Vincent Leung

Vincent Leung
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
To be held virtually via Zoom
The State, Space, and Early China; or How the World Was Turned Upside-Down
Dr. Vincent Leung
Head and Associate Professor
History Department, Lingnan University

Zoom Link*: (recurring link)

Meeting ID: 957-4039-5905

Methods of Engagement: Architecture and the Humanities
Fall 2021 Discussion Series
Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities Initiative (AUHI)
Department of Architecture
The University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Lecture Abstract

To create a state is to create a new space. It entails the construction of a new environment for all things under its dominion. This is particularly germane when we consider the formation of an empire, a type of political structure that is geared towards territorial expansion. In this talk, Vincent S. Leung will discuss how the rise of empires in Ancient China (circa 221 BCE – 220 CE) prompted an intense debate over sovereign spaces and imperial landscape among the political elite. Some saw empires as an ordering force that restores everything to its rightful place; others argued the opposite, that empires violently and radically displace all things. In particular, he will introduce the poetic anthology Songs of the South, compiled in the same period, as a window into this fierce — and surprisingly lyrical — contestation over the political landscape of the new empires.


Vincent S. Leung is Head and Associate Professor of the History Department at Lingnan University. He is an intellectual and political historian of early China. His research focuses on historiographical practices and economic debates in the ancient world. His recent monograph The Politics of the Past in Early China (Cambridge University Press, 2019) explores the diverse and contentious uses of the past under the rise of empires in early China. He received his doctorate from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University. Prior to joining Lingnan, he was Faculty Fellow at the Humanities Center, University of Pittsburgh; and Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), New York University.

*The total number of attendance is limited to 300. First come, First served.

This lecture is open to the general public.