Speaker: Professor James M. Hargett 何瞻 , Professor of Chinese Studies, The University at Albany, State University of New York
Title: Anchors of Stability: The Origins of Place Names in China
Chair/Discussant: Dr Julian Ward, University of Edinburgh
Date and Time: Wednesday, 13 Oct. 2 – 4 pm (UK time)
Location: Online via Zoom
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The use of place-names in China predates its written history, which extends back at least 3,500 years. While the basic principles of toponym formation in ancient China are similar to those in other cultures around the world, early in its history a process took place that led to a standardization of the practices by which place-names were formulated. The central argument in this essay is that the essential features of place-name nomenclature in China were already in place before the Qin unification in 221 BCE.
Prof. James M. Hargett (何瞻) is Professor of Chinese Studies at The University at Albany, State University of New York. He received his PhD from Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana University. His research interest focuses on the prose literature, travel diaries, historical-geography, and cultural history of traditional China, especially that of the Song dynasty (960-1279). His recent publications include Jade Mountains and Cinnabar Pools: The History of Travel Literature in Imperial China (University of Washington Press, 2018) and “Anchors of Stability: Place-Names in Early China” in Sino-Platonic Papers (2021).