Amitav Ghosh in China

Amitav Ghosh in China

Dr. Amitav Ghosh was at the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai, from August 10 to September 12, 2016 as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar.  During his stay in China, Dr. Ghosh delivered the keynote address for the annual conference of the Center for Global Asia and engaged in various educational activities at NYU Shanghai. He also gave talks on India-China connections in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kunming, and Shanghai. A detailed schedule of his talks can be found below.

The objective of Dr. Ghosh’s stay in China was to promote the study of intra-Asian interactions, particularly the colonial connections between India and China. He also spoke on his training as a scholar of anthropology, his experiences with historical research, and his contribution to the genre of historical fiction.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique LandDancing in CambodiaThe Calcutta ChromosomeThe Glass PalaceThe Hungry Tide, and the Ibis Trilogy (Sea of PoppiesRiver of Smoke, and Flood of fire). His most recent book is entitled The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. His books have won prizes in India, Europe and Myanmar and he has received honorary degrees from the Sorbonne, Paris, and Queens College, New York. He divides his time between Brooklyn, Goa and Calcutta.


August 7, Sunday, Chengdu Fangsuo

    Topic: The Opium War and India-China Trade during the Colonial Period

    Translator: Shuang Wen


August 16, Tuesday, Guangzhou Fangsuo

    Topic: Canton and India-China Connections

    Translator: Yun Chen

Hong Kong

August 17, Wednesday, Asia Society Hong Kong Center

    Topic: The Colonial Period and India-China Connection

    Guests: Mishi Saran, Tansen Sen

August 18, Thursday, Hong Kong University

    Topic: Canton and India-China Connections

    Guests: John Wong, Angela Leung, Tansen Sen


August 31, Wednesday, Beijing One Way Street Library

    Topic: The Opium War and India-China Trade

    Guest: Guanzhong Chen

    Translator: Yun Chen

September 1, Thursday, Beijing CITIC Books (Fangcaodi Store)

    Topic: From China to Egypt: Where

    Guest: Hong Liang

    Translator: Yun Chen


阿米塔夫·高希,印度著名作家、学者。他 1956 年生于加尔各答,童年在印度、孟加拉、斯里兰卡度过。他曾在德里、牛津和亚历山大省读书,获得牛津大学社会人类学博士学位。著有《理性环》《阴影线》《在古老的土地上》《在柬埔寨起舞》《加尔各答染色体》《玻璃宫殿》《饿潮》,以及朱鹭号三部曲小说《罂粟海》《烟河》《烈火洪流》。

The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.

Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.