Displacement and Convergence in the Age of Multipolarity (560s–610s): A Symposium 

May 19–21, 2021

The symposium begins at 9:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time observed in Boston) each day.



May 19, 2021

9:00–9:10          Opening Remarks by Xiaofei Tian (Harvard University)


Panel One           Self, Family, State

Moderated by Antje Richter (University of Colorado, Boulder)

9:10–9:50                Pablo A. Blitstein (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), “The Chains of

                                     Transmission: Authority and Mobility in Yan Zhitui’s Family Instructions

9:50–10:30             CAI Danjun (Chinese Renmin University), “The Study of the Han and the Way of

                                     the Han: The Political and Cultural Thought in Family Instructions for the Yan Clan


10:30–10:40           Break / Break-out


10:40–11:20            CHI Li-Feng (Chung-Hsing University), “The Imagined Community of the Western

                                     Liang: A Study of Xiao Cha’s (519–562) Poetic Writings”

11:20–12:00            Annette Kieser (University of Münster), “Love for the South? Or: The Waning of a

                                     Southern Tradition”


May 20, 2021

Panel Two          Negotiating Differences: Emulation and Competition in a Multipolar World

Moderated by Keith Knapp (The Citadel)

9:00–9:40               Lucas R. Bender (Yale University), “Relationships Between the Three Teachings, and

                                     Between the Three Teachings and the State, at the End of the Period of Division

9:40–10:20             LIU Xiang (Xi’an Jiaotong University), “The Hualin Park in Motion: Imitation and

                                     Competition amongst Courts in a Yu Xin (513–581) Rhapsody”

10:20–11:00            Harrison Huang (Columbia University), “Court Rituals and Poems of Yu Xin (513–

                                     581): Narrative Migrations in a Multipolar World”


May 21, 2021

Panel Three       Multipolarity within Consolidation: The Sui

Moderated by QU Jingyi (Nanyang Technological University)

9:00–9:40               Lu Kou (Bard College), “Heaven’s Will or Human Affairs: Making Sense of the

                                     Dynastic Rise and Fall in the Sui

9:40–10:20             Xiaofei Tian (Harvard University), “Patchwork Empire: Considering Sui Literature”

10:20–11:00            Nicolas Tackett (UC Berkeley), “Reunifications in Chinese History: The Founding of

                                     the Song and the Founding of the Sui”


11:00–11:20       Final Discussions and Remarks