Past Conferences

Geiss Foundation conducts and holds conferences on topics concerning the Ming dynasty.  One of the first major Ming conferences was organized and held at Princeton University in the early 1980s as part of preparations for compiling volumes 7 and 8 of the Cambridge History of China: Ming Dynasty Volume 7.

Recent recipients of Geiss funding for conferences and performances include the British Museum for its three-day conference from 9 – 11 October 2014, Ming:  Courts and Contacts 1400-1450, and the University of Minnesota for a second concert of Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music with ¡Sacabuche! on 5 May 2014.

Geiss Foundation sponsored and held its first conference, Ming Court Culture, in 2003 at Princeton University.  Papers discussed at this conference were subsequently published in 2008 in the volume, Culture, Courtiers, and Competition: The Ming Court (1368 – 1644).

Geiss Foundation was pleased to participate in sponsoring British Museum’s conference, Ming: courts and contacts 1400 – 1450, held in 2014.

Geiss Foundation also helped fund the Conference on Biography in East Asia, 1400-1900, held in 2013 at St. John’s College and the Institute of Asian Research of the University of British Columbia. The conference was organized by Adam Bohnet, King’s University College at Western University, Ihor Pidhainy, Marietta College, and Leo K. Shin, University of British Columbia.

This conference explored the different types of the genre, biography, in East Asian countries from 1400 to 1900, and challenged the traditional position maintained by past studies that the biography in China and Korea was simply a means to compartmentalize individual lives into pre-established moral categories.

Geiss Foundation has also contributed to the following conferences:

History with Chinese Characteristics: From Ming to Globalization    Geiss Foundation was pleased to provide partial funding towards a conference held 18-19 February 2011 by the Center for Early Modern History (CEMH) at the University of Minnesota in honor of Professor Edward (Ted) Farmer, a noted Ming scholar. Speakers at the “History with Chinese Characteristics: From Ming to Globalization”, covered a broad range of subjects, from Chinese culture, Ming institutions, world history and modern China.

The Map and Music of Matteo Ricci   Geiss Foundation helped sponsor the project, “The Map and Music of Matteo Ricci,” a conference and recital organized by Professor Ann Waltner, at the University of Minnesota (UMN) and Institute for Advanced Study (lAS in collaboration with iSacabuche!, an early music ensemble directed by Linda Pearse based at Indiana University, and contemporary Chinese composer Huang Ruo.

Ming Court Culture    With the support of the Department of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, this conference was the first official event fully sponsored by Geiss Foundation. Held at Jones Hall on the Princeton campus from 12-13 June 2003, it brought together Ming scholars to question if the Ming dynasty had a distinct court culture. If there was indeed a definable Ming court culture, what diverse subjects comprised it and could it be defined.

Proceedings from this conference were compiled into the book, Culture, Courtiers, and Competition: The Ming Court (1368 – 1644), edited by David Robinson, and published in 2008 by Harvard University Press.

Ming Taizu and His Times    Geiss Foundation contributed towards “Ming Taizu and His Times”, an international conference on the history of 14th and early 15th-century China, held at Chinese University of Hong Kong in March 2006. This conference examined the personality and career of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty, known posthumously as Ming Taizu. Many political and social institutions as well as governmental practices introduced during his reign influenced the five remaining centuries of imperial China. Papers presented by Yuan and Ming historians from China, England, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States were first compiled in 2006 into Ming Taizu and His Times, a bilingual volume of 31 thematically related articles.

A selection of these papers, edited by Professor Chu Hung-lam, was published in 2010 as Ming Taizu’s Ideas on Statecraft and Their Implementation (明太祖的治國理念及其實踐) by Chinese University Press.

Ming Provincial Courts Conference
Geiss Foundation fully supported and conducted the Ming Provincial Courts Conference, held in June 2011 at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.  The second of two conferences on the influence of Ming courts, sponsored by Geiss Foundation, David Robinson, Robert H.N. Ho Professor in Asian Studies at Colgate and a Geiss Foundation trustee, organized and hosted this conference.