Public Lecture: Tea vs. Whey: Cultural Rivalries in Medieval China’s North-South Divide

Mar 8, 2024

03:30 PM - 05:00 PM

University Capitol Centre, 1117 - International Commons

200 South Capitol Street, Iowa City, IA 52240

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The Six Dynasties era (220–589) in Chinese history is marked by political fragmentation, upheaval, and social transformation, accompanied by a flourishing of arts, literature, philosophy, religion, and technology amidst widespread population mobility. This talk offers an overview of this captivating period, focusing on the intense cultural competitions that emerged in language, cuisine, fashion, and intellectual pursuits. By examining these contests, Qiaomei Tang demonstrates how they served not only as expressions of artistic prowess but, more importantly, as tools for asserting political legitimacy. Tang will unravel the rich tapestry of cultural exchanges and rivalries that defined this pivotal period in Chinese history.

Qiaomei Tang is an Associate Professor at Grinnell College, holding a PhD from Harvard University. Her research centers on medieval Chinese literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on exploring women’s roles and gender dynamics. She is currently working on her book manuscript titled Gender, Genre, and Jealousy in Medieval China.

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