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October 11, 2013

Confucius Institute lecture - Two Halls of Hangzhou: The Shifting Geo-political Significance of a Song Dynasty City As Seen Through Three Local Gazetteers

A lecture by Benjamin Ridgway (PhD '05, Asian Languages & Cultures), Visiting Lecturer of Chinese Studies University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

4:30 pm, Friday, October 11, 2013
Henderson Room, Michigan League
Light refreshments are provided.

This presentation charts the changing geo-political significance of the city of Hangzhou during the 11th to 13th centuries by examining writings on two of its most important architectural sites: the Hall of Possessing Beauty (youmei tang)and the Hall of Centrality and Peace (zhonghe tang). Through literati and imperial writings on these two structures preserved in a series of three local gazetteers on Hangzhou spanning a century, we can see the shift in discourses on the city, from standing as an index of rising economic and cultural importance to signifying anxieties about territorial loss and the pleasures of the city.

Benjamin B. Ridgway is a Visiting Lecturer of Chinese Studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, investigating the intersections between geographical and literary discourses during the Song dynasty. Previously he taught Chinese language and literature at Middlebury College and Valparaiso University. He recently published an article on Su Shi's song lyrics as a poetry of national loss in the early Southern Song in CLEAR. He is completing a manuscript on the themes of travel and displacement in Su Shi's song lyrics entitled From the Banquet to the Border: Landscape and Literati Identity in Chinese Song Lyrics at the Turn of the Twelfth Century.

Posted by zzhu at October 11, 2013 05:03 AM