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

		    			
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.

Watch the lecture here:

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October 2018
Partition: The Story of Indian Independence and the Creation of Pakistan in 1947 by Lt Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner KCB CBE View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Lt Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner KCB CBE

Barney White-Spunner is a long-standing member of the Society. He has lectured at a variety of institutions during the past few years but not to us for some time. We are pleased to have him give this lecture to the RSAA, when he will be talking about the year of Indian partition and the circumstances that led to the appalling loss of life accompanying it. His book, Partition, addressing the same issues, was published in 2017.

This talk is given under The Hugh Leach Memorial Lecture series.

Watch the lecture here:

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September 2018
Russia and Asia – once again with feeling by Dr Bobo Lo View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Dr Bobo Lo
Job title
Independent Analyst

Bobo Lo is an independent analyst and former head of the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House. From 1995 - 1999 he served as first secretary and then deputy head of mission at the Australian Embassy in Moscow. He is the author of 'Vladimir Putin and the Evolution of Russian Foreign Policy' and 'Russian Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era'.

Watch his lecture here:    

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June 2018
Sikunder Burnes: Master of the ‘Great Game’ by Mr Craig Murray View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Craig Murray
Job title
Author
Website
www.craigmurray.org.uk

Craig Murray was a member of the British Diplomatic Service from 1984 to 2004, including a period as Ambassador to Uzbekistan where he became well known for his public criticism of western policy towards the Uzbek regime. He has since made a career as a writer and publishes a blog that comments frequently on stories about intelligence and UK policy. He is a supporter of Scottish Independence.
His book Sikunder Burnes is the only recent biography of this famous explorer of central Asia who is the subject of his book.

Watch his lecture here:

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May 2018
Sustainable Social and Economic Development in Rural Afghanistan by Mr Terje Watterdal View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Terje Watterdal
Job title
Country Director, Norwegian Afghanistan Committee
Website
www.afghanistan.no/english

Terje Watterdal will be drawing on his long experience of development and of Afghanistan to talk about the integration of efforts to deliver sustainable development. His experience extends across much of Afghanistan. In his talk he will focus primarily on the province of Ghazni, and the lessons that can be learned from the coordination of development strands to deliver a sustainable result.

Watch the lecture here:  

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May 2018
The South China Sea: whose is it, who wants it, and why? by Mr Bill Hayton View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Bill Hayton
Job title
Reporter & Associate, Chatham House
Website
www.billhayton.com

Bill Hayton is an Associate Fellow with the Asia Programme of Chatham House in 2015. He is the author of The South China Sea: the struggle for power in Asia (Yale, 2014) and Vietnam: Rising Dragon (Yale, 2010). Bill has worked for the BBC since 1998 and currently works for BBC World News television in London. He has given presentations about South China Sea and Southeast Asian issues for think-tanks and government institutions in the UK, US, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and elsewhere.

Watch the lecture here:

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April 2018
Quis custodiet? Nationalist narratives of British Imperialism in India by Mr Charles Allen View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Charles Allen
Job title
Author

Charles Allen has had a distinguished record as a writer on India and Indian history stretching over more than thirty years and almost as many books. Plain Tales from the Raj in 1975 began a publishing record that continues. His most recent publication, A Corrective to Northern-focused Histories of India, came out in 2017. He is no apologist for imperialism but he is also unafraid to question the idea that Britain’s role in India was unmitigatedly negative. His lecture will focus on challenging some aspects of recent popular publications on Indian history.

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April 2018
Myanmar – engagement or disengagement? by Ms Vicky Bowman View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Ms Vicky Bowman
Job title
Retired diplomat; Head of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business
Website
www.myanmar-responsiblebusiness.org/index.php

Mynamar was for decades portrayed in the western media as a binary conflict of good (Aung San Suu Kyi) and evil (the former military regime). A new complexity is emerging and Vicky Bowman is exceptionally well placed to help us to understand how best to respond to the challenges that face this poor and politically fragile country.

Vicky went to Myanmar on her first diplomatic posting in 1990. She returned as the UK Ambassador 2001 – 6, having travelled extensively in the country in the interim. Since 2013 she has lived in Yangon, running the Myanmar Centre for Responsible business, a joint initiative of the Institute for Human Rights and Business and the Danish Institute for Human Rights

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March 2018
Short Talks Evening by Faraz Shibli, Charles Stevens, Matt O'Driscoll, Christian Dixon, Daoud Jackson View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Faraz Shibli, Charles Stevens, Matt O'Driscoll, Christian Dixon, Daoud Jackson

Christian Dixon RSAA Travel Awardee 2017, Daoud Jackson SPHMA Travel Awardee 2016

Faraz Shibli – Outer Mongolia: the last place on earth Charles Stevens – Cycling the Silk Road: 10,000km from Beijing to Tehran Matt O’Driscoll – By Rickshaw from Kerala to Pakistan Christian Dixon – Between Da’esh and rijjāl ad-dīn: the experiences of displaced Christians in Northern Iraq Daoud Jackson – Central Anatolia’s Seljuk Buildings: their pre-history

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Society Tour

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

Find out more >
21 NOV

UPCOMING EVENT

Politics without Parties – Afghanistan’s long road to Democracy

Where: Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD

Tickets: Free

Find out more > Show me all upcoming events
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