Outside In: Travelers In East Asia, A Conversation With Dr. Chiu Mi Lai

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Outside In: Travelers In East Asia, A Conversation With Dr. Chiu Mi Lai
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Asia Society Texas Center says
In this presentation complementing Asia Society Texas Center’s current exhibition, Round Trip: Bicycling Asia Minor, 1891 , Dr. Chiu-Mi Lai will discuss the cultural outsider in 19th and 20th century East Asia, as it relates to the experiences of William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen, Jr.

About the Exhibition

In the summer of 1890, young Americans William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen, Jr. set off to circle the globe on newly-invented “safety” bicycles. After pedaling 18,000 miles across three continents, their harrowing tales of adventure made them international celebrities. Along the way, Sachtleben and Allen chronicled their trip with two novel Kodak cameras, signaling a new “democratic” era for photography, as well as cycling.

Round Trip: Bicycling Asia Minor, 1891 features a selection of these striking images, taken from a year on the road visiting Greece, Turkey, Persia (Iran), and part of the Russian Empire (Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). The photographs vividly convey what the two adventurers experienced as they pedaled across barren dirt roads, river crossings, mountain passes, and volcanic terrains, encountering new peoples and cultures.

About Dr. Chiu-Mi Lai

Dr. Chiu-Mi Lai graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California with a BA in Chinese literature and language. She completed her PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, focusing on early Chinese literature. Her numerous articles include “Reinvention of the ‘Late Season’ Motif in the Wen Xuan” in Early Medieval China (2004), “The Chinese Writing System and the Power of Inscribed Writing” in Journal of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society (2003), and “The Craft of Original Imitation: Lu Ji’s Imitations of Han Old Poems” in Studies in Early Medieval Chinese Literature and Cultural History in Honor of Richard B. Mather and Donald Holzman (2003). Dr. Lai has lectured and taught at schools including Lewis and Clark College, Rice University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She currently lives in Austin, Texas and is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Literature in the Asian Studies department at the University of Texas.
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By: Asia Society Texas Center

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