Past Event

Treason by the Margins of the Book: Censorship, Philology, History and Memory in 18th Century China

January 31, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
School of International and Public Affairs, 420 West 118th Street, Room 918, New York, NY 10027

Speaker: Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, Professor, Department of History, New York University

Moderator: Eugenia Lean, Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures; Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Columbia University

This talk brings from the archives a hitherto unknown case of a minor scholar from Northern China who punished brutally for writing 16 characters about “barbarians” that he wrote on the margins of a forgotten 3rd century book. The talk traces the history of case all the way back to the 3rd century, and analyses it by looking at the scholarly and familial lineages to which it belonged. Looking at the ethnographical dimensions of the case we then turn to discuss what it means for New Qing History and particularly Qing ideology during the Qianlong period.

This event is sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.


  • To attend this event in-person, please register HERE. Please note that non-CUID holders need to show proof of their primary series and one booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • To register to attend this event online, please register HERE.

Contact Information

Julie Kwan