Chestertown, MD — The lives and accomplishments of Ming dynasty geishas will be the subject of an illustrated talk by Victoria C. Cass, associate professor of Chinese at the University of Colorado, Boulder, at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday Feb. 29 in the Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library at Washington College.
"Brilliant Outcasts: On Being a Chinese Geisha in the Ming" features slides of paintings by geishas, portraits of geishas, maps, and other images of the dynasty. The Ming, which flourished from 1368 to 1644, marked a period of native Chinese rule between eras of Mongol and Manchu dominance. The dynasty extended the Chinese empire into Korea, Mongolia, Turkistan, Vietnam, and Myanmar (Burma). Before its overthrow in the 17th century, the Ming marked a time of lush prosperity, autocratic rule, and unprecedented stability.
Cass, a noted expert on women in Chinese literature and Chinese language, recently published Dangerous Women: Warriors, Grannies and Geishas of the Ming (Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, Md., 1999). Her talk, sponsored by the Julian Emory Fund, The O'Neill Literary House, and the Gender Studies Program, is free and open to the public.