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Conquest Women of the Liao and Jin Dynasties

Linda Cooke Johnson- Professor of History,Michigan State University

PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE AND LOCATION FOR THIS TALK

The official Liao history states, "[T]he Liao began from horseback and lived on horseback. Both empresses and imperial concubines were good at shooting, hunting, and military affairs. . . . This custom is unprecedented." These women, surprisingly, were also praised for their Confucian educations, literary creations, poetry, wise counsel, and Buddhist piety, as well as valor. Drawing on historical, literary, archaeological, and artistic resources, this presentation will survey the lives of Kitan, Jurchen, and Han Chinese women living under the Liao and Jin dynasties. Outstanding individuals include Empress Yingtian, wife of the Liao founder, who cut off her right hand rather than follow the emperor in death, Empress Chengtian, who ran the state for 30 years during her son's reign, led Liao armies to victory, and enjoyed a long-term relationship with her prime minister, and Yang Miaozhen, a bandit leader who led troops against Song and Mongol armies.

Monday, May 24, 2010 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies