Victor Lieberman, University of Michigan
Lecture Abstract: During roughly a thousand years, from circa 800 to 1830, in each of mainland Southest Asia's three principal corridors, political and cultural isolates cohered to form larger, more stable systems. In basic form, chronology, and dynamics, this process of cyclic, yet accelerating integration resembled that in other parts of Eurasia's "protected rimlands," including northern and western Europe and Japan. But despite certain pan-Eurasian features, in scale, agency, and vertical cultural expression, long-term integration in the rimlands remained distinct from that in South Asia and China, both part of the "exposed zone" of Eurasia.
Both a specialist in precolonial Burma and a comparativist interested in global patterns, Victor Lieberman graduated first in his class from Yale University and obtained his doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. His publications include Burmese Administrative Cycles: Anarchy and Conquest, c. 1580-1760, which won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies; Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800-1830. Volume 1: Integration on the Mainland, which won the World History Association Book Prize; and Strange Parallels. Volume 2: Mainland Mirrors: Europe, Japan, China, South Asia, and the Islands, which was described in the American Historical Review as "the most important work of history produced so far this century" and which was the subject of a special edition of the Journal of Asian Studies. Lieberman is the Marvin B. Becker Collegiate Professor of History and Professor of Southeast Asian History at the University of Michigan.