Professor Roxann Prazniak, University of Oregon, presents “Siena on the Silk Road: The Many Worlds of Ambrogio Lorenzetti” as the annual Albert Mann lecture on April 7. The Al Mann lecture opens the two-day Phi Alpha Theta Pacific Northwest Regional conference, which brings together history students, teachers, and writers engaged in research and academic endeavors. Prazniak is a well-known historian whose research focuses on China and Eurasia. Her current project considers the Eurasian origins of early modernity in a global context. Her work suggests that the turn to modernity in human history was a shared process across social and cultural zones, not a unique product of any one society. “Professor Prazniak takes a comparative approach to history that literally broadens the horizon for our understanding of complex events, such as a trade in the Middle Ages, by situating them in a wider geographic context,” said History Department Chair Theresa Earenfight. “She challenges us to think beyond Europe in the ‘Dark Ages’ and the ‘mysterious and exotic’ Asia, and her insights prompt us to see anew familiar topics such as the market for art in medieval Italy, the Mongols, and trade along the famed Silk Road.”
Prazniak’s fieldwork in rural China led to the publication Of Camel Kings and Other Things: Rural Rebels Against Modernity in Late Imperial China. Using county-based case studies, she explored the organizational and cultural networks through which rural protesters sustained their historical consciousness and mobilized to interpret contemporary political conditions.The annual Al Mann Memorial Lecture commemorates the legacy of Asian history Professor Albert Mann, who taught at Seattle University for 35 years before his death in 1997. The Al Mann lecture is sponsored by the Department of History, the Asian Studies Program, and the Pigott-McCone Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Al Mann Memorial Lecture, which takes place at 7 p.m. on April 7 in Pigott auditorium, is free and open to the open to the public.
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