Named Lecture Series

The Annual William Catron Jones Lecture Series

Co-sponsored with the Washington University Law School's Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies, this lecture series honors the late Professor Jones for his contributions to Chinese legal studies.

April 5, 2022

"China's Quest for Leadership: The Story of Universities"
William C. Kirby, Harvard University

April 8, 2019

"The Tokyo Tribunal: China, the USSR, and the ‘crimes against peace’ Charges"
Kirsten Sellars, Australian National University

March 8, 2018

"A Case for Korea in Comparative Legal History"
Marie Seong-Hak Kim, St. Cloud State University

February 22, 2017

"The Legacy and Challenges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia"
H.E. Judge Liu Daqun, Judge of the Appeals Chamber

February 22, 2016

"Chinese Constitutionalism at the Crossroads: Challenges, Opportunities, and Prospects"
Wen-Chen Chang, National Taiwan University College of Law

February 17, 2015

"Party-State, Inc.: Chinese Corporate Capitalism in the 21st Century"
Curtis Milhaupt, Columbia Law School

February 24, 2014

"Local Knowledge: Explorations in China's First Encounter with the Modern Company"
Madeleine Zelin, Columbia University

March 7, 2013

"Public Interest Litigation in South Korea"
Tae-Ung Baik, University of Hawai'i, Manoa

April 11, 2012

"The International Court of Justice and Judicial Settlement of International Disputes: Changes and Challenges"
Judge Xue Hanqin, International Court of Justice

November 13, 2008

"Trading Places? U.S. Economic Engagement with China and its Implications for U.S. Power, Competitiveness, and Global Prestige"
Charles Freeman, Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic & International Studies

November 14, 2007

"Law, Order, and Justice: Dispute Resolution in China’s Transitional Political Economy"
Susan Whiting, University of Washington

November 10, 2006

"American and Chinese Universities in the 21st Century"
William C. Kirby, Harvard University

November 11, 2005

"Politics and Privatization: China in Global Perspective"
Andrew Walder, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

The Annual Nelson I. Wu Memorial Lecture on Asian Art and Culture

Co-sponsored by the University and the Saint Louis Art Museum, this lecture series offers a talk each fall by an internationally renowned specialist in the field, as well as related events and activities at both the museum and the University. All events are free and open to the public.

Wu, a specialist in Chinese painting, was an internationally known scholar of Asian art and architecture who taught for nearly 20 years at the University, a tenure in which he was pivotal in the promotion of Asian art in the St. Louis community, including the founding of the Asian Art Society. He is known in Chinese communities throughout the world by his pen name, Lu Chiao, and is revered for his magical short stories and fiction.

The 22nd Annual, November 22, 2019

"Dancing in Circles in the Arts on India and Its Neighbors"
Forrest McGill, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

The 21st Annual, November 16, 2018

"Chinese Cosmopolitans in Twentieth Century Shanghai"
Julia F. Andrews, The Ohio State University

The 20th Annual, November 10, 2017

"What style is the (global) modern?"
Rebecca Brown, Johns Hopkins University

The 19th Annual, December 2, 2016

"Electric Design: Light, Labor, and Leisure in Prewar Japanese Advertising"
Gennifer Weisenfeld, Duke University

The 18th Annual, November 12, 2015

"Magpies and Hare - Cui Bo's Magical Realism and Social Commentary"
Alfreda Murck, Historian of Chinese Visual Culture

The 17th Annual, October 30, 2014

"Painter and Atelier in Early Modern Japan"
Matthew McKelway, Columbia University

The 16th Annual, October 10, 2013

"Collecting Kashmir: Buddhist Art in the Western Himalayas & St. Louis"
Robert Linrothe, Northwestern University

The 15th Annual, October 4, 2012

"Soga Shohaku, the Wanderer of Heian"
Yukio Lippit, Harvard University

The 14th Annual, October 6, 2011

"Tradition and Socialism: Art and Archaeology in North Korea"
Jane Portal, Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The 13th Annual, October 7, 2010

"From Six Rods to Hemp Generals: The Inescapable Attraction of Games in Chinese Culture, ca. 600 BCE - ca. 1920"
Colin C. Mackenzie, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The 12th Annual, October 1, 2009

"The Sensuous & the Sacred in the Art of India"
Vidya Dehejia, Columbia University

The 11th Annual, September 25, 2008

"The Instability of Art: Architecture, Ornament, and an Island in Momoyama Japan"
Andrew Watsky, Princeton University

The 10th Annual, November 1, 2007

"From Suzhou to Sichuan: Cultural Memory and Regional Pride in China's Western Gardens"
Jerome Silbergeld, Princeton University

The 9th Annual, November 2, 2006

"Horyu-ji Temple: Establishing Chinese-Style Architecture in Japan"
Nancy Steinhardt, University of Pennsylvania

The 8th Annual, October 19, 2005

"Why Chinese Contemporary Art"
Lu Jie, Long March Foundation

The 7th Annual, October 19, 2004

"Tethered Dreams of a Floating World: The Kansei Reforms and Artistic Censorship"
Timothy Clark, British Museum, London

The 6th Annual, October 23, 2003

"The Musical Archaeology of Ancient China: A Presentation of Art and Music"
Lothar von Falkenhausen, University of California, Los Angles

The 5th Annual, October 24, 2002

"Seeking the Self Amid Mountains and Waters: China’s Human Landscape"
Maxwell K. Hearn, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The 4th Annual, November 8, 2001

"Ceramics of the Koryo Dynasty"
Robert D. Mowry, Harvard University Art Museums

The 3rd Annual, October 26, 2000

"Kazari: Dynamic Design in Japan"
Nicole Coolidge Rousamaniere, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Great Britain

The 2nd Annual, October 21, 1999

"The Emperor's Choices: Painting in India in the Early 17th Century"
Milo Beach, Sackler and Freer Galleries

The inaugural lecture, October 29, 1998

"Shadows and Gestures: European Images in the Visual Culture of Late Ming China"
Richard Barnhart, Yale University

The Robert Morrell Lecture Series

The Morrell Memorial Lecture in Asian Religions commemorates the work of the late Professor Emeritus Robert E. Morrell, a specialist in Japanese literature and Buddhism who taught at Washington University in St. Louis for 34 years. Morrell holds special significance for the campus, because he was the first professor to teach a course on Buddhism at the University. The annual lecture series, co-sponsored with the Religious Studies program, commemorates his life work by bringing distinguished scholars of Asian religions to campus.

An authority on Buddhist thought in classical Japanese literature, Morrell was author of Early Kamakura Buddhism: A Minority Report (1987), which focused on smaller and frequently overlooked Buddhist sects of the Kamakura period; and Sand and Pebbles: The Tales of Muju Ichien, A Voice for Pluralism in Kamakura Buddhism (1985), the first complete English rendering of Muju’s “Shasekishu” parables. To learn more about Robert Morrell's life and work, please see his obituary.

Past Lectures


"Turning Ghosts into People: Religion and Gender Politics in the Chinese Communist Revolution"
Xiaofei Kang (The George Washington University)


"Gods and Things in Four Asian Places"
Laurel Kendall (American Museum of Natural History)

2020 (held in 2021)

"Religious Self-Cultivation as Politics: Examples from Grassroots-Level Activism in Japan"
Levi McLaughlin (North Carolina State University)

"Foxes, Gods and Monsters in the Edo Anthropocene"
Michael Bathgate (Saint Xavier University)

"Dreaming Religious Identity: Master Zhou's Communications with the Unseen World"
Robert Campany (Vanderbilt University)

"Gratitude and Treasuring Lives: Eating Animals in Contemporary Japanese Buddhism"
Barbara R. Ambros (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

The Annual Stanley Spector Memorial Lecture on East Asian History and Civilization

The Annual Stanley Spector Memorial Lecture on East Asian History and Civilization was founded in 1994 to honor Dr. Stanley Spector (1925-1999) for his tremendous contributions to the creation and development of Asian Studies at Washington University. Born in New York City in 1924, Spector received a bachelor's degree in education in 1946 from the City College of New York. He served briefly in the U.S. Naval Reserves during World War II and subsequently earned a doctorate in East Asian history in 1954 from the University of Washington in Seattle, with additional study at the London School of Oriental and African Studies in 1950-51.  Spector came to the University in 1955 and served as chair of the Department of Chinese and Japanese (now East Asian Languages and Cultures) from its inception in 1963 until 1973. He also served as chair of the Committee on Asian Studies (now the East Asian Studies program) and as director of International Studies from 1971 to 1989. He was granted emeritus status in 1989.

Past Spector Lecturers have included:

27th annual lecture, March 30, 2023

"Inglorious, Illegal Bastards: Japan’s Self-Defense Force During the Cold War"
Aaron Skabelund, Brigham Young University

26th annual lecture, April 19, 2019

"A Genealogy of Dissent: The Progeny of Fallen Royals in Chosŏn Korea"
Eugene Park, University of Pennsylvania

25th annual lecture, April 6, 2018

"Books and Biographies: Localizing China's Intellectual History"
Peter Bol, Harvard University

24th annual lecture,  April 7, 2017

Akiko Takenaka, University of Kentucky
"Yasukuni Shrine and Total War: Memories and Counter-Memories of the Asia-Pacific War"

23rd annual lecture, April 15, 2016

"Postmodern Pyongyang: North Korea's Transformations through its Changing Built Environment"
Charles K. Armstrong, Columbia University

22nd annual lecture, April 10, 2015

"The World in the Year 1000: The View from Beijing"
Valerie Hansen, Yale University

21st annual lecture, April 11, 2014

"Historicizing the Northern Region of Korea"
Sun Joo Kim, Harvard University

20th annual lecture, April 12, 2013

"Blood is a Many-Splendored Thing: Eugenics, Nationality, and Citizenship in Japan"
Jennifer Robertson, University of Michigan

19th annual lecture, April 13, 2012

"Print, Law, and Steles: Public Culture in Qing China"
Kai-wing Chow, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

18th annual lecture, April 8, 2011

"Korean Buddhist Journeys to Lands Worldly and Otherworldly"
Robert Buswell, University of California, Los Angeles

17th annual lecture,  April 9, 2010

"Is City Life a Good Life? Views from Edo (Now Tokyo) in the 1600s"
Mary Elizabeth Berry, University of California, Berkeley

16th annual lecture, March 20, 2009

"No Antiques Roadshow!  Exploring the Material Culture of Late Imperial China"
Susan Naquin, Princeton University

15th annual lecture, April 18, 2008

“Envisioning The Tale of Genji: Canonization, Popularization, and Visual Culture”
Haruo Shirane, Columbia University

14th annual lecture, May 2, 2007

"Imagination Without Borders: Feminist Artist Tomiyama Taeko and Social Responsibility"
Laura Hein, Northwestern University

13th annual lecture, April 14, 2006

"Why Weren't Women a Problem in 19th Century Chinese Thought?"
Dr. Susan Mann, University of California, Davis

12th annual lecture,  March 18, 2005

"Visions of a Vendetta: Chuushingura in Ukiyo-e Prints"
Dr. Henry D. Smith II, Columbia University

11th annual lecture, March 19, 2004

"Non-elite Identities in the Late Choson: Questions of Ethnicity, Status and Conflict"
Dr. John Duncan, University of California, Los Angeles

10th annual lecture, March 14, 2003

"The Genealogy of Globalization in China"
Dr. Prasenjit Duara, The University of Chicago

9th annual lecture, April 12, 2002

"Emperor Meiji and Foreign Visitors"
Dr. Donald Keene, Columbia University

8th annual lecture,  April 6, 2001

"Democracy from the Bottom Up: The Virtues of Political Conflict in Korea and East Asia"
Dr. Bruce Cumings, The University of Chicago

7th annual lecture,  April 14, 2000

"The Problem of 'Women' in Twentieth Century Chinese Thought"
Dr. Tani Barlow, University of Washington

6th annual lecture, April 9, 1999

"Past Obsessions: War and Memory in the Twentieth Century"
Dr. Carol Gluck, Columbia University

5th annual lecture, April 17, 1998

"The Cultural Foundation of Asian Nationalism"
Dr. Lucien W. Pye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4th annual lecture, April 9, 1997

"The Arts of Empire in 18th Century China"
Dr. Jonathan Spence, Yale University

3rd annual lecture, April 26, 1996

"Sou-shen Chi: Pursuing the Supernatural"
Dr. James Crump, University of Michigan

2nd annual lecture, April 14, 1995

"Shifting Allegiances: Modern Japanese-style Painting 1868-1968"
Dr. J. Thomas Rimer, University of Pittsburgh

Inaugural lecture, April 15, 1994

"China, Incorporated? Business, Law, and Politics in 20th Century China"
Dr. William Kirby, Harvard University