Location: Bowdoin / Asian Studies / Symposia / Symposium / Participants

Asian Studies


Symposium Speakers

Julia Andrews, the State University of Ohio

Lara C. W. Blanchard, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Lara C. W. Blanchard (魏嘉麗) received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2001 and has taught since then at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, where she is the Luce Associate Professor of East Asian Art. Her recent publications on representations of women in premodern China include “Huizong’s New Clothes: Desire and Allegory in Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk” (2006) and “A Scholar in the Company of Female Entertainers: Changing Notions of Integrity in Song to Ming Dynasty Painting” (2007). She is currently writing an essay on Du Liniang’s self-portrait in “The Peony Pavilion” and early modern female painters, as well as a book on representations of longing and desire in Song dynasty paintings of women: http://people.hws.edu/blanchard/

Meiling Cheng, University of Southern California Meiling Cheng (鄭美玲) was an award-winning essayist and published poet in Taipei, Taiwan, before she came to the United States in 1986 to study at Yale University, School of Drama, where she earned her MFA (1989) and DFA (1993) degrees in Theatre Arts. She is currently Associate Professor of Critical Studies/Dramatic Arts and English at the University of Southern California and Director of Critical Studies at USC School of Dramatic Arts. A noted performance art critic and poet, Dr. Cheng has published widely in both English and Chinese. Since 2004, she has contributed a series of groundbreaking articles on performance art and performative installation to scholarly journals in the US, UK, Australia, and China. She frequently presented in international conferences, traveling to Singapore, Honolulu, London, Boston, Providence, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto, New York, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and Leeds for her talks. Her first book, In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art (2002), received a 1996 Junior Faculty Award from Southern California Studies Center and a 1999 Zumberge Individual Research Grant from USC. Her second book, Beijing Xingwei: Contemporary Chinese Time-Based Art (Jan. 2013), received a 2006 Zumberge Individual Research Grant and a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship. With Gabrielle Cody, Dr. Cheng is currently coediting a critical anthology entitled, Reading Contemporary Performance: Theatricality Across Genres, which will be published by Routledge in 2015: http://www.usc.edu/uscnews/experts/173.html 

Lisa Claypool, University of Alberta, Canada Lisa Claypool-- Mactaggart Art Collection Curator and Associate Professor of History of Art, Design, & Visual Culture, University of Alberta. She publishes widely on Shanghai’s visual culture,  exhibition culture in China, and has curated and published a series of essays and interviews about art now. She is currently at work on a book about the mediation of science through visual arts in Republican-era Shanghai and Beijing: http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/%7eclaypool/teaching.html

Jia Fangzhou, independent art critic, China Jia Fangzhou (贾方舟) is a prominent art critic and curator as well as one of the few male scholars to actively publish on and support women’s art. He is seen as a colleague by many women artists.  The exhibition he curated in 1998, Century-Women, introduced the subject of women’s art into contemporary art history and critical discussion.  Among his numerous publications, he is author and editor of Era of Criticism: Selected Works of Chinese Art Critics at the End of Twentieth Century (three volumes), an important anthology addressing art issues from theoretical perspectives.  In addition, he is the founder and director of the scholarly website of Chinese Art Critics: http://www.ysppj.com/, an online platform for developing and disseminating critical discourse on contemporary art.

Linda Chiu-han Lai, the City University of Hong KongLinda Chiu-han Lai (黎肖嫻) received her Ph.D. from New York University's Cinema Studies. She is Associate Professor in Intermedia Arts at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media (SCM). She is also a research-based interdisciplinary artist with broad international exposure. Her academic/artistic research focuses on historiography, visual and auto-ethnography, urbanity and archiving, with a strong emphasis on micro/meta narrativity and a feminist sensibility, attentive to the politics of language at work. Her experimental videography and installation works have been shown in key festivals in many cities in Europe, Asia and the US. Published academically on Hong Kong and Chinese cinema, she is also a writer on contemporary and new media art. She is founder of Hongkong-based new media art group, the Writing Machine Collective (2004), and has completed 4 major group exhibitions around questions of computational thinking and contemporary art. One of her own favorite art works is an art-book, Cryptoglyph (2004), the documentation of an 8-round image-text dialogue with Theresa Junko Mikuriya (University of Kent). At SCM, her teaching areas cover contemporary and media art, writing and creativity, theories and practice of experimental videography, visual ethnography, film/media theory, cultural studies and archiving: http://www.cityu.edu.hk/scm/people/LindaLai.htm

Nancy E. Riley, Bowdoin College

Nancy Riley is professor of sociology at Bowdoin College where she teaches courses on China, family, public health, and gender. Much of her research has focused on family, gender and population in China. She has recently published a book based on her latest project, Gender, Work, and Family in a Chinese Economic Zone: Laboring in Paradise (Springer 2012).  She has also written on issues of gender in demography and on transnational adoption. Her current project examines the experience of Chinese in Hawai`i and the meaning of Honolulu's Chinatown. bowdoin.edu/faculty/n/nriley/

Mary Jane Riley is an independent artist living in Italy. She earned her MA in Art History from Open University, where she wrote her thesis on Hung Liu.

Shu-chin Tsui, Bowdoin College

Shu-chin Tsui (崔淑琴)symposium organizer) associate prof. of Asian Studies and Film Studies at Bowdoin College. She is the author of Women Through the Lens: Gender and Nation in a Century of Chinese Cinema (University of Hawaii Press, 2003). She has also authored many journal articles and book chapters on various topics in Chinese cinema. Her recent manuscript, Inscribing the Body and Gendering the Canon: Women's Art in Contemporary China, is under review for publication.  Her research and teaching interests include but are not limited to the interdisciplinary fields of cinema, gender, literature and culture studies.  bowdoin.edu/faculty/s/scui2/

Sasha Welland, University of Washington

Sasha Welland is Associate Professor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and Anthropology at the University of Washington. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the China Studies program and graduate certificate programs in Cinema & Media Studies and Public Scholarship. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of cultural anthropology, gender studies, and visual studies. She has a longstanding commitment to exploring creative writing within the social sciences, through experimental ethnography, poetry, and visual essays. Her forthcoming ethnography, a blended print-digital publication, focuses on the gendered and global-local encounters that shape Chinese contemporary art worlds. She is author of A Thousand Miles of Dreams: The Journeys of Two Chinese Sisters, a cultural biography of her “modern girl” grandmother and great-aunt. Her articles have appeared in publications such as Journal of Visual CultureSigns, and Yishu. She curated Cruel/Loving Bodies, a touring exhibition of painting, sculpture, installation, performance, photography, and video by Chinese, Hong Kong, and Chinese British feminist artists, shown in Beijing and Shanghai (2004) and Hong Kong (2006). She received her PhD in Anthropology with a designated emphasis in Feminist Studies from the University of California-Santa Cruz in 2006: http://faculty.washington.edu/swelland/

Tao Yongbai, independent art critic, China

Tao Yongbai (陶咏白) a research associate at the Chinese National Academy of Arts, is a prominent art critic and curator. As a leading figure in advancing women’s art in contemporary China, she has curated significant exhibitions with women and art as the central subject.  Ongoing Women--an exhibit held in Beijing, 2008--introduced women’s works of art by three generations.  As a scholar, she has authored many books, including The Lost History: History of Women’s Art in China, which remains the authoritative work on the subject.  Currently, she is the director of the Women’s Art and Culture Association and a member of the Chinese Artists Association.

Lan-Chiann Wu (吴岚倩)

Lan-Chiann Wu (吴岚倩)born and raised in Taiwan, Lan-Chiann Wu received her BFA -with highest honors- from the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan. She holds a MA from New York University’s Fine Art Department. Lan-Chiann has exhibited her art and lectured on the subject of Chinese ink painting in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco, and well as in New York, Taiwan and Japan. Most recently, on June 18 2013, Lan-Chiann spoke about her art and sources of inspiration at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, alongside renowned Pipa musician Wu Man. She has received numerous prizes and awards, and her work has been collected in Australia, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and in the USA. Lan-Chiann currently lives and works in California. Inspired by universal themes that connect people across time and space, Lan-Chiann creates work that centers on exploring the meaning of life. She uses an array of expressive devices to create images that contains both emotional intensity and a sense of surreal physical space. Lan-Chiann blends eastern and western modes of representation into a distinctly authentic style that is marked by decisive brushwork and delicate applications of color. Thus, conceptually as well as aesthetically, Lan-Chiann’s art bridges cultures across time and space. For more information about Lan-Chiann’s work: www.thetranquilstudio.com and www.facebook.com/TheArtofLanChiannWu

Symposium Discussants

David Collings

David Collings is Professor of English at Bowdoin College, where he teaches courses on English romanticism, gender and sexuality, literary and cultural theory, the literature of South Asia and its diaspora, and the literature of disaster. He is the author of Wordsworthian Errancies (Johns Hopkins, 1994) on the poetics of cultural disorientation, Monstrous Society (Bucknell, 2009) on the imposition of and protest against disciplinary capitalism, and Stolen Future, Broken Present: The Human Significance of Climate Change (forthcoming from Open Humanities Press) on the dilemmas of living with a disappearing future. He has co-edited two collections of essays, Queer Romanticisms and Romanticism and Disaster and has written articles on affect without content, anti-biography, the ethics of the impossible, economies of disaster, the impasses of utilitarianism, and the post-covenantal sublime. bowdoin.edu/faculty/d/dcolling/

Pamela Fletcher is Professor of Art History at Bowdoin College

Pamela Fletcher is Professor of Art History at Bowdoin College. Her research and teaching center on Victorian and Edwardian painting, with a focus on questions of narrative, sentiment and play in the context of nineteenth-century exhibition culture. Recipient of fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Getty Research Library, and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, she is the author of Narrating Modernity: The British Problem Picture 1895-1914 (Ashgate, 2003). Her work on the London art market has appeared in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Visual Culture in Britain, and in the co-edited (with Anne Helmreich) anthology The Rise of the Modern Art Market in London 1850-1939 (Manchester University Press, 2011). She is currently writing a book on the mid-Victorian painting of modern life, portions of which have appeared in the Oxford Art Journal, Victorian Studies, and Nineteenth-Century Contextsbowdoin.edu/faculty/p/pfletche/

Natasha Goldman is Adjunct Lecturer in Art History at Bowdoin College. Professor Goldman's research and teaching concentrate on modern and contemporary art, critical theory and public art, specifically examining post-Holocaust aesthetics and Holocaust memorials. Her contribution to Beyond Berlin: German Cities Confront the Past, an interdisciplinary anthology edited by Paul Jaskot and Gavriel Rosenfeld, is entitled “Marking Absence: Remembrance and Hamburg’s Holocaust Memorials” (University of Michigan Press, 2009).  “Israeli Holocaust Memorial Strategies at Yad Vashem: from Silence to Recognition” was published in Art Journal, Summer 2006.  She has presented her research at the College Art Association, the Association of Jewish Studies, the German Studies Association and numerous other venues. In addition to the Art History Survey courses, her specialized courses include such topics as Art and the Street; Contemporary Art and Theory; Theory and Practice of Mexican Muralism; Art and the Public Sphere; Early Twentieth-Century Art; and Art Since 1945.  She currently is preparing her manuscript, Visual Strategies of Holocaust Memorials: Germany, Israel and the United States, for publication. bowdoin.edu/faculty/n/nhomann/

Carol Huh is Assistant Curator of Contemporary Asian Art at Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Through exhibitions and public programs, she furthers the Galleries’ effort to present works that explore current social change and artistic production related to Asia, particularly photography and time-based media. Recent projects have included such exhibitions as the museum’s ongoing Perspectives series (featuring works by Y.Z. Kami, Hai Bo, and Hale Tenger, among others) and Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall (Vancouver Art Gallery), for which Carol was the in-house curator. Upcoming exhibitions will include works by Ai Weiwei and Jananne Al-Ani. Carol has a graduate degree from the communication, culture, and technology program at Georgetown University.

Belinda Kong is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and English at Bowdoin College

Belinda Kong is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and English at Bowdoin College.  Her areas of research focus on contemporary Asian American literature and Chinese diasporic fiction.  Her first book, "Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square" (Temple 2012), examines fictional works by Chinese diaspora writers on the 1989 Tiananmen movement and massacre."  bowdoin.edu/faculty/b/bkong/

Susan Wegner, Bowdoin College

Susan Wegner is Associate Professor of Art History at Bowdoin College.  She has taught Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art with upper level seminars on "Women Artists and Patrons" and ""Art and Contemplation."  Current research includes an article on the female painter Artemisia Gentileschi for Vanishing Boundaries (forthcoming 2014) and a paper concerning the use of contemplative practice and the visual arts in teaching environmental studies (American Environmental Studies and Sciences conference, June 2013).  A Faculty Seminar trip to China sparked her interest in contemporary art in Shanghai and Hong Kong.  bowdoin.edu/faculty/s/swegner/