Open Lecture: The ‘Maritime Silk Road’ in Past and Present: Locating Vietnam between China and the Malay World

When:3 Dec 2014, 1pm - 3pm
Venue:Rex Vowels Theatre, UNSW (map ref F17)
Who:Edyta Roszko and Oscar Salemink

Open lecture for summer course ARTS2458 - Along the Silk Road: Conquerors, Traders and Explorers

Speakers Edyta Roszko, Durham University and University of Copenhagen and Oscar Salemink, University of Copenhagen and Australian Catholic University.

Trade has been critical in shaping Southeast Asia, as is clear from the seminal work of Anthony Reid – among many others. Over the last decade, revisionist historians of East and Southeast Asia have connected up Reid’s “Malay World” with the Chinese World by looking at the trade of a variety of different commodities – sometimes labelled “Chinese circulations” and/or the “Maritime Silk Road”. In this lecture we offer a maritime-inflected history of Vietnam by looking at how trade shaped Vietnamese territories, populations, polities and economies in the past; subsequently, we zoom in on trade and competition for resources in the South China Sea in past and present.

Edyta Roszko

Dr Edyta Roszko is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the School of Government and International Affairs of Durham University and a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies of the University of Copenhagen. Her doctoral thesis focuses on coastal communities in Central Vietnam and the multi-faceted contestation over the religious landscape in the context of changes in the ecology, the economy and in politics. Recently Edyta has been pursuing her interest in fishermen’s perceptions and actions in relation to territory, in connection with their “mental maps” by working on the EU and Danish Research Council’s founded projects that aim to build a more informed approach to territoriality and local communities attempt to protect their environmental foundation of their livelihoods. Edyta has been published in Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia; East Asia: An International Quarterly and Nations and Nationalism(2015 forthcoming).



Oscar Salemink is Professor in the Anthropology of Asia at the University of Copenhagen and Adjunct Professor at the Australian Catholic University’s Institute of Religion, Society and Politics. From 1996 through 2001 he was responsible for grant portfolios in higher education, arts and culture and sustainable development in Thailand and Vietnam on behalf of The Ford Foundation. From 2001 until 2011 he worked at VU University in Amsterdam, and from 2005 as Professor of Social Anthropology. His current research concerns religious, ritual and heritage practices in everyday life in Vietnam and the wider East and Southeast Asian region. Some of his book-length publications include Colonial Subjects (1999); Vietnam’s Cultural Diversity (2001); The Ethnography of Vietnam’s Central Highlanders (2003); The Development of Religion, the Religion of Development (2004); A World of Insecurity: Anthropological perspectives on human security (2010).


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