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Early Medieval China Workshop

Early Medieval China Workshop

Martin Lavicka27 Nov 2014Leave a comment

Dates: December 5–7, 2014

Organizers: EU project CHINET, reg. no.: CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0152, Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic & The Oriental Institute of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic

Workshop venue: Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, třída Svobody 26, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Workshop language: English

Workshop leaflet: download

Workshop topic:

Wedged between the Han and the Tang, both great unified empires, the period of early medieval China has been long considered a “dark age”, notorious for its lack of unity, predominance of non-Han ethnic groups and cultural decadence. As such it still remains a rather understudied epoch of Chinese history. Yet, it was precisely this crucial period that witnessed the birth of many a phenomenon or institution which we readily associate with the much later unified empire. Therefore, the understanding of the transformation and development China underwent between the 3rd and the 6th centuries is essential for the better understanding of Chinese history as a whole.

The workshop intends to assemble a small group of early-career researchers with a common interest in early mediaeval China in order to establish a research group with two basic aims: first, and most important, to stimulate research into this period of Chinese history so as to lay the foundation for a specialized “field” with connected communities pursuing the same research interests. Unlike the United States, Europe still lacks such a field and at present, it seems that there are only a number of isolated researchers with an interest in early mediaeval China. It seems logical to try to get these researchers together and to make them cooperate on a regular basis.

Thus, the second aim would be to consolidate links between a new generation of Sinologists, both European and non-European. This would benefit the nascent “field” of early mediaeval China studies. But in far broader terms, it would also sustain the discipline of Sinology, which faces its own challenges in the present academic environment.
It is hoped that the Early Medieval China Workshop will offer the right opportunity to discuss possibilities of future cooperation and relevant research topics which might be shared by early medieval China scholars Europe-wide and will help to establish a research group which will in its own turn promote the field of early medieval China studies.

Special guests:

  • Giulia Baccini

Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Asian and North African Studies Department

  • Pablo Blitstein

Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, Universität Heidelberg

  • Jakub Hrubý

Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences; Palacký University Olomouc

  • Jörg Henning Hüssemann

Ostasiatisches Institut, Universität Leipzig

  • Kathrin Leese-Messing

University of Zurich, Institute for Asian and Oriental Studies

  • Mark Strange

Department of East Asian Studies, Australian National University, College of Asia and the Pacific


Friday, December 5th

venue: Library, Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Palacký Unviersity

10:00 – 10:10 – opening speeches

10:10 – 10:20 – welcoming speech

10:20 – 11:20 – individual presentations (part 1)

11:20 – 11:40 – coffee break

11:40 – 12:45 – individual presentations (part 2)

12:45 – 14:00 – lunch break

14:00 – 17:00 – discussion on new and future research topics:

  • The role of emperorship
  • North and South division – was it really a division?
  • Interstate relationships – the reality of multistate China
  • Centre and periphery (regions and regionalism in the wider context)
  • Ethnicity or Han-non-Han interplay
  • Governing mechanisms – exercising power, imposition of order
  • Cultural capital
  • Imaging the self and other
  • Everyday life
  • Relations with the unseen world

Saturday, December 6th

venue: Library, Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Palacký Unviersity

10:00 – 11:20 – research topics discussion (part 1)

11:20 – 11:40 – coffee break

11:40 – 12:45 – research topics discussion (part 2)

12:45 – 14:00 – lunch break

14:00 – 17:00 – Olomouc City tour

Sunday, December 7th

venue: Dean’s meeting room (Křížkovského 10), Faculty of Arts, Palacký University Olomouc

9:30 – 13:00 – morning session

  • discussion on new and future research topics (continued)
  • planning the future form of the kenkyukai
  • defining research aims
  • discussing future means of external funding

13:00 – 14:30  lunch

14:30 – 17:00 – afternoon session

  • continuation of the morning discussion
  • concluding remarks


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