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Past Events

Treasures of a Lost Galleon: the Heritage of China’s Maritime Trade in the Late Imperial Period

Public Talk by Hans Van Tilburg
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Time: 4:00p
Location: Lillis 185

Shipwrecks are time capsules of history, offering unique insights into a fascinating maritime past. In 2015 Hans Van Tilburg joined a volunteer research team of American and Mexican archaeologists investigating a Spanish shipwreck site in Baja California. The ship’s cargo, broken and buried in the remote dunes, speaks directly to the early days of the Manila galleons and the expansive global influence of China’s maritime trade. Through advancements in technology and increasing discoveries underwater, the potential for this kind of sunken heritage is becoming clearer throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Hans Van Tilburg earned his PhD in history from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he was also the lead instructor for the graduate certificate program in maritime archaeology and history. He taught numerous courses in world and maritime history as well as UNESCO Foundation Courses in Underwater Cultural Heritage. He published more than 35 articles and book reviews, as well as several books. Currently he is the archaeologist/historian for NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program in the Pacific Islands region and serves as a unit diving supervisor for NOAA’s National Ocean Service in Hawaii.

Presented by the UO Confucius Institute for Global China Studies and cosponsored by the Asian Studies Program, the Department of History, and the Humanities Program

Internet Literature in China: The Early Years

Public Talk by Michel Hockx
Monday, November 6, 2017
Time: 4:00p
Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

 Internet literature is now an accepted category of literary production in China and elsewhere. It is being taught at universities, its products are the subject of critical evaluation and compete for literary prizes. There is also a flourishing historiography of the genre and some early works have been singled out by several scholars as “foundational” or even “canonical.” This raises the question to what extent these early works have been preserved, and whether or not they can still be viewed and experienced in their original format and context. Based on material collected in the course of his own investigations, Michael Hockx will discuss the extent to which works have disappeared, and the methodological difficulties in doing research on this kind of ephemeral material.

Michel Hockx is a professor of Chinese literature and the Director of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has published widely, both in English and in Chinese, on topics related to modern Chinese poetry and literary culture. His latest book, Internet Literature in China, was listed by Choice magazine as one of the “Top 25 Outstanding Academic Titles of 2015.” His research focuses on the effects of moral censorship on the preservation and digitization of modern Chinese cultural products.

Presented by the UO Confucius Institute for Global China Studies and cosponsored by the Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program, the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the Asian Studies Program, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

The Peony Pavilion: Traditional Chinese Opera Performance

Performance by the Kwun Opera Society
Friday, October 6, 2017
Time: 6:00p
Location: Eugene Public Library

The visiting Chinese Kwun Opera Society performs scenes from a classic romance, accompanied by local musicians.

Harmony and Peace in Calligraphy

Public Talk by Bin Zhou
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Time: 2:00p
Location: Eugene Public Library

Learn about the history, significance, and art of Chinese calligraphy at an illustrated talk by Professor Zhou Bin. He isDirector of the Calligraphy Education and Psychology Research Center and Chair man of the United Association of Calligraphy working with the United Nations.

Love and Lust in Shakespeare and His Chinese Counterpart

Lecture by Maoqing Chen, University of Oregon Confucius Institute
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Time: 2:00p
Location: Eugene Public Library

In different cultural contexts, Shakespeare (1564-1616) and his contemporary Chinese counterpart Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) created dramatic masterpieces that transcend space and time. This talk is to elaborate upon the parallels and disparities between the two giants in terms of the representation of the universal motifs such as love, incest, zoophilia and avarice for power. It also touches upon the reception of Shakespeare in China and Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion on American stage.

Dr. Maoqing Chen, Courtesy Co-Director of the University of Oregon Confucius Institute, Associate Professor of East China Normal University in Shanghai, Fulbright research scholar at the University of California at Irvine (2013-14), author of the book Dream and Drama: A Comparative Study of Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare (2008) and dozens of papers in comparative literature, intercultural theatre and applied linguistics.

The Art and Science of Taiji Quan

Demonstration by David Leung
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 2:00p
Location: Eugene Public Library

Master David Leung and his students share the history, philosophy, and practice of Taiji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan, or Tai Chi boxing). Attendees are welcome to participate in demonstrations.

The Chinese Mind: Traditional Wisdom and its Transformation in Modern Times

Lecture by Zhenhua Yu, East China Normal University
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Time: 2:00p
Location: Eugene Public Library

This talk will introduce the evolvement of the Chinese Mind from the Axial Age to the present in the perspective of world philosophy. It will focus on traditional Chinese wisdom in Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism in ancient China and its interaction with Western thought since 17th century, and underline some important features of the Chinese Mind on the basis of the rich intellectual history of China.

Dr. Yu Zhenhua, Professor and former Dean of the Department of Philosophy, East China Normal University (ECNU); Yangtze River Scholar, Ministry of Education of China; Fulbright Research Scholar, New York University (2016-2017); Visiting Scholar, Harvard-Yenching Institute (2006-2007). Co-director of Knowledge and Action Lab, Joriss, between ECNU and Ecole Normale Superieure/Lyon, France. His fields of interest include epistemology, metaphysics and comparative philosophy. He has published books How is Metaphysical Wisdom Possible? (2000, 2015), The Tacit Dimension of Human Knowledge (2012), and dozens of articles in Chinese and international journals.

Tang Dynasty Tea Poetry

Lecture by James A. Benn
Friday, June 2, 2017
Time: 2:00p
Location: Allen 140

The values associated with tea today— that it is natural, health-giving, detoxifying, spiritual, stimulating, refreshing, and so on— are not new concepts. We find them already in the poetry of the Tang dynasty (618-907). In tea poetry we can catch a glimpse of the cultural synergy created by literati, poets, and Buddhist monks gathering to share and construct new standards of connoisseurship and creativity, as well as to develop new themes and imagery. Surviving poems describe the color, aroma, and taste of the beverage; methods for preparing tea; the shape of teaware; settings for drinking tea; appreciation of the various aesthetic, medicinal, and psychoactive qualities of the beverage; as well as the world of tea growing, picking, and preparation.

Professor James A. Benn was trained primarily as a scholar of medieval Chinese religions (Buddhism and Taoism). His current research is aimed at understanding the practices and world views of medieval men and women, both religious and lay, through the close reading of primary sources in literary Chinese—the lingua franca of East Asian religions.

Presented by the UO Confucius Institute for Global China Studies and cosponsored by Portland State University.


Du Fu’s Chicken-coop: one of the worst (or best) poems by “China’s greatest poet”

Lecture by Stephen Owen, Harvard University
Monday, April 10, 2017
Time: 4:00p
Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

Du Fu was considered the “greatest poet” even in the Tang, but our current image of Du Fu took shape several centuries later, in the Song Dynasty. That image of the Du Fu as the perfect Confucian has shaped editing, anthologizing, and criticism to the point that the poet disappears into his image. But there are actually many Du Fu’s, and this talk will look outside the standard image of the poet and find a different kind of poetry.

Stephen Owen is the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and a member of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Department of Comparative Literature. Born in St. Louis in 1946, he received both his B.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) from Yale University. After teaching for a decade at Yale in East Asian Languages and Literature and in the Literature Major, he moved to Harvard in 1982. He has held a Fulbright and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. In 2005 he received the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award. He is the author of twelve books on Chinese literature and comparative literature, the most recent being The Making of Early Chinese Classical Poetry (2006) and The Late Tang: Chinese Poetry of the Mid-Ninth Century (827-860) (2006). An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Earliest Times to 1911 (1996) was in 1997 as outstanding translation of the year by American Literary Translators Association. He has been the author of numerous articles, including the entry on “poetry” in the most recent edition of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). With the exception of the anthology and one book published in Chinese, the other ten of his books have been translated into Chinese, and he has been the subject of numerous studies in Chinese and one in English. He was the editor of the first volume of The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature (2010).

He has a complete translation of the poetry of Du Fu, published in a dual-language version by DeGruyter in 2015, available both in print and open-access on the Web. This will make up the first, inaugural volumes of the Library of Chinese Humanities, which he helped to found, with the goal of making pre-modern Chinese works available in dual-language versions both in print and on the Web. His new book on Chinese song lyric (ci), through the early twelfth century, is forthcoming.

A Taste of the Year of the Rooster: Learn to make and enjoy Chinese dumplings

Interactive Cooking Demonstration by Linghui Wang
Saturday March 18, 2017
Eugene Public Library, Bascom Tykeson Room

In the Chinese calendar, 2017 is the year of the rooster.

In this free event, you will learn how to make a traditional Chinese dumpling. Dumplings are among the major foods eaten during one of China’s major holidays, the Lunar New Year. We will make dumplings containing ground meat or vegetables wrapped in a thinly rolled piece of dough. After we cook them, we will sample the dumplings we have made!