[公告] 「港台學術資訊」不是我的微博

Saturday, August 19, 2017

[Conference] International Academic Conference on Philosophy and Technology in Early China

Date: 18-20, 2017

Venue: Yale- NUS College 

Conference Schedule (preliminary)

August 18(Friday)

Opening Remarks (8:45~9:00)

Scott Cook (Yale-NUS College)
Mei Jianjun   (Needham Research Institute)
Roel Sterckx   (University of Cambridge)

Opening Keynote Presentation (9:00~9:50)

Robin D.S. Yates “Texts, Military Equipment, and the Techniques of Government in
Late Pre-imperial and Early Imperial China”

Coffee break (9:50~10:20)

Panel 1:  Technology and Cosmology (10:20~12:00)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

David Pankenier “The Mimetic Strain in Ancient Chinese Cosmography and

Michael J. Puett “The Technology of Cosmology”

Panel 2: Grains, Spirits, and the Philosophy of Production (1:30~3:10)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

Roel Sterckx “Agronomy and Philosophy in Early China”

Hajni Elias “Women’s Work (Nüshi 女事): Women’s Role in the Production and Sale of
Alcohol in Han China”

Panel 3: Logic and Terminology (3:40~5:20)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

Christoph Harbsmeier “Abstraction in Classical Chinese”

Paul R. Goldin “What Are shu 術 and shu 數?”

August 19(Saturday)

Panel 4:  Metallurgy Technology and Production (9:30~11:10)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

Mei Jianjun “The Development of Forging Technology in Pre-Qin China and its Social

Li Feng “On the Production System of Bronzes During the Western Zhou: New
Perspectives from the Zhousheng Bronzes”

Panel 5:  Music Technology, Theory, and Practice I (1:30~3:10)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

Lothar von Falkenhausen “Zhou-period Chime-bells Reconsidered in Light of New
 Archaeological Discoveries”

Scott Cook “Technology in a New Key: Toward a Reexamination of Musical Theory
and Practice in the Zeng Hou Yi 曾侯乙 Bells”

Panel 6:  Music Technology, Theory, and Practice II (3:40~5:20)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

So Jeong Park “Musical Technology and Confucian Tonality in Early China”

Avital Rom “Drums and Military in Early China”

August 20(Sunday)

Panel 7:  Science and Technology in the Mozi (9:00~10:40)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

Andrew Meyer “‘Your Magpie Does Not Equal My Linchpin’: Technology as
Metaphor and Template in the Mozi”

Erica Brindley “Understanding Fa-Models and Shu-Techniques in Mohist Thought:
A Scientific Approach to Knowledge and its Religious Foundations”

Panel 8:  Morality, Automation, and Logical Disputation (11:10~12:50)

Chair: TBD()

Presenters and paper titles:

Mark Csikszentmihalyi “Ghosts, Machines, and Automata: What is Human About
 Being Humane in Early China?”

Bryan Van Norden “Are the Later Mohists Actually Important?”

Concluding Remarks  (12:50~1:00)

August 21(Monday)

6:00~7:15 p.m.

Post-conference Keynote Lecture-in-conjunction (Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Lecture Series lecture):

William H. Nienhauser, Jr.

“The Significances of Plowing in Early Chinese Texts”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

[Dissertation] The Mancheng Tombs: Shaping the Afterlife of the 'Kingdom within the Mountains' in Western Han China (206 BCE-8 CE)

Shi Jie

University of Chicago


Wu Hung


To extend the imperial authority to the newly conquered lands, early Western Han emperors in the second century BCE dispatched their sons and brothers to reign over a number of remote kingdoms in the unruly border regions, whose people lived in vivid memories of their pre-imperial pasts. While ancient historians only left succinct and fragmentary documents about these kingdoms, modern archaeologists have excavated dozens of royal tombs, which allow us to probe into religious, social, and political agendas of early imperial Chinese rulers.

This dissertation scrutinizes one king’s complex identification with himself, his family, and his state in the formative period of the Chinese empire by analyzing his and his wife’s tombs, dubbed Mancheng Tombs 1 and 2, located in Hebei province in the northern border region of the Han Empire. Widely acknowledged as the richest, largest, highest-ranking, and best-preserved royal tombs so far excavated in early imperial China, both tombs were found miraculously intact. More than ten thousand objects, many of which have been declared national treasures of China, were distributed on the floors in meaningful patterns across a cluster of interconnected, house-like burial chambers. These parallel tombs were occupied by King Liu Sheng 劉勝 (d. 113 BCE) and Queen Dou Wan 竇綰 (d. ca. 109 BCE), who re-established the originally non-Chinese “barbaric” state called Zhongshan 中山 (literally, “People within Mountains”) in 154 BCE.

This dissertation argues that architectural plans, the patterns of furnishing, and the diversity of burial objects addressed the royal couple’s three major concerns during their lives: harmonizing the body with the soul, the husband with the wife, and the Chinese with the “barbaric.” In doing so, this dissertation methodologically synthesizes interdisciplinary methodologies from history of art, archaeology, and sinology by closely reading visual materials from the royal tombs and textual materials about Zhongshan in conjunction with one another.

This dissertation consists of three major chapters. Chapter 1 examines the tombs’ pattern of furnishing as the material embodiment of the traditional Chinese philosophy of harmonizing body and soul, which were housed respectively in the rear coffin and the front chamber. Chapter 2 studies the parallel relationship between the twin tombs as a visual commentary on the discourse of ideal husband and wife, who is mirroring and subject to the husband. The last Chapter 3 shows how non-Chinese elements were intertwined with Chinese elements in the tomb to represent the king’s double identity both as the heir to the local “barbaric” cultural tradition and as a Chinese imperial representative.

This dissertation makes a contribution to the field of Chinese art history and culture not only by providing the first comprehensive analysis of one of the most important archaeological discoveries of ancient China, but also by offering a theoretical and methodological reflection of what early Chinese tombs were and how to study them as a source for historical inquiries.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Between History and Philosophy: Anecdotes in Early China

Paul van Els
Sarah A. Queen

Publication Date:
September 2017


Between History and Philosophy is the first book-length study in English to focus on the rhetorical functions and forms of anecdotal narratives in early China. Edited by Paul van Els and Sarah A. Queen, this volume advances the thesis that anecdotes—brief, freestanding accounts of single events involving historical figures, and occasionally also unnamed persons, animals, objects, or abstractions—served as an essential tool of persuasion and meaning-making within larger texts. Contributors to the volume analyze the use of anecdotes from the Warring States Period to the Han Dynasty, including their relations to other types of narrative, their circulation and reception, and their central position as a mode of argumentation in a variety of historical and philosophical literary genres.

Table of Contents


Anecdotes in Early China
Paul van Els and Sarah A. Queen

Part I. Anecdotes, Argumentation, and Debate

1. Non-deductive Argumentation in Early Chinese Philosophy
Paul R. Goldin

2. The Frontier between Chen and Cai: Anecdote, Narrative, and Philosophical Argumentation in Early China
Andrew Seth Meyer

3. Mozi as a Daoist Sage? An Intertextual Analysis of the “Gongshu” Anecdote in the Mozi
Ting-mien Lee

4. Anecdotal Barbarians in Early China
Wai-yee Li

Part II. Anecdotes and Textual Formation

5. Anecdote Collections as Argumentative Texts: The Composition of the Shuoyuan 說苑
Christian Schwermann

6. From Villains Outwitted to Pedants Out-Wrangled: The Function of Anecdotes in the Shifting Rhetoric of the Han Feizi
Heng Du

7. The Limits of Praise and Blame: The Rhetorical Uses of Anecdotes in the Gongyangzhuan 公羊傳
Sarah A. Queen

Part III. Anecdotes and History

8. History without Anecdotes: Between the Zuozhuan and the Xinian 繫年Manuscript
Yuri Pines

9. Cultural Memory and Excavated Anecdotes in “Documentary” Narrative: Mediating Generic Tensions in the Baoxun 保訓 Manuscript
Rens Krijgsman

10. Old Stories No Longer Told: The End of the Anecdotes Tradition of Early China
Paul van Els


Thursday, August 3, 2017

[Dissertation] Dealing with Childbirth in Medieval Chinese Buddhism: Discourses and Practices

LIN, Hsin-Yi

Columbia University

Bernard Faure



In Buddhism birth is regarded as the origin of suffering and impurity, whereas it also forms the physical basis indispensible for seeking and attaining awakening. Birth is both the starting points of incuring defilement and achieving sanctity. Pointing out this paradox on birth in Buddhism and situating the issue within the context of Chinese religion and history, this dissertation extensively investigates Buddhist discourses and practices of reproduction in medieval China. It anwsers how Buddhist discourses and practices of childbirth were transmitted, transformed, and applied in medieval China, and how they interacted with indigenous healing resources and practices in both Chinese religious and medical realms. Through examining the primary sources such as the excavated Day Books (Chapter One), Buddhist hagiographies (Chapter Two), Buddhist obstetric and embryological discourses (Chapter Three and Four) and healing resources preserved in Tripitaka and Dunhuang manuscripts, Dunhuang transformation texts and tableaux, and miracle tales and anecdote literature (Chapter Four and Five), I argue that not only was there a paradoxical dualism at the heart of Buddhism's relationship with reproduction, but also Buddhism provides abundant healing resources for dealing with childbirth on the practical level. Overall I contend that Buddhist healing resources for childbirth served as an effective channel through which Buddhist teaching, worldview and concepts of gender and body were conveyed to its supplicants. Through this investigation, this dissertation contributes to the understanding of the association of Buddhism with medicine, the influence of Buddhist discourses and practices of reproduction on China, and the transmission of Buddhist views of gender, the body, and life to China through its healing activities related to childbirth.