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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

		    			
January 2018
Prospects for Kurdish Independence in a Changing Middle East by Mr Michael Stephens View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Michael Stephens
Job title
Research Fellow RUSI

Michael Stephens is the Research Fellow for Middle East Studies and Head of RUSI Qatar. He joined RUSI’s London office in September 2010, first in the Nuclear Security Programme before moving to International Security Studies.

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January 2018
The Syria Conflict Today by Dr Christopher Phillips View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Dr Christopher Phillips
Job title
Senior University Lecturer
Website
cjophillips.wordpress.com

Dr Christopher Phillips, Reader in International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London and author of The Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the new Middle East offers an insight into one of the world’s most complex and brutal civil wars. He discusses the domestic and international origins of the conflict, how the picture looks today and posits a few insights into where the conflict and Syria may be headed.

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December 2017
With the Younghusband Tibet Expedition 1903-1904: the unpublished diary of Lt Harvey-Kelly by Dr Christoph Baumer View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Dr Christoph Baumer
Job title
Academic

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

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November 2017
Orazbek & East Tajikistan by Mr Matt Traver View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Matt Traver
Job title
Film maker and photographer
Website
matthewtraver.com

Matt Traver is a filmmaker, photographer and creator of content relating to adventure, travel and culture. He originally began pursuing adventurous projects and expeditions including first ascents and reconnaissance trips to alpine peaks along the Kyrgyz-Chinese border, the Tajik-Afghan border, Arctic East Greenland, the Malaysian jungle and exploratory first descents of caves in Austria, China and Spain.

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November 2017
From the ‘Old Turkey’ to the ‘New Turkey’: how did it happen and how much does it matter? by Mr David Barchard View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr David Barchard
Job title
Journalist and historian

David Barchard has worked in Turkey as a journalist, consultant, and university teacher. He writes regularly on Turkish society, politics, and history, and is currently finishing a book on the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century

David Barchard delivered this talk under the Hugh Leach Memorial Lecture programme.

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November 2017
City of Djinns: Exploring Djinn Worship in New Delhi by Mr Darragh Mason Field View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Darragh Mason Field
Job title
Photographer and Researcher
Website
www.darraghmasonfield.com/index/G0000VFRBfQCfShI

"I am an award winning photographer and researcher. I studied photography at Dublin City University and travelled in Asia, Europe and America, writing articles and publishing photography. I have worked in post-war countries such as Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo.

My work was selected in the top 50 images for the Travel Photographer Asia 2015 and recently I received a Performance award in 2017's 'Humanity photography awards' in association with China Folklore Association and UNESCO.

I am a regular contributor and feature writer for UK photography, travel & adventure titles and write for the award winning Your Weekend based in New Zealand . I also write on spiritual and occult themes.

I am based in the UK and am available for editorial and commercial assignments. My work is available through Redux Pictures and Barcroft Media."

Inspired by William Dalrymple’s novel City of Djinn, photographer and researcher Darragh Mason Field went to Delhi to discover more. He visited three sites: the ruins at Feroz Shah Kotla, the busy shrine of Nizzamuddin in old Delhi and the hidden saints shrine of Khwaja Moluddin Chichi. Delhi is a city with many faces, a

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October 2017
Report back on the Society Tour to Jordan by Sir Harold Walker KCMG View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Sir Harold Walker KCMG
Job title
Ex-Ambassador

After Oxford he spent 35 years in the Diplomatic Service, during which all but two of his postings overseas were in the Arab world. At home he twice worked in the personnel function. Between 1979 and 1991 he was ambassador successively to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Iraq. Other postings included Syria.

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October 2017
Saudi Arabia and Yemen: a Difficult Relationship by Col Brian Lees LVO OBE View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Col Brian Lees LVO OBE
Job title
Retired Military Officer

After taking a degree in Modern History at Leeds University, Brian was commissioned in The King's Own
Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1954. He served in Berlin, Kenya (Mau Mau Campaign), Aden, Cyprus (EOKA Campaign).
After a course in Arabic at the School of Oriental & African Studies in London, he returned to South Arabia to command a
rifle company in the Aden Protectorate Levies on the Yemen frontier. Completed the Army Technical Staff Course and
returned to regimental duty in Berlin before a staff appointment on HQ Light Division. Further regimental duty in Malaya
as battalion second-in-command of 2nd Battalion Light Infantry. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel to command 5th
Battalion Light Infantry. Â Promoted to Colonel as Defence Attaché in Saudi Arabia and Yemen 1975 to 1979. Head of
Army Technical Intelligence in Ministry of Defence for three years prior to appointment as Head of British Defence
Intelligence Staff in Washington in 1982. Completed military service as Defence Attaché in Oman. On retirement from the
Army in 1987 joined Robert Fleming, transferring to Lehman Brothers in 1989 and then to Washington based Carlyle
Group as Senior Adviser from 1995 to 2002. Joined the Riyadh based Capital Advisory Group as Senior Adviser in 2003.
His book, "The Al Saud, Ruling Family of Saudi Arabia", was published in 1980. He is a life member of the Marylebone
Cricket Club (MCC); Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Saudi Arabia has always had a difficult relationship with the Yemen and, with the rise of terrorism, the situation has become worse. Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the war in Yemen is of considerable importance to the peninsula as a whole. See the lecture below:

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September 2017
Under the Same Shade: Three Years of Working on the Roof of the World by Mr Jonathan Hibbert-Hingston View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr Jonathan Hibbert-Hingston
Job title
Agricultural Development Worker, Tajikistan

Since April 2014 Johnny Hibbert-Hingston and his wife Beth have been working out of Khorog in the Gorno-Badakshan region of Tajikistan. They have been learning Shugni and working in high mountain villages on agricultural and community health related projects. In this lecture Johnny will take you on a walk through the mountains explaining aspects of the culture, history and language that he and his wife have come to love over the last three years. The talk will be illustrated with photographs from their time there and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

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June 2017
Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Diamond by Mr William Dalrymple View bio

SPEAKER BIO

Name
Mr William Dalrymple
Job title
Author
Website
www.williamdalrymple.uk.com

William is the bestselling author of In Xanadu, City of Djinns, From the Holy Mountain, The Age of Kali, White Mughals, The Last Mughal and, most recently, Nine Lives. He has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage, the Hemingway Prize, the French Prix d'Astrolabe, the Wolfson Prize for History, the Scottish Book of the Year Award, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Asia House Award for Asian Literature, the Vodafone Crossword Award and has three times been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. In 2012 he was appointed Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in Humanities at Princeton University. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.

The talk is based on one of the most controversial diamonds in the world, the Kohinoor, from a book by William, co-authored by Anita Anand. It tells about the journey of this controversial diamond with, interestingly, some unknown aspects about this precious stone. The book is an account of a saga of loot, murder, torture,

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27 MAY

UPCOMING EVENT

Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan: Past, Present and Future

Where: Online webinar

Tickets: Free

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