Cultural Crossings

University of Virginia . March 11–13, 2010


China and Beyond in the Medieval Period Conference



Digital Projects in Asian Art and Humanities Workshop













Printable version of conference schedule

Thursday March 11, 5:30 pm


  Keynote Lecture

  Crossing a Boundary: Where, When, How

Lewis Lancaster, University of California at Berkeley, Emeritus; Director, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative

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Friday March 12


  Opening remarks: 8:30 am


  PART I Culture and History


  SESSION I Silk Road Studies, 8:45–10:45 am

  Chair: Bruce Holsinger, University of Virginia

  The Sogdian Experience in China: Assimilation or Hybridization?

            Albert Dien, Stanford University, Emeritus

Islamic Silver for Carolingian Reforms and the Buddha of Helgö: Rethinking Carolingian Connections with the East, 790–820

            Eric Ramirez-Weaver, University of Virginia

Images of Sun and Moon Gods at Dunhuang between the Sixth and Tenth Centuries

            Yuanlin Zhang, Dunhuang Academy, China

From Hellenistic Scientific Device to Islamic Astrolabe: An Episode of Transmission of a Non-Chinese Scientific Instrument in Late Medieval China

            Kam-Wing Fung, University of Hong Kong

  Chinese Filial Cannibalism: A Silk Road Import?

            Keith N. Knapp, The Citadel, South Carolina

  Discussant: David Summers, University of Virginia


  Break: 10:45–11 am


  SESSION II Gender and Medieval China, 11am–12:45 pm

  Chair: Joan Piggot, University of Southern California

  Our Woman in Central Asia: Women Diplomats of the Han Court

            Anne Kinney, University of Virginia

  Ominous Dress: Hufu (Barbarian Clothing) during the Tang

  Dynasty (619–907)

            Suzanne Cahill, University of California at San Diego

  Wu Zhao and the Mother of Laozi

            Norman Harry Rothschild, University of North Florida

  Punishing the Unfilial: A Study of Tang and Song Legal Codes and

  Anecdotal Writing

            Cong Zhang, University of Virginia

  Discussant: Albert Dien, Stanford University


  Lunch: 1–2 pm


  SESSION III Exchanges with Northeastern Neighbors, 2–4 pm

  Chair: Paul Groner, University of Virginia

  Models for the Heian Capital: Links between Japanese and

  Chinese Courtly Cultures

            Joan Piggot, University of Southern California

  What Five Chinese Portraits Do for Early Heian Japan

            Ryuichi Abe, Harvard University

  The Silla Envoy Poems in the Kaifūsō

            Mack Horton, University of California at Berkeley

  What Is in a Place Name? Chinese Poetic Places on the Map of Early Japanese Literature

            Wiebke Denecke, Barnard College/Columbia University

  Abe no Nakamaro at the End of the Silk Road

            Gustav Heldt, University of Virginia

  Discussant: Jonathan Chaves, George Washington University


  Coffee break 4–4:15 pm


  PART II Art and Religion


  SESSION IV New Buddhist Communities in Asia, 4:15–6:30 pm

  Chair: Karen Lang, University of Virginia

  How Buddhism Came to China

            Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania

  Buddhism and the Maritime Silk Road

            Tansen Sen, Baruch College; Institute of Southeast Asian Studies,


  A Preliminary Study of Exchange in Buddhist Art between Medieval China and Southern India and Southeast Asia

            Yumin Lee, National Palace Museum, Taipei

  A Niche of Their Own: The Buddhists of Bao Shan

            Wendi Adamek, Stanford Humanities Center

  The Exchange of Letters between Zhili and Genshin

            Paul Groner, University of Virginia

  Discussant: Susan Whitfield, British Library


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Saturday March 13


  SESSION V Image, Ritual, and Text in Esoteric Buddhism, 8:30–10:15 am

  Chair: Kurtis Schaeffer, University of Virginia

  Dhāraṇī Pillars in China: Function and Symbol

            Liying Kuo, École Française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris  

  “Whosoever writes this dhāraṇī…”: The Ritual Use of Dhāraṇī Lecterns in Medieval East Asia

            Neil Schmid, North Carolina State University

Concerning the Role and Iconography of the Astral Deity Sudṛṣti (Miaojian 妙見) in Chinese Esoteric Buddhism

            Henrik H. Sørensen, independent scholar, Denmark

  Daoist Elements in Esoteric Buddhist Texts of the Tang Dynasty

            Clarke Hudson, University of Virginia

  Discussant: Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania


  Coffee break 10:15–10:30 am


  SESSION VI The Cult of Avalokiteśvara, 10:30 am–12:15 pm

  Chair: Suzanne Cahill, University of California at San Diego

  Interstices of Compassion: Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara in China, Central Asia,

  and India from the Fifth to the Tenth Century

            Denise Patry Leidy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  Avalokiteśvara Images at Candi Borobudur

            Takashi Koezuka, Osaka University

  Pilgrimage and the Expanding Territory of Kannon

            Sherry Fowler, University of Kansas

  Continued Engagements: Further Thoughts on the Significance of Compassion

            Janice Leoshko, University of Texas, Austin 

  Discussant: Henrik Sørensen, independent scholar, Denmark


  Concluding Remarks and Discussion 12:15–1 pm

            Nicola Di Cosmo, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton


  Lunch 1–2 pm




Digital Projects in Asian Art and Humanities (hosted by the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities), 2–5 pm       


  Chair and moderators: Worthy Martin and Daniel Pitti , IATH


Keynote address

A Footprint and Prospect of Digital Studies on Buddhist Culture: from Digital Museum via Spatial-temporal Information System to Science 2.0

            Ven. Huimin, Rector, Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taipei



  IDP: Mapping Silk Road Exploration, Art, Culture, and Landscape

            Susan Whitfield, International Dunhuang Project, British Library

  Silk Road: The Path of Transmission of Avalokiteśvara

            Dorothy Wong, University of Virginia

  The Digital Archive of Buddhist Rubbings at Academia Sinica,Taipei

            Juying Shih, Academia Sinica, Institute of History and Philology,



  Coffee Break


  Visualizing and Querying the Biographies of Eminent Monks

            Marcus Bingenheimer, Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taipei

  Mapping the Dalai Lamas

            Kurtis Schaeffer, University of Virginia

  The Process of Creating a Digital Edition

            Christian Wittern, Kyoto University


  Roundtable Discussion

          Chair: David Germano, University of Virginia


Seated six-armed Avalokiteśvara (Amoghapāśa, Bukongjuansuo Guanyin)
Chinese, South Song dynasty, ca. 1142–46
Fowan Cave 136, Dazu, Sichuan
Stone with pigments
H. 147 cm
From Dazu shiku diaosu quanji bianji weiyuanhui, Dazu shiku diaosu quanji: Beishan shiku
(Chongqing, 1999), pl. 103