School of Chinese Staff Seminar
New Archival Findings: Benjamin Bowen Carter’s Pursuit of Chinese Studies
in the Context of Early 19th Century American History
楊文信博士 Dr Yeung Man Shun
Date and Time: May 6, 2016 (Friday); 5:30-6:45pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
This talk introduces the archival documents housed in the Brown University Library and Rhode Island Historical Society on Benjamin Bowen Carter (1771-1831)’s Chinese studies. Carter was one of the few Americans to live in Canton and to have learnt Chinese at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Taken together, his learning materials, written notes, and correspondence with American diplomats Edward Carrington (1775-1843) and Jonathan Russell (1771-1832) and French scholar Jean Pierre Abel Rémusat (1788-1832) reveal that he had obtained a degree of Chinese proficiency that allowed him to assist in diplomatic translation work. They also show that he had some knowledge of the Chinese classics. The discovery of these invaluable archival materials proves that Carter was 20 years ahead of William C. Hunter (1821-1891) in studying Chinese language and culture, thereby reshaping our understanding of early Sino-American cultural relations and its place in American history.
Dr Yeung Man Shun joined the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong in 1997, and is now an assistant professor in Chinese history and culture. He carried out post-doctoral research at the John W. Kluge Center at the US Library of Congress in 2002-2003 and at Kyoto University in 2005. He is currently engaged in research on the Chinese Rare Book collection in the US Library of Congress.
ALL ARE WELCOME!