• “Gendering Economic Productivity in Han China,” invited lecture, Columbia University Early China Seminar lecture series, April 2017
  • “Rethinking Cosmopolitanism in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean and Han China,” invited lecture, Global Antiquities, McGill University, Canada, February 2017


  • “A Short History of the Silk Road Idea,” invited lecture, Center for Global Asia, NYU-Shanghai,China, December 2016
  • “A Political History of the Silk Road Idea,” invited lecture, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Rutgers University, October 2016
  • “Contact,” Mellon-Sawyer Workshop on Political Concepts for Displacement at Brown University, September 2016
  • “A Short History of the Silk Road Idea,” invited lecture, Inner Asian and Altaic Studies Lecture Series, Harvard University September 2016


  • “The Afterlives of Han Historiography,”  invited lecture, Classical Ideals and Historical Realities: Approaches to Chinese Pasts and Present Taiwan Studies Lectureship series, UCLA
  • “The Silk Road Idea: The First Hundred Years (1877-1980), invited conference paper, University of Nottingham and Durham University, UK, “The Silk Road Legacy in Asia’s Imagined Futures” conference, May 2015
  • “Money-like Objects in the Han,”  invited paper, Qin-Han dynasty currency workshop, British Museum, May 2015
  • “Inventing Silk Road Studies,” invited lecture, East Asian Studies Colloquium series, New York University, April 2015
  • “Women’s Work,” East Asian Studies book colloquium on Savage Exchange, Brown University, April 2015
  • “Afterlife Economies: Archaeological and Literary Contexts of Money in Early China,” Brown bag talk, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, April 2015
  • “Inventing Silk Road Studies,” invited lecture, Stanford University, April 2015
  • “Inventing Silk Road Studies,” invited lecture, Center for Chinese Studies, UC Berkeley, April 2015
  • Chair and discussant for panel, “Translation and Chinese Literature in a Globalized World,” at Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Chicago, March 2015


  • “On Inventing Silk Road Studies,” invited talk, Critical Silk Road Studies Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar, Georgetown University, December 2014
  • Oxford Handbook of Chinese Classical Literature Workshop, Harvard University, December 2014
  • “The Afterlife Economy,” invited conference paper, “Old Society, New Faith: Religious Transformation of China and Rome, ca. 100-600 CE” at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), June 2014
  • “The Silk Road Cave and the Tower of Babel,” invited conference paper, “Crossing Worlds: Translation, Eventfulness, and the Political,” co-organized by the Barnard Center for Translation Studies, Columbia University’s Institute of Comparative Literature and Society and Tsinghua University, May 2014
  • “Empire, Ethics, and the Afterlife Economy,” invited conference paper, “Empire, Ethics, and Tradition: An International Conference on the Han Dynasty,” University of Pittsburgh, May 2014
  • “On Quantification,” invited conference paper, “Thinking, Minting, and Counterfeiting Money in Late Imperial China,” Harvard University, April 2014
  • “Monetary Inscription and Otherworld Economies,” panel talk for Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Philadelphia, March 2014; Panel organizer for “The Matter of Money: Coins, Silk, Digital Money, and the Politics of Chinese Foreign Exchange (200 BCE-2014 CE).”


  • “The Han fu and the Politics of Style,” invited talk, Columbia University, EALC department, December 2013
  • “How to become an unproductive wife,” invited talk, Cornell University, Asian Studies Department, November 2013
  • “A Counterhistory of Chinese Money,” UCLA, invited talk, November 2013
  • “Money in the Guanzi’s Qingzhong chapters,” Society for the Study of Early China Annual Conference, San Diego, March 2013
  • “Abstraction,” class talk for Prof. Michael Bourdaghs’ graduate seminar “Philosophy of Money in Japanese Literature,” March 2013
  •  “Market and Genre,” invited talk, New York University-Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, February  2013
  • “Richthofen’s Silk Road,” invited paper, Workshop on Re-enacting the Silk Road, sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society and the Department of Geography, Nottingham University, UK, February 2013
  • “The Han fu and the Material Politics of Sound,” invited talk, Cornell University Department of Comparative Literature, January 2013
  • “Silk Road Contact & Exchange,” invited workshop talk, Yale-NUS, Singapore, January 2013
  • “Chronology in Greece-China Studies,” response paper on Author meets Critics panel, “Pushing the Geographical Boundaries of the Classics,” American Philological Association Annual Conference, Seattle, January 2013 (read by chair)


  • “Economics and Literary Form,” invited participant at “China After Comparison  Workshop,” Penn State University, September 2012
  • “Ptolemy’s Geography, the Hanshu, and the Invention of the Silk Road 1877-1936,” invited participant at “Western Classics in Modern China” conference, Chicago Center in Beijing, May 2012
  • “Money and the Morality of Exchange in the Han dynasty,” invited talk, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, February 2012
  • “The Invention of the Silk Road,” invited Horizons of Knowledge Lecture, Indiana University, January 2012


  • “The fu and the marketplace,” Historical Poetics Conference, University of Chicago, May 2011


  • “Marriage in Han-Xiongnu Marriage Diplomacy,” invited talk sponsored by the China Humanities Seminar and Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, Nov 2010
  • “The Silk Road and the Stereoscope,” invited participant at Workshop on Making Meaning Through Myth East and West, Cornell University, July 2010
  • Respondent for Shigehisa Kuriyama’s paper “Probing the Archaeology of Tension” at Anthropology workshop (University of Chicago), May 2010


  • “Richthofen’s Silk Road,” invited talk sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures, University of Rochester, December 2009


  • “Re-reading Sima Qian’s ‘Account of the Xiongnu,’” University of Chicago, China Before Print Workshop, May 2008
  • “Before Han Ethnography,” pre-modern panel-organizer and presenter, Critical Han Studies conference, Stanford University, April 2008
  • “Ethnography as Literary Artifact,’” paper presenter and panel co-chair, Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, April 2008
  • “The Invention of the Silk Road, 1877,” Yale University, invited talk sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies, February 2008


  • “Money and the Construction of the Silk Road,” Columbia University, invited class talk co-sponsored by the History department and the Silk Road Foundation, March 2007
  • “Foreign Exchange: Silk Road Money and its Meanings,” University of Chicago Alumni Day public talk, February 2007
  • “‘Barbarous Greek’ in Early China,” The Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago, January 2007


  • International Conference on Silk Road Coins (invited participant), Shanghai Museum, P.R.China,   December 2006
  • “Anti-Expansionist Protest in the Han Dynasty,” Central Eurasian Studies Society Annual Conference, University of Michigan, September 2006
  • “Rethinking Repression in Book of Songs Studies,” Pleasure and Passion in Chinese Literature Conference, University of Chicago, May 2006
  • “Barbarian Commerce: Rethinking Han and Non-Han in the Han Empire,” East Asian Studies Department, New York University, March 2006
  • “The Problem of a Han Barbarian,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Princeton University, February 2006
  • “Sima Xiangru and the Poetics of Colonization,” American Oriental Society, Seattle, WA, February 2006


  • “Transnationalism and Queer Chinese Politics,” international two-day conference co-organizer, UC Berkeley, April 2005 (participants from Hong Kong, Taiwan, P.R. China, UK, US)
  • “Compulsory Heterotextuality: Sappho 31 meets Shijing 1,” John J. Winkler Memorial Prize Talk, Oberlin College, 2002
  • “Authenticating Desires — of Sappho (31), Shijing (1) and Difference,” Authenticities East and West Conference, Princeton University, 2001
  • “Mapping the Nomads,” Columbia University Graduate Conference in Greek and Roman Ethnography, 1998
  • “The Translation History of Plato’s Symposium,” OutWrite Festival, Boston, 1995


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