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Talk: Italian Visions and Ideas on China 1750-1870
Date: 18 November 2009 

The European Studies Programme of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures has the pleasure of inviting you to the following talk:

Imagined China: Italian Visions and Ideas on China 1750–1870                  
Guest Speaker: Prof. Paolo L. Bernardini

Date: November 18, 2009 (Wed) at 1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Venue: Room KKLG 106, KK Leung Building

With the crisis and decline of the Jesuit missions in China after 1700, and before 1866, when Italy opened her way to the Chinese market by an international treaties, China was, even more than usual, a 'terra incognita' for the Italians. My paper aims at shedding light on the speculations, ideas, views, misconceptions of China, held by some notable intellectuals before and during the Italian unification process. My paper will deal with such writers as Foscolo, Leopardi, Cattaneo, Ferrari, La Farina, who wrote long books, or more often short essays, on Chinese history, society, contemporary plight, future destiny. Those writers normally compared China with Italy, and their special interest was not for China as such, but for the process of making a new State (Italy), a process in which comparisons with other established political entities was very much useful (and used).
The paper will be developed into a book, ready by the end of 2010.

* Professor Paolo L. Bernardini held a the European University Institute. He is now the Professor of Modern European History and Assistant Dean in School of Law of the University of Insubria.

For more information please contact Ms Christy Ho at

All are welcome.

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