"Moralism, Fundamentalism, and the Rhetoric of Decline in Eurasia, 1600–1900", directed by Andrea S. Goldman (UCLA) and Gabriel Piterberg (UCLA).
Sessions will take place at the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles and are hosted by the Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies.
This Clark and Center project explores responses to crises and upheavals in early modern landed empires, with special focus on the Ottoman and Qing empires. In particular, we will investigate the perceptions of temporary collapses of state power in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Detecting tendencies toward moralism and perceived decline in elite discourses and state policies, we will look at the ways such concerns were expressed in the domains of institutional and educational reforms, sexual mores, and cultural representation. We will also examine how social boundaries were both rigidified and contested at such moments of transition. We hope to discern shared patterns across Eurasia as well as trajectories specific to each political entity.
Session 1: "Moralism and the Rhetoric of Decline in Seventeenth-Century Eurasia"; Nov. 16-17, 2012
The background for this conference is the sixteenth-century price revolution in Eurasia and the attendant political and social crises of the first half of the seventeenth century. It will focus on two phenomena. The first is the religious movements and discourses of moral purification, which ranged from sexual mores to people’s attire when they appeared in the public domain. Papers on this theme will consider whether this may have been a reaction to what Walter Andrews has termed The Age of Beloveds (2005).
The second phenomenon is the proliferation of literatures of decline, in which bureaucrats and intellectuals tried to diagnose what was wrong with their states and societies, and to prescribe solutions accordingly. Papers on this topic will go beyond the limitations of content analysis and positivist reading, and will consider its social, literary and rhetorical dimensions.
Session 2: "Urban Discontent in the Long Eighteenth Century across Eurasia"; Feb. 8-9, 2013
This conference will examine various social and literary expressions of discontent in the main urban centers across these landed empires. Topics may include urban violence, sexual mores, literary lampoons, as well as states’ responses to such challenges to their authority.
Session 3: "Imperialism and Fundamentalism in Nineteenth-Century Eurasia"; May 17-18, 2013
This conference will explore the connections between encounters with Western imperialism and the rise of fundamentalist religious and cultural movements in the Ottoman and Qing empires. Discussions will occasion a revisiting of the term fundamentalism: its history and what it means in various contexts (and this one in particular). While typically scholarship on indigenous responses to imperialism and crises of state power have focused on the local reformers and modernizers, the papers for this session will look at the equally new turn to—or invention of—traditions, whether religious, intellectual, or literary, in the Eurasian landed empires on the verge of modernity. These developments, it will be suggested, helped to forge impressions both internally and abroad of these societies as moribund and “traditional” by the turn of the twentieth century. Topics may include Neo-Confucian revivalism in the late Qing, “preserving character” (xizi) associations in late nineteenth-century China, experiments with old-style poetry, changes in the Ottoman shadow puppet theater (karagöz), Salafi Islam, and Sultan Abdülhamid II’s pan-Islamic foreign policy.
If you are interested in participating in any of the sessions listed above, please contact Gabriel Piterberg (email@example.com) for further information.
Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellowships
This theme-based resident fellowship program, established with the support of the Ahmanson Foundation of Los Angeles and the J. Paul Getty Trust, is designed to encourage the participation of junior scholars in the Center's yearlong core programs.
Scholars will need to have received their doctorates in the last six years, (no earlier than July 1, 2006 and no later than September 30, 2012). Scholars whose research pertains to the announced theme are eligible to apply. Fellows are expected to make a substantive contribution to the Center’s workshops and seminars. Awards are for three consecutive quarters in residence at the Clark. Stipend is $38,496 for the three-quarter period together with paid medical benefits for scholar.
Application Deadline: February 1, 2012
For more information or to apply, visit www.cs1718cs.ucla.edu/fellowships.htm.
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