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Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium (CCCC)

CCCC / 古文品讀  Scheduled on Fridays at 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Rockefeller Hall Room 374 (Asian Studies Lounge) unless otherwise noted

CCCC is a reading group for students and scholars with interest in premodern Sinographic text.

All are welcome, at any level of experience with classical Chinese.

At each session, one participant presents a text in classical Chinese. Attendees discuss historical, literary, linguistic, and other aspects of the text, and work together to resolve difficulties in comprehension and translation.

Presentations include works of all sorts, from the earliest times to the twentieth century.

No preparation required: all texts will be distributed at the meeting.


The video here is a conversation amongst the co-founders of the Classical Chinese Medical Texts workshop, June 2018. Featured are: Bridie Andrews (Bentley University), TJ Hinrichs, (Cornell), and,

Yi-Li Wu (University of Michigan).


Spring 2020

January 31        Dan Boucher, Asian and Religious Studies, Cornell University

April 10             Meir Shahar, East Asian Studies, Tel Aviv University

April 24             Lan Li, History, Rice School of Humanities

May 1               Cynthia Brokaw, History, East Asia Studies, Brown University

Past CCCC Sessions

Fall 2019

October 4 Dorothy Ko, History, Barnard College

October 18  Tina Lu, East Asian languages and Literatures, Yale University

November 15 Cheng Erqi, Ph.D. candidate, History, Syracuse University

December 6  Keither Taylor,  Asian Studies, Cornell University



February 22 | Norman Kutcher | Syracuse University

A Unique Eunuch Document of the Late Qianlong Reign

March 8 | John Whitman | Cornell University Shōjū 昌住 (fl. 9th century), Preface to the Japanese dictionary Shinsen jikyō 新撰字鏡

April 19 Chen Song |Bucknell University Methods of Digital Prosopography: Data Mining and Data Visualization

May 3 | Zoe Shan Lin | Ithaca CollegeCarved in Stone: The Use of Engraved Stele in Song Local Governance, 960-1279

May 10 | Yung-chang Tung | Harvard University Fiscal Concerns Behind the Suppression of a Local Cult in the Thirteenth Century


Fall 2018

Friday, October 26, Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania)

Friday, November 2, Hoai Khai Tran (Phd. D. Candidate, 2018-2019, Asian Studies, Cornell University

Wednesday, November 21, Michael Stanley Baker (Nanyang Technological University of Singapore)

Friday, November 30, Norman Kutcher (Syracuse University) was canceled and rescheduled for the start of the spring series.


Spring 2018:

February 23, Michael Hunter (Yale University) "Thinking Through Parallels: The Classic of Odes and its Echoes in Early Sources"

March 16, Dewei Shen (Yale University)  "Religious Boilerplate vs. Snapshot of the Once Lived: a Middle-Distanced Reading of the Entombed 'Letters to the Underworld' 《告地書》."

April 20, Bruce Rusk (University of British Columbia) "A Fifteenth Century Archive of Court Workshops, ca. 1730"

May 4, TJ Hinrichs (Cornell University) “The Re-Theorization of Ritual Healing in Song Huizong’s (宋徽宗, r. 1101-1125) Comprehensive Record of Sagely Beneficence (Shengji zonglu 《聖濟總錄》, 1018)”

Fall 2017:

September 8, Guolong Lai (University of Florida), “Excessive Cult or Proper Ritual? Religious Boundaries and Imperial Politics as seen from a Shanghai Manuscript” 

September 29, Jeffrey Tharsen (University of Chicago), "The Bells of Liang Qi 梁其鐘 : a Musical Reading of a 9th-century BCE Chinese Bronze Inscription"

October 20, Steven Miles (Washington University in St. Louis) "Cantonese Migrant Networks: Two Stone Inscriptions from the West River Basin"

November 17, Robin McNeal (Cornell University)  "A Ming Dynasty Inscription on the Sublime Relationship between Humans and Spirits at the Lingqiu Temple at Fajiu Mountain, Zhangzi county, Changzhi, Shanxi (明嘉靖九年(1530)重修靈湫廟記神神人人之事:山西長治長子縣發鳩山的靈湫廟碑文)

Spring 2017:

March 3, Heng Du (Harvard University), "What was writing for? Transmission Scenes in Warring States Excavated Manuscripts"

April 14, Richard VanNess Simmons (Rutgers University), "The Charms of Mandarin in the Qīng and the Key to Northern and Southern Guānhuà"

April 21, Francesca Bay (University of Edinburgh) "Of Turnips and Apricots: Livelihood and Lifestyle in the Northern Wei as Seen through the Agricultural Treatise Qimin Yaoshu《齊民要術》"

May 5, Clarence Lee (Cornell University) "Reading Sinitic Medical Texts in Mid Edo period Japan: Kagawa Shūtoku (1683-1755)"

Fall 2016:

September 2, John Phan (Rutgers University), "Vietnamese Regulated Verse in Two Poets: Nguyễn Trãi (1380-1442) and Hồ Xuân Hương (1772-1822)"

September 30, Ari Borrell (MLA), "Chan Buddhist Interpretations of the Investigation of Things: Dahui Zonggao (1089-1163) and Hanshan Deqing (1546-1623)"

October 14, Rong Xiao (Shenzhen University), "Preface, Guiyi Fang"

November 4, Yung-chang Tung (Harvard University), "Negotiated Past: Zeng Bu’s (1036-1107) Diary and Court Politics in Twelfth-Century China

Spring 2016:

February 19, Songyeol Han (Princeton), Cho Soang 赵素昂 (1887-1958), "Preface to Hanguo Wenyuan" 韓國文苑 (1932)

March 18, Shiau-Yun Chen (Cornell), "Ming Tongue-Biting Cases"

April 22, Wang Yi (Binghamton), Wang Jianxun 王建勳, "Chongxiu hetao sidagu miao bei ji" 重修河套四大股廟碑記, 1898

May 6, Suyoung Son (Cornell), "How to Read Editorial Principles: Yu Chu xinzhi 虞初新志 and Installment Publication"

Fall 2015:

September 11, Ding Xiang Warner (Asian Studies, Cornell), "A Recently Discovered Tang Tomb Inscription"

October 2, Evelyn Rawski (University of Pittsburgh and 2015-2016 Hu Shih Distinguished Lecturer), "Reading a Qing Tangka: The Qianlong Emperor as Manjusri"

October 30 Rivi Handler-Spitz (Macalester College), "Li Zhi (李贄 1527-1602) as a Historiographer"

November 13 Anthony DeBlasi (SUNY—Albany), "Framing an Emperor's Legacy: Some Texts from the Tang Dynasty"

Spring 2015:

February 27, TJ Hinrichs (Cornell): "Healer Boundary Work in Anecdotes from Hong Mai's (1123-1202) Yijianzhi (1161-1198)"

March 20, Edwin Van Bibber-Orr (Syracuse University): "Stopping Drinking: Addiction and Intertextuality in Song Poetry"

April 10, Benjamin Elman (Princeton University and 2014-2015 Hu Shih Distinguished Lecturer): "Astronomy and the Calendar in Late Ming Civil Examination Policy Questions"

April 24, Nick Admussen (Cornell): "The 'Star Gauge' of the Six Dynasties Poet Su Hui: Explorations and Translations"

Fall 2014:

October 31, Jeehee Hong (Syracuse University): "Writings on Buddhist (and time permitting, Scholars') Architecture: Reading Liao Wen Hui"

November 14, Seokyung Han (SUNY Binghamton): "Choson Neo-Confucian Biographies of Exemplary Women"

Spring 2014:

April 25, Xiaonan Deng (Peking University): "Xu Weili of the Southern Song Dynasty: Two Archaeologically Discovered Documents"

Fall 2013:

October 18, Charles Hartman (University at Albany, SUNY): "The Newly-Discovered Qin Gui Inscription of 1155: A Close Reading"

November 7, Wendy Swartz (Rutgers University): "A Farewell to My Brother"

Spring 2013:

April 5, Shiau-yun Chen (Cornell): "Exemptions for Vengeance: Violence in the Ming Code"

April 19, Haiyan Li (North China University of Technology): "Under the Peony Flowers: Some Tang Poems and the Author"

Fall 2012:

September 21, Xiaoyan Liu (Cornell): "Writings on Monk Sengjia in Dunhuang Manuscripts"

October 12, Paul Copp (University of Chicago): "Pelliot Chinois 2602 (verso) and the Nature of Ritual Handbooks at Dunhuang"

October 24, Paul Kroll (University of Colorado): "A Winter Night in Chang'an"

November 30, Mark Pitner (Elmira College): "Lesser Known Works of Yang Xiong (53 BCE-18 CE) on the Regional Spaces of Empire"

Spring 2012:

February 24, Carla Nappi (University of British Columbia): "Qinding Xiyu tongwenzhi, a Qing polyglot glossary"

March 30, Tyson Yost (Cornell): "Deceptive Ascetics and Kissing Monks: Selections from a Collection of Buddhistavadana Narratives"

April 13, Jack Meng-Tat Chia (Cornell): "Two Buddhist Inscriptions from the Chinese Diaspora"