“The Indian Ocean World and Eurasian Connections” (Summer School, Halle, Germany, July 25-30, 2016)

If you are a graduate or a postdoctoral student from Germany or NYU Global Network universities in New York, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi, who want to spend the summer vacation efficiently, there is a great opportunity for you!

The Center for Interdisciplinary Area Studies (ZIRS) at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, and the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai, China have recently announced a summer school, titled The Indian Ocean World and Eurasian Connections”. Taking place from July 25th to 30th, 2016 in Halle (Saale), Germany, the program will focus on “Networks of Connectivities: Routes, Commodities, and the Politics of the Indian Ocean. Here’s how the call for applications describes it:

The Center for Interdisciplinary Area Studies (ZIRS) at the Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, and the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai, China, will collaboratively offer a summer school on the topic of “The Indian Ocean World and Eurasian Connections”, the first in a series of three funded through a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.

This year’s summer school will take place in Halle (Saale), Germany, from July 25th to 30th, 2016 and will focus on “Networks of Connectivities: Routes, Commodities, and the Politics of the Indian Ocean.” The landmass extending from the Mongolian grasslands to the Black Sea is usually portrayed as the conduit for Eurasian interactions and exchanges. However, even more of the links across Eurasia were initiated by sea. The summer school foregrounds these links, demonstrating that the Indian Ocean has been an integral and essential aspect of trans-Eurasian connections from the early historical period to contemporary times.

The summer school invites qualified participants to meet with leading scholars from various parts of the world, who will direct our shared exploration of the commercial, diplomatic, religious, technological, and migratory exchanges across the Indian Ocean world that link the far eastern regions of Asia with the heartland of Europe and many areas in between.

Specific themes to be examined include:

  • the movement of products such as porcelain, spices, tea, and incense
  • the transmission of ideas, including those associated with Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity
  • archaeological evidence for sea travel
  • contestations over and interior working of maritime hubs
  • creation of and scrutinizing of cultural heritage sites
  • use of history for contemporary geopolitical agendas

Participants will learn about and discuss the dynamics of the Indian Ocean world through rigorous analysis of texts, archaeological evidence, secondary sources, and ethnographic data. The overall aim of the summer school is to stimulate an understanding of the importance of Indian Ocean “connectivities” and Eurasian exchanges in global history.

If this sounds of interest to you, send in an application! The application should include “a CV, a letter of intent (one page maximum) explaining why you would like to participate in the summer school, what knowledge you have on the subject, a short writing sample based on your current research interests” and be sent to as one pdf katja.mueller@zirs.uni-halle.edu no later than June 15, 2016.

The organizers will cover travel, accommodation and meals for the participants.

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