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Vortrag bei GaM/GiD 7.12.2011: Marta Hanson – “Understanding Is Within One’s Grasp” (遼 然 在 握 Liaoran zai wo): Hand Mnemonics and Chinese Arts of Memory

Filed under: Geschichte am Mittwoch am 1. Dezember 2011

Semesterprogramm von Geschichte am Mittwoch – Geschichte im Dialog

Vortragende: Marta Hanson
Titel: “Understanding Is Within One’s Grasp” (遼 然 在 握  Liaoran zai wo): Hand Mnemonics and Chinese Arts of Memory

Ort: Hs. 45, Zeit: Mittwoch, 7.12.2011, 18 h c.t.

Moderation: Lena Springer (Department of East Asian Studies) und Marianne Klemun (Institut für Geschichte)

Abstract: In Chinese hand mnemonics the natural lines of the palm represented squares where characters were conveniently recalled. Illustrations of hands as tu (a diagram) represent both esoteric and vernacular knowledge. The first appeared in the eighth century and continue to the present. Hand mnemonics tell us what the Chinese memorized, who memorized it, and where such memorized knowledge was valued. After an overview of the range of Chinese hand mnemonics, I focus on examples from 19th-century almanacs and some rare Chinese manuscripts in the Staatsbibiliothek in Berlin.

Zur Person: Marta Hanson, Associate Professor, Department of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, mhanson4@jhmi.edu, currently Visiting Research Fellow at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities, University of Erlangen.
Hanson’s first book was published this past July: Speaking of Epidemics in Chinese Medicine: Disease and the Geographic Imagination in Late Imperial China. Needham Research Institute Series on East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine. London: Routledge Press, 2011.
Hanson’s second book project is on Hand Mnemonics and Chinese Arts of Memory. Her talk will be based on recent research related to this project.

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