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Art, History, and Sinology | Program

Date of the Conference: Nov. 9–10, 2018 

Location: Tenth Floor at Weiser Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Martin J. Powers, Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan has always been a towering beacon in the field, trailblazing fresh methodologies and breaking down academic stereotypes on Chinese culture. In celebration of his well-deserved retirement from teaching, Prof. Powers’ graduate advisees and colleagues from around the world will convene an international conference on Chinese art and history on November 9 and 10, 2018 at the University of Michigan. This academic gathering will reflect upon ways the field of sinology has changed over the course of Prof. Powers’ long academic career and the new directions it is developing, or should develop, in the future.

This event is sponsored by Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Additional support is provided by the Department of the History Art, University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) as well as Liu Jiuzhou and Qian Ying.



10:30 AM–12:00 PM

Painting Viewing Session:

Dr. Natsu Oyobe, Curator of Asian Art, UMMA with Dr. Wen-chien Cheng and Gerui Wang
The Ernestine and Herbert Ruben Study Center for Works on Paper and the Object Study Room
The session includes a special viewing of the “Train Scroll” by James Cahill and William Lewis.
University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 South State St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109

1:00–1:15 PM

Welcome Remarks: J.P. Park, University of California, Riverside

Opening Comments: Mary Gallagher, Director, LRCCS

1:15–3:00 PM

Panel 1: Art, Trade, and Early Modern Cultural Contact

Moderator: David Porter (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Tamara Bentley (Colorado College): Tribute and Tropes of Foreignness in Some Chinese Qing-Dynasty Lacquer Screens Picturing Europeans

Richard Vinograd (Stanford University): Global Gardens:  Descriptions, Views, Collections

Katharine Burnett (University of California, Davis): Art History without the Art: The Curious Case of Sino-Vietnamese Teapots before 1700

3:00–3:15 PM

Coffee Break

3:15–5:00 PM

Panel 2: Of and By the Women

Moderator: Wang Zheng (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Wen-Chien Cheng (Royal Ontario Museum): Boundary Crossing: Portraiture or Paintings of Beautiful Women?

Liu Bo (John Carroll University): Images of Women in Northern Song Tomb Murals

Lara C. W. Blanchard (Hobart and William Smith Colleges): Women as Collators in Chinese Art History: Some Notes on Reading Tang Shuyu’s Jade Terrace History of Painting

5:15 PM

Public Reception


9:00–10:45 AM

Panel 3: Painting as Political Maneuvering

Moderator: Li Min (UCLA)

Roslyn Hammers (University of Hong Kong): Multiple Personalities at Work: Wang Meng's Spring Tilling at the Mouth of a Valley

Gerui Wang (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor): Round Fans in Markets: From Personal Item to Public Expression

Olivia Mendelson (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor): A Pictorial Commentary on Rural Conditions in Imperial China

10:45–11:00 AM

Coffee Break

11:00 AM–12:15 PM

Panel 4: Fakery, Fiction, and History

Moderator: Christian de Pee (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

J. P. Park (University of California, Riverside):  Re-inventing Art History: Forgeries and Counter-Forgeries in Early Modern Chinese Art

Timothy Brook (University of British Columbia): State Power as Consensual Hallucination: Emperor Yongle’s Tooth Relic

12:15–1:30 PM

Lunch Break

1:30–3:30 PM

Panel 5: State of the Field

Moderator: Alex Potts (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Lothar von Falkenhausen (University of California, Los Angeles): How East Asian Art History Grew into an Academic Discipline

John Onians (University of East Anglia): Towards a Neuroarthistory of Chinese Art

Wu Hung (University of Chicago): A Short History of 'Black Painting' (hei hua): A Counter Tradition in Chinese Art.

3:30–3:45 PM

Coffee Break

3:45–5:00 PM

Panel 6: China Studies Beyond Borders: Connective and Comparative Histories

Moderator: Tamara Bentley (Colorado College)

Participants: Martin Powers, Lydia H. Liu (Columbia University), David Porter, Katharine Burnett, Richard Vinograd, and Timothy Brook

5:00–6:00 PM

Keynote Speech

Introduction: Elizabeth Sears, Chair, Dept. of the History of Art

Martin J. Powers: Privacy in Song China and Georgian England