Blog Archives

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

CHILL!

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”

18 APRIL 15:15-17:00     UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, VOSSIUS ROOM

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.

http://www.mh.sinica.edu.tw/UserDetail.aspx?userID=119&mid=16&tmid=2

 

https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/events/2018/04/manchu-roots-imperial-politics-image-discourse-and-european-botanical-studies-at-the-qianlong-court

 

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”

CHILL!

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?

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/185476655417059??ti=ia

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

CHILL!

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

 

CHILL! 7 March: Sun Jianqiang

CHILL!

Chinese Linguistics in Leiden

 

Spring 2018

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

7 March

Sun Jianqiang (Leiden)

“Chinese taboo characters and passive constructions as heuristic tools: Redating The Messiah Sutra序聽迷詩所經 and On One God一神論”

abstract: The Messiah Sutra and On One God are two ancient Chinese manuscripts that are taken as the earliest statements of the Christian faith in China. According to the conventional understanding, they were created by the first known Christian missionary Āluóběn 阿羅本 around the 640s. In this talk I will show that, relying on the name taboo tradition and the use of the bèi 被passive construction, one can make the case that the two texts were created most likely no earlier than the period of the late Tang and Five dynasties (800-960). These results have consequences for the traditional narrative of Christianity in pre-12th-century China.

 

 

28 March

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

 

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

 

10 March: Manchu Foundation launches DEBTELIN 2

The Manchu Foundation would like to invite you to the free event ‘Debtelin 2’, during which the second edition of Debtelin will be presented.

DEBTELIN 2 explores the literature, art, culture and poetry of Manchu Archery. Translations and preparations are executed by Manchu students around the globe, supervised by Peter Dekker and Fresco Sam-Sin. Debtelin 2 comes with a poster and a website full of extra material.

There will be a Q&A with the main contributors of this edition: Fresco Sam-Sin, lecturer of Manchu and Manchu Studies at Leiden University, and Peter Dekker, specialist in Manchu Archery.
Peter will bring real antique Manchu weapons with him. Enough to see and talk about!

For more information and registering, or perhaps already buying your own copy, please go to https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/tickets-debtelin-2-event-43226577858.

China Seminar 6 March: David Palmer: The Aporia of Chinese Volunteers

The Aporia of Chinese Volunteers: Moral Breakdown and Ethical Moments

David A. Palmer (The University of Hong Kong) and Rundong Ning (Yale University)

Following the Beijing Olympics and the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, the past decade has seen the large-scale development and institutionalization of volunteering in China, which has taken various forms ranging from projects sponsored by the Communist Party Youth League to serving in grassroots NGOs. Based on participant observation at a school for children of migrant workers in Beijing and on interviews with educational volunteers in a range of organizations, this paper will explore the dilemmas faced by volunteers when confronting social expectations about their motivations and goals in volunteering. Devoted volunteers distance themselves from the two dominant discourses of utilitarianism and revolutionary collectivism that frame volunteering in China today, preferring to use an idiom of self-expression, of a personal choice that warrants no justification. Drawing on Joel Robbins’ and Jared Zygon’s analysis of moral discourses in times of societal moral breakdown, the paper analyses how, faced with contradictory ethical demands, volunteers struggle to make sense of their own engagement.

 

Bio:

Dr. David A. Palmer is an Associate Professor of Anthropology in the department of Sociology and in the Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Hong Kong. His books include the award-winning Qigong Fever: Body, Science and Utopia in China (Columbia University Press, 2007); The Religious Question in Modern China (University of Chicago Press, co-authored with Vincent Goossaert 2011; awarded the Levenson Book Prize of the Association for Asian Studies); and Dream Trippers: Global Daoism and the Predicament of Modern Spirituality (University of Chicago Press, co-authored with Elijah Siegler, 2017).

 

Location: Vrieshof 4/012

Time: 6 March 15:15-17:00 p.m.