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Between Empires: Orientalism Before 1600
Cambridge. July 2001

Between Empires: Orientalism Before 1600

An International Conference
Trinity College, Cambridge
12-15 July, 2001


Ever since the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1978, the
ideological underpinnings of Europe's encounters with those regions,
peoples and cultures that represented the "Orient" have been subject to
intense scrutiny.

However, two central issues concerning interaction between the "Orient"
and Europe require further consideration. Firstly, what were the
precursors of Orientalism? How did travel, trade, crusades, missionary
activity and cultural exchange between empires in the centuries that
preceded the age of European expansion and colonisation influence Western
perceptions of the East? In what ways did the meaning of "the East" change
before the seventeenth century? Secondly, what were the responses of the
many non-European empires to the travellers, armies, ambassadors and
entrepreneurs of the West? What forms does "Occidentalism" take before

The aim of this conference is to explore the forms of dialogue that
existed between empires of the East and of the West, and to investigate
the formation of these categories themselves. It will consider the
concrete forms of such dialogues: the vicissitudes of trade, translation,
and theft that characterise transactions of a material nature. It will
also consider the imaginative dimension of relations that existed between
empires: the catalogue of marvels, myths, and misgivings that both
encouraged and impeded those dialogues.

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to:


fax: +44 (0)1223 338 564 (F.A.O. Dr Alfred Hiatt)

Dr Alfred Hiatt
"Between Empires"
Trinity College
Cambridge, CB2 1TQ


Submission Deadline: 30 September, 2000