Monday, November 15, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Live via Zoom
Register for Zoom Link Here
The recent excavation of the late Northern Song cemetery of the Lü family in Lantian, Shaanxi, which proceeded in stages from 2006 to 2012, revealed a funerary archive of unprecedented depth and specificity. The nature and disposition of the objects buried in the cemetery offer new perspectives on the consumption of luxury goods and negotiation of social status, the production of gendered space, the history of childhood, the relationship between ritual and emotional regimes of mourning, and a host of other themes of perennial interest to scholars of premodern China. The cemetery also preserves poignant traces of the precarity that an official’s career brought into lives of their spouses, children, siblings, and other family members. But perhaps the most significant of all the grave goods to the emerge from the deep tombs of the Lü family were the “antiquarian” objects—a series of stone and ceramic implements that recall, in various ways, the bronze vessels and other ritual implements（liqi）of ancient China. These were buried alongside actual ancient bronzes that the family had collected, inscribed with new elegies and laments, and then re-interred with their deceased kin. In this talk, I situate these archaic and archaistic implements in dialogue with the antiquarian and ritual scholarship of the Neo-Confucian philosopher Lü Dalin（1040–1093）and his brothers, who were members of the third and most prominent of the five generations buried in the cemetery. In the process, I endeavor to show how the production, use, and reuse of these implements constituted a coherent and consistent effort on the part of the family to “make antiquity” in the materiality of their present. I also explain how the temporality of these ritual tools—the way in which they embody a particular understanding of time—stands in contrast to both linear and cyclical models of time. From the perspective of the Lü family, what appears to our eyes as mere archaism was in fact a way of being ageless. By carefully unpacking the visual constituents of this agelessness, I reuse the implements that the Lü family themselves reused to leverage their medieval Chinese episteme into an opportunity to rethink, more generally, the way in which the discipline of art history relates form to time.
Jeffrey Moser is Assistant Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at Brown University. His research attends, broadly, to the conceptual and material processes whereby past things are made present, with particular attention to the ways in which these processes intersect in the artistic practices and scholarly techne of medieval China. His forthcoming book, Nominal Things：Bronzes in the Making of Medieval China （University of Chicago Press）, examines the decipherment of ancient bronzes in eleventh-century China, and the role those bronzes played in reordering medieval Chinese understandings of the relationship between words, images, and things. Other publications include articles on antiquarianism, ceramics, geography, and the “geoaesthetics” of rock-cut Buddhist sculpture. Professor Moser currently holds a year-long appointment as Paul Mellon Senior Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., where he is completing a book manuscript on the cemetery of the Lü family.
China's Civilian Army：The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy
A book talk with Peter Martin, author and defense policy and intelligence reporter at Bloomberg
This event is part of International Education Week.
**After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Please note, you will only be able to join the webinar at the specified time and date.
ABOUT THE WEBINAR
If you register for and attend a Burkle Center webinar, you will not be seen or heard via video or audio, but may submit questions via the Q&A form at the bottom of your screen. In addition to the webinar, we will be livestreaming this event on the Burkle Center’s YouTube page. The YouTube livestream will be available below at the start of the event. Please note: While YouTube allows you to watch the event in real time, you will only be able to ask questions if you register and attend through the webinar link above.
ABOUT THE BOOK
“There’s never been a more important time to understand the motivations that drive Chinese diplomacy. Peter Martin’s superb book delves into the history of China’s diplomatic corps in a way that sheds new light on the nature of Chinese power today. It should become required reading for anyone who hopes to understand Chinese foreign policy.”
—Stephen J. Hadley, former US National Security Advisor
“The United States simply cannot outcompete China without outcompeting its diplomats and economic influence in Asia and around the world. Martin’s book skillfully captures the steely determination of China to secure its interests abroad, demonstrating the challenges facing the US and its partners and underscoring the criticality of working together to develop more coordinated approaches to China across the board.”
—Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Co-Founder of WestExec Advisors
The untold story of China's rise as a global superpower, chronicled through the diplomatic shock troops that connect Beijing to the world. China's Civilian Army charts China's transformation from an isolated and impoverished communist state to a global superpower from the perspective of those on the front line：China's diplomats. They give a rare perspective on the greatest geopolitical drama of the last half century.
In the early days of the People's Republic, diplomats were highly-disciplined, committed communists who feared revealing any weakness to the threatening capitalist world. Remarkably, the model that revolutionary leader Zhou Enlai established continues to this day despite the massive changes the country has undergone in recent decades.
Little is known or understood about the inner workings of the Chinese government as the country bursts onto the world stage, as the world's second largest economy and an emerging military superpower. China's diplomats embody its battle between insecurity and self-confidence, internally and externally. To this day, Chinese diplomats work in pairs so that one can always watch the other for signs of ideological impurity. They're often dubbed China's "wolf warriors" for their combative approach to asserting Chinese interests.
Drawing for the first time on the memoirs of more than a hundred retired diplomats as well as author Peter Martin's first-hand reporting as a journalist in Beijing, this groundbreaking book blends history with current events to tease out enduring lessons about the kind of power China is set to become. It is required reading for anyone who wants to understand China's quest for global power, as seen from the inside.
ORDER THE BOOK
Use code AAFLYG6 for 30% off at Oxford University Press.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Martin is Bloomberg's defense policy and intelligence reporter in Washington, DC and author of China's Civilian Army：The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy. He was previously based in Beijing where he wrote extensively on escalating tensions in the US-China relationship and reported from China's border with North Korea and its far-western region of Xinjiang. His writing has been published by outlets including Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, and the Guardian. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford, Peking University and the London School of Economics.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
Kal Raustiala holds the Promise Institute Chair in Comparative and International Law at UCLA Law School and is a Professor at the UCLA International Institute, where he teaches in the Program on Global Studies. Since 2007 he has served as Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations. From 2012-2015 he was UCLA’s Associate Vice Provost for International Studies and Faculty Director of the International Education Office. Professor Raustiala's research focuses on international law, international relations, and intellectual property. He is currently writing a biography of the late UN diplomat, civil rights figure, and UCLA alum Ralph Bunche for Oxford University Press.
Sponsor（s）: Center for Chinese Studies, Asia Pacific Center, Burkle Center for International Relations, Political Science