Lecture content is available for RSAA members only.

PAST LECTURES

The RSAA has been hosting thought-provoking lectures from expert speakers twice a month since 1901.

We maintain a record of all the lectures that have been given to the RSAA, and transcriptions of many of the most interesting lectures have been published in Asian Affairs. In recent years we have also started filming major lectures so that members around the world can enjoy them at their leisure.

LATEST LECTURES

		    			
May 2019
Ancient Roots to Modern Faiths in the Moslem World by Gerard Russell View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Gerard Russell
Job title
Author & Former Diplomat
Website
heirstoforgottenkingdoms.com

Gerard Russell MBE (@GSJRussell) is the author of the highly acclaimed book Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms about middle-eastern religious minorities. He is the founder and director of Pall Mall Communications, a strategic communications consultancy focused on the arab world. Gerard was previously a British and UN diplomat and subsequently a Visiting Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He speaks Arabic and Dari

Watch the lecture here:

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April 2019
Drought and Instability in the Middle East by Dr Afshin Shahi View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Dr Afshin Shahi
Job title
Academic

Dr Afshin Shahi is a senior lecturer in Middle East politics and International Relations at Bradford University. He obtained both his MA and Ph.D. from School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University.
Prior to joining the Department of Peace Studies and International development in 2013, he worked at the universities of Durham and Exeter. In 2018 he was a visiting research fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. He is a multilingual scholar and his research interests encompass sectarianism and the politics and security of the Middle East, with a particular focus on political Islam. His articles have appeared in scholarly outlets including the Middle East Journal, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and the Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He is the author of the Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia (Routledge, 2013) and the co-author of a forthcoming book, Iran: the Shia State and the Sunni Minority

He is a council member for the British Society for Middle East Studies as well as associate editor of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. He is a regular contributor to national and global media outlets including the BBC and Aljazeera. His opinion pieces have appeared in various publications including Forbes magazine, Foreign Policy magazine, and Conversation. He also actively works with both practitioners and stakeholders in his field. In 2017, he was a recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement at the University of Bradford.

Watch the lecture here:  

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February 2019
The Dragon and the 55 Lions: China and Africa today by Dr Stephen Chan View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Dr Stephen Chan
Job title
Professor, World Politics, SOAS
Website
www.stephen-chan.com/biography/

We naturally view China and Africa through our own history which makes little connection between them. Professor Chan takes a look at how China and Africa view the world and each other, producing a rather different set of perspectives. Professor Chan is a distinguished academic who has made a major contribution to the academic understanding of international politics, including through his involvement in high-level diplomacy and actions and advice on the ground. In 2006-7 he was a member of the Africa-China-US Trilateral Dialogue, an effort to establish a common set of principles to help govern the emerging trade wars involving the three continents.

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February 2019
Sins of the Grandfathers: Living with the Rowlatt Act 1919 by Mr Justin Rowlatt View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Justin Rowlatt
Job title
Formerly BBC South Asia

Justin Rowlatt describes the challenges and complications of living and working in India with his own family’s dark history in the country’s past – in particular his great-grandfather’s role in colonial India.

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January 2019
Iran, the US and the Politics of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] by Professor Ali Ansari View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Professor Ali Ansari
Job title
Director of Institute of Iranian Studies, St Andrews

Professor Ansari is a leading expert on Iran and its history. He is founding director of the Institute for Iranian Studies, a Senior Fellow Associate at RUSI and is currently President of the British Institute of Persian Studies. He is therefore well-placed to give a talk on the current state of political affairs between Iran and the USA.

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January 2019
China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Strategic and Economic Consequences by Various View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Various

A joint conference of the RSAA and the Wilson Center at King's College London

  Watch on YouTube: Morning event – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiYpfzF-RIY Evening event – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4hiwwH1kzE

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November 2018
Politics without Parties – Afghanistan’s Long Road to Democracy by Mr David Loyn View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr David Loyn
Job title
Foreign Affairs Correspondent

David Loyn has been a foreign correspondent since the late 1970s, mostly with the BBC. He returned recently from a year in Kabul advising President Ashraf Ghani on communications. He is now a Fellow of King’s College London.

Watch the lecture here:  

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November 2018
Central Asia in the 21st Century: Caught between Russia, China . the USA and Islamic Extremism by Dr Christoph Baumer View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Dr Christoph Baumer
Job title
Author, photographer, explorer

Christoph Baumer is a Swiss scholar and explorer. From 1984 onwards, he has conducted explorations in Central Asia, China and Tibet, the results of which have been published in numerous books, scholarly publications and radio programs and at this event, launched Volume 4 of his series on the History of Central Asia

Listen to his talk here (apologies – no film of this event)

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October 2018
The View from Damascus by Dr Kamal Alam View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Dr Kamal Alam
Job title
Visiting Fellow, RUSI

Kamal Alam is a former advisor on Syrian affairs to the British Army. He teaches Syrian history at various Army Staff Colleges, and is currently a Fellow for Syrian Affairs at the Institute for Statecraft and at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). This talk will look at why and how Russia was successful, how many people, including David Cameron, got this war wrong, and the importance of Damascus as the heart of the Arab world. It will be a mixture of history, and views from the ground.

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October 2018
Over the Great Wall and Far Away by Mr William Lindesay View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr William Lindesay
Job title
Author, film-maker, explorer
Website
www.wildwall.com

A childhood fascination of the Great Wall of China meant that in 1986, William Lindsay OBE moved to China and became the first ‘foreigner’ to walk the full length of it. He recounted his experience in his first book Alone on the Great Wall in 1989. He has since written 5 more books on the subject and is a campaigner for its conservation. In 2016, he and his sons spent 60 days filming the wall with a drone.
William also runs a successful company for tours to the wall https://www.wildwall.com
In 2016 William received a Special Award from the RSAA, this being presented to him by the British Ambassador in 2017. This is in addition to the talks listed on our current lecture card.

Watch the lecture here:  

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Society Tour

RSAA 2019 TOUR: CROSSING THE ANCIENT SILK ROAD: CHINA AND CENTRAL ASIA

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22 MAY

UPCOMING EVENT

Education, Empowerment, Equality: the case for Women-Centred Institutions

Where: 7.00pm the Medical Society of London, Lettsom House, 11 Chandos Street, London W1

Tickets: Free

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