Silk Road Studies at SIPCATS

News from the SIPCATS project

This project, devoted to the Swedish diplomat Gunnar Jarring’s scholarly legacy in the fields of Central Asian and Turkic Studies, has for the past few years been preoccupied with much editing and publishing. Two important results from our work were recently made public:

  1. The anthology Kashgar Revisited: Uyghur Studies in Memory of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring, with chapters based on papers delivered at a workshop held at the University of Copenhagen on the 10th‒12th of May, 2012, for the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the death of Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002). This volume was co-edited by the organizers of the workshop, Ildikó Bellér-Hann, Copenhagen, Jun Sugawara, Tokyo, and myself, the SIPCATS Director, Istanbul.
    In our Introduction, which can be accessed at, we make the following comment on Jarring’s approach to fieldwork and research: “Whether he was aware of this or not, … Jarring was completely in tune with the new trends emerging in European scholarship as early as the 1960s and 1970s, which advocated shifting the focus of research from the political to the social, from the exceptional to the ordinary, from outstanding figures and events to the experiences and perspectives of hitherto marginalized groups.”
    The book was published this year by Brill as Vol. 34 in their series Brill’s Inner Asian Library.
  2. The Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Digital Library,, with publications and manuscripts from Jarring’s private library, handed over to the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities by the time of Jarring’s death in 2002 and finally donated to the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.
    The SIPCATS staff has created the present website for the purpose of enhancing the accessibility of the Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Collection in Istanbul by providing possibilities to view items electronically in their entirety together with briefings about their provenance and contents.
    At present digitization and documentation work is being conducted on materials divided into three sections: Kashgar Prints, Travel Literature and Maps. By clicking on the options in the right column on the starting page of a section you will access works so far uploaded there.
    More information about this collection from Gunnar Jarring’s private library is to be found in the first chapter of the volume Kashgar Revisited announced above; see here. Besides travelogues and related literature, there are linguistic treatises and dictionaries for a great number of languages as well as books on history, religion, literature and several other disciplines.


Reform Movements and Ideas in the Mediterranean and Eurasia in the Late-Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

13 February, 2017, at 3.30 p.m.
Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, The Auditorium

Reform Movements and Ideas in the Mediterranean and Eurasia in the Late-Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

In our series of seminars on “Imperial Legacies along Former Silk Routes in Eurasia and the Indian Ocean”, we will devote the next meeting to a discussion of intellectual agitation spreading in and between the two disintegrating empires of Eurasia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – The Ottoman Empire and Tsarist Russia.

Our two presenters, Edgar Melgar from Princeton University and Zaur Gasimov from the German Orient-Institut Istanbul, will give us briefings of their respective research work on cross-regional interaction and knowledge transfer.

See the full announcement of the seminar with abstracts on

This is the second SIPCATS discussion seminar in preparation of our workshop coorganised with Asian Studies Center at Boğaziçi University, on

Rethinking Global Histories for the Present: The Land and Maritime Silk Road in Central Eurasia and the Indian Ocean