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Sanjay Subrahmanyam: The Hidden Face of Surat: Exploring the History of a Cosmopolitan Centre, 1540-1750

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Distinguished Professor and Irving & Jean Stone Chair in Social Sciences, UCLA

The Second JESHO Lecture on Asian History, organised by Brill Academic Publishers and Institute of Iranian Studies (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

03.11.2016, 18:00
Aula at the Campus (court 1.11), University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Wien

Abstract: The great port of Surat in western India dominated accounts of Indian Ocean trade between the late sixteenth and mid eighteenth century. Consolidated first by an Ottoman notable, it became the Mughal Empire's western window into the worlds of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. In this lecture, I explore Surat's other, less visible, aspect: namely as an intellectual centre, that brought together diverse and sometimes competing traditions. In turn, we shall see how this vibrant intellectual life was tied up both to certain structures of politics, and to commercial exchange at various scales.



The JESHO Lecture on Asian History
This lecture series takes stock of recent historiographical interest in the study of Asia, which brings into conversation the connected dimension of world history and local genealogies of cultural change. It invites scholars working on different parts of Asia from the medieval period to the 20th century to consider political and cultural dynamics in the continent from the perspectives of their own periods, regions, and materials (the Perso-Islamicate World, South, Southeast and Far-East Asia). The aim of this lecture series is to highlight cutting-edge research on distinct fields of Asian studies and reflect on what certain socio-cultural formations might signify for the histories of individual regions and for the history of Asia as a whole.

JESHO (Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient) publishes original research articles in Asian, Near, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Studies across history. The journal promotes world history from Asian and Middle Eastern perspectives and it challenges scholars to integrate cultural and intellectual history with economic, social and political analysis. JESHO encourages debate across disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences. Published since 1958, JESHO is the oldest and most respected journal in its field. Convener: Paolo Sartori (Institute of Iranian Studies, Editor of JESHO)

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