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K-State Today

November 7, 2018

SUNY distinguished professor emeritus to deliver public lecture on China's architectural heritage

Submitted by Max Lu

Ronald G. Knapp, SUNY distinguished professor emeritus, will deliver a public lecture, "Chinese Houses: The Architectural Heritage of a Nation," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the K-State Student Union Bluemont Room. This is the second lecture in the Confucius Institute's new Understanding China Lecture Series.

Knapp is the author, editor or contributor to more than 20 books on China and Southeast Asia, including "China's Traditional Rural Architecture: A Cultural Geography of the Common House" (1986), the first book in English to introduce Chinese vernacular architecture to Western readers. Drawing on the work of leading scholars throughout the world in the fields of anthropology, architecture, art, art history, geography, and history, he co-edited and contributed to "House Home Family: Living and Being Chinese" (2005) with Kai-Yin Lo.

Over the past decade, Knapp has worked with the well-known photographer A. Chester Ong on a growing family of books published by Periplus/Tuttle that combine fine photography with authoritative texts. "Chinese Houses: The Architectural Heritage of a Nation" (2005), which featured Knapp's "favorite" 20 old Chinese homes, won ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year award in the Architecture Category. "Chinese Houses" and "House Home Family" were together awarded the Henry Glassie Award of the Vernacular Architecture Forum in 2008.

Knapp received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and taught from 1968 through 2001 at the State University of New York, New Paltz. He is currently a co-editor of the series "Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture" published by the University of Hawaii Press.