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Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium: Tomoyasu Iiyama

Friday, February 2, 2024 at 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Virtual Event

The Emergence of the Yuan non-Han Ancestry in Late Qing North China by Tomoyasu Iiyama, Waseda University.

The Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium (CCCC) 古文品讀 , a reading group for scholars interested in premodern Sinographic text (古文), is thrilled to welcome Tomoyasu Iiyama, of Waseda University, and a visiting scholar at Harvard University's Yenching Institute to present the first text-reading of the spring semester! 

This text-reading attempts to shed light on the largely unknown trajectories of the resurgence and evolution of Yuan non-Han ancestries in North China from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. By exploring three relatively well-documented cases of the resurgence of the Yuan non-Han ancestry, this text-reading offers two tentative conclusions. First, the commemoration of the non-Han ancestries seems to have been roused by the two-century-long Gazetteers of the Great Qing Empire compilation project, throughout which the state reiterated extensive surveys of local worthies, widow chastity, and martyred loyal subjects, including those from the previous dynasties. Second, apart from the intention of the Qing court, gazetteer compilation projects functioned as a classification project of some kind, if not ethnicity. The ancestries classified by the Qing came to compete with modern minzu identities classified by the Ethnic Classification Project during the mid-twentieth century.

More information: The group 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.  Participants with any level of classical Chinese experience are welcome to attend.  

  • At each session, a presenter guides the group in a reading of a classical Chinese text. Attendees discuss historical, literary, linguistic, and other aspects of the text, working together to resolve difficulties in comprehension and translation.

  • No preparation is required; all texts will be distributed at the meeting.
  • Advanced registration is required.

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Event Type



Asian Studies, History, East Asia Program


Classical Chinese, East Asia program, asianstudiescal



Contact E-Mail


Tomoyasu Iiyama

Speaker Affiliation

Waseda University

Speaker Web Site

Dept. Web Site

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Open To

Anyone with ability to read basic Chinese text.

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