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Mount Saint Mary’s University hosts a pair of lectures this January as part of its Women in China series

Contact:Phillip Jordan

Los Angeles / Jan. 7, 2013 — On Jan. 10 and 31, Mount Saint Mary’s University will host a pair of lectures in its ongoing, six-part series of free talks exploring the evolution of gender roles from ancient China through the 21st century.

The Jan. 10 lecture, "Empresses, Art and Agency," will be delivered by Hui-shu Lee, associate professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Lee's presentation will compare historical depictions of women in Chinese art with portrayals of women by modern Chinese visual artists.

On Jan. 31, Shu-mei Shih, a UCLA professor of comparative literature, Asian languages and cultures, and Asian-American studies will speak about "Women in 20th Century Chinese Literature." Shih will focus on these women of literature in the context of major historical upheavals such as the Communist Revolution.

A question-and-answer period will follow each lecture, which take place from 6-7 p.m. inside Mount St. Mary's historic Doheny Mansion on the College's downtown campus. Both talks are free and open to the public.

"Empresses, Art and Agency" and "Women in 20th Century Chinese Literature" are two of six related lectures being presented through February at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Each lecture features top scholars in Chinese history, poetry, art, literature and cinema. The free events are funded by a two-year $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The speaker series is part of the College's project, "Women in China: Internationalizing the Humanities and Professional Studies Curricula," which launched in July to integrate international cultures into undergraduate and graduate coursework. The project ties humanities courses into the Mount's professional schools of nursing, physical therapy, education and business.

All lectures will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Doheny Mansion, Mount Saint Mary’s University, 10 Chester Pl., Los Angeles 90007.

The remaining lecture schedule follows:

Jan. 10, 2013 – "Empresses, Art and Agency," by Hui-shu Lee, associate professor of Art History, UCLA. This lecture will feature a comparison of historical depictions of women in Chinese art with those of women by modern and contemporary Chinese visual artists.

Jan. 31, 2013 – "Women in 20th Century Chinese Literature," by Shu-mei Shih, professor, Comparative Literature/Asian Languages and Cultures/Asian American Studies, UCLA. The lecture will focus on the representation of women in 20th century Chinese literature in the context of major historical upheavals throughout history, including the Republican revolution, the Communist Revolution, the Cultural Revolution and Post-Socialism.

Feb. 21, 2013 – "What Can Chinese Film Tell Us About Modern Chinese History?" By Zhiwei Xiao, Associate Professor of History, California State University, San Marcos. This lecture will examine how some of the most important issues in 20th century China – such as nationalism, tensions between tradition and modernity, and gender equality – are addressed in popular films.

Please note: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About Mount Saint Mary’s University

Founded in 1925, Mount Saint Mary’s University is a Catholic, liberal arts college offering undergraduate education for women, as well as innovative programs for professional men and women on two historic campuses in Los Angeles. The mission of Mount St. Mary's is to provide a superior education enhanced by an emphasis on building leadership skills and fostering a spirit to serve others. For more information, go to or call 310.954.4000.

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