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Writing Travel at Asia
UCLA Center for India and South Asia Director Sanjay Subrahmanyam discussed early modern travel accounts, the bulk of which, he said, are devoted to cities.

Writing Travel at Asia's Crossroads

Departing from texts in Chinese, Persian, Urdu and other languages, scholars at an international conference, "The Roads to Oxiana," look at Central Asia in the ages of camel caravans and horsemen and of motor cars and airplanes. Audio podcasts of the conference presentations are now available.

About 40 international conferees gathered in Bunche Hall on Nov. 9 for presentations and discussion on centuries of travel writing out of Central Asia, from the medieval Divisament dou monde of Marco Polo to the modernist prose of Robert Byron’s Road to Oxiana and lesser-known texts of great historical, ethnographic and literary interest. The event was sponsored by the UCLA Central Asia Initiative, a program of the Asia Institute chaired by Associate Professor of History Nile Green. Cosponsoring the event were the UCLA Center for India and South Asia, the Center for Near Eastern Studies, and the Department of Comparative Literature.

Audio recordings of the conference presentations are available from the Asia Institute's podcasts page, or by following the hyperlinks below.

Panel I: Early Modern Travels

Chair: Nile Green, UCLA

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, UCLA
Early Modern Travel and the Question of Patriotism between the Oxus and the Krishna

Arash Khazeni, UCLA
Through an Ocean of Sand: Persianate Travel Writing and the Equestrian Culture of the Eurasian Steppe

Laura Hostetler, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
Central Asians in the Qing Illustrations of Tributary Peoples

Panel II Post/Colonial Travels

Chair: Ali Behdad, UCLA

Nile Green, UCLA
The Afghan Afterlife of Phileas Fogg: Space and Time in the Afghan Travelogue

Kate Teltscher, Roehampton Univ.
The Rubicon between the Empires: The River Oxus in Nineteenth-century British Geographical Imagination

David Chioni Moore, Macalester College
An Afro-Planetary View of Central Asia: Langston Hughes's Writings, 1932-1956