Research Symposium 2019


New Perspectives on Chinese Writing

Jeroen Wiedenhof


Mission & context


We aim to bring together:

  • Expert accounts of new data
  • Original results in script research
  • Hands-on presentations of materials from special library collections

Preparation, materials

No preparation is required for the audience. All materials will be provided at the symposium.

Some suggestions for further reading are listed in our Literature section.

Time & venue


Monday, 20 May 2019

10:30am to 5:00pm


University Library

Vossius Room

Witte Singel 27

2311 BG Leiden


Entrance is free but seats are limited.

Please register at the Leiden University Library site.


10:30am Imre Galambos University of Cambridge "Handwriting competence in Dunhuang manuscripts"
11:15am Suzanne Burdorf Ghent University "The sense of sound: A medieval perspective on phonetic elements in the script"
12:00n Lunch break No lunch provided by the program
1:00pm Willemijn van Noord University of Amsterdam &
National Museum of World Cultures
"Between script and ornament: Delftware decorated with
pseudo-Chinese characters, 1680-1720"
1:45pm Fresco Sam-Sin Leiden University "Brailliant pedagogies: Sinitic braille and its value to the CFL classroom"
2:30pm Tea & coffee Pop-up exhibition #1, Heinsius Room – Tea & coffee allowed outside the Heinsius room
2:45pm Jeroen Wiedenhof Leiden University "A new China, a new script?"
3:30pm Laura Vermeeren University of Amsterdam "Remediations of the sinograph in contemporary China"
4:15pm Imre Galambos University of Cambridge "Chinese book forms in the Leiden University Library"
5:00pm Drinks Pop-up exhibition #2, Heinsius Room – Drinks allowed outside the Heinsius room


Background reading: some suggestions

About writing & scripts

  • Daniels, Peter T., and William Bright, The world’s writing systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Omniglot / Alphabets & writing systems. Omniglot, the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages, 2019.

About Chinese writing & scripts


  • Behr, Wolfgang, “In the interstices of representation: Ludic writing and the locus of polysemy in the Chinese sign”, in: The idea of writing: Play and complexity. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2010, pp.281-314.
  • Boltz, William G., The origin and early development of the Chinese writing system. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1994.
  • Erbaugh, Mary S., Difficult characters: Interdisciplinary studies of Chinese and Japanese writing. Pathways to Advanced Skills Series, Volume VI. Columbus: National East Asian Language Resource Center, Ohio State University, 2002.
  • Handel, Zev, “Can a logographic script be simpli­fied? Lessons from the 20th century Chinese writing reform informed by recent psycholin­guistic research”. Scripta, Volume 5, 2013, pp. 21-66.
  • Kraus, Richard Kurt, Brushes with power. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
  • Lunde, Ken, CJKV information processing. Sebastopol: O’Reilly, 1999.
  • McCawley, James D., The eater’s guide to Chinese characters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
  • Unger, J. Marshall, Chinese characters and the myth of disembodied meaning. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004.

This symposium


Leiden University Libraries &

Leiden University Centre for Linguistics












Updated 9 April 2019 | home