[Webinar] The Buddhist Cosmopolis: Connectivity, Diversity, and Materiality in the Buddhist World(s) by Prof. Tansen Sen

Please see the event recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIyWnPDtmlg

November 5, 2020, 05:00PM PDT/07:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

This event will be conducted entirely online via Zoom. Registration is required and is available here.

Abstract: The circulation of Buddhist ideas, literature, art, and people resulted in the creation of a connected world in Asia, which this presentation calls a “Buddhist cosmopolis.” In addition to explaining this idea of a Buddhist cosmopolis, the presentation examines the ways in which the circulations and the diversity of Buddhist practices, ideas, objects and people could be studied and conceptualized. It specifically examines the spread of knowledge, art forms, and the travels of missionaries and pilgrims within various parts of Asia to demonstrate the spatial and ideological connections, as well as the unique local traditions that emerged at these locations. The presentation suggests employing frameworks of “convergence,” “divergence,” “entanglements,” and other concepts related to mobility and connections to theorize this idea of a Buddhist cosmopolis. The understanding of a Buddhist cosmopolis, it argues, also helps comprehend the intricacies of intra-Asian interactions and the impact Buddhism had in fostering them.

Faculty Host: Shih-shan Susan Huang

Tansen Sen is Professor of history and the Director of the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai, and Global Network Professor at New York University. Previously he was a faculty at the City University of New York and the founding head of the Nalanda Sriwijaya Center at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. He is the author of Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 (2003; 2016) and India, China, and the World: A Connected History (2017; 2018). He has co-authored (with Victor H. Mair) Traditional China in Asian and World History (2012), edited Buddhism across Asia: Networks of Material, Cultural and Intellectual Exchange (2014), and co-edited (with Burkhard Schnepel) Travelling Pasts: The Politics of Cultural Heritage in the Indian Ocean World (2019), and (with Brian Tsui) Beyond Pan-Asianism: Connecting China and India, 1840s-1960s (forthcoming). He is currently working on a book about Zheng He’s maritime expeditions in the early fifteenth century, a monograph on Jawaharlal Nehru and China, and co-editing (with Engseng Ho) the Cambridge History of the Indian Ocean, volume 1. Free

Part of Transnational Asia Speaker Series, Chao Centre for Asian Studies, School of Humanities, Rice University

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