When? 25/01/2013 10-5:30
Where? Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

A one-day workshop at Birkbeck in collaboration with the Global History and Culture Centre (Warwick) and the Centre for Overseas History (Lisbon)

This one-day workshop aims to enquire into the material and aesthetic culture of diplomatic negotiations between Europe and Asia before 1800. Participants will discuss the making and exchanging of diplomatic gifts, focusing on how objects furthered dialogues (or not), and to what extent they mobilized mutually intelligible ideas on economic and aesthetic value across cultural boundaries.

We will explore why ivories from Sri Lanka were valued in Renaissance Europe, what the Jesuits found to be the most adequate gifts in China, how Muslims and Christians exchanged artefacts in a time of religious strife, and why paintings offered as gifts by the British were not particularly appreciated in eighteenth-century India.