Ethics, Empire, and Tradition: An International Conference on the Han Dyansty

Ethics, Empire, and Tradition: An International Conference on the Han Dynasty

University of Pittsburgh

23-24 May 2014

Free and open to the public

Friday, May 23

9:00 – 9:10

Opening remarks

Vincent Leung and Michael Ing

9:10 – 10:30

Panel I: Philosophical Methods

Chair: Vincent Leung

“The Convergence Model and Philosophical Method in the Early Han”

Alexus McLeod, Colorado State University

“The Han Dynasty Philosopher Wang Chong and His Epistemology of Testimony”

Esther Klein, University of Sydney

Colin Klein, Macquarie University

10:50 – 12:00

Panel II: Reading the Confucians

Chair: Vincent Leung

“Mencius in the Han Dynasty”

Paul R. Goldin, University of Pennsylvania

“Regret and Lament in Early Confucian Thought”

Michael Ing, Indiana University Bloomington

12:00 – 1:30


1:30 – 3:15

Panel III: Popular Beliefs

Chair: Michael Ing

“Coming to Terms with a Vulgar World: Wang Chong’s Critique of Popular Religious Practices and the Realities of Practice Seen through Archaeology”

Jue Guo, Barnard College

“The Popularization of Natural Philosophy in Early China”

Ethan Harkness, New York University

“Echoes of the Xiwangmu ‘Mystery Cult’ in the Eastern Han”

Mark Csikszentmihalyi, University of California at Berkeley

3:35 – 4:45

Panel IV: Cosmology and Ethics

Chair: Michael Ing

“Varieties of Yin and Yang in the Han: Implicit Mode and Substance Divisions in Heshanggong’s Commentary on the Daodejing

Misha Tadd, Peking University

“Hàn Views on the Source of Morality: Analogizing Using Biàn Hé’s Jade”

Judson Murray, Wright State University


Open Reception

Participants and audience members are all invited.

Oakland Room, Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 4215 Fifth Ave.

Saturday, May 24
10:00 – 11:45

Panel V: Space and Exchanges

Chair: TBD

“Empire, Ethics, and the Afterlife Economy”

Tamara T. Chin, Brown University

“Spatial Disposition as a Strategic Concept in Early China”

Garret Olberding, University of Oklahoma

“The Chuci as an Imperial Artifact of the Han Dynasty”

Vincent Leung, University of Pittsburgh

11:40 – 1:30


1:30 – 2:40

Panel VI: Capital and Borderland

Chair: TBD

“Communicating Beyond Borders in the Western Han”

Charles Sanft, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

“A Tale of Two Cities: The Move from Chang’an to Luoyang in Rhetoric and Reality”

Griet Vankeerberghen, McGill University

3:00 – 4:10

Panel VII: Mortuary Art

Chair: TBD

“The Disappearing Armies of the Han: Royal Terracotta Warrior Pits and Western Han Burial Culture”

Allison Miller, Southwestern University

“Mounted Archers, Empire, and the Han Mortuary Art”

Leslie Wallace, Coastal Carolina University

4:25 – 5:00

Panel VIII: Remembering the Han

Chair: Vincent Leung

“The Standard Histories of the Han Dynasty: A Quantitative and Qualitative Reading”

Nicolas Zufferey, University of Geneva


Concluding Remarks

Vincent Leung

Michael Ing

For more information (including abstracts) visit our website:

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