Body and Cosmos in China: An Interdisciplinary Symposium in Honor of Nathan Sivin

The Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania is delighted to announce an interdisciplinary symposium in honor of Nathan Sivin at Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, on Oct. 14-15, 2017.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.  Just click here if you’d like to attend:

Saturday, October 14

9:00-9:30 Breakfast and Opening Remarks


Nathan Sivin (University of Pennsylvania)

“Why Some Comparisons Are Better Than Others”

10:10-10:30 Coffee Break

10:30-12:00 Body and Cosmos in Chinese Religion

Terry Kleeman (University of Colorado, Boulder)

“The Discourse on Wealth and Fame in Early Celestial Master Daoism”

Fabrizio Pregadio (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)

“Models of the Body in Daoism”

Pierce Salguero (The Abington College of Penn State University)

“This Fathom-long Body: Bodily Materiality and Ascetic Ideology in Medieval Chinese Buddhist Scriptures”

12:00-1:15 Lunch Break

1:15-2:45 Body and Medicine I

Marta Hanson (The Johns Hopkins University)

“Embodying Prognostication: Bodies, Proxy Bodies, and Disembodied Means for Making Medical Prognoses in Chinese History”

Asaf Goldschmidt(Tel Aviv University)

“Changing Perceptions of the Female Body as Recorded in Twelfth Century Cold Damage Medical Care Records”

Hilary Smith (University of Denver)

“Hunger as a Medical Problem: Changes in Concepts of Nutrition in Chinese Medicine”

2:45-3:15 Coffee Break

3:15-4:45 Body and Medicine II

BIAN He (Princeton)

“Natural Particulars: Pharmacology, Cosmology, and the Quest after Causes during the Ming-Qing transition”

Carla Nappi (University of British Columbia)

“Prepositional Selves: Manchu Bodies in Translation”

Ori Tavor (University of Pennsylvania)

“Aging Bodies: Anxious Masculinities and Rejuvenation Culture in Early China”

6:00 Dinner (for participants)

Sunday, October 15

9:00-9:30 breakfast

9:30-11:00 Body and Cosmos in Early China I

Paul R. Goldin (University of Pennsylvania)

“What Is qi 氣 and Why Was It a Good Idea?”

Constance A. Cook (Lehigh University)

“Divination and the Body in BCE China”

Brandon King (University of Pennsylvania)

“The Political Vision in the Hánfēizǐ’s “Jiě Lǎo” 解老Chapter”

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-12:30 Body and Cosmos in Early China II

Maddalena Poli (University of Pennsylvania)

“The Arousal of Human Nature: Human-world Interactions the Xing Zi Ming Chu 性自命出”

SHI Jie (Bryn Mawr College)

“Between Body and Universe: Lacquer ‘Face Covers’ in Western Han China Revisited”

12:30-1:45 Lunch Break

1:45-3:15 Science and Cosmology in the Han

John S. Major

“Medicine and Medical Metaphors in the Huainanzi

Alexus McLeod (University of Connecticut)

“Disordering the Regularities of Nature in the Astronomy of the Huainanzi

Noa Hegesh (University of Pennsylvania)

“The Technical Art of Cosmological Tuning”

3:15-3:45 Coffee Break

3:45-4:45 Virtues and Roles in Chinese Cosmology

Timothy Connolly (East Stroudsburg University)

“The Metaphysical Foundations of Virtues and Roles in Early Confucian Ethics”

Ann A. Pang-White (The University of Scranton)

“Gendering Virtue: The Notion of Zhen 貞 (Purity) in the Yijing and the Confucian Four Books for Women

One reply

  1. I believe some Chinese beliefs and philosophy predated the Han dynasty – with reference to Terrence McKenna’s work on The I Ching and his Time Wave Theory. The Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen – 2696-2598, the oldest medical book extant was supposedly set to that date following traditional sayings though evidence can only validate the Nei Ching to about 2000 B.C. It’s an insightful relationship between man’s physical body, nature and the universe; the main idea being the qi that propels the role cycle and its relationship… a most logical yet fascinating correlation ship yet to be confirmed by science? No doubt medical practitioners in China and the world will set this to task as in China today, all medical students are trained in TCM and western medicine. This symposium WWW will certainly boost more scientific research to put TCM within the empirical paradigm. Well done.

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