Prasenjit Duara, Oscar Tang Professor of East Asian Studies, Director, Global Asia Initiative, Duke University

Commentator: Michael Puett, the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History and Anthropology, and the Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion, Harvard University

Please rsvp to asianstudies@su.se no later than 14 May 2018.

In this lecture, professor Duara's goal is to assess the historical significance of the imperial Chinese world order, especially during the Qing period, in relation to later forms of global imperial domination. His argument is not a historicist one suggesting that the present expansion of Chinese power and influence in the One Belt One Road policy is somehow a return to those conceptions. Rather, he suggests that there are unexpected convergences between the imperial Chinese order and the emergent global order, including what he calls the imperialism of nation-state and the role of soft power.

Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Professor of East Asian Studies and Director of the Global Asia Initiative at Duke University. He was born and educated in India and received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was previously Professor and Chair of the Dept of History and Chair of the Committee on Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago (1991-2008). Subsequently, he became Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (2008-2015).

In 1988, he published Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942 (Stanford Univ Press) which won the Fairbank Prize of the AHA and the Levenson Prize of the AAS, USA. Among his other books are Rescuing History from the Nation (U Chicago 1995), Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (Rowman 2003) and most recently, The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future (Cambridge 2014). He has edited Decolonization: Now and Then (Routledge, 2004) and co-edited A Companion to Global Historical Thought with Viren Murthy and Andrew Sartori (John Wiley, 2014). His work has been widely translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and the European languages.

Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History and Anthropology, as well as the Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion, at Harvard University. His interests are focused on the inter-relations between philosophy, anthropology, history, and religion, with the hope of bringing the study of China into larger historical and comparative frameworks. He is the author of The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early China and To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China, as well as the co-author, with Adam Seligman, Robert Weller, and Bennett Simon, of Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity.

This event is co-organised by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and the Forum for Asian Studies, Stockholm University.