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The Bernhard Karlgren Seminar Series

‘Geographically’, the seminars revolve around China and Chinese traditions, but with a pronounced interest in the larger methodological and theoretical questions that Sinology shares with the Humanities. The invited scholars present their works-in-progess: cutting-edge research in the intersections of Sinology and Anthropology, Archaeology, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Religious Studies, and Translation Theory. 

The Karlgren Seminar Series is part of the current expansion of the Chinese Programme at the University of Gothenburg, and is headed by Fredrik Fällman, Elena Pollacchi and Martin Svensson Ekström, Associate Professors of Sinology and specialized in Religious Studies, Film Studies and Comparative Literature, respectively.

Bernhard Karlgren (1889-1978) was Professor of East Asian Languages at the University of Gothenburg, and served as the University’s Vice Chancellor between 1931 and 1936. Karlgren—one of the most important and influential sinologists of the past century—is foremost known as a linguist, but was also the author of many works in which rigorous philology is paired with a keen interest in questions of methodology.

Thus far the seminar series have seen lectures from, among others, Wolfgang Behr (Zurich), Carine Defoort (Leuven), Anna Gustafsson Chen (well-known translator), Göran Aijmer (Gothenburg), Eric Hayot (Penn State) and Lothar von Falkenhausen (UCLA). Most seminars are recorded and made available in our online archive.

Upcoming event

"Claims of ownership in manuscripts from Dunhuang"

Guest lecturer: Imre Galambos, University of Cambridge

Time: 15:15-17:00
Venue: E208, Humanisten

Presentations at the Bernhard Karlgren memorial symposium 22 August 2018

Françoise Bottéro: "The organising principles of Shuōwén jiězì 說文解字"

Halvor Eifring: "Wandering Minds - Qíng and Wú-wéi in Ancient Chinese Thought"

Marie Bizais Lillig: "The Odes: Object of Readings, Object of Discourse"

Michael Nylan: "The Politics of the Common Good in Early China"

Previous presentations available in pdf format:

David Lebovitz PowerPoint presentation 10 April 2018

Hans van Ess PowerPoint presentation 9 October 2017Armin Selbitschka´s PowerPoint presentation 4 June 2015Lisa Hellman's PowerPoint presentation 12 March 2015Anna Gustafsson Chen's PowerPoint presentation 20 November 2014



David Holm 2019-05-27

Page Manager: Annika Andersson|Last update: 9/5/2019

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