China Humanities is a forum for exploring the whole span of Chinese experience before the modern era. It seeks to address all aspects of Chinese civilization by engaging disciplines as varied as literature, history, philosophy, religion, art history, and the performing arts.

Upcoming Events

Paize Keulemans, Princeton University
Acoustic Immersion and Iconic Extraction in Three Kingdoms History, Fiction, and Videogames
Monday, January 27, 2020 - 4:00pm
Common Room, 2 Divinity Avenue

What are the ludic attractions of a fifteenth-century novel? What role is played by historical narrative in a twenty-first-century game? How is a character developed in text and in pixels, in words, painting, or on a (computer) screen? And how is the noise and confusion of a third-century battle digitally reproduced in the songs programmed for Sony’s Playstation? This talk investigates a classical tale of ancient China, The Three Kingdoms, tracing its transformation through time, across nations, and, most notably, across different media platforms, from history to poetry and from novel to video-game. The aim decidedly is NOT to simply to fix a classic, textual “origin” to contemporary media, but rather to bring 21st-century game and 16th-century text, ancient history and contemporary play together in a creative tension. To do so, we will focus on two complementary aspects of literary and ludic interaction applicable both to premodern text and contemporary game: acoustic immersion and iconic extraction.

Past Events 2019 - 20

David Jonathan Felt, Brigham Young University
Postimperial Metageographies of Early Medieval China
April D. Hughes, Boston University
Apocalyptic Saviors, Terrestrial Utopias, and Imperial Authority: The Reign of Empress Wu Zetian (690-705CE)
Zeb Raft, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica
Echoes in the Shishuo Xinyu: Repetition and its Significance in Early Medieval China
Paize Keulemans, Princeton University
Acoustic Immersion and Iconic Extraction in Three Kingdoms History, Fiction, and Videogames

Past Events 2018 - 19

Wen-Yi Huang, Harvard University
Families Divided: Migration and Those Left Behind in Fifth- and Sixth-Century China
Alexander Des Forges, University of Massachusetts, Boston
The Examined Subject and the Natural Self in the Eight-Legged Essay
Andrew Chittick, Eckerd College
The Resistant South: Sketching a History of the Wu People in the First Millennium CE
Meow Hui Goh, The Ohio State University
Fake News, Genuine Words: The Power Dynamic of Literature in Early Medieval China
Matthew Wells, University of Kentucky
The Vision to Restore the Empire: Manufacturing Monarchy and Empire in the Early 4th Century

Past Events 2017 - 18

Tina Lu, Yale University
Huaben and the Mind
David A. Palmer, University of Hong Kong
Elijah Siegler, College of Charleston
Enchanting Huashan in the Global Spiritual Circuit: Intersecting Modes of Making Sacred Space
Paul W. Kroll, University of Colorado, Boulder
Personal Moments in Medieval Chinese Poetry
Eric Greene, Yale University
Repentance in the Formation of Chinese Buddhism
Evelyn (Chiung-yun) Liu, Academia Sinica
When Fantastic Narrative Encounters Empirical Knowledge: Imagining the World in “The Eunuch Sanbao’s Voyage to the Western Ocean”
Jing Tsu, Yale University
When Literary Relations End
Amelia Ying Qin, Harvard University
Seeking Patterns: Close and Distant Readings of Two Collections of Tang唐 (618-907) Dynasty Anecdotes

Past Events 2016 - 17

Jiang Sheng, Sichuan University
Religion of the Han Empire
Julia Murray, University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Master Branches Out: Images of Confucius in Contemporary China
Franciscus Verellen, Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient
To Ransom Destiny: The Daoist Search for Deliverance in Medieval China
Christopher Foster, Harvard University
Working with Looted Manuscripts: A Vindication of the Peking University Han Bamboo Strips
Fong-mao Lee, Academia Sinica, National Chengchi University
鬼律與故縱:《西遊記》中的召喚土地 "Underworld Law and Leeway: Summoning the Earth God in Journey to the West"
Harrison Huang, Columbia University
Xie Lingyun and Imperial Performance: Deploying the Language of the Chuci
Jason Protass, Brown University
The Poetry Demon: Tensions within Chinese Buddhist Monks’ Literature
Harriet Zurndorfer, Leiden University
Perceptions of China’s Sexual Economy
S. E. Kile, University of Michigan
Forging a Master Key: Li Yu’s 李漁 Theory of Universal Theater

Past Events 2015 - 16

Shao-yun Yang, Denison University
The Way of the Barbarians: Reinterpreting Chineseness and Barbarism in Tang and Song China, 800-1200 CE
Basile Zimmermann, University of Geneva
The Present of Everyday Things: Electronic Music Devices and Computer Encodings in China
Jonathan Herman, Georgia State University
Laozi the Existentialist: Martin Buber’s Transformation of the Daodejing
Wendy Swartz, Rutgers University
Becoming a Poet in Early Medieval China: The Possibilities of Intertextuality
Yanfei Sun, Zhejiang University
The Rise of Protestant Christianity in Post-Mao China: State and Religion in a Historical Perspective
Sarah Allan, Dartmouth College
The Rise of Confucius and Legends of Abdication in Light of Warring States Period Bamboo Manuscripts
Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Politics of History and the Historicity of Politics: Documentaries of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement
Leigh Jenco, London School of Economics
How Should We Use the Chinese Past?: Non-Western Histories of Thought in a Global Age

Past Events 2014 - 15

Alfreda Murck, China Institute, New York
Creating and Discarding Symbols: The Case of Mao Zedong’s Golden Mangoes
Antje Richter, University of Colorado, Boulder
Literary Uses of Correspondence: Discovering Early Epistolary Fiction in China
Beatriz Puente-Ballesteros, Universität Konstanz
Tasting Chocolate at the Kangxi Court: Medicine, Politics, and Global Trade Flows in the 17th Century
Zhao Shiyu, Peking University
Revisiting Dongjiang: Northern Soldiers and Maritime Trade During the Ming-Qing Transition
Ben Brose, University of Michigan
Medieval Monks as Modern Diplomats: The Case of Xuanzang
Ronald Egan, Stanford University
The Double Life of Hong Mai (1123-1202): The Hanlin Academician and His Supernatural Tales
Yu-yu Cheng, National Taiwan University & Princeton University
Poetry and Empire Building

Past Events 2013 - 14

Sarah Allen, Wellesley College
Talk Title TBA
De-nin Lee, Emerson College
Talk Title TBA
Edward Slingerland, University of British Columbia
Chinese Studies in the Age of Consilience: New Approaches Drawn from the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences
Lianbin Dai, Harvard University
Textual Collation and Its Guiding Principles in Eighteenth-Century Evidential Scholarship: Illustrated with Lu Wenchao's (1717-1796) Work
Helen Dunstan, University of Sydney
Of Corpsely Chaos and Necropolitical Order: Or, Who Really Ruled the Roost in 1730s China?

Past Events 2012 - 13

Hans van Ess, University of Munich
“The Death of Sima Qian and the Sequence of Some Chapters in Shiji and in Hanshu”
Nicolas Tackett, University of California, Berkeley
"Political Power and the Social Network of Late Tang Elites"
Elena Valussi, Loyola University
"Fu Jinquan, He Longxiang and Xiao Tianshi; the transmission of Daoist alchemical texts from Sichuan to Taiwan"
Michael Hunteri, Yale University
"Why the Confucian Analects Isn't As Old As We Might Think"
Robert Hymes, Columbia University
Talk title to be announced.
Robert Hymes, Columbia University
"Writings from Longshu on the Pure Land"
Carla Nappi, University of British Columbia
“Notes Toward a History of Sameness: Manchu Words, Qing Bodies, Translated Objects”
Anna Shields, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
"Set in Stone? Posthumous Biographies, Funerary Inscriptions, and the Building of Mid-Tang Literati Reputations"
Christopher Nugent, Williams College
"Literary Information in a Tang Leishu"
Aihe Wang, University of Hong Kong
"Other Modernism and Other Communities: Underground Art During Mao’s Cultural Revolution"

Past Events 2011 - 12

Jack Chen, University of California, Los Angeles
"Visualizing the *Shishuo xinyu* through Graphs and Maps"
Norman Smith, University of Guelph
"Writing Colonial Culture: Chinese Women and the Japanese Occupation of Manchuria"
Rivi Handler-Spitz, Middlebury College
"Cloaks and Words: Li Zhi and Montaigne’s Essays and Unstable Signification in the Sixteenth Century"
Mark Meulenbeld, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"Rethinking the Novel: Exorcism, Community, and Vernacular Narrative in Late Imperial China"
Toru Funayama, Kyoto University
“Bodhisattva Precepts (śīla) and Monastic Codes (vinaya) in Fifth-sixth Century Chinese Buddhism: With Special Reference to their Background in the early Indian Mahāyāna Tradition”
Yugen Wang
, University of Oregon

”Emotion and Nature in Classical Chinese Poetry"
Stephen Bokenkamp, Arizona State University
“Scriptures New and Old: How Daoism Almost Became Buddhist”
Norman Kutcher, Syracuse University
"Eunuchs and Rulership in the Early Qing Reigns"
Duncan Campbell, Australian National University
“The Dumbarton Oaks Anthology of Chinese Garden Literature: Completing a Much-Delayed Project”

Past Events 2010 - 11

Paize Keulemans, Yale University
"Scandalous Writing: Jin Ping Mei and the Spread of Seventeenth-Century Gossip”
Christine Mollier, Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique
"Iconizing the Daoist-Buddhist Relationship in Tang Cliff Sculptures in Sichuan"
Thomas Mullaney, Stanford University
"Radical Machines: On Chinese Typewriters and the Twin Traditions of Chinese Linguistic Modernity Speakers"
Tamara Chin, University of Chicago
“'Marriage' In Han-Xiongnu Marriage Diplomacy"
Ling Hon Lam, Vanderbilt University
"Winds, Dreams, Theater: An Archaeology of the Stratified Topoi of Emotion in Late Sixteenth- to Early Seventeenth-Century China"
Xiaofei Tian, Harvard University
“'Seeking Abroad What He Had Not at Home': Poetry and Foreign Experience in the Nineteenth Century"
Charles Hartman, State University of New York at Albany
"A Newly Discovered Inscription by Qin Gui; its Implications for the History of Song Daoxue"
Ling Hon Lam, Vanderbilt University
"Winds, Dreams, Theater: An Archaeology of the Stratified Topoi of Emotion in Late Sixteenth- to Early Seventeenth-Century China"
Dirk Meyer, University of Oxford
"Text, Reading, and Philosophical Performance: A Case Study"
Robert Hegel, Washington University, St. Louis
"Early Stages in the Development of the Chinese Novel"
Nicolas Standaert, University of Leuven
"The Fate of Diku"