The tomb complex of the First Emperor of China is arguably the most important archaeological site in the world. Since the tomb will not be excavated in our lifetime, if ever, imagination will always play a major role in trying to understand what is in the tomb. Ever since the Emperor was first interred, authors, artists, and archaeologists have tried to reconstruct and imagine what lies in his tomb. Such reconstructions allow the imaginer to project his fears, hopes, and expectations on the site, and can tell us even more about the imaginers than it does about the world they imagine. This talk will explore how historians, poets, artists, archaeologists, movie directors, and video-game designers have imagined the First Emperor’s underground realm.
Talk begins at 5:00 pm, refreshments served at 4:30 pm, with a reception following lecture.
Anthony Barbieri-Low is Associate Professor of Early Chinese History at UC Santa Barbara. He graduated from UCSC in 1994 with a degree in History, and went on to receive his M.A from Harvard and Ph.D. from Princeton. He has wide-ranging research interests in many aspects of Early China, including technology, organization of production, labor history, gender and social relations, legal process, material culture, and state formation. In 2007, he published the book Artisans in Early Imperial China, which went on to receive four major international book prizes in ancient history, art history, and Chinese studies. He has just completed a book-length translation and study of ancient Chinese legal texts and is preparing another book on interpretations of the First Emperor of China.
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