EAS 326 / HIS 331 / MED 326 / HUM 381

Bamboo, Silk, Wood, and Paper: Ancient and Medieval Chinese Manuscripts

Martin Kern and Xin Wen

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The seminar introduces the manuscript culture of ancient and medieval China from the 4th century BCE to the advent of printing in around 1000 CE. We discuss the creation, uses, purposes, and the visual and material aspects of writings on bamboo, wood, silk, and paper. Examining texts buried in ancient tombs, left in watchtowers, or stored in desert caves, we look at writings to accompany the dead; personal letters; calligraphic masterpieces; copies of the classics; and carriers of medical, legal, administrative, or mantic knowledge cherished by the cultural and political elite and soldiers and peasants alike. With two museum visits.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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