Turning Points in Asian Histories

An Asia History Hub forum, Turning Points in Asian Histories, will be held on this Friday 16 May, 10:00am – 1:00pm, in room 227, Alice Hoy Building. Please register attendance with Shan Windscript at shan.windscript@unimelb.edu.au

The focus of this forum is historiographical: shifts in the field of Asian histories, broadly considered. The aim is to exchange information, ideas, and points of view about developments in our different areas of research, and perhaps to talk, yet again, about commonalities – if they exist – between the diverse places and peoples that are subsumed under the name “Asia”. We have two speakers to kick off discussion. Readings will be provided so that we have a common platform from which to talk.

10:00 am – Dr. Samia Khatun (SHAPS) “The rise and fall of the Subaltern Studies project – from Marxist inspired histories ‘from below’ to a theoretical focus on time/space.”

11:15 am – Dr. Lewis Mayo (AI) “Rethinking the origins of Asian-Pacific capitalism: The ‘Chinese 18th century’ in Southeast Asian and world history.”

12:30 pm – Asia History Hub business meeting.

Lunch will be provided.

Dr Samia Khatun Public Lecture

Samia Khatun, a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne, who is currently researching a 400-year history of textile workers in Bengal, spanning from Mughal India to contemporary Bangladesh, will deliver a public lecture on the topic of “The Camel and the Prophecy“, on Wednesday 16 April.

Prophecy has been a recurring element of Muslim political expression since the revelation of the Quran to Muhammed in 610 CE. Across South Asia, Muslim prophetic speech had a dynamic relationship to the rise of the British empire and by the late 19th century Muslim seers were engaging in a global conversation through the medium of print.

From 1860 CE, as prosperous merchants from British India and Afghanistan dispatched camels accompanied by South Asian workers to Australian deserts, prophetic narratives began to circulate through the English language newspapers of settler colonies increasingly hostile to non-white merchants and workers.

This presentation examines how Muslim merchants and workers deployed prophecies to respond to the changing fortunes of the camel industry and protest the emergence of ‘White Australia’ on a global stage.

Samia is currently finishing her book Camels, Ships and Trains: Connecting Histories from South Asia to Australia, which tells the history of a transportation network from the perspectives of South Asian and Aboriginal travellers.

To register visit: http://events.unimelb.edu.au/events/3830-the-camel-and-the-prophecy