Join us on Wednesday 1 June at 6pm for a free public lecture by Dr Stephen Whiteman, Lecturer in Asian Art at the University of Sydney. A Garden for Empire and Nation: History and Memory at the Qing Imperial Mountain Estate is presented with the China Studies Centre and Sydney Ideas.



Constructed, neglected, rebuilt and expanded over the course of nearly a century, the Qing imperial park of Bishu Shanzhuang played a central, but constantly changing, role in the history of the Manchu dynasty for nearly two centuries. Scholars of the site have focused on its final form at the end of the eighteenth century, taking a single vision of its design and use as descriptive of its entire history.

In this talk, Stephen Whiteman explores the park’s early history under the Kangxi emperor—from its original conception as an imperial retreat to its representation through text and image—and considers the legacy of this history not only in later iterations of the landscape, but also in collective memories of the rise and fall of the dynasty itself.



Stephen Whiteman lectures in Asian art and architectural history at the University of Sydney. A scholar of early modern China with particular interests in garden history and visual culture, he has published essays on imperial geographies, court art and digital art history. His first book, Thirty-Six Views: The Kangxi Emperor’s Mountain Estate in Poetry and Prints, co-authored with Richard E. Strassberg, was recently published through Harvard University Press, and is available here.



Wednesday 1 June
Law School LT 106, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney
For enquiries, contact:



This is a free public lecture with online registration essential. For venue information and to register your attendance, please click here.