Mobility and Transformations: New Directions in the Study of the Mongol Empire

Sun, 29/06/2014 to Tue, 01/07/2014
See also: Events, Conferences

Joint IIAS-ISF Conference



Michal Biran (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Kim Hodong (Seoul National University)


The workshop aims to scrutinize the Mongol Empire from a holistic perspective and to highlight the impact of the unprecedented mobility that characterized the establishment, expansion and consolidation of the Empire on  Mongol Eurasia. Unprecedented in its scope, it comprises of two complementary events: an international conference followed by an international summer school.


International Conference: Mobility and Transformation: Economic and Cultural Exchanges in Mongol Eurasia

The conference examines how various forms of mobility – of people, ideas and artifacts – were instrumental  in creating economic social, cultural and intellectual exchanges in the realm ruled by the Mongol Empire and its successor states (and beyond) in the 13th and 14th centuries, and what was the impact of these movements. Culture is meant here in a broad definition, including also reference to religious and artistic and exchanges.The conference also aims to reconstruct and characterize commercial, religious and intellectual/scientific networks that operated in the Empire and beyond on a local, regional, and continental scale.

International Summer School: New Directions in the Study of the Mongol Empire

The Summer School looks at the Mongol period as a multifaceted phenomenon in its own right, not only as a chapter in the annals of China, Iran, Russia or Inner Asia, and highlights its enduring impact on world history. The Mongols combined elements from various imperial traditions (particularly steppe, Islamic, Persian, and Sinitic empires) and made them their own; promoted cross-cultural contacts, religious and ethnic changes; and prompted the transition from the medieval to the early modern world. The Mongols will be discussed in their own terms highlighting the transformations they brought upon the regions under their control and the cross-pollination that took place under their dominion and beyond. 

The Summer School convenes some of the leading scholars in the history of the Mongol Empire, all of them contributors to  The Cambridge History of the Mongol Empire currently in preparation and edited by Michal Biran and Hodong Kim. The 24 carefully chosen PhD students and Post-Docs from Asia, Europe and North America, will not only enrich their knowledge on the Mongols in world history, but also contribute to a significant scholarly endeavor that will hopefully become the major reference work for the study of the Empire.


The workshop is organized and funded mainly by the ERC project Mobility, Empire and Cross Cultural Contacts in Mongol Eurasia.


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