The Medieval History Club is a platform for debate and discussion on different aspects of the medieval world by principally under-graduate and post-graduate students. It will also involve their regular informal interaction with research students and practitioners of medieval history. The objective of such a dynamic and participatory forum is to stimulate interest about medieval studies in students who otherwise are induced to focus their attention on the history of more recent times.
Babur [right] and Humayun with Courtiers (Detail), Late Shahjahan Period, ca. 1650.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Third Session of the Club
ROLE OF CROSS-CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS IN MEDIEVAL HISTORY is the theme of the Third Session. Prof. Lakshmi Subramanian will be leading the discussion. We shall be reading and discussing two travel accounts of Abd-ur-Razzaq and Nicolo Conti, both of whom visited parts of south Asia during the 15th century. Razzaq was a Persian scholar and as the ambassador of Mirza Shah Rukh, son of Timur, visited parts of south India. Conti on the other hand was a Venetian merchant who visited south and south-east Asia and possibly China. Both of them have left candid accounts of the cultures and polities that they encountered during their travels. We shall read these texts in conjunction with a book by Joan-Pau Rubies, which shows how to read and treat such medieval travel accounts and also demonstrates how these foreign travellers viewed whatever they saw in India, how they developed opinions, perceptions and stereotypes about them and shaped those of their readers.
The Third Session will be held at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), Baishnabghata-Patuli, Calcutta at 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, 12 February, 2011.