Stuck in the Middle? The Third Middle Period China Humanities Conference (220-1600)

CALL FOR PAPERS

Following the success of the first gathering of Middle Period scholars in 2014 at Harvard and the second in 2017 at Leiden, we are very pleased to announce that Yale will host the third meeting on June 25-28, 2020.

We welcome papers from all disciplines in humanities (specifically history, literature, history of art, and religious studies) that deal with China between 220-1600. Because the theme of the conference is “Stuck in the Middle” we encourage papers that cover more than a single dynasty and reexamine periodization more broadly.

FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS AND INSTRUCTIONS IN ENGLISH CLICK HERE

請點擊此處查看中文說明

Yale University

June 25-28, 2020

Conference Venues

Henry R. Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511)

Rosenkranz Hall (115 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511)

The venues are located next to each other, and are within 20 minute walking distance from all hotels in New Haven.

By general agreement among American and European scholars, China’s ancient history ended in 220 CE with the passing of the first long-lived dynasty, the Han; similarly, scholars agree that modern China begins in 1600 as the Ming dynasty weakened and the Qing dynasty of the Manchus was taking shape. But does it make sense for scholars to treat the centuries between 220 and 1600 as a single period? Did people living across this time span experience life in the same way? Is it meaningful to think of a single traditional China?

One prevailing paradigm, first proposed a century ago by the Japanese scholar Naitō Torajirō, holds that between the Tang and Song dynasties China underwent a major transformation, passing from the medieval to the early modern period, with changes so great that some have termed them a commercial revolution. At the time, two major dynasties reigned: the Tang from 618 to 910, and the Song from 960 to 1276, when the Mongols invaded and established their own dynasty for nearly a century. China’s greatest poets, thinkers, and scientists produced their life works in these centuries. Buddhist monks succeeded in winning extensive support from commoner and emperor alike, while Confucian and Daoist thinkers also made important breakthroughs that shaped the respective histories of their religions. 

But recent research shows that the paradigm is not as convincing as once thought. Few scholars address long-term change; almost all research focuses on a much shorter span of time. 

For all its importance, this period receives little attention at the Asian Studies meetings in America and Europe – often just a few panels – while China offers dynasty-specific conferences but nothing devoted to the entire timespace. For this reason American, Chinese, European, and Japanese scholars held the first gathering of Middle Period scholars in 2014 at Harvard and the second in 2017 at Leiden, where everyone agreed that the meeting was so fruitful that it should continue. 

The third meeting of this conference, to be held at Yale in June 2020, will provide an opportunity for scholars of Middle Period China to gather in New Haven and exchange views. This conference offers participants a chance to think about the most meaningful ways to divide up this giant expanse of time. We welcome revised seminar papers by PhD candidates and understand that they may not address the questions of periodization directly, but we hope that more established scholars will take advantage of the chance to meet scholars working on various dynasties and in different disciplines to think hard about these definitions of our field and how they affect the ways we pose questions.

The Program Committee

Luke BENDER, Yale University

DENG Xiaonan, Peking University

Eric GREENE, Yale University

Valerie HANSEN, Yale University

LI Yiwen, City University of Hong Kong

Richard SOSA, Yale University

WANG Jinping, National University of Singapore

深陷中間?

第三屆中古中國人文會議(220-1600年)

歐美學者普遍認為  ,中國的古代史終結于公元220年,當統治中國長達400多年的漢朝滅亡之時;中國的近代史則開始于1600年,當明朝衰落、滿清崛起之時。然而,我們能將220年和1600之間的多個世紀當做中古史一個時段來處理嗎?生活在這些世紀中的人們經歷了相似的人生嗎?思考一個傳統中國有意義嗎?

近100年前,日本學者內藤湖南最先提出了影響學界至今的“唐宋變革論”,認為唐宋之間經歷了從中世紀到前近代社會的深刻轉型。其間的變化是如此重大,以至於一些學者甚至以“商業革命”來描述之。在這個變革期,中國經歷了唐 (618-907) 與宋 (960-1276) 兩個主要的王朝。之後,蒙古入侵并建立元朝,統治中國長達一個多世紀。在這個中古時代,中國誕生了最偉大的一批詩人、思想家和科學家 。 佛教徒獲得了上自皇帝下自農夫的廣泛社會支持,儒家和道家的思想家們同樣取得了重要突破,影響了各家宗教的發展歷史。然而,最新的研究顯示,唐宋變革論的解釋模式並非如我們曾經所想的那樣有說服力。儘管少數學者仍然關注長時段的變遷,大部分的研究者已將精力集中到更短的歷史時期。

與其重要性不匹配的是,中國史的中古時段在歐美的亞洲研究學術會議上很少受到關注,一般只有少數的幾個論壇。而中國的學術會議則往往以特定的朝代為中心,很少將整個時段的時空作為討論的重點。基於此現狀,歐美、中國和日本的學者們于2014相聚哈佛大學,召開了第一屆中古中國人文會議,并于2017年在荷蘭的萊頓大學舉行了第二屆會議。學者們一致認同該會議的成果,以及繼續舉辦的必要性。

第三屆中古中國人文會議將於2020年6月在耶魯大學舉行。中古中國的學者們將有機會在紐黑文齊聚一堂,交流各自的研究成果和思想觀點。這次會議也將給與會者機會思考,我們應該如何有意義地給220-1600年這個超長時段進行斷代。我們歡迎博士生提交具備一定學術水準的論文,并理解他們的論文未必都會直接涉及到斷代的問題。但我們希望更為資深的學者們可以利用這個機會,與研究其他朝代和領域的學者進行深入的交流,并認真思考有關我們領域的種種界定,以及這些界定如何影響我們提出問題的方式。

會議籌備委員會

Luke BENDER (盧本德), 耶魯大學

鄧小南, 北京大學

Eric GREENE (葛利尹), 耶魯大學

Valerie HANSEN (韓森), 耶魯大學

李怡文, 香港城市大學 

Richard SOSA (宋宇德), 耶魯大學

王錦萍,新加坡國立大學