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Toward an Archaeology of Distraction

An invitation from the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies for this year’s Edwin O.Reischauer Lectures

Toward an Archaeology of Distraction

Shigehisa Kuriyama, Harvard University

What is your take on distraction and what truly matters? On curiosity and distraction? On distraction as vice and enriching virtue?

Here’s a fun challenge. Below are the title and broad theme of each lecture, along with links to five elements that will figure in that day’s presentation. We invite you to send us a short commentary (500 words or less) in prose or poetry, on any one of the three lecture themes. If you’d like to submit a short video presentation (3 minutes or less) on a theme, you can post it to a public site (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) and send us the link. The challenge is this: your submission must relate all five preview elements to that day’s theme.

You don’t need to be an East Asia specialist to participate. We are interested in exploring the diversity of reflections that can arise around a stimulating common theme and intriguing shared materials. We want to hear how you think the five preview elements could be related to the theme of the day (and perhaps to each other). In framing your account of relations, you are thus encouraged to incorporate links to additional text and other media sources drawn from your own interests or fields of expertise. You are also welcome to include preview elements from the other two themes.

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