European Baroque Influences in East Asia, 1557-1815


Learn about intercultural exchanges between Europe, China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines between 1557 and 1815. Discussions will include gold-laden Manila Galleons, ingenious Jesuits, syncretic art and architecture, early printed linguistic texts and astronomical instruments. Find out where the drama, light, and shadow of the Baroque era left its mark in East Asia.

Target audience:
This course will interest both history buffs and those with no background in the subject. Curiosity is the only prerequisite.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Increased your knowledge of Baroque architecture, art, and ideas.
  • Appreciated different expressions of Baroque art from all over the world.
  • Developed a sense of how Baroque architecture encapsulated larger social, intellectual, and economic movements of the time. 
  • Questioned commonly held ideas about East-West relations.

Course outline:
Each session includes a lecture presentation with time for questions and group discussion.

Session 1:
European Baroque Art, Architecture and Ideas (Christopher Longhurst)
Session 2:
Jesuit Science & Art in China (Duncan Campbell)
Session 3:
Churches in Macao & the Yuanming Yuan in Peking (Nancy Marquez & Duncan Campbell)
Session 4:
Jesuits in Japan & Visions of Japanese Martyrs (Nancy Marquez & Duncan Campbell)
Session 5:
"Earthquake Baroque" in the Philippines & the Manila Galleons (Nancy Marquez & Duncan Campbell)

There is a short break halfway through each session and you are welcome to bring your own refreshments if you wish.

Nancy Marquez earned a BA in Classics and Medieval Studies from Stanford University and an MA in Spanish & Latin American Literatures and Languages from the University of Notre Dame. In 2017, she received a PhD in History from Victoria University of Wellington. Her current research is on migration from the Pacific to Spanish America and related transoceanic cultural exchanges during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Duncan M. Campbell has taught Chinese language, literature, and aspects of Chinese history and civilisation at the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, and the Australian National University in Canberra.

Christopher Longhurst obtained his doctorate in theological aesthetics from the Angelicum Rome, and worked in Rome for 17 years leading educational tours. He was an educational officer (‘operatore didattico’) at the Vatican Museums.

Relevant links:
School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email:

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.