Events

China Humanities Seminar featuring Paula Varsano – Troubled Hearts and Worried Minds: Knowing the Subjects of the “Airs of the States”

Speaker: Paula Varsano, University of California, Berkeley In a moment when digital humanities, distant reading, manuscript studies, and a variety of historical and political lenses invite us to look at literature as a manifestation of larger and, sometimes, impersonal cultural forces, this talk takes up a different constellation of questions:  how does one recognize and define …

China Humanities Seminar featuring Paula Varsano – Troubled Hearts and Worried Minds: Knowing the Subjects of the “Airs of the States”

China Humanities Seminar featuring Wu Hung – Unearthing Wu Daozi (c. 686 – c. 760)

Speaker: Wu Hung, University of Chicago Worshipped by later folk artists as the God of Painting, Wu Daozi (c. 686 – c. 760) was also praised by Tang art historian Zhang Yanyuan as someone who “did not look back and will have no successors.” But alas this Sage of Painting (Hua Sheng) left no work to …

China Humanities Seminar featuring Wu Hung – Unearthing Wu Daozi (c. 686 – c. 760)

China Humanities Seminar Featuring Stephanie Balkwill – Another Cakravartin Ruler?: Feminist History and the History of Buddhism in Early Medieval China

Speaker: Stephanie Balkwill, Assistant Professor, Buddhist Studies, UCLA Northern Wei 北魏 (386–534 CE) Empress Dowager Ling 靈 (d. 529) is commonly regarded as the last independent ruler of her dynasty, which descended into terminal internecine war during her regency. As a ruler, she inherited a deeply divided state. The move of the capital from Pingcheng …

China Humanities Seminar Featuring Stephanie Balkwill – Another Cakravartin Ruler?: Feminist History and the History of Buddhism in Early Medieval China

China Humanities Seminar Featuring Scott Pearce – Looking Behind the Text: The Case of Northern Wei’s ‘Yuan Pi’

Speaker: Scott Pearce, Western Washington University All textual traditions are based on their own particular sets of assumptions and preoccupations. This was the case of the Chinese classical tradition as well, which having taken full shape under the Han empire, continued to be used as the only available language of written record by the very …

China Humanities Seminar Featuring Scott Pearce – Looking Behind the Text: The Case of Northern Wei’s ‘Yuan Pi’

China Humanities Seminar Featuring Suyoung Son – Publisher at Work: Yu Xiangdou’s Images and Visualizing Intellectual Labor

Speaker: Suyoung Son, Associate Professor, Cornell University How could intangible, tacit intellectual labor be legible, acknowledged, and compensated? The relationship between authorship and authorial property was hotly debated in late …

China Humanities Seminar Featuring Suyoung Son – Publisher at Work: Yu Xiangdou’s Images and Visualizing Intellectual Labor

China Humanities Seminar featuring Yuhang Li – Engineering Religious Bliss at the Qing Court: Jile shijie in the Beihai Park

Speaker: Yuhang Li, University of Wisconsin-Madison   In 1770, with the purpose of presenting an unusual surprising gift to his mother Empress Dowager Chongqing (1692-1777) for her eightieth birthday, Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) ordered the imperial architectural department to construct a Buddhist compound named jile shijie or blissful land on the northern shore of imperial Beihai Park next …

China Humanities Seminar featuring Yuhang Li – Engineering Religious Bliss at the Qing Court: Jile shijie in the Beihai Park

China Humanities Seminar featuring Yiqun Zhou – A Book for Hard Times: Wu Mi and Dream of the Red Chamber

Speaker: Yiqun Zhou, Stanford University This talk examines the role that Dream of the Red Chamber played in the life and work of Wu Mi 吳宓 (1894-1978), a pioneer in the study of Comparative Literature in China and a cultural conservative known for his staunch resistance to the prevailing New Culture Movement. Long condemned to infamy and …

China Humanities Seminar featuring Yiqun Zhou – A Book for Hard Times: Wu Mi and Dream of the Red Chamber

China Humanities Seminar featuring Yuri Pines – The Great Unity (da yitong 大一統) Ideal: The Key to China’s Imperial Longevity?

Speaker: Yuri Pines, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem One of the most notable features of imperial China is the exceptional durability of the imperial political system. Having been formed in the aftermath …

China Humanities Seminar featuring Yuri Pines – The Great Unity (da yitong 大一統) Ideal: The Key to China’s Imperial Longevity?

China Humanities Seminar – Writing and Reading “Local Court Drama” in Late Imperial China: Texts, Genres, and Identities 

Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave. 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts

Speaker: Tian Yuan Tan 陳靝沅: Shaw Professor of Chinese, University of Oxford; Professorial Fellow, University College

Recent reprint projects have given researchers much improved access to the vast corpus of Chinese court dramatic texts kept in palace archives and private collections, which in turn presents a challenge: how do we unpack the complex textual web and varied forms contained therein? I am interested in ways of reading court drama in connection with the wider textual and cultural worlds. This talk will focus on a body of texts that I call “local court drama” - playtexts that were presented to the emperor from across various regions, produced on occasions ranging from the celebration of imperial birthdays to welcoming the sovereign on tours. We will look at the textual problems and the generic labels applied, literary models invoked, and identities represented in the process. 
 
Tian Yuan Tan 陳靝沅 is the Shaw Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford and a Professorial Fellow of University College. His main areas of research include Chinese literary history and historiography, text and performance, and cross-cultura