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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Symposium on February 18 and 19 brings notable China scholars to Reed

The exhibition

Differences Preserved: Reconstructed Tombs from the Liao and Song Dynasties will be on exhibit inReed's Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery from February 1 to March 19. This exhibition brings together an extraordinary array of tomb artifacts--never before seen outside China--and the latest scholarship on the Liao dynasty (907-1125). Susan Fillin-Yeh, the director of the Cooley Gallery, and Hsingyuan Tsao, assistant professor of art history and humanities at Reed, are the curators. The exhibition and accompanying symposium (see below for details) are free and open to the public.

A catalogue will be available after the opening of the exhibition, featuring an essay by Hsingyuan Tsao that brings new thinking to the relationship between the Qidan, the semi-nomadic ruling class of the Liao dynasty, and the other Chinese ruling groups, revealing a rich cultural interchange that has not before been detailed. The catalogue also features color and black-and-white photos of the objects that have been shipped to Reed from China and assembled in the reconstructed tombs, including a gilded burial mask, rare ceramics, large bronze mirrors, and transparencies of the mural paintings on the tombs' walls and ceilings.

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is open every day except Monday from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is in Reed's library. Parking is available nearby, and the #19 bus stops on Woodstock at the campus entrance near the library. For other information, please call 503/777-7790.

The symposium

A symposium, Re-mapping the Northeast: China's Frontier Cultures in the Middle Period (907-1279), will be held February 18 and19 in Reed's Vollum lecture hall. The cultural relationship between the Liao (907-1125) and the Northern Song (960-1127) lies at the heart of the studies of China's frontier cultures. This symposium will bring together scholars from all over the country to discuss migration of cultures, Chinese ethnicity and ethnographies of the border regions, formation of identities, and cultural differences in visual materials.

The symposium opens at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 18 with a keynote address by Nancy Steinhardt of the University of Pennsylvania, author of the 1997 book Liao Architecture. She will discuss "The Liao: who they were, where they came from, and what they built." Registration for the rest of the event is 8:30 to 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 19, and sessions will be held all that day until 5:20 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public; information and registration are available at

Other speakers include:

• Peter Bol, Harvard University, author of This Culture of Ours: Intellectual Transitions in Tang and Sung China

• Patricia Ebrey, University of Washington, author of The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period

• Marilyn Gridley, University of Kansas, author of Chinese Buddhist Sculpture Under the Liao

• Mark Halperin, University of California&emdash;Berkeley

• Robert Hymes, Columbia University, author of Statesmen and Gentlemen: The Elite of Fu-Chou, Chiang-Hsi, in Northern and Southern Sung

• Ellen Johnston Laing, University of Michigan, author of The Winking Owl: Art in the People's Republic of China

• Fran├žois Louis, the Bard Graduate Center

• Hsingyuan Tsao, Reed College, author of numerous articles on Chinese art

• Richard Vinograd, Stanford University, author of Boundaries of the Self: Chinese Portraits, 1600-1900

• Lothar Von Falkenhausen, University of California-Los Angeles, author of Suspended Music: Chime Bells in the Culture of Bronze Age China

• Linda Walton, Portland State University, author of Academies and Society in Southern Sung China

• Stephen West, University of California-Berkeley, author of Chinese Dramas from 1275 to 1450

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