Heng Du (Ph. D. in Chinese History, Harvard University) is a book historian and a scholar of Early China, focusing on the transformations of textual and literary cultures during the formation of early empires from 300 BCE to 100 CE. Her book project, provisionally entitled The Author’s Two Bodies in Early Chinese Textual Culture, adapts the concept of “paratext" as an analytical tool for the study of early authorship and textual identity. She is currently working on a Chinese translation of book 6 of Ovid’s Fasti as part of the “Translating the Complete Corpus of Ovid’s Poetry into Chinese with Commentaries” project. For her future research, she is interested in the comparative study of book cultures in the ancient world. Du received her M.A. (Chinese literature) from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B. A. (classics / comparative literature) from Cornell University.
Introduces you to traditional Chinese civilization for the purposes of this course defined as: "the totality of a culture's perception of itself and the world it occupies and the ways in which that self-perception is expressed in society, politics, religion, philosophy, and the arts." The content of the course is arranged in thematic units, each unit being placed in the context of a specific historical period. We will examine the religious symbolism of ancient Chinese bronze vessels, Chinese theories of nature based on concepts like Yin and Yang, the great medieval religions of Taoism and Buddhism, and other topics. Over the semester you will learn to think more like the Chinese of centuries past to exercise your imagination, and to explore a world that is different from your own.