The Late Tang Geography of Power

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Lecture by Nicolas Tackett, UC Berkeley


Thursday, May 15, 2014
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Bunche Hall 10383
Los Angeles, CA

How does one account for the long-term survival of the medieval Chinese aristocratic clans despite important institutional developments, including the expanded use of the civil service examinations and the creation of a new system of provincial bureaucracies? How does one then explain the dramatic disappearance of these families at the turn of the tenth century? By exploiting a large prosopographic database, this paper will explore how a better understanding of the geographic distribution of political power and of the Tang political elite's social networks can help resolve these questions.

Nicolas Tackett received his PhD from Columbia University in 2006. After postdoctoral fellowships at the Getty Research Institute and Stanford University, he joined the U.C. Berkeley History Department in 2009. He has just completed a monograph on The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy. He is now working on a second monograph that will look at how unusual social, political, and geopolitical factors during the eleventh century spurred Chinese intellectuals into developing a new sense of their place in the world.


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Published: Friday, May 16, 2014