The center develops and coordinates programs in East Asian art and visual culture supporting individual scholarship, collecting and presenting data for teaching and research, organizing conferences, and creating other opportunities for scholarly and student exchange. In this way we provide an institutional basis to improve educational programs and encourage further international and interdisciplinary collaborative work inside and outside the university. The Art History Department offers courses in Chinese and Japanese art and visual culture from traditional to contemporary periods for undergraduate and graduate students. The center supplements their course work by providing opportunities for interaction with visiting scholars, faculty and students in our symposia and other informal meetings. It supports travel to museums for graduate students and encourages them to pursue their research in new areas and with innovative methodologies.
The center welcomes visiting scholars to conduct research at the University of Chicago to make use of the excellent library facilities and to share ideas and information with our academic community. In addition, we frequently invite scholars from other institutions to workshops, symposia, and other events. The Center has also had a postdoctoral fellowship that offers scholars in the early stage of their professional careers the opportunity to conduct research in a chosen field.
Annual conferences and symposia bring scholars from various disciplines, regional areas of research, institutions, and countries together at the University of Chicago. Recent symposia have addressed the topics of Art and Commerce, Modernity and Cultural Interactions, Printing and Photography, and Antiquarianism and is resulting in the publication of a series of conference volumes. As researchers and educators in the humanities and social sciences increasingly recognize the importance of using visual images, the Center is developing a variety of ways to research, present and make available resources in East Asian art:
- The East Asian Art Reading Room. In collaboration with the Regenstein Library has built a substantial collection of art books, photographs, and digital resources for more than a decade to better serve students and faculty.
- A digital database of East Asian scrolling paintings which includes important works of art in major museums that are largely inaccessible to the students and the general public.
- A collaborative research project on sixth century culture of the Northern Qi dynasty and the cave temples of Xiangtangshan including a technical component for 3D digital scanning of sculptures, which were taken away from the cave sites and are now in museum collections, and a digital reconstruction of the caves.