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CSAS Lecture Series | Writing Area Studies and the World

Friday, February 12, 2016
12:00 AM
School of Social Work Building Room 1636

Dr. Gordon will reflect on his three recent books on World History (When Asia was the World, History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks, and Shackles of Iron: Slavery Beyond the Atlantic World). Eight months in India on a Fulbright last year brought into perspective not just the intense politics of history and culture at this juncture but also the very real limitations of his own research on India, based as it is on scribal documents. In many public lectures he connected India with the larger physical and intellectual world, exploring themes of gender, environment, science and systems of honor. He will discuss what he saw and heard and what it might mean for the field of South Asian Studies.

Stewart Gordon is an Independent Scholar long associated with the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. He has rambled by bus across Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, struggled up Inca paths in Peru and boated up the Mekong and the Mississippi. Gordon has photographed antiquities in Cambodia and Paleolithic cave paintings in India and has served as a consultant for the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, the Walt Disney Company and the American Queen steamboat. He writes regularly for Aramco World magazine. Gordon has received many awards including Woodrow Wilson and Fulbright fellowships and an Earhart Foundation writing grant. His scholarly output includes more than two dozen articles and four books on Indian history, all based on archival work. His “When Asia was the World”, became a bestseller and has been translated into seven languages. The National Endowment for the Humanities placed the book in more than 1000 libraries across the United States.  Photos, travels, upcoming invited lectures, blog at