WELCOME TO CEAS
The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago (CEAS) serves as an interdisciplinary nexus and clearinghouse for East Asian studies and an important resource for faculty and students across the University. CEAS supports academic activities, research, outreach, and public events to promote greater understanding of China, Japan and Korea. CEAS has been designated a Title VI National Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Education.
"Giraffes and Elephants: Circulation of Exotic Animals in the Longue Durée History of the Indian Ocean"
Tansen Sen, Professor of History & Director of the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai
Live animals were common forms of gifts exchanged between premodern polities as part of diplomatic overtures or with the intention of establishing/expanding trading relations. Some animals, such as lions, giraffes, and elephants, were considered “exotic” and prestige items; others, including horses, cattle and sheep, served more “useful” purposes in warfare, agriculture, and rituals. Gifting of live animals has continued during the contemporary period, with Chinese pandas as the most prominent object of international diplomacy. Professor Tansen Sen focuses on the circulation of giraffes in the fifteenth century and that of elephants in the twentieth in order to examine the longue durée phenomenon of transporting live animals through maritime routes and the ensuing reception of exotic animals in host societies. These animals were transported by the sea route and entailed networks of connections that linked maritime and hinterland spaces. By analyzing the procurement, transportation, and reception of these animals, the presentation attempts to contribute to the understanding of interregional animal diplomacy, the issue of transporting live animals by the sea routes, and the role of animals in cross-cultural exchanges and encounters.
The 2020 edition of Busan Biennale, which garnered positive reviews for interweaving visual art with literary elements, heads to Chicago for a year-long project with artists, musicians and writers.
Due to the continuing uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including city and state-wide restrictions on large gatherings, international and institution travel restrictions, the Associati
MESSAGE FROM CEAS DIRECTOR, SUSAN BURNS
The Center for East Asian Studies extends its warm congratulations to Wu Hung (Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Art History).