Literary Festival 2012: Approaches to Bamiyan: Afghanistan’s Cultural Crossroads
Download: Audio, Slides
Speaker(s): Dr Llewelyn Morgan
Chair: Paddy Docherty
Recorded on 3 March 2012 in Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building.
Dr Llewelyn Morgan explores historical and contemporary approaches to one of Afghanistan's most famous monuments, the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Their location's strategic position, controlling passage through the Hindu Kush, has seen a fascinatingly diverse array of visitors and commentators- from Muslims and Christians, to 19th Century classicists on the trail of Alexander the Great and, more recently, UN mine-clearers.
Llewelyn Morgan is a classicist, normally occupied reading Classical Latin poetry, and a fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. He has worked in Ireland and the US as well as the UK, writes regularly for the TLS and can occasionally also be heard on Radio 4. His interest in Afghanistan was sparked by discovering an old Russian samovar in his grandmother's house, engraved with the words "Candahar 1881", a relic of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Buddhas of Bamiyan will be published in the spring of 2012.
Paddy Docherty was educated at Oxford University. His graduate research into British imperial history led him to the North West Frontier and he travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the winter of 2003 to research The Khyber Pass, his first book.