name changes that underscored and announced its symbolic role, culminating in the appellation Nusretiye (Victory). This talk will use hitherto unexplored documents to trace the Nusretiye Mosque’s formation as an architectural statement of Mahmud’s modernising agenda. Alongside the written evidence, attention will be given to the Nusretiye’s pronounced visual resemblance to the mosque of Mahmud’s reformist predecessor Selim III, whose thwarted efforts to overhaul the Ottoman military both anticipated and served as a foil for Mahmud’s subsequent victory.
Ünver Rüstem is a graduate of Harvard University. He is the author of a prizewinning article on the reception of illustrated manuscripts as revealed by a group of Ottoman textual inserts added to the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. His forthcoming publications include an article on the exportation of carved Ottoman tombstones from Istanbul to Cyprus, a contribution to a co-authored chapter on the artistic patronage of Mahmud I, and edited translations of two later Ottoman primary sources on architecture.

Introduction by Dr Alison Otha (Director, RAS):

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Phiroze Vasunia – Sir William Jones and the Gods of Greece, Italy and India

in Academic Service - Archive by on February 12th, 2015

Event Date: 12 February 2015
Royal Asiatic Society
Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Professor Phiroze Vasunia (UCL) – British India and the First World War: Words, Objects and Images

Introduction by Professor Peter Robb (President, RAS):

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Santanu Das – British India and the First World War: Words, Objects and Images

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 15th, 2015

Event Date: 15 January 2015
Royal Asiatic Society
Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Dr Santanu Das (KCL) – British India and the First World War: Words, Objects and Images

Introduction by Professor Peter Robb (President, RAS):

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Sussan Babaie – A nan-o halva (Bread and Sweets) in the V&A: Thoughts on the Aesthetics of ‘taste’

in Academic Service - Archive by on December 11th, 2014

Event Date: 11 December 2014
Royal Asiatic Society
Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Dr Sussan Babaie (Courtauld Institute) -  A nan-o halva (Bread and Sweets) in the V&A: Thoughts on the Aesthetics of ‘taste’

Introduction by Professor Peter Robb (President, RAS):

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Nick Fielding – Thomas and Lucy Atkinson and their travels in Central Asia

in Academic Service - Archive by on December 5th, 2014

Event Date: 5 December 2014
Royal Asiatic Society
Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Nick FieldingThomas and Lucy Atkinson and their travels in Central Asia

In February 1848 the explorer and artist Thomas Witlam Atkinson left Moscow with his new bride, Lucy, on a journey that would last for almost seven years. During the course of their remarkable 40,000-mile journey they visited parts of Siberia and Central Asia that had never been seen before by Europeans. This talk, by journalist and author Nick Fielding, will describe the Atkinsons’ foray into present-day Kazakhstan, where they spent almost a year in the most remote outpost of the Russian Empire – and where Lucy gave birth to their only child. He will describe his visit this summer to some of the places described by the Atkinsons and put their journey into the context of nineteenth century great power politics.

Nick Fielding is a former senior reporter on The Sunday Times and was chief investigative reporter on the Mail on Sunday. He now works as a reporter for the investigative news website Exaro. He was launch editor for the online magazine, China Outlook, and he writes the Circling the Lions Den blog about Afghanistan.

Introduction by Dr Alison Otha (Director, RAS):

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Thanks by His Excellency Mr Erzhan Kazykhanov, the Kazakh Ambassador:

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Paul Bailey – Chinese Workers in World War One France: An Overlooked Episode in the History of Chinese Foreign Policy and Chinese Labour

in Academic Service - Archive by on November 13th, 2014

Event Date: 13 November 2014
Royal Asiatic Society
Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Professor Paul Bailey (Durham) – Chinese Workers in World War One France: An Overlooked Episode in the History of Chinese Foreign Policy and Chinese Labour

Introduction by Professor Peter Robb (President, RAS):

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Paul Brass – Criminalization of Politics in India

in Academic Service - Archive by on October 9th, 2014

Event Date: 9 October 2014
Royal Asiatic Society
Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Professor (Emeritus) Paul Brass (University of Washington) – Criminalization of Politics in India

Criminality is widespread in Indian politics, but there are some landmark districts in parts of Uttar Pradesh, which are famous for it. In my own recent field work in India, I have found the area in central U.P. around the districts of Firozabad, Farrukhabad, and Auraiya to be especially rich in criminality, involving fatal attacks on political rivals and kidnapping and killing even of children. However, it is widespread elsewhere, in other parts of U.P. Moreover, everybody knows who the criminal politicians are and most of them remain free to carry out their criminal activities or, rather, to have lackeys carry them out for them. The names and criminal history of the politicians who are notorious for such violence are well known and published in the newspapers. Very few of these known criminals ever spend time in jail, though there are some who do. Whether or not these criminals land in jail or not, and for how long depends upon their political relationship with the ruling party of the day.

Paul R. Brass is Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has published numerous books and articles on comparative and South Asian politics, ethnic politics, and collective violence. His work has been based on extensive field research in India during numerous visits since 1961. He has been a University of Washington faculty member and Professor, Department of Political Science and The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies since 1965. He received his B.A. in Government in 1958, Harvard College; his M.A. in 1959, in Political Science, University of Chicago; and his Ph.D. in 1964, in Political Science, University of Chicago. His teaching specializations include comparative politics (South Asia), ethnicity and nationalism as well as collective violence.
His most recent books are The Politics of Northern India: 1937 to 1987—Volume I (An Indian Political Life: Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1937 to 1961) (SAGE, 2011), Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal (2010), Forms of Collective Violence: Riots, Pogroms, and Genocide in Modern India (2006), The Production of Hindu–Muslim Violence in Contemporary India (2003), Theft of an Idol: Text and Context in the Representation of Collective Violence (1997), Riots and Pogroms (1996), and The Politics of India since Independence, 2nd ed. (1994).

Introduction by Professor Peter Robb (RAS):

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Jan-Peter Hartung – Of ‘Creeds’ and ‘Guidances’: Tradition, Commentary and Canon in the Early Modern Persianate World

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 12th, 2014

Event Date: 12 June 2014 

Royal Asiatic Society

Stephenson Way 
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Dr Jan-Peter Hartung (SOAS) – Of ‘Creeds’ and ‘Guidances’: Tradition, Commentary and Canon in the Early Modern Persianate World

Introduction by Professor Peter Robb (President, RAS):

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S. Frederick Starr – Lost Enlightenment: central Asia’s golden age from the Arab conquest to Tamerlane

in Academic Service - Archive by on May 27th, 2014

Event Date: 27 May 2014 

Royal Asiatic Society

Stephenson Way 
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Book Launch

Lost Enlightenment: central Asia’s golden age from the Arab conquest to Tamerlane

by S. Frederick Starr

 Many think of Central Asia today as a desolate, dusty, backwater region inhospitable to learning, high culture, thriving cities, or robust commerce.  But as S. Frederick Starr, former president of the Aspen Institute, conveys in his sweeping and richly illustrated new book LOST ENLIGHTENMENT: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane, Central Asia had its own age of flourishing between 800 and 1200 C.E., with its effects still rippling through the modern era.

Recreating the world of Silk Road era Central Asia for the reader, Starr reveals this largely unknown story through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds.  This vast region—stretching from modern day Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China—at the time led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields.  Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects.  They gave algebra its name, calculated the earth’s diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that later defined European medicine, and penned some of the world’s greatest poetry.  One scholar, working in Afghanistan, even predicted the existence of North and South America—five centuries before Columbus.

Introduction by Alison Otha (Director, Royal Asiatic Society):

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You can buy Professor Starr’s ‘Lost Enlightenment: central Asia’s golden age from the Arab conquest to Tamerlane’ here

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Caroline Humphrey – Empires and their Merchants

in Academic Service - Archive by on May 15th, 2014

Event Date: 15 May 2014 

Royal Asiatic Society

Stephenson Way 
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Professor Dame Caroline Humphrey (University of Cambridge) – Empires and their Merchants: Communication and Incomprehension on the China/Russia Border in the 19th Century

Introduction and award of the Burton Medal to  Dame Caroline by Professor Peter Robb (President, RAS):

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