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Commerce and Classics: Sino-Japanese Exchanges in the Eighteenth Century

A podcast of a presentation given December 12, 2007, by Benjamin Elman, on the intellectual impact of late imperial Chinese classicism, medicine and science in Tokugawa Japan by way of reconsidering early modern Sino-Japanese cultural history, 1700-1850.

Benjamin Elman is Professor of East Asian Studies and History at Princeton University. His research includes Chinese intellectual and cultural history, 1000-1900; the history of science in China, 1600-1930; the history of education in late imperial China; and Sino-Japanese cultural history, 1600-1850. He received his Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (1980) and was for many years Professor of History at UCLA. He was also director of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies. From 1999 to 2001 he was the Mellon Visiting Professor in Traditional Chinese Civilization at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ). He is the author of four books: From Philosophy to Philology: Intellectual and Social Aspects of Change in Late Imperial China (1984; 2nd edition 2001); Classicism, Politics, and Kinship: The Ch’ang-chou School of New Text Confucianism in Late Imperial China (1990); A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China (2000); and On Their Own Terms: Science in China, 1550-1900 (2005). He is also the coeditor of two books and the creator of Classical Historiography for Chinese History, a web-based bibliography published since 1996.

Professor Elman is currently working on two book projects: A Short Cultural History of Modern Science in Late Imperial China (forthcoming), and a study of cultural interaction in East Asia during the eighteenth century, in particular the impact of Chinese classical learning, medicine, and natural studies on Japan and Korea. He is also coauthor of a forthcoming world history textbook (the companion volume to Worlds Together, Worlds Apart [2002]) that will cover from prehistoric times up to 1300.

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