Upcoming TCSRS Events

All events are free and open to the public

Spring term 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 5 pm
Visual bilingualism and the funerary space:
Keys to understanding the spatial semiotics of Central Asian tombs in 6th century China

Pénélope Riboud, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU
180 Doe Memorial Library
UC Berkeley

Riboud Illustration

The dominant religion of pre-Islamic Sogdiana was a local form of Zoroastrianism, and this has led most scholars to assume a correlation with the religious beliefs and practices within the Sogdian community settled in China. And indeed, many aspects of these tombs show that Central Asian funerary practices were maintained. However, some aspects of “Sino-Sogdian” tombs, such as the treatment of the corpses, the spatial organization of the tomb and the visual repertoire remain puzzling within the frame of any specific religious belief. These “discordances” have often been interpreted as compromises, and mere consequences of the need to adapt to a complex cultural environment. This talk will investigate these hidden funerary riddles, in order to understand what they tell us about the tomb’s owner, his beliefs and moreover, what were the deliberate strategies engaged to build a bilingual iconographic program that fits in both Chinese and Sogdian narratives of the after world.

Pénélope Riboud, an Assistant Professor of Chinese History and Art History at Inalco in Paris, is a historian and an art historian who focuses on the society and visual culture of Medieval China. She was trained in France as a historian and an archaeologist at Université Paris 1- Panthéon Sorbonne, then as a sinologist at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Inalco-Langues’O) in Paris where she received her PhD in 2008. She is currently spending a year as Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.

Friday–Saturday, May 3–4, 2019
Mithra, Buddha, and Mani Walk into a Desert...
Indo-Iranian and Sino-Iranian Encounters in Central Asia

All panels held at 180 Doe Library (*except where indicated)
UC Berkeley


Friday May 3, 10am–12:00pm
Introductory Remarks
Sanjyot Mehendale, UC Berkeley

Changing Vocabulary of Manichaean Visual Syntax in Uyghur East Central Asia
Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, Northern Arizona University

Manichaean Official Documents in their Central Asian Context
Adam Benkato, UC Berkeley

Manichaean Evidence for Kushan Buddhism
Jason BeDuhn, Northern Arizona University

Friday, May 3, 1:30–3:30 pm
Buddhist Sogdian Interconfessional Space: Remarks from Art and Textual Evidence
Barakatullo Ashurov, Harvard University

Indo-Iranian, Perso-Buddhist, and Sino-Iranian Entanglements: Imaging Religion and Royal Power at the End of Antiquity
Matthew Canepa, UC Irvine

Itinerant Kingship, Buddhist Monasteries, and the Making of a Kushan Royal Cult
Sanjyot Mehendale, UC Berkeley

*Friday, May 3, 5:15–7:00 pm
Morrison Room, Doe Library

Heroes Take Their Stands: Milestones on the Silk Road
Ahmad Sadri, Lake Forest College

Sug-e Siavosh (Mourning for Siavosh)
Soroor Ghanimati, UC Berkeley

Electra, a Sonic Heroine
Duncan MacRae, UC Berkeley

Saturday, May 4, 10:00–12 noon
Wind and Fire: Some Shared Motifs in Indo-Iranian and Sino-Iranian Settings
Jenny Rose, Claremont Graduate University

Greek Helios or Indian Surya?: Evolution of the Sun God’s Iconography from India to Bamiyan and Dunhuang
Osmund Bopearachchi, UC Berkeley

Two Ascetics between Gandhara and Dunhuang and Back: Transformations in the Depiction of the Śyāmaand the DīpaŠĻÉkara Jātakas
Jessie Pons, Ruhr-University Bochum

Saturday, May 4, 1:30–4:00 pm
Recent Fieldwork at the Site of Kuh-e Khwaja, Sistan, Iran
Soroor Ghanimati, UC Berkeley

Khotan and Rawak Vihara on the Southern Silk Road, 3rd to 8th Centuries
Ulf Jäger, University of Leipzig

Non-Buddhist Religious Icons in the Mural Paintings of Early Buddhist Caves in Kucha and Dunhuang
Satomi Hiyama, Kyoto University

Iconography without Texts in Yulin Cave 3
Michelle McCoy, University of Pittsburgh