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Hu Shih Distinguished Lecture

The Annual Hu Shih Distinguished Lecture 2020-2021 

Professor Meir Shahar stands in front of the sea in Israel.

Meir Shahar, History, Tel Aviv University presented this year's Annual Hu Shih Distinguished lecture titled, Chinese Animal Gods. Friday, October 16. Particular attention was given to the theological standing of animals as reflected in their tutelary divinities' cults.  In some cases, the animal itself was regarded as a deity who sacrificed himself for humanity’s sake.  Chinese Buddhist scriptures described the ox as a bodhisattva who out of pity for the toiling peasant chose to be incarnated as his beast of burden.

History and Background

Hu Shih

On the 100th anniversary of the world-changing philosopher and statesman’s graduation from Cornell, EAP initiated an annual distinguished lecture in honor of Hu Shih. Leading scholars of Chinese and East Asian studies are invited to give a lecture on critical issues in their field of research. These lectures are archived as a resource for the Cornell community and beyond.

Hu Shih, the Greatest Cornellian 

Sherman Cochran, the Hu Shih Professor of Chinese History, emeritus, presented the Cornell Contemporary China Initiative's inaugural lecture on November 20, 2015, making the case for Hu Shih '14, as the "greatest Cornellian." Cochran framed his lecture as a comparison between Shih and other Cornell graduates: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '54, novelist Thomas Pynchon '59, and professional football player and actor Ed Marinaro '72. Read more about the event.