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Benjamin Bowen Carter as an Agent of Global Knowledge
Benjamin Bowen Carter (1771-1831), one of the first Americans to speak and read Chinese, studied Chinese in Canton and advocated its use in diplomacy decades before America established a formal relationship with China. Drawing on rediscovered manuscripts, this book reconstructs Carter’s multilingual learning experience, reveals how he helped translate a diplomatic document into Chinese, describes his interactions with European sinologists, and traces his attempts to convince the US government and American academics of the practical and cultural value of Chinese studies. The cross-cultural perspective employed in this book emphasizes the reciprocal dynamics of Carter’s relationships with Chinese and European “others,” while Carter’s story itself forces a rewriting of the earliest years of US-China relations.
Giulia Falato’s work on Alfonso Vagnone S.J.’ s (1568-1640) Tongyou jiaoyu 童幼教育 (On the Education of Children) offers a systematic study of the earliest treatise on European pedagogy and its first annotated translation in English. In particular, it highlights the role of Tongyou jiaoyu as a cultural bridge between the Chinese and Western traditions. Drawing from archival materials and multi-language literature, Falato produces an insightful account of the Jesuit’s background, the pedagogical debate in late-Ming China, and the making and main sources of the treatise. Through the diachronic analysis of a selection of philosophical terms, this work also provides a fresh perspective on the Jesuits’ lexical innovations and contribution to the formation of the modern Chinese lexicon.
The Neo-Buddhist Writings of Lafcadio Hearn: Light from the East by Antony Goedhals offers radical rereadings of a misunderstood and undervalued Victorian writer. It reveals that at the metaphysical core of Lafcadio Hearn’s writings is a Buddhist vision as yet unappreciated by his critics and biographers. Beginning with the American writings and ending with the essay- and story-meditations of the Japanese period, the book demonstrates Hearn’s deeply personal and transcendently beautiful evocations of a Buddhist universe, and shows how these deconstruct and dissolve the categories of Western discourse and thinking about reality – to create a new language, a poetry of vastness, emptiness, and oneness that had not been heard before in English, or, indeed, in the West.
Editors / Translators: and
Lu Jia's New Discourses: A Political Manifesto from the Early Han Dynasty is a readable yet accurate translation by Paul R. Goldin and Elisa Levi Sabattini.
Celebrated as “a man-of-service with a mouth [skilled] at persuasion”, Lu Jia (c. 228-140 BCE) became one of the leading figures of the early Han dynasty, serving as a statesman and diplomat from the very beginning of the Han empire. This book is a translation of Lu Jia’s New Discourses, which laid out the reasons for rise and fall of empires. Challenged by the new Emperor to produce a book explaining why a realm that was conquered on horseback cannot also be ruled on horseback, Lu Jia produced New Discourses, to great acclaim.
Glimpses of Tibetan Divination: Past and Present is the first book of its kind, in that it contains articles by a group of eminent scholars who approach the subject matter by investigating it through various facets and salient historical figures.
Over the centuries, Tibetans developed many practices of prognostication and adapted many others from neighboring cultures and religions. In this way, Tibetan divination evolved into a vast field of ritual expertise that has been largely neglected in Tibetan Studies.
The Tibetan repertoire of divinatory techniques is rich and immensely varied. Accordingly, the specimen of practices discussed in this volume—many of which remain in use today—merely serve as examples that offer glimpses of divination in Tibet.

Contributors are Per Kværne, Brandon Dotson, Ai Nishida, Dan Martin, Petra Maurer, Charles Ramble, Donatella Rossi, Rolf Scheuermann, Alexander Smith, and Agata Bareja-Starzynska.
Philology was everywhere and nowhere in classical South Asia. While its civilizations possessed remarkably sophisticated tools and methods of textual analysis, interpretation, and transmission, they lacked any sense of a common disciplinary or intellectual project uniting these; indeed they lacked a word for ‘philology’ altogether.

Arguing that such pseudepigraphical genres as the Sanskrit purāṇas and tantras incorporated modes of philological reading and writing, Cox demonstrates the ways in which the production of these works in turn motivated the invention of new kinds of śāstric scholarship. Combining close textual analysis with wider theoretical concerns, Cox traces this philological transformation in the works of the dramaturgist Śāradātanaya, the celebrated Vaiṣṇava poet-theologian Veṅkaṭanātha, and the maverick Śaiva mystic Maheśvarānanda.
Philological Encounters is dedicated to the historical and philosophical critique of philology.

The journal welcomes global and comparative perspectives that integrate textual scholarship and the study of language from across the world. Alongside four issues a year, monographs and/ or collected volumes will occasionally be published as supplements to the journal in the book series Philological Encounters Monographs.

The journal is open to contributions in all fields studying the history of textual practices, hermeneutics and philology, philological controversies, and the intellectual and global history of writing, archiving, tradition-making and publishing. Neither confined to any discipline nor bound by any geographical or temporal limits, Philological Encounters takes as its point of departure the growing concern with the global significance of philology and the potential of historically conscious and politically critical philology to challenge exclusivist notions of the self and the canon. Philological Encounters welcomes innovative and critical contributions in the form of articles as well as review articles, usually of two or three related books, and preferably from different disciplines.

Philological Encounters is a publication of the research program Zukunftsphilologie (Forum Transregionale Studien Berlin).

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The seven essays by Chen Pingyuan gathered in this collection are mainly focused on the evolution of the fictional genre during the transitional period of late Qing and May Fourth : the role played by periodicals, the relationship between elitist and popular literature, the link between modern fiction and tradition. In a broader perspective, they address the cultural changes that took place in these challenging times : the teaching of literature or arts at the old Beijing University, the place of the Dianshizhai pictorial between popular culture and Western modernity.

Through their approach, these essays show evidence of the transformations that occurred in China during the last 25 years in the field of research on modern Chinese literature and culture.

Les sept essais de Chen Pingyuan que rassemble le présent recueil portent principalement sur l’évolution du genre romanesque lors de la période de transition de la fin des Qing et du 4 mai : rôle de la presse, rapport entre littérature élitiste et littérature populaire, lien entre le roman moderne et la tradition. Ils évoquent de façon plus large les changements culturels survenus à cette époque charnière : l’enseignement de la littérature ou celui des arts à l’ancienne université de Pékin, la place de la revue illustrée Dianshizhai entre culture populaire et modernité occidentale.

Ces essais témoignent par leur approche des transformations survenues en Chine même, au cours des vingt-cinq dernières années, dans la recherche sur la littérature et la culture chinoises modernes.
Authorship in East Asian Literatures from the Beginnings to the Seventeenth Century
Did East Asian literatures, ranging from bronze inscriptions to zazen treatises, lack a concept of authorship before their integration into classical modernity? The answer depends on how one defines the term author. Starting out with a critical review of recent theories of authorship, this edited volume distinguishes various author functions, which can be distributed among several individuals and need not be integrated into a single source of textual meaning. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literary traditions cover the whole spectrum from 'weak' composite to 'strong' individual forms and concepts of authorship. Divisions on this scale can be equated with gradual differences in the range of self-articulation. Contributors are Roland Altenburger, Alexander Beecroft, Marion Eggert, Simone Müller, Christian Schwermann, and Raji Steineck.
Wang Tong (ca. 584–617) and the Zhongshuo in Medieval China’s Manuscript Culture
Transmitting Authority investigates the rise and fall of the cultural currency of the Confucian teacher Wang Tong (ca. 584–617), a.k.a. Master Wenzhong, in the five centuries following his death, by examining the textual and social history of the Zhongshuo, which purports to record Wang Tong’s teachings. Incorporating theories and methodologies from textual criticism, the history of the book, and cultural studies, Warner reveals evidence of the Zhongshuo’s textual fluidity during the Tang and early Song dynasties, and argues that this fluidity attended the shifting terms of the Zhongshuo’s cultural value for medieval China’s literati culture. In doing so, Warner offers scholars a model for the study of other works whose textual problems and historical significance have hitherto seemed inscrutable.