The Idea of the Silk Road

Historians debate & discuss the Silk Road concept


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Invisible East director Arezou Azad and postdoc Zhan Zhang will speak at this event.

Among idealised models of premodern connectivities few can compete with the appeal of the Silk Road and the way it projects modern notions of open trade and cultural exchange, religious and racial tolerance, and dialogue onto the past.

While invented barely 150 years ago, the Silk Road is now probably the most famous and most frequently cited road as a quick Google search will confirm. From China and Central Asia to the US, governments and organisations evoke the Silk Road as a metaphor for open cooperation and commerce.

The appeal is equally strong among artists, organisations, the general public and even historians. Today’s panel brings together several historians to critically assess the idea of the Silk Road, its genesis, popularisation and modern appeal, and the potential pitfalls of historical inaccuracies that the term may perpetuate. 


For more information, vist here.


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