Martin Kern, Princeton University
The King’s Speech and the Performance of Sovereignty
The Classic of Documents preserves a series of speeches attributed to the Chinese kings of high antiquity, utterances assigned to the most critical moments in the founding, crisis, and fall of successive dynasties. While canonized as historical documents after the founding of the empire in 221 BCE, they reflect a dynamic ancient tradition of memory and performance in which the culture heroes of old were staged as actors, speakers, and singers.
About the Speaker.
Professor Martin Kern is the Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. He has published extensively across the fields of literature, philology, history, religion, and art in ancient and medieval China. His current book project is titled Performance, Memory, and Authorship in Ancient China: The Formation of the Poetic Tradition. At Princeton, Kern leads the new university-wide initiative “Comparative Antiquity”; at Renmin University of China (Beijing), he directs the “International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures.”
Program of the upcoming lectures attached.
Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ph. D. Program in Asian and African Studies (Ref. Prof. Patrick Heinrich)