“From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa”

FRESNO — Dr. Sebouh Aslanian will speak about his new book, “From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa,” at 7:30 PM on Friday, October 21, in the Grosse Industrial Technology Building, Room 101, on the Fresno State campus (corner of Barstow and Campus Drive).
Dr. Aslanian’s presentation is the second of the Fall 2011 Armenian Studies Program Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Armenian Students Organization at Fresno State.
Drawing on a rich trove of documents, including correspondence not seen for 300 years, Dr. Aslanian will explore the emergence and growth of a remarkable global trade network operated by Armenian silk merchants from a small outpost in the Persian Empire. Based in New Julfa, Isfahan, in what is now Iran, these merchants operated a network of commercial settlements that stretched from London and Amsterdam to Manila and Acapulco. The New Julfan Armenians were the only Eurasian community that was able to operate simultaneously and successfully in all the major empires of the early modern world—both land-based Asian empires and the emerging sea-borne empires—astonishingly without the benefits of an imperial network and state that accompanied and facilitated European mercantile expansion during the same period.
This book brings to light for the first time the trans-imperial cosmopolitan world of the New Julfans. Among other topics, it explores the effects of long distance trade on the organization of community life, the ethos of trust and cooperation that existed among merchants, and the importance of information networks and communication in the operation of early modern mercantile communities.
Sebouh David Aslanian received his Ph.D. (with distinction) from Columbia University in 2007. He is the Richard Hovannisian Term Chair of Modern Armenian History (established by the Armenian Educational Fund) at the department of history at UCLA. He has taught at the department of History at CSULB as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2010 after serving a year at Cornell University as a Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral fellow in world history.
Dr. Aslanian specializes in early modern world and Armenian history and is the author of numerous articles in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of World History, the Journal of the Social and Economic History of the Orient, the Journal of Global History, and Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies. His book, entitled From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa, Isfahan, 1605-1747 was recently published by the University of California Press. It was selected by the Committee of the “California World History Library” as the first book to appear in their new series, “Author’s Imprint,” that celebrates and recognizes “exceptional scholarship by first-time authors.”
Admission is free to the lecture. Free parking is available Lots L, M, and Q after 7:00PM. For more information please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669.

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