Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie



Vortragsreihe "Global Intellectual History as Political and Ethical Critique"

01.05.2018 – 15.07.2018

Vortragsreihe Global Intellectual History


Tuesday, 24.04., 18.30-20.00, Japan Zentrum, Oettingenstr. 67, Room 161:

Dr. Julia C. Schneider (Göttingen): "A Non-Western Colonial Power in Early Modernity? The Qing Empire in Post-Colonial Discourse."

This lecture analyses a thesis which has regained strength in historical works on Chinese history, particularly Qing history in the 1990s: "The Qing Empire of China was a colonial empire" (Peter Perdue, 1998), it has been claimed by various China scholars, and the Qing Empire can thus be compared to and analysed along the same parameters as Western colonial empires.

The lecture will trace perspectives of colonialism and postcolonial theories used by historians arguing in this way and to shed light on the justified attempt by historians to break open the dichotomy of West/colonizing actor versus Rest/colonized victim, as well as ask, if and how this dichotomy can indeed be smashed by conceptualizing the Qing Empire as a colonial empire.

Tuesday, 15.05., 18.30-20.00, Hgb Room B 011:

Nicholas Matheou (Oxford): "From Methodological Nationalism to an Anarchist Heuristic: Hegemony and Counterpower before Capital."

Despite prominent critiques of nationalism and nationhood over the last forty years, history continues to be written as the story of reified peoples/countries – as 'nations'. Clearly, therefore, these critiques have been insufficient, and ultimately this is down to one basic problem: the state. Behind the ideological façade of 'national histories' lies the assumption that history is the story of states, mystified as 'peoples' in the supposedly pre-state 'pre-modern' (=pre-capitalist) world. In this lecture, therefore, methodological nationalism will be situated as a particular instance of the general problem of methodological statism. The solution, then, becomes obvious: to develop of a methodologically anti-state, that is, an anarchist heuristic. Drawing on examples from the pre-capitalist eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, this lecture will demonstrate what an anarchist heuristic looks like in practice.

Thursday, 24.05., 18.30-20.00, Japan Zentrum, Oettingenstr. 67, Room 161:

Dr. Carolien Stolte (Leiden): "Pan-Asianism and its Regionalist Afterlives:
a View from India, c.1917-1960."

'Many a writer on Asia [...] postulates a unity that has no existence outside his own imagination', John Steadman once lamented. Regions are discursive constructs, but this has not limited their potential as rallying point for intellectual and political projects. Rather, it has multiplied it. This seminar considers the many things that 'Asia' could become when viewed from India. It takes the intellectual underpinnings of the Indian (Pan-)Asianist projects of the early twentieth century as a starting point, and asks if and how such visions carried over into decolonization and the regionalist projects of the early Cold War.

Tuesday, 10.07., 18.30-20.00, Hgb Room B 011:

Neilesh Bose (Victoria, Canada): "Islam and Buddhism as World-Making Vehicles in Nineteenth Century India: Global Intellectual Histories of Religion."

Recent histories of religion and reform in colonial India have complicated older models of diffusion, acculturation, and neo-Hindu nationalism through a focus on translation, encounter, and subjectivity yet have left trans-regional, yet Indian, religions like Islam and Buddhism mostly out of consideration. This lecture will explore the history of research into Islam and Buddhism by the Brahma Samaj, often considered the first modern reformist institution begun in Kolkata in the early nineteenth century. Recent debates in the field of South Asian religions, frequently focused on Hinduism, as well as universal and comparative religious thought in India will be discussed, and the Brahma Samaj, Islam and Buddhism's role in it will be elucidated. Furthermore, the speaker will explore how the evolving concept of universal religion in nineteenth century India comprises a portion of global intellectual history.