Public Lectures


What’s Theology Got to Do with It? An Eighteenth-Century Chinese Emperor Debating Religions and Christianity,” Berkeley Lectures in Public Theology, Berkeley Public Theology Program, Berkeley, University of California at Berkeley, March 13, 2019.

“The Pearl River Delta in China: A Unique Natural and Human Ecosystem in History,” ‘Research on Tap’ presentation, Panel “Coastal Cities, People, and Waterways,” Boston University, February 4, 2019.

Sino-Western History and Microhistory,” Institute for Qing History 清史所, Renmin University 人民大学, Beijing (P.R. China) May 31, 2018.

“Sino-Western Relations and the Chinese Rites Controversy in the Eighteenth Century,” in IAJS Colloquium “Calamity from Within? Jesuits, Papal Legates, and Chinese Imperial Envoys in the Eighteenth Century,” John J. Burns Library, Boston College, April 12, 2018.

“China and the West, 1580-1919,” Teachers’ Workshop “China: Enduring Legacies & Radical Transformations,” Primary Source, Hebrew College, Newton, MA, November 2, 2017.

“Matteo Ricci’s The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven [Tianzhu shiyi 天主實義]: A New Edition” in Panel “Four Centuries of the Jesuits in China,” Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies & Asian Studies Program, Boston College, November 29, 2016.

The Habit that Hides the Monk: Missionary Fashion Strategies in Early Modern China,” “Matteo Ricci Speakers Series: the Jesuits, Christianity, China, and the Intercultural Experience,” St. Louis University (St. Louis, Missouri), Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Departments of History and Theological Studies, October 3, 2016.

“Reading Chinese Sources: Archival and Local Records”; “Western Sources: Manuscripts, Paleographic Challenges and Published Collections”; “Micro-history and Material Culture: Methodological Approaches to Sino-Western Relations,” lectures delivered as co-organizer of the Fourth International Summer Program on Chinese Religions ‘中国宗教’系列暑期研修班第四期 The International Center for Studies of Chinese Civilization (ICSCC), Fudan University 复旦大学中华文明国际研究中心, Shanghai (China), August 14-22, 2016.

“Global Courts of Early Modern India and China: Jesuit Accounts of Imperial Life.” A conversation with Eugenio Menegon (BU) and Jorge Flores (EUI, Florence), Boston College, Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. April 13, 2016.

“The Man and His Image: Art & Propaganda at the Court of the Qianlong Emperor of China (reign 1735-1799), ” Lecture for the Friends of IAS-Princeton, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, October 23, 2015; & Asian Studies Program, Boston College, March 22, 2016.

“A Micro-Historical Approach to Global China: The Daily Life of Europeans in Beijing in the Long 18th Century,” series Global China: New Approaches, jointly organized by the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge, and funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, UK, June 11, 2015. [Watch a video of this lecture]

“Matteo Ricci and Late Ming China,” guest lecturer, Core Curriculum Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University, February 5, 2015.

“Robbe d’Europa. Ovvero, come mandare un pacco dall’Italia a Pechino nel Settecento. Connessioni marittime globali, e reti religiose e commerciali.” Dipartimento Asia Africa e Mediterraneo, Università “L’Orientale,” Napoli, November 25, 2014.

“Microhistory: An Italian Historiographical Tradition and Chinese-Western History,” lecture at workshop “Europe and East Asia: cultural and linguistic contacts,”  Università Sapienza di Roma – Dipartimento Istituto di Studi Orientali (ISO), Dottorato di Ricerca in Civiltà dell’Asia e dell’Africa – Curriculum Asia Orientale, terzo ciclo di lezioni specialistiche, July 17, 2014.

“Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars: Local Religion in China, 1600-2000,” 2013-14 Gaylord Endowed Lecture in Asian Pacific Area Studies, Program in Asian Studies and History Department, Colorado College, September 9, 2013.

“La Cina e il mondo: paradigmi interpretativi nella storia dei rapporti culturali tra Cina ed Europa (1500-1800) [China and the world: interpretive paradigms in the history of Sino-Western cultural relations, (1500-1800)],” Seminar on World History, Department of Historical, Cultural, and Religious Studies, University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Rome (Italy), March 16, 2012.

“Cortigiani tra due mondi: gli Europei alla Corte di Pechino nel Settecento [Courtiers between two worlds: the Europeans at the Court of Beijing in the 18th Century],” Department of Asian and North African Studies, University of Venice “Ca’ Foscari,” Venice (Italy), February 2, 2012; Workshop “Portuguese Empire in Asia,” Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence (Italy), March 9, 2012; IV Ciclo de Conferencias “Relaciones España-Asia Oriental,” Department of Art History, University of Seville (Spain), March 13, 2012; Department of Oriental Studies, University of Rome “La Sapienza,” May 2, 2012; Department of Modern Languages and Historical Studies, Università della Tuscia, Viterbo (Italy), May 10, 2012.

“Ancestors, Virgins and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China,” Department of History, University of Macau, Macau, October 28, 2011; Doctoral Seminar, Institute of Qing History, Renmin University, Beijing, (P.R. China), November 1, 2011.

Ubi Dux, Ibi Curia. Kangxi’s Imperial Hunts and the Jesuits as Courtiers.” The Templeton “Science and Religion in East Asia” Project – 12th Bi-Weekly Seminar, Science and Culture Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea, October 13, 2011.

“Zuxian, zhennü, xiushi: Ming-Qing shiqi zuo wei difang zongjiao de jidujiao 祖先、贞女、修士:明清时期作为地方宗教的基督教” (Ancestors, Virgins and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Ming-Qing China), Institute of History 历史研究所, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences 中国社会科学院, Beijing, October 11, 2011.

“Shooting for the Stars: Jesuit Scientists and Artists in Imperial Beijing (1600-1800),Beijing International Society (event held at the Embassy of Turkey), Beijing, September 15, 2011.

“What is Asia? Historical perspectives.” Pardee House Seminar with Profs. David Eckel (BU Religion), Prof. Robert Hefner (BU Anthropology) and  Prof. Adil Najam (Director, Pardee Center), The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University, February 14, 2011.

“The Man and His Image: Qianlong’s Imperial Propaganda and Artistic Pursuits.” BU Alumni Event for Exhibition “The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City,” Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (Mass.), November 19, 2010  &  Milwakee Art Museum, June 30, 2011.

“Late Ming Sino-Christian Books and Their Editorial History between Europe and China,” Boston University Editorial Institute, January 26, 2010.

“Jesuit Emblematica in Late Ming China and the Role of Andrzej Rudomina,” International Workshop “Venturing in Magnum Cathay: 17th-century Polish Jesuits in China,” Ignatianum, Kraków (Poland), September 28, 2009.

“China’s May Fourth Movement in History,” Summer Institute for K-12 Teachers of World History, Primary Source, Watertown, July 6, 2009.

“Controversies over Chinese Rituals: A Seventeenth Century Perspective from China to Rome,” Seminar “L’Oriente a Roma nel Seicento,” Sinology Program, Faculty of Letters and Philosophy, University “La Sapienza,” Rome (Italy), May 25, 2009.

“The European Cabinet of Wonders of the Ming Emperors,” in conjunction with exhibition “Power and Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty,” Boston University Bay Area Alumni Club, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, August 14, 2008.

“Jesuit-Dominican Controversies over Chinese Rituals: European and Chinese Textual Strategies”. Post-Graduate Seminar in the History of Chinese Science, coordinated by Prof. Benjamin Elman (Princeton University). Fudan University (Shanghai, P.R. China), Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, July 10, 2008.

“Clearing the Heart, Seizing Time and Opportunity: European Allegorical Prints and Literati’s Reception in Late Ming China,” Macau Ricci Institute (Macau, P.R. China), MRI Forum, June 11, 2008.

“A Moving Target: European Students, Confucian Schoolmasters, and Jesuit Emblematica in 17th-century China.” National Tsinghua University (Xinzhu, Taiwan R.O.C.). Institute of History, June 4, 2008.

“The Historian’s Craft: New Methodological Approaches to the Study of Chinese-Western Relations.” National Taiwan University (Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C.) Department of History, June 6, 2008.

“Global Religion or Local Religion? The Case of Chinese Catholicism in Historical Perspective,” Undergraduate Student Conference “Cosmopolitan Asia: Diversity and Disparity,” Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR), Cambridge, Mass., April 3-6 2008. Panel “Transformation of Religion in China:  Cosmopolitan and Native Dimensions from Past to Present.”

Introduction to Laurence Bergreen’s book Marco Polo (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), Cambridge, First Parish Church, organized by Cambridge Forum and National Public Radio, October 24. 2007.

 “Jesuit Emblematica in China: European Allegorical Images in the Late Ming Period,” Boston College, Asian Studies Seminar Series, History Department, September 17, 2007.

 “Ancestors, Virgins and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China,” Author’s Workshop, Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University,  February 24, 2007. Invited commentators: Prof. Henrietta Harrison (Harvard University), Prof. Michael Szonyi (Harvard University), Prof. John Thornton (Boston University), Prof. Robert Weller (Boston University), Prof. Rudolf Wagner (University of Heidelberg).

 “Science and Religion in the Early Modern Jesuit Mission to China,”  East-West Lecture, East-West Institute of International Studies, Gordon College, Wenham (Mass.), October 25, 2006.

 “The ‘Conversion of Missionaries’: Their Role in the Making of Modern China and in Changing US Attitudes toward China,” Primary Source, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (Mass.), July 7, 2006.

“Religion in China: Historical Perspectives” in the series “A Potpourri of History,” Evergreen Program, Boston University, June 20, 2006.

 “Sin and Confession in Late Imperial Chinese Catholicism,” Boston University East Asia Lunch Series, September 30, 2005.