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The Great Wall of Europe: European Views of China before 1750
Michael Keevak examines European views of China from the period of 1600 - 1750.
This talk will provide three examples of a certain kind of blindness with regard to the European understanding of China (and Formosa) between 1600 and 1750: (1) the Formosan imposture of George Psalmanazar, (2) the discovery of the Nestorian monument in Xi'an in 1625, and (3) descriptions of the Chinese before they were yellow.
Michael Keevak is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at National Taiwan University. He has published two books, "Sexual Shakespeare: Forgery, Authorship, Portraiture" (2001), and "The Pretended Asian: George Psalmanazar's Eighteenth-Century Formosan Hoax" (2004) (both from Wayne State University Press), as well as a book now in press: "The Story of a Stone: China's Nestorian Monument and Its Reception in the West, 1625-1916." His current project is a book on how the Chinese got to be yellow.
Co-sponsored by the UM Center for European Studies.