College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Daan Pan Invited to Lecture on the Chinese Poetics of Wine

Dr. Daan Pan lectures

March 26, 2015. Dr. Daan Pan of EFL was among the guest speakers at a multidisciplinary symposium entitled “Understanding Jiu: The History and Culture of Alcoholic Beverages in China” at Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, UC Davis. Dr. Paan’s invited presentation was entitled “Jiu Is a Many-Splendored Thing: The Poetics of Wine-Drinking in Traditional Chinese Culture.”

In his presentation, Dr. Pan argued that in traditional Chinese culture and particularly literati culture, wine-drinking was both a dietary and aesthetic behavior. Accompanying as well as influencing poetry, painting, calligraphy, music, and dance, wine-drinking figures large in the holistic system of Chinese arts including medical arts.

He further argued that the Chinese poetics of wine-drinking validates and highlights the genial influence wine exerts on the mind and especially the state of inebriation, or zui, it induces, which is believed to be capable of evoking optimal mental conditions ideal for artistic imagination and creation. The Chinese poetics of wine-drinking cultivated a tasteful ambience of wine indulgence and a genteel aura around inebriation, which helped maintain and sustain a wholesome tradition in the wine industry as well as a consumer culture of oenophilia.

Dr. Pan believes that a study of the Chinese poetics of wine-drinking sheds a unique aesthetic light on Chinese gastronomy and especially its haute cuisine. It not only facilitates a holistic appreciation of traditional Chinese culture but also fosters a globalized vision of oenophilia that can be shared across cultures.