Thursday, March 28, 2019 @
March 28 - 30, 2019 Additional schedule details will be posted here as they become available. The Symposium looks broadly at the Silk Roads from Antiquity to the 18th century CE as well as its legacy in modern discourse. Throughout its history, the Silk Roads (formal and informal, maritime and terrestrial) brought people together in a phenomenon we might now recognize as globalization. While trade and commerce stand as evident manifestations of this complex system, there was also a diffusion of ideas, aesthetics, technologies, and social forms. Instead of adhering to a geographic or temporal focus, the theme of the Symposium emphasizes exchange and transformation along the Silk Roads—moments of acculturation or hybridization that contributed to novel syncretic forms.



Past Events:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ Brendle Recital Hall
The spring concerts for the WFU Chinese Ensemble and WFU Gamelan Giri Murti. The concert will feature traditional and modern repertoires from China and Bali, both instrumental pieces and some with dance. The Balinese "warriors" are readying their spears for our finale! The show is Tuesday, April 24, at 7:30 pm in Brendle Recital Hall on WFU campus; it is free. Close parking may be found in the lower lot by the Scales building off of Allen Easley Street or by Wait Chapel.
Monday, April 9, 2018 @ The Library Auditorium (ZSR Room 404)
The talk provides a background and overview of the events and diplomatic considerations that led to the inclusion of Africa in the Belt and Road Initiative. Dr. Liu will also present results from conducted surveys on Chinese perceptions of the place of Africa in the Belt and Road Initiative. PDF Flyer: SRWS 18SP Haifang Liu Lecture
Monday, April 9, 2018 @ Museum of Anthropology
Dr. George FitzHerbert, Researcher, East Asian Civilisations Research Centre, College de France, will discuss his research on the Tibetan Gesar epic.  In terms of literary content, the poetic fabric of the Tibetan Gesar epic genre is one which entwines a warp of clanic and chivalric concerns with a weft of ‘spirit-world’, magical and shape-shifting themes. Although in modern and contemporary tellings (particularly those from eastern Tibet), the mood in which this spirit-world heroism is enacted is one heavily influenced by the sensibilities and frames of reference of Tibetan Tantric religion, this talk suggests ways in which the deeper narrative structure of the epic, as well as some of its core motifs, suggest a deeper kinship with the wider cultural complex of the Inner Asian epic and that genre’s suggested origins in the ‘otherworld’ adventures of the Inner Asian shaman. The epic motif examined in particular here, is that of the hero’s ‘spirit-companions’ or ‘familiars’. Based on these observations, a speculative thesis is presented concerning the historical development of the epic in eastern Tibet in the wake of the wave Mongol settlement on the Tibetan plateau in the 13th-14th century CE.  This event is presented by Silk Roads Winston-Salem and cosponsored by the Office of Global Affairs and the Museum of Anthropology.  Admission is free.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ Annenberg Forum (111 Carswell Hall)
Public Lecture
Spices from “All Under Heaven”:  Imperial China’s Relations with Southeast Asian Kingdoms along the Maritime Silk Road  
Speaker: Dr. James Anderson, Associate Professor of History (UNCG),
Respondent: Dr. Wei-Chin Lee, Professor of Politics and International Affairs (WFU)
When and Where: Wednesday, March 14, 5:00-6:30pmat Annenberg Forum (111 Carswell Hall) 
Engaging with travelers, who traversed the maritime “Silk Road” routes linking southern China with the Indian Ocean trade network, imperial Chinese courts remained involved in trans-regional exchanges of goods and ideas from ancient times. This talk examines the intersection of trade and tribute in patterns of foreign relations China conducted with its Southeast Asian neighbors through the arrival in the South China Sea of European powers in the early 16th century.
This event is co-sponsored by East Asian Studies Minor and Silk Roads Winston-Salem. It is free and open to the public.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ Brendle Recital Hall
Guest director, Anne Rasmussen
Featuring student musicians from Wake Forest University and William and Mary Sponsored by:         Office of the Provost Department of History Department of Music Middle East and South Asian Studies Program
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ Museum of Anthropology
Join the Silk Roads Winston-Salem Steering Committee Tuesday, February 13, and Wednesday, February 28 for a drop-in lunch between 11am and 1pm at the Museum of Anthropology to learn more about the Silk Roads Winston-Salem project and the upcoming Symposium in March 2019 Looking for information about upcoming opportunities and events on campus? Co-sponsored by the Rethinking Community Program, the Museum of Anthropology, the Department of East Asian Languages & Culture, the Department of History, and the Department of Music. For more information, please contact Stew Carter ( / x5106 ) or Andrew Gurstelle ( / x5827).     Info Meeting Flyer PDF  
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ Scales Fine Arts Center: Art 102

Religious Musical Performance and the Indonesian Culture Wars of 2017  

Although religious praxis in Indonesia is underestimated by both scholars of Islam and co-religionists in the Arab world and Middle East, connoisseurs recognize a rich culture of Arabic language performance in Indonesia ranging from Quranic recitation to various styles of devotional song. A proactive adaptation of popular tunes from the Arab Eastern Mediterranean along with the canonization of Egyptian maqam has characterized this Indonesian Islamic soundscape since before the country’s independence in 1945, however; local arts and Indian Ocean networks have always shaped cultural practice fueling not only hybrid forms but also vigorous debate. Based on new fieldwork conducted in 2017, this presentation illustrates the intense political culture wars sparked by the use of local, Javanese melodies for Quranic recitation at the Presidential Palace. As voices from the country’s Islamist extremist activists arose in hostile objection, even a pious public began to hear the reciter’s use of langgam Jawa as the perfect example of the flaws, immorality, and objectionable permissiveness of Indonesian Islam vis à vis the models of puritanical Salafism and literalist modernism that, today, guide globalized Islamic movements in Southeast Asia. Swept up in the Tsunami of racist nativism both Indonesian and Mediterranean Arab performance aesthetics have been on the chopping block as the country struggles to contain the vociferous presence of religious hardliners (Islam keras). In contextualizing these events, I theorize the ways circulation and signification politicize melody in two interconnected Ocean worlds.
Public Guest Lecture by Anne Rasmussen, Professor of Ethnomusicology at William and Mary.
Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ Museum of Anthropology
Join us for a public lecture by Dr. Maura K. Heyn Department of Classical Studies UNC Greensboro Located on a caravan route on the Syrian steppe, the city of Palmyra was a prosperous and cosmopolitan hub of the eastern Roman Empire. This talk will focus on the fascinating funerary portraits of the inhabitants of Palmyra, looking in particular at the ways in which the deceased would advertise their connections to places far afield with their jewelry, dress and hairstyles, and hand gestures. Sponsored by the WFU Museum of Anthropology
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ Museum of Anthropology
Join the Silk Roads Winston-Salem Steering Committee Tuesday, February 13, and Wednesday, February 28 for a drop-in lunch between 11am and 1pm at the Museum of Anthropology to learn more about the Silk Roads Winston-Salem project and the upcoming Symposium in March 2019 Looking for information about upcoming opportunities and events on campus? Co-sponsored by the Rethinking Community Program, the Museum of Anthropology, the Department of East Asian Languages & Culture, the Department of History, and the Department of Music. For more information, please contact Stew Carter ( / x5106 ) or Andrew Gurstelle ( / x5827).     Info Meeting Flyer PDF  
Friday, January 26, 2018 @ Scales M208
Wake Forest student Tyler Sar offers a research presentation entitled "A Cambodian Odyssey: Revival of a Dying Musical Tradition," Friday, January 26, at 3:30 PM in Scales M208. Tyler's research was under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Clendinning, Assistant Professor of Music.
Thursday, November 2, 2017 @ DeTamble Auditorium, Tribble Hall
Join us for a lecture by the Silk Roads Winston-Salem International Visiting Scholar for the Fall 2017 semester on Thursday, 11/2, 2017: 5:00-6:30 pm - Lecture by Dr. Chen Ming “The Transmission of Medical Knowledge along the Silk Road” DeTamble Auditorium Chen Ming is the chair of the Department of South Asian Studies at Peking University, China, and a leading scholar on the Silk Roads exchange between China and South/Central/West Asia during medieval times. His research draws on medical manuscripts discovered from Dunhuang and the Western Region. Silk Roads Winston-Salem will host Dr. Chen from October 21 through November 5, 2017, to engage with scholars and students at Wake Forest University. Co-sponsored by the Provost’s Fund for International Scholars, the History Department, the Humanities Institute,  Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and the Department for the Study of Religions.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ Scales Fine Arts, Theatre Wing
Join us for the formal launch of Silk Roads Winston-Salem, featuring a catered reception and a lecture, on Wednesday, 9/20, 2017: 5:00-6:15 pm - Reception featuring wine and cuisine inspired by the Silk Roads Scales Fine Arts Theatre Lobby (Lower Wing) 6:30-7:30 pm - Lecture by Dr. Sharon Kinoshita “Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages” Scales Fine Arts A102 Sharon Kinoshita is Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz and co-director of UCSC Center for Mediterranean Studies. One of the most innovative and influential scholars currently working in the field of Mediterranean Studies, Dr. Kinoshita combines a deep grounding in the canonical texts of Old French literature with the most recent critical approaches to the Mediterranean from both literary and historical perspectives.  Among her many important contributions to the field, her new translation of Marco Polo's Description of the World is part of a larger project in which she encourages readers to see it not as a Western travel narrative or unique encounter with difference, but as a literary artifact of the “Global Middle Ages.” Co-sponsored by the Department of History, Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Humanities Institute, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and the Provost’s Grant for Academic Excellence.  
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ Scales Fine Arts, Music Wing
WFU Gamelan and Chinese Ensemble Concerts, featuring guest artists Deng Haiqiong (guzheng) and Nan Liu (painting)
6:45 pm Pre-concert talk: Scales M208

7:30 pm Concert, Brendle Recital Hall
Co-sponsored by the Department of Music and IPLACe.    
Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ The Library Auditorium (ZSR Room 404)
  The "One Belt, One Road" initiative envisioned by the current Chinese President Xi Jinping  invokes rhetorically the historical legacies of the Silk Roads.  How would the implementation of this initiative impact on the development of the region, the United States, and global economy? Dr. Konstantinas Andrijauskas will explore these issues in this guest lecture.  Dr. Andrijauskas is a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Department of Political Science of Columbia University (New York City, NY). He has a doctoral degree in Political Science (2014) and holds the position of Associate Professor of Asian Studies and International Politics at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) of Vilnius University, Lithuania (since 2016). He was a senior visiting scholar at the Fudan University (Shanghai, China), Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China) and Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia). He prepared more than a dozen academic publications dealing with historical and contemporary politics and international relations in the Eurasian landmass, and participated in international academic conferences in Russia, China and Japan. His research interests include East Asian as well as post-Soviet politics and international relations, while the research project pursued in the U.S. deals with regional and global strategic implications of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, including interviews with prominent "China-watchers".  This event is co-sponsored by Wake Forest University Provost's Office for Global Affairs, the Department of  Politics and International Affairs, and the Silk Roads Series. It is free and open to the public.
Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ Museum of Anthropology
Michelle Wang, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Georgetown University The Silk Road facilitated centuries of cross-cultural interactions through a network of trade routes that stretched between east and west. Accordingly, the oasis cities of the Silk Road were important centers of religion and commerce. The Mogao Buddhist cave shrines located near the city of Dunhuang in Gansu Province in northwestern China are comprised of nearly five hundred man-made caves carved from the mountainside and installed with mural paintings and sculptures. Professor Michelle C. Wang from the Department of Art and Art History at Georgetown University will discuss the multicultural legacy of the Mogao site by examining select examples of mural paintings from the cave shrines as well as manuscripts and portable paintings recovered from Cave 17, known as the “library cave.” Co-sponsored by the Museum of Anthropology, Humanities Institute, Department of History, and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ Museum of Anthropology
Overtone singing—or throat singing—is a special technique of manipulating the vocal tract that has arisen independently throughout the world. Master khoomei (Tuvan throat singing) performer Narisu will greet visitors, answer questions about Mongolian music, and demonstrate  khoomei. Students from the WFU course “Introduction to the Music of World Cultures” will also present a mini-exhibit of their research on several traditions of overtone singing. Click Here to View Flyer