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Age of Empire and the Afterlife

November 30, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

A Professional Development Program for K-12 Educators

Amid power consolidation, an empire was emerging, as well as philosophical thoughts and religious belief that built the foundation for the concept of this world and for afterlife in Chinese culture. How profound was this process and its lasting influence in the history of China and the world?

The State of Qin, one of the fiefdoms created during the Eastern Zhou, was situated in the strategic Wei Valley in the Northwest region. Rulers of Qin systematically consolidated power by expanding into surrounding territories which were then divided into prefectures and commanderies ruled by officials appointed by the central government. Eventually, the boy king, Ying Zheng, conquered the rest of China establishing an empire and became Qin Shihuangdi “First Sovereign Ruler of Qin.” The scale and concept of the extraordinary burial complex constructed by the Emperor Shihuangdi, underscores the pivotal role of the richly furnished tombs with attendant rituals as bridges between life and death. After Shihuangdi’s death, the harshness of Qin laws ignited a rebellion which brought down this short powerful dynasty. Building on the centralized power of the Qin emperor and the court, the following Han Dynasty, lasting almost 400 years, and consolidated a large empire, combining some of the accomplishments of the Qin and the foundations of the past traditions. Although Han Emperors had advisors representing Confucian and Daoist values, Confucianism’s emphasis on hierarchy and social order emerged dominant. The many large Han underground, multi-chambered tombs built from stone slabs, clay, bricks or plastered walls for emperors and the aristocracy created microcosms of the afterlife of the dead, modeled after the life of the living.

Educators and CI Members: $10 / Session
General Public: $15 / Session
Free for NYS public school teachers and China Institute educational partners upon application

Limited full scholarship is available for NYS public school teachers to attend the entire series.

Apply for Scholarship

Register Here

New York University Project Developing Chinese Language Teachers (DCLT)
NYS Statewide Language Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN) at NYU
Contact: Yongqiang Lin, [email protected]

Designed for K-12 educator participants, discussion section at the end of each session will draw attention to new vocabularies and enduring questions to be learnt and asked in K-12 classrooms, as well as resources to enrich the teaching and learning of teachers and students of open mind and curiosity.

In partnership with New York University Project Developing Chinese Language Teachers (DCLT) and NYS Statewide Language Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN) at NYU, 12 hours of CTLE credits are offered for New York State teachers attending this program. Limited scholarship is available for NYS public school teachers to attend the entire series.

This program is part of a 6-session series, “Art, Ritual and Religion: Bronzes Vessels to Buddha Images, The Bridge Between the Living and the Dead”:

  1. October 5: Art, Ritual and Religion: An Introduction
  2. October 19: Taoties, Dragons, and Ancestors: Shang Dynasty (1600-1050 BCE)
  3. November 2: Birds, Nomads, Continuity and Change: Western Zhou Dynasty (1050-771 BCE)
  4. November 16: Innovation, Chaos, and Luxury: Eastern Zhou Dynasty (771-256 BCE)
  5. November 30: Age of Empire and the Afterlife: Qin (221-206 BCE) and Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE)
  6. December 14: Opening of the Lotus: Emergence of Buddhism (25-420 CE)

All sessions are open to general public


Professor Annette Juliano began her academic career at Vassar College, followed by Brooklyn College of the City of New York, then Rutgers University-Newark Campus, and finally at ISAW the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. Her interests have been focused on early Chinese art from the Neolithic through the Tang Dynasty (ca. 5,000 BCE through 906 CE); Her particular focus has been on Art from the Silk Road and Buddhist and Tomb sculpture and painting from the years known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties period, 4-7th centuries. At the Clarke Art Museum, Williamstown, MA, she organized and curated Unearthed. Perhaps her best-known exhibition remains Monks and Merchants, at Asia Society, NYC.

This series is made possible through the support of the Chinese International Education Foundation, and generous supporters of China Institute.


November 30, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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