With the rise of global history and art history, there is an ever-more intense interest in the Mongol period as a historiographical watershed. The so-called Pax Mongolica lasted less than two hundred years, but both the size and the scope of the Mongol empire were unprecedented. At its fullest extent, the Mongol states claimed territories from Hungary to Korea, and they reconfigured the basic zones of Afro-Eurasian trade and contact. People, objects, and ideas traveled across Asia, Europe, and into Africa, in a movement that has been framed as the first step in an accelerating global modernism based on circulation of goods and capital. It is the aim of this conference to take stock of this historical turn, and to explore the Mongol impact and legacy in the early modern world and in contemporary histories. What is at stake for instance in framing the Mongols as harbingers of modernity? What are the rewards and limits of taking the Mongol moment as a defining case for the project of global history or art history as a whole, and what does the Pax Mongolica model offer that is distinctive from examples in later colonial periods?
Organized by Anne Dunlop (University of Melbourne)
Details and program to follow.