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Thomas Bartlett

Thomas Bartlett thomasb5
Personal bio
Thomas Bartlett has taught modern and classical Chinese at Yale (1975), Cambridge (1975-76), Princeton (1977-79), Harvard (1987-94), Johns Hopkins (1995-96), and La Trobe (1996-1999) Universities, and modern Chinese at Middlebury (1973, 1983, 1987), Wellesley (1986), and Swarthmore (1987) Colleges, before coming to Stanford in 2010. From mid-1989 through 1994, Bartlett was Professor of Chinese Language and Director of Harvard's Chinese Language Program. In 1995-96 he was Director of the Language Teaching Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. From 1996 to 2010, he lived in Melbourne, Australia, and taught Chinese history at La Trobe University. In Autumn Semester 2013 he taught at National Tsing Hua University¸ in Hsin-chu, Taiwan, ROC. From 2011 to 2019, he has frequently taught courses at Stanford in Classical Chinese literature. Bartlett received the BA (cum laude) in Classics at Harvard (1961), with a thesis titled, "The Law of Zeus: Learning by Suffering," based on reading Aeschylus' drama "Agamemnon" in Greek. Five years' residence (1967-72) as a student in Taipei, Taiwan, ROC, led to receipt of the MA (1972) in early Chinese history at National Taiwan University, with a thesis on Confucian historiographical thought in ZuoZhuan. In 1985 he completed the PhD at Princeton, with a dissertation on the Confucian statecraft thought of Gu Yanwu (1613-82), a classical scholar whose encyclopedic record of China's cultural heritage is widely recognized as an invaluable resource by modern researchers, and whose study of poetic rhymes was very influential in the history of Chinese linguistics. In 1987 Bartlett declined the award of a Mellon post-doctoral fellowship, when told by the offering institution that affirmative action requirements would make him uncompetitive for a subsequent teaching position there. In 1978 Bartlett was a finalist in the Department of State's selection of a full-time Mandarin interpreter. In 1980 he resided in Beijing, PRC, for six months as interpreter and translator for a major international corporation in contract negotiations with various Chinese official and commercial entities. In 1989 his proficiency in Chinese was graded at level 4 (of 5) by the US Foreign Service Institute. His published writings have included articles on Gu Yanwu in Antonio S Cua, "Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy," and in Victor Mair, et al, "Hawai'i Reader in Traditional Chinese Culture," as well as a survey article on China's Song dynasty (960-1279), in "Berkshire Encyclopedia of China." In 2018 his review of Ian Johnston's volume of translations, "Gu Yanwu: Record of Daily Knowledge and Collected Poems and Essays - Selections" was published in the journal DAO. He has recently done extensive translation of Chinese scholarly writing for publication in English. Bartlett is currently interested in the history of the word "Zhongguo," meaning "Central State", now usually translated as "China", and looks forward to continuing to learn more about Gu Yanwu's thought.

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