April 11, 2018


Kent Hall Room 403, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Event Organizer

Chinese Literature and Culture

Event Sponsor

Event Co-Sponsor(s)

Institute for Comparative Literature and Society

Center for the Study of Social Difference

Weatherhead East Asian Institute

Huang Lin Fund

East Asian Languages and Cultures Department

Today, we invoke the Silk Road as an interconnected antiquity before globalization. This talk approaches the Silk Road as a modern idea–as a term that was first coined by a German geographer in 1877, but whose significance lies within a more global history of contestatory narratives about antiquity.  During the Cold War, China resignified the Silk Road/ 丝绸之路 as the ancient prefiguration of its Non-Aligned diplomacy with the decolonized world. The Silk Road became part of a larger Afro-Asian area studies framework through which Chinese and Afro-Asian historians and writers spatially re-organized China’s connected past. China’s Afro-Asian Silk Road differed from the Euro-Asian Silk Road of the West and Japan. This account argues the need to pay greater attention to the inherited frameworks and rhetorical tropes with which we narrate the connected past.

 The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Room B-101
74 Morningside Drive
New York, NY, 10027
  (212) 854-4541
  (212) 854-3099