Call for Papers
Jointly organized by the East Asian Department of the University of Göttingen and the Study Group for the History and Philosophy of Chinese Science and Technology at the Technical University Berlin this conference continues a series of workshops, round-table discussions and seminars initiated by the research project Wissenschaftssprache Chinesisch (WSC )or Studies in the Formation of Modern Chinese Scientific Terminologies. The conference is intended to integrate preliminary results of the MCST-Project and related efforts into the broader context of historical research on late imperial China and stimulate further discussion among scholars working in the field.
The process of naturalizing concepts of Western science in China occured as a complex reciprocal exchange of meanings, ideas and interpretations. Due to the fact that every translation, as a process of cultural interpretation, involves the tradition of inherited knowledge and experience, systematic research into the translation process opens up a wide field of theoretical and practical questions. Choices in the translation of selected notions from alien systems of knowledge were influenced and restricted by factors as divergent as institutional frameworks, social positions, biographical horizons, fashions or market conditions, in addition to genres, linguistic rules of word-formation, language registers and the traditional or customary vocabulary. They were also preconditioned by preconceived ideas and ideologies or more general (national) interests and indigenous exigencies. As Chinese and Western scientists and translators jointly participated in the then rather new efforts to establish international scientific discourse, the contemporary state of the art in the various sciences, the current ways of classifying knowledge as well as ideological, religious and linguistic strategies and interests must all be taken into account as decisive factors shaping the creation and accumulation of a consistent lexicon.
While our first larger workshop "Researching Modern Chinese Technical Terminologies: Methodological Considerations and Practical Problems" in October 1997 focused on the specific problems of the formation of scientific terminologies, the announced conference aims to highlight the many complementary aspects of the translation of Western knowledge into late imperial China. The meeting is planned to cover amongst others the following areas which may be divided into four sub-sections:
Scholars and students in the fields of linguistics, cultural history, history of science as well as the political and social history of late imperial China are warmly welcomed to join this endeavour and participate in the meeting. Abstracts (300 words) are invited by March 15, 1999. Complete paper versions are expected by November 30, 1999. Conference languages will be English and Chinese.
For further information please contact:
Dr Natascha Vittinghoff[BACK TO TOP]
URL of this page: http://www.wsc.uni-erlangen.de/99call.htm
Last modified: October 22, 1999 by Joachim Kurtz