• Society for Song, Yuan, and Conquest Dynasty Studies

    Welcome to the Society for Song, Yuan, and Conquest Dynasty Studies (SSYCDS) website. The Society is an international, scholarly, non-political, and nonprofit professional association of all persons interested in the study of Chinese, Jurchen, Khitan, Tangut, and Mongol history. Incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 2011, the SSYCDS has been granted federal 501(c)3 nonprofit status.

    Our Mission

    The mission of the Society for Song, Yuan, and Conquest Dynasty Studies is to create a dynamic resource for university professors, graduate students, and independent scholars interested in the cultures of China from the tenth century and the founding of the Song and Liao dynasties to the end of the Yuan dynasty in the fourteenth century.


    New Website!

    Welcome to our new website! The Society of Song, Yuan, and Conquest Dynasty Studies would like to express our deep appreciation for the dedication of Professor Li-Ying Bao, Mr. Joe Grosskruetz, and Ms. Foong Min Wong at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in redesigning our site during the summer and fall of 2018. Their tireless efforts were supported by a grant from UW-EC, for which we are also grateful. Reiko Shinno, SSYCDS Secretary, worked closely with the design team throughout and is happy to receive suggestions for improvements. Images of artworks on the site are credited at the bottom of each page, and include links to source information where available.

    The Society’s Meeting at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS)

    Time and Date: 1:15-2:45 pm, Saturday, March 23, 2019
    Place: Governor’s Square, Sheraton, Denver, CO
    Please stop by for a light lunch and good conversation with friends of the Middle Period.

    AAS 2019 Accepts Two SSYCDS-Sponsored Panels

    We are happy to announce that both of our sponsored panels were accepted for the AAS annual conference in Denver. Congratulations to organizers and panelists. Dates and times appear below—please mark them on your calendars. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

    Register ▹

    Panel 67: The Impact of Visual and Material Cultural Networks in the Mongol Empire and Beyond

    Time and Date: Friday, March 22, 2019, 9:00 am – 10:45 am
    Place: Tower Court B, Tower Bldg.
    Panelists (in alphabetical order): Yong CHO (PhD Candidate, Yale; organizer), Susan HUANG (Associate Professor, Rice, chair), Eiren SHEA (Assistant Professor, Grinnell), Yusen YU (PhD Candidate, Heidelberg)

    Panel Abstract

    Growing interest in global history has made the Mongol Empire a particularly dynamic subject for art historical research. This panel gathers four art historians focusing on less-studied materials, such as Buddhist woodcuts and books, stone carvings, paper, and textiles to chart out previously unnoticed links of contacts across Eurasia. The panel conceptualizes the cultural space of the Mongol Empire as transcending the borders of political entities such as Yuan China and Ilkhanate Persia. Each study shows how trade and travel facilitated the movement of objects and ideas within this space, creating an expansive network that sometimes went beyond even the geographical bounds of the Mongol Empire, from North and Central Asia to East and Southeast Asia, the Himalayan Plateau, Persia and Western Europe.

    Shih-shan Susan Huang argues that elite Uighurs served as sponsors and distributors of Buddhist books and woodcuts over a wide network extending from Beijing and Quanzhou and into Central Asia. Yong Cho discusses the Yuan stone carvings at Juyongguan and proposes possible connections with Southeast Asian sculptural traditions. Yusen Yu analyzes the production and circulation of paper in China, Korea, Baghdad and Samarqand and the role it played in the development of painting and writing practices. Eiren Shea investigates the cultural impact of Mongol luxury textiles on European elite and merchant class identity during the Italian Renaissance. Collectively, the four papers highlight the impact of these trans-regional networks on visual and material culture across Eurasia in the 13th and 14th centuries and beyond.

    Paper Abstracts

    Panel 228: The Impact of Trade on Daily Life in East Asia, 960-1600

    Time and Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019, 11:15 am-1:00 pm
    Place: Director's Row H, Plaza Bldg.
    Panelists (in alphabetical order): Valerie HANSEN (Professor, Yale), Yiwen LI (Assistant Professor, City University of Hong Kong; organizer), Peter SHAPINSKY (Associate Professor, U. Illinois, Springfield), Richard VON GLAHN (Professor, UCLA; discussant), Ezra VOGEL (Professor, Harvard; chair)

    Panel Abstract

    The last decade of research has completely up-ended our understanding of trade between China and Japan. Officially the two countries had suspended their formal relations after the last Japanese embassy in 838. But, in reality, the economies of the two countries became increasingly intertwined, so much so that by the late 1100s the Japanese were using coins minted in China as their primary currency. How did living in an interconnected world affect daily life?

    In both China and Japan, people at all social levels consumed large quantities of aromatics from the Islamic world and Southeast Asia (Valerie Hansen). Chinese consumers had a love-hate relationship with Japanese folding fans (Yiwen Li). Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. Japanese pirates developed practices of adopting the dress of other lands and their actions inspired rebellious denizens of other lands to dress as Japanese pirates (Peter D. Shapinsky).

    The exposure to objects and practices from other cultures provided many opportunities: people enjoyed consuming foreign luxuries, delivered their political agendas via commenting on imported objects, and learned from the foreigners they came across. By investigating miscellaneous notes, poems, literature works, paintings, and transmitted and excavated objects, this panel examines how the objects and people that crossed borders played a role in people's daily lives in pre-modern East Asia and shaped their understandings of each other.

    Paper Abstracts