Conference: Standardisation of Written Artefacts in East Asia
When: Wed, 17.08.2022 9:30 AM until Fri, 19.08.2022 2:30 PM
Where: Warburgstraße 26, 20354 Hamburg
Understanding ‘standard’ broadly as an explicit or implicit (e.g., legal vs. customary) rule that governs the creation of written artefacts, the conference aims at approaching the topic diachronically – from the ancient to the modern period – and across East Asian cultures, focusing on artefacts bearing Chinese writing. Shedding light on the various forms and functions of standards as well as the socio-political, economic, cultural, and other settings that give rise to (or impede) them, we seek to unravel the complex dynamics in the creation and evolution of standards. Among the questions we propose to address are: How did standards come into existence and what were the practical needs behind them? Did they embrace and institutionalise former habitual practices, or were they purposefully modelled against them by an authority? Who were the agents in the formulation of standards, and how were they implemented, enforced and maintained? What new developments in writing techniques and practices did they trigger? What differences can we note between privately and officially produced artefacts? The contributions will explore a wide array of written artefacts, ranging from documents on bamboo or wood, to inscriptions on stone or bronze to manuscripts on paper, and address these and other questions pertaining to the standardisation of written artefacts in East Asia.