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Three international guest lectures at the HCTS this week

Jul 16, 2018

From July 17 to July 20, three lectures took place organised by the professorships at the HCTS. The invited speakers were Prof. Joseph Denis (University of Wisconsin-Maison), Prof. Ben Brose (University of Michigan), and Prof. Sheldon Garon (Princeton University). They  provided insights into Chinese legal culture and history, a Chinese novel, and lessons learned from World War II.

On July 17, Prof. Joseph Dennis, historian of late imperial China from the University of Wisconsin-Maison, talked about "Songs to Encourage the Cessation of Litigation," the so called xisongge (息訟歌). By focusing on this genre, Prof. Dennis first argued that xisongge were an important way for magistrates to shape public discourse over the role of law in Chinese society. Second, he discussed the role of litigation to the operation of Chinese society and government. The lecture was organized by the Professorship of Intellectual History.

On July 19, the Professorship of Buddhist Studies organised a lecture by Prof. Ben Brose from the University of Michigan. Prof. Brose is specialised in the history of religion in China and talked about "Modern Reinterpretations of the Journey to the West," one of the best-known early Chinese novels. This talk reconsidered basic assumptions about the history and function of this book to argue that the Journey to the West served an important ritual and liturgical function before and after it was reconceived as a work of secular literature.

On July 20, Prof. Sheldon Garon, historian from Princeton University and current Humboldt Fellow in Germany, gave the guest lecture "On the Transnational Destruction of Cities: What Japan and the U.S. learned from the Bombing of Britain and Germany in the Second World War." The event was organized by the Professorship Cultural Economic History. The focus of the lecture lied on the aerial bombardment of Britain, Germany, and Japan in 1940-45. Thereby, Garon spotlighted the role of transnational learning in the construction of the "home front" among all the belligerents. The event was organised by the Professorship of Cultural Economic History.


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