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Alison Hardie -- Chinese Gardens: History, Design and Meanings

  • Appleton Tower, 2.14, University of Edinburgh (map)

Wednesday, February 15, 17:00-19:00
Appleton Tower, 2.14, University of Edinburgh

Abstract: This illustrated talk will cover the historical development of Chinese gardens, relating this to parallel or contrasting developments in European garden history. It will outline the different types of Chinese gardens, including imperial, private and institutional (temple or academy) gardens. It will consider the cosmological ideas and design principles underlying the layout and features of Chinese gardens. Finally it will discuss the social significations and uses of Chinese gardens, particularly in the late imperial period.

Alison Hardie retired in 2015 as a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds, UK, and has recently been a visiting lecturer in the Chinese department at the University of Iceland. She holds degrees in Classics from the University of Oxford and in Chinese from the University of Edinburgh, and a doctorate in Art History from the University of Sussex. Her main research interest is in the social and cultural history of early modern China. She is the translator of Ji Cheng’s 17th-century garden manual, The Craft of Gardens (1988, repr. 2012), revised the 3rd edition of Maggie Keswick’s The Chinese Garden: History, Art and Architecture (2003), and has written extensively on Chinese garden history. She is currently completing a monograph on the late-Ming poet, playwright and politician Ruan Dacheng (1587-1646), the original publisher of The Craft of Gardens, and is finalising the editorial work on a major anthology of Chinese texts on gardens in English translation to be published by Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in the USA.

The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception.

We look forward to seeing you there!