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Korea-Vietnam 2022-2023 Speaker Series

Vernacularization and the East Asian Book Roads

Dr. Peter Kornicki is Emeritus Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge; previously taught at the University of Tasmania and Kyoto University. Publications include The Book in Japan (1998), Languages, Scripts and Chinese Texts in East Asia (2018) and Eavesdropping on the Emperor (2021).
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Dr. Suyoung Son is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University. Her research focuses on the social practices of reading and writing in light of book history, the history of knowledge, and studies of authorship and material culture in early modern China and Korea (1600-1900). She is the author of Writing for Print: Publishing and the Making of Textual Authority in Late Imperial China (Harvard UP, 2018). She is currently at work on a monograph tentatively titled Culinary Books and Recipes for Knowledge in Chosŏn Korea.

November 10th, 2022, 12:00 Noon Los Angeles
Zoom Webinar

Presented by Peter Kornicki

Cambridge University

Joined by Suyoung Son

Cornell University

Please register in advance: https://ucla.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FkVLsCrmT8mlGJnVbEuMkA

For centuries the only books that circulated in East Asia were texts in literary Chinese travelling from China to peripheral states. In this lecture I will explore the reception of those texts in Japan, Korea and Vietnam and the efforts made to make them accessible to local readers. These operations conducted on literary Chinese texts were the first steps taken in vernacularization, and they later led to the production of vernacular translations and commentaries and ultimately to the dominance of vernacular texts. But Japan, Korea and Vietnam each chose different paths on the road to vernacularization and these differences defy easy explanation.

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