News Release: International, Research

Oct. 13,  2011

Conference on Maritime China Signals Shift in Scholarship of East Asian History

Top scholars from around the world will gather at Emory University for a conference on China’s vast maritime trade and its impact on global history on Oct. 27-29. “Sea Rovers, Silk and Samurai: Maritime China in Global History,” is hosted by The Halle Institute for Global Learning and coincides with the 350th anniversary of the Chinese conquest of Taiwan, which is widely celebrated in China, Taiwan and Japan.

Historians have just recently begun to uncover the story of China’s massive trade networks, overturning views of traditional China as a land-bound empire closed to the seas. Emory’s three-day event will be the first major conference in North America to address this shift in scholarship.

“These scholars have never all been present at one conference—many have never even met each other,” says faculty host Tonio Andrade, associate professor of history at Emory. “We believe that bringing them together will result in a burst of new perspectives on maritime China and the Zheng empire. The conference will help catalyze a new field: maritime East Asian history.”

Conference speakers will focus largely on the Zheng family, which established an enduring maritime empire whose income exceeded that of the Dutch and English East India Companies combined. The Zheng family also prevailed militarily over Europeans, ultimately capturing Taiwan from the Dutch East India Company.

About the Conference

The conference is scheduled to take place from 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

All guests should register online by Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Free passes are available to students and to the first 40 guests who register. Regular conference registration is $250, which includes admission to all panels as well as lunch, coffee breaks and snacks.

About The Halle Institute for Global Learning

Established in 1997 with a gift from Claus M. Halle, The Halle Institute for Global Learning is Emory’s premier venue for visits by heads of state, distinguished policymakers and influential public intellectuals from around the world. The Halle Institute’s programs strengthen faculty distinction, prepare engaged scholars and foster greater involvement from local, national and international communities.


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