Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Retrospection of the Dieter Conrad Memorial Lecture 2013

The historian Prof. Dr. David Ludden delivered this year’s Dieter Conrad Memorial Lecture with a talk on ‘Asian Histories of Globalization: Long Distance Mobility and Territorial Power in the Longue Durée’ on June 27th at the South Asia Institute. The Dieter Conrad Memorial Lecture is held annually in honour of the tremendous contribution that Conrad has made, while working at the South Asia Institute.

After having served on the faculty of History at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 until 2007, Prof. Ludden currently holds a professorship of Political Economy and Globalization and is Chair of the Department of History at New York University. Prof. Ludden looks back on 45 years of outstanding research in South Asia with a focus on southern India and, more recently, Bangladesh and northeast India. His numerous publications cover a broad range of topics such as ancient Tamil poetry, agrarian history, the intellectual history of subalternity, changing development regimes and the history of global capitalism.

In his Conrad Lecture, Prof. Ludden proposed to understand the history of globalization in Asia from the vantage point of long distance mobility. The far-reaching movements of people, goods and ideas have shaped local realities in Asia over the long term and up to the present, especially as they pertain to coastal regions, inland frontiers and expansive cultural spaces of territorial power. The talk drew on material of a forthcoming book that is now called “History Inside Globalization: Spatial Power and Inequity in Asia”.

The lecture began with a welcome address by the director of the South Asia Institute Prof. Hans Harder, followed by an introductory note by Prof. Gita Dharampal-Frick on Prof. Ludden’s influential body of work and academic achievements. After the event Prof. Ludden expressed his wish to facilitate future cooperation and exchange between his department and the South Asia Institute.

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