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Re-emerging Superpowers: Turkey, Iran, India, and China in the 21st Century

March 5, 2014 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Portrait image of Andre Wink wearing a tan jacket standing in front of book shelves

2014 Focus on the Humanities Distinguished Lecture:

André Wink

Professor of History and Senior Fellow, Institute for Research in the Humanities, UW-Madison


Turkey, Iran, India, and China are historical superpowers. All four were dramatically eclipsed by European imperialism and industrial progress in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Today, in the early years of the 21st century, they are on the rise again. And they have been making attempts to reconnect with their imperial past. In this lecture, it will be argued that it is the imperial heritage of these countries that, together with economic growth, made possible their re-emergence as potential superpowers of the future but that it is the same heritage that is also holding them back. This is the unique dilemma of the world’s re-emerging superpowers in the 21st century: for their historical transformation to be successful they have to reconnect with the past, but the past is marred by a failure they may be destined to repeat unless they let go of it.


André Wink (Ph.D., 1984, University of Leiden) has been teaching South-Asian and World History at UW-Madison since 1990. He is the author of Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World 3 Volumes (Leiden, Boston, Oxford, New Delhi, Abu Dhabi, 1990-2012, numerous editions).


March 5, 2014
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L140
800 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States