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Journey to the West: The Rediscovery of the Mogao Grottoes and the Treasures Therein - Neil Schmid (Dunhuang Research Academy)

Neil Schmid

The 19thcentury saw the competition among western European nations for a foothold in Central Asia. It was through the machinations and expeditions of this so-called Great Game that archaeological treasures were uncovered in western China, including the most famous, the Mogao Grottoes. This talk provides a background to this momentous discovery and in turn examines the rich array of finds in the Mogao Grottoes, both textual and artistic, revealing their importance for the study of Chinese and Central Asian history and culture.

Martedì 23 OTTOBRE ore 14,30
Polo MIC, Piazza Montanelli 1, Sesto San Giovanni - aula T3

Currently research professor at the Center for Silk Road and Dunhuang Studies at the Dunhuang Research Academy, Neil Schmid received his M.Phil from the École pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) and his Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. His research centers on Dunhuang and explores a range of topics, including the role of Buddhist literature in ritual and art, medieval economic development, esoteric Buddhism, and the ritual aesthetics of painting and architectural space of Mogao caves. He has taught at a variety of institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, Duke, Columbia, and most recently University of Vienna.

Dr. Schmid is working on several book-length projects. The first, From Byzantium to Japan: Ritual Objects and Religious Exchanges Across Eurasia in Late Antiquity,explores the flow of exotic goods and ritual paraphernalia along the Silk Road. In Praise of The Transfigured: On Buddhist Poems and Paintings in Medieval Chinainvestigates how the rhetoric of death and salvation subtly informed a range of poetic and visual arts. He is also preparing the first-ever encyclopedic guide to research on all things Dunhuang, a critical bibliographic survey of Dunhuang materials, entitled The Comprehensive Guide to Scholarly Resources  for Dunhuang Studies.

Organised with the support of Confucius Institute of the University of Milan.

23 ottobre 2018
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