April 2, 2017, Sunday 1:30-5:00 pm
Princeton University McCormick Hall Room 101
The Silk Roads: Leading Us Astray? Susan Whitfield, IDP, The British Library Response by Xin YU, Fudan University
Is the Silk Road a meaningful or misleading concept for our understanding of pre-modern Afro- Eurasia? How has its emergence as a worldwide brand and, most recently, as a politico- economic strategy, threatened or assisted scholarship? Should we reject or embrace it? Susan Whitfield will consider these questions, looking at the origin, history and growth of the Silk Road concept and its modern manifestations.
The Ancient Silk Road in Light of New Discoveries in Gansu Doucheng DU, Lanzhou University
Response by Annette Juliano, Rutgers University
The overland Silk Road may have been opened in ancient times, the maritime route may have developed long before the Song dynasty, and political and military interests may have been stronger than economic ones. This talk introduces recent discoveries in Buddhist archaeology in Gansu province against this historical background.
Huaiyu CHEN is Associate Professor at Arizona State University, where he teaches Chinese religion, Buddhism, and Silk Road Studies. His books cover Chinese Buddhist monasticism, the philosophy of animals in Buddhism, and modern Chinese Buddhist historiography.
Doucheng DU, a Gansu native, graduated from Peking University and is Professor at Lanzhou University, where he has served as Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Institute for Dunhuang Studies. He has published ten books and authored more than sixty articles on Dunhuang studies and related subjects.
Annette Juliano is Professor of Art History at Rutgers University-Campus at Newark, where she teaches Far Eastern art history. She chaired the new Department of Visual and Performing Arts and also served as Associate Dean. She is Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.
Stephen F. Teiser is D.T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies at Princeton University. He works on the history of Buddhism, Chinese religion, and the Silk Road. His books utilize textual and artistic sources to discuss healing, death, and rebirth.
Susan Whitfield is a historian of China and the Silk Road. As Director of the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, she curates a large collection of Central Asian manuscripts and works with colleagues worldwide to make this and the rest of the archaeological legacy from the eastern Silk Road freely available online. She has written widely on the Silk Road, and has travelled along much of its length.
Xin YU is Professor of History at Fudan University and has held visiting appointments at Ecole des Haute Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Princeton University. He has written four monographs on topics ranging from popular Chinese religion to natural history and manuscript studies.