Iran and China: Common heritage and contemporary relations

Date: 27-28 September 2024
Location: University of Groningen
Deadline: 25 May 2024

Convenors: William Figueroa (University of Groningen) & Peyman Eshaghi (Free University of Berlin)

Since ancient times, connections between Iran and China have flourished through trade and literature. This has resulted in significant mutual influence on the artistic, cultural, and political development and histories of various peoples residing in the Iranian plateau, China, and Central Asia. Today a large amount of extant tangible and intangible cultural heritage exists in both Iran and China attesting to this shared history. Both forms of heritage are often referenced, put on display, and mobilized in support of a range of political and personal projects. Given its historical significance and contemporary relevance, the goal of this conference is to bring together scholars considering these common ties of cultural heritage, as well as how they are situated in contemporary academic, political, or cultural debates.

We invite papers on any aspect of the common heritage of Iran and China, including but not limited to the following issues:

Books, manuscripts, art works and first hand materials about Iran and China produced in either countries.
Literary products of any kind that consider the relationship between the two.
The presence or influence of Iranian or Chinese culture in the literature, folklore, and artistic traditions of the other.
Travelogues, diaries, and cultures of travel.
Accounts of historical political relations between Iran and China, including delegates and envoys.
The historical position of Iran on the Silk Road and its connection to China.
Material life, imported objects, and the objectification of imagination between the two countries.
Religious life, missionary groups, and promotion of Islam, Nestorianism and Manichaeism in Iran and China.
Emigration and immigration of Iranian and Chinese communities across Central Asia.
Contemporary mobilization of these themes in international relations, public discourse, and academic debates.
The workshop will be held in hybrid format, in person at University of Groningen for those who are able to attend, and online for colleagues who are unable to attend in person. The conference will be sponsored by the Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (Instituut voor Cultuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek Groningen: ICOG) and the Centre for Religion and Heritage (CRH).

Keynote Speakers:

Arang Keshavarzian, NYU
Khodadad Rezakhani, Leiden Institute for Area Studies

We invite interested scholars to send an abstract (300 words max.) and a one-page CV to: [email protected]

SUBMISSION DEADLINE for abstracts: 25 May 2024
Notification of the accepted abstracts: 30 May 2024
Deadline for submission of the first draft of presentations: 30 Aug 2024
Conference Date: Sept 27-28, 2024


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