The Institute for Chinese Studies presents:
Associate Professor, History
The Ohio State University
Title: Creative Environment, Creative Prisoners: Life in Confinement in the Ming
Flyer: Ying Zhang Flyer
Abstract: Imprisoned Ming officials are often associated with torture and gruesome deaths inflicted on them by autocratic emperors and evil eunuchs. This simplistic narrative prevents us from understanding accurately the experiences of the Confucian-educated elite, many of whom lived culturally rich lives in confinement. To them, the space of confinement, far from being an isolated, lifeless environment, was full of meanings and movements. This talk will discuss how the material aspects of prison—such as nature and objects—inspired their artistic production, which sheds interesting light on these men’s self-understanding and self-expression as Confucian subjects. It also shows how the non-elite contributed to their artistic production and spiritual exploration.
Free and Open to the Public
This event is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.