Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures
This talk investigates the various conceptualizations of the dead by looking at the funerary rituals, tomb constructions, and grave goods in Early China and argues that, instead of being a natural and static category, the dead was deliberately made and remade through a process of rituals and actions.
Guo Jue is an Assistant Professor at Barnard College and co-chair of Columbia Early China Seminar. She specializes in Early China, especially from the Warring States period to Han times (5th century B.C.E.-3rd century C.E.). Her research interests are primarily in ritual practices, material culture, and social, religious, and cultural history of early societies. Using both received history and archaeological sources, she looks at the intersection and interaction between writing and object, and studies topics including divination, death rituals, tombs and burials, and everyday life in early to medieval China from anthropological and historical perspectives, as well as the way they are theorized in comparative studies.
Executive Director, The Five Project for International Autism and Disability Support; Clinical Researcher, Hussman Institute for Autism
Though education and disability policy have indicated that education should be compulsory for all children in China, children with disabilities still are too often left out of the public school system. Due to the incomplete implementation of these policies, private organizations (“NGOs”) have been established to provide educational intervention to these children, including those with autism. This talk describes the policy and educational context for children with autism in China, and provides an examination of the achievements and challenges of NGOs for children with autism, with a focus on competition and collaboration between organizations.
Helen McCabe began volunteering with children with autism in China in 1992, in Nanjing. She earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and International Education from Indiana University in 2004. Based on years of volunteering and research in China, in 2006 she co-founded the non-profit,The Five Project for International Autism and Disability Support. As Executive Director, she provides training and support to autism organizations and teachers around China. She is also Clinical Researcher at the Hussman Institute for Autism, where she conducts research about best practices in autism, both in China and the US.
Professor of Sinology
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Hong Mai’s massive Yijian zhi 夷堅志 has often been mined by scholars for what its thousands of stories reveal about Song dynasty popular religion and social history. But Yijian zhi has less frequently been studied on its own terms as tales of encounters with the “strange” that circulated in Hong Mai’s world and were filtered through his hands as he collected, wrote them down, and arranged to have them printed. The collection takes on new interest when we think it this way, as the pastime of an eminent court literatus and historian, as well as a publication project that stretched over forty years in thirty-two installments and apparently catered to an acute thirst for such stories among contemporary readers. The talk will discuss the misgivings Hong Mai’s colleagues had about his activity as recorder and publisher of these tales that mostly feature the horror and retribution inflicted by supernatural beings (ghosts, animal-demons, local gods, etc.) upon merchant-class persons and low level provincial bureaucrats. The apparent contradiction between Hong Mai’s official eminence and his avid collection of marvel tales (Hong’s “double life”) is significant for the way it calls into question some of our assumptions about high Confucian culture in the imperial period. The discrepancy is also helpful for understanding the nature of the material we find in Yijian zhi and for trying to account for Hong Mai’s self-acknowledged obsession with it.
Ronald Egan is Professor of Sinology in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University. His research is on Tang and Song period poetry, aesthetics, and literary culture. He is the author of The Problem of Beauty: Aesthetic Thought and Pursuits in Northern Song Dynasty China(2006), and the translator of selected essays from Qian Zhongshu’s Guanzhui bian, which appeared as Limited Views: Essays on Ideas and Letters by Qian Zhongshu (1998). His newest book, The Burden of Female Talent: The Poet Li Qingzhao and Her History in China, was published by the Asia Center at Harvard University in 2013.
Christian de Pee
Associate Professor of History
University of Michigan
Although it is difficult to identify a distinct moment in the Chinese past when printing technology caused a radical change in the production or the transfer of knowledge, it is evident that during the eleventh century the availability of printed texts transformed practices of reading and writing, and allowed the creation of virtual communities of learning. Notebooks (biji) of this period not only record new practices of reading and writing, but they contribute to those practices by offering a convenient form for the recording of new kinds of knowledge, and by assisting in the creation of categories of knowledge (e.g., connoisseurship of commodities), some of which subsequently become the subject of separate literary genres.
Christian de Pee (duh PAY) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1997. His first book, The Writing of Weddings in Middle-Period China, was published by the State University of New York Press in 2007. His current research examines when, where, and why the city and the cityscape became acceptable topics of literary composition in eleventh-century China. Today's talk about notebooks (biji) is part of this broad reflection on semiotic relationships between text and space.
Shui Yan Tang
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor in Public Administration
Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
This lecture will highlight several key characteristics of the Chinese governance system that are in potential conflict with sound principles for formulating and enforcing rules. The consequences of such conflicts are illustrated by examples in environmental regulation and compliance.
Shui-Yan Tang is Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor in Public Administration in the Sol Price School of Public Policy, and Research Director for the Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise, University of Southern California. Professor Tang's research focuses on institutional analysis and design, common-pool resource governance, environmental politics and policy, microfinance, collaborative governance, and governance reform. He is the author of Institutions and Collective Action: Self-Governance in Irrigation (ICS Press, 1992), Ten Principles for a Rule-Ordered Society: Enhancing China's Government Capacity (China Economic Publishing House, 2012), and (with Carlos Lo) Institutions, Regulatory Styles, Society, and Environmental Governance in China (Routledge, 2014). In addition, he has published over 60 journal articles. Professor Tang was an associate editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and he was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, 2009.