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China Studies Program


This Week

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All Events

October 2014


Messages from Taiwan: Recreating Tradition through Musical Composition

Thursday October 2, 2014
2:30 p.m.
Gowen Hall 322

Professor Shih-Hui Chen, Rice University

East Asia Library, National Central Library of Taiwan

cgreed@uw.edu


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Stars and Seasons: Can We Replicate Ancient Chinese Celestial Measurements?

Friday October 3, 2014
12:00 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317

Christopher Cullen, Honorary Professor of the History of East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Cambridge

cgreed@uw.edu

Historians of ancient astronomy in China and elsewhere tend to spend most of their time looking at texts, sometimes supplemented by the few surviving artefacts relevant to their investigations. For those interested in the quantitative aspects of astronomy, there are also sophisticated 'planetarium' computer programmes that can show the positions of celestial bodies as seen from any position on earth, and at any instant in the past few thousand years. It is quite rare to find historians of astronomy who spend much time looking at the sky itself. There may be good reasons for this: for instance, we may fear that the 'gaze' of a modern researcher on the sky can differ in important respects from that of an ancient observer, and hence that any conclusions based on such experience may be misleading. Without discounting such fears, this talk will describe some attempts to reconstruct certain ancient Chinese observational procedures, and will reflect on what may be learned from such an experiment.


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Roundtable discussion: How to Make Sense of the World when the World is Falling Apart

Tuesday October 7, 2014
7-9 p.m.
Thomson Hall 101

Roundtable with Jackson School faculty

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

jsis@uw.edu

Join a group of Jackson School faculty to discuss their approach - in the classroom and in their work - to some of the most complicated issues facing the world today. Jackson School Director Reşat Kasaba will moderate the discussion. The event will devote significant time to audience questions and discussion.

Panelists will focus on the following topics:

  • Professor Anand Yang: Importance of history/world history
  • Professor Matthew Sparke: Importance of teaching better world geographies
  • Professor Daniel Chirot: Understanding ethnic and religious conflict
  • Professor Angelina Godoy: Child refugees and implications for human rights
  • Associate Professor Scott Radnitz: Making sense of the Ukraine crisis
  • Professor Joel Migdal: Understanding the Middle East as a region

 This event is free and open to the public.


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The Archaeology of a Looting: The Modern History of the Warring States Silk Manuscripts from the Chu Tomb at Zidanku, Changsha

Friday October 10, 2014
12:00 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317

Donald Harper, Centennial Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Chicago

cgreed@uw.edu

The so-called Chu Silk Manuscript was the world's most famous looted Chinese manuscript of the 1940s and 1950s, and since the 1960s the manuscript has been in the collection of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation. Since the 1970s evidence from a variety of circumstances and sources sheds light on its excavation in Changsha in 1942 in the Warring States tomb at Zidanku and its transference to the United States in 1946 together with more silk manuscripts found in the same lacquered basket in the tomb. Finally, with the reappearance of the other silk manuscripts and the basket in the 1990s all Zidanku Silk Manuscripts are now reunited at the Sackler/Freer Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. The Zidanku Silk Manuscripts were looted, but we can provide a quasi-archaeological provenance. Their modern history is relevant to the 2000s when ancient Chinese manuscript lootings are increasingly frequent and evidence of the manuscripts' provenance is not forthcoming.


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Producing Some Na Ceremonies: Film Screening and Discussion

Monday October 13, 2014
3:30 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317

Tami Blumenfield Assistant Professor of Asian Studies, Furman University

cgreed@uw.edu

Some Na Ceremonies, created by Na directors Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji and produced by U.S. anthropologist Tami Blumenfield, is a montage of five short pieces. Representations of Na people (also known as Moso) usually center on their matrilineal  kinship system, overlooking religion, a central aspect in the lives of Na people. This film's directors decided to intervene in this omission, capturing important ceremonies on digital video. Ranging from a village film festival, to a pig-sacrifice ceremony, to a three-day funerary ceremony, the ceremonies presented here are riveting, elaborate and meaningful. By avoiding interpretation or voice-over narration but using carefully crafted visual images, the film emphasizes the partiality of any representational attempt. The ceremonies presented are but a glimpse of a much larger ceremonial and spiritual world.

Some Na Ceremonies is an outgrowth of the Moso Media Project, a collaborative, participatory media project that involved providing resources and training for Na people interested in creating and editing digital media, then facilitating community conversations.

Tami Blumenfield is an anthropologist of China and filmmaker. She is the James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Furman University. She received her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington in 2010. Blumenfield researches educational practices, cultural heritage politics, social change and media production in ethnically diverse regions of southwest China. Much of her research has explored social change in Na villages located in and around tourist zones near Lugu Lake. Her book manuscript Screening Moso: Communities of Media in Southwest China, supported by a publication fellowship from the American Association for University Women, discusses her collaboration and participatory media project with the Moso Folk Museum and involvement with the Moso Culture Research Association.

 


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Panel on Women's Economic Rights in Africa and Asia

Thursday October 16, 2014
6:30 - 7:30 pm | Reception to follow
Thomson 101, University of Washington, Seattle Campus

Presented by UW Center for Human Rights and Landesa. Sponsored by: China Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, African Studies, South Asia Center, Gates Public Service Program, Sustainable International Development L.L.M. Program, Center for Global Studies and East Asia Center.

uwchr@uw.edu

Women’s Land Rights as Economic Rights. Speakers are visiting professionals from Africa, China and India.

Thursday, October 16, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Followed by Reception (7:30 - 8:30 pm)
University of Washington, Thomson hall, room 101

Fibian LukaloFibian Lukalo, Ph.D., Education Sociology and Gender, University of Cambridge
Director, Research and Advocacy, Kenya National Land Commission

Currently the director of research and advocacy for Kenya’s National Land Commission, Fibian Lukalo views gender as a vital component to decision-making around the legal demands of land reform and its utilization in communities. Fibian Lukalo received her PhD in educational sociology and gender in 2010 from the University of Cambridge. With extensive experience in research, program development, and consultancy work in East Africa, Fibian has advanced African gender studies through projects conducted with the Lake Victoria Sida-Sarec Initiative, the Nordic African Institute (Gender, Youth and Age and Food Project), CODESRIA-Senegal, and OSSREA-Ethiopia.

Sabita ParidaSabita Parida, M.A., Sustainable International Development, Brandeis University, Heller
Program Coordinator, Smallholder Agriculture & Climate Change, Oxfam India

Sabita Parida manages Oxfam India’s smallholder agriculture and climate change program, which includes an objective to increase women farmers’ access to and control over land. Sabita has worked at Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), helping rural women increase their farm incomes through the introduction of new production technologies. She is currently pursuing studies in policy development and gender, receiving a Ford Foundation scholarship to attend Brandeis University’s MA program in sustainable international development.

Xiaopeng PangXiaopeng Pang, Ph.D., Economics, Renmin University of China
Associate Professor, School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

Deputy Director of the Rural Development Institute, Renmin University of China, Beijing
Xiaopeng Pang teaches courses in development economics, Chinese economy, and rural development. She has also been invited as a visiting professor to teach at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan and to conduct research at the University of California, Davis. Xiaopeng’s research focuses on Chinese village elections, poverty reduction and rural development, and gender and public policy, and she has contributed to numerous studies in these areas. She is currently conducting research on bringing a gender perspective to the process of public policy development using evidence from China’s rural education policy.

This is event is generously sponsored by China Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, African Studies, South Asia Center, Gates Public Service Program, Sustainable International Development L.L.M. Program, Center for Global Studies and East Asia Center.

 


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Bao Shichen and Grain Tribute Reform in Early Nineteenth-Century China

Thursday October 16, 2014
3:30 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317

William Rowe, John and Diane Cooke Professor of Chinese History, Johns Hopkins University

cgreed@uw.edu

The Qing empire in the early nineteenth century was wracked by a pervasive sense of crisis, which led to a broad-based reform movement, both in and out of government. One of the major policy areas of both the crisis and the reform efforts – arguably the centerpiece of it all – was the highly controversial and protracted  debate over the reform of the grain tribute system and the proposed move from shipment of southern tax grain north via the Grand Canal under bureaucratic auspices to shipment along the maritime coast via private commercial carriers.

What I propose to do here is offer a systematic reading of writings on this issue by one individual who was very close to the center of the debate: Bao Shichen (1775-1855). My goal is to determine what Bao and other reformers felt was at stake in this crisis – that is, what needed to be defended or protected – as well as what were the capabilities and limitations of the (faltering?) imperial state to deal with this, and what might have been the impact of changing times on the situation as a whole.

In short, what I hope to present is a contribution to our overall understanding of what the reformism of this era was about, and of the significance of this historical moment in Qing and imperial history.


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Food Globalization in Prehistory

Friday October 17, 2014
12:00 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317

Xinyi Liu, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis

cgreed@uw.edu

Scholarly interest has increasingly focused on an episode of Old World globalization of food resources that significantly predates the ‘Silk Road’. The impetus behind this growth of interest has been the expansion of bio-archaeological research in Central and East Asia over the past decade. This paper considers the agents responsible for the food globalization process in prehistory and the forms they took. One of the key aspects of the Trans-Eurasian movements of crops in prehistory was that the movements were not to regions devoid of existing starch-based agriculture, but instead constituted an addition to that agricultural system. Other economic plants, such as grapes, dates and peas, also moved significant distances. However, the novel starchy crops held a particular significance; they went on to become significant staple foods in many of their new destinations. Drawn from recent discovery from western China, I will take into consideration differences in the projected archaeological signatures of different potential agents involved in transmission of the crops.


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In the shadow of Tienenman Square: Democracy, Christianity, Hong Kong

Tuesday October 21, 2014
Noon
Thomson Hall, room 317

Justin Tse

Comparative Religion Progra

lpaxton@uw.edu


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The Measurement of Longitude in 17th-18th Century China and Its Applications in Astronomy and Geography

Friday October 31, 2014
12:00 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317

Xiaoshun Sun, Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences

cgreed@uw.edu


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November 2014


The Rise of Explication in the Mathematics of Late Imperial China

Friday November 7, 2014
12:00 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317

Jeff Chen, Associate Professor of Mathematics, St. Could State University

cgreed@uw.edu

In the textual tradition of Chinese mathematics, reasoning or explanation did not figured prominently with few exceptions. This long-held practice of not including explanations in mathematical works was especially prevalent in treatises composed during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). This began to change however in the first part of the 17thcollaborators embarked on various projects to translate European scientific into Chinese. By the end of the 17th or steps in computational algorithms became a fixture in the main text of most treatises. In this presentation, the comparison will be made of mathematical works in three categories: Ming treatises composed before the arrival of the Jesuits, geometric texts that attempt to make translated works more accessible, and those on traditional subjects with ample explanation in the main texts. The focus of the analysis is on the arrangement of various types of content material
in the main texts in the treatises. Based on our preliminary investigation, our thesis is that the introduction of European mathematics into China served as a catalyst to inspire the emergence in the main texts of explanations, which previously took place in oral exchanges between masters and disciples or in the correspondence between friends. Moreover, the presence of explanations in the text, resembling the commentary and annotations in classical studies, elevated the status of mathematics from a collection of problems and solutions similar to a practitioner’s manual to legitimate intellectual study. We will also examine what explanation in mathematics meant to scholars in the 17th century when the Jesuits and their Chinese century, explanations of underlying principles century.


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April 2015


Active Defense: Explaining the Evolution of China's Military Strategy

Friday April 17, 2015
12:00 p.m.
Olson Room--Gowen Hall

Taylor Fravel, Associate Professor of Political Science, Massachussets Institute of Technology

cgreed@uw.edu


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China Studies Program
East Asia Studies
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
chinast@u.washington.edu

Madeleine Yue Dong, Chair
yuedong@u.washington.edu

Asia Studies Program Coordinator
chinast@u.washington.edu

China Studies Program Coordinator
Curtis Reed
chinast@u.washington.edu
cgreed@uw.edu