Afghanistan: At the Heart of the Silk Roads
Sanjyot Mehendale, UC Berkeley
Thursday, October 21, 2021, 7 pm (ET)
A talk organized by the Dunhuang Foundation
PO Box 8309, Houston, TX 77288
This talk aims to counterbalance the popularly imagined Afghanistan—filtered by the mass media through the lens of terrorism and war— as a barren and backward place. Instead, presenting a place that lies at the heart of vibrant, millennia-old regional and international trade and exchange networks, with a culture not only rich but richly diverse, not isolated and insulated but deeply and complexly engaged with other cultures near and far.
Sanjyot Mehendale received her B.A. (Art and Archaeology) from the University of Amsterdam and her M.A. (Art and Archaeology) from the Rijksuniversity of Leiden, The Netherlands. She obtained her Ph.D. (Near Eastern Studies) in 1997 from the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1997, she has been teaching Central Asian and Silk Roads art and archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Berkeley. From 2001-2005, she was the co-director of the Uzbek-Berkeley Archaeological Mission (UBAM). During the same period, she was Executive Director of the Caucasus and Central Asia Program. Among Dr. Mehendale’s main research concerns is a focus on the Kushan period, in particular on trade and cultural exchange and the relationship between Kushan kingship and Buddhist institutions. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, she has developed, in collaboration with the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, a digital archive of the Begram ivory and bone carvings, which were once housed in the National Museum in Kabul, Afghanistan (www.ecai.org/begramweb). The author of several articles on Silk Roads art and archaeology, she is the co-editor of Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora (Routledge, 2005). At Berkeley, Sanjyot Mehendale is Chair of the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for Silk Road Studies and Vice-Chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies.
As a co-organizer of the event that is related to the DEIB work, I would like to invite you to attend the following event, “Ancestors and Archives online workshop,” on October 20, 2021. Please register using the link below. Please feel free to share this event with your respective professional lists.
UC Berkeley Library has purchased a Latinx Studies Related Database by Proquest: History Vault: Latino Civil Rights During the Carter Administration, 1979-1981.
The resource can be accessed here. If you are accessing it from an off-campus location, please use proxy or VPN authentication.
The database self-description is as follows, “This resource provides insight into the efforts of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government to reach out to the burgeoning Latino population during the last two years of the Carter Administration. Major topics covered in this collection include inflation, bilingual education, police brutality, political unrest in Latin America, Haitian refugees and immigration (legal and otherwise), Puerto Rican self-determination, and the U.S. Navy’s use of Vieques Island. Latino Civil Rights during the Carter Administration also documents some of the most critical Latino organizations of the time, including LULAC, TELACU, La Raza, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense, and Education Fund, the Mexican American Legal Defense, and Education Fund, and the American G.I. Forum.
My colleague, Hilary Schiraldi has set up a 30 day trial of the Rand State Statistics Database. Although not technically related to Slavic, East European, or Latin American Studies, as a librarian who provides reference services to our users, I find a great value in exploring different databases. I invite you to utilize this opportunity to try out Rand State Statistics Database. Please use your proxy or VPN if you are accessing it from an off-campus location! Explore! Browse! Enjoy!
As a member of the LAUC-B 2021 Annual Conference Organizing Committee, it is my great honor to write this blog post/reminder welcoming all those who have registered to mark their calendars and attend the Reimagining Libraries Through Critical Library Practices which will take place on October 5 and October 6 virtually.
Registration is now closed. But there will be recordings made available after the conference. The schedule is linked here. One can read, the Code of Conduct and Land Acknowledgement by clicking on the terms.
I acknowledge that the land I live and work on is the territory of xučyun (Huichin), the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo-speaking Lisjan Ohlone people.
Daylet Domínguez is an Associate Professor of Caribbean and Latin American literatures and cultures in UC Berkeley’s Department of Spanish & Portuguese. Her new book, Ficciones etnográficas: literatura ciencias sociales y proyectos nacionales en el Caribe hispano del siglo XIX (Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2021), deals with the importance of literature for the constitution of the social sciences as a modern practice and discourse in the Hispanic Caribbean. She proposes that anthropology and its related subjects began to build a place of enunciation at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, in close relationship with travel literature, the “cuadro de costumbres,” and the novel. It is at the intersection with these literary genres that the emerging disciplines shaped a large part of their tropology and discursive genealogy; although, once institutionalized, they disavowed its epistemological validity. In the process of textual and institutional differentiation, the social sciences became one of the most effective ways to consolidate national projects, organize the transition to modern citizenships and undermine the postulates of racial and climatic degeneration associated with the region.
[translated from publisher’s site]
Ficciones etnográficas: literatura ciencias sociales y proyectos nacionales en el Caribe hispano del siglo XIX. Madrid : Iberoamericana; Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert,, 2021.
Firenze University Press is at the forefront for open access (OA) publishing in Italy. By opening up access to more than 1,300 academic books and 50 peer-reviewed journals over the past decade, it has helped its research community to achieve wide and rapid dissemination, increasing exponentially the impact of their research. Today, all Firenze University Press content and metadata are published open access and are discoverable through the tools of transformational infrastructure organizations such as DOAB, DOAJ, and OAPEN.
Besides UC Library Search, many of the press’ publications, along with other Italian OA publishers, are also available through Casalini Libri’s online platform Torrossa.
The Library has set up a thirty-day trial of an Archives Direct digital resources on Central Asia. If one is accessing it from an off-campus location, please authenticate using your proxy or VPN. Please click here to access the resource.
The image is used for educational purposes only.
“This collection of Foreign Office files explores the history of Persia (Iran), Central Asia, and Afghanistan from the decline of the Silk Road in the first half of the nineteenth century to the establishment of Soviet rule over parts of the region in the early 1920s. It encompasses the era of “The Great Game” – a political and diplomatic confrontation between the Russian and British Empires for influence, territory and trade across a vast region, from the Black Sea in the west to the Pamir Mountains in the east.
Comprised of correspondence, intelligence reports, agents’ diaries, minutes, maps, newspaper excerpts, and other materials from the FO 65, FO 106, FO 371, and FO 539 series, this resource forms one of the greatest existing sets of historical documents relating to this region, offering insights not only into the impact of Great Power politics on the region but also the region’s peoples, cultures and societies.”
There is an introductory video to this collection. It can be accessed here
From its beginnings on the artistic fringe during the Hispanic Civil Rights Movement to its current status as the oldest and most accomplished publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors, Arte Público Press and its imprint, Piñata Books, have become a showcase for Hispanic literary creativity, arts and culture.
The original publishers of Sandra Cisneros’ seminal The House on Mango Street, Arte Público’s other well-known authors include Obie-award-winning playwright and filmmaker Luis Valdez, playwright Miguel Piñero and best-selling authors Nicholasa Mohr, Victor Villaseñor, and Helena María Viramontes. As part of the ongoing efforts to bring Hispanic literature to mainstream audiences, Arte Público Press launched the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program in 1992. This program represents the first nationally coordinated attempt to recover, index and publish lost Latino writings that date from the American colonial period through 1960. [from the publisher’s web site].
From children’s books and contemporary fiction to critical social history, the UC Berkeley Library is proud to hold most of Arte Púbico Press’ bilingual catalog of publications in the Main (Gardner) Stacks, the Ethnic Studies Library, and The Bancroft Library. In recent years, the Library has also acquired many of its publications in digital form through Digitalia Hispánica, Latino Literature, and other ebook platforms such as OverDrive. These can be discovered in UC Library Search with keyword phrase “arte publico press” and limiting to online through UC Berkeley.
Oral Narratives and Black Lives in Francophone Studies
Senegalese in the Diaspora: What Sociolinguistic Interviews Can Tell Us about Language, Race, Mobility, and Belonging
Maya Smith, University of Washington
Drawing on extensive interviews with people of Senegalese heritage in Paris, Rome, and New York City, this talk explores the fascinating role of language in national, transnational, postcolonial, racial, and migrant identities. Senegalese in the diaspora are notable in their capacity for movement and in their multifaceted approach to discourse, shaping their identity as they purposefully switch between languages. Through a mix of poignant, funny, reflexive, introspective, and witty stories, interviewees blur the lines between the utility and pleasure of language, allowing a more nuanced understanding of why and how Senegalese move.
“Un désordre indescriptible”: Folklore as Mask in the Congolese Nervous State
Jonathon Repinecz, George Mason University
This paper is part of a larger project about how colonial explorers, missionaries, and magistrates in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo used strategies of “folklorization”—that is, the framing of oral traditional materials as quaint, rural, and authentic—as propaganda in the service of popularizing the colony and obscuring the everyday violence of the colonial state. It will focus on the archives of Léon Guébels, a prosecutor and judge who published many folklore collections under a pseudonym, contain manuscripts written by Congolese schoolchildren in both French and African languages, sent to him by their teachers, which he overwrites in large red letters with appreciations such as “IDIOTIC,” “NOT WITTY ENOUGH,” or “CLEARLY THE INVENTION OF A SILLY CHRISTIAN GIRL.” I will examine some of the reasons he finds these tales inconvenient, framing my findings in the context of colonial racial anxieties over subversive ideologies, urbanization, “detribalization,” and open rebellion.
Thursday, September 23 • 4-6pm
French Department Library (4229 Dwinelle)