I would like to draw your attention to the workshop "Letters and Epistolary Culture in China" that took place last week at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The workshop, generously funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, was the first meeting of a group of scholars who share an interest in Chinese letter writing culture. Although epistolary communication, literature, and culture have been crucial elements of Chinese social life for more than two thousand years, they have so far not received the scholarly attention they deserve. At the workshop, twenty scholars -- from PhD candidates to senior professors working in fields as diverse as literature, history, archaeology, and art history, and ranging from ca. 200 BC to the 20th century -- presented and discussed their research in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of the Chinese culture of written communication. The topics examined include material aspects, textual features, literary characteristics, historical implications, and the general importance of letters for Chinese society as well as methodological questions regarding the study of this field (for details see http://spot.colorado.edu/~richtea/workshop.html). Based on the conference papers and on contributions by several other scholars I am going to edit a Handbook of Chinese Letter Writing, to be published with Brill in Leiden as part of the series Handbook of Oriental Studies. The volume will collect about two dozen research articles dedicated to various aspects of Chinese epistolary culture.
Everyone interested in further information about this project is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Colorado at Boulder
Asian Languages and Civilizations
Boulder, CO 80309, USA
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