Spring Lecture Series

ASTENE Spring Lecture Series


We are pleased to announce our Spring lecture series—taking place between the 28th January and the 1st April 2021.

ASTENE Lecture Series (4)

All events will take place on Thursday evening (8pm/20:00 GMT time) and will be held via Zoom.

Please register for each event of interest below


Book Launch: ASTENE Newest Publication: Pious Pilgrims, Discerning Travellers and Curious Tourists

Thursday 28th January – 8pm/20:00 (UK time)

pious pilgrims

 ‘Virtual’ book launch for Pious Pilgrims, Discerning Travellers, Curious Tourists

Papers from ASTENE’s 2019 York Conference: with readings, music and discussion

The men and women travellers discussed here travelled for a wide variety of reasons — religious, commercial, military, diplomatic, or sometimes even just for a holiday! — but whatever their prime motivations, they were almost always also inspired by a sense of curiosity about peoples and places less familiar than their own. By recording their experiences, whether in words or in art, they have greatly contributed to our understanding of what has shaped the world we live in. As Ibn Battuta wrote: ‘Travelling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller!’


Booking

This event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required.

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/book-launch-pious-pilgrims-discerning-travellers-curious-tourists-tickets-135728400299

Instructions for joining the event via Zoom will be emailed to those that have registered approximately 48 hours before the event.  If you do not already have access to Zoom, we encourage you to download the app for your phone/tablet/computer, which you can do here: https://zoom.us/support/download


Lecture: Early travellers’ contributions to the first reconstructions of Egyptian history

by Aidan Dodson

Thursday 4th February – 8pm/20:00 (UK time)

Dodson

Until the early 19th century, the only available sources of information on ancient Egyptian history were the works of the Classical writers and the Bible. However, in parallel with the first decipherment of hieroglyphs, travellers in Egypt discovered and recorded a number of key monuments that meant that by 1830 one of them, Sir John Gardner Wilkinson, was able to put together a substantial king-list based on wholly-Egyptian sources. Today we follow these discoveries and further ones that meant by the 1850s a solid provisional history had come into being – albeit subject to many corrections over the coming decades.


Booking

This event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required.

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/online-astene-lecture-by-prof-aidan-dodson-tickets-135737930805 

Instructions for joining the event via Zoom will be emailed to those that have registered approximately 48 hours before the event.  If you do not already have access to Zoom, we encourage you to download the app for your phone/tablet/computer, which you can do here: https://zoom.us/support/download


About the speaker: Aidan Dodson is honorary full Professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol, and an editor of A History of World Egyptology (Cambridge University Press, 2021).


Lecture: Monument to Men Massacred in the Sinai Desert (1882): Gods, Countries, and Empires at St. Paul’s Cathedral

by Madeline Boden

Thursday 18th February – 8pm/20:00 (UK time)

Boden

This presentation focuses on a single memorial plaque in the crypt at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Monument to Men Murdered in the Sinai Desert (1883), to explore the influential presence of different faiths in Britain’s national cathedral and the contested status of the Holy Lands during the Anglo-Egyptian Campaign of 1882. The murders of Edward Henry Palmer, William Gill, Harold Charrington, Khalil Atik and Bakhor Hussan was a widely reported story during the conflict and an immediate journalistic predecessor to Gordon’s fall at Khartoum. I consider their mission in the Sinai desert, at the crossroads of the world’s Abrahamic faiths, and the monument’s Islamic and imperial iconography. 


Booking

This event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required.

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/online-astene-lecture-by-dr-madeline-boden-tickets-135741904691

Instructions for joining the event via Zoom will be emailed to those that have registered approximately 48 hours before the event.  If you do not already have access to Zoom, we encourage you to download the app for your phone/tablet/computer, which you can do here: https://zoom.us/support/download


About the speaker: Maddie Boden is the HRC Postdoctoral Fellow for 2020-2021. Her research focuses on Anglo-Ottoman visual culture and British Orientalism in the nineteenth century.


Lecture: Travel accounts by Marco Polo, Odoric and Mandeville as Natural History: strange plants, animals and monsters

by Janet Starkey

Thursday 4th March – 8pm/20:00 (UK time)

Starkey2

Marco Polo travelled through Asia from 1271, returning to Venice in 1295. On his return, whilst in prison, he wrote his Travels with the help of Rustichello da Pisa, an Arthurian romance author and traveller. Odoric of Pordenone (1286–1331), a Franciscan friar, set off from Italy in 1318 returning from China in 1330 to relate his Travels to his fellow friars in Udine; Sir John Mandeville supposedly travelled in the region from 1322 but was a fictional creation, his author appropriating and embellishing accounts by others for his Travels.  They described the flora and fauna, fabulous monsters and strange plants that they encountered, as this lecture will describe.


Booking

This event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required.

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/online-astene-lecture-by-dr-janet-starkey-tickets-135743334969

Instructions for joining the event via Zoom will be emailed to those that have registered approximately 48 hours before the event.  If you do not already have access to Zoom, we encourage you to download the app for your phone/tablet/computer, which you can do here: https://zoom.us/support/download


About the speaker: Janet Starkey, formerly a lecturer at Durham University, is a specialist in the history and socio-cultural anthropology of the Middle East.


Lecture: Visiting the Cedars of Lebanon: from Gilgamesh to Edward Lear

by Paul Starkey

Thursday 18th March – 8pm/20:00 (UK time)

Starkey P

From the Epic of Gilgamesh to the modern Lebanese flag, the Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) has served as an icon recognisable far beyond the Middle East. Described in the nineteenth century by prominent Western travellers like J L Burckhardt, and painted by, among others, Edward Lear, the cedars make a frequent appearance in the literature of so-called ‘Orientalist’ travellers, and despite their precarious status, remain a popular tourist attraction today. This lecture offers a brief historical review of the Cedars from a literary and artistic perspective, and suggests some reasons for their enduring appeal and destination for travellers.


Booking

This event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required.

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/online-astene-lecture-by-prof-paul-starkey-tickets-135745862529

Instructions for joining the event via Zoom will be emailed to those that have registered approximately 48 hours before the event.  If you do not already have access to Zoom, we encourage you to download the app for your phone/tablet/computer, which you can do here: https://zoom.us/support/download


About the speaker: Paul Starkey is Emeritus Professor at Durham University and is currently Chair of ASTENE.


Lecture: British Diplomatic Travellers in Eighteenth-Century Istanbul

by Gemma Masson

Thursday 1st April – 8pm/20:00 (UK time)

Masson

The eighteenth century in the Ottoman Empire was marked by a shift in the methods of international interaction which brought a great number of Europeans to Istanbul in a diplomatic role. There is a temptation to limit ourselves as historians to only official despatches, personal correspondence and diaries of the official ambassadors. The definition of a diplomatic traveller, however, can and should be extended to include the families, staff and whole retinue of these ambassadors and it is this wider classification that will be applied in this paper, which presents three very different travellers, all of whom came to Istanbul in the eighteenth century and formed part of a diplomatic household.


Booking

This event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required.

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/online-astene-lecture-by-dr-gemma-masson-tickets-135746325915

Instructions for joining the event via Zoom will be emailed to those that have registered approximately 48 hours before the event.  If you do not already have access to Zoom, we encourage you to download the app for your phone/tablet/computer, which you can do here: https://zoom.us/support/download


About the speaker: Gemma Masson is the Assistant Editor of the Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations Journal at the University of Birmingham and holds a PhD specialising in eighteenth-century Istanbul.


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