A New Perspective on the Great Clans of the Late Tang

How does one account for the survival into the ninth century of the medieval Chinese aristocratic clans despite important institutional developments, including the expanded use of the civil service examinations and the creation of a new system of provincial bureaucracies? How does one then explain the dramatic disappearance of these families at the turn of the tenth century? By exploiting a large prosopographic database, this paper will explore how a better understanding of the geographic distribution of political power and of the Tang political elite's social networks can help resolve these questions.

About the Speaker
Nicolas Tackett eceived his PhD from Columbia University in 2006. After postdoctoral fellowships at the Getty Research Institute and Stanford University, he joined the U.C. Berkeley History Department in 2009, where he is now Associate Professor He has just completed a monograph on The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy. He is currently working on a second monograph that will look at how unusual social, political, and geopolitical factors during the eleventh century spurred Chinese intellectuals into developing a new sense of their place in the world.

After the Seminar
To allow for informal discussion, the seminar will be followed by a dinner with the guest speaker at 6:15pm. The location of the restaurant will be announced at the seminar. All are welcome, though those who attend will need to pay for their own food and drinks. As reservations must be made at the restaurant, please RSVP by noon of the day before the seminar to jasmine.lin@anu.edu.au

The China Seminar Series is sponsored by the China Institute, with the Australian Centre on China in the World and the College of Asia & the Pacific.