Lecture 1. Introduction

This first lecture introduces the broad theme of Peripheries of Contact - Beyond Geographies and Historical Flatland, questioning how this theme be conceptually examined. It proposes four ways to visualize cultural histories, in particular the histories of architectural and urban 'making and un-making': - As an overarching concept of Periphery (versus the center) - a new way of looking at history - The Periphery 'condition' as akin to a thick ‘cultural zone’ or liminality, versus a line or separation - Periphery defined as a zone of contact and exchange, versus separation and difference - As the Periphery giving rise to conditions of synthesis, hybridity and invention - Comparing Centers with Peripheries versus Peripheries as interregnums Beyond the introduction, this lecture briefly outlines the four cultural zones employed in the analysis - 1. The Persianate World 2. The Slavic World 3. Peripheral Worlds & Shifting Centers: The Indian Subcontinent 4. Spatial interregnum or Cultural Matrix: Nomadic Eurasia & the Silk Road

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