CFP: Manchu in Global History

CFP: Manchu in Global History

Manchu in Global History: A Research Language for Qing Historians

Keynote Lecture: Prof. Mark Elliott (Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Department of History, Harvard University)

As an ‘ethnic minority’ with origins in the semi-nomadic civilisations of northeast Asia (Manchuria), the Manchus successfully ruled Han-dominated China and extended the territory of the “Great Qing” (1636/1644-1912) far into Inner Asia, including Mongolia, Tibet, and East Turkestan (Xinjiang). Thereby, they created a wide corridor, connecting many different peoples and cultures under their rule and beyond.
Manchu identity and language was muted in the People’s Republic of China. It was only in the 1980s that Manchu gained new momentum, as formerly closed archives were opened during China’s reform and opening politics. Scholars working on Qing history discovered that Manchu sources needed to be studied separately from Chinese sources. Manchu’s historical significance was underscored by its use as an official and secret language in the Qing Empire, utilized to exclude mainly Han Chinese officials from certain political processes and knowledge. Thus, the ability to read Manchu sources not only broadens our understanding of Qing history but it also provides a tool without which large parts of Qing history remain in the dark. Using Manchu as a research language unlocks new perspectives on the Qing Empire’s role in East and Inner Asia as well as in global connections.
To the international workshop “MANCHU IN GLOBAL HISTORY: A RESEARCH LANGUAGE FOR QING HISTORIANS” we invite paper proposals from prospective speakers who offer specific case studies as well as broader studies on Qing and Manchu history. In line with recent discussions about global history, we especially welcome papers that explore issues of Manchu Qing history wherein transregional connections come into focus, with ‘transregional’ being understood in terms of connections between different peoples, regions, and cultures not only on trans-state level, but also within one state or empire. We are particularly, but not exclusively, looking for papers that use Manchu sources to uncover otherwise hidden aspects of East Asian history, thereby emphasising the importance of Manchu as a research language and moreover questioning narratives excluding or marginalising such sources.

Prospective participants are invited to submit abstracts of approximately 300 words. Submissions should include name, affiliation, and contact details. Please also state the level of your Manchu skills – advanced beginner, intermediate, advanced – and the type of sources you are interested in.

The deadline for submissions is April 4, 2017, full papers need to be provided by August 18, 2017.
For more information about the workshop, please email the organisers at: cemeas@uni- and

To submit an abstract, please email the organising committee at: cemeas@cemeas.uni-­‐

We are applying for funding to finance travel and accommodation costs for workshop participants. For further information, please contact Katja Pessl at:

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application as soon as possible after the closing date.

Dr. Julia C. Schneider Department of East Asian Studies Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14 37073 Göttingen Germany Phone +49-(0)551-39 29206

Katja Pessl Centre for Modern East Asian Studies (CeMEAS) Heinrich Düker Weg 14 37073 Göttingen Germany Phone +49-(0)551-39-21280


The workshop is divided into two main parts:
Part 1: Reading Manchu Sources
During the first three days, we will focus on the intensive study and analysis of documents and manuscripts in Manchu language. The Göttingen State and University Library holds a large number of such documents in facsimile.
The reading workshop will be guided by Edward Liang (Tübingen University), who has studied Manchu for several years and taught Manchu courses at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
In the afternoons, participants will have the opportunity to attend lectures and guided tours through the State and University Library Göttingen, the Ethnographic Collection of the University of Göttingen, and the Department for Turkic and Central Asian Studies.

Part 2: Symposium and Keynote Lecture
The second part of the workshop will start with the keynote lecture by Professor Mark Elliot (Harvard University) on the afternoon of the third day.
The symposium takes place on the fourth day. Up to twelve post-graduate scholars present and discuss their Manchu related research. We aim at bringing together the skills of studying and analysing Manchu documents with up-to-date projects and historical research pertaining to the Qing Dynasty and its role in the early modern world. Each thematic panel will include three to four paper presentations of max. 20 minutes, followed by a 40 minutes discussion.

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: