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T. J. Hinrichs

Title: 
Associate Professor, Pre-modern Chinese History
Photo of T. J. Hinrichs

Interests: Connections between intimate experiences such as illness and personal transformation; communal practices such as medical training and religious rites; and broader historical shifts such as the consolidation of the civil service examination system, commercialization and urbanization, the spread of printing, and the development of landscape painting

Research and Teaching Interests

A central thread running through my research and teaching is the investigation of connections between intimate experiences such as illness and personal transformation; communal practices such as medical training and religious rites; and broader historical shifts such as the consolidation of the civil service examination system, commercialization and urbanization, the spread of printing, and the development of landscape painting. My courses explore China's history from its classical to its modern periods ("Vitality and Power in China," "Medicine and Healing in China"), sometimes concentrating on the imperial era ("Imperial China"), the early and medieval periods ("Daoist Traditions") or the late imperial period ("Popular Culture in China,"  "Society and Religion in China,"  "China's Early Modern"), and sometimes looking at China and Japan in comparative perspective ("East Asian Martial Arts").

My research to date has focused on the folding of medicine into social reform policies in the Song period (960-1279 C.E.), and the ramifications of that process for political culture and for medical practice. Currently, I am examining the emergence in the eleventh and twelfth centuries of a new positive valuation of the chaotic and even contentious activity of urban market life.  This sensibility constituted an imagination of social space that ran against the grain of classical political economies' static social hierarchies, and presented a sharp counterpoint to literati aesthetics of sublime tranquility and refined rusticity.

Ding Xiang Warner (Asian Studies) and I co-organize the Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium (CCCC), a reading group for scholars interested in Chinese studies. At each session a volunteer presents a text in classical Chinese. Attendees discuss historical, literary, linguistic, and all 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. All are welcome, at any level of experience with classical Chinese. No preparation is necessary for non-presenting participants, and texts are distributed at the meeting. We usually meet on Fridays, from 4:00 to around 6:00. You can find announcements for CCCC on the East Asia Program or Society for the Humanities calendars of events. Email me if you would like more information, or would like to receive email announcements.

Email: 
th289@cornell.edu
Phone: 
607-254-1694