International Workshop “Dynamics of knowledge transmission and linguistic transformation in Chinese textual cultures”

Verona, Italy
17-18th Sep 2020
Deadline: 31st Mar 2020

Organised by Barbara Bisetto (University of Verona, Italy) and Rainier Lanselle (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and CRCAO, Paris)

Location: University of Verona, Verona (Italy)

The circulation and the dissemination of knowledge rely in essential ways on forms of linguistics transformation, alteration and manipulation. Historically, practices of linguistic transformation and manipulation, from the writing of glosses and paraphrases to the elaboration of full-fledged commentaries and rewritings, have served as important vehicles for the transmission and dissemination of knowledge. In a similar way, nowadays, the ever-increasing specialization of language use within large sectors of knowledge (e.g. in the fields of law, medicine, science, technology etc.) is often counterbalanced by efforts to make the language more readily understandable and to improve textual comprehensibility. On the other hand, a certain opacity of language still maintains an indisputable relevance in many situations.
In engaging with the dynamics of knowledge transmission within Chinese textual traditions, this workshop aims to address the specific question of language use in a variety of textual practices that can enable or hinder transfer processes. It invites theoretical and descriptive contributions on all periods of Chinese textual tradition.

Topics of interests include but are not limited to the following:

  • Notions of popularizing discourse, language simplification, intralingual translation, textual comprehensibility, and the correlated view of language obscurity and opacity, in different textual traditions;
  • Investigations on language features, discourse strategies and textual practices related to notions of ‘simple’ language (i.e. simple literary Chinese, plain language, traditional discussions on categories like su 俗, wen 文, ya 雅, qian 淺 etc);
  • Practices of language transformation and textual modes of transmission in relation to genre categorization and to the emergence of new genres;
  • Agents, networks, media engaged in practices of knowledge transmission and linguistic transformation;
  • Digital tools for the investigation of textual transmission and linguistic transformation.

We invite submission of up to 500 words abstract. Please send abstract, or other questions or queries, to and to

Submission deadline: March 31, 2020.
Notification of acceptance: April 30, 2020.

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