Asian Studies

News and events from 2016/17

Asian Studies news and events from 2016/17

Although olfaction is considered secondary among bodily senses, it has vital and important symbolic functions for human beings, especially within the cognitive, semiotic and ritual fields. This is why it has a profound impact on our mood, memory and emotions. This talk will present some results of a textual analysis conducted mainly on literary works of Ming and Qing China.
This illustrated talk will cover the historical development of Chinese gardens, relating this to parallel or contrasting developments in European garden history. It will outline the different types of Chinese gardens, including imperial, private and institutional (temple or academy) gardens. It will consider the cosmological ideas and design principles underlying the layout and features of Chinese gardens. Finally it will discuss the social significations and uses of Chinese gardens, particularly in the late imperial period.


The Daodejing (DDJ) is an ancient Chinese text traditionally taken as a representative Daoist classic expressing a distinctive philosophy from the Warring States Period (403–221 BCE). It is one of the most influential examples of its genre in the intellectual tradition of China with hundreds of commentaries, written over two millennia. This lecture analyses the ethical dimensions of the DDJ paying attention to issues related to war and peace.
In late 1966, thousands of students and workers were inspired by Mao’s call for rebellion and contributed to the overthrow of the party committees in their work units. In Shanxi and Shandong Province, the rebels “seized power”. While some gained important positions in the newly founded Revolutionary Committee, other groups were destroyed immediately and their members ended up in prison or under house arrest. Why did these people become rebels? How do they now see their fall? How did factionalism affect their memories?
In this talk Julia Schneider sets to analyse the works on the history of China from the 1900s to the 1920s by examining both nationalist and historiographical writings by influential political thinkers and intellectuals, as well as general histories and historiographical essays by some of the first professional Chinese historians.