Thursday, February 28, 2019

2019 Early Medieval China Group Annual Conference

2019 Early Medieval China Group Annual Conference Program Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019 Location: Spruce Room, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado 9:00 Welcome Panel 1: Orality and Self-Canonization in Six Dynasties Poetry 9:05 Zhang Yue, Valparaiso University, "After a Hundred Generations Passed By, His Fame Occupied the World: Self-Canonization in Zuo Si’s “Poems on History” 9:35-10:00 Xu Yan, Fudan University, “Ancient or Medieval: An Archaeology of “Seven Sorrows” (“Qi Ai" 七哀)” Panel 2: Imagining Gender and Family 10:05-10:30 Yang Wu, University of Colorado, Boulder, “Imagining Communities: Daoist Mourning Rites and Communal Relations in Six Dynasties China" 10:35-11:00 Pattira Thaitosaeng, Mahidol University, “The Role of Women in Men’s Biographies in the Sanguo zhi,” 11:00-11:15 Coffee Break Panel 3: Visual Tableaus of Sanctity and Order 11:15-11:40 Zhou Yin, Chongqing University, 北魏武、明時期洛陽寺院布局與里坊規劃 11:45-12:10 Zhao Jinchao, University of Virginia, “From a Legend of Charity to the Mountain Fairy: the Formation of the Saint Image in the Pictorial Tradition of Vessantara Jātaka in Early Medieval China” 12:10-1:30 Lunch Panel 4: Acts of Consolidation and Unification 1:30-1:55 Pauli Tashima, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, “The Illusion of “Unification” and “Synthesis”: Early Medieval Zuo Tradition Commentators as Treated by the Wujing zhengyi Commission” 2:00-2:25 Hu Axiang 胡阿祥, Nanjing University, “魏晋南北朝时代的正统观念与正统实践” 2:30-2:55 Monique Nagel-Angermann, University of Münster, “Acts of grace during troubled times: Amnesties of the Sixteen States Period (300-430)” 2:55-3:10 Break Panel 5: Envisioning the Other and Thinking Regionally 3:10-3:35 Andrew Chittick, Eckerd College, “Thinking Regionally in Early Medieval Studies: A Manifesto” 3:40-4:05 Masha Kobzeva, University of Wisconsin, Madison, “The Other Neighbor: The Eastern Yi in the Sanguo zhi” 4:10-4:35 Jon Felt, Brigham Young University, “Shuijing zhu on Southeast Asia” 4:35-5:15 Business meeting of the Early Medieval China Group

(via Keith Knapp)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Mourning Rituals in Archaic & Classical Greece and Pre-Qin China

Wu, Xiaoqun

Palgrave Pivot

Publication date:


This pivot compares mourning rituals in Archaic & Classical Greece and Pre-Qin China to illustrate some of the principles and methods used in comparative studies.  It focuses on three main aspects of mourning of the dead before burial — lamentation, mourners’ gestures and behaviors, and mourning apparel — to demonstrate the cultural function, purpose, and social influence of mourning. A key comparative study of rituals at the heart of both Western and Chinese culture, this text highlights the cultural function and social influence of rituals of two ancient peoples and will be of interest to all scholars of comparative religion, sociology and anthropology.

Table of Contents:


Attitudes towards Death in Ancient Greece and Ancient China


Mourners’ Gestures and Behaviors

Mourning Apparel


Saturday, February 23, 2019

[Dissertation] Women During the Han Dynasty Through the Lens of Excavated Materials

Pattira Thaithosaeng

University of Pennsylvania

Degree date: 

Goldin, Paul R.


The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the life of Han women on the basis of excavated materials through four themes, namely, convict-labor, motherhood, sexual partners, and the afterlife. The sources include the Shuihudi, Zhangjiashan, and Mawangdui manuscripts along with visual representations and tomb artefacts. I argue that women were always the subject of concern either by the state or their partners. Female criminals constituted a crucial part in the government’s labor force. They were expected to effectively produce offspring and raise the future population with some benefits in return under the principle of filial piety. Sexual relationships between men and women were systematically regulated by the state, while individual men focused on improving health during sexual intercourse and women received pleasure as a by-product. Only in the afterlife would the rules be more relaxed, with life as depicted inside the tomb as evidence. Excavated materials have produced a more nuanced image of Han women, as they offer new insights to our understanding of gender and sexuality during the early periods, for which we previously lacked the resources to study.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

[Dissertation] Dreaming Betwixt And Between: Oneiric Narratives in Huijiao and Daoxuan's Biographies of Eminent Monks

Chris Jensen

James Benn

McMaster University



This project explores the evolution of medieval Chinese Buddhist perspectives on dreams through a series of in-depth comparisons between the oneiric narratives preserved in Huijiao's (慧皎) "Biographies of Eminent Monks" (Gaoseng zhuan 高僧傳 [GSZ]) and Daoxuan's (道宣) "Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks" (Xu gaoseng zhuan 續高僧傳 [XGSZ]), drawing inspiration from contemporary Sinological and Buddhist Studies scholarship, as well as anthropological and psychological perspectives on dreaming. In addition to using these comparisons to address questions related to the diachronic transformation of Chinese Buddhist thought and practice from the early sixth to mid-seventh centuries, I also posit (and provide evidence for) the hypothesis that dreams (and the stories told about them) represent a potent conceptual metaphor for the “betwixt and between” experience of liminality: a hypothesis that I hope inspires discussion and debate in the broader oneirological community.

I approach these topics through four interrelated case studies. Chapter One uses dream narratives to investigate the various modes of oneiric practice ascribed to Chinese monks (and laypeople) in GSZ and XGSZ, focusing on three specific subtopics (dream telling, dream interpretation, and dream incubation) to evaluate the differences between the episodes preserved in both collections. Chapter Two examines the differing ways that Huijiao and Daoxuan engaged with both Chinese and (Indian) Buddhist oneiric conception tropes when describing the birth and early lives of exemplary monks. Chapter Three posits that Huijiao and Daoxuan made distinctive (and historically-situated) use of oneiric narratives to help situate China within the imagined geographies of contemporary Chinese Buddhists. Finally, Chapter Four explores the distinctive ways that oneiric narratives were used in GSZ and XGSZ to negotiate the interactions between exemplary Buddhists and indigenous Chinese religious practices, practitioners and deities.

Table of Contents:


Chapter One – Engaging with the Liminal: Oneiric Practice in the Eminent Monks

Chapter Two – Dreaming Betwixt and Between Conception and Birth

Chapter Three: Dreaming Betwixt and Between Regions

Chapter Four – Dreaming Betwixt and Between: Oneiric Experiences at the 

Conclusion / For Future Research

Monday, February 18, 2019

Patterns of East Asian History

Charles A. Desnoyers

Oxford University Press

Publication date:
March 2019


Covering all of East Asian history from the Neolithic to the present--including Mongolia and Vietnam, alongside China, Japan, and Korea--Patterns of East Asian History uses recognizable and widely-accepted patterns of historical development as a loose framework around which to structure the material. This approach serves as both an organizational aid to instructors and as a tool to make complex material more comprehensible to students. The result is enhanced pedagogical flexibility. This subtly recursive format allows abundant opportunities for contrast and comparison among and within the societies under consideration. The overall aim is to simplify the immense complexities of history for beginning students without making them simplistic. Featuring nearly sixty maps and 200 photos, Patterns of East Asian History provides a rich visual history that complements its engaging narrative.

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: The Region and People
Varied Geographies
The Chinese Landscape
The Great Regulator: The Monsoon
Mountains and Deserts
Eurasia's Eastern Branch: Korea
The Island Perimeter: Japan
The Southern Branch: Vietnam 
East Asian Ethnicities and Languages
China and Taiwan

Chapter 2: The Middle Kingdom: China to 1280 
Opening Vignette
China and the Neolithic Revolution
Neolithic Origins
Foundations of the Dynastic System
The Three Dynasties: The Xia
The Three Dynasties: The Shang
The Three Dynasties: The Zhou
Economy and Society
New Classes: Merchants and Shi
Family and Gender in Ancient China
Religion Culture and Intellectual Life
Chinese Writing
Ritual and Religion
The Hundred Schools: Confucianism and Daoism
Self-Cultivation and Ritual: Confucius
Mencius and the Politics of Human Nature
Paradox and Transcendence: Laozi and Daoism
The Structures of Empire
The First Empire, 221-206 B.C.E.
Qin Shi Huangdi
The Imperial Model: The Han Dynasty, 202 B.C.E. to 220 C.E.
Expanding the Empire
Downturn of the Dynastic Cycle
The Centuries of Fragmentation, 220-589 C.E.
Reconstituting the Empire: The Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties, 589-1280
China's Cosmopolitan Age: The Tang Dynasty, 618-907
Buddhism in China
Patterns Up Close: Creating an East Asian Buddhist Culture
The Period of Expansion: Emperor Taizong
"Emperor" Wu
Cosmopolitan Autumn
An Early Modern Period? The Song 
The Southern Song Remnant
The Mongol Conquest
Economics, Society, and Gender in Early Imperial China
Industry and Commerce
Agricultural Productivity
Gender and Family
Thought, Science, and Technology
The Legacy of the Han Historians
Poetry, Painting, and Calligraphy
Technological Leadership

Chapter 3: Interaction and Adaptation on the Sinitic Rim: Korea, Japan, and Vietnam to the Mongol Era
Opening Vignette
From Three Kingdoms to One: Korea to 1231
The "Three Kingdoms"
Korea to the Mongol Invasion
Economy and Society
Religion, Culture and Intellectual Life
Isolation, Interaction, and Adaptation: Japan to 1281
Jomon and Yayoi
Early State Building
Imperial Rule
Economy and Society
Family Structure
Religion, Culture, and Intellectual Life
Buddhism in Japan
Patterns Up Close: From Periphery to Center: Nichiren, Buddhism, and Japan
Forging a New Japanese Culture
Borders of Influence and Agency: Vietnam
Neolithic Cultures
Village Society and Buddhism
The "Far South"
Independence and State Building
Economics and Society
Officials, Peasants, and Merchants
Women and Family
Religion, Culture, and Intellectual Life
Chu Nom

Chapter 4: The Mongol Super-Empire
Opening Vignette
Genghis Khan and the Mongol Conquest
Strategies of the Steppes
Clashing Codes of Combat
Assimilating Military Technologies
The Mongol Conquest: The Initial Phase
The Drive to the West
Patterns Up Close: Pax Mongolica
Subduing China
From Victory to Disunity
Overthrow and Retreat
The Mongol Commercial Revolution
Rebuilding Agriculture and Infrastructure
Role Reversal: Artisans and Merchants
Family, Gender, Religion, and Culture
Egalitarian Patriarchy?
Religion: Toleration and Support

Saturday, February 16, 2019

目録学の誕生 劉向が生んだ書物文化

古勝 隆一 (KOGACHI, Ryuichi)


Publication date:



Table of Contents:

序章 目録と目録学
 第一節 校書と分類の関係
 第二節 目録と書目
 第三節 「校讐」の起源―校正の始まりについての一試論
 第四節 中国学術の全体像を俯瞰する
 第五節 「儒」の位置
 □コラム 目録学と校讐学
第一章 劉向目録学のインパクト
 第一節 二劉の学の大きさ
 第二節 書目の背後にあるのは「学術」である
 第三節 術をめぐって
 第四節 官職と書物
 第五節 『漢書』芸文志の序文を読む
 第六節 「大序」は誰の文章か
 □コラム 書物と国家
第二章 目録学前史―戦国時代から前漢時代における学術と学派
 第一節 諸子を批判する諸子
 第二節 批判精神の発露―『荀子』非十二子篇
 第三節 道術の衰え―『荘子』天下篇
 第四節 学派内部の分裂をめぐって―『韓非子』顕学篇
 第五節 司馬談の学術観
 □コラム 荀子は子思と孟子を批判したのか
第三章 前漢時代の皇帝と学問
 第一節 焚書のダメージ
 第二節 漢初の学問好尚の変化
 第三節 武帝と儒教
 第四節 ポスト武帝時代から前漢末にいたる学問好尚
 第五節 前漢における六芸の位置
 第六節 漢室と神仙思想
 第七節 前漢における図書蒐集の歴史
 □コラム 芸をめぐって
第四章 劉向の家系と学問
 第一節 『史記』楚元王世家と『漢書』楚元王伝
 第二節 劉向の祖先、楚の元王
 第三節 劉交の子孫たち
 第四節 劉向の曽祖父・祖父・父
 第五節 劉向の生涯
 第六節 毀誉褒貶を生んだ劉歆の生き方
 □コラム 劉安と劉向
第五章 『別録』と『七略』
 第一節 『別録』と『七略』
 第二節 『七略別録』とは何だろう
 第三節 『別録』『七略』のその後
 第四節 『別録』『七略』の輯本
 第五節 姚振宗輯本の登場
 第六節 『別録』『七略』に著録された書物
 第七節 劉氏校書と『漢書』芸文志
 □コラム 姚振宗とその著作
第六章 校書の様相
 第一節 校書を担ったのは誰なのか
 第二節 校書の記録―「荀子書録」を例として
 第三節 校書の実態―『戦国策』の場合
 第四節 序録に見える「中書」
 第五節 校書はどこで行われたのか
 □コラム 天禄閣から飛び降りた楊雄
第七章 『七略』の六分類
 第一節 なぜ「七」略なのに「六」文類なのか
 第二節 『七略』の六分類
 第三節 輯略について
 第四節 六分類の体系性をめぐって
 □コラム 数術略なのか術数略なのか
第八章 ポスト劉向時代の目録学
 第一節 劉向らの校書は無力だったのか
 第二節 劉向らが校讐した本の運命
 第三節 劉向らの校書結果の影響
 第四節 四部分類の誕生
 第五節 現代にも残るその影響力
 □コラム 劉向的分類を乗り越えることの難しさ
第九章 劉向の学を広め深めた学者たち―鄭樵・章学誠・余嘉錫
 第一節 鄭樵の学術観―理想の学術分類を目指して
 第二節 章学誠の見た劉向―目録学の理念
 第三節 余嘉錫の目録学―近代に劉向を伝える
 第四節 目録学は本当に劉向が始めたのか
 □コラム 「言公」の読みづらさ
終章 書物はなぜ必要なのか
 第一節 書物は聖人が遺した糟粕なのか
 第二節 劉向の思い
 第三節 書物肯定と否定のはざま

Monday, February 11, 2019

[Dissertation] Fantastic Beasts Of The Eurasian Steppes: Toward A Revisionist Approach To Animal-Style Art

Petya Andreeva

University of Pennsylvania



Animal style is a centuries-old approach to decoration characteristic of the various cultures which flourished along the Eurasian steppe belt in the later half of the first millennium BCE. This vast territory stretching from the Mongolian Plateau to the Hungarian Plain, has yielded hundreds of archaeological finds associated with the early Iron Age. Among these discoveries, high-end metalwork, textiles and tomb furniture, intricately embellished with idiosyncratic zoomorphic motifs, stand out as a recurrent element. While scholarship has labeled animal-style imagery as scenes of combat, this dissertation argues against this overly simplified classification model which ignores the variety of visual tools employed in the abstraction of fantastic hybrids. I identify five primary categories in the arrangement and portrayal of zoomorphic designs: these traits, frequently occurring in clusters, constitute the first comprehensive definition of animal-style art. Each chapter focuses on the materiality and strategic placement of a different type of animal-style object: headdresses, torques and plaques often embellish the body of the deceased whereas felt, leather and silk textiles used as ceiling hangings, rugs, and coffin covers serve to define the tomb’s spatial parameters. Lastly, the dissertation also delves into the continuous retention of animal-style motifs in the arts of the Eurasian steppes after the dawn of the first millennium BCE thus challenging the narrative that animal art disappeared after the Iron Age. I demonstrate that elite members of the various pastoral societies perched along the peripheries of sedentary empires invented local interpretations of a common visual language made of tropes and devices (such as “visual synecdoche” and “frame narrative”) resulting from ingenious interpretations of the above-mentioned five categories. In so doing, they aimed to tackle an identical conceptual problem: the attendance of a real audience of a certain social stature during the funerary ceremony and the presence of an imagined (divine) one in the afterlife. The dissertation thus deconstructs the politically-motivated role of animal-style items in elite burials and argues that animal art was a constructed visual language intelligible to a small nucleus of elites whose sociopolitical status and network of influence were in fact inextricably linked to their level of fluency in it.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Mapping out The Early Narratives: Animal Art at a Crossroads

Chapter 2: The Cosmic Headdress: The Theater of Politics of Animal-style Regalia

Chapter 3: The Tomb Inside Out: The Political Dimensions of Mortuary Space

Chapter 4: Revisiting the “Disappearance” Narrative

Chapter 5: Animal Art Revisited

Saturday, February 9, 2019

[Dissertation] The Southwest: A Study of Regional Identity in Material Culture and Textual Sources during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 - 220 C.E.)

Hajnalka Elias

Roel Sterckx


Awarding Institution:
University of Cambridge


This dissertation studies examples of social and cultural memory and identity manifested in the art of the southwest, present-day Sichuan province, during the Eastern Han dynasty. Through the study of the southwest’s material culture, considered special for its distinct artistic style and content by scholars in the field of Chinese art, combined with analysis of early textual sources, it highlights a number of important findings associated with the region’s social make-up, economic activities, burial practices, education and governance, all of which contributed to the formation of a distinct regional identity. The southwest’s geographical isolation and its great distance from the Central Plains; the difficulties and dangers of road and river transport from all directions; its multi-ethnic make-up and the engrained cultural prejudice from the north, especially from the capital’s governing elite and literati, were all factors that contributed to a sense of regional separation that manifested itself in a distinct material culture and is hinted at in early textual sources. The main sources of material culture examined in the dissertation are pictorial brick tiles and stone reliefs discovered in stone and brick chamber tombs; decorated stone sarcophagi placed in the region’s cliff tombs; and commemorative and ancestral stelae erected for the governors of Shu and Ba commanderies. In its methodology, the dissertation employs Western theories on social and cultural memory and identity. It also bridges two fields of study, cultural and art history, which are often pursued separately due to their distinct specialisations. The dissertation’s findings aim to contribute to our knowledge of the southwest and to the study of regional identity in early imperial China.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Treasures of Stone Uncovered: Buddhist Sculptures from the Northern Qi 發現石頭寶藏:北齊佛像雕塑

Veen, Saskia van.

Antwerp: Pandora Publishers

Publication date:

Hereto unknown statues of great significance to the art world will be revealed in this publication, their aesthetic features thoroughly analysed. Quite exceptionally, Treasures of Stone Uncovered also encompasses a full chapter explaining the scientific methodology that was employed to authenticate the objects. The goal of this publication is, on the one hand, to let the artworks capture the gaze of the reader with their splendour and refinement, and on the other, to increase the knowledge and understanding of the underexposed Buddhist art of the Northern Qi. Text in English and Chinese.

Table of Contents:

Thursday, February 7, 2019

[Dissertation] The Life of Daoxuan: According to Others and his Own Words

Faling (Ang Zou)


Ghent University


The present research focuses on the life of Daoxuan 道宣 that revealed by the monk himself and that penned down by others. More importantly, it sets to see why this monk is so linked to and respected in the field of vinaya. Is it because a great number of his works are devoted to that subject, or simply that he lives up to the vinaya stipulation? Furthermore, it is one of the key tasks of this study to explore why Daoxuan is the first Chinese monk ever to define hufa as an ideal that monks should aspire for and installed it as one the ten categories of the eminent monks in his Xu gaoseng zhuan 續高僧傳. Daoxuan, at a certain point, even goes on to declare the hufa as the most prominent among the ten ideals when the survival of the Buddha-dharma is concerned. What is his understanding of hufa, and since it is so greatly viewed, what does Daoxuan to hufa?

Similarly, the present research is intrigued by the fact that Daoxuan is the first monk to cite evidence from Sifen lü nearly two centuries after its introduction into China and claims this text is Mahāyāna. What the reason(s) behind his move? Why is it him not anyone else? What equally makes up the core of this study is to understand, as part of Daoxuan’s life, why he is the first monk to introduce the recitation of Yijiao jing, the believed last instructions of the Buddha, to be conducted alongside the full ordination ceremony. To answer all the questions, this research unfolds its sections to explore the life of Daoxuan that recorded in the works of others and related in his own words. 

Identifying the greatest number ever of the books pertaining to the life of Daoxuan, classifying the sources, enabling contrast and comparison, pointing out the source origins/first times, establishing his extant works, giving conclusions, and offering conjectures are the ways that the present thesis fulfils its overriding aim: to enhance the understanding of the life of Daoxuan. Through this study, we see Daoxuan emerge from the sources as a diligent student, a tireless traveller, a Mahāyāna-aspired vinaya master, a prolific writer, and an indefatigable hufa monk. Each of these Daoxuans defines on its own right a separate aspect of his life; however, only when they are viewed through the hufa perspective, the various otherwise independent aspects of his life becomes coherent, so does our understanding of Daoxuan.

Table of Contents:

Part Ⅰ
Ⅰ. Introduction

Part Ⅱ
According to Others
Ⅱ.1 Introduction
II.2 First-hand Information
Ⅱ.3 Stable Information
Ⅱ.4 A Flood of Information
Ⅱ.5 Summarizing the Information
Ⅱ.6 Conclusion

Part III
In His Own Words
III.1 Introduction
III.2 Daoxuan’s Works
Table 3: The Extant Works of Daoxuan and Works Listed in Da Tang neidian lu
III.3 Daoxuan’s Family
III.4 Daoxuan’s Monastic Life

Part IV
Daoxuan’s Hufa Activities
IV.1 Introduction
IV.2 The Term Explained: What is Hufa?
IV.3 Fighting Fu Yi’s Anti-Buddhist Proposal
IV.4 Protesting against Gaozong’s Decrees
IV.5 Promoting Vinaya

Part V

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Memory and Agency in Ancient China: Shaping the Life History of Objects

Francis Allard, Yan Sun, Kathryn M. Linduff

Cambridge University Press

Publication date: 
February 2019


Memory and Agency in Ancient China offers a novel perspective on China's material culture. The volume explores the complex 'life histories' of selected objects, whose trajectories as ginle objects ('biographies') and object types ('lineages') cut across both temporal and physical space. The essays, written by a team of international scholars, analyse the objects in an effort to understand how they were shaped by the constraints of their social, political and aesthetic contexts, just as they were also guided by individual preference and capricious memory. They also demonstrate how objects were capable of effecting change. Ranging chronologically from the Neolithic to the present, and spatially from northern to southern mainland China and Taiwan, this book highlights the varied approaches that archaeologists and art historians use when attempting to reconstruct object trajectories. It also showcases the challenges they face, particularly with the unearthing of objects from archaeological contexts that, paradoxically, come to represent the earliest known point of their 'post-recovery lives'.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: memory and agency in Ancient China: shaping the life histories of objects Francis Allard, Yan Sun and Katheryn M. Linduff

1. Memory, amnesia and the formation of identity symbols in China Gideon Shelach

2. The lives of shovels and bells in early South China: memory, ritual and the power of destination Francis Allard

3. The whole and fragmented lives of jade objects from late Neolithic Middle Yangzi river burials (ca. 2000 BC) Sascha Priewe

4. The social life of salt in Ancient China from the Late Neolithic to the Han Dynasty Pochan Chen 陳伯楨

5. A divergent life history of bronze willow-leaf-shaped swords of Western Zhou China from 11th to c. 10th centuries BCE Yan Sun

6. Bird-pillar basins and cylindrical vessels: object lineage in Ancient China  Xiaolong Wu

7. Toiletries and the production of social memory from the Warring states through the Han (4th c. BCE–3rd c. CE) Sheri Lullo

8. A biographical approach to the study of the mounted archer motif during the Han Dynasty  Leslie Wallace

9. Dynamic between form and material: the bi disc in Western Han noble burial ritual Eileen Lam

10. Crossing the Taiwan Strait: contextualizing and re-contextualizing Taiwan Aboriginal Objects (1895–1980) Du Hui

11. Artifacts that invoke the aura and authority of the ancient Katheryn M. Linduff