School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

AHRC Research Networking Grant

Silk Road China 
Re-enacting the Silk Road: Transnational Encounters of the 21st  Century

Investigators - Professor Mike Heffernan, (Geography) and Dr Jean-Xavier Ridon (Cultures, Languages and Area Studies)


Network Aims

  • To investigate the Silk Road's renewed significance as a metaphor and site for cultural transmission and exchange in the context of China's rapid economic development, and by doing so consider its potential to challenge the bounded, oppositional geopolitics that still determine the conventional categories of 'East' and 'West'. 
  • To spark new conversations between Silk Road scholars, other arts and humanities and social science academics, travel writers, representatives from the tourism industry, museum professionals and artists from the UK, continental Europe, Asia and North America, and thereby enable knowledge exchange with practical application in the commercial, cultural and creative sectors. 
  • To support a wider public re-imagining of the Silk Road as an ancient, long-distance routeway linking towns and cities from eastern China to western Europe, so that it speaks to 21st century global concerns. 
  • To lay the foundation for ongoing collaborative relationships between the University of Nottingham (UK and Ningbo) and the cultural and creative sector in both the UK and China.
Workshop 1: September 2012 
Workshop 2: February 2012 
Workshop 3: September 2013 

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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