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Please join us for a lunch-time series of talks by ASU faculty on the theme of Empire, the Postcolonial, and the Decolonial. During this event, we will hear from Françoise Mirguet, James Rush, and Mark van Hagen.
Can an emotion help a minority negotiate its subordinate position in an imperial context? This paper deals with pity and compassion in Jewish literature written in Greek, from the late Hellenistic, early imperial period (200 BCE to 200 CE). I suggest that pity and compassion, as a discourse but also as emotional practices, allow Jewish elites to voice—and experience—the uniqueness of their identity. Jewish elites reassert a concern ubiquitous in the Hebrew scriptures; at the same time, their discourse conforms to dominant intellectual standards, twisted into hybrid constructions. Hellenistic Jews feel back: to the cultural hegemony of Rome, they oppose a “gentle emotion” constructed as their own heritage.
Françoise Mirguet is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University. She teaches at the School of International Letters and Cultures and in Jewish Studies. Her research interests include ancient Jewish literature and the history of emotions. Her newest book is entitled An Early History of Compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism, published by Cambridge University Press (2017).
Between 1600 and 1900, Holland built a massive tropical colony in Southeast Asia, the Dutch East Indies. To Holland’s millions of Muslim subjects, colonization by Christian foreigners was anathema. But having failed to thwart the Western onslaught militarily, Muslim leaders of the early 20th century shrewdly seized upon the reality of the huge colony to advance modern visions of Islam within it, pressing their new organizations and publications into its far-flung territories. In this way, the unwelcome colony became a hopeful vessel that could be filled with visions of a new Islam-infused society, a vessel that would eventually be theirs in the hoped-for nation-to-be of Indonesia.
James Rush is a historian of Southeast Asia and a Professor at ASU's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. His work explores issues of colonialism and religion in 19th and 20th century Indonesia and includes the books Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860-1910 (Cornell University Press, 1990/1907) and Hamka's Great Story: A Master Writer's Vision of Islam for Modern Indonesia (University of Wisconsin Press, 2016). His Southeast Asia: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press) is forthcoming.
Mark von Hagen teaches and writes about the history of soldiers, armies, and war in Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia at Arizona State University in two Schools, International Letters and Cultures and Politics and Global Studies. He recently (2016-2017) served as Interim Director of ASU’s Melikian Center and is founding Director of the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement. Von Hagen also teaches and serves as Dean of the Philosophy Faculty, Ukrainian Free University (Munich, Germany). He is head of the International Advisory Board to the German-Ukrainian Historians’ Commission.