The Ancient State of Chu
A talk on the history & culture of Chu, by Xu Shaohua (Wuhan Univ.), followed by comments on Chu musical archaeology by Fang Jianjun (Xi'an Academy of Music)
Friday, February 27, 2004
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
The Ancient State of Chu: Its Historical Background & Culture
a talk by Xu Shaohua
Chu, in southern China (the Yangzi River roughly bisected it), was but one of many regional states of China during the Zhou dynasty (1045-221 B.C.). It has always been understood that it was a major player in the power struggle among these states. The true measure of its importance, though, was long in question because of a shortage of textual documents and a bit of culture chauvinism. The general assumption has always been that “high” culture in China was a product of the north and that the south was backward, even “barbaric.” The vast amount of archaeological evidence excavated from the soils of south China in recent years, however, demonstrates that while the area was culturally slightly different, it was no way inferior to the north. In some respects, the south was actually more advanced. Much of this new material is of such remarkable artistic beauty and importance that it has attracted wide attention in academic circles, resulting in number of major exhibitions and international symposia (in Washington, 1990; and in Wuhan, 1988, 1999). In the past 20 years, Chu culture has become a leading topic of investigation in the study of ancient China.
* * *
Xu Shaohua (Ph.D., History, Wuhan University) is Professor of History and Archaelogy, and Director of the Institute of Historical Geography, Wuhan University. His research interests focus on Chinese historical geography and culture and the archaeology and culture of the anncient state of Chu.Among his publications in English is “A Exploration of Chu Culture from the Archaeology Materials,” a chapter in the anthology Defining Chu: Image and Reality in Ancient China (Constance Cook and John Major, eds., University of Hawaii Press, 1999).
Some Remarks on Chu Musical Archaeology
by Fang Jianjun (Xi'an Academy of Music and the Chinese University of Hong Kong)
For more information please contact
Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies