Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang
by Rong Xinjiang, Beijing University
Translated by: Imre Galambos, University of Cambridge
In Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang, Rong Xinjiang provides an accessible overview of Dunhuang studies, an academic field that emerged following the discovery of a medieval monastic library at the Mogao caves near Dunhuang. The manuscripts were hidden in a cave at the beginning of the 11th century and remained unnoticed until 1900, when a Daoist monk accidentally found them and subsequently sold most of them to foreign explorers and scholars. The availability of this unprecedented amount of first-hand material from China’s middle period provided a stimulus for a number of scholarly fields both in China and the West. Rong Xinjiang’s book provides, for the first time in English, a convenient summary of the history of Dunhuang studies and its contribution to scholarship.
Rong Xinjiang 榮新江 is a Professor at the Department of History and Director of Center for the Study of Ancient Chinese History, Beijing University. His main research interests include China's cultural contacts with the outside world during the Han-Tang period, the Silk Road (overland and maritime), the history of the Sui and Tang dynasties, and the history of Central Asia. In addition to numerous Chinese publications, he has also published a series of articles in Western languages. He has been the editor of the Journal of Tang Studies since 1995.
Imre Galambos, Ph.D. (2002), UC Berkeley, is University Lecturer in Chinese at the University of Cambridge. He specializes in Chinese manuscript culture, with a particular emphasis on Dunhuang. His new book Manuscripts and Travellers (deGruyter, 2012) came out last year.