Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

October 20, 2005

Ying-shih Yu to Discuss 16th Century China on Nov. 3

Ying-shih Yu, Senior Distinguished Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center, will discuss "Despotism, Market and Confucianism in the Age of Wang Yang-Ming (1472-1529)," at the Library of Congress at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is sponsored by the Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

According to Yu, despotism, trade and Confucianism were the three major historical forces simultaneously at work in 16th century China. Taking Wang Yang-Ming, the leading Confucian thinker of the Ming dynasty, and his new Confucian project as the main focus, Yu will examine how the interplay of the political, socioeconomic and cultural forces eventually led to some fundamental changes in social structure and in the reorientation of ideas and values in Confucianism.

In his talk, Yu will note the relevance of the Ming historical experience to the developments in China since the 1990s.

Yu has researched and written extensively on every period of Chinese history, from ancient to modern; he is considered one of the world’s authorities on the Tang Dynasty. Yu came to the United States after graduating from New Asia College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and received his doctorate in history from Harvard University in 1962. Yu has taught at Harvard, Yale, the University of Michigan and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. At the time of his retirement in 2001, he was named the Gordon Wu ’58 Professor Emeritus at Princeton University.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize scholarly discussion, distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 05-231
10/20/tober 20, 2005
ISSN 0731-3527

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