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Global Asia Scholar Series (GLASS)

A joint Asian Modernities and Traditions (AMT) and Leiden Global Interactions (LGI) initiative bringing leading and emerging scholars to Leiden.

GLASS (Global Asia Scholar Series) represents a joint initiative between the Global Interactions and AMT research profiles. Since 2012, we have invited a leading or emerging international scholar whose work has been influential across disciplinary, regional and national boundaries within Asia and beyond.

GLASS brings to Leiden University prominent scholars working in fields associated with Asian studies, whose work has had or has the potential to have an impact across disciplinary, regional and national boundaries within Asia and beyond. 

Thus, at one level, the “global” in the title of the series is meant to reflect this aspect of scholarship and knowledge production from various fields comprising Asian studies.  At another level, it is meant to critically consider the question of “globalization,” historically and in its contemporary configurations through particular locations (not just in the geographically bounded sense) and experiences of Asia.   

Such a critical consideration may ask how Asia is itself a global formation while at the same time participating in the globalization of multiple aspects of human experience. Topics may include competing conceptions and categories of modernity and tradition, the changing shape of political communities, state-society formations and urban-rural relationships; modes of domination and resistance; forms and practices of identification; routes, patterns and hierarchies of economic and cultural production, exchange, dissemination, circulation and consumption; artistic practices, cultural institutions and media technologies; emergent social, political, ecological, and aesthetic movements; and histories of human migration and its effects.  

Through these two lenses, engaging the ‘global’ from the perspective of Asia and Asian studies, this series seeks to bring together the concerns of the Global Interactions and AMT research profiles.

GLASS scholars

Professor Ann Laura Stoler from the New School will be the Spring 2016 GLASS Scholar. She will visit from May 17-19, 2016.


Tuesday, May 17
3pm -5pm 
GLASS Public Lecture |Diffracted Histories and Colonial Recursions in These Times

Wednesday, May 18 - Application deadline is May 2nd 
1pm - 4pm 
GLASS Masterclass | Affective States: The Politics and History of Sentiment 

Thursday, May 19 
11:30am - 1:30pm 
GLASS Roundtable | Blind Spots: Seeing race in the 21st Century

Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research in New York since 2004.

She has worked for some thirty years on colonial governance, racial epistemologies, and the sexual politics of empire. She was a visiting distinguished professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and is recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council fellowships. Her books include: Capitalism and Confrontation in Sumatra’s Plantation Belt, l870-1979 (Yale, 1985), Race and the Education of Desire (Duke, 1995), Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power (California, 2002), Along the Archival Grain (Princeton, 2009), and the edited volumes, Tensions of Empire with Frederick Cooper (California, 1997), Haunted by Empire (Duke, 2006), Imperial Formations with Carole McGranahan and Peter Perdue (SAR 2007) and Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination (Duke, 2013). Two current projects are on racial France and a book on "the Imperial Modern.

She has been a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell, Birzeit University in Ramallah, the Goethe University in Frankfurt,and the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism. Her commitment to joining conceptual and historical research has led to collaborative work with historians, literary scholars, and philosophers, and to the creation of a new journal, Political Concepts: A Critical Lexicon, of which she is one of the founding editors. Professor Stoler is the Founding Director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry (ICSI).

Selected Publications

  • Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination (2013) 
  • "An Interview with Ann Laura Stoler by E. Valentine Daniel," Public Culture 24:3 (2012) 
  • Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (2009) 
  • Imperial Formations (2007) 
  • Haunted by Empire: Geographies of the Intimate in North American History (2006) 
  • Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (2002) 
  • Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (1997) 
  • Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (1995) 
  • Capitalism and Confrontation in Sumatra's Plantation Belt, 1870-1979 (1985)

Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty from the University of Chicago will be the 2015 Fall GLASS scholar. 15-16 October 2015.


Dipesh Chakrabarty is currently the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is also a faculty fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, an associate faculty of the Department of English, holds a visiting professorial fellowship at the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University, and an honorary professorial fellowship with the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, a co-editor ofCritical Inquiry, and a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies. He is a contributing editor to Public Culture, and has served on the editorial board of the American Historical Review. He was one of the founding editors (along with Sheldon Pollock from Columbia University and Sanjay Subrahmanyam from UCLA) of the series South Asia Across the Disciplines published by a consortium of three university presses (Chicago, Columbia, and California). He also serves on the Board of Experts for the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Chakrabarty’s most recent book, The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. He is working on "The Climate of History: Four Theses" in Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader (Routledge) and a book, provisionally entitled, History and the Time of the Present (Duke). His other publications include Rethinking Working-Class History: Bengal 1890-1940 (Princeton: 1989, 2000); Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2000; second edition, 2007); Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies (Chicago, 2002); He has also edited (with Shahid Amin)Subaltern Studies IX (Delhi: OUP, 1996), (with Carol Breckenridge, Homi Bhabha, and Sheldon Pollock) Cosmopolitanism (Duke, 2000); (with Rochona Majumdar and Andrew Sartori) From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition (Delhi: OUP, 2007), and (with Bain Attwood and Claudio Lomnitz) “The Public Life of History,” a special issue of Public Culture (2008). Provincializing Europe has been translated into Italian, French, Polish, and Spanish and is being brought out in Turkish, Korean, and Chinese. Habitations has been published in Arabic. A collection of two essays translated into Spanish was published in 2009: El humanismo en la era de la globalizacion and La descolonizacion y las politicas culturales (Buenos Aires: Katz Editores, and Barcelona: Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona, 2009). A Dipesh Chakrabarty Reader (in Chinese) was recently published from Shanghai (Nanfang Press, 2010). An assortment of essays was published in German under the title, Europa als Provinz: Perspektiven postkolonialer Geschichtsschreibung (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2010). A collection of essays written originally in Bengali was recently brought out in Calcutta, Itihasher janajibon o anyanyo probondho (The Public Life of History and Other Essays) (in Bengali) (Calcutta: Ananda Publishers, 2011)


Chakrabarty's research is currently focused on two areas: he is working on a book project on the implications of the science of climate change for historical and political thinking (see his essay in Critical Inquiry, Winter 2009, for a beginning) and is working on two long-term projects: one on democracy and political thought in South Asia and the other on a cultural history of Muslim-Bengali nationalism.

Recent Selected Publications

  • "The Climate of History: Four Theses." In Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader. Edited by in Ken Hiltner. New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2015.
  • The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth, c. 1900–1950. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2014.
  • "Friendships in the Shadow of Empire: Rabindranath Tagore’s Reception in Chicago, c. 1913–1932." Modern Asian Studies (April 2014): 1–27.
  • "Europa provicialisieren: Postkolonialitaet und die Kritik der Geshichte." In Jenseits des Eurozentrismus. Edited by Sebastian Conrad, Shalini Randeria, and Regina Roemhild, 134–161. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2013 (reprint).
  • "The Lost Causes of E. P. Thompson." Labour/Le Travail: Journal of Canadian Labour Studies (Fall 2013): 207-212.
  • "Die Gewalt und die Zivilisation: Dipesh Chakrabarty im Gespraech." Geo (November 2013): 55–58 (interview with Gabriele Riedle).
  • "Verspaetung und Modernitaet: Subalterne Historien, wieder mal." InModerne und Religion: Kontroversen um Modernitaet und Saekularisierung. Edited by Ulrich Willems et al., 183–201. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2013 (translation).
  • "Subaltern Studies in Retrospect and Reminiscence." Economic and Political Weekly (March 23, 2013): 23–27.
  • (With Rochona Majumdar) "Gandhi’s Gita and Politics as Such." Inolitical Thought in Action: The Bhagavat Gita and Modern India. Edited by Shruti Kapila and Faisal Devji, 6787. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013 (reprint).
  • "Foreword/Calcutta: In Memories and Photographs." In Redeeming Calcutta: A Portrait of India's Imperial Capital. Edited by Steve Raymer. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • "Subaltern Studies, Post-Colonial Marxism, and 'Finding Your Place to Begin from': An Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty. In Dialogues with Contemporary Political Theorists. Edited by Gary Browning, Raia Prokhovnik, and Maria Dimova-Cookson, 58–72. London: Palgrave, 2012.
  • "Interview: On Climate Change." RdL La Revue des Livres (November-December 2012).
  • "Le climat de l’Histoire: quatre theses." Entropia: Revue d’étude théorique et politique de la décroissance 12 (2012): 39–49 (French translation).
  • "The Climate of History: Four Theses." Beifang Luncong (The Northern Forum) 3 (2012): 58-67 (Chinese translation).
  • "Museums in Late Democracies." In Visual Culture Reader, 3rd ed. Edited by in Nicholas Mirzoeff. New York and London: Routledge, 2012.
  • "Community, State, and the Body: Epidemics and Popular Culture in Colonial India." In Medical Marginality in South Asia: Situating Subaltern Therapeutics. Edited by David Hardiman and Projit Mukharji, 36–58. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.
  • "Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change." New Literary History 43, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 1-18.
  • "From Civilization to Globalization: The West as a Signifier in Indian Modernity." Inter-Asian Cultural Studies 13. no. 1 (2012). French translation published in La Revue des Libres (January 31, 2012).
  • "Australian Lessons." In India and Australia: Bridging Different Worlds. Edited by Brian Stoddart and Auriol Weigold, 8–15. Delhi: Readworthy, 2011.
  • "Veraendert der Klimawandel die Geschichtschreibung? ("Does Global Climate Change Change History?" Transit 41 (2011).
  • "The Birth of Academic Historical Writing in India." In Oxford History of Historical Writing 1900–1950, vol. 4. Edited by Stuart Macintyre et al., 520–536. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • "The Muddle of Modernity." American Historical Review 116, no. 3 (June 2011): 663–675.
  • "Can Political Economy be Postcolonial?" In Postcolonial Economies. edited by Jane Pollard, Cheryl McEwan, and Alex Hughes. London: Zed Books, 2011.
  • "Romantic Nationalism and Its Ambivalent Legacies." Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training, 2011 (Sir Aurobindo Third Memorial Lecture, 2010).
  •  "Belatedness as Possibility: Subaltern Histories, Once More. In The Indian Postcolonial: A Critical Reader. Edited by Elleke Boehmer and Rosinka Chaudhuri, 163–176. London: Routledge, 2011.
  • "The Climate of History: Four Theses." Global History (2010): 348-386 (Korean translation).
  • "A Europe in the World? Twenty Years After 1989." Comprendre: Revue de Politique de la Culture 2 (2010) 189–196. Also published in Europa Regional 4 (2009).
  • "Historia subalterna como pensamento politico" ("Subaltern Studies as Political Thought"). In A Politica dos Muitos: Povo, Classes e Multidao. Edited by Bruno Dias and Jose Neves, 281–307. Lisbon: Tinta-da-China, 2010. Reprinted in English in Colonialism and Its Legacies. Edited by Jacob Levy and Iris Marion Young, 205–218. New York: Lexington Books, 2011.
  • "Bourgeois Categories Made Global: Utopian and Actual Lives of Historical Documents in India." In Utopia/Dystopia. Edited by Michael G. Cordin, Hellen Tilley, and Gyan Prakash, 73–93. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010). Also published in Economic and Political Weekly 25 (2009): 69-75
  • "The Legacies of Bandung: Decolonization and the Politics of Culture." In Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives. Edited by Christopher Lee, 45–68. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010. An earlier version published in Economic and Political Weekly (see below)
  • (With Rochona Majumdar) "Gandhi’s Gita and Politics as Such." Journal of Modern Intellectual History 7, no. 2 (2010): 335–353.
  • "Empire, Ethics, and the Calling of History: Knowledge in the Postcolony." In Unsettling History: Archiving and Narrating in Historiography. Edited by Sebastian Jobs and Alf Lüdtke, 63–88. Frankfurt, New York: Campus Verlag, 2010). Another version published in Ethical Life in South Asia. Edited by Anand Pandian and Daud Ali, 116–139. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.
  • "The Home and the World in Sumit Sarkar's History of Bengal." Essay published as part of a new edition of Sumit Sarkar's book The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, 1903–1908. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2010.

Professor Nile Green from UCLA will be the Spring GLASS-Islam Scholar. 18-20 March 2015.

Co-sponsored by LUCIS and Global Interactions.

Nile Green (Professor of History, UCLA)

After beginning his career as a historian of Islamic India and Pakistan, Nile Green has traced networks of Muslim activity that connect Afghanistan, Iran, the Indian Ocean, Islamic Africa and Central Asia, as well as Muslim diasporas as far apart as Europe, America and Japan. His writings span the domains of global, social, religious, cultural and literary history.

In recent years, Professor Green has focused on positioning Islam and Muslims in global history through such topics as intellectual and technological interchange between Asia and Europe; Muslim global travel writings; the transnational genealogy of Afghan modernism; and the world history of 'Islamic' printing. He has also used the networks forged by Sufi brotherhoods to understand pre-modern and early modern mechanisms of Muslim expansion from the Middle East to China and beyond.

Nile Green's books have ranged over the forms of Islam which evolved among the tribal societies of early modern Afghans to the intersection of religion and colonial service among the Muslim soldiers of the British Empire and the emergence of industrialized religious economies in the nineteenth century Indian Ocean, Atlantic and Pacific arenas. His current book reconstructs the beginnings of modern Middle Eastern and European intellectual exchange by following the first Iranian students to study in Europe between 1812 and 1819. One hallmark of Green's writing has been to join together the study of the early modern and modern periods, not least with regard to the question of multiple globalisms and globalizations. Through his initial training in Middle East Studies and my abiding interests in Muslims in Asia, Africa and Europe, he endeavors to bring global history into conversation with Islamic history.

In methodological terms, much of his work has drawn on the insights of anthropology, an interest that developed as he lived, researched and traveled in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chinese Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Yemen, Oman, Jordan, Morocco, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Myanmar and Malaysia. Given the fact that South Asia is home to the world's largest Muslim population, his work seeks to position the region in a global and comparative perspective. To this end, Professor Green serves as director of the UCLA Program on Central Asia and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and the South Asia Across the Disciplines book series.

Research interests 

World history; Muslims in global history; early modern & modern history of India/Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia; Muslim interactions with the non-Muslim world; Sufism; subaltern history; the Indian Ocean; Persian & Urdu travel writing; Islamic printing.

Selected publications 


  • Indian Sufism since the Seventeenth Century: Saints, Books and Empires in the Muslim Deccan (London: Routledge, 2006; paperback 2009).
  • Islam and the Army in Colonial India: Sepoy Religion in the Service of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009; paperback, 2012).
  • Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011). 
  • Winner of the Middle East Studies Association's Albert Hourani Book Award & the Association for Asian Studies' Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Book Award Interview
  • Sufism: A Global History (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012; reprinted 2013).
  • Making Space: Sufis and Settlers in Early Modern India (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • Religion, Language and Power, edited by Nile Green & Mary Searle-Chatterjee (New York: Routledge, 2008; paperback 2012).
  • Afghanistan in Ink: Literature between Diaspora and Nation, edited by Nile Green & Nushin Arbabzadah (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).
  • Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print, 1850-1930, edited by James Gelvin & Nile Green (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014).
  • Writing Travel in Central Asian History, edited by Nile Green (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014).
  • Terrains of Exchange: Religious Economies of Global Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014).
  • Afghan History through Afghan Eyes, edited by Nile Green (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015).
  • Mr D'Arcy's Persians: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen's London (forthcoming).

Artical and book chapters

  • "The Hajj as its Own Undoing: Global Infrastructure & Non-Muslim Contact in the Pilgrim Journey to Mecca", Past & Present (forthcoming).
  • "Islam in the Early Modern World", in Jerry Bentley & Sanjay Subrahmanyam (eds), The New Cambridge World History: The Early Modern Period vol.6, pt.2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  • "Buddhism, Islam and the Religious Economy of Colonial Burma", Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (forthcoming).
  • "Re-Thinking the 'Middle East' After the Oceanic Turn", Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 34,3 (2014).
  • "From the Silk Road to the Railroad (and Back): The Means and Meanings of the Iranian Encounter with China", Iranian Studies (forthcoming) (download pdf).
  • "Breaking the Begging Bowl: Morals, Drugs & Madness in the Fate of the Muslim Faqir", South Asian History & Culture 5, 2 (2014).
  • "Spacetime and the Muslim Journey West: Industrial Communications in the Making of the 'Muslim World'", American Historical Review 118, 2 (2013).
  • "Shared Infrastructures, Informational Asymmetries: Persians and Indians in Japan, c. 1890-1930", Journal of Global History 8, 3 (2013).
  • "Locating Afghan History", International Journal of Middle East Studies 45, 1 (2013).
  • "Forgotten Futures: Indian Muslims in the Trans-Islamic Turn to Japan", Journal of Asian Studies 72, 3 (2013).
  • "Maritime Worlds and Global History: Comparing the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean through Barcelona and Bombay", History Compass 11, 7 (2013).
  • "Anti-Colonial Japanophilia and the Constraints of an Islamic Japanology: Information and Affect in the Indian Encounter with Japan", Journal of South Asian History and Culture 4, 3 (2013).
  • “The Afghan Afterlife of Phileas Fogg: Space and Time in the Literature of Afghan Travel”, in Nile Green & Nushin Arbabzadah (eds), Afghanistan in Ink: Literature between Diaspora and Nation (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).
  • "The Rail Hajjis: The Trans-Siberian Railway and the Long Way to Mecca", in Venetia Porter (ed.), Hajj: Collected Essays (London: British Museum, 2013).
  • "Africa in Indian Ink: Urdu Articulations of Indian Settlement in East Africa", Journal of African History 53, 2 (2012).
  • "Urdu as an African Language: A Survey of a Source Literature", Islamic Africa 3, 2 (2012).
  • "Parnassus of the Evangelical Empire: Orientalism in the English Universities, 1800-1850", Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40, 3 (2012).
  • "The Trans-Border Traffic of Afghan Modernism: Afghanistan and the Indian 'Urdusphere'”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 53, 3 (2011).
  • “Muslim Bodies and Urban Festivals: Sufis, Workers and Pleasures in Colonial Bombay”, in S.F. Alatas & T. Sevea (eds), Sufism since the Eighteenth Century: Learning, Debate and Reform in Islam (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, forthcoming).
  • "The Trans-Colonial Opportunities of Bible Translation: Iranian Language-Workers between the Russian and British Empires", in Michael Dodson & Brian Hatcher (eds), Trans-Colonial Modernities in South Asia (London: Routledge, 2012).
  • “The Road to Kabul: Automobiles and Afghan Internationalism, 1900-1940”, in Magnus Marsden & Benjamin Hopkins (eds), Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).
  • “The Madrasas of Oxford: Iranian Interactions with the English Universities in the Early Nineteenth Century”, Iranian Studies 44, 6 (2011).
  • "Kebabs and Port Wine: The Culinary Cosmopolitanism of Anglo-Persian Dining, 1800-1835", in Derryl Maclean & Sikeena Karmali (eds), Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts (Edinburgh University Press, 2012).
  • "The Propriety of Poetry: Morality and Mysticism in the Nineteenth Century Urdu Religious Lyric", Middle Eastern Literatures 13, 3 (2010).
  • "The Dilemmas of the Pious Biographer: Missionary Islam and the Oceanic Hagiography", Journal of Religious History 34, 4 (2010).
  • "Stones from Bavaria: Iranian Lithography in its Global Contexts", Iranian Studies 43, 3 (2010). [Persian translation published in Payam-e Baharestan tabestan 1391 (summer 2012)]
  • "Persian Print and the Stanhope Revolution: Industrialization, Evangelicalism & the Birth of Printing in Early Qajar Iran", Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 30, 3 (2010). [Persian translation published in Iran Nameh: A Persian Quarterly of Iranian Studies 26, 3-4 (2011)]
  • "The Uses of Books in a Late Mughal Takiyya: Persianate Knowledge between Person and Paper", Modern Asian Studies 44, 2 (2010).
  • "Journeymen, Middlemen: Travel, Trans-Culture and Technology in the Origins of Muslim Printing", International Journal of Middle East Studies 41, 2 (2009).
  • "Among the Dissenters: Reciprocal Ethnography in Nineteenth Century Inglistan", Journal of Global History 4, 2 (2009).
  • "Defending the Sufis in Nineteenth Century Hyderabad”, Islamic Studies 47, 3 (2009).
  • "The Development of Arabic-Script Printing in Georgian Britain", Printing History n.s. 5 (2009).
  • "In the Universe of Mirrors: An Urdu Mystical Poet of Nineteenth Century Hyderabad", Journal of Deccan Studies 7, 2 (2009).
  • "Islam for the Indentured Indian: A Muslim Missionary in Colonial South Africa", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 71, 3 (2008).
  • "Tribe, Diaspora and Sainthood in Afghan History", Journal of Asian Studies 67, 1 (2008).
  • "Jack Sepoy and the Dervishes: Islam and the Indian Soldier in Princely Hyderabad", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 18, 1 (2008). [Winner of the Sir George Staunton Prize, Royal Asiatic Society]
  • "Breathing in India, c.1890", Modern Asian Studies 42, 2-3 (2008).
  • "Moral Competition and the Thrill of the Spectacular: Recounting Catastrophe in Colonial Bombay", South Asia Research 28, 3 (2008).
  • "Paper Modernity? Notes on an Iranian Industrial Tour, 1818", Iran: Journal of Persian Studies 46 (2008).
  • "Transgressions of a Holy Fool: A Majzub in Colonial India [Introduction & Translations from the Urdu]", in Barbara D. Metcalf (ed.), Islam in South Asia in Practice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).
  • "Making Sense of ‘Sufism’ in the Indian Subcontinent: A Survey of Trends", Religion Compass (Blackwell Online, 2008).
  • "Between Heidegger and the Hidden Imam: Reflections on Henry Corbin's Approaches to Mystical Islam", in Mohammad-Reza Djalili, Alessandro Monsutti & Anna Neubauer (eds), Le Monde turco-iranien en question (Paris: Karthala, 2008).
  • "Idiom, Genre and the Politics of Self-Description on the Peripheries of Persian", in Nile Green & Mary Searle-Chatterjee (eds), Religion, Language and Power (New York: Routledge, 2008).
  • "Religion, Language and Power: An Introductory Essay" (with Mary Searle-Chatterjee), in Nile Green & Mary Searle-Chatterjee (eds), Religion, Language and Power (New York: Routledge, 2008).
  • "Saints, Rebels and Booksellers: Sufis in the Cosmopolitan Western Indian Ocean, c.1850-1920", in Kai Kresse & Edward Simpson (eds), Struggling with History: Islam and Cosmopolitanism in the Western Indian Ocean(London/New York: Hurst/Columbia UP, 2007).
  • "The Faqir and the Subalterns: Mapping the Holy Man in Colonial South Asia", Journal of Asian History 41, 1 (2007).
  • "Shi'ism, Sufism and Sacred Space in the Deccan: Counter-Narratives of Saintly Identity in the Cult of Shah Nur", in Alessandro Monsutti, Silvia Naef & Farian Sabahi (eds), The Other Shi'ites: From the Mediterranean to Central Asia (Berne, Frankfurt & New York: Peter Lang, 2007).
  • "Blessed Men and Tribal Politics: Notes on Political Culture in the Indo-Afghan World", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 49, 3 (2006).
  • "Ostrich Eggs and Peacock Feathers: Sacred Objects as Cultural Exchange Between Christianity and Islam", Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean 18, 1 (2006), pp.27-66.
  • "Making a 'Muslim' Saint: Writing Customary Religion in an Indian Princely State", Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 25, 3 (2005), pp.617-633.
  • "Mirza Hasan Safi 'Ali Shah: A Persian Sufi in the Age of Printing [Introduction and Selected Translations]", in Lloyd Ridgeon (ed.), Religion and Politics in Modern Iran (London/New York: I.B Tauris, 2005), pp.99-112.
  • "Mystical Missionaries in Hyderabad State: Mu'in Allah Shah and his Sufi Reform Movement", Indian Economic and Social History Review 41, 2 (2005), pp.45-70.
  • "Translating the Spoken Words of the Saints: Oral Literature and the Sufis of Awrangabad", in Lynne Long (ed.), Religion and Translation: Holy Untranslatable? (Buffalo/Toronto: Multilingual Matters, 2005), pp.141-150.
  • "Stories of Saints and Sultans: Re-membering History at the Sufi Shrines of Aurangabad", Modern Asian Studies 38, 2 (2004), pp.419-446.
  • "Geography, Empire and Sainthood in the Eighteenth Century Muslim Deccan", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 67, 2 (2004), pp.207-225.
  • "Oral Competition Narratives of Muslim and Hindu Saints in the Deccan", Asian Folklore Studies 63, 2 (2004), pp.221-242.
  • "A Persian Sufi in British India: The Travels of Mirza Hasan Safi 'Ali Shah (1835-1899)", Iran: Journal of Persian Studies 42 (2004), pp.201-218.
  • "Emerging Approaches to the Sufi Traditions of South Asia: Between Texts, Territories and the Transcendent", South Asia Research 24, 2 (2004), pp.123-148. [reprinted in L. Ridgeon (ed.), Sufism: Critical Concepts (London & New York: Routledge, 2008.)]
  • "Who's the King of the Castle? Brahmins, Sufis and the Narrative Landscape of Daulatabad", Contemporary South Asia 13, 3 (2004), pp.21-37.
  • "Auspicious Foundations: The Patronage of Sufi Institutions in the Late Mughal and Early Asaf Jah Deccan", South Asian Studies 20 (2004), pp.71-98.
  • "The Religious and Cultural Roles of Dreams and Visions in Islam", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 13, 3 (2003), pp.287-313.
  • "Migrant Sufis and Sacred Space in South Asian Islam", Contemporary South Asia 12, 4 (2003), pp.493-509.
  • "The Survival of Zoroastrianism in Yazd", Iran: Journal of Persian Studies 38 (2000), pp.115-122.
  • "A New Translation of Suhrawardi's The Crimson Archangel ('Aql-e-Surkh)", Sufi: Journal of Sufi Studies 36 (1998), pp.34-39.

Professor Clare Harris from Oxford University will be the fall GLASS visiting scholar (December 9-11, 2014).


9 December 
GLASS Lecture - Remembering to Forget in Contemporary Tibet: Presenting the Potala Palace as 'Heritage' 
Gravensteen, rm 11

10 December 
GLASS Masterclass
1-4pm (tentative) 
Center for Material Culture Research 
Museum Volkenkunde

11 December 
GLASS Faculty Roundtable 
Gravensteen, rm 11

Clare Harris is Professor of Visual Anthropology and Pitt Rivers Museum Curator for Asian Collections at the University of Oxford. Prior to that she was lecturer in the Anthropology of Art at the School of World Art Studies, University of East Anglia. She trained at the universities of Cambridge and London (School of Oriental and African Studies).

From the age of 18, when she worked as an English teacher in a school for Tibetan refugees in the foothills of the Himalayas in India, Clare has had a passionate interest in India and Tibet. Since then, she has travelled to India repeatedly and has also conducted research in the Tibetan-speaking regions of the People’s Republic of China, Nepal and the globally dispersed Tibetan diaspora.  Her research primarily focuses on visual and material culture in those areas using theories and methods derived from anthropology, art history and museology. Following multiple research trips to the Himalayas in the early 1990s, she wrote In the Image of Tibet (1999), the first study of ‘modern’ Tibetan art. It won the jury prize for best book in Visual Anthropology from the International Centre for Ethnohistory in 2000. Her fieldwork in the Western Himalayan region of Ladakh also led to a co-edited book. A second strand of Clare’s research is more closely connected to her curatorial role at the Pitt Rivers Museum and to working with historic objects and archives. She has created exhibitions such as ‘Seeing Lhasa’ (Pitt Rivers Museum 2003) and ‘Generation Exile’ (Hanart, Hong Kong, 2011) and directed collections-based research activities, such as the AHRC-funded ‘Tibetan Visual History’ project from whichThe Tibet Album website was produced. The website, featuring 6000 photographs of Tibet taken before 1950, was launched by the 14th Dalai Lama in May 2008. Further examples of Clare’s engagement with photography in and of Tibet can be found in the book Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital (2003) and several articles. For her new monograph, The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics and the Representation of Tibet Clare combined the two approaches mentioned above – fieldwork in contemporary Tibetan communities and the detailed analysis of museums and their contents - to make a powerful argument about old and new forms of colonialism and their impact on the representation of Tibet in museums, photography and art from the mid-19th century to the present day. The foundations of this book were established when she was awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship in 2006-2007.

Clare continues to investigate many of the topics described above and they often feature in her teaching, curatorship, talks, conference papers and publications. Research projects currently underway include: preparation for a new book on Tibet and photography, ongoing ‘participant observation’ in the burgeoning field of ‘Tibetan Contemporary Art’ and an innovative study of the visual and material cultures of British colonialism in Himalayan hill stations. An edited volume based on The Future of Ethnographic Museums conference that she convened with Michael O’Hanlon in July 2013 is also in development.

Clare has given many talks for the public and has appeared on BBC radio 3 and 4.

Selected Publications


  • 2012  The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics and the Representation of Tibet, University of Chicago Press.
  • 2005  Ladakh: Culture at the Crossroads Marg Publications, Mumbai, India (co-edited with Monisha Ahmed, (and reprinted by Marg in 2010).
  • 2003  Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936 – 1947. Serindia Publications, Chicago, USA (co-authored with Tsering Shakya)
  • 1999  In the Image of Tibet: Tibetan Painting after 1959, Reaktion Books, London.

Articles and Chapters 

  • 2014  ‘Digital Dilemmas: The Ethnographic Museum as Distributive Institution’ in Beyond Modernity: Do Ethnographic Museums need Ethnography?", Vito Lattanzi, Sandra Ferracuti, Elisabetta Frasca (Eds), Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico "Luigi Pigorini", Rome - Espera Libreria Archeologica: Rome.
  • 2013  ‘The Potala Palace: Remembering to Forget in Contemporary Tibet’, in South Asian Studies Journal, Vol. 29. No.1, pp 97 – 111
  • 2013  ‘The Future of the Ethnographic Museum’ (with Mike O’Hanlon), Anthropology Today, Vol. 29. No.1, pp. 8-12.
  • 2013  ‘In and Out of Place: Tibetan Artists’ Travels in the Contemporary Art World’ Visual Anthropology Review, Vol. 28, Issue 2, pp 152 - 163.
  • 2008  ‘The Creation of a Tibetan Modernist: The Painting of Gonkar Gyatso’ in Elizabeth Edwards and Kaushik Bhaumik (Eds.) Visual Sense: A Cultural Reader Berg, Oxford and New York, pp. 351 - 358.
  • 2007  ‘British and German Photography in Tibet in the 1930s: The Diplomatic, the Ethnographic, and Other Modes’ in Isrun Engelhardt  (Ed.) Tibet in 1938-1939: Photographs from the Ernst Schäfer Expedition to Tibet, Serindia Publications, Chicago, pp 73 – 90.
  • 2007  ‘The Buddha Goes Global: some thoughts towards a transnational art history’ in Location Deborah Cherry and Fintan Cullen (Eds.) Blackwells, Oxford, pp. 166-188.
  • 2004  ‘The Photograph Reincarnate: The Dynamics of Tibetan Relationships with Photographs’ in Photographs Objects Histories, Elizabeth Edwards and Janice Hart (Eds.) Routledge, London, UK, pp. 132 – 147.
  • 2003  ‘Seeing Lhasa: British Photographic and Filmic Engagement with Tibet’ in Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936 – 1947, Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya, Serindia Publications, Chicago, USA, pp. 1 - 76.
  • 2001  ‘The Politics and Personhood of Tibetan Buddhist Icons’ in Beyond Aesthetics: Art and the Technologies of Enchantment Christopher Pinney and Nicholas Thomas (Eds.), Berg, London, UK, pp. 181 -199.

Professor Dame Caroline Humphrey from Cambridge University (Social Anthropology) will be the spring GLASS visiting scholar (March 5-7, 2014) 

GLASS Events with Caroline Humphrey

Mar 5, 2014 
Lecture:Remote Areas and Minoritised Spatial Orders at the Russia-Mongolia Border
3pm - 5pm 
Gravensteen, Rm. 11 

March 6, 2014 
10am - 1pm 
(application info)

Mar 7, 2014 
Faculty Roundtable: International Borders and the Incoherent State 
11am - 1pm 
Gravensteen, Rm. 11 

Caroline Humphrey, FBA, is an anthropologist who has worked in Russia, Mongolia, China (Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang), India, Nepal and Ukraine. She has researched a wide range of themes including Soviet and post-Soviet provincial economy and society; Buryat and Daur shamanism; Jain religion and ritual; trade and barter in Nepal; environment and the pastoral economy in Mongolia; and the history and contemporary situation of Buddhism, especially in Inner Mongolia. She has written on inequality and exclusion; the politics of memory; naming practices; ethics and conceptions of freedom. Recent research has concerned urban transformations in post-Socialist cities (Buryatia; Uzbekistan, Ukraine). Currently she is developing a research project on socio-political interactions on the Russian–Mongolian–Chinese border.

Caroline Humphrey's PhD (1973) from the University of Cambridge was on 'Magical Drawings in the Religions of the Buryats', supervised by Edmund Leach. Since 1978 she has held appointments in the Department of Social Anthropology(Cambridge). Together with Urgunge Onon she founded the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (MIASU) in 1986. She retired from her post as Sigrid Rausing Professor of Collaborative Anthropology, University of Cambridge in October 2010 and became Director of MIASU.

Caroline Humphrey was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to scholarship in the 2010 New Year Honours list.

Selected Publications


  • 1983 Karl Marx Collective: Economy, Society and Religion in a Siberian Collective Farm, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Staley Prize, School of American Research]
  • 2002 The Unmaking of Soviet Life: Everyday Economies After Socialism, Cornell: Cornell University Press. [Heldt Prize]

Edited Volumes and Journal Speci al Issues

  • 2004 Property in Question: Value Transformation in the Global Economy, edited by Caroline Humphrey and Katherine Verdery. Oxford: Berg. This book contains an introduction, ‘Introduction: Raising Questions about Property’, by Caroline Humphrey and Katherine Verdery.
  • 2007 Urban Life in Post-Soviet Central Asia, edited by Catherine Alexander, Victor Buchli and Caroline Humphrey. London: UCL Press. This book contains a chapter by Caroline Humphrey, ‘New Subjects and Situated Interdependence: After Privatisation in the City of Ulan-Ude.’ 175-207.
  • 2012 Frontier Encounters: Knowledge and Practice at the Russian, Chinese and Mongolian Border, edited by Franck Billé, Grégory Delaplace and Caroline Humphrey. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. This book contains a chapter by Caroline Humphrey, 'Concepts of "Russia" and their relation to the border with China.' 55-70.
  • 2012 Post-Cosmopolitan Cities: Explorations of Urban Coexistence, edited by Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaja. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books. This book contains a chapter by Caroline Humphrey, 'Odessa: pogroms in a cosmopolitan city.' 17-64.
  • 2012 Cosmologies of Fortune: Luck, Vitality and Uncontrolled Relatedness. Edited by Giovanni da Col and Caroline Humphrey. Social Analysis, Vol 56, number 1. 
  • 2012 Future and Fortune: Contingency, Morality and Anticipation of Everyday Life. Edited by Giovanni Da Col and Caroline Humphrey. Social Analysis, vol 56, no 2.


Dr. Farish Ahmad Noor from Nanyang Technical University will be the summer GLASS Visiting Scholar (June 13-14, 2013).

Farish Ahmad Noor is a Malaysian political scientist and historian and is a Senior Fellow at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. At the NTU he is part of the research cluster on the contemporary development of trans-national religio-political networks across South and Southeast Asia, where he is studying the phenomenon of Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist religio-political mobilisation in the public domain.

He was formerly attached to Zentrum Moderner Orient (Centre for Modern Oriental Studies) in Berlin, Germany, Sciences-Po Paris, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Society (IISMM, Ecole des haute études en sciences sociale, EHESS), Paris and the International Institute for the Study of the Muslim World (ISIM), Leiden, Netherlands. Dr. Noor's teaching credits include the Centre for Civilisational Dialogue, University of Malaya, the Institute for Islamic Studies, Free University Berlin, Sunan Kalijaga Islamic University (Jogjakarta), Muhamadiyah University Surakarta and Nanyang Technological University.

He received his BA in Philosophy & Literature from the University of Sussex in 1989, before studying for an MA in Philosophy at the same University in 1990, an MA in South-East Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, before completing his PhD at the University of Essex in 1997 in the field of governance and politics.

Dr. Noor also runs a research site www.othermalaysia.org along with Dr. Yusseri Yusoff, which looks at the history of Malaysia from an alternative, deconstructive angle and which attempts to demonstrate the constructiveness and contingency behind historical development, particularly of nation-states from the pre-colonial to post-colonial era.

Over the past ten years he has also been researching the phenomenon of transnational and translocal religio-political movements, including missionary movements such as the Tablighi Jama'at and its networks from South to Southeast Asia; as well as the development of religio-politics in South and Southeast Asia, looking at the rise of Muslim, Christian and Hindu political-religious revivalism in particular (see "Islam" in Richter & Mar, 2004).

His other interests include antiques and material history, and he has written about the plastic arts of Southeast Asia, focusing on things such as the Indonesian-Malaysian keris to the development of woodcarving and architecture.

Farish has also appeared in the semi-documentary film The Big Durian, directed by Amir Muhammad.


Thursday, June 13th - Film Screening: Lord Jim 
 details TBA

Thursday, June 13th - Public Lecture: 'Pirate' is what I'm Not: The role of the 'Southeast Asian Pirate' in the Discourse of Legitimation for European Colonial Adventurism 
Academy Building, Small Auditorium 
Rapenburg 67-73 
Reception to Follow (Facutly Club) 

Friday, June 14th - Faculty RoundtableTBA 
Gravensteen, Room 111 
Pieterskerkhof 6 

Professor Mrinalini Sinha from the University of Michigan will be the spring GLASS Visiting Scholar (April 23-25, 2012).

Mrinalini Sinha is Alice Freeman Palmer Professor in the Department of History and Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature (by courtesy) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has written on various aspects of the political history of colonial India, with a focus on anti-colonialism, gender, and transnational approaches. She has written numerous works including the books: Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire (2006) and Colonial Masculinity: The 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali' in the late nineteenth century (1995). She has recently become interested in the different forms of political imaginings, beyond the nation-state, that animated anti-colonial thought in India at least until the interwar period. Currently, she is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 2012 Fellow in the Humanities. Her Guggenheim project, with the title “Complete Political Independence: The Curious History of a Nationalist Indian Demand,” will explore the contingency of the development of the nation-state form in India.


Tuesday, April 23rd- Public Lecture:The Abolition of Indenture and the Time-Space of Global History
Academy Building, Small Auditorium 
Rapenburg 67-73 
Reception to Follow  

Wednesday, April 24th - Masterclass: Writing Global Narratives: The Promise and Challenge of Different Scales of Analysis 
Gravensteen, Room 11 
Application deadline: April 3rd 

Thursday, April 25th - Faculty Roundtable Discussion: Asian Modernities, Global Interactions, and the Question of Gender 
Gravensteen, Room 11 
Pieterskerkhof 6 

Additional Materials

Her book, Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire is available on reserve at the O.L.G. of the Main Library. 

Specters of Mother India tells the complex story of one episode that became the tipping point for an important historical transformation. The event at the center of the book is the massive international controversy that followed the 1927 publication of Mother India, an exposé written by the American journalist Katherine Mayo. Mother India provided graphic details of a variety of social ills in India, especially those related to the status of women and to the particular plight of the country’s child wives. According to Mayo, the roots of the social problems she chronicled lay in an irredeemable Hindu culture that rendered India unfit for political self-government. Mother India was reprinted many times in the United States, Great Britain, and India; it was translated into more than a dozen languages; and it was reviewed in virtually every major publication on five continents.

Sinha provides a rich historical narrative of the controversy surrounding Mother India, from the book’s publication through the passage in India of the Child Marriage Restraint Act in the closing months of 1929. She traces the unexpected trajectory of the controversy as critics acknowledged many of the book’s facts only to overturn its central premise. Where Mayo located blame for India’s social backwardness within the beliefs and practices of Hinduism, the critics laid it at the feet of the colonial state, which they charged with impeding necessary social reforms. As Sinha shows, the controversy became a catalyst for some far-reaching changes, including a reconfiguration of the relationship between the political and social spheres in colonial India and the coalescence of a collective identity for women.

Film: BBC Documentary: Coolies: How Britain Reinvented Slavery
Description: The slave trade was officially abolished throughout the British Empire in 1807. This documentary reveals one of Britain's darkest secrets: a form of slavery that continued well into the 20th century - the story of Indian indentured labour. "Coolies: How Britain Reinvented Slavery" tells the astonishing and controversial story of the systematic recruitment and migration of over a million Indians to all corners of the Empire. It is a chapter in colonial history that implicates figures at the very highest level of the British establishment and has defined the demographic shape of the modern world. Combining archive footage and historical evidence the programme includes interviews with Gandhi's great-grandaughter, Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, about Gandhi's campaign to end indentured labour and David Dabydeen - author and academic - whose great-grandfather was an indentured labourer in British Guyana. 

Professor Engseng Ho from Duke University will be the fall GLASS Visiting Scholar (November 21-23, 2012).

After graduating from Stanford with undergraduate degrees in economics and anthropology, Professor Ho spent a few years as an international economist in Singapore before pursuing a masters and PhD at the University of Chicago. There he regularly met with multiple mentors in anthropology, Arabic and Islamic studies. His dissertation on a society of Yemeni people that had a 500-year history of migration broke the mold of a traditional anthropology program that focuses on the study of contemporary society in one geographic locality. 

Professor Ho spent two years in Yemen conducting research that revealed a rich history of a people who traveled throughout East Africa, the Arab world, India and Southeast Asia, intermarrying and contributing to the establishment of new Muslim religious, political and legal institutions. The dissertation grew into a book: The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean, published by the University of California Press in 2006.

GLASS Events

Public Lecture: Dubai and Singapore: Asian Diasporics, Global Logistics, Company Rule 
Wednesday, Nov 21 
Time: 15.00-17.00 hrs 
Venue: Leiden Law School (KOG), Room A144

Master Class: Nations from the Outside In: Religious, Politicaland Commercial Entanglements between Diasporas and Empires 
Thursday, Nov 22 
Time: 9.30-17.00 hrs 
Venue: Green Room of the East Asian Library 
Information and application can be found here
Application deadline: October 24th, 2012 

Faculty Roundtable: Asian Modernities, Global Interactions and Alternatives to Eurocentricism 
Friday, Nov 23 
Time: 13.00-15.00 hrs 
Venue: Gravensteen Room 111

Works by Engseng Ho

His book, The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean is available on reserve at the O.L.G. of the Main Library.

The Graves of Tarim tells of how Muslim sailors, scholars, merchants, and settlers from Yemen have made a place for themselves across the Indian Ocean for the last 500 years. Through the ties of a literate and religiously-inspired diaspora that has rivaled and challenged European expansion, Hadrami voyagers shape a world beyond the Euro- American imagination. Professor Ho shows how the study of non-European texts and histories is essential to understanding the tensions and dynamics of globalization--both in the past and today. His work challenges the modernist categories that have informed anthropology and offers a model of how to chart the emergence of regional worlds.

Further reading: 
Empire through Diasporic Eyes: A View from the Other Boat. Society for Comparative Study of Society and History.(April 2004): 210-246.

The Two Arms of Cambay: Diasporic Texts of ecumenical Islam in the Indian Ocean. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Volume 50, Numbers 2-3, 2007, pp. 347-361.

Activities organized

All GLASS Visting Scholars will give a lecture that is open and free to the public.

May 17, 2016 - Ann Stoler

Professor Ann Laura Stoler (Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research in New York)

Diffracted Histories and Colonial Recursions in these Times 
This talk poses a simple question: how do colonial histories matter in our contemporary world? Might we think of this moment, not as one of a colonial past or colonial present but one in which a colonial presence pervades sensibilities and evades easy recognition, as it still carves out the jagged political lineaments and fault lines of unequitably distributed duress today. Challenging us to reconsider the categories and concepts on which understandings of colonial effects have relied, it calls for concept-work that attends not to the fixity of concepts, but to their fragilities and filiations, and the political logics and foreclosures which they support. 

October 15, 2015 - Dipesh Chakrabarty

Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty (Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago)

Scales of History: On Subaltern, Global, and Planetary Studies 
This lecture will look at the question of how conceptions of history that emerged out of postcolonial and global contexts of the late-twentieth century fit in or conflict with emergent ideas about very large-scale Big or Deep Histories. The lecture will also discuss possible futures, in an age of major planetary problems, for historiographical traditions that once sought - and perhaps still seek - to critique Eurocentric constructions of the world.

Video: https://vimeo.com/146113611

December 9, 2014 - Clare Harris

Professor Clare Harris (Visual Anthropology and Pitt Rivers Museum Curator for Asian Collections, University of Oxford)

Remembering to Forget in Contemporary Tibet: Presenting the Potala Palace as 'Heritage' 
 Apart from the Taj Mahal, few historic structures in Asia can compete with the iconic potency of the Potala Palace in Lhasa the erstwhile capital of Tibet. Both these seventeenth century edifices appear to fulfil one of the basic definitions of a monument: they are dedicated to the commemoration of an absent person. But whereas the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan deliberately set out to create a ravishing mausoleum for his wife, the Potala has only become a monument since 1959 when the fourteenth Dalai Lama fled Tibet and sought exile in India. As the supreme embodiment of the Tibetan cause travelling the world in its pursuit, the Dalai Lama’s mobility contrasts greatly with the stubborn immovability of his palace: a building which for many Tibetans now stands as a painful memorial to his absence from the homeland. This talk considers the transformation of the Potala from its previous roles as the residence of the Dalai Lamas, the institutional heart of Tibetan Buddhism and the administrative base of the Tibetan government, into an empty shell that is emphatically claimed as the property of the People’s Republic of China. It examines the processes by which a building of enormous religious and political significance to Tibetans has been converted into a heritage site that fulfils the criteria of UNESCO and a tourist destination that appeals to both domestic and international visitors. In teasing out the tensions arising from heritage discourse at this site, I argue that in contemporary Tibet monumentalisation has less to do with eliciting memory than with a state-led agenda of "organised forgetting" (Connerton).

March 5, 2014 - Caroline Humphrey

Professor Dame Caroline Humphrey (Social Anthropology, Cambridge University/Director of MIASU)

The lecture will first outline how ‘remoteness’ was conceived and constructed during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods in Russia. Using the ideas of the social geographer Boris Rodoman, it argues that centric structures of power, communications and state provision created scalar zones of non-development and isolation at borders between internal administrative regions. In post-Soviet times the structure continued, but according to Vladimir Kagansky it has been disturbed by recent ‘spontaneous transformations’ whereby state international borders are becoming areas of contact and enterprise, rather than isolation. The lecture will suggest to the contrary that, with the increasing centralisation of the Putin era, Kagansky’s theory has not been realised on the Russia-Mongolia-China border, and that international frontiers with reduced crossing points in fact deepen the residents’ situation of being ‘cut off’ or ‘at a dead end’. However, the indigenous people living in border zones, notably the Buryat, operate not only with these state-inspired geographies, but also with their own quite different spatial concepts. These are so much the converse to the Russian that they can be seen as a distinctive minoritized vision. The Buryat ideas and ritual practices reach across political boundaries. In effect they create a subtle challenge to the spatiality of the Russian state. It will be suggested that roads in this situation become particularly concentrated vectors of contradictory values.

June 13, 2013 - Farish Noor

Dr. Farish Noor (Senior Reseacher, Nanyang Technical University)

Pirate is what I'm not: The use of the term 'Pirate' from the age of colonialism to the current discourse on maritime security in Southeast Asia
Today the term 'pirate' has obvious negative connotations and is widely used in the security discourses of Southeast Asia. Yet it can be shown that this term has evolved over the past two centuries, where it was initially introduced as a means to draw an internal boundary between the order of colonial knowledge and power, and the real lives of the colonised natives. This presentation is part of a collaborative work between Dr Farish A Noor and Yan I-Lann, a Malaysian artist, which looks at the plural meanings of 'pirate' and 'piracy' today. It will argue that the use of the term 'pirate' was political in nature from the beginning, and was part of a wider effort of epistemically classify and arrest the meaning of the colonised native subject in a fluid region where movement and diasporas were a reality. By labeling the native Other as pirate, the colonisers were also drawing a distinction between themselves, and identifying themselves in terms of what they were and what they did not wish to be. The semantic and epistemic arrest of the term 'pirate' was thus a symptom of a broader arrest of the Southeast Asian archipelago as a whole. 

April 23, 2013 - Mrinalini Sinha

Mrinalini Sinha (Professor of History, University of Michigan) 

The Abolition of Indenture and the Time-Space of Global History 
This talk offers a series of reflections on the challenges and limits of contemporary frame-works of global history through a detailed study of the movement for the abolition of indenture. The abolition of the indentured labor system, which had been put in place in the aftermath of Atlantic slavery to substitute emancipated African slaves with indentured Indians on colonial plantations overseas, provides a challenge for existing global historical frameworks that tend to privilege space over time. This talk makes the case for a return to the “temporal,” through an exploration of the concept of an “interregnum,” to understand the much-neglected movement for the abolition of indenture or what following the abolition of Atlantic slavery has been called the “second abolition.”

Nov 21, 2012 - Engseng Ho

Enseng Ho (Professor of Anthropology and History, Duke University) 

Dubai and Singapore: Asian Diasporics, Global Logistics, Company Rule 
Dubai and Singapore are emblematic of the contemporary global moment, embodying dizzying success, frenetic excess, spectacular crash. Are they global cities or port-states? Are they Asian nations or corporations descended from the English EIC and Dutch VOC? Their iconic status today as global cities is not simply a function of globalization, but can be understood in terms of dynamic currents that shape and reshape places in the Indian Ocean, the original Asian venue of an international economy. Dubai and Singapore are two tiny places that have been successful because they have understood those currents, and acted in accordance with changes in their dynamics. What are these dynamics – their constants over the long term, and their recent shifts?

This kick-off Global Asia Series lecture, together with the GLASS masterclass, provides a maritime perspective on Global Asia.

GLASS will offer masterclasses on subjects chosen by the scholars. These classes will be open to all Masters-level students and higher from Leiden and other universities. Students should submit a short application online.

Masterclass with Clare Harris

Instructor: Clare Harris (Professor of Visual Anthropology and Pitt Rivers Museum Curator for Asian Collections at the University of Oxford) 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 
Time: 1-4pm 
National Museum of Ethnology (Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde) 
Steenstraat 1 

This class invited reflection on topics that address the global modalities of museum practice, object circulation and visual economy and their intersections, with a special focus on Tibet. 

Part 1 (60-90 minutes) 
Discussions focused on the first four chapters of Professor Harris's book The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics and the Representation of Tibet (University of Chicago Press, 2012): 

- Chapters 1 & 2: colonial constructions of knowledge and the politics of possession: object extraction and museum representation 

- Chapters 3 & 4: photography: the archival, the historic and the afterlives of photographs when circulated in the 'visual economy' and/or in digital distribution

Students will be asked to prepare a critical response to one chapter of the book and use it to make comparisons with their own research.

Part 2 (60 minutes) 
In the second part of the class Professor Harris lead an informal discussion using the Tibetan exhibits at the Ethnological museum.


Harris, Clare E (2012) The Museum of the Roof of the World: Art, Politics, and the Representation of Tibet. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


  1. Introduction 
  2. The Tibet Museum in the West 
  3. The Younghusband Mission and Tibetan Art 
  4. Picturing Tibet for the Imperial Archive 
  5. Photography and the Politics of Memory

The Challenge of Equity and Justice in the Shariah - Jonathan Brown

Instructor: Jonathan Brown (Associate Professor, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization, Georgetown University).

Date and Time 
Thursday 30 October, 12.00-15.00 hours. 
Location: Johan Huizinga Building 
Doelensteeg 16, Leiden 
Room 008B. 

This seminar looked at the institution of the mazalim (equity) court in Islamicate legal history, with a focus on how it fit into or shaped notions of justice.

This masterclass was organised by LUCIS in cooperation with GLASS (Global Asia Scholar Series).

Masterclass with Caroline Humphrey

Instructor: Caroline Humphrey (MIASU, Anthropology, Cambridge University)

Date & Time 
6 March 2014 
Johan Huizinga Building 
Conference Room (2nd Floor) 
Doelensteeg 16 
2311 VL Leiden

Caroline Humphrey lead a small workshop in which students had the opportunity to present and get feedback on their own research projects. Students prepared and pre-circulated a text on their own research; these were presented and discussed in the workshop.


  • Asian perspectives on borders / sovereignty 
  • 'Post-socialism' - including comparative studies 
  • Spatiality and mobility 
  • Asian cultural influences, borrowings from country to country 
  • Exceptional and closed spaces within states 
  • Gendered practices at borders

Writing Global Narratives: The Promise and Challenge of Different Scales of Analysis - Mrinalini Sinha

Instructor: Mrinalini Sinha (Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History, University of Michigan) 

Wednesday, April 24th 
2-5pmGravensteen Room 11 
Pieterskerkhof 6 

Class Description 
 This class invites reflection on the organization of knowledge into different units and scales of analyses. How has the "global turn" in academic scholarship influenced the way we think about the units and scales of our scholarly enquiry? What are the issues at stake in these questions? How are these modes of thinking relevant to a wide-range of scholarship? MA students and PhDs from Leiden and elsewhere are encouraged to apply.


  1.  M. Sinha, “Introduction,” Specters of Mother India (Duke University Press, 2006), pp. 1-22 
  2. Barbara Weinstein, “History Without a Cause? Grand Narratives, World History, and the Postcolonial Dilemma,” International Review of Social History 50.1 (2005): 71-93 
  3. Barbara Anadaya, “Oceans Unbounded: Transversing Asia Across “Area Studies”,” Journal of Asian Studies, 65:4 (2006): 669-690 
  4. Lisa Lowe, “The Intimacy of Four Continents” in Ann L. Stoler ed. Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (Duke University Press, 2006), pp. 192-212

Nations from the Outside In: Religious, Political and Commercial Entanglements between Diasporas and Empires - Engseng Ho

November 22, 2012 
9.30am - 5pm 
Green Room of the East Asian Library 

WSD Complex, Het Arsenaal 
Arsenaalstraat 1 
Leiden University 

Class Information: 
The class is open to MA to PhD-level students. The class will be divided into two sessions. The morning session will be a seminar discussion on a selection of articles chosen by Professor Ho, and the afternoon session will focus on the discussion of student research. The class will be limited to 15-20 students. MA students and PhDs from Leiden and elsewhere are encouraged to apply.

Morning Session (Two 1.5 hour sessions) 
Part 1. Disussion of the work of Engseng Ho: 
a) The Graves of Tarim (2006) 
b) Inter-Asian Research and the Theoretical Challenges of Doing Thick Transnationalism (forthcoming).

Part 2. Discussion of other works: 
a) Kuo, Huei-Ying, Transnational Business Networks and Sub-ethnic Nationalism: Chinese Business and Nationalist Activities in Interwar Hong Kong and Singapore, 1919-1941.Unpublished 2007 dissertation, SUNY Binghamton 
b) Ralph Croizier, Koxinga and Chinese Nationalism: History, Myth, and the Hero. Selections Harvard U. Press 1977 
c) Oliver August, Inside the Red Mansion: On the Trail of China's Most Wanted Man. Selections. Mariner Books, 2008

Afternoon Session (3 Hours) 
Selected student papers will be discussed. If you have a paper you wish to be considered for this part of the class, please submit it along with your abstract (see application). Students whose papers are selected will be expected to present their work (15 minutes) and will be allotted 30 minutes of discussion time (10 minutes for Engseng Ho, 20 minutes for general discussion).

GLASS will host various events that involve the Visiting Scholars or relate to their work. These might include faculty roundtable discussions, reading groups, film screenings, or visits to collections.

Faculty Roundtable: Art in Exile (December 2014)

11 December 2014  
Gravensteen, Room 11  
Pieterskerkhof 6  
2311 SR Leiden

Art in Exile: global modalities of art production, display and appropriation 
 What different kinds of work does art do in a global context? Specifically focusing on art in ‘exile’ or diaspora, we wish to discuss and debate how art - produced, displayed and encountered - constitutes different modes of global knowledge and experience.

For the artist in exile, artworks can produce a powerful expression of a complex suite of anxieties, desires, affective states and political statements that encompass experiences of exile, belonging, liminality, and fragmentation. In the museum context, assemblages of objects and artworks that are the result of longstanding European collecting practices in distant places do a very different kind of work in their host country. Here, we wish to problematize more explicitly the notion of the ‘exotic’. Like the fetish and the rarity, the exotic is art “in exile” from its previous familiar surroundings. In what ways does the act of bringing something inside museum walls set in motion a series of metamorphoses? More concretely, one could ask: what does Asian (or African or American) art mean in the context of the Europe, both within institutional/public culture and popular/private culture? What, if any, is the relationship between the display of ‘Asian Art’ in national museums and the popular trend of displaying Buddhas in Dutch homes? We are interested in examining the kinds of experiences and expectations that inhabit or enshroud Asian or other art practice in these different contexts of exile.

Scholars invited to this roundtable addressed these various modalities of art-in-exile in order to foster critical reflection on the histories and conditions of possibility that have brought about the exiled or diasporic status of various artworks and collections. We considered what these art practices reveal about historical and contemporary relationships between Europe and other states and regions, and the specific capacity of art to mediate, consolidate, transgress and transform them.

Topics and participants

Prof.dr. Anne Gerritsen (Leiden, LIAS)


  • Prof. Clare Harris (Oxford, Anthropology) - exile and belonging in global art worlds  
  • Prof. Peter Pels (Leiden, Anthropology) - collecting and enclosing the ‘exotic’  
  • Dr. Wayne Modest (NMWV, Director of the Research Center for Material Culture)- popular appropriations of non-European art  
  • Dr. Anna Grasskamp (Heidelberg, Art History)- crossroads – framing ‘Asian art’ in Europe

Faculty Roundtable: Who Owns the Canon? (October 2014)

Time: 11.00-13.00 hours.  
Location: Heinsius room, University Library 
Witte Singel 27, Leiden. 

This faculty roundtable was organised by LUCIS in cooperation with GLASS (Global Asia Scholar Series).

Who Owns the Canon? 
 Is the concept of a canon, a fixed and historically located corpus of words spoken by a historical figure, an illusion? The historical processes that lay behind the formation of authoritative scriptures have long been included in debates on how to trace words passed on through time and place to historical figures. Taking this process further, the canon can be viewed as a living text – the (temporary, localized) product of a never-ending process of revision and change at the hands of individuals and groups far removed from the one in whose name the words were spoken. Applied to constantly new needs and insights, the question arises to what extent the transmitted words can be linked to the historical figures who gave their name to them and whether we can speak of canons at all.  

Examining the canon as a continuously fluid corpus, this roundtable raised the following questions:  

  • How do canons come into existence? What forces, external or internal, impact(ed) the formation process and the form of authoritative scriptures? How does this impact claims of historicity?  
  • Can we identify a situation of "being a canon" or are there only "canonization processes"? Is there an end to the canonization process?  
  • How does the appropriation of authoritative scriptures by individuals and groups impact the form of a canon?  
  • How does the use of the canon through time and place impact its meaning and form? What revisions and changes are recognizable in this process?  
  • Against this background, is it still possible to speak of the words of Socrates, Muhammad, Confucius, the Buddha, etc.?


  • Professor Jonathan Brown (Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization, Georgetown University)  
  • Professor Jonathan Silk (Buddhist studies, Leiden University)  
  • Professor Ineke Sluiter (Classical languages and culture, Leiden University)   
  • Dr Kiri Paramore (Asian Studies, Leiden University)  

Chair: professor Petra Sijpesteijn (director of LUCIS and professor of Arabic Language and Culture, Leiden University).

Faculty Roundtable: International Borders and the Incoherent State (March 2014)

7 March 2014 
Gravensteen, Room 1.11 
Pieterskerkhof 6 
2311 SR Leiden

Roundtable Questions 
Is the idea of the coherent state no longer tenable? From the perspective of its borders and margins, the state and its classical image as exercising full authority within its borders has eroded. Increased mobilities (of people, commodities, networks) across national borders has undermined simple binary couplings such as legality and order, state and authority, legitimacy and power. Exploring questions of fluid or ‘incoherent’ borderlands, this roundtable will raise the following questions:

  • In what ways do transnational flows and mobilities, and the multiple state strategies to contain, bypass, deflect or co-opt them, produce ‘incoherent states’ or new concepts of the state? 
  • How is the concept of sovereignty reconfigured by competing sources of authority and the social configurations created in border zones across Asia? Do these border practices effectively render differences between strong and weak states irrelevant and if so how and to what extent? 
  • What new subjectivities and moral geographies are produced in such zones?

1. Caroline Humphrey (Anthropology, Cambridge) 
2. Erik de Maaker (Anthropology, Leiden) 
3. Leonard Blussé (History, Leiden) 
Chair: Leo Lucassen (History, Leiden) 

Faculty Roundtable: Postcolonial Frictions? (June 2013)

Postcolonial Frictions? (Dis)Locating the 'pre-modern' in Asian Modernities
14 June 2013 
11.00-13.00 hrs 
Gravensteen, Room 1.11 
Pieterskerkhof 6 
2311 SR Leiden

Kicking off the discussion, Farish Noor spoke about the recent 'invasion' of East Malaysia by Southern Filipinos who claim an ancestral right to their 'native land'. He used this example as a way to look at the question of the postmodern postcolonial nation state in Asia and is concerned with the following questions: 

- Can we really escape primordialism (ethno-nationalism and ties of blood and belonging) in a postcolonial world today? 
- Are these ties really a symptom of the pre-modern interrupting the course of modernity (ie. an abberation) or are they forms of subaltern resistance that may not necessarily be negative? 
- How do we understand the process of capital-driven democratic development in Asia today? I view countries like Malaysia, Indonesia as hybrid states that contain elements iof both the modern and pre-modern, and without having to create a new hybrid typology, can we rethink our premises for modernity and the project of Modernity?

General Roundtable Questions 
1. Where is the ‘primordial’ in the post-colony? How do state and capital stage, appropriate or re-configure the primordial and the pre-modern?

2. How do contesting claims of lineage and ancestry (through the tropes of ethnicity, regionalism, sovereignty, cultural practice, etc.) disturb the idea of a monolithic ‘national-modern’ in the post-colonies?

3. Are frames of ‘hybrid’, ‘alternative’, and ‘multiple’ modernities valid or sustainable for theorizing the Asian modern?

1. Farish Noor (Political Science, Nanynag Technical University) 
2. Bart Barendregt (Anthropology, Leiden) 
3. Kiri Paramore (LIAS-Japanese Studies, Leiden) 
4. Idrees Kanth (LIAS-South Asian Studies, Leiden)

Faculty Roundtable: The Question of Gender (April 2013)

Asian Modernities, Global Interactions and the Question of Gender 
25 April 2013 
13.00-15.00 hrs 
Gravensteen, Room 11 
Pieterskerkhof 6 
2311 SR Leiden 

Roundtable Questions 
1. What does gender analysis—and not just a focus on women -- bring to fields such as Asian studies and global studies? What are some of the conceptual blind spots of these fields that it helps illuminate?

2. Why has gender-analysis remained marginal to the major concerns and questions of Asian and global studies?

3. Does gender continue to remain an important category of analysis in this moment of post-national scholarship? Has gender reached its conceptual limits as currently conceived?

4. How might Asian and global studies revitalize the critical potential of gender as a category of analysis? What questions and concerns might these fields raise for gender scholarship?

Professor Mrinalini Sinha, History/South Asia, Unversity of Michigan 
Prof. dr. Remco Breuker, Korean Studies, Leiden 
Dr. Ratna Saptari, Anthropology/Southeast Asia, Leiden 
Dr. Harriet T. Zurndorfer, Chinese History, Independent Scholar/Leiden 
Dr. Anup Grewal (Moderator) Comparative Literature, Kings College London 

M. Sinha, “A Global Perspective on Gender: What’s South Asia Got to do with it?" in Ania Loomba and Ritty Lukose eds. South Asian Feminisms (Duke University Press, 2012), pp. 356-374

Ara Wilson, “Intimacy: A Useful Category of Transnational Analysis” in Geraldine Pratt & Victoria Rosner eds. The Global and the Intimate, (Columbia University Press, 2012), pp. 31-56.

Faculty Roundtable: Alternatives to Eurocentricism (November 2012)

Asian Modernities, Global Interactions, and Alternatives to Eurocentricism 
November 23, 2012  
13.00-15.00 hrs 
Gravensteen, Room 1.11 
Pieterskerkhof 6 
2311 SR  Leiden

Roundtable Questions 
Both AMT and LGI profile areas at some level posit the question of imagining and pursuing a true alternative to Eurocentric scholarship.  

1. What would such an alternative look like and how concretely, not just ideally, is this possible?  

2. What are the stakes that may inform such a path?  

3. What do we mean by “alternative?” Are formulations such as “multiple modernities” or “Asian modernities,” or even theories of “flows” and networks” able to engage with questions of power, histories of colonialism and imperialism or other economic, political, cultural and ideological hierarchies?  

4. What kinds of questions trouble the creation of fields such as “Asian studies”, “Area Studies” and “International Studies” ?  

5. How are “areas” or regions like “Asia” constituted? How do these configurations interact with theories of the “global” and “transnational?” What kinds of disciplinary questions do they pose? What, in other words, are the stakes of these fields, approaches and disciplines? Do they conceal/repeat Eurocentricity or Eurocentric processes of othering? 

Engseng Ho’s scholarship has importantly engaged in such questions and we have invited him to start off the discussion and debate. Our goal is to foster a wider debate and discussion amongst the researchers here at Leiden. We have invited 5-6 Leiden scholars to make statements and will invite a larger group of researchers from within and outside of Leiden to take part in the discussion. Although the roundtable will focus on Asia, scholars working in the areas of Middle Eastern Studies and African studies will join the roundtable. The proceedings will be open to the Leiden community, and we hope to video the proceedings to make it available to the community at large.


Periodically, GLASS programs will include other kinds of events (book discussions, film screenings, etc.) that enrich or supplement the main activities.

Lord Jim Film Screening (June 2013)

Film Screening of Lord Jim 
13 June 2013 
Plexus, Spectrum Room 
Kaiserstraat 25 

Supplement to Farish Noor Lecture 
Farish Noor selected this film as a complement to his GLASS lecture that examined the role of the Southeast Asian 'pirate' in European colonial adventurism. As a British seaman in colonial times, the protagonist sees himself as part of a 'civilizing mission', and the story involves a 'heroic adventure' at the height of the British Empire's hegemony. Conrad's use of a protagonist with a dubious history has been interpreted as an expression of increasing doubts with regard to the Empire's mission. Literary critic, Elleke Boehmer, sees the novel as part of a growing suspicion that 'a primitive and demoralizing other' is present within the governing order.

Lord Jim is a 1965 adventure film made by Columbia Pictures produced and directed by Richard Brooks. The film stars Peter O'Toole, James Mason, Curt Jürgens, Eli Wallach, Jack Hawkins, Paul Lukas, and Daliah Lavi. It is the second film adaptation of the 1900 novel of the same name by Joseph Conrad. The first was a silent film released in 1925 and directed by Victor Fleming. The film received two BAFTA nominations, for best British art direction and best British cinematography.

Plot Summary (Wikipedia) 

Jim (his surname is never revealed), a young British seaman, becomes first mate on the Patna, a ship full of pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the hajj. When the ship starts rapidly taking on water and disaster seems imminent, Jim joins his captain and other crew members in abandoning the ship and its passengers. A few days later, they are picked up by a British ship. However, the Patna and its passengers are later also saved, and the reprehensible actions of the crew are exposed. The other participants evade the judicial court of inquiry, leaving Jim to the court alone. The court strips him of his navigation command certificate for his dereliction of duty. Jim is angry with himself, both for his moment of weakness, and for missing an opportunity to be a 'hero'.

At the trial, he meets Charles Marlow, a sea captain, who in spite of his initial misgivings over what he sees as Jim's moral unsoundness, comes to befriend him, for he is "one of us". Marlow later finds Jim work as a ship chandler's clerk. Jim tries to remain incognito, but whenever the opprobrium of the Patna incident catches up with him, he abandons his place and moves further east.

At length, Marlow's friend Stein suggests placing Jim as his factor in Patusan, a remote inland settlement with a mixed Malay and Bugis population, where Jim's past can remain hidden. While living on the island he acquires the title 'Tuan' ('Lord'). Here, Jim wins the respect of the people and becomes their leader by relieving them from the predations of the bandit Sherif Ali and protecting them from the corrupt local Malay chief, Rajah Tunku Allang. Jim wins the love of Jewel, a woman of mixed race, and is "satisfied... nearly". The end comes a few years later, when the town is attacked by the marauder "Gentleman" Brown. Although Brown and his gang are driven off, Dain Waris, the son of the leader of the Bugis community, is slain. Jim returns to Doramin, the Bugis leader, and willingly takes a fatal bullet in the chest from him as retribution for the death of his son.

Marlow is also the narrator of three of Conrad's other works: Heart of DarknessYouth, and Chance.


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