Rosie Llewellyn Jones – The Last King in India: Wajid Ali Shah

in Academic Service - Archive by on April 9th, 2015

Event Date: 9 April 2015
Royal Asiatic Society
14 Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Dr Rosie Llewellyn JonesThe Last King in India: Wajid Ali Shah

The lecture will examine the extraordinary story of this 19th century king who continues to divide opinion today. Was he, as the British believed, a debauched ruler who spent his time with fiddlers, eunuchs and fairies when he should have been ruling his kingdom? Or was he, as many Indians remember him, a talented poet and musician who was robbed of his throne by the East India Company? Dr Llewellyn-Jones will postulate that the reality lies somewhere between these two extremes: that Wajid Ali Shah was a gifted, but difficult character, who was written out of history when his kingdom was annexed in 1856, but who lived for another thirty years near Calcutta, recreating the lost paradise that was Lucknow.

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones is an authority on colonial India from the 18th to the 20th century. She studied Indian languages at SOAS, and has lived in India, written extensively about it, and visits at least once a year. She has published a number of books on Lucknow, and her book on the Mutiny, The Great Uprising in India: Untold Stories, Indian and British (2007), won critical praise. She lectures for the Asian Arts course at the V&A Museum. She is founder and editor of ‘Chowkidar’, the Journal of the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia (BACSA). She works as an archivist for the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and has been a member of the RAS since 1985.

Introduction by Professor Peter Robb (President, RAS):

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Aisa Martinez – Omani Costumes

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

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

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Aisa Martinez (British Museum) – Omani Costumes

‘Dress studies’ is a relatively new academic field whose major theories and case studies emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Joanne Eicher, one of the earliest scholars, states that clothing and dress are part of a complex system of symbols and meaning. Kuchler and Miller (2005) argue that clothing is a living part of culture and society, expanding upon Appadurai’s ‘social life of things’ (1988). The lecture will explore how regional styles of Omani dress reveal the individual wearer’s age, wealth, socio-economic status, and religious or ethnic affiliation. Elements and details in a garment’s shape, colour, use or non-use of certain embellishments and materials, go beyond the individual wearer and serve as evidence of trade routes and commodities integral in Oman’s place within the western Indian Ocean trade network.

Aisa Martinez began her journey in studying dress and adornment in the Arabian Peninsula in 2007 during a Fulbright research fellowship in Muscat, Oman. She volunteered with the Centre for Omani dress, cataloguing a growing dress collection of pieces from nearly every corner of the Sultanate of Oman. She completed her MA in social anthropology in 2010 at SOAS, focusing her studies on Omani men’s national dress and national identity. She also helped organize the British Museum’s 2011 display on Omani silver jewellery and costume. From late 2011 until early 2014, she was a research fellow with the London Middle East Institute at SOAS, focusing on embroidery and embellishment in Saudi women’s dress. During this time, she spent three months doing fieldwork and travelling around Saudi Arabia. She is currently a project curator with the ZNM Project at the British Museum.

Introduction by Sami de Giosa (RAS):

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George Manginis – The Benaki Museum Chinese Art Collection Resurrected

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

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

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

Dr George Manginis (SOAS) – The Benaki Museum Chinese Art Collection Resurrected – Strategies for making visible the invisible

The 1,300-item-strong Benaki Museum Chinese Art Collection, largely donated by George Eumorfopoulos between 1927 and 1936, went into storage in 1990 and has remained there since. The lecture will present a few of the most interesting items in the collection, will trace the fifteen-year-long effort to raise awareness on it and will examine its future prospects within a shifting political and cultural landscape.

George Manginis studied archaeology and history of art at the University of Athens. He read Islamic architecture and Chinese ceramics as part of his MA at SOAS, where he was also awarded a doctoral title for a thesis on Jabal Musa, Egypt. He has participated in archaeological excavations around Europe and in Egypt and has contributed articles in scholarly magazines and exhibition catalogues in Greece, Cyprus, the United Kingdom and Korea. He recently completed the web catalogue of the collection of Chinese ceramics at the Benaki Museum in Athens. He lectures regularly on Islamic, Chinese and Byzantine art at SOAS, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and other educational institutions and learned societies.

Introduction by Sami de Giosa (RAS):

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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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