Tobunken Seminar "The Long-term Geopolitics of the Pre-modern Middle East" (Professor Michael A. Cook, Princeton University)

The Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo is proud to announce the lecture by Professor Michael A. Cook (Princeton University) on "The Long-term Geopolitics of the Pre-modern Middle East," scheduled on May 22. The lecture will be of utmost interest not only to those with special interest in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies but also to those who would like to reconsider the narrative of the Global History from the vantage point of the Middle East. This event is open to public and no previous registration is required.

Date: 2013年5月22日(水)17:30-19:00 May 22, 2013 (Wed), 17:30-19:00

Venue: 3rd floor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (Tobunken), University of Tokyo

Speaker: Michael A. Cook (Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University;

Title: The Long-term Geopolitics of the Pre-modern Middle East

The Middle East had a remarkably stable configuration in the centuries before the rise of Islam (two empires, the Byzantine and the Persian) and again, but in a significantly different form, in the Ottoman period (one major empire and a reduced Persia). Between these two periods of sustained stability there intervenes a long period of relative instability dduring which no one pattern prevails. Should we attribute all this to the random impact of luck and the human factor? Or are there deeper structural factors that can help us to explain why things remained stable or changed as they did? The obvious thing to look at is the distribution of two crucial resources: military manpower and taxable economic activity.

Contact Person:  Kazuo Morimoto (morikazu[at]

Organizer:Kazuo Morimoto

* The seminar is open to public; no registration is required.

** [Tobunken Symposium] New Approaches to Islamic History, Theory and Practice: Graduate Workshop with Professor Michael A. Cook is scheduled earlier on the same day, i.e., May 22. Prof. Cook will also give a lecture at Kyushu University on "Did the Middle East Miss Out on Early Modern Antiquarianism?" on May 27 (tentative date). Finally, he will attend an international workshop at Kyoto University on June 2 as the main commentator. Announcements of these other events will be sent out shortly by their respective organizers. Professor Cook\'s visit to Japan was made possible by the generous support by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Invitation Fellowship Program for Research in Japan [Short Term]).