This panel addresses the circulation of ideas between East and West. The papers discuss the Jesuit-Mughal encounter in the 17th century, European views of Chinese geography in the 19th century, and Russian and Chinese uses of geopolitical terms in the 20th century.
Uroš Zver (European University Institute, Florence), "A Mirror to Govern the Globe: A Jesuit Mirror of Princes for the Emperor of Mughal India", looks at the moment in 1609, when Jesuit missionaries presented Emperor Jahangir with a book of Advice on Kingship in Persian. The book followed a period of intensifying Mughal-Jesuit artistic and literary collaboration, even as Jesuit hopes for conversion faded. Analysing its imagined geographies will shed new light on this cross-cultural encounter. Mark Gamsa (Tel Aviv University), "A Comparison between the Uses of 'Asian' in Russian Polemics and the Japanese Name for 'China' in Chinese Writing (1900s to 1920s)", treats two clusters of polemical language. In both cases political and cultural critique was expressed partly by recourse to geography and through the perspective of the foreigner, who would classify Russia as an "Asian" country and call China "Shina". The differences between the two sets of terminologies, however, stemmed from different understandings by speakers in Russia and China of their country's place in the world and relation to its neighbours.