Reischauer Lecture Series; co-sponsored by Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University Asia Center, Korea Institute, Mittal South Asia Institute, and Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
James Bryant Conant University Professor, Emeritus, Harvard University
Stephen Owen is a sinologist specializing in premodern literature, lyric poetry, and comparative poetics. Much of his work has focused on the middle period of Chinese literature (200-1200), however, he has also written on literature of the early period and the Qing. Owen has written or edited dozens of books, articles, and anthologies in the field of Chinese literature, especially Chinese poetry, including An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911 (Norton, 1996); The Making of Early Chinese Classical Poetry (Harvard Asia Center, 2006); and The Late Tang: Chinese Poetry of the Mid-Ninth Century (827-860) (Harvard Asia Center, 2006). Owen has completed the translation of the complete poetry of Du Fu, which has been published as the inaugural volumes of the Library of Chinese Humanities series, featuring Chinese literature in translation. Owen earned a B.A. (1968) and a Ph.D. (1972) in Chinese Language from Yale University. He taught there from 1972 to 1982, before coming to Harvard. In acknowledgment of his groundbreaking work that crosses the boundaries of multiple disciplines, Owen was awarded the James Bryant Conant University Professorship in 1997. He has been a Fulbright Scholar, held a Guggenheim Fellowship, and received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award (2006) among many other awards and honors.
Discussant: Michael Puett, Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History, Harvard University
Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History and Anthropology, as well as the Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion, at Harvard University. His interests are focused on the inter-relations between philosophy, anthropology, history, and religion, with the hope of bringing the study of China into larger historical and comparative frameworks. He is the author of The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early Chinaand To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China, as well as the co-author, with Adam Seligman, Robert Weller, and Bennett Simon, of Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity.