12 September: Peter Frankopan to open the new TRC exhibition Dressing the "Stans": Textiles, dress and jewellery from Central Asia

On 12 September the new TRC Gallery exhibition 'Dressing the Stans: Textiles, dress and jewellery from Central Asia' will be opened during an informal buffet lunch at the TRC, between 12.30 and 13.30 by the famous Oxford scholar, Dr. Peter Frankopan, the author of the widely acclaimed book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (2015). The exhibition is co-funded by the Central Asia Initiative at Leiden University.

Ron Sela will be the Central Asia Visiting Professor in May 2017

Ron Sela, Associate Professor of Central Asian History in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University – Bloomington, will be the Central Asia Visiting Professor from 19 until 25 May 2017. Ron Sela will deliver a guest lecture on Monday, 22 May and a masterclass on Tuesday, 23 May within the Central Asia Initiative at Leiden University.

17-18 May: Conference Buddhist Studies in Leiden

On 17-18 May 2017 Leiden University will host a conference, organized by Prof. dr. Jonathan Silk, to commemorate 60 years of the Chair in the study of Buddhism, 60 years of the Indo-Iranian Journal, the 30th anniversary of Leiden University hosting the Numata Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies and the publication of the first volume of Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism.

12 May: Gravensteen Lecture Archives, Materiality, and Unthought Knowns

On May 12th 2017, Lisa Lowe (Tufts University) reflects on the possibilities and limits of both archives and objects in the exploration of historical links between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, observing that European liberal narratives of freedom overcoming slavery often obscure their embeddedness within colonial conditions.

23 March: Modern South Asia Seminar Becoming Global Hindus: Hindu Nationalist Training Camps and the Indian Diaspora

In recent years the influence of Hindu nationalism amongst India’s substantial diaspora has garnered increasing attention. Hindutva ideology and organisations – which have developed transnationally since the mid-twentieth century – both influence Indians overseas, and in turn produce spaces for the diaspora to engage with the homeland. This paper will consider an important but under-researched aspect of this relationship: Hindu nationalist training camps. These have played a key role in the growth of the Hindu nationalist movement in India. But overseas, they perform specific functions for diaspora populations, and have developed innovative, syncretic new forms.

New courses Buddhist Studies by dr. Helmut Tauscher

In the Spring semester of 2017, two courses will be offered by the Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, Dr. Helmut Tauscher. One is oriented at the BA level, the other at the MA level. The two courses start in Week 8, the MA-course starts on Monday 20 February, 19:00-21:00 in Lipsius 235b. The BA-course starts on Thursday 23 February, 19:00-21:00 in Lipsius 030.

Central Asia Fieldwork Grants for Leiden MA/MA Research Students

In 2017 the Central Asia Initiative at Leiden University will offer several fieldwork grants to a max of 7,500 EUR. Only MA or MA Research students at Leiden University are eligible. The fieldwork should be carried out in one of the Central Asia countries by the end of 2018. The money can be used to fund research related to your MA thesis or to develop a PhD proposal related to Central Asia. Application deadline: 1 March 2017.

Yusen Yu wins MEM Graduate Student Prize

Yusen Yu wins the prestigious Graduate Student Prize of the Middle East Medievalists (MEM) with his article "Chinese Gold-decorated Paper and the Persianate Book Arts". The paper was presented at the Timurid conference in Leiden in May 2016.

February 3 | Gravensteen Lecture | Rationality, Alienation, and the Political Enlightenment: Themes from Gandhi

In this lecture, Professor Akeel Bilgrami will explore the chief ideals of the political Enlightenment by asking what underlies the assumption that what happened in Europe must happen everywhere else in the world, including its erstwhile colonies. The themes will range from notions of rationality, alienation, liberty and equality to doctrines and arguments such as the ‘social contract’ and ‘the tragedy of the commons’.

9 December: Lecture Becoming a 'Capable' Man in China

Rural-urban migration has resulted in a series of socio-cultural transformations in China, including changing geographical re-locations, living arrangements, as well as interpersonal relations. The lecture addresses my on-going study on male migrant workers in China. It pays particular attention to the negotiation and enactment of  singlehood, against the dominant cultural discourse of heteronormativity. This discussion aims critically to examine the western notion of a crisis of masculinity, and to question the meanings of masculinity in China, which is beyond a Eurocentric perspective.

7 December: IIAS Lunch Lecture Rings of Desire - Beijing as an Ordinary City

An IIAS/UKNA lunch lecture by Professor Jeroen de Kloet. “The city,” so does Robert Park argue in his seminal essay from 1915, “shows the good and evil in human nature in excess.” Which inspires him to read the city as a laboratory to study human behaviour. In my talk I want to connect the notion of excess to the significance of the ring roads in Beijing – an excessive city par excellence , too big, too polluted, too crowded, too ugly, and changing too fast, making one lose his way time and again.