Cambria Press author and series editor Victor Mair and editorial board member David Der-wei Wang (Cambria Sinophone World Series) were in Prague as speakers for “Uncertain Boundaries, Fluid Concepts, Changing Imagination,” the symposium dedicated to current issues in the study of Chinese culture. This symposium was organized by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation International Sinological Center at Charles University and the Inter-University Center for Sinology, Harvard University.
David Der-wei Wang chaired and led many of the discussions, while Victor Mair’s gave a keynote address “Sinology, Chinese Studies, Orientalism, and Beyond: The Role of Language Technologies,” which was on how the study of Chinese history and culture have changed dramatically during the past century and more, from philologically oriented textual explications to regional studies investigations. With the advent of the widescale application of computer analyses to the humanities and social sciences, a new age of research has begun, one that is based heavily on empirical evidence and quantifiable data. The challenge now is to determine how to avoid falling into the trap of pure descriptivism, while yet striving for precision and accuracy. Much depends upon the sophistication with which programs are designed and the successful development of creative interpretational strategies.
*Don’t miss this Thursday’s Sinophone roundtable session with Victor Mair!
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