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CCCC Fall 2017

Guolong Lai
Picture of Guolong Lai

Associate Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology, University of Florida

“Excessive Cult or Proper Ritual? Religious Boundaries and Imperial Politics as seen from a Shanghai Manuscript〈柬大王泊旱

September 8, 2017

Employing the analytic framework of narratology and Old Chinese phonetic reconstruction, Professor Lai read “King Jian Dispels the Drought" (Jian Dawang Bohan 〈柬大王泊旱〉), a story from the Shanghai Manuscripts dating from the state of Chu during the Warring States Period (5th - mid 3nd century B.C.E.). Professor Lai argued that the story was primarily a text condemning the wanton performance of ritual in foreign territories, shining light on the nature of ritual, sacrifice, and sovereignty in the Chu state.

Additional Materials:

來國龍:〈《柬大王泊旱》的敍事結構與宗教背景,兼釋「殺祭」〉,《2007年中國簡帛學國際論壇論文集》,國立臺灣大學中文系編,臺灣大學出版社,2011年12月,頁443-474。(in Chinese)

來國龍:〈說「殺」、「散」,兼談古文字釋讀中的通假字問題〉,《簡帛》,第4輯(2009): 315-331。(in Chinese)

來國龍:〈帝國與宗教: 古代中國與古羅馬帝國的比較研究〉,《古羅馬與秦漢中國:風馬牛不相及乎》,法國漢學/Sinologie française 第十四輯,中華書局,2009年,頁196-218。(in Chinese)

Jeffrey Tharsen
Photo of Jeffrey Tharsen

University of Chicago Research Computing Center, University Lead Computational Scientist for the Digital Humanities

"The Bells of Liang Qi 梁其鐘 : a Musical Reading of a 9th-century B.C.E. Chinese Bronze Inscription"

September 29, 2017

Dr. Tharsen presented a guided reading of a Zhou Dynasty bronze bell inscription from the 9th century B.C.E, focusing primarily on the orthographic difficulties of reading inscriptional texts. His presentation was multi-media, and he made use of digital and physical materials to explicate some of the non-standard or obscure characters in the inscription.

Additional Materials:

Tharsen, Jeffrey. The Digital Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese

(A fantastic resource that compares the phonetic reconstructions of Old and Middle Chinese - just press the "login" button.)

Steven Miles
Photo of Steven Miles

Associate Professor of History, Washington University in St. Louis

"Cantonese Migrant Networks: Two Stone Inscriptions from the West River Basin 粵東會館甲申年創造垻頭碑記 (1765) and 重建粵東會館碑記 (1788)"

October 20, 2017

Professor Miles presented guided readings of two inscriptions from “Huiguan” (會館) in Guangdong, South China, reading them as documents commemorating the building and renovation of a new guildhouse for migrant merchants living in the province. One of the key issues of Professor Miles' presentation was the role of such inscriptions in local society, which he argued was more symbolic than financial.

Robin McNeal
Photo of Robin McNeal

Associate Professor of Asian Studies, Cornell University

"A Ming Dynasty Inscription on the Sublime Relationship between Humans and Spirits at the Lingqiu Temple at Fajiu Mountain, Zhangzi county, Changzhi, Shanxi 明嘉靖九年(1530)重修靈湫廟記神神人人之事:山西長治長子縣發鳩山的靈湫廟碑文"

November 17, 2017

Professor McNeal presented a reading of a temple inscription he discovered in Shanxi in 2014 while tracing representations of early Chinese myths in rural society. His reading of the inscription focused on its mention of Yan Di (炎帝), the mythical "Flame Emperor" of Chinese antiquity. Professor McNeal situated his reading within a larger context of Chinese mythology, providing supplementary passages from texts such as the Shanhai jing 《山海經》in order to explain the difficult allusions that permeated the inscription.