Convergent comparisons refer to the ways in which circulatory global forces are institutionalized in different societies. Historical forces have circulated-- transmuting as they circulate-- since the rise of empires in Eurasia; but the pace of circulation has accelerated since the mid-19th century. What I call the zone of convergence is the impact of circulatory forces that demand a response; the various regional and national responses, in turn, form the basis of convergent comparison. This presentation seeks to develop the methodology by comparing the role of visual culture in China and India.
Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. He was born and educated in India and received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was previously Professor and Chair of the Dept of History and Chair of the Committee on Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago (1991-2008). Subsequently, he became Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (2008-2015).