Monday March 1, 2021 5:30-7:00 PM


3/1/21 Khazeni lecture poster


The City and the Wilderness: Indo-Persian Encounters in Southeast Asia

Professor Arash Khazeni
Professor, History, Pomona College

Venue: Online (Advance registration required)

Pre-register for log-in information at

Co-sponsored by the Yale South Asian Studies Council, the Council on Southeast Asia Studies, and the Program in Iranian Studies

The City and the Wilderness recounts the journeys and microhistories of Indo-Persian travelers across the Indian Ocean and their encounters with the Burmese Kingdom and its littoral at the turn of the nineteenth century. As Mughal sovereignty waned under British colonial rule, Indo-Persian travelers and intermediaries linked to the East India Company explored and surveyed the Burmese Empire, inscribing it as a forest landscape and Buddhist kingdom at the crossroads of South and Southeast Asia. Based on colonial Persian travel books and narratives in which Indo-Persian knowledge and perceptions of the wondrous edges of the Indian Ocean merged with Orientalist pursuits, The City and the Wilderness uncovers fading histories of inter-Asian crossings and exchanges at the ends of the Mughal world.

Speaker bio:
Arash Khazeni is professor of history at Pomona College in Los Angeles and the author of Tribes and Empire on the Margins of Nineteenth-Century Iran (University of Washington Press, 2010), Sky Blue Stone: The Turquoise Trade in World History (University of California Press, 2014), and The City and the Wilderness: Indo-Persian Encounters in Southeast Asia (University of California Press, 2020).


InterAsia Logo

SAS Logo


PIR Logo