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Lara C.W. Blanchard

Associate Professor of Art and Architecture

Joined the faculty in 2001

Ph.D., Art History, University of Michigan
M.A., Art History, University of Michigan
B.A., Art History and Mathematics, College of William & Mary

Current scholarly interests:
Chinese painting of the Song dynasty (960-1279)
Construction of gender in art
Text-image relationships
Chinese theories of representation

Previous teaching experience:
University of Michigan (Instructor for summer course on Gender and Painting in the Song and Yuan Dynasties)

Previous research:
Graduate research under Dr. Martin J. Powers, University of Michigan, 1990-2001 doctoral dissertation titled "Visualizing Love and Longing in Song Dynasty Paintings of Women" (2001), and master's thesis titled "Poetic References and Painted Images: Allusion and Metaphor in the Work of the Qing Dynasty Artist Zhu Da" (1992)
Freer Fellow, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., 1998
"Community of Scholars" Fellow for Research on Women and Gender, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan, 1997
National Taiwan Normal University Advanced Language Training Fellow, Ministry of Education, Republic of China, 1993-1994.

Courses Routinely Taught:
East Asian Art Survey (ART 103)
Chinese Painting, Tang to Yuan Dynasties (ART 259)
Chinese Pictures, Ming Dynasty to Modern (ART 272)
Japanese Art & Culture (ART 252)
Buddhist Art & Architecture (ART 253)
Arts of the Landscape and the Garden in China and Japan (ART 302)
Telling Tales: Narrative in Asian Art (ART 306)
Courtesan Culture in China & Japan (ASN 304)
Seminar: Gender & Painting in China (ART 403)
First-Year Seminar: Art + Ideas + East + West (FYS 047)

Recent Publications:
Lara C. W. Blanchard, "Huizong's New Clothes: Desire and Allegory in Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk," Ars Orientalis 36 (2008, in press)
Lara C. W. Blanchard, "Chinese Paintings of Elite Women (Shinü hua)," in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship, and Sexuality through History, Vol. 2: The Medieval Era, ed. William E. Burns (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 2008), 53-54
Lara C. W. Blanchard, "A Scholar in the Company of Female Entertainers: Changing Notions of Integrity in Song to Ming Dynasty Painting, " NAN NÜ: Men, Women and Gender in China 9, no. 2 (2008): 189-246
Lara C. W. Blanchard, "Lonely Women and the Absent Man: The Masculine Landscape as Metaphor in the Song Dynasty Painting of Women," in Gendered Landscapes: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Past Place and Space, ed. Bonj Szczygiel, Josephine Carubia and Lorraine Dowler (University Park, Pa.: The Center for Studies in Landscape History, The Pennsylvania State University, 2000), 33-47.

Professional Affiliations:
Associate in Research, East Asia Program, Cornell University
Member, Arts of China Consortium
Member, Association for Asian Studies
Member, College Art Association

Personal Statement:
My interdisciplinary research interests include the pictorial construction of gender in China, text-image relationships and Chinese theories of representation. Since 1993 I have focused primarily on paintings of the Song dynasty (960-1279). When I first started researching paintings of this period, I focused on their connections to classical poetry and to theoretical commentaries on art. I began to investigate philosophical writings on gender while formulating a dissertation topic on how pictorial images of women respond to love poetry. Much of my work concerns representations of emotion in pictorial and poetic images of women in the Song dynasty, challenging the longstanding view that images of elite women simply represent scenes from their daily life. I see two concepts in particular as possessing rich potential for further exploration: that images themselves could be gendered and that painters participated in constructing idealized visions of Chinese masculinity and femininity. My research languages include classical Chinese, modern Chinese (Mandarin dialect), Japanese and French I have also studied German, Italian and Latin. Although I have visited many places in Asia, I have spent most of my time there in Taiwan and China. I lived for a year in Taipei (where I studied Chinese language and the art of Chinese calligraphy), and I have traveled widely in mainland China with visits to Beijing, Hong Kong, Xi'an, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and the Three Gorges of the Yangzi River. In 2000, I traveled through India for three weeks with a group of graduate students from the University of Michigan spending time in Ajanta, Ellora, Mumbai and Delhi. Most recently, I spent a month in Japan in the summer of 2003 with two groups of Hobart and William Smith students visiting museums anarchitectural sites in Kyoto, Uji, Nara, Himeji, Hikone, Tokyo, Kamakura, Takayama, Nagano and Matsumoto. I hope to show my students that art history is the perfect discipline for people who think visually, who have wide-ranging interests in the humanities and social sciences, and who love to travel and learn languages. Students in my classes can expect to read not only about art but also about literature (especially Chinese poetry), philosophy, history, religion, politics and women's studies. I find coursework in art history to be a vital component of a program in Asian cultures and learning about Asian art complements the study of European and American art (and vice versa of course). In my teaching, I strive literally to open the eyes of my students as my dedicated art history teachers in high school, college and graduate school did for me.

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