Global Interactions Awards 3 Grants to Leiden Researchers (2017)

GI has awarded 3 grants to 5 Leiden researchers: Joanita Vroom (Archaeology), Damian Pargas (History), Jeff Fynn-Paul (History), Anne-Isabelle Richard (History), Alana O'Malley (History), and Lindsay Black (LIAS).

Shifting Empires, Cultural Encounters (Breed Grant)

Grantee: Dr. Joanita Vroom (Archaeology)
Grant amount: €23.500

Shifting Empires, Cultural Encounters. Mapping Material Culture and Foodways in the Medieval & Post-Medieval Eastern Mediterranean and Adjacent Near East (600-1900 CE)

An important but hardly understood problem in archaeology is the long-term development of «East-West relations» in the eastern Mediterranean and adjacent Near East during the period of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires (ca. 6th to 20th century). These empires succeeded each other as main political and cultural power in the region, but their respective rise and decline were closely interwoven. Over a long period of time these empires interacted with each other in the fields of material culture (such as pottery production) and related cultural behaviour (such as dining habits and cooking techniques). Apart from their mutual interactions, both empires also absorbed influences from the «West» (e.g., Crusaders in the Byzantine Empire; Italian traders in the Ottoman Empire) and the «East» (the expanding Arab-Islamic culture).

«Shifting empires, cultural encounters» aims to address for the first time the dynamics of material culture and related cultural behaviour across the 1300 years of interactions between the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires with each other, as well as with the Medieval «West» and the Arab-Islamic «East». The project introduces a new approach to the archaeology of daily life, by studying the complexities of inter- and trans-cultural contacts in the perspective of long-term changes in pottery (the most mobile material product of the past and an indicator of broader patterns of interaction) and foodways (an important marker of social practices). Its results will illuminate changes across time and space in communities usually invisible to the historical record.

The first-class archaeological datasets of major excavations (e.g., Athens, Ephesus, Butrint, Chalkis, Aqaba), exclusively available to this project, the unprecedented supra-regional and temporal scale, and the interdisciplinary approach (combining typo-chronological research, scientific fabric analyses, experimental archaeology, 3D technology, and cultural interpretations) will greatly contribute to the archaeological knowledge of daily life in Byzantine and Ottoman societies, both examples of proto-globalisation. Also, the project offers an opportunity to make major steps forward in the understanding of long-term «East-West relations» in the region under study, as well as of the dynamics between changes in material culture on the one hand and cultural behaviour on the other.

Expected activities
The Breed Grant will be used to fund an assistant for teaching relief and for relief of other obligations of the grantee during 2017, offering her the opportunity to prepare two research (ERC, NWO) grant proposals which will be built on the earlier results of the grantee’s NWO-VIDI project ‘Material Culture, Consumption and Social Change: New Perspectives for Understanding the Eastern Mediterranean during Byzantine and Ottoman Times’ (2010-2015).

Furthermore, the grant will be used for the organization of an interdisciplinary workshop (provisional title: ‘Archaeological Hotspots in Medieval Europe and Asia (600-1900)’), as well as for the organization of an international expert seminar for an (online) exhibition proposal concerning global interactions, using objects in combination with (3D) pictorial representation of artefacts and of foodways (title: ‘East-West Relations in European Culture – Global Things’; see earlier (online) expositions by the grantee: ; and ).

A student assistant will assist during one term in 2017 with the organization of the workshop and the expert meeting. Lastly, the grant will help to meet some additional publication costs of an edited book including the results of the workshop, which is already accepted by Brepols Publishers.

LSSA Conference on 'Slavery and Forced Labor in Asia c.1250-1900' (Seed Grant)

Dr. Damian Pargas (History)
Dr. Jeff Fynn-Paul (History)
Grant Amount: €5.000

The Leiden Slavery Studies Association (LSSA) is pleased to announce that it will host its second biennial conference on 1-3 June 2017. This year the conference theme is "Slavery and Forced Labor in Asia, c.1250-c.1900: Continuities and Transformations in Comparative Perspective." Although pioneering researchers such as Anthony Reid and James F. Warren paved the way for a greater understanding of slavery in Asia, chattel, debt, and forced labor in Asia have not figured prominently in research on slavery as a global phenomenon. Taking advantage of a recent surge in Asian slavery studies in The Netherlands, this conference seeks to bring Asia fully into the discourse on global slavery by bringing together scholars who work on slavery and forced labor across the region between the mid-thirteenth and early twentieth-centuries. Both Anthony Reid and James Warren have agreed to give the keynote talks.

The goal of the LSSA conference series is to examine slave systems in comparative perspective and situate them in broader regional and pan-regional contexts. The conference will therefore feature papers and panels that address topics such as:

Selected papers from the conference will be published in an edited volume with the Brill series Studies in Global Slavery.

For more information please contact the conference organizers:

Dr. Richard B. Allen, Dr. Jeff Fynn-Paul,

Global Regionalism (Advanced Seminar)

Dr. Anne-Isabelle Richard (History)
Dr. Alana O'Malley (History)
Dr. Lindsay Black (LIAS)
Grant Amount: €7.860

This one-and-half-day symposium on Global Regionalism investigates how regional alliances and organisations can provide an alternative level of analysis to the nation state and to global perspectives. Recent developments in both the expansion and the fracturing of regional alliances, with the growth of ASEAN, for example, and the departure of Britain from the EU, have led to wider discussions on the viability and functionality of regional organisations. This symposium seeks to bring discussions held in the fields of International Relations or Area studies into conversation with historical approaches to the study of regionalism and global governance, to analyse the evolution of regionalism from the late nineteenth century onwards. The symposium will examine how different regionalisms emerged and evolved in different ways reflecting similar and contrasting trajectories of social and political development across the globe. It will investigate how these regionalisms informed and complemented each other, and interacted both with global institutions and local civil society networks. With a broad scope and a multidisciplinary approach the symposium will connect various types of regional interaction, from identity politics, to customs unions, to relationships with supranational institutions, thus engaging a range of actors beyond the nation state. The papers of the conference will be revised and collected for a special issue of an international peer-reviewed journal.

Last Modified: 25-11-2016