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The Beekeeper in Pre-Modern China

When Oct 25, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Rooms 8 & 9
Contact Name
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China Research Seminar given by David Pattinson, Director of East Asian Studies, University of Leeds

Although beekeeping and honey hunting in China was apparently widespread during imperial times, bees did not have the same prominence in Chinese culture as they have had in Europe. The relatively limited scholarship relating to bees in Chinese history, even in China itself, reflects this. Having elsewhere described the history of beekeeping in China up until the nineteenth century, and discussed representations of bees in China (forthcoming), in this talk I will look specifically at how the interactions between humans and bees were described and conceived of in extant texts from across the imperial era, focusing particularly on the image of the beekeeper.

David Pattinson's earlier research was on letter-writing and social networks in late Ming and early Qing China but in recent years he has turned to the history of bees and beekeeping in pre-modern China.

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