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March 20, 2012
This week Professor Fu Jie, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Fudan University, will give two talks in the Centre’s Research Seminar Series. The first one which will be held on Wednesday 21 March is on ‘Ding Fubao and A Forest of Glosses on the Shuowen Jiezi’ and the second on Thursday is on ‘Qian Mu and Oracle Bone Text.’
Professor Fu’s main research interest and expertise is in Chinese literature, as can be seen from his major Chinese language publications which include: Resonating to a Beautiful Sound (2001), The Complete Works of Jiang Liangfu (2002), Collected Works on the History of Chinese Literature in the 20th Century (2001), and A Hundred Quotes from the Analects (2007).
What his two talks have in common is that they are both on two great Chinese scholars: the exegete, physician and polymath Ding Fubao (丁福保, 1874–1952) and the historian, educator and philosopher Qian Mu (or perhaps better known as Ch’ien Mu in Wade Giles transcription) (錢穆1895-1990). And both talks focus on their contribution to the study of ancient Chinese writing.
The talks will be held at the Centre’s meeting room. Medium of language is putonghua. For more information, check out the website. Those interested are requested to register with Ms Shirley Ha by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 3442 2477. All welcome.
Written by: Audrey
March 8, 2012
Professor Chen Fukang, Research Fellow and PhD supervisor, Institute of Language and Literature, Shanghai International Studies University is at the Chinese Civilisation Centre to give three talks in the Centre’s Research Seminar Series.
On Monday, Professor Chen held his first talk on ‘Zheng Zhenduo and the Collection of Historical Documents’, and continued yesterday with a second lecture ‘Zheng Zhenduo and Efforts to Salvage China’s Cultural Heritage.’ Zheng Zhenduo (1898–1958) was an intellectual who was mainly active in the academia, and well-known for his contribution to Chinese literature and archaeology.
Besides extensive knowledge about Zheng Zhenduo, Professor Chen is extremely familiar with literary sources, e.g. during the lecture he cited quotes from letters. As he explained, he found some of these primary sources in the national library of Taiwan and based on his experience he was able to decipher some of the more cryptic names in the documents.
So while learning about Zheng Zhenduo, the lectures are also a good inspiration for new ideas in methodology and approach. Professor Chen’s third and last lecture will be held tomorrow, Friday 9 March 2012 at 3:30 pm. The topic is ‘Zheng Zhenduo and Research into Classical Chinese Literature’. Be sure not to miss it.
Written by: Audrey
February 21, 2012
Wandering around a cemetery does not sound as the ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But a Dutch friend of mine who was visiting Hong Kong for a few days did just that for research purposes. He wanted to take some pictures of the grave of Karl Gützlaff (1803–1851) because he had to find out why there was controversy about the contents of the epitaph.
Since he had not yet found out which cemetery to go to, he asked for my help. I did once read about the unfortunate mishaps in the life of this German missionary, some of which I shared with you on Pulse back in September 2010, but I had no idea that he had died in Hong Kong, let alone being buried here.
Now the thought of digging into sources about cemeteries was not very appealing but I could not let my friend down so I searched the internet for information. To my relief it soon led me to the ‘Find a Grave’ site which by just entering a last name generated information on the location of the grave with some snapshots. So I told my friend about it and he immediately set off for the Hong Kong Cemetery in Happy Valley.
Afterwards he told me that the confusion over the epitaph must have been caused by the different languages inscribed on the grave which are not completely identical. Apparently the scholars who were implicated in the debate had not read all versions. So in the end, it was an afternoon well spent for my friend.
Written by: Audrey
October 20, 2011
Next week on Thursday 27 October 2011, Professor Zhou Zhenhe will deliver his fourth of seven seminars in the CCIV Research Seminar Series. It will be on ‘Manchuria, the Provinces and Bureau of Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs: The Administrative Structure of Qing Dynasty Territorial Geography.’
An expert in historical geography, Zhou is Distinguished Senior Professor and PhD Supervisor at the Institute of Chinese Historical Geography, Fudan University. He has published extensively on administrative geography and among his many books are Administrative Geography of the Western Han, A History of Regional Administrative Systems in China, and Dialects and Chinese Culture.
Previously Professor Zhou held a talk on chapter 129 ‘Biographies of the Money-Makers’ from the Shiji, or Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian, which Zhou started with the advice that if you ever experienced putting the Shiji aside because you found the beginning boring, you should start reading from the end instead.
As the title suggests, this chapter 129 is about the rich, how they increased their wealth by making the right moves at the right time. Sima Qian points out that: The desire for wealth does not need to be taught; it is an integral part of all human nature. Sima then gives examples of how some families acquired wealth, for instance by smelting iron which they sold at a profit.
The most informative, of course, from Professor Zhou’s perspectives are the detailed geographical and administrative data within the text. If you ever hesitated because history is not your cup of tea, this chapter is definitely worth a read: there’s an excellent English translation by Burton Watson entitled Records of the Grand Historian, Han Dynasty II.
Written by: Audrey
May 31, 2011
The conference on Chinese ceramics over the weekend was a great success. Some excellent presentations were given on topics ranging from the finds of shipwrecks and the naval routes of the European traders, to the dating of the export porcelain and reports on the excavations of regional sites.
The invited speakers speaking either in English or Putonghua were especially grateful for the simultaneous interpretation which colleagues from the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, the City University of Hong Kong, provided. This was crucial to make communication and exchange between Chinese and foreign scholars possible.
Translation and interpretation is very important in this field because Chinese scholars mainly publish in Chinese on the study of porcelain from the production and export angle, while the articles by Western scholars focus on the distribution and consumption side. Often either side has no access to articles because they do not know the language.
With translators and interpreters at hand it is possible to combine all efforts so as to gain a much broader overview of the process of Chinese ceramics, from the kilns in China to the dinner tables in Europe.
Written by: Audrey
April 8, 2011
From Saturday 28 till Monday 30 May 2011, the Chinese Civilisation Centre and the Macao Museum of Art will jointly host the International Symposium “Chinese Export Ceramics in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries and the Spread of Material Civilisation.” The opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday morning at CCIV in Hong Kong, with presentations through to Sunday noon, after which the Symposium is shifted to Macao with more presentations until the closing ceremony on Monday.
Invited guests at the symposium include renowned scholars and experts from Asia, Europe and North America who will be sharing their latest research output and expertise on various topics related to the export of Chinese porcelain and the cultural exchange between East and West during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
The aim of the symposium is to provide a platform to share new findings and engage in scholarly exchange. If you are interested, you are welcome to join the discussion. The programme and other details about the Symposium will be released soon. Be sure to check out the website for the latest update.
Written by: Audrey
February 18, 2011
Next week Professor Theodore Huters will come to our Centre to deliver the talk ‘On the Legibility of Expression: Rethinking the Transformation of Modern Chinese Prose.’ Professor Huters is the Chief Editor of Renditions and Professor Emeritus of Chinese at UCLA.
Professor Huters is currently studying the linguistic basis of reform in the period between 1895 and 1920, and will share recent findings with us, as his summary shows: ‘While there has been a good deal of revisionist scholarship on the New Culture Movement of the late 1910s in recent years, the key assumption that the linguistic reform that was a major part of the movement was both desirable and necessary has hardly been questioned. My paper re-opens the debate over this linguistic transformation, beginning with Yan Fu and Zhang Taiyan’s concerns about writing expressed in the late Qing. It poses questions about the cost in intellectual autonomy and initiative of the radical simplification of prose expression demanded by early 20th century reformers. It also looks into how the advent of the new portmanteau concept of wenxue affected views of writing in the late Qing and early Republican period.’
All interested are welcome to attend the lecture which will be held at the Chinese Civilisation Centre on Thursday 24 February 2011, 2:30-3:30 pm. Please register by email: email@example.com
Written by: Audrey
December 21, 2010
Today and tomorrow ‘The First International Symposium on Intellectual Thought and Scholarship in East Asia: Zhang Taiyan and Late Qing Chinese Scholarschip’ is held at the City University of Hong Kong. Speakers at the symposium will share their views on intellectual thought and scholarship in late imperial China, with a focus on Zhang Taiyan and his works in particular. Perhaps better known as Zhang Binglin (1868-1936), Zhang was a Chinese philologist, linguist, philosopher and anti-Manchu revolutionary.
As explained on the website (see link below), the discussion at the symposium will include issues such as how Chinese scholars encountered Western civilisation in the late Qing, the role of Japan in the East-West encounter in China, the influence of the May Fourth Movement on modernizing scholarship in China, and other relevant historical events. In this context, Zhang Binglin played an important role as ‘his works constitute a kind of comprehensive conglomeration of learning both modern and traditional, from East and West, encompassing both Late Qing China and Meiji-era Japan.’
The symposium is organized by the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong, and co-organizer is UTCP, The University of Tokyo Centre for Philosophy. More information about the speakers and the schedule can be found on the website (http://zhangtaiyan.ctl.cityu.edu.hk/ZTY_index.html).
Written by: Audrey
November 4, 2010
This weekend the FIT Sixth Asian Translators’ Forum—Translation and Intercultural Communication: Past, Present and Future will be held in Macao, 6-8 November 2010. It is co-organized by the Federation of Translators and Interpreters of Macau and the University of Macau. Topics include: translation and cross-cultural studies, translation history and culture in Macao and Asia, tourism translation and media translation, diplomatic translation/interpreting, business and legal translation/interpreting, literary translation, etc.
Among the keynote speakers are well known names in translation studies, including Tang Wensheng, Huang Youyi, Wu Zhiliang, Martha Cheung, Sun Yifeng and Christina Schaffner. Besides the keynote speeches and individual presentations, there are also two so-called translation salons: one is a dialogue of Tang Wensheng and Zhu Yinghuang with young translators, and the other is a dialogue on research and publication between young scholars and professors.
As always I look forward to participating in the conference; it is great to have the opportunity to exchange ideas about translation, for inspiration and practical application and it will help further develop my own research on the translation of culture and China. If you are interested in the forum, please visit the website here.
Written by: Audrey
July 20, 2010
Later this week I will be travelling to Kuala Lumpur to deliver a paper at the conference Found in Translation: a common voice in a multicultural world which as stated on the website ‘is a platform for academics, writers and translators to discuss the role played by translation in multilingual and multicultural societies across the world. Through this conference, we hope to highlight the role of translation in mediating the exchange of information across cultural and linguistic divides. Translators and interpreters, skilled bilinguals who construct the bridges between cultures, not only make this information exchange possible but also act as agents of cultural change in an increasingly knowledge-driven society. We wish to celebrate the art of the translator in this conference and to discuss the issues and challenges they face in carrying out their task, as well as the strategies they have devised to meet these challenges.’
In spite of the fact that English is increasingly becoming the lingua franca, the need for translation is still urgent in many societies all over the world. Since there are so many sides to the task of a translator and in order to ensure that certain standards of translation are met, it is good to have an opportunity to exchange information and ideas on both practical experience as well as research and theories pertaining to translation studies. Although different language sets and different cultures will bring different problems, the raising of the relevant issues and proposal of suitable solutions, as well as the discussion of the methodology of translating between cultures and the identification of agencies that are active behind intercultural actions, i.e. all the aspects we have ‘found in translation’, will be of benefit to all who attend the conference.
Written by: AudreyOlder Posts »