28 June Manchu Foundation: Tsead, Jo en de Mantsjoes

Taal en poëzie van Friesland tot Siberië

Op deze avond vieren we de kracht van taal en poëzie en in het bijzonder onze nieuwste uitgave Mantsjoes toen en nu in gedichten en gebeden. We doen dit met drie prachtsprekers. Je zult op het puntje van je stoel zitten.

Jo DE BAERDEMAKER ofwel Typojo laat ons toe in zijn wereld van letterontwerp. Jo gaf verschillende kwetsbare talen een gezicht door middel van fontontwerp. Hiermee gaf hij niet alleen een practisch gereedschap aan de taalgebruikers, maar ook een stuk eigenwaarde. Want, denk je in: wat zou het betekenen als er geen letters zijn om Nederlands mee te typen?

Tsead BRUINJA zal voordragen uit eigen werk, dat zich splits in Friese en Nederlandse gedichten. Hoe deel je jezelf als je in twee moedertalen dicht? Naast de gedichten zelf, zal Tsead ook over die vraag een boekje open doen. Tsead zal zeker ook lezen uit zijn nieuwe bundel Hingje net alle klean op deselde kapstôk / Hang niet alle kleren aan dezelfde kapstok.

Fresco SAM-SIN zal in zijn presentatie de Mantjoe sjamanen, khans, soldaten en het gewone volk een stem geven. Bijna 300 jaar een wereldmacht en toch nog zo onbekend. En hoe mooi als we de Mantsjoes kunnen leren kennen door hun, voor het Nederlandse publiek, compleet onbekende literatuur. Dat is precies wat Fresco zal doen.

locatie: Imperium, Oude Vest 33E, Leiden



28-30 June Shared Taste Conference: food and exchange in Asia and Europe

Shared Taste Conference:
The Shared Taste Conference takes place on June 28, June 29 and June 30 and features scholars working across relevant disciplines to present papers on the Eurasian movement of crops, foodstuffs and food practices, and the role of food in the exchange between Asia and Europe.

Keynote and opening of conference on June 28 by eminent French food historian Françoise Sabban (Paris); special featured speaker on June 29 is Asian food scholar Cecilia Leong-Salobir (Wollongong).

Register through website:

Shared Taste Conference programme

25 May China Seminar: Bian He

Title: “Not a Local Product Here”: Materia Medica and the Spatial Politics of Material Resources (wuliao) in Ming China

Speaker: Bian He (Princeton University / MPIWG)

Time and location: Friday 25 May, 15.00-17.00 WIJKPL2/001

Abstract: Pharmaceutical ingredients constituted a major category of local products (tuchan) in Chinese historiography. The institution of local tribute (tugong) in turn mediated the relationship between the central regime and local administrations, deriving its legitimacy from the correct identification of noteworthy products with their places of origin. It has been widely assumed that during the Ming dynasty the imperial state’s collection of materia medica, along with other tribute items, became converted into a surtax paid with silver, yet few has looked into the particular process of this change with a wide geographical coverage. Nor were the political, economic, and cultural consequences of this change fully explored. In this talk, I seek to address these questions with my work on the documentation of materia medica as “material resources (wuliao)” in Ming local gazetteers, and present some preliminary results drawn from the digital research platform on Local Gazetteers at MPIWG Berlin. Overall, I hope to demonstrate the distinct regional character of fiscal reform starting from the fifteenth century, and discuss the dynamic relationship between policy, commerce, and culture as seen through the example of pharmacy.

16 May China Seminar: Limin Teh

Title: Mining the Dragon Vein: Coal Extraction and Secular Power in Northeast China, 1895-1912

Speaker: Limin Teh (Leiden University)

Time: 16 May, 15:15-17:00

Location: Lipsius 235

Abstract: Coal mining in late Qing and early Republican China ushered in new forms of mobilities (rail transport), production (industrial manufacture), governance (mining laws), knowledge production (geology), and political mobilization (unionization). These new forms, in one way or another, contributed to the dissolution of the late imperial state. In this paper, I take this claim a step further to assert that mining secularized political power when mining extended into formerly sacred landscape. This paper examines changes in the landscape of the area that the Qing court termed the “dragon vein longmai” and “the place where the dragon arose longxing zhi di,” which encompassed three mausoleums in the Greater Mukden (or Shenyang) vicinity and the Changbai mountains. To protect this area that was considered the birthplace of the Manchu people, the Qing court in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries instituted controls over the landscape, ranging from ritual visits to restricted land ownership. The dragon vein also happened to possess a wealth of coal deposits, which were opened in the late nineteenth century to foreign and Chinese mining interests following exponential rise in coal demand resulting from the construction of the Russian-owned Chinese Eastern Railroad. What global and local factors brought about this change? How did the imperial throne and local Qing officials negotiate this change? What were the implications of this change on the imperial throne? These questions guide the paper’s investigation of the introduction of mining in the Manchu ancestral homeland, using maps, travelogues, and official documents.

9 May CHILL! Han Mengru


Chinese Linguistics in Leiden


Last talk of the season!

Wednesday 9 May 2018, 15:15-16:30

Van Wijkplaats 2, room 006


Han Mengru  (Utrecht):

“Mothers’ use of prosodic prominence in word-learning contexts: evidence from Dutch and Mandarin infant-directed speech”


This talk is about the way in which Dutch and Mandarin speaking mothers use prosody (temporal and pitch-related cues) in infant-directed speech in word-learning contexts. We will discuss the question how universal or language-specific different aspects of infant-directed speech are.


for comments and suggestions for Autumn, please contact r.p.e.sybesma@hum.leidenuniv.nl


18 April China Seminar: Lai Yu-chi: “Manchu Roots”

Lai Yu-chih (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), “Manchu Roots: Imperial Politics, Image Discourse, and European Botanical Studies at the Qianlong Court”


Abstract: Changbai Mountain was deemed by the Manchu rulers of the Qing as the birthplace for the ancestors of the dynasty and, therefore, a sacred mountain. The trees growing there were often connected with the fate of the Qing Empire. The Qianlong emperor himself composed at least two rhymes on two different auspicious trees growing there and related these two trees to the fate of his empire, one of which is the focus of this paper. For picturing and recording this tree, Qianlong ordered an expedition equipped with a professional court painter to be organized to investigate this tree firsthand. At least four sets of images were made after this expedition, within which actual specimens were also included. Therefore, this talk will take this series of images on this auspicious tree on the Manchu’s sacred mount as an example to explore why Qianlong insisted on the “first-hand” investigation of this actual tree? Why is this tree so important to Qianlong? What role did images play in dealing with the critical issues regarding the existence of the tree? Most importantly, how would this function, if any, of images affect the style and the making of them?

This talk is sponsored by the Hulsewé-Wazniewski Foundation.





Upcoming Talks:

Dates Venue Presenter Affiliation
18 April 2018 Vossius (University library) Yu-chih Lai Academia Sinica
2 May 2018 LIPSIUS 235 Lin Fan Leiden University
16 May 2018 TBA Limin Teh Leiden University
25 May WIJKPL2/001 Bian He Princeton University


18 April CHILL! Yang Zhaole on “Mandarin yě and scalarity”


Chinese Linguistics in Leiden

Spring 2018


All talks Wednesdays 15:15-16:30, Van Wijkplaats 2, room 006


18 April

Yang Zhaole (Leiden): “Mandarin and scalarity”

This talk will be about Mandarin (‘also’ in its basic use) in no-matter contexts and even contexts. I will show that all contexts in which can be used are characterized by scalarity.


9 May

Han Mengru  (Utrecht): “Mothers’ use of prosodic prominence in word-learning contexts: evidence from Dutch and Mandarin infant-directed speech”


for comments and suggestions, please contact r.p.e.sybesma@hum.leidenuniv.nl


20 april: Fresco Sam-Sin: Mantsjoes toen en nu in gedichten en gebeden

Mantsjoes toen en nu in gedichten en gebeden


Bijna drie eeuwen lang heersten de Mantsjoes over een van de grootste landrijken ooit, de Daiqing (1636-1912). Na de val van hun rijk viel de Mantsjoes haat, hoon en onderdrukking ten deel. Fresco Sam-Sin zal met gedichten en gebeden het lot van de Mantsjoes aan u introduceren: van bidden in het wild en in het donker, via lof-, hof- en liefdesverzen, tot trauma op rijm en burleske macaroni om te eindigen met beelden en geluiden van moderne poëzie. Welke invloed hebben de gebeden en gedichten van toen op de dichters en sprekers van nu?



20 april: Amsterdam – Perdu

China Seminar 28 March: Monica Klasing Chen

China Seminar: Why remember? Memory and practical knowledge in Chinese painting texts

Monica Klasing Chen (Leiden University)

28 March, 15.15-17.00, Lipsius 235


During the Ming dynasty, practical knowledge on painting began to be broadly sought after and circulated, rendering the printing of didactic texts both economically and socially profitable. Such texts were included, for example, in daily-use encyclopedias 日用類書, which offered brief entries and presented the content in a rhymed format to facilitate memorization. The major concern voiced by the editors of such works was to make this knowledge broadly available.

During the mid-Qing dynasty, when it had become common for scholar-artisans to author their own didactic texts, they began to question the value of standardized rules, giving memorization a secondary role in their theories. Nevertheless, a turn towards remembering and memorization would occur once again during the end of the Qing dynasty, following the traumatic events of the Taiping rebellion and the widespread efforts of scholars to reaffirm their local identity. In this talk I argue that the role of memory was closely related to the social function given to practical knowledge by scholars, who also shaped practices of remembering.


Monica Klasing Chen is a doctoral candidate at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies. Her dissertation project analyses the use of mnemonics in the field of Chinese painting and calligraphy, with a focus on the social value of memory practices and the transmission of practical knowledge through text and image.

CHILL!: 28 March: Chen Aoju


Chinese Linguistics in Leiden

Spring 2018

All talks Wednesdays 15:15-16:30, Van Wijkplaats 2, room 006


28 March

Chen Aoju (Utrecht): “Same prominence, different developmental paths: Prosodic focus-marking in children acquiring Mandarin and West Germanic languages”


abstract In both West Germanic languages and Mandarin, speakers distinguish the im-portant information (focus) from the less important informa¬tion (background) in a sentence by pronouncing the focal word with in¬creased prominence via changes in pitch and duration. In this talk, I will show that despite the stri¬king similarities in the prosodic expres¬sion of focus between Mandarin and West Germanic languages, children acquiring these languages differ in both the rate and the order in which they become adult-like in the use of pitch and duration.

18 April

Yang Zhaole (Leiden): “Mandarin and scalarity”

9 May

Han Mengru  (Utrecht): “Mothers’ use of prosodic prominence in word-learning contexts: evidence from Dutch and Mandarin infant-directed speech”


for comments and suggestions, please contact r.p.e.sybesma@hum.leidenuniv.nl