Past Lectures

Past lectures of the Royal Asiatic Society are available to listen to online here.

Lecture Series 2019 – 2020:

13 February 2020: 

Dr Simon O’Meara (SOAS)

The Ka’ba of Mecca as Axis and Matrix Mundi



16 January 2020:

Professor Henrietta Harrison (Oxford University)  

George Thomas Staunton and the Perils of being a China Expert in early nineteenth-century London



20 November 2019:

Lord Stephen Green

The Human Odyssey – East, West and the search for Universal Values



19 November 2019:

Dr Tilman Frasch (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Bagan and the Theravada Buddhist Ecumene in the 12-13th Centuries CE



14 November 2019:

Professor Michael Franklin (Swansea University)

Phebe Gibbs, Our Calcutta Correspondent



12 November 2019:

Dr Giles Tillotson (DAG, New Delhi)

Vision and Landscape: New Perspectives on Oriental Scenery by Thomas and William Daniell



6 November 2019:

Paul Bromberg (Editor, Journal of the Siam Society)

Thai Silver and Nielloware



22 October 2019:

Dr Philip Mansel (Author)

The Sun King and the Sultan: Louis XIV and the Ottoman Empire



17 October 2019:

Professor Stephen Martin (University of Chiang Mai)

Surviving Asia, Sponsoring Mozart: The Polymathic Portrait of Dr Ferdinand Dejean



26 September 2019:

Dr Stefan Halikowski-Smith (Swansea University)

Two Missionary Accounts of Southeast Asia in the Late Seventeenth Century




Lecture Series 2018-2019:

6 June 2019:

Edward Weech (Librarian, Royal Asiatic Society)

Systems of Religion and Morality in the Collections of the Royal Asiatic Society



21 May 2019:

Cheryl Porter (Director of the Montefiascione Project)

Painting Manuscripts with Metals and Insects: Grind or flatten, catch and cook




2 May 2019:

Philip Davies (Author)

Lost Warriors- Seagrim and Pagani of Burma – The Last Great Untold Story of WWII




25 April 2019:

Dr Simon Wolfgang Fuchs (Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg)

When Tehran was the Brightest Star: A Global History of the 1979 Iranian Revolution



11 April 2019:

Dr Rayna Denison (University of East Anglia)

The Hidden History of Studio Ghibli: Short Films, Advertising and the Industrial Reality of Japanese Animation



14 March 2019:

Dr Yossef Rapoport (Queen Mary, University of London)

Lost Maps of the Caliphs: Drawing the World in Eleventh-Century Cairo – Lecture and Book Launch



7 March 2019:

Dr Jharna Gourlay (University of Lucknow)

Forceps, Stethoscopes and Sisterhood: British Female Doctors in 19th Century India



19 February 2019:

Dr Oliver Crawford (University of Cambridge)

The Languages of Indonesian Socialism




7 February 2019:

Dr John Clarke (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Collecting Tibet at the South Kensington Museum: the legacy of the 1904 expedition and beyond



10 January 2019:

Dr Cailah Jackson (Oxford University)

The Arts of the Book in a Time of Conflict: Manuscripts of Late Medieval Konya



13 December 2018:

Dr Alexandra Green (British Museum)

Sir Stamford Raffles: Civilised Views of Java



11 December 2018:

Professor Ian Gow (Edinburgh)

The Scottish Sinologist Alexander Wylie 1815-1887: Missionary, Man of Letters, Mathemetician



27 November 2018:

2018 Annual Rustaveli Day: Professr Elguja Khintibidze (Tbilisi State University)  and Dr Henry Sanford

 Britain-Georgia Connection through Personalities & Arts; Rustaveli and Shakespeare


20 November 2018:

Dr Jacob Ghazarian (Oxford University)

The Ancient Silk Road: Its enduring impact on China and renewed objectives



15 November 2018:

Moin Mir (Author) in conversation with Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones MBE

The Prince who beat the Empire: How an Indian Ruler took on the might of the East India Company



7 November 2018:

Omar Kahn (Author)

Paper Jewels: Postcards from the Raj




2 November 2018:

Dr George Michell (Independent Architectural Historian) and Dr. Helen Philon (Deccan Heritage Foundation) in conversation

The Islamic Architecture of the Deccan



23 October 2018:

Peter Hibbard MBE (RAS Shanghai)

More than a Stuffed Bird Show: The RAS Legacy in Shanghai




11 October 2018:

Dr Mehreen Chida-Razvi (SOAS)

The Mughal Madonna: Representations of the Virgin in Jahangiri-era Architecture




4 October 2018:

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones MBE (Independent Scholar)

‘My Dear Schomberg’: Letters from Sir Aurel Stein




Lecture Series 2017-2018:

15 June 2018:

John de Lucy and Dr Frances Wood

The Contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War


7 June 2018:

Dr Umberto Bongianino (University of Oxford)

Like Sweet Smelling Blooms: Arabic Calligraphy in the Islamic West




24 May 2018:

Dr Susan Whitfield (Institute of Archaeology, University College, London)

Silk, Slaves and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road



15 May 2018:

Dr Deniz Tuerker (University of Cambridge) 

The Yildiz Kiosk and the Queen Mothers of the Tanzimat Era: Gender, Landscape, and Visibility



10 May 2018:

Professor Charles Melville (University of Cambridge)

The Illustration of Mirkhwand’s Raudat al-safa in RAS Ms. P.38




3 May 2018:

Professor Anthony Stockwell (Royal Holloway, London)

Plunder and Restitution: Britain and the Mandalay Regalia




26 April 2018:

Dr Alex McKay (Sikkim Palace Archive Digitisation Project)

The View from the Palace: The Sikkim Royal Archives




19 April 2018:

John Falconer (British Library)

A Glorious Galaxy of Monuments.’ Photography and Archaeology in India in the 19th Century




12 April 2018:

Omniya Abd al-Barr (Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

K.A.C. Creswell’s Photographic Archive at the V and A Museum




10 April 2018:

Book Launch of Memory, Identity and Colonial Encounter in India: Essays in Honour of Peter Robb (SOAS, University of London)




8 March 2018:

Dr Peter Webb (University of Leiden)

Arab Origins: Identity, History and Islam




6 March 2018:

Professor Mercedes Volait (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

The Domestic Collecting of Islamic Artefacts in 19th Century Cairo: The Meymar Objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum



20 February 2018:

Dr Amy Matthewson (SOAS, University of London)

Mr Punch and Chinamania: Blue Willow China and Consumer Consumption in ‘Punch’ Magazine, 1874-1880



8 February 2018:

Dr Annabel Gallop (British Library, London)

The Great Seal of Aceh




23 January 2018:

Dr Alban von Stockhausen (Bern)

Images and (Post)colonial Encounters: A History of the Visual Representation of the Nagas of Northeast India



18 January 2018:

Dr Mark Condos (Queen Mary, University of London)

Anarchists, Revolutionaries, and Franco-British Imperial Policing in French Chandernagore, 1905-1930



11 January 2018:

Professor Christopher Fuller (London School of Economics)

European Science and Colonial Anthropology in British India, c. 1871-1911



13 December 2017:

David Leffman

William Mesny: How a British Adventurer Became a General in Qing-Dynasty China




23 November 2017:

Dr Elaine Wright (Chester Beatty Library, Dublin)

Lapis and Gold, Exploring Chester Beatty’s Ruzbihan Qur’an




21 November 2017:

RAS Collections Open Evening with presentation by

Rebecca Snow (Camberwell College of Arts)




24 October 2017:

Professor Francis Robinson Royal Holloway, London), Marion Molteno & Dr Rakhshanda Jalil

Introducing the New Edition of Ralph Russell’s Anthology of Urdu Literature: A Thousand Yearnings



12 October 2017:

Russell Harris (Institute of Ismaili Studies)

A Journal of Three Months’ Walk in Persia in 1884 by Captain John Compton Pyne