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China Westward Conference

October 14 @ 8:00 am October 15 @ 5:00 pm

The conference will explore historical interactions between China and the “Western Regions,” providing new insights into Chinese civilization and its global context. Experts will focus on the historical period when China was deeply engaged with the “Western Regions,” primarily from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. The “Western Regions” under discussion encompass territories from the narrow definition of the region south of Tianshan to the broader definition that includes vast territories West of the central plain, South Asia, West Asia, and even North Africa and Europe.

The conference aims to synthesize archaeological materials and historical sources, enabling us to construct a comprehensive narrative of the interactions between China and the Western Regions throughout various historical periods. By weaving together these diverse strands of evidence, we aim to create a nuanced and detailed depiction of this historical exchange. 

Our panels delve into a diverse range of fascinating subjects, providing a thorough exploration of this enthralling field. Topics include: Dance and Music, Tombs and Visions of the Afterlife, New Cosmology, Visual Astrology, Caves and Visions, as well as Stupa and Reliquary. 

Our distinguished speakers will provide insights into diverse aspects of Chinese Studies, Westward Chinese development, and the profound connections between China and its adjacent regions. 

Seize this exceptional opportunity to network with scholars, students, and enthusiasts who harbor a deep passion for exploring China’s vast cultural and historical tapestry. 

We warmly invite you to join us for this vibrant and enlightening two-day symposium. Your presence and active engagement will undeniably enhance the depth and richness of our discussions. 

Liu Cuilan (University of Pittsburgh)
Matteo Compareti (Capital Normal University)
Huo Wei (Sichuan University)
Li Shuai (Harvard University)
Tong Tao (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Sophie Lei (Harvard University)
Matthew P. Canepa (University of California)
Michelle McCoy (University of Pittsburgh)
Jeffrey Kotyk (Università di Bologna)
Mark Aldenderfer (University of California Merced)
Charles Ramble (Wolfson College)
Monika Zin (University of Leipzig)
Nobuyoshi Yamabe (Waseda University)
Li Ling (Sichuan University)
Shao Xuecheng (Shanghai International Studies University)
Xie Jisheng (Zhejiang University)
Chai Yee Leow (Harvard University)
Deborah Klimberg-Salter (Harvard University)

Please mark your calendars and stay updated for more details.


October 14 @ 8:00 am
October 15 @ 5:00 pm


Sackler Building Auditorium

485 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

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