Scaling the Ming (Conference at UBC, May 2018)

Call for Papers: Scaling the Ming, An International Conference

We are pleased to announce an international conference on studies of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), to be hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on May 18–19, 2018.

The theme of “Scaling the Ming” invites reflection scale, size, and scope in the context of Ming-period China. Questions of scale are inevitable in our inquiry into the past, when we select and use frames of analysis—chronological, geographical, or conceptual—and move between them. At the same time, historical actors in the Ming operated on multiple scales, from the individual body and its lifetime to the locality, the empire and the dynasty, the globe, and the cosmos. And they were affected, consciously or not, by phenomena at all these scales. We seek contributions that address questions of scale as a phenomenon or idea in the past, that reflect on scale and scaling as part of our study of the Ming, or that link the two together. Papers from all disciplines are welcome.

The conference will be organized into thematic panels organized by a UBC scholar. Paper proposals (title + 250-word abstract) can be submitted via the submission form [now closed]. Direct inquiries to (Scholars unable to access the submission form can email their title, abstract, and panel name to The deadline for submissions is November 23, 2017.

This conference is generously supported by the Society for Ming Studies and by the Centre for Chinese Research, History Department, and Asian Studies Department at UBC. A limited travel subvention will be available for graduate student participants.

List of panels and organizers

  • Scales of Justice (Alison Bailey)
  • Literary materiality (Alison Bailey)
  • Global Climate and Local Environment (Timothy Brook)
  • New Approaches to Ming China’s Foreign Relations: Border Security, Military Organization, and Monarchy (Nam-Lin Hur)
  • Bodies (Carla Nappi)
  • Large within Small: Landscapes, Gardens, Rocks, and Trees (Julia Orell)
  • This Much We Know: Ideas and Information (Bruce Rusk)
  • People Near and Far (Leo Shin)

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