Sunday, 8 May 2016

Workshop Cultural Production, Exchange and Legacies in the Timurid Period

University of Leiden 

26-27 May 2016: The Timurid Period: Cultural Production, Exchange and Legacies

Workshop organized within the Leiden Central Asia Initiative, funded by the research profile Asian Modernities and Traditions. The event will focus on cultural production, used here as a blanket term for various forms of literary and artistic production, in relation to patterns of cultural exchange in the Timurid period. Convened by Gabrielle van den Berg and Elena Paskaleva.


Thursday, 26 May
Friday, 27 May

Venue Gravensteen
Room 011
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR  Leiden 

The event is free of charge, however seating is limited. If you would like to attend, please register at
 Timur and his descendants created a complex aesthetic vocabulary based on their shared Turko-Mongol heritage. Yet this vocabulary was constantly replenished through a dynamic cultural exchange. The aim of the workshop is to map the interaction between imperial ideology, literary and artistic production in a diachronic and synchronic perspective, and to contextualize the process dynamics through textual and material analysis. The central question is how literary and artistic production, mapped, measured and analysed for different representatives of the Timurid dynasty and through a broad variety of media, related to the development of imperial ideology in the Turko-Persian world. How far was cultural production in the Timurid period the result of cultural exchange, and how did this unfold?


Rather than focusing on a single genre, medium or language of courtly literary production, the workshop will take a comparative and connective perspective. Questions that may be addressed include:

- Narratives: How does literary and artistic production relate to the development of an imperial ideology under the Timurids? How were didactic traditions used for the exaltation of noble origins and for the construction of genealogies?

- Aesthetics: How did culturally diverse artistic practices contribute to the development of a distinct Timurid visual morphology? How were visions of kingship articulated in the urbanscape and landscape of major Timurid cities?

- Beliefs: How was royal grandeur transformed through the diverse visual lexicon of local Islamic cult activities? How was the Timurid ideological pedigree influenced by orthodox Islam and Sufism? What was the impact of these complex theological interactions on the cultural production throughout the Timurid empire? 

- Legacies: How did the evolving imperial ideology serve the various legitimization projects of the consecutive ruling dynasties from India to Turkey? How did the legacy of Timurid royal patronage resonate with the Uzbeks, Mughals, Safavids and the Ottomans?

The themes of the workshop are broad on purpose, as we wish to welcome speakers from different disciplines and backgrounds.

Confirmed speakers/chairs

Beatrice Manz, Tufts University, USA
Charles Melville, Cambridge University, UK
Ron Sela, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
Michele Bernardini, University of Naples, Italy
Francis Richard, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
Daniel C. Waugh, University of Washington Seattle, USA
Ashirbek Muminov, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan 
Bakhrom Abdukhalimov, Vice-President, Uzbek Academy of Sciences
Amanulla Buriev, Uzbekistan
Maria Szuppe, Université de La Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, France
Firuza Abdullaeva, Cambridge University, UK
Yuka Kadoi, University of Edinburgh, UK
Evrim Binbas, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Nozim Khabibullaev, Uzbekistan
Khurshid Fayziev, Director Timurid Museum, Uzbekistan
Bakhtiyar Babadjanov, Uzbekistan
Sanjar Gulomov, Uzbekistan
Liesbeth Geevers, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Céline Ollagnier, Association "Sciences et Patrimoine" PACT, France
Sandra Aube, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
Yusen Yu, University of Heidelberg, Germany
Jake Benson, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Gulchekhra Sultonova, Uzbek Academy of Sciences / Martin Luther Universität Halle Wittenberg
Dilnoza Duturaeva, Uzbek Academy of Sciences / Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn
Gabrielle van den Berg, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Elena Paskaleva, Leiden University, The Netherlands

One of the goals of the Leiden Central Asia Initiative is to provide an academic platform to scholars from Central Asia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, academic interactions across the region have been slow and sporadic. Leiden University would like to act as a platform for academic exchange between Western and Central Asian scholars working on the Timurid period. That is why, we are very glad that a substantial number of Uzbek colleagues have accepted our invitation. Their contributions will focus on epigraphy, codicology, genealogy, historiography and numismatics.

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