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Thursday, October 30, 2014

[Dissertation] Divining Bureaucracy: Divination Manuals as Technology and the Standardization of Efficacy in Early China

Author :
Fodde-Reguer, Anna-Alexandra

Publication Year:
2014

School:
University of Michigan

Abstract:
The authors of divination manuals dating to early China (c. 220 B.C.E.-c. 400 C.E.) treated divination as a technology to gain access to hidden empirical knowledge. By transcribing this knowledge in cosmological language and through the use of diagrams, the authors of these manuals attempted to standardize knowledge for capable readers. The manuals thereby mark a crucial departure from ancient China (c. 1600-c. 300 B.C.E.), when divination authority was invested in privileged individuals, whose skills were monopolized by the wealthy and powerful. The standardization of divinatory techniques and hidden knowledge in these manuals fits the context of bureaucratic expertise and the expanding scope of influence of written culture in the early imperial period. 

Using an historical approach, I argue that the knowledge recorded in divination manuals points to a view of divination as a perfectible technique for the discovery of practical knowledge. I carefully differentiate such information from the imagined perspective of the manual authors and the manual users. Each chapter focuses on selections from texts containing divination manuals. 

The texts I will draw on originate from three caches: the "Dream Divination Book" from the Yuelu cache of bamboo slips dating to the Qin dynasty (221 B.C.E.-206 B.C.E.); five divination sections from tomb 6 at Yinwan, Jiangsu Province and dating to 11 B.C.E. (the Han Dynasty 206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.); and a section from the manuscript Pélliot-Chinoise 2856 (Recto) discovered in the Mogao caves at Dunhuang, Gansu Province, dating to c. 400 C.E. 

Using specific examples from each cache, I discuss how the texts disclose specific methods for using divination as a technique for readers to interpret their dreams, choose auspicious dates for various activities, and heal their bodies from illness. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

[Conference] The History of Music in China 中國音樂史研討會

Time: 
22 November 2014

Location:
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Conference Schedule:
Coffee and Registration, 8:30-9:00 am

Greetings and Opening Remarks, 9:00-9:20 am

MORNING PRESENTATIONS

Stirrings of the Heart: Classical Chinese Conceptions of Music and Self-Expression
Keynote Speaker: Paul R. Goldin, University of Pennsylvania
9:20-10:00 am

Early Chinese Music as Seen through Excavated Texts
Scott Cook, Yale-NUS College
10:00- 10:40 am

Coffee Break 10:40 – 11:00 am
Hokkien Music in Perspective: Rethinking the Ancient Origins Belief
Alan R. Thrasher, University of British Columbia
11:00-11:40 am

The Issues of Performing/Reconstructing Ancient Chinese Music for Contemporary Audiences
Joseph Lam, University of Michigan
11:40-12:20 pm

Lunch Break 12:20-2:20 pm


AFTERNOON PRESENTATIONS

An Unusual Tianlai 天籟: Reconstructing Early Fusion Music in Ancient Qiuzi 龜茲
Agnes Hsu-Tang, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
2:20-3:00 pm

Visualizing Sound: Traces of the Round Pipa in Han Textual and Material Cultures
Noa Hegesh, University of Pennsylvania
3:00-3:40 pm

The Barbarian Lute: Introduction and Assimilation in the First Centuries CE
Ingrid Furniss, Lafayette College
3:40-4:20 pm

Coffee Break 4:20-4:40 pm

Music During the Six Dynasties Period
Bo Lawergren, Hunter College of The City University of New York
4:40-5:20 pm

The Rise of the Fanbai 梵唄 Musical Practice in Six Dynasties China
Kelsey Seymour, University of Pennsylvania
5:20-6:00

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The History of Chinese Buddhist Bibliography: Censorship and Transformation of the Tripitaka 中國佛教目錄學史

Author:
Tanya Storch

Publication Year:
2014

Publisher:
Cambria Press




Abstract:
This study is a thorough examination of the entire historical scope of the Chinese Buddhist bibliography, including its historical foundations, textual classifications, criteria of authenticity, and collections made by individual catalogers. The need for such a study is urgent, for although references to and even in-depth studies of individual Buddhist catalogs and the data they contain have been written, there has not been until now an investigation into the entire historical scope of Buddhist bibliography in China. Understanding just what those who organized the canon over the centuries have left out, or preserved, is key to recovering a fuller appreciation for the development of Buddhism in East Asia in all its complexity. The study of individual bibliographers’ positions is equally crucial for the understanding of standards of authenticity and assignment of value to one group of scriptures over others. History of books, libraries, and learning in China would be incomplete without studying the history of Buddhist bibliography. Ultimately, it is necessary to study Buddhist bibliography because it represents the Tripitaka, the largest and most influential collection of sacred scriptures in the world, and because this collection needs to be incorporated into comparative discussions of Scripture and Canon in world history.

This is the first study that covers the entire historical scope of Buddhist bibliography in China in any European language, as well as the only study that provides detailed descriptions of all influential catalogs of the Buddhist canon written in the second through the end of the tenth centuries. It is the first attempt, in both European and Asian languages, to provide a comparative analysis between ideas, and these theological and historiographical principles used in creation of an authoritative canon by Christian and Buddhist scholars.

Table of Contents:

List of Tables

Transliterated Sanskrit Names, Titles, and Terms

Foreword by Victor H. Mair

Introduction

Chapter 1: Chinese Catalogs of Traditional (Non-Buddhist) Literature

Chapter 2: The Earliest Chinese Catalogs of Buddhist Literature

Chapter 3: Chinese Ideas about the Authenticity of the Buddhist Canon

Chapter 4: The New Position of Buddhism in China

Chapter 5: The Golden Age of Chinese Buddhism and the Catalogs of the Tang Dynasty

Chapter 6: Buddhist Catalogs and “Translators”

Chapter 7: Notes on the Use of Book Catalogs in Religious And Secular Contexts

Conclusion:

Appendix A: A Table of Chinese Buddhist Scriptural Catalogues

Bibliography

Index


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination

Author:
Tamara T. Chin

Publisher:
Harvard University Press

Publication Year:
2014




Abstract:

Savage Exchange explores the politics of representation during the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) at a pivotal moment when China was asserting imperialist power on the Eurasian continent and expanding its local and long-distance (“Silk Road”) markets. Tamara T. Chin explains why rival political groups introduced new literary forms with which to represent these expanded markets. To promote a radically quantitative approach to the market, some thinkers developed innovative forms of fiction and genre. In opposition, traditionalists reasserted the authority of classical texts and advocated a return to the historical, ethics-centered, marriage-based, agricultural economy that these texts described. The discussion of frontiers and markets thus became part of a larger debate over the relationship between the world and the written word. These Han debates helped to shape the ways in which we now define and appreciate early Chinese literature and produced the foundational texts of Chinese economic thought. Each chapter in the book examines a key genre or symbolic practice (philosophy, fu-rhapsody, historiography, money, kinship) through which different groups sought to reshape the political economy. By juxtaposing well-known texts with recently excavated literary and visual materials, Chin elaborates a new literary and cultural approach to Chinese economic thought.


Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Conventions

Introduction: Savage Exchange

Genres
1. Abstraction: Qingzhong Economics, Literary Fiction, and Masters Dialogue
2. Quantification: Poetic Expenditure in the Epideictic Fu
3. Competition: Historiography, Ethnography, and Narrative Regulation

Practices
4. Alienation: Kinship in the World Economy
5. Commensuration: Counter-Practices of Money

Coda: Counterhistory, Connected Histories, and Comparative Literature

Appendix: Numismatic Research on the Han Dynasty Lead Ingots with Blundered Greek (or Foreign) Inscription

Bibliography

Index


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol.3 & 4) 古代與早期中古中國文學(第三冊、第四冊)

Editor:
David R. Knechtges

Publisher:
Brill

Publication Year:
2014

Abstract:
At last here is the long-awaited, first Western-language reference guide focusing exclusively on Chinese literature from ca. 700 B.C.E. to the early seventh century C.E. Alphabetically organized, it contains no less than 1095 entries on major and minor writers, literary forms and "schools," and important Chinese literary terms. In addition to providing authoritative information about each subject, the compilers have taken meticulous care to include detailed, up-to-date bibliographies and source information. The reader will find it a treasure-trove of historical accounts, especially when browsing through the biographies of authors.

Part One contains A to R. 
Part Two contains S to Xi. 
Part Three contains Xia - Y. 
Part Four contains the Z and an extensive index to the four volumes.