Shih-shan Susan Huang, Associate Professor of Art History, will be presenting her paper "Elite Uighurs as Cultural Middlemen of Buddhist Books and Woodcuts in the Mongol Empire" at the international conference, From the Silk to the Book Road(s): Networks of Commerce, Artifacts, and Books Between Central and East Asia. The conference will be held September 21-23, 2018 in Berkeley, California.
Shih-shan Susan Huang is a Chinese art historian specializing in Buddhist and Daoist visual cultures in Middle Period China. Huang received her MA from the National Taiwan University and PhD from Yale University. Her book Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2012; paperback, 2015; Chinese translation, forthcoming in 2018), which investigates the long-neglected visual culture of Daoism, reveals three central modes of Daoist symbolism—aniconic, immaterial, and ephemeral—and shows how Daoist image-making goes beyond the traditional dichotomy of text and image to incorporate writings in image design. Huang is the co-editor of the recent volume, Visual and Material Cultures in Middle Period China (Brill, 2017), which examines key features of Chinese visual and material cultures, ranging from tomb designs, ceramic pillows, to printed illustrations, calligraphic rubbings, and Buddhist and landscape paintings. Her latest articles published in Journal of Daoist Studies, Zhejiang University Journal of Art and Archaeology, and Journal of the Silk Road Studies explore various topics on Daoist seals, Xi Xia Buddhist woodcuts, and painting and printing interaction. She is completing the book-length manuscript Chinese Buddhist Woodcuts and Cultural Transformation, 850 to 1450, whose cross-cultural perspective highlights nomads and non-Chinese peoples as agents of cultural transformation. Its multi-disciplinary approach goes beyond art history and responds to current discourses on print culture, materiality of books, transnational Buddhism, and global history. Huang’s research received generous support from the Scholar Grant of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (CCFK) and the American Council of Learned Societies(ACLS) Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars.
The Buddhist Studies Forum at the University of British Columbia, with the assistance of the Center for Buddhist Studies, present From the Silk to the Book Road(s): Networks of Commerce, Artifacts, and Books Between Central and East Asia which explores the trans-cultural, multi-ethnic, and cross-regional networks of the exchange of commerce, texts, books, rituals, and objects along the Silk Road(s) that connected China to points south and west, and back again across the East and South China Seas with Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia.