Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 7:00pm
Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies
Empire, Bible, and Cartography: The Ten Lost Tribes and the History of Trade in Asia
Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, New York University
This talk is concerned with early Modern British perceptions of Jewish economic activity in colonial Asia. Ben-Dor Benite will present and discuss the writings of the Royal Surveyor of Bengal, Major James Rennell (1742-1830) and his geographical investigation of the myth of the Lost Tribes.
Zvi Ben-Dor Benite is Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He studied pre-modern and modern Chinese History in Jerusalem, in China, and later at UCLA. His research centers on the interaction between religions in world history and cultural exchanges across vast space and deep time. He is the author of The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China (Harvard, 2005); The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History (Oxford, 2009); and co-editor and translator of Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Culture, and Politics (Brandeis, 2013); and an edited volume on Sovereignty (Columbia University Press 2017).