Public history lectures discuss Sino-Southeast Asia interactions and Song literati
26 Apr 2022
Professor Eric Tagliacozzo of the Department of History at Cornell University and Professor Peter Sturman of the Department of History and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, were invited by the HKBU Department of History to deliver two lectures on 31 March and 11 April respectively for the 2021-22 Prof. Chang Chuen Memorial Public Lecture Series. Over two hundred local and overseas students and scholars attended the lectures and had fruitful discussions.
In his lecture entitled “The Sino-Southeast Asian Embrace Trans-Regional Histories, 600-1600 CE”, Professor Tagliacozzo suggested that the interactions between China and Southeast Asia had reached the stage of “adolescence” in the period of 600 to 1600. He showed that such “adolescence” was forged by the circulation of goods, especially Chinese ceramics moving southward to Southeast Asia and marine goods from the Southeast Asian waters to China. Citing anthropologist Professor Arjun Appadurai’s The Social Life of Things, he also pointed out that objects have varying meanings in different cultural contexts and societies.
In Professor Sturman’s lecture entitled “Messaging with Images among the Song Literati: Learning from Su Shi’s Old Tree, Rock, and Bamboo”, he shared his studies on the famous scroll Old Tree, Rock, and Bamboo, which included Su Shi’s painting and Mi Fu’s calligraphy. To prove that the scroll was a genuine one, he focused on the seals of the scroll in the lecture and discussed the relationship between the seals. He concluded that the artwork is a form of communication, and that interactive dialogues can be seen through the seals and the colophons.