New Voices in Ming Studies: Nine Research Presentations

All 2023 Association for Asian Studies Conference attendees are invited to the New Voices in Ming Studies: Nine Research Presentations session, to be held during the Society for Ming Studies’ Annual Meeting on Friday, March 17, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Nine graduate students will give ten-minute research presentations that highlight their primary arguments, key sources, and the ways in which their research connects to the Ming. An initiative of the Society for Ming Studies, the session aims to encourage Ming research and engagement at the junior scholar level and to bring to the fore questions, research materials, and methodologies that productively challenge and enlarge the study of Ming China. The Geiss Hsu Foundation funded the students’ travel to the conference through an award to the Society for Ming Studies.

GHF-Funded Book Wins AAS Prize

The Geiss Hsu Foundation is delighted to share that Aurelia Campbell has been awarded the Bei Shan Tang Monograph Prize in Chinese Art History for her monograph What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming. The prize will be awarded at the Association for Asian Studies Conference 2023 Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. ET at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. In 2018, GHF awarded a subvention to the University of Washington Press in support of the book’s publication.

Apply Now for Spring Funding!

GHF is now accepting applications through March 1, 2023.

Project awards fund activities that confirm GHF’s mission, such as exhibitions, performances, K-12 outreach, conferences, and more. 

Subvention awards support not-for-profit presses in publishing print and open-access books that align with the Foundation’s mission and goals.

Image: A GHF project award supported the conference “How Is China Governed? From Ming Statecraft to Xi’s New Era,” which took place at the University of British Columbia from September 9-12, 2022.

GHF at the AAS Annual Conference

Project awards from the Geiss Hsu Foundation to the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and the Society for Ming Studies will fund travel to the AAS Annual Conference, which takes place in Boston, MA from March 16-19, 2023.

  • AAS offered GHF-funded grants for scholars of the Ming dynasty and Ming-adjacent peoples to attend virtually or in person.
  • With support from GHF, graduate students will present their research during the Society for Ming Studies’ Annual Meeting to encourage Ming research and engagement at the junior scholar level.

Image: An award from GHF allowed graduate students to present their work at the Society for Ming Studies’ Annual Meeting at the 2022 AAS Conference. GHF will support another cohort in March 2023.

Coming Soon! Exhibition at the China Institute

A project award from GHF helped make possible Flowers on a River: The Art of Chinese Flower and Bird Painting, 1368 – 1911, Masterworks from Tianjin Museum and Changzhou Museum, which opens this spring at the China Institute Gallery in New York City.

Image: Zhu Da (1626–1705), Flowers on a River. Qing dynasty. Hand scroll; ink on paper, image size: 18 1/2  × 508 7/8 in. (47 × 1292.5 cm). Collection of the Tianjin Museum

Fall Awards

The Board of Directors of the Geiss Hsu Foundation is delighted to announce awards made during the fall 2022 application cycle. These awards support projects and publications that advance scholarship and interpretation of the Ming dynasty and adjacent time periods and peoples.


Book Prizes

Society for Ming Studies: Two Book Prizes in Ming Studies

To increase the visibility of pathbreaking work on Ming China within the broader field of Asian Studies and related disciplines, the Society for Ming Studies will develop and promote a prize for an “outstanding contribution” to the study of Ming China and a prize for a best first book on the Ming. Both prizes will be awarded at the annual meeting. 


University of Washington Press: Two More UW Press-Geiss Hsu Foundation Open Access Books

The University of Washington Press will add two titles to the collection of Geiss Foundation Open Access BooksThe Interweaving of Rituals by Nicolas Standaert (2008) and Many Faces of Mulian (2017) by Rostislav Berezkin. These works illuminate the development over time of important social, cultural, religious, and literary trends that took root in the Ming.

Travel Support

Association for Asian Studies: Geiss-Hsu Annual Conference Travel Grant

The Association for Asian Studies will offer grants of up to $2,000 for scholars of the Ming dynasty and Ming-adjacent peoples to attend, either virtually or in person, the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference in Boston. Preference will be given to contingent and part-time faculty, students, and independent scholars.

Society for Ming Studies: New Voices in Ming Studies: Presentations of New Research on Ming China

Nine graduate students will give ten-minute presentations on their research at the Society for Ming Studies’ Annual Meeting. The initiative aims to encourage Ming research and engagement at the junior scholar level, and bring to the fore questions, research materials, and methodologies that productively challenge and enlarge the study of Ming China.


Michigan State University: Nonproducing Skills: Failure, Maintenance, Recycling, and Transport in Early Modern East Asia

This workshop examines “nonproducing” skills that have been overlooked in the literature of craftsmanship and artisanal knowledge. The organizers aim to bring the study of skills into conversation with emerging concepts, to contextualize Ming material culture and technology in the transnational and connected history of East Asia and beyond, and to publish select papers.


Academia Sinica and Mount Holyoke CollegeA Conference on Border-Crossing in the Ming

Graduate students and early-career scholars will attend an in-person, workshop-style conference to foster discussion about border-crossing over the longue durée history of late imperial China. Scholars across academic ranks in Asia and North America will circulate their papers in advance for in-depth discussion, and research will be shared as an open-source publication.

University of Georgia (with Emory University and Georgia Southern University): Zhonghe Dragon Conference (SEUSS-FLIC)

This conference of the Southeast US Scholars and Friends of Late Imperial China will serve as an open space in which Ming and late imperial scholars, students, researchers, and friends can share work with engaged colleagues in a welcoming and supportive environment. Wai-yee Li, 1879 Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University, will give a keynote address.


Asia Center Publications Program, Harvard University: The Cornucopian Stage: Performing Commerce in Early Modern China by Ariel Fox

The Cornucopian Stage: Performing Commerce in Early Modern China explores the ways in which late imperial Chinese drama articulated and enacted an early modern economic imaginary. This book, which will be the first Western-language monograph on the Suzhou circle, draws on these rich texts to expand our understanding of what a late imperial play was and what a late imperial play could do.  

Columbia University Press: Towers in the Void: Li Yu and Early Chinese Media by S.E. Kile

Towers in the Void analyzes the contents, format, and circulation of books in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties and explores how they functioned to connect readers to one another and to the material world. Kile considers writing and materiality together, thereby elucidating issues as varied as spatial ideology, performance practices, gender roles, and the genre of short vernacular fiction. 

Columbia University Press: The Matter of Inscription in Early Modern China by Thomas Kelly

This book’s central claim is that the act of inscribing an object with lines of prose and verse became, in the late Ming and early to mid-Qing dynasties, a central means through which writers grappled with the material contingencies and technical preconditions of writing in general, a space where they came to reflect upon their investments in, and dependencies on, the permanence of the written word. 

Columbia University Press: The Precious Summary: A History of the Mongols from Chinggis Khan to the Qing Dynasty by Sagang Sechen, translated by Johan Elverskog

What became of the Mongols after the glories of the empire? The Precious Summary, written by Sagan Sechen in 1662, shortly after the Mongols’ submission to the Manchu Qing dynasty (1644-1912), offers an unparalleled historical perspective on what happened in China and Inner Asia from the late fourteenth century to the founding of the Qing dynasty in the early seventeenth century.

University of Hawai’i Press: Remapping the World in East Asia: Toward a Global History of “Ricci Map,” edited by Mario Cams and Elke Papelitzky

Remapping the World in East Asia aims to rewrite the narrative surrounding the “Ricci Map,” which assumes that a Jesuit missionary taught the Chinese what the world looked. The volume presents a thoughtful revision, contextualizing and displacing the Jesuit missionary as the central historical actor and questioning assumptions of the superiority of European science. 

Call for Applications: Association for Asian Studies Conference Travel and Participation Grant

GHF awarded funding to the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) to support participant travel to the 2023 Annual Conference in Boston, MA. 

The Geiss Hsu Annual Conference Travel Grant will award up to $2,000 each in travel support to scholars who engage in research related to the Ming. Applicants do not need to be AAS members or part of an organized session. Preference will be given to contingent or part-time faculty, students, and independent scholars. 

Visit the AAS website for more information and application requirements. Applications are due to AAS Executive Director Hilary Finchum-Sung ( by December 10, 2022.

Site-Image-Object: Rethinking Place in Chinese Visual and Material Culture

Conference supported in part by the Geiss Hsu Foundation, University of British Columbia, December 7-9, 2022

“Places are constructed and experienced as material ecological artefacts and intricate networks of social relations. They are the focus of the imaginary, of beliefs, longings, and desires (….). They are an intense focus of discursive activity, filled with symbolic and representational meanings, and they are a distinctive product of institutionalized social and political-economic power.” (David Harvey, Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference)

The conference Site-Image-Object: Rethinking Place in Chinese Visual and Material Culture examines how place is shaped by artistic production, and how, at the same time, visual and material expressions shape place and its perception. “Place” here is not an existing given, to which art reacts or that it depicts; rather, we conceive of the interaction between place, its representations, its products, and its architectural framing as a continuously evolving process.

Individual papers address visual representations of place in painting, print, maps, and photography; local products and architectural styles that carry imaginations about their place of origin as they circulate; and sites of religious and cultural significance as agents in artistic production. Considering questions of temporality, narrative, biography, sensory knowledge, remembrance, revival, geographical imagination, networks and circulation, the aim of the conference is to rethink approaches to Chinese landscapes, cityscapes, and religious topography. 

The conference brings together early- and mid-career scholars of Chinese art and culture, whose recent and ongoing work is contributing to a methodological shift in the field as they engage with place. By embracing a long temporal span from the Middle Period to the twenty-first century, the conference facilitates scholarly exchange and collaboration to explore the continuities and discontinuities in Chinese cultural production centred on place as a methodological framework. A graduate student panel provides a platform for emerging voices in the field and offers opportunity for professional development and mentorship.

This in-person conference is free and open to the public but registration is required. Please register here by November 30, 2022.