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What's the connection between Shanghai's only Ming dynasty tomb and China's first lunar orbiter? How did the herd of deer that once grazed the lawn of Xujiahui Cathedral change the fate of several talented orphans? How does an empty inkwell link Shanghai's two most prestigious universities? This walking tour will highlight the colourful personalities who connect these Xujiahui sites in a rich web. We'll explore how the success of Xujiahui as a Catholic enclave and – later, as a commercial area – was founded on the Jesuit strategy of integrating scientific education into their ministry. We'll also discuss how internecine Church power struggles in Europe created ripple effects even in far-flung Shanghai, causing various Xujiahui institutions to evolve in unexpected ways. In fact, the Royal Asiatic Society of the late 19th and early 20th century makes an important cameo appearance in the history of two Xujiahui sites.

Note: Due to official regulations, all attendees will be required to wear facemasks, submit to temperature checks, and show a "green" Health QR Code (Suishenma app) at venues.

Spaces for this event are limited. Priority will go to RAS members.

About the convener:

Based in China since 2007, Lilly Chow is the founding editor of The Cleaver Quarterly, a magazine that explores Chinese food all around the world. She will soon begin convening the RAS Gastronomy Club, and is currently working on a book retelling the history of China through its food fables.