Looking at China from the Periphery: The Interconnected History of the Chinese Gazette in the Eighteenth Century
Nicolas Standaert - Professor of Sinology, KU Leuven
The Council on East Asian Studies is pleased to present the 62nd Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture in Chinese Studies.
The lecture will take place from 4:30pm to 6:00pm with a reception to follow in the Luce Common Room (2nd Floor)
One approach to Chinese history is to “look at China from the periphery” (从周边看中国) and to consider it an “interconnected cultural history” (交错的文化史). These notions refer to the practice of observing and studying Chinese traditions and culture through written materials preserved in various cultural areas around China and in the West. This facilitates a closer look at how Chinese culture is interconnected with the cultural history of other regions, including Europe.
This lecture will take the Chinese Gazette as a case study. By “looking at a culture from the periphery,” it will show how in this case European sources expand the knowledge about the eighteenth-century version of the Chinese gazette that is otherwise lost in research solely based on Chinese sources. By searching for “interconnected cultural history,” it will illustrate how both the close reading and the use of digital databases reveal that the Chinese gazette, as it was translated by European missionaries, became a major source for reflections on state and society of the French Enlightenment thinkers. It thus joined a global public much earlier than so far assumed.
Nicolas Standaert, Ph.D. Leiden University (1984), Professor of Sinology at KU Leuven (Belgium) (1993-), Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium (2003-). His major research interest is the cultural contacts between China and Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In this field he has led multiple research projects on rituality, visual culture, historiography and print culture. Author of: The Chinese Gazette in European Sources: Joining the Global Public in the Early and Mid-Qing Dynasty (Brill, 2022); The Intercultural Weaving of Historical Texts: Chinese and European Stories about Emperor Ku and His Concubines (Brill, 2016); Chinese Voices in the Rites Controversy: Travelling Books, Community Networks, Intercultural Arguments (Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2012); The Interweaving of Rituals: Funerals in the Cultural Exchange between China and Europe (Univ. of Washington Press, 2008); An Illustrated Life of Christ Presented to the Chinese Emperor: The History of Jincheng shuxiang (1640) (Steyler Verlag, 2007); Yang Tingyun, Confucian and Christian in Late Ming China: His Life and Thought (Brill, 1988).