The Intellectual Origins of the New Asia: A conversation with author Pankaj Mishra

Ottawa, Canada, September 18, 2012 – Essayist, journalist and novelist Pankaj Mishra will be at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) September 19, 2012, to discuss his new book From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia.

Mishra will argue that the Victorian period, viewed in the West as a time of self-confident progress, was experienced by Asians as a catastrophe. As the British gunned down the last heirs to the Mughal Empire, burned down the Summer Palace in Beijing, or humiliated the bankrupt rulers of the Ottoman Empire, it was clear that for Asia to recover a vast intellectual effort would be required. Mishra tells the story of a remarkable group of men who crisscrossed Europe and Asia. Incessantly travelling and questioning, they both hated the West while at the same time they recognized that an Asian renaissance needed to be fuelled in part by engagement with the enemy.

When: Wednesday, September 19, 2012, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: IDRC, 150 Kent Street (Corner of Albert), 8th floor

Pankaj Mishra is an award-winning author and frequent contributor to The New York Times and The Guardian, among other American, British, and Indian publications. Mishra was a visiting professor at Wellesley College in 2001, 2004, and 2006 and Visiting Fellow at the Department of English, University College, London in 2007-2008. In 2009, he was nominated a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. From the Ruins of Empire is Mishra’s fifth book. His recent works, An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World and Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond, were featured in The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of the Year.

The event is open to the media. Journalists and the public can also join in the conversation through Twitter (#IDRC) and Facebook.

For more information visit

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About IDRC

A key part of Canada’s aid program, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most.

Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé / (+1 613) 696-2343 / [email protected] / @IDRC_CRDI

From 19 Sep 2012
Until 19 Sep 2012
IDRC, 150 Kent Street (Corner of Albert), 8th floor (Ottawa, Canada)
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