Venue: Science Hub, Room H2.20 in Humanities Institute des University College Dublin


'EURASIAN ZONES OF CONTACT:The Russian & Qing Empires' Workshop

Date: Friday, 17th May 2024
Science Hub, Room H2.20


This workshop, organised by Dr Julia C. Schneider (University College Cork)and (opens in a new window)Dr Jennifer Keating(UCD), develops international collaboration on zones of contact between the Russian Empire (1721-1917) and the Qing Empire (1636/1644-1912). These zones are, on the one hand, geographically defined borderlands in Central, Inner, and East Asia, and, on the other hand, cultural, intellectual, political, and economic spaces wherein people from these two empires (and beyond) met and interacted. As recent work on the history of the Qing-Russian border, on borderlands of both empires, and on cross-border flows of information, people, and things has so clearly and excitingly demonstrated, there is much to be gained both by situating the two empires in direct comparative analysis and by conceptualising alternative spatial histories of Eurasia that acknowledge the existence of, but are not defined by, the political border. Some of the key research questions in this dynamic area of scholarship refer to the ways in which imperial borders were created, shaped, and transgressed by a variety of state officials, intellectuals, traders, and pastoral communities across the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries, and the degree to which the ‘border’ or ‘frontier’ is better conceived of as a highly fluid zone of contact and exchange, both spatially and intellectually.

The workshop seeks to generate conversation about local and regional entanglements, networks, and exchanges across these vast Eurasian territories. While conventional histories of the two empires have treated them as two separate political entities, the workshop aims to adopt transregional and transnational approaches to overcome the narrow and traditional idea of territory – and in doing so, to propose alternative spatial, economic, and cultural histories of the region that contribute to attempts to de-nationalise and de-territorialise the historiography.

Confirmed speakers:
Yuexin Rachel Lin (Leeds)
Eric Schluessel (George Washington)
Sören Urbansky (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Meng Zhang (Vanderbilt)

Humanities Institute des University College Dublin