James Hevia on The Afterlives of Ruins: The Yuanmingyuan in China and the West

All day


What is the difference between the Yuanmingyuan and the Summer Palace of the Emperor of China?   This talk traced some of the history of the Qing imperial garden and its artifacts after it was destroyed by British military forces in 1860.  The focus was on the ways in which the garden became a sign of national humiliation in China and a name linked to objects circulating in museums and markets in Europe and North America.

James Hevia is a Professor of International History and the Director of the International Studies Program at the University of Chicago, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1986.  His research has focused on empire and imperialism in eastern and central Asia.  His latest book, The Imperial Security State: British Colonial Knowledge and Empire-building in Asia was published in 2012 and focuses on British military intelligence in Afghanistan, India and China from 1870 through the interwar period.  He is also the author of English Lessons: The Pedagogy of Imperialism in Nineteenth Century China (2003) and Cherishing Men from Afar: Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793 (1995).


Foreign Literature Research Institute, Beijing Foreign Studies University