How Can One Say the Unprecedented in Pre-Modern East Asia: Su Dongpo and Ink Bamboo


Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


Belfer Case Study Room (S020), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

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
Reischauer Lectures

Stephen Owen
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: Stephen H. West, Foundation Professor of Chinese, Head of East and Southeast Asian Section, School of International Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University; Louis Agassiz Professor of Chinese, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

Stephen West is a Foundation Professor of Chinese in the School of International Letters and Cultures. West works in the textual culture of late medieval and early modern China (1000–1600), with specialties in performance literature, drama, urban literature, and garden studies.