My name is Benjamin Ridgway and I am an Assistant Professor of Chinese at Swarthmore College. My research interests lie in Classical Chinese Poetry, especially the poetry of the great scholar-official and political dissident, Su Shi (1037-1101); Travel Literature; Urban Space in pre-14th cent. literary texts; and Word and Image Relationships in Chinese Poetry and Painting. I am now starting a project on how the city of Hangzhou became an imperial capital in the 12th and 13th centuries and the role that literary works played in fixing or contesting this new urban identity. One part of this project has been published as a chapter in the volume Senses of the City: Perceptions of Hangzhou & Southern Song China (CUHK Press, 2017). This fall semester I teach Second-year Chinese and a class on the Appreciation of Tang-Song poetry in Chinese. I look forward to working with Swarthmore students to building their skills in navigating the world in Chinese, whether that is talking about ordering Dim Sum at a restaurant in Philadelphia or discussing the artistry of a carefully crafted parallel couplet.
Introduction Video for CHIN 037: Text and Image in Chinese Poetry and Painting