CANCELLED: May 14: Nile Green, “Everybody Must Get Stones: The Iranian Search for Lithographic Technology”

Friday, May 14 | McCune Conference Room, HSSB | 4:00pm –CANCELLED

Nile Green is a Professor of History at UCLA and author of Indian Sufism Since the Seventeenth Century: Saints, Books, and Empires in the Muslim Deccan (2006), among several other books and articles. He studies the Middle East and South Asia in the 18th through 20th centuries, specializing in religion and colonialism.  Recently, his work has focused on exchange between Europe and Asia and on the history and technologies of the “Islamic” book.

Professor Green’s talk at UCSB will reconstruct the circumstances in which, amid a burgeoning international market for lithographic materials, Iranians gained access to these printing technologies around 1830. Within a year either side of 1818, the first Muslim printing presses were established in Tabriz (Iran), Bulaq (Egypt) and Lucknow (India). These founding typographic presses were the fruit of distinct local interactions with the industrializing marts of Europe that a few years later sowed seeds for the second round of interactions which spread lithography through Asia. Having been invented with drawing and musical notation in mind, the transfer of lithographic techniques for printing handwritten Persian was one of the earliest and most successful examples of the adaptation of a European industrial technology to local demands overseas.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Mellichamp Endowed Chair in Global Religions and Modernity, the Comparative Literature Program, the Religious Studies Department and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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