Script Adaptation: Complicating "simplified" Chinese characters of the 1930s

Andrew Elmore
Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 4:15pm

Stanford Humanities Center Boardroom


In the first half of the twentieth century, a number of activist, academic, and official organizations in the Republic of China attempted to standardize character forms and simplify Chinese writing. Who, though, had the power to define “simplicity” and “complexity?” Taking print and film practices of the 1930s as a historical window, this talk examines how technologies of language production, aesthetic experimentation, and sheer practicality encouraged characters to exist simultaneously as a spectrum of adaptive forms, resisting definitive categorization.

Language Information and Techne