University of Pittsburgh
February 28, 2007

University of Pittsburgh to Host Symposium on Sovereign Space in Early Cities

The 4th biannual Early China symposium to honor Pitt history and sociology professor Cho-yun Hsu
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-An interdisciplinary conference at the University Pittsburgh titled "Sovereign Space in Early Cities" will bring together noted scholars from three continents to discuss sovereign space (space reserved for use by the ruler of a city) in the early cities of Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, China, Mesoamerica, and Africa. The conference, organized by Pitt associate professor of history Anthony Jerome Barbieri-Low, is being held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 30 in honor of Cho-yun Hsu, emeritus professor of history and sociology who served Pitt for more than 30 years. The event is free and open to the public.

The conference will include the following presentations:

"Processions and Sovereignty in Ancient Cities," by Marc Bermann, Pitt associate professor of anthropology;

"Sovereign Space in Sub-Saharan African Cities," by Paula Jean Davis, Pitt assistant professor of Africana Studies;

"Kings and Subjects in Sovereign Space-Variations from Ancient Mesoamerica's Political Capitals," by Olivier de Montmollin, Pitt associate professor of anthropology;

"Archaeological Discovery and Research Into the Layout of the Palaces and Ancestral Temples of Han Dynasty Chang'an," by Liu Qingzhu, director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing;

"Sovereign Space in the Ancient Mesopotamian City," by Marc Van De Mieroop, professor of Assyriology, Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford; and

"Practiced Places and Ritual Spaces: Altered Landscapes, Community Building and Performances in the Indus Civilization," by Rita Wright, associate professor of anthropology, New York University.

"Sovereign Space in Early Cities" is sponsored by the Department of History in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences, with additional support from the Asian Studies Center and Center for Latin American Studies within the University Center for International Studies; the Department of Anthropology; and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.

For more information, contact Anthony Jerome Barbieri-Low at