Nancy Steinhardt

Wolf Humanities Center Faculty Fellow

20212022 Forum on Migration

Nancy Steinhardt

Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Nancy S. Steinhardt is Professor of East Asian Art and Curator of Chinese Art at the University of Pennsylvania. She has broad research interests in architecture and urban planning and has ongoing field projects in China, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia. Steinhardt’s most recent book Chinese Architecture: A History (Princeton, 2019), received the Hitchcock Prize from the Society of Architectural Historians. The Borders of Chinese Architecture is in press at Harvard. In 2019 she received the Distinguished Teacher of Art History from the College Art Association and the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Ph. D. Teaching and Mentorship from the University of Pennsylvania. Steinhardt is a member of the Gallery Committee at China Institute and the Board of Directors of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Architectural Migration in East Asia: The Period of Mongolian Rule

This project examines how and why buildings and details of buildings migrate. North and East Asia are the primary data bases. The period is ca. 1220-ca. 1270, the age of Mongolian rule in China,. Buildings and excavation sites from which buildings can be reliably reconstructed are my most important primary sources. Cities, palaces, temples, pagodas, and tombs are among the approximately four hundred survivals. Written records, including descriptions of buildings produced at the Mongol court and travel accounts of Chinese and Europeans who saw architecture in the Mongol empire, exist for every building on which I focus. Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Iran are the places to which the buildings and architectural components migrate. Explanation for how the process occurs is queried through translation theory, convergence, architectural entanglement, and, I believe, migration theory.