Humanities Decanted: Thomas Mazanec

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.
Thomas Mazanec

May 14, 2024 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Event Navigation

Thomas Mazanec - Humanities Decanted Event

Join us for a dialogue between Thomas Mazanec (East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies) and Xiaorong Li (East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies) about Mazanec’s new book, Poet-Monks: The Invention of Buddhist Poetry in Medieval China.

Poet-Monks focuses on the literary and religious practices of Buddhist poet-monks in Tang-dynasty China to propose an alternative historical arc of medieval Chinese poetry. Combining large-scale quantitative analysis with close readings of important literary texts, Mazanec describes how Buddhist poet-monks, who first appeared in the latter half of the Tang dynasty, asserted a bold new vision of poetry that proclaimed the union of classical verse with Buddhist practices of repetition, incantation, and meditation. Mazanec traces the historical development of the poet-monk as a distinct actor in the Chinese literary world, arguing for the importance of religious practice in medieval literature. As they witnessed the collapse of the world around them, these monks wove together the frayed threads of their traditions to establish an elite-style Chinese Buddhist poetry. Poet-Monks shows that during the transformative period of the Tang-Song transition, Buddhist monks were at the forefront of poetic innovation.

Thomas Mazanec is Associate Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies at UC Santa Barbara. He researches premodern Chinese literature and religion as well as their encounters with other cultures. He is also interested in world literature, poetics, digital humanities, and translation studies. His publications cover a broad range of topics, from the evolution of a Sanskrit literary term in medieval China; to systems of monetary, religious, and literary debts; to the potential contributions of network analysis to literary history. He is especially fond of the art of literary translation, maintaining a collection of bizarre and obscure translations of classical Chinese poetry into English and co-editing an online bibliography of Chinese poetry in translation.

Refreshments will be served.

Cosponsored by the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment


May 14, 2024
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Categories:
, ,
Event Tags:

Contact Information

For more information, contact:

(805) 893-3907
View Organizer Website

« All Events