Early Historical Thought in Eurasian Context

All day
UChicago Center in Delhi


From the late centuries before the beginning of the Common Era, deep into its first millennium, disparate societies across the Eurasian landmass developed ways of engaging with their past, through narrative, material culture, forms of language-use, and ways of cultured being. The sources that emerged from these differing cultures of history provide the bedrock on which the modern historian of the ancient world constructs her argument and interpretation. The specialist abilities required in order to work in any of these areas are formidable, and each historiography is possessed of its own debates and dynamics. Research questions moving across the different historical cultures (for instance, the study of early Inner Asia) and expressly comparative studies of these cultures exist, but the need for a cross-cutting dialogue between different areas, is especially urgent. Recent and exciting research on the interconnections at the level of ideas and material culture across the supercontinent suggests the need to think collectively and critically the interconnected ways of knowing the past across Eurasia.

As the focus of the workshop at the Delhi Center is on comparative study of early historical traditions across Eurasia , the workshop will bring together specialists of the classical West, central Asia, India, China, and the Asia Buddhist ecumene to frame and pursue big questions about the different varieties of historical knowledge, the interconnections between historical thinking and other social processes, and their place of such knowledge in collective forms of self-understanding and self-presentation.

This event is by invitation only.