Contact and Exchange: China and the West

While China and Europe developed asymmetrically over many centuries, historical moments of contact and exchange profoundly affected both. This one-day conference introduces scholars of western European cultures to cutting-edge topics in fields outside their normal ken and engages them in conversation with experts studying the history of China, circa the Ming and early Qing Dynasties. Four pairs of scholars will identify and examine points of significant historical exchange, influence, conflict, or divergence for a non-specialist audience. Broadly defined, the four session topics include literary traditions; ethnography, travel writing, and cartography; science, technology, and instrumentality; and economic trade, especially the developing Western market for decorative arts including porcelain and silk.

This conference is supported by a grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, which extends eligibility for travel and lodging grants to advanced graduate students and faculty at U.S. institutions.

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