January 14, 2010 - Bettine Birge, professor of East Asian languages and cultures at the University of Southern California, will be the keynote speaker for the California State University, Bakersfield history forum on Friday, Jan. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in the CSUB music building, room 112.
Her presentation, titled "Marriage and the law in China during the age of Khubilai Khan," will examine contentions and instabilities in marriage law during the 13th and 14th centuries in China. During this time the Mongols, under the leadership of Khubilai Khan, invaded and occupied the country, founding the Yuan dynasty.
Birge will explore how contention over marriage law reveals competing visions of gender relations and the role of law during the Mongol-Yuan dynasty. Faced with conflicting values and customs among a multi-ethnic populace, the Mongol regime at times backed away from imposing unified family laws and allowed local practices to prevail. At other times, under the influence of Neo-Confucian officials, China attempted to enforce universal ideals through marriage law at the local level.
Birge asserts that a clash of cultures and values during this period of contention over marriage law led to a rethinking of fundamental social values that resulted in major changes in Chinese marriage law lasting into the 20th century.
The forum is free and open to the public. Parking fees will be suspended during the event in lots B and C.
For more information:History department
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications