Research Seminar | Wugu Sorcery, Power Manipulation and State/Social Control in Imperial China: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

25 September, 2013

Dr Xiaohuan Zhao
Department of Chinese Studies, The University of Sydney

Wugu sorcery is a living tradition, and this black magic has a history traceable back to the very beginning of Chinese civilization. In early and medieval China, wugu and charges of using wugu were often part of court politics, power manipulation and social control reminiscent of politically-motivated sorcery trials and witch hunts in late medieval and early modern Europe. I examine the political uses of wugu and charges of wugu using a cross-cultural perspective and case studies to explore the impact and implications of wugu on court politics, power manipulation, and social control in dynastic China. 

Dr. Zhao Xiaohuan is senior lecturer in Chinese Literature in the Department of Chinese Studies. He obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests are in early and medieval literature, religion and folk beliefs, and legal and intellectual history of China. Heis the winner of “the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship 2005” for his study of classical Chinese supernatural fiction.

Location: SLC Common Room 524, level 5, Brennan MacCallum Building

Contact:Dr Eileen Walsh

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