CCS Noon Lecture Series. "Marriage Networks and the Geography of Power in Ninth-Century China"
How does one account for the long-term survival of the medieval Chinese aristocratic clans despite important institutional developments, including the expanded use of the civil service examinations? How does one then explain the sudden collapse of these families at the turn of the tenth century? By exploiting a large prosopographic database, this paper will explore how a better understanding of the geographic distribution of political power and of the Tang political elite's social networks can help resolve these questions.