Past Events

Previous University of Chicago Center in Beijing Conferences and Events are listed below. Click on an event for more information.


Begins
Aug. 18

The Fifth International Conference on Ancient Tomb Art was successfully held on August 18th-20th 2017, at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing. More than 220 audiences including researchers and people who are quite interested in tomb art attended this conference and had heated discussions with speakers. This conference was organized by Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago, School of the Humanities, Central Academy of Fine Arts and Center for Visual Studies, Peking University, co-organized by Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House. It is the fifth in a sequence of conferences held biennially on the art of tombs, the longest and most deeply rooted ritual art tradition in pre-modern China. This is a vital and growing field of study both in the sense of the increasing materials available from archeological activity and in the multi-disciplinary scholarship that it has inspired.


On July 20th, Kyle Chan, a UChicago alum and current PhD student in sociology at Princeton University, presented findings from his ongoing dissertation project on China's high-speed rail program. 


The 7th Chinese Political Sociology Workshop

All day
Through July 21, 2017

Begins
Jul. 19

This year is the 7th year of the Chinese Political Sociology Workshop, a 3-day event co-organized by The University of Chicago Center in Beijing and the Department of Sociology at Renmin University of China. The topic this year--Ideas, Identities, and Ideology-- drew more than 160 scholars and students, international and local, to join the rigorous discussion.

The workshop was structured around 6 subtopics that included “Ideology and State”, “Ideology and Political Order”, “Ideology and Governance”, “Identities and Ideologies”, “Communism in Practice” and “Ethnicity, Nation and Nationalism”. Besides scholars from several local universities, the workshop also featured professors from London School of Economics, Columbia University and Universidad Carlos III De Madrid.


“500 Brushstrokes fuses painting, papercut, and collage into a new form of two-dimensional art. The artist first draws random strokes on xuan paper with ink and traditional paint. He then cuts out every brushstroke and uses them to construct new compositions. Inspired by Han dynasty bronze “money trees,” Daydream Forest constructs mesmerizing 3-D structures with 2-D images of fantastic beasts.
Both sets of works derive their concepts from the art of folk papercuts but transform them into the language of contemporary art. Full of movement and dynamism, Wu Jian’an’s art merges concrete and abstract forms to generate infinite transformations.”
——Wu Hung


Last Wednesday, The University of Chicago Center in Beijing welcomed the Dean of Admissions James Nondorf to share his insights on the highly selective admissions process. Dean Nondorf explained the holistic review process as well as the different application components.


This seminar seeks to trace the multiple trajectories of ekphrastic/descriptive acts. The morning session introduces the twin concept of “verbal” and “visual” ekphrasis through an exposition of the ancient rhetorical and literary practice of ekphrasis and a discussion of tableau vivants as a distinct genre that extends from Romanticism to contemporary art. The afternoon session moves on to examine three cases of descriptive practice in modern art history, considered here as concrete samples collected from three specific contexts in which art-historical knowledge is produced. These are: the writing of descriptive entries in iconographic catalogue of Han pictorial carvings, Daniel Arasse’s writings (at times dubbed by himself as “descriptions”, thus invoking an age-old tradition) that bridge academic and public understandings of art, and the historical narrative and descriptive language employed in curatorial practices of Chinese contemporary art. By examining the three cases, we could hopefully arrive at a self-reflexive understanding of the academic and social “regimes of descriptions”, of the distinctive agency that descriptive texts and describing subjects possess in the active shaping of knowledge and visual experience, and lastly, of the resistance and pressure posed upon language by the sensuous autonomy and material presence of objects themselves.


A group of internationally renowned scholars and researchers gathered in Beijing on June 3, 2017 at the International Symposium on Rethinking the Economic Role of the State, co-organized by the Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University and Man and the Economy, with the collaboration of the University of Chicago Center in Beijing.


2017 Oriental Inflammatory Bowel Disease Forum

All day
Through May 28, 2017
Pullman Shanghai South Hotel

Begins
May 26

Attended by 250 top Chinese experts in IBD, the forum was a collaborative effort between University of Chicago Center in Beijing, Beijing Medical Award Foundation, Department of Gastroenterology of Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Diseases and Shanghai Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Center.


On May 24, the Center sponsored a one-day workshop called  “Writing the Real in China: Conversations with Writers.”  Organized with the help of a journalist who writes as Dan Bao for the online magazine Noon Story, the conference brought five of China’s most prominent realist fiction writers to the Center to share their work.  Cao Naiqian (from Shanxi), Zhang Yueran (Beijing), Shuang Xuetao (Liaoning), Ren Xiaowen (Shanghai), and Liu Liduo (Beijing) read from their writing and talked about dilemmas that arise for writers in today’s China.  Scholars from the University of Chicago, Peking University, Renmin University, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences joined the writers in a roundtable that explored the aesthetics, ethics, and social value of diverse approaches to depicting contemporary life.  A thoroughly engaged audience of more than 150 added their questions to those raised by the writers and scholars: How does fiction writing seek a deeper, truer level of realism? Is simple description more ethical than narrative fabulation?  How should language be twisted to deliver surprises to readers?  Should realist writing be enjoyable or difficult?  The day was so rewarding that we are beginning to plan a series of smaller and more focused writing workshops to begin in the Fall at the Center.  


For aspiring collectors in early modern China, the meaning, the authenticity and the very existence of whole categories of material artifacts was contingent on a skein of relationships between textual and material realities. Through a case study of the bronze censers attributed to the early-Ming court of Xuande (1425–36), as they were perceived by collectors from the mid-sixteenth century onward, this paper examines the co-creation of object and text. It finds that the changing historical imagination and the technical complexities of industrial production interact in explaining and obscuring novelty, in bridging the marketable and the ineffable, and in making present a desirable past.


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