Silk Roads Programme Events

Everyone is very welcome to join and participate in 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. We do not record the seminars or mini-conferences as you will be hearing about brand- new, often unpublished research and we hope to facilitate questions and discussion between the audience and speakers.

Upcoming Events

  • Seismic disasters in Central Asia: An archaeological, historical, and geological approach
    20-05-2022 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom & Keynes Hall, King's College
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: None

    Paul Wordsworth is the Wainwright Research Fellow in Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Oxford and associate lecturer in Islamic Archaeology at University College London. His research focusses on the Early Islamic archaeology and history of the Caucasus and Central Asia with a particular focus on landscapes and geographic information systems (GIS). He is currently working on projects in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and will present an introductory overview of his latest project on earthquakes in Central Asia.

    Richard Walker is professor of tectonics at the University of Oxford who uses detailed field investigation, earthquake studies, and Quaternary dating methods to quantify the distribution, rates, and evolution of active faulting within deforming parts of the continents. He has been working most recently in China, the Tien Shan, Iran, Mongolia.

    Join us to hear more about interdisciplinary approaches to seismic disasters in Central Asia.

Recent Events

  • Multiculturalism in Dunhuang in the 10th century
    26-11-2021 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom and King's College
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: none

    The event will be held in the Audit Room, King's College and streamed on Zoom- please join us in person or online! To attend in person at King's please sign up here:


    Imre Galambos is a reader in Chinese at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. He specialises in medieval China, the history of Chinese manuscripts and origin of Chinese writing as well as links between China and Central Asia. His current research focus is on Chinese and Tangut documents from Dunhuang, especially the influence of non-Chinese written traditions on Chinese manuscript culture.

    Join us to hear more about the multicultural manuscripts of Dunhaung in the 10th century.

  • The Yellow River A Natural and Unnatural History
    04-02-2022 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
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    Ruth Mostern is director of the world history centre and an associate professor in the department of history, University of Pittsburgh. A specialist in spatial and environmental history focusing on imperial China and the world, she has diverse research interests bridging the humanities, social sciences, information environmental science.


    Join us to hear about her recently published book which explores the three-thousand-year history of China’s Yellow River and the legacy of interactions between humans and the natural landscape along the river and its watershed.

  • Cross-cultural explorations in the emotions: the case of shame in Aristotle and Xunzi
    11-02-2022 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom and King's College
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: none

    To attend in person at King's please sign up here:

    Jenny Zhao is a research fellow at the Needham Institute specialising in ancient philosophy, comparative studies of ancient Greece and early China and the reception of Greco-Roman classics in China. Topics of particular interest include shame and the emotions, human nature and moral education, as well as representations of infancy and childhood in philosophical works.

    Join us to hear more about cross-cultural explorations of emotions in the ancient world.

  • Sumatran camphor in medieval Afro-Eurasia
    25-02-2022 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on the 'join meeting' link Passcode: none

    Alex West is a lecturer at the Institute for Area Studies, University of Leiden. Specialising in the Indo-Malaysian archipelago in the fifteenth century before the arrival of the Portuguese and the Islamisation of Sunda, his translations and research have revealed the presence of commodities sourced from places as far apart as the Levant and New Guinea.


    Join us to hear more about how Sumatran camphor in medieval Afro-Eurasia, and what this reveals about global medieval trade networks.

  • The climatic pivot: Knowing environments in Central Asia in the age of High Empire
    04-03-2022 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom and King's College
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: none

    To attend in person at King's please register here: (Note the talk will be held in the Keynes lecture theatre, not the Audit Room where we usually meet).


    Thomas Simpson is a research fellow at Gonville and Caius College and research associate at the department of history, University of Cambridge. His research lies at the intersection of imperial history, the history of South Asia (and its borderlands), the history of science, environmental history, and historical geography. It centres on colonial knowledge of space, environment, and people during the long nineteenth century, looking especially at how information was produced, communicated, and contested in 'field sciences' such as cartography and anthropology.

    Join us to hear about his current research project 'Making Climate History' which is examining changing understandings of climate across various scientific disciplines and diverse sites around the globe from c.1780 to c.1980.

  • Environmental Factors in the History of the Golden Horde (13th-14th Centuries)
    11-03-2022 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: none

    Uli Schamiloglu is a Professor and Chair of the department of Kazakh Language and Turkic Studies at Nazarbayev University. His main research interests include the history of the Turkic languages and cultures of the Middle East and Central Eurasia, the socio-economic history of the Middle East and Central Eurasia in the medieval period, the history of Turko-Islamic civilization, and modern intellectual movements among the Muslim Turkic peoples of the Ottoman and Russian Empires. His research has considered the role of the Black Death (14th century on) in the history of medieval Central Eurasia, especially its role in the history of the Golden Horde and the Mongol World Empire, including the impact of plague on the history of literary languages, religiosity, and written monuments. More recently he has also begun to work on the Plague in the Time of Justinian (6th-8th centuries) in Central Eurasian history as well.

    Join us to hear more about his research on the Golden Horde and Mongol Eurasia.

  • The Amur River
    18-03-2022 @ 14:00
    Platform | Zoom and King's College
    ID: Please register on 'join meeting' link Passcode: none

    To attend in person at King's please register here:


    Colin Thubron is a travel and novel writer who has won multiple awards for his books which range in subject from Cyprus to China and most of the countries in between. He was president of the Royal Literary Society from 2009 to 2017, with his work recognised by awards from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Royal Geographical Society, Royal Society for Asian Affairs and Spanish Geographical Society.

    Join us to hear about his latest travels and book 'The Amur River' which forms much of the boundary between far-eastern Russian and China.

  • Qarakhanid Roads to China: A History of Sino-Turkic Relations
    06-05-2022 @ 14:00

    Dilnoza Duturaeva is a historian of Central Asia and China at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and the National Center of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan. She graduated from Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies in 2004, earned her MA from the same institution in 2006, and obtained a PhD in History from the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan in 2011. In the same year, she joined the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan as a Senior Research Fellow. She also pursued doctoral research at the University of Halle-Wittenberg (2008-2009) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010) and held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Nanjing (2012-2013) and the University of Bonn (2015-2018). Since 2020 she has been working in Paris on a research project funded by the German Research Foundation.

    The talk will introduce her recently published book (Brill, 2022) which reconsiders the diplomacy, trade, and geography of transcontinental networks between Central Asia and China from the 10th to the 12th centuries and challenges the concept of “the Silk Road crisis” in the period between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the rise of the Mongols. In this talk, the author explores commodity and exchange in the Qarakhanid world and highlights the Qarakhanid commercial activities along and beyond the Silk Roads.

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...