Silk Roads Programme Events

Welcome the events hosted by the King's College Silk Roads Programme, please add your details here to join our mailing list or get in touch

Upcoming Events

Info! No event listed for this page.

Recent Events

  • Re-evaluating irrigation systems, settlement and climate in Central Asia
    12-03-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    Willem Toonen is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Science, Earth and Climate, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and holds a PhD in Physical Geography from Universiteit Utrecht, NL. His research centres around the understanding of ancient river systems, and charting the impact of climate and environmental change on the societies reliant on their water.

    Mark Macklin is Distinguished Professor of River Systems and Global Change at the University of Lincoln, Head of the School of Geography and Director of the Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health. His research specialisms include river channel and floodplain responses to climate change, long-term human-river environment interactions, alluvial archaeology, flood-risk assessment, metal mining pollution and its impact on ecosystem and human health, and the hydrological controls of malaria.


    Willem and Mark will present their latest work in Central Asia, where they are working to understand local river systems, and irrigation canals in the hinterlands of Silk Road cities.


    To attend this event, please sign up to our mailing list at the top of the page.

  • Rethinking the origins of the Silk Roads
    19-03-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    Nicola Di Cosmo is the Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies. His main field of research is the history of the relations between China and Inner Asia from prehistory to the modern period. Within that broad area he has published on the early history of China’s relations with steppe nomads, on Mongol and Manchu history, and he has edited several books, including Military Culture in Imperial China (2009) and The Cambridge History of Inner Asia (2009).

    His most recent works explore the use of proxy data from climatology and other palaeosciences in the study of the history of China and Central Asia, with special reference to early Eurasian nomads, the Mongol empire, and the Qing dynasty. From this diverse background, he will present a reassessment of the origins of the Silk Roads.


    To attend this event please sign up to our mailing list at the top of the page.

  • Bronze weapons of the terracotta warriors
    30-04-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None


    Xiuzhen Li is a senior archaeologist at the Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum, China, and an Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London, UK. She graduated from Peking University with an Archaeology degree, and took a Masters in Field Archaeology and a PhD in Archaeological Science at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

    She has over 20 years experience at the site of Qin Terracotta Army, leading the excavation of the site and also being involved in many research projects carried out on the terracotta warriors and the Qin First Shihuang's Mausoleum complex.

    Join us to hear more about her research on the bronze weapons of the terracotta warriors.

  • The Arab Conquests
    07-05-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None


    Justin Marozzi is a historian, travel writer, journalist, and senior research fellow in journalism and the public understanding of history at the University of Buckingham. He holds degrees in history, broadcast journalism and international relations from the universities of Cambridge, Cardiff and Pennsylvania and has spent much of his professional life in the Arab World. His six books cover the history and geography of the Arab world from the deserts of north Africa to the Central Asian heartlands of Timur.

    He won the 2015 Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize in 2015 for ‘Baghdad: City of Peace and Blood’ and his most recent book is ‘Islamic Empires - Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization’ further explores Islamic urbanism from Mecca to the 21st century.


    Join us to hear more about his forthcoming book 'The Arab Conquests, the spread of Islam and the first Caliphates'.

  • China and the project of the Century: the New Silk Roads
    14-05-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    Jonathan Hillman is a senior fellow in the Economics Program in the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC. He is director of the Reconnecting Asia Project, one of the most extensive open-source databases tracking China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Hillman has testified before Congress, briefed government officials and Fortune 500 executives, and written on economics, national security, and foreign policy issues for the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other outlets.

    Prior to joining CSIS, Hillman served as a policy adviser at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where he contributed to the 2015 U.S. National Security Strategy and the President’s Trade Agenda and directed the research and writing process for essays, speeches, and other materials explaining U.S. trade and investment policy. He has also worked as a researcher at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, and in Kyrgyzstan as a Fulbright scholar. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a presidential scholar, and Brown University, where he received the Garrison Prize for best thesis in international relations.

    Join us for a presentation and discussion of his first book The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century (Yale University Press, 2020).

  • Dzhankent (Kazakhstan): a ‘nomad capital’ on the Northern Silk Road
    21-05-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    Prof. Irina Arzhantseva is an archaeologist of early medieval Eurasia and an associate professor at HSE University, Moscow. She has contributed to and directed projects in Russia (from Siberia to the North Caucasus), Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. From 1990 she was a researcher at Moscow State University and from 2000, director of the Centre for Eurasian Archaeology, and from 2011 principal researcher in the Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She has also held visiting fellowships at Cambridge, Oxford, London, Barcelona and Berlin, and is co-director of the Dzhankent project, Kazakhstan. She specializes in the history and interdisciplinary methods of archaeology.


    Prof. Heinrich Härke holds affiliations with HSE, Moscow, Tübingen and Reading and has held teaching and research positions at all three. He has excavated Roman and early medieval sites across the UK, Central and Eastern Europe, with a special interest in Eurasian nomads, burial practice and migrations. Since 2011 he has been excavating at the early medieval site of Dzhankent, and is planning fieldwork at other sites in southern central Kazakhstan.


    Dr Azilkhan Tazhekeev has worked on excavations in Kazakhstan since his student days. He has participated in the Dzhankent project since 2011, and in the same year became the first director of the new Research Centre for Archaeology and Ethnography, Korkyt-Ata State University of Kyzylorda (Kazakhstan).

    Join us to hear more about the ‘nomad capital’ of Dzhankent.

  • Rewriting the nation in modern Kazakh literature
    28-05-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    Diana Kudaibergenova is a research associate at the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge and studies different intersections of power relations through realms of political sociology dealing with concepts of state, nationalising regimes and ideologies. She received her PhD in 2015 from the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, spent more than two years researching and teaching in Turkmenistan at the International University of the Humanities and Development in Ashgabat and held a postdoctoral position at the Lund University Sociology of Law Department.

    Her first book, Rewriting the Nation in Modern Kazakh literature (Lexington, 2017) deals with the study of nationalism, modernisation and cultural development in modern Kazakhstan. Her second based on her doctoral research focuses on the rise of nationalising regimes in post-Soviet space after 1991 with prime focus on power struggles among the political and cultural elites in democratic and non-democratic states (forthcoming with Pittsburgh University Press). Currently she is completing her third book manuscript on power, state and resistance in contemporary art of the post-Soviet Eurasia and works on new project dealing with empowerment.

  • The Bukharan crisis of the 18th century
    04-06-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    We are delighted that our inaugural Silk Roads Annual Lecture will be delivered by Professor Scott Levi, chair of the department of history at Ohio State University.


    Professor Levi is a specialist in the social and economic history of early modern Central Asia. His books include ‘The Rise and Fall of Khoqand, 1709–1876: Central Asia in the Global Age’ (2017); ‘Caravans: Indian Merchants on the Silk Road’ (2015); and ‘The Indian Diaspora in Central Asia and its Trade, 1550–1900’ (2002) and he will present his most recent monograph ‘The Bukharan Crisis: A Connected History of 18th-Century Central Asia’ (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), which highlights many themes of connectivity across the trade networks of early modern Central Asia.

  • Conference: Early Soviet Central Asia
    10-06-2021 @ 12:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on the 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    On 10 June, we are delighted to be holding a conference on early Soviet Central Asia at King’s College, Cambridge to discuss the implications of the Revolutions of 1917 and the years that followed for the peoples of Central Asia. This was a tumultuous period that saw competing visions being set out for the future, opportunities being created and in some cases lost, of new alliances being formed and ultimately of repression as settlements were imposed and then ruthlessly enforced as the nascent Soviet Union took shape.

    This event will see four leading scholars of this region and period present their research in a series of short papers, followed by a round-table Q&A.

    The conference is open to all, but pre-registration is required.


    Introductory remarks: Prof Peter Frankopan and HE Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK


    Tomohiko Uyama (Hokkaido Univ), "Cooperation and Hostility between Kazakh Nationalists and Bolsheviks: The Alash Orda's Legacies in Early Soviet Central Asia."


    Alun Thomas (Staffordshire Univ), ‘Mapping Border Attestations in Early Soviet Central Asia: Patterns in Conflict and Space.’


    Niccolò Pianciola (Nazarbayev Univ, Nur-Sultan), "Connected, Transnational, Regional, Local? A Central Asian Borderland during State Collapse and Reconstruction, 1916-1924"


    Botakoz Kassymbekova (Liverpool John Moores Univ), ‘The illiberal promise and its discontents. Actors and actions for early Soviet Central Asia'

Meet Silk Roads Programme Team
Silk Roads Programme and more.

Silk Roads Programme News


New Research Fellow to join Silk Roads Programme

A third Research Fellow has been appointed to the Silk Roads Programme at King’s.


The new Silk Roads PhD Studentship is open to applicants

This studentship will provide funding for up to 4 years to pursue research on some aspect of the Silk Roads.

Peter Frankopan - Associate Director of the Silk Roads Programme

Peter Frankopan appointed as Associate Director of King’s Silk Roads Programme

King’s is delighted that Peter Frankopan, the foremost expert on the Silk Roads in the UK...