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Seminar 21 November 2014: Is early modern China global?

When and where did globalization start, and how do we narrate its history? Fellow Anne Gerritsen will present a NIAS seminar, Thursday 21 November 2013, where she will argue that material culture can play a significant role in tackling this question. She will bring some porcelain fragments to illustrate her research.

“This short seminar will attempt to tackle very large questions by means of very small objects. We can probably all agree that globalization is a strong feature of life on our planet today. But what does globalization look like from a historical perspective? When and where did globalization start, and how do we narrate its history? In the case of China, historians might once have differentiated between a separate and isolated past and a connected, globalized present, with Western modernity effecting the transition from one to the other. More recent scholarship has not only argued for multiple modernities, but also for varied early modern pathways that lead there. Inevitably, this requires a rereading of extant sources and the exploration of new sources. I argue that material culture can play a significant role in this context. I will bring some objects to give us the chance to discuss this on the basis of a hands-on experience.”

The NIAS Seminar series given by Fellows of the current research group is a sequence of lectures set up each academic year by the Rector of the Institute. The lectures are meant to appeal to interested parties from a wide range of backgrounds. 

The series aims to encourage closer contact with the various Dutch academic institutions and advance public understanding of the research the Institute aims to stimulate and promote. The lectures are always followed by an open discussion, which is considered a vital part of the seminar.

The monthly seminars take place in the Lecture Room (NIAS, Meijboomlaan 1, Wassenaar, telephone +31 (0)70-5122 700). The Seminar of 21 November starts at 16.00. Changes in the programme may occur, so, please let us know if you wish to attend. For further information contact communication@nias.knaw.nl.