Alumni

Mårten Söderblom Saarela

Postdoctoral Fellow (Sep 2018-Dec 2018)

I received my PhD from Princeton University in 2015, and hold an MA in Sinology from the School of Oriental and African Studies. I am a historian of late imperial China, interested in the cultural and intellectual history of language. My dissertation and first research project focused on the Manchu language, particularly its script, and its influence on language studies in Qing China (1644–1911). The Manchu language and its script were nothing like Chinese, but they were used in the Qing empire—of which China was part—as the language of the ruling house and parts of the hereditary military elite until the early twentieth century. During my three and a half years at the MPIWG, I worked primarily on developing aspects of my dissertation into publications of varying scope. More information can be found on the project page.

Projects

Thinking in Many Tongues

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Development of Phonology as a Field of Study in Late Imperial China, 1500–1900

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Manchu and the Study of Language in China

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Selected Publications

Söderblom Saarela, M. (2020). The Early Modern Travels of Manchu: a Script and its Study in East Asia and Europe. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Söderblom Saarela, M. (2020). Lexicography of the Entrenched Empire: Banihûn's and Pu-gong's Manchu-Chinese Literary Ocean (1821). In S. Ogilvie, & G. Safran (Eds.), The Whole World in a Book: Dictionaries in the Nineteenth Century (pp. 218-235)…

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Söderblom Saarela, M. (2019). A Guide to Mandarin, in Manchu: on a Partial Translation of ‘Guanhua zhinan’ (1882) and its Historical Context. East Asian Publishing and Society, 9(1), 1-28. doi:10.1163/22106286-12341327.

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Söderblom Saarela, M. (2019). Public Inscriptions and Manchu Language Reform in the Early Qianlong Reign (1740s-60s). Saksaha, 16, 31-53. doi:10.3998/saksaha.13401746.0016.002.

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Events

Reading Group

Thinking in Many Tongues: Lexicography

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Reading Group

Thinking in Many Tongues: Etymology in Pre-Modern Traditions

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The European Invention of the Manchu Alphabet

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