'The maritime in the landlocked. The position and role of seas in the modern shaping of the Ciscaspian-Central Asian region.'
The first lecture of the new Viae Caspiae knowledge centre under Ghent University’s Eureast Platform.
Speaker: Bruno De Cordier, Department of Conflict and Development Studies, Ghent University
Moderated by Karolina Kluczewska, Ghent Institute for International and European Studies
Seas and the maritime are typically not what one identifies with the Ciscaspian and Central Asia, even though that their physical topography includes two significant maritime surfaces. This talk will look into the position and role of the Caspian and Aral seas and their respective littorals in the regions’ social transformation in the modern era. What role and function did these ‘inland seas’ had in imperial annexation and integration, for example? The talk will also examine some developments that still impact the region today, such as the patterns of maritime accessibility, the way seas shaped cultures and livelihoods in the Ciscaspian-Central Asian region, and the creation of new territories which served as spaces for economic modernization, new national identities, and peculiar patterns of urban development.