Monthly Archives: October 2017

Impressions of Early 13th century Central Asia as seen in the poetry of Yelü Chucai

“Impressions of Early 13th century Central Asia as seen in the poetry of Yelü Chucai”, a lecture by Dr Sally K Church, University of Cambridge researcher, and Prof. Qiu Jiangning, Zhejiang Normal University.
Sally Church is currently a researcher at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge (England), and also at the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge. She is mainly involved in research on the Silk Road, maritime history and Zheng He’s maritime expeditions.
Qiu Jiangning, Professor at Zhejiang Normal University is primarily involved in the study of Yuan, Ming and Qing culture and literature. Her most recent publications are The Yuan Dynasty Kuizhangge School and Other Yuan Literary Schools, Kuizhang literary scholarly groups and Mid-Yuan Literature, and The Annals of Central Government Literati’s Activities in the Yuan Dynasty.
The lecture will be held on 18 October at 4 pm in Room 209, Department of History, Nanjing University.
Translation by Dr. Sally K Church

The Silk Road and Sino-Foreign Agricultural Exchange


The third annual conference of the Purdue University-Nanjing Joint Centre for China Research, held at Nanjing Agricultural University on 21-22 October 2017, has attracted great academic interest both in China and abroad. The two universities agreed to set up this Joint Centre in 2014 in order to promote Sino-American academic exchange and discipline development. Since then, interest in this academic collaboration has been growing dramatically.

The theme of this year’s conference was “The Silk Road and Sino-Foreign Agricultural Exchange”, a topic that was explored from different angles, including politics, economics, science, technology and culture. Papers ranged from studies on individual food products such as watermelons, chilies, wheat, cassava, tea and maize to studies of manufactured goods such as silk and paper. The time frame ranged from prehistory to the modern period.

An additional focus of the conference was on rural development and the protection of cultural heritage. Some of the ideas were to increase tourism and to promote new products, such as blackberry juice, which farmers can produce themselves given the right incentives. The topics of the two keynote speeches were: “Genetically Modified Food Crops in China: Science and Politics” by Prof. R. Douglas Hurt of Purdue University, and “Life, Design and Sustainability” by Guo Zhan, Vice President and Commissioner General of the Chinese Commission for the International Council on Monuments and Sites.

Dr. Sally Church and John Moffett, Librarian of the Needham Research Institute, were the only invited presenters not only from the University of Cambridge, but also from the United Kingdom. Dr Church presented a paper on the topic of: ‘Impressions of Early 13th-century Central Asia as seen in the poetry of Yelü Chucai’’. You will find more information about Dr. Church’s lecture in one of the postings to follow shortly.