News and Events

News and Events

The UCLan Confucius Institute provides activities that broaden the cultural flavour and landscape of Preston, and the larger Lancashire community, by staging cultural and educational events and activities.

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China Lecture Series

Wednesday 6th March 2019, Adelphi TVI, 1.30-4pm
The Dowager Empress Cixi (1835-1908): ‘Ruling from behind the Yellow Silk Screen’
by David Rosier

This lecture seeks to provide a balanced insight into the life and achievements of one of the most important women in Chinese Imperial history.

From relative obscurity as a low-ranking consort we explore the events that led to her confirmation as Dowager Empress Cixi in 1861. From a position of power, we will review her strategy to preserve, then revitalise, imperial rule after a series of humiliating military defeats by Western Colonial Powers plus several brutal ethnic uprisings.

With the assistance of recently available Imperial Records, plus contemporary evaluations of Cixi’s life, it is now possible to refute the ‘traditional’ view that the Dowager Empress was a cruel and calculating megalomaniac who hated foreigners, condoned corruption and resisted all attempts to modernize and industrialise China. Current evidence provides a far more balanced evaluation.

We will trace the cycles of Cixi’s power, as Emperors came and went, whilst the Dowager Empress moved periodically from a position of influence, to full authority, and then into times of enforced retirement.

Looking beyond Cixi’s desire to force China into the Modern World we will gain an insight into her life within her beloved Summer Palace with a focus on her passion for painting, embroidery, fashion design and her extensive gardens. A location where Cixi forged some extraordinarily close relationships with leading Western Women as she sought to understand the culture, politics and the role of women in the ‘West’

All welcome. Free.

Dowager Empress Cixi

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