Minutes of 2015 Meeting, Chicago

Minutes of the annual meeting of the Society of Ming Studies, March 27 2015

Submitted by Acting Secretary Sarah Schneewind

  • Outgoing President Joe Dennis welcomed everyone and urged all to subscribe to the journal and thus become members, even though we have plenty of money. He noted that we might do a conference if we continue to be in funds. He announced that the Geiss foundation has money for book subventions, and that the Society does sponsor AAS panels. He urged all to send their biographies or updates for the website to webmaster and incoming President Bruce Rusk at UBC.
  • The members and visitors present introduced themselves.
  • Desmond Cheung is the new book review editor for the journal and urged all to let him know about their interests so he can solicit reviews.
  • Journal editor Ihor Pidhainy reported that Maney is pretty happy with us at 219 subscribers, and that we are being read: there were 5600 downloads in 2014 of which the US and Canada accounted for only 40%, so we are reaching a world-wide audience.
  • Elections were held. Anne Gerritsen was unanimously elected as the next President (to take office in two years). Du Yongtao, Li Yuhang, and Brigid Vance were elected as At-Large board members. Sarah Basham was elected as Graduate Student Representative.
  • Ann Waltner introduced the evening’s panel by asking how we look at objects and what they can tell us that is different from what we learn from texts. What questions should we ask? And how can historians or scholars generally get better at thinking about material culture? Are history and art history moving in parallel directions? Yuhang Li gave a paper entitled “Mimicking Guanyin through Hairpins as a Means of Transcendence.” Jinhui Han gave a paper on the practices of placing tin utensils in Ming tombs. Anne Gerritsen gave a presentation on Ming objects in ethnographic museums, and the different ways they appear there from in art museums. Discussion followed these very interesting papers, which amply demonstrated the ways in which intelligent consideration of material objects can teach us things we simply could not know from texts, and the meeting adjourned.

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