Symposium: Symposium on Displacement and Convergence in the Age of Multipolarity (550s–610s)

Date of event:   19/05/2021 − 21/05/2021

Title: Symposium on Displacement and Convergence in the Age of Multipolarity (550s–610s) 多極時代中的離散與交匯學術研討會
Series: Harvard-Yale Symposium Series on Middle Period China (first through tenth century CE)
Date: 19-21 May 2021
Organized by: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

This symposium will be a multi-disciplinary examination of the displacement and diasporic communities during the period between 550s and 610s, from the fall of the Liang through the end of the Sui. While scholarship in the past has tended to concentrate on only one side of the Northern and Southern Dynasties histories and literatures, we hope to expand our view from the simple binary model of north and south to include the multiple sites of power and to emphasize the multi-polarity of this age from a decentered perspective. How did the master narratives of different court centers compete with one another? How did individual, clan, and state negotiate with the violent changes of the times and with one another at this particular historical juncture? How did the machinery of the state deal with a newly unified empire after nearly three hundred years of division? What can we gain as medievalists if we examine the limitations of our tools and methodologies imprinted with the modern disciplinary divide and its theoretical underpinnings? These are some of the questions we will address.


Organizers: Xiaofei Tian ( and Lucas R. Bender (
Coordinator: Dominic Toscano (

To register for the symposium, please follow the link here. For full programme and more information about the symposium, please visit the website here.