Image of Photo of Prof Henrietta Harrison and cover of her book The Perils of Interpreting

The Perils of Interpreting: The Extraordinary Story of Two Translators Between Qing China and the British Empire

19 May 2022 17.00 - 18.30
Add to Calendar19/05/2022 17:0019/05/2022 18:30UTCThe Perils of Interpreting: The Extraordinary Story of Two Translators Between Qing China and the British Empirehttps://www.jesus.cam.ac.uk//events/perils-interpreting-extraordinary-story-two-translators-between-qing-china-and-britishVirtual seminarfalseDD/MM/YYYY15Jesus Collegeevent_11569confirmed
Virtual seminar

Professor Henrietta Harrison, Professor of Modern Chinese Studies, University of Oxford China Centre, and Stanley Ho Tutorial Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford, will give a lecture based on her book, The Perils of Interpreting. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.

Professor Harrison's lecture will tell the story of the interpreters for the Macartney embassy: Li Zibiao and George Thomas Staunton. Both grew up between Europe and China and gained a deep knowledge of the other’s languages, society and culture, but that knowledge was never used because of the growing conflict between China and Britain in the early nineteenth century. Professor Harrison will argue that some Chinese people knew much more about the West than is usually acknowledged and we should look instead at the reasons why that knowledge did not reach senior decision makers.

Henrietta Harrison is Professor of Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Pembroke College. Before Oxford she taught at the University of Leeds and then at Harvard. Her books include The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village 1857-1942 (Stanford University Press, 2005) and The Missionary’s Curse and Other Tales from a Chinese Catholic Village (University of California Press, 2013). 

This is one of the lectures in the on-going China Centre Seminar series, hosted by the China Centre, Jesus College. The lectures, given by eminent speakers, cover a broad range of topics and disciplines.

Booking

This is a virtual seminar. Attendance is free. Advance booking is required by emailing: china-centre@jesus.cam.ac.uk.  Priority will be given to members of Jesus College and the University of Cambridge.