November 20, 2012: The Chinese Admiral Zheng He: Uses and Abuses of an Historical Figure
Presentation by Geoffrey Wade
November 20, 2012: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
125 Nolte Center for Continuing Education
Geoffrey Wade discusses the celebrated fifteenth-century Chinese eunuch commander Zheng He, whose sea voyages extended through Southeast Asia to East Africa. Professor Wade will explore some of the diverse ways in which Zheng He’s voyages have been portrayed through time, and the uses and abuses of Zheng He in the historical and contemporary world. Perhaps the best-known recent example is the discredited book 1421 – The Year China Discovered the World, which asserts that Zheng He circumnavigated the globe and explored the Americas and Antarctica. Professor Wade will consider issues related to distinctions between academic and popular history.
Geoffrey Wade is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.
This presentation is sponsored by the Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts.