From Bombay to Oud Playing, Damascus to Jane Austen’s London
Over the past week the RAS has been delighted to host several events. On Thursday 9th June, Professor Sarah Ansari presented the last lecture in the 2015-2016 RAS Lecture Series. She spoke on “India at War: the Bombay Presidency’s ‘Home Front’, 1914-1918”. Her talk explained how the Bombay region was ideally situated with its western facing harbours playing an important role in the movement of troops and supplies. Some businesses thrived, such as the cotton industry with competition from Lancashire removed, but for many poor people, the increased cost of many commodities brought extra hardship.
On Monday 13th June Konrad Hirschler, Professor of Middle Eastern History (SOAS), launched his book: “Medieval Damascus: Plurality and Diversity in an Arabic Library” This book gives the first documented insight into the content and structure of a large medieval Arabic library due to his extensive research on the catalogue of the Ashrafiya Library. Professor Hirschler informative talk was ably and warmly introduced by Doris Behrens-Abouseif, Emeritus Professor, History of Art and Archaeology (SOAS).
Tuesday 14th June saw a different mood in the RAS Lecture Theatre as oud virtuoso, Joseph Tawadros, returned to the RAS to give a recital of his own compositions. Yet again the audience were enthralled by his skill and enlivened by his witty repartee.
And on Wednesday 15th June, Professor Francis Robinson introduced Nile Green, Professor of History at UCLA. Nile was here to launch his new book, “The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London”. This book follows the lives of six Iranian students, who in 1815 with chaperone Captain Joseph D’Arcy, arrived in London to study modern sciences. Using the diary entries of one of the students and other correspondence the book creates an account of the highs and lows of the London life that these men experienced.
Our run of events continues in the next couple of weeks:
Tuesday 21st June: RAS Guest Lecture – Shireen El Kassem will speak on “Mamluk helmets (1250-1517): New perspectives”
Thursday 23rd June: Book Launch – “Problems of Han Administration: Ancestral Rites, Weights and Measures, and the Means of Protest” by Michael Loewe
Wednesday 29th June: Book Launch – “Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran” by Ilker Evrim Binbas
All events take place at 6.30pm and we welcome you all to attend.