NEWS – Kitan Workshop at Yale University

Naomi STANDEN, Lance PURSEY and XUE Chen will be attending a 9-day workshop at Yale in May that will offer a crash course to a group of academics and PhD students, teaching them what is currently known of the two scripts used to write the Kitan language. This is the language that was spoken by the rulers of the Liao dynasty (907-1125) in the region running from Beijing north and west across Mongolia. There are currently about 30 inscriptions written in one or other of these two scripts, and more are being excavated all the time. Neither script has yet been completely deciphered. The workshop is being organised and sponsored by Professor Valerie Hansen at Yale and Professor François Louis at Bard College, with air fares kindly funded by SHaC. Lance and Chen will both benefit from being able to use Kitan inscriptions in their PhD work, and Birmingham will become, overnight, an international centre for people who have some beginners’ understanding of how we might decipher Kitan!

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