"Undisciplining Asia" Workshop: Scope and Themes

How did knowledge traditions and modalities from Inner, South, and East Asia shape an emergent and imperializing "science of the orient" in the north Atlantic during the 18-19th century? How might we write "anti-field history" that includes these contiguous but usually erased disciplinary traditions? What are the implications for critical methodologies which aim to delink from orientalist and colonial reproduction? This interdisciplinary workshop brings together scholars working at the porous frontiers of primary and secondary sources made in and from colonial South Asia and the Qing Empire. Our aim is to diversify our sense of the disciplinary past in order to inspire a more radical methodological imagination in the Asian humanities today that might delink from the persistent moral expectations and epistemic blindnesses of the West/Nonwest binary.


Contact Matthew King (mking@ucr.edu) for questions or more information.



-Xiaoming Hou (UC Berkeley): early medieval Chinese Buddhism and cross-cultural transmission and translation of Buddhist texts in France

-Stephan Licha (University of Chicago): 19th century British Sanskrit philology and its reception in Japan

-Alice Crowther (EPHE): intellectual and administrative histories of the Qing imperium and the Manchu translation of French anatomical knowledge

-Uli Harlass (Universitāt Bremen): Theosophical and Orientalist mediations of South Asian religious and intellectual traditions.

-Yang Lei (INALCO): material and sensory dimensions of religious culture during the Ming and Qing periods, epistemic transformation in the formative period of French Sinology.

-Matthew King (UC Riverside): Exchanges between Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist scholasticism and the milieu of Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat during the professionalization of Buddhist Studies in Europe.

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