Friday, February 24, 2017

[Dissertation] Building Blocks of Chinese Historiography: A Narratological Analysis of "Shi ji"

Lei YANG 楊蕾

University of Pennsylvania

Paul R. Goldin



In Shi ji 史記 studies, scholars from both the East and West have predominantly taken one particular approach: the psychological reading of its author, Sima Qian 司馬遷. Since the author suffered penal castration when he was writing the Shi ji, this approach has been summarized as “the theory of conveying one’s frustration.” Many scholars, modern and pre-modern alike, have inferred the author’s feelings and emotions from his biographical experiences and have interpreted the text accordingly. This narrow interpretation constrains our understanding by exclusively focusing on the author’s personal pains and purposes. Such analysis thus commits the intentional fallacy, which mistakenly equates the author with the text, unjustifiably simplifying the complicated interpretive process. 

I explore the features of the text itself, shifting the focus of research from the author’s intention to the effects produced by its narrative devices, which have determinative influence over the interpretive process but have long been overlooked. I explore the role of narrative as a medium in historical works, applying theories of narratology from the French Structualist Gérard Genette to analyze narratives in the Shi ji. By setting the text into this framework, I systematically examine the narrative sequences, such as anticipation and flashback, narrative duration and mood, and characterization. My investigation shows that these narrative devices produce literary effects, distinguishing Shi ji from both earlier and later histories, such as the Zuo zhuan 左傳 and Han shu 漢書. Shi ji presents a highly complicated past by manipulating interrelations among historical events, regulating information, and emphasizing changes and their effects. It pays most attention to how the historical events happened, more than what happened and why, a significant issue has not been discussed in a context of Chinese historiography. My narratological approach provides an alternative perspective and explores new territory in Shi ji studies.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Methodology
Chapter 2: Shi Ji: An Encyclopedia
Chapter 3: Temporal Order and Causality
Chapter 4: Duration and Mood
Chapter 5: Characterization

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Burial Record of Prehistoric Liangshan in Southwest China: Graves As Composite Objects

Anke Hein



Publication Date:

December 2016


This book proposes a new model and scheme of analysis for complex burial material and applies it to the prehistoric archaeological record of the Liangshan 涼山 region in Southwest China that other archaeologists have commonly given a wide berth, regarding it as too patchy, too inhomogeneous, and overall too unwieldy to work with. The model treats burials as composite objects, considering the various elements separately in their respective life histories. The application of this approach to the rich and diverse archaeological record of the Liangshan region serves as a test of this new form of analysis.

This volume thus pursues two main aims: to advance the understanding of the archaeology of the immediate study area which has been little examined, and to present and test a new scheme of analysis that can be applied to other bodies of material.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Part I: The Model and the Material
Chapter 2: Introducing the Tools: Theory, Method, and Mode
Chapter 3: Setting the Stage: The Geography and Burial Record of the Liangshan Region

Part II: Applying the Model
Chapter 4: Constructing the Grave: The Main Parts and their Combination Chapter 5: Placing the Dead: Interment Practices and other Rituals
Chapter 6: Providing for the Dead: The Object Assemblages
Chapter 7: Time and Space: Connecting the Parts

Part III: Evaluating the Model and the Data
Chapter 8: Connecting the Parts: Graves and Groups, Space and Time
Chapter 9: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Thursday, February 16, 2017

[Dissertation] Buddhism and the State in Medieval China: Case Studies of Three Persecutions of Buddhism, 444-846

Longdu Shi

Publication Year:

University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies


In the history of Buddhism in China, three major persecutions took place between the fifth and the ninth centuries. In the present research, I propose to study them together and in their broader context as a means of understanding the relationship between Buddhism and the state in medieval China. Although a further episode of repression of the Buddhist community occurred in southern China in the tenth century, I will argue that the first three great persecutions marked a fundamental transition in the interaction between Buddhism and Chinese society. As an attempt to study the social and political history of Buddhism in medieval China, this thesis shall accord some space to the development of the monastic community and economy during the time under examination. It will furthermore lay emphasis on the long-term factors of Buddhist development, thus hoping to shed new light on the cultural, economic, social and political reasons for the religious persecutions. As these persecutions were carried out under the orders of the ruling secular authorities, and most of the assumed reasons are related to the imperial policies, the present research is a case study through which the interaction between Buddhism and the state in medieval China will be investigated.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 The Persecutions of Buddhism in Medieval China

Part 1
The Northern Wei 北魏 (386-534) Persecution (440-446)
Chapter 2 The Background of the Persecution
Chapter 3 The Persecution of Buddhism under the Tuoba/Northern Wei

Part 2
The Northern Zhou 北周 (557-581) Persecution (574-577)
Chapter 4 Primary Notes and a Brief History of the Time
Chapter 5 The Persecution of Buddhism under the Northern Zhou

Part 3
Buddhism and Its Persecution under the Tang 唐 (618-907)
Chapter 6 The Sui Dynasty 隋 (581-618) and Buddhism
Chapter 7 The Tang Dynasty: Historical and Social Contexts
Chapter 8 Religious Persecution during Huichang Era 會昌 (840-846)

Chapter 9 Buddhism and the State in Medieval China

Monday, February 13, 2017

Confucius Beyond the Analects

Michael Hunter


Publication Date:
February, 2017


In Confucius Beyond the Analects, Michael Hunter challenges the standard view of the Analects as the earliest and most authoritative source of the teachings of Confucius. Arguing from a comprehensive survey of the thousands of extant sayings and stories from the early period, Hunter situates the compilation and rise of the Analects in the Western Han period (206 BCE–9 CE), roughly three centuries after the death of Confucius. As a study of the growth and development of the Confucius figure over the course of the early period, the book is also meant to serve as a roadmap for those interested in exploring the wealth and diversity of Confucius material beyond the Analects.

Table of Contents:

Preliminary Material


Part 1 Beyond the Analects

1 The Big Picture

2 A Dozen Perspectives on “Confucius” beyond the Analects

Part 2 The Analects in Context

3 The Analects Ascendant, ca. 100 BCE–220 CE

4 Searching for a Pre-Han Analects

5 Reading the Analects in Context
Digression – The Compilation and Rise of the Analects: A Speculative Scenario

6 Conclusion: Confucius, the Analects, and Early Chinese Thought

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Les Dynasties Qin et Han: Histoire générale de la Chine (221 av. J.-C.-220 apr. J.-C.)

Bujard, Marianne, and Michelle Pirazzoli-t’Serstevens

Les Belles Lettres

Publication Date:
2. 13. 2017


Les deux premiers empires chinois, les dynasties Qin (221-207 av. J.-C.) 
et Han (206 av.-220 apr. J.-C.), forgèrent un système politique, des structures sociales, une organisation économique et des assises culturelles à la pérennité stupéfiante. L’unification que ces dynasties imposèrent, l’expansion territoriale et les brassages de populations induits, font de ces quatre siècles une époque charnière. Dû aux meilleures spécialistes, le présent ouvrage offre une remarquable synthèse sur l’histoire et la civilisation de cette période fondamentale, dont l’étude a été profondément renouvelée par les très nombreuses découvertes archéologiques de ces dernières décennies.

Table of Contents:



Chapitre premier. Le premier empire, les Qin (221-206 avant notre ère) 

D'un royaume combattant à l'empire (237-221)
Le Premier Empereur
Organiser le monde
Brûler les livres et enterrer les lettrés
Les tournées d'inspection
Guerres, déportation et grands travaux
Succession, usurpation et révoltes

Chapitre II. Les Han occidentaux (206 avant notre ère – 9 de notre ère) 

La cour de Chang’an
L’impératrice Lü L’empereur Wen (r. 180-157)
L’empereur Jing et son précepteur Chao Cuo
Liu le Grand : le règne de l’empereur Wu (r. 141-86)
Panem et circenses
Tout un empire en échange de la vie éternelle
Régence de Huo Guang
Accession et règne de l’empereur Xuan (r. 74-48)
L’apogée des Han occidentaux
L’empereur Yuan, un monarque poète et musicien
Des Romains en Chine ?
Le règne de l’empereur Cheng (r. 33-7) et du clan des Wang

Chapitre III. La dynastie Xin, l’utopie au pouvoir (9-23) 

L’ambition sous le masque de la vertu (8 av. J.-C.-9 ap. J.-C.)
Des réformes radicales et brouillonnes
Les réformes monétaires
La réforme agraire
Les six contrôles et les cinq égalisations
La politique étrangère
La chute

Chapitre IV. Les Han postérieurs ou orientaux (25-220) 

La restauration des Han
La situation aux frontières et les migrations de population
Les empereurs Ming (57-75) et Zhang (75-88)
Le règne des régentes (88-125)
L’empereur Shun (r. 125-144) et l’emprise du clan Liang (125-159)
Le pouvoir des eunuques (159-189)
Le temps des seigneurs de la guerre (190-220)

Chapitre V. L’empire : gouvernement, économie, voies de communication 

Le gouvernement de l’empire
L’empereur, sa légitimité, son pouvoir
La famille impériale et la noblesse d’empire
Le cadre administratif
Les forces armées
Le cadre législatif
Les ressources économiques et la circulation des richesses
Les impôts et l’agriculture
Les industries et l’artisanat
Les voies de communication et les cités

Chapitre VI. Le domaine privé : au fil des jours 

La famille
Les âges de la vie
Les structures du quotidien
Culture et sociabilités
Les supports des activités lettrées
Les délassements du gentilhomme
La culture visuelle

Chapitre VII. Aux marches de l’empire

Ces barbares à civiliser
Des mondes lointains
Le Xiyu et les routes continentales
Les routes du sud

Chapitre VIII. Penser l’empire 

Le premier empire
La pensée au service de la politique
Construire la légitimité
La cour des lettrés
Les adeptes du laisser faire
Comment gouverner l’empire ?
Lu Jia et Jia Yi
Le Traité du prince de Huainan Dong Zhongshu
Désastres et prodiges
Souffles bons et mauvais
Le gouvernement par les Lettres
Les anciens et les modernes, la chaîne et la trame
Les débats à la cour
Les exilés de l’intérieur
La fin des temps

Chapitre IX. Les dieux des Han 

La religion impériale
Les cultes des Qin
L’ancien système religieux des Han occidentaux
La réforme religieuse de 31 avant notre ère
Le dieu Taiyi
De Taiyi au Ciel et retour
Les Han orientaux : la religion des lettrés
Le grand exorcisme
Les cultes dédiés aux empereurs défunts
Les cultes locaux
Les cultes aux montagnes
La quête de l’immortalité
Les mouvements millénaristes
Les premières communautés bouddhistes
Les rites privés
Ancêtres, dieux lares, héros légendaires
Bureaucratie infernale
Fantômes, monstres et démons
Pharmacopée et rituels apotropaïques

Chapitre X. L’empire des Lettres 

Chants, rhapsodies et poèmes
Les recueils d’anecdotes

Lexicographes et encyclopédistes
Les inscriptions sur pierre
Les histoires dynastiques : Sima Qian et Ban Gu


Mesures Han
Quelques prix Han
Liste des empereurs
Table des cartes
Table des illustrations
Cahier des cartes et plans

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

アジア学の宝庫、東洋文庫: 東洋学の史料と研究


Publication Date:
March, 2015




Table of Contents:

第1部 戦中・戦後の東洋文庫

戦中・戦後の東洋文庫 斯波義信

東洋文庫蔵書疎開雑記 星斌夫

第2部 座談会

東洋文庫の現在と未来 山川尚義・濱下武志・田仲一成・平野健一郎・斯波義信

第3部 東洋学の宝庫、東洋文庫へのいざない

東洋文庫の敦煌吐魯番文書研究 池田温

東洋文庫の地図学史関係資料 海野一隆

東洋文庫と東洋学文献センター 竺沙雅章

『譯書考異』―新型華夷譯語の発現 西田龍雄

辻直四郎先生の南アジア研究 原實

東洋文庫冬の時代 山根幸夫

東洋文庫図書資料のオンライン検索及びデジタル化の歩み 田仲一成

清朝の満洲語、満洲文字、北京官話、満洲語文献―東洋文庫の清代満洲語文献類が持つ資料価値理解の一助として 石橋崇雄

清代のアウトロー「光棍」とその取締り法 山本英史

東洋文庫所蔵朝鮮本について 藤本幸夫

東洋文庫所蔵のオスマン語及び欧文稀覯書の白眉について 鈴木董

東洋文庫所蔵「北京全図」について 渡辺紘良

「大明地理之圖」を模写した細矢玄俊と細矢(細谷)家 細谷良夫

奇跡の書―東洋文庫蔵ジョン・セーリス『日本渡航記』の書物学的考察 平野健一郎

仁礼敬之の『北清見聞録』と黎明期のアジア主義 久保亨

The Friend of Chinaより見るイギリスのアヘン貿易反対運動 新村容子

東洋文庫の蘭学資料 片桐一男

海を渡った皮紙(ヴェラム)文書―モロッコの契約文書コレクション 三浦徹

Sunday, February 5, 2017

China: An Environmental History

Robert Marks

Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield

Publication Date:
17 February 2017


This deeply informed and clearly written text provides a comprehensive and comprehensible history of China from prehistory to the present. Now updated to include recent political events and scientific research, the book focuses on the interaction of humans and their environment. Tracing changes in the physical and cultural world that is home to a fifth of humankind, Robert B. Marks illuminates the paradoxes inherent in China’s environmental narrative, demonstrating how historically sustainable practices can, in fact, be profoundly ecologically unsound. The author also reevaluates China’s traditional “heroic” storyline, highlighting the marginalization of nature and contacts with other peoples that followed the spread of Chinese civilization while examining the development of a distinctly Chinese way of relating to and altering the environment. Unmatched in his ability to synthesize a complex subject clearly and cogently, Marks has written an accessible yet nuanced history for any student interested in China, past or present, or indeed in the world’s environmental future.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations 
Preface to the Second Edition 

Chapter 1: Introduction: Problems and Perspectives

Chapter 2: China’s Natural Environment and Early Human Settlement to 1000 BCE

Chapter 3: States, Wars, and Farms: Environmental Change in Ancient and Early Imperial China, 1000 BCE–300 CE 

Chapter 4: Deforesting the North and Colonizing the South in the Middle Imperial Period, 300–1300 CE 

Chapter 5: Empire and Environment: China’s Borderlands, Islands, and Inner Peripheries in the Late Imperial Period, 1300–1800 CE 

Chapter 6: Environmental Degradation in Modern China, 1800–1949 

Chapter 7: “Controlling” Nature in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–Present 

Chapter 8: Conclusion: China and Its Environment in World Historical Perspective 

Select Bibliography