Visiting lecturers to discuss Chinese letters and philosophy

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A husband and wife team of academics from the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at University of Colorado, Boulder, will give a pair of lectures at Grand Valley.

The back-to-back lectures, Monday, April 8, from 3-5:45 p.m. in MAK A-1-184, are open to the public, but will be of most interest to students of Chinese studies, literature, history, and philosophy.

Antje Richter’s lecture, “Wang Xizhi as a Correspondent: Epistolary Authenticity and Convention in Early Medieval China,” begins at 3 p.m.

First trained in English and Germanic Studies, in 1989 Antje embarked on a second career in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Chinese Art and Archaeology at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. She is the author of a monograph, Letters & Epistolary Culture in Early Medieval China, forthcoming by Washington University Press. She is also preparing a Handbook of Chinese Letter Writing, a collection of papers given at a workshop in Boulder, with contributions of several other scholars. Apart from letter writing, her research focuses on other fields of early medieval Chinese literature, in particular on literary thought (especially in Wenxin diaolong), reflections on nature and wilderness in the poetry of Xie Lingyun (385–433) and others, as well as on literary representations and medical ideas of sleeping and dreaming.

Matthias Richter’s lecture, “Before Laozi became a Daoist,” will begin at 4:30 p.m.

He graduated with a diploma in German and English literature from the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena (East Germany) in 1985, studied Sinology, Japanology and Philosophy in Munich and Beijing, and received a doctorate in Sinology from the University of Hamburg in 2000. He has taught early Chinese literature and philosophy at several German universities and conducted a three-year research project in manuscript studies at the University of Hamburg. His publications include two edited volumes on early Chinese manuscripts, as well as various articles in European, American, and Chinese journals. His most recent book, The Embodied Text: Establishing Textual Identity in Early Chinese Manuscripts, has been published by E.J. Brill (Leiden) in January 2013. He studies Chinese Warring States period (475-221 B.C.) and Early Imperial politico-philosophical literature, with a particular interest in questions of rhetorics and redactional strategies in texts such as Guoyu, Lunyu, Laozi, Guanzi, Hanfeizi. His work has a strong focus on textual criticism, the formational history of texts, and the methodology of studying early Chinese manuscripts.

The lectures are sponsored by Grand Valley’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, East Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, History and Philosophy. For more information contact Professor Curtis Smith at smithcu@gvsu.edu, or call the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at (616) 331-3203.