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Contact and Exchange: China and the West

A Conference at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Organized by Kathleen Lynch and Owen Williams

Sponsored by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange

Saturday, 26 September 2009
Elizabethan Theatre


Provisional Schedule


9.00-10.30 a.m.  Ethnography, Travel Writing, and Cartography

Welcome: Owen Williams, Assistant Director, Folger Institute

Chair: Josiah Blackmore (Professor of Portuguese and Spanish Studies, University of Toronto)


“The First China Hands: Europeans in China during the Late Ming and Early Qing Period”

Liam M. Brockey (Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University)


“Cartography and Ethnography: Early Modern Practices of Representation in Qing China”

Laura Hostetler (Associate Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago)

10.30-11.00 a.m. Morning Break

11.00-12.30 Science, Technology, and Instrumentality

Chair: Pamela O. Long (Independent Historian, Washington, DC)


“Who is Responsible for the Limits of Jesuit Scientific and Technical Transmission from Europe to China in the Eighteenth Century?”
Benjamin A. Elman (Professor of East Asian Studies and History, Princeton University)


“Why Blame the Jesuits? Some Revisionist Reflections on the Transmission and Reception of Western Learning in Late Imperial China”

Mordechai Feingold (Professor of History, California Institute of Technology)

12.30-2.00 p.m. Lunch (provided)

2.00-3.30 Literary Traditions

Chair: Timothy Billings (Associate Professor of English, Middlebury College)


“Strangers and the Strange People Who Befriended Them in Ming China”
Haun Saussy (Bird White Housum Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale University)


“Eurasian Literature and Cultural Explanation”

Walter Cohen (Professor of Comparative Literature and Senior Associate Dean, Arts and Sciences, Cornell University)

3.30-4.00 p.m. Tea Break

4.00-5.30 The Social Life of Decorative Arts

Chair: Adriana Proser (John H. Foster Curator of Traditional Asian Art, Asia Society, New York)


“A Ewer in the Shape of a Crayfish from Southern China and Globalisation”
Eva Ströber (Curator, Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, The Netherlands)


“‘All the Goods of the Eastern and Western Oceans…’: Contact, Exchange and Luxury in Ming China”

Craig Clunas (Professor of Art History, Oxford University)

5.30-7.00 Closing Reception


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