The Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania is delighted to announce an interdisciplinary symposium in honor of Nathan Sivin at Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, on Oct. 14-15, 2017.
The symposium is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Just click here if you’d like to attend:
Welcomes: ALEXUS MCLEOD (University of Connecticut)
With responses from: ANDREW MEYER (Brooklyn College, CUNY)
Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2nd at 5:30PM for his lecture entitled:
“The Madman of Chu: The Problem of Mental Illness and Self-Cultivation in Early Chinese Texts”
ABSTRACT: In Confucian and Zhuangist texts of the Pre-Han and Han period, we see characters described as “crazy, mad” (狂 kuang), and find descriptions or discussions of madness or mad persons—most prominently the infamous Jieyu, “Madman of Chu”. I argue that madness is seen by Confucians and Zhuangists as a kind of moral deformity that moves one outside of the boundaries of ritual and society and thus full personhood—a fact that leads the Confucians to shun mad people, and the Zhuangist to praise them. Madness is seen not as a 病 bing (disorder, illness), but instead as based on a cultivated choice. Continue reading →
I’m informed by the publicity editor for Columbia University Press that the new Huainanzi translation is out and that the translators are available to write something about it on this blog or to be interviewed. I’m not sure what kinds of things we might have them address as of yet since very few, if any, of us has had a chance to look at the volume. Any thoughts?
I did have a related set of questions about backgrounds of translators in general, ones that are relevant not only to our specialization but to others, which occurred to me in this context. Most ancient texts that interest philosophers tend to have been translated, at least into English, by non-philosophers — that is, by specialists who have specialized training in other fields than philosophy. Continue reading →