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Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium: Sophie Volpp, UC Berkeley

Friday, April 2, 2021 at 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Virtual Event

This month's CCCC welcomes Sophie Volpp to lead a text reading on Qianlong Emperor’s Poem, “On the Mirror”

In 1763, the Qianlong emperor composed a poem entitled, “On the Mirror” (Jing yu  ( ) that examines the novel properties of the western plate glass mirror in tandem with those of plate glass windows. In the poem, the emperor sits in a pavilion, observing the glow of the setting sun.  The first half of the poem is dedicated to a prosaic examination of the technology of the glass mirror, while the second half launches in a different direction, exploring the novel capacity of the plate glass windows of the pavilion to act as mirrors once darkness sets in. Ultimately, the mirror's capacity for perfect and passive reflection becomes a metaphor for good government.

The Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium (CCCC) 古文品讀 is a reading group for scholars interested in premodern Sinographic (古文) text. The group typically meets monthly during the semester to explore a variety of classical Chinese texts and styles. Other premodern texts linked to classical Chinese in Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese have been explored. Presentations include works from the earliest times to the 20th century. Workshop sessions are led by local, national, and international scholars.

No previous experience with Classical Chinese or preparation is required.

Dial-In Information

Register in advance for this meeting: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Event Type



Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, History, East Asia Program, Global Cornell, Cornell China Center





Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Amala Lane


Sophie Volpp

Speaker Affiliation

UC Berkeley

Dept. Web Site

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email: with at least 3 business days advance notice

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