Bayartuul Batjav to discuss the history of Mongolian writing May 31

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 11:16am

Tuul and Schwarz.jpg

Henry Schwarz, left, and Bayartuul Batjav

Visiting professor Bayartuul Batjav will present "The history of Mongolian writing" at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31 in Miller Hall 121.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Mongols have devised and used about ten scripts (writing systems) in their history. These include: Khitan, Mongolian script, Galik, Todo, Dorbeljin bichig, Soyombo, Horizontal square, and Vagindra.  All these scripts were created in an effort to make the writing closer to colloquial language and were consistent with Mongolia's national interest, freedom and independence. The most successful writing was the Traditional Mongolian script written vertically from left to right. But it was replaced by the Cyrillic script due to political circumstances in 1940s.

Batjav was selected as the Henry G Schwarz Distinguished Instructor of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies to teach Mongolian language and culture in the East Asian Studies curriculum during spring quarter 2017 and comes to Western from the Department of Mongolian Language and Linguistics at the National University of Mongolia. Mongolian Studies has a long history at Western, dating back to the early 1970s when Prof. Schwarz first visited Ulaanbataar then developed a curriculum in Mongolian Studies at Western. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, international colloquia, publications, and the training of Mongolist scholars all contributed to the Center for East Asian Studies’ prominence.

At his retirement, Prof. Schwarz donated his private library on Mongolian Studies to the Western Libraries and created a Foundation that supports the library collection in addition to providing scholarships and travel grants. Other noted Mongolists have donated their collections as well, so that Western’s Mongolian collection is today North America’s largest and most comprehensive library collection of books on the subject. Batjav acknowledges that access to rare books in the collection is proving to be very useful to her own scholarly research as well.

Sponsored by Western’s Institute for Global Engagement and East Asian Studies Program.