The Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia Workshop (VMPEA) is oriented toward the study of visual and material objects, built environments, and the relationship between text and image from East Asia. It explores a plethora of visual and textual materials across a variety of historical periods and geographic locations in order to understand socio-political, cultural, and historical aspects of China, Japan, and Korea. While being based in art history, the Workshop is committed to interdisciplinary inquiries and perspectives, including but not limited to archaeology, anthropology, architecture, literature, religious studies, cinema and media studies, and museum studies. With visual evidence as the basis of our inquiries, our workshops are opportunities for collaborative examination and discussion of these vital materials. As such, we offer speakers the opportunity for open-ended exploration and discussions of the presented materials, in addition to the traditional formats of pre-circulating papers and respondents. This kind of collaborative “thinking through materials” is crucial to visual and object-based study, and we are renowned even among scholars outside of the University for our rigorous discussion sessions. While the Workshop invites outside speakers as an opportunity to encourage intellectual exchanges between students and established scholars, graduate students from the University are prioritized in our program. Recent visitors have included Stanley Abe, Zhang Jianyu, Huiping Pang, Yukio Lippit, Corey Byrnes, Deng Fei, Noriko Murai. In addition, the Workshop is a forum for joint-workshops, interdisciplinary and cultural events related to East Asian topics.


Please contact the coordinators of the workshop or leave a comment/post for more information in regards to the workshop!

2020-2021 Co-coordinators:

Yifan Zou (yifanzou@uchicago.edu)

Minori Egashira (minoriegashira@uchicago.edu)


*Due to COVID-19, we are using the Zoom platform for our talks. Most, if not all, talks are recorded.


  1. Dear workshop coordinators, I was wondering if the workshop has a mailing list? If yes, could you please add my email? I’d like to receive information of the workshop. Many thanks!

    • Thank you for your interest in the VMPEA Workshop! I was informed that you were already added to the listserv!

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