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Vernacularization and the East Asian Book Roads

Vernacularization and the East Asian Book Roads

This is the fourth of five webinars in the 'Korea-Vietnam before the 20th Century Series' scheduled for Fall 2022. This series brings together scholars interested in Korean-Vietnamese in dialogue in order to develop a framework for meaningful future collaboration.

Thursday, November 10, 2022
12:00 PM (Pacific Time)

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.  

 For more information about the series and other speakers, please check out fall webinar schedule

To join the talk, please click here.    

Our next conversation is on Thursday, November 17th with Professor Ross King and Professor Keith Taylor


Professor Peter KORNICKI is Emeritus Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge. He previously taught at the University of Tasmania and Kyoto University. his publications include The Book in Japan (1998), Languages, Scripts and Chinese Texts in East Asia (2018), and Eavesdropping on the Emperor (2021).    

Professor Suyong Son is a Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University. Her research focusses 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.    


This series is sponsored by Academy of Korean Studies (Project: AKS-2020-C-15), James P. Geiss & Margaret Y. Hsu Foundation, UCLA’s Center for Korean Studies, Center of Southeast Asian Studies, and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.

Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies

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