Getty Traveling Seminar - From Xi’an to Dunhuang: Following Buddhist Traces in Medieval China

July 2, 2019

The Department of Art History is organizing a University of Chicago/Getty Traveling Seminar in Chinese Art History, funded by the Getty Foundation as part of its “Connecting Art History” initiative. Led and taught by Associate Professor of Art History, Wei-Cheng Lin, the traveling seminar, From Xi’an to Dunhuang: Following Buddhist Traces in Medieval China, will visit historical Buddhist sites along the Silk Road between the two ancient cities from July 21 – August 11, 2019. After the call for applications, 14 doctoral students were selected from both inside and outside China, including three graduate students from the University of Chicago who will take the seminar for credit. During the three weeks, starting from Xi’an, the seminar will visit 29 historical sites across 16 provincial cities and counties, ending in Dunhuang where students will join lectures and present their research at the Dunhuang Research Academy.

The seminar provides the doctoral students with a rare opportunity to visit and investigate collectively the Buddhist traces in situ mostly dated to the 4th – 13th centuries. The support from the local institutions, including the Shaanxi Provincial Normal University, Lanzhou University, and Dunhuang Research Academy, ensures a fruitful learning experience for the participants. The intensity of the schedule and long-distance travel, however, also present challenges in terms of safety, logistics, and administration. To meet the challenge, Mr. Ji Yuan, Interim Executive Director of the Beijing Center, has graciously agreed to assign three staff members, each of whom will travel along with the group for a week, to assist with the work of the seminar.