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24 June 2021 - 24 June 2021

5:00PM - 7:00PM


  • Free

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This is the image alt text Street in Shanghai China

Leslie Brooks Lecture 2021

'Illegible Cities: Translating Early Modern China'

The history of China, as any history, is a story of and in translation. This talk will introduce Translating Early Modern China: Illegible Cities, a new book that tells the story of translation in China to and from non-European languages between the fourteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Using a hybrid form that blends fiction and history, each chapter finds a particular translator resurrected from the past to tell the story of a text (in Chinese, Mongolian, Manchu, Latin, and more) that helped to make the Chinese language what it was at different points in its history. The book explores what the form of an academic history book might look like by playing with fictioning as part of the historian's craft, and the talk will address questions of language and translation in China's past, the use of fiction as a historian's tool, and the ways that translation creates language.

This event is open to all but we request that non-Durham University participants attend via registration. 

Registration for this event will close at 5pm, Wednesday 23 June.