Focusing on Manchu-language discussions about anatomy and materia medica in a number of textual genres, the project looks critically at efforts to use Manchu as a medium for translating bodily space and experience across early modern Eurasia, considering translations across languages, texts, movement, and flesh (both human and nonhuman). Though anchored in this local case study, "Prepositional Bodies" is intended to reach beyond Chinese and Manchu studies to contribute substantively to how we understand and talk about body histories by refiguring bodies as sites of proximal experience: to-ness, through-ness, nearness, between-ness, on-ness, and more. The project transforms anatomical and recipe texts by paying different forms of attention to the pages of the Manchu documentary archive, engaging practices of attentiveness that grow from a fundamentally transdisciplinary approach to reading. The project aims to create a conversation between translation studies, Manchu studies, and theoretical work on gesture, ontology, and materiality.
- Carla Nappi