Silk Roads @ UNSW aims to be a platform for developing collaborative grants, innovative teaching and community-facing events that position the university at the forefront of a new global research frontier sparked by major programs such as the PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative and the formation of new multilateral agencies that span Eurasia (such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Shanghai Cooperation Organisation).

UNSW participants have expertise on diverse countries and empires, including Afghanistan, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Myanmar, Central Asia, Nepal, Persia, Pakistan and Russia.

Participants in the group are active in exploring Silk Roads transnationalism in:

  • art, music, literature and sculpture 
  • law, politics and security 
  • development migration and economics 
  • ethnicity, disability and gender 
  • languages and linguistics 
  • visualisation technology, social media and digital worlds 
  • environment and space 
  • ancient histories and cultures of Eurasia 
  • religion and philosophy 
  • Maritime Silk Route.

We are an interdisciplinary, cross-faculty initiative drawing researchers, teachers and practitioners from:

  • UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture - Schools of Humanities & Languages, Social Sciences and Arts & Media; New Earth Histories and Social Policy Research Centre 
  • UNSW Law & Justice
  • UNSW Built Environment 
  • National Institute for Experimental Arts 
  • Institute for Global Development.

Visiting scholar programs

Silk Roads @ UNSW hosts a series of visiting scholar programs for scholars and students at all stages of their career to bring international and national researchers and teachers into interdisciplinary conversations.

  1. Professor Catherine Alexander from Durham University visited UNSW as a Silk Roads visiting scholar in November 2019. Catherine has carried out fieldwork in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Britain on changing relations between state, market and the third sector, the built environment, migration, waste and technology. Her most recent period of fieldwork explored how formerly elite closed ‘nuclear’ towns in Kazakhstan were trying to re-connect to broader economies.
  2. Dr Alimjan Tursun-Niyaz was a visiting Silk Roads @ UNSW scholar in January 2020. Alimjan is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge. His areas of research interest include bi/multilingual acquisition, psycholinguistics and Turkic linguistics.

Silk Roads staff