Rethinking Early Chinese Historiography

Mai 12 – Mai 16, 2019
Yuri Pines (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Martin Kern (Princeton University)

Chinese empire was renowned for high cultural prestige and exceptional productivity of history writing. In distinction, only a very few historical texts survived from the millennium preceding China’s imperial unification of 221 BCE. Yet recent paleographic discoveries and a more nuanced understanding of transmitted texts allow us to reassess the formative age of China’s historiographic tradition. Our symposium gathers specialists in history, philosophy, literature, paleography, and archeology, for a joint exploration of a broad variety of historical and quasi-historical texts now available. Our goal is to understand the role of history-writing in the intellectual and political life of pre-imperial China. Who produced historical texts, and for what audiences and purposes? What were the sources that historians utilized, and how did they get access to them? What inspired trust in the historian, and where was his authority coming from? How did historical texts circulate? How are they related to contemporaneous ideological cleavages? What was their role in the formation of regional and trans-regional identities? How did history-writing evolve during these centuries and how is it related (or not) to subsequent imperial-age historiography? What are the differences and similarities between early Chinese historiographic traditions and those in other ancient civilizations? By engaging these questions we hope to raise our understanding of early Chinese historiography to a new level.

Intervenants :

Reuven Amitai, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Arabic History Writing in the Medieval Middle East

Chen Minzhen, Tsinghua University How Chu People Told Chu History

Stephen Durrant, University of Oregon The Problem of « Other Annals » Embedded in Zuozhuan

Hans Van Ess, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich The Dissolution of Jin and its Impact on Pre-imperial Historiography

Lothar von Falkenhausen, University of California, Los Angeles Bronze Inscriptions and Early Chinese Historiographic Genres Revisited

Miriam Frenkel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Landmarks in Jewish Historiography

Joachim Gentz, University of Edinburgh When Clio Meets Urania: Historiography and Divination in Early Chinese Writing 

Yegor Grebnev, University of Oxford The Emergent Practices of Systematic Historiographic Evaluation in the Yi Zhou Shu 逸周書 and the Grand Duke 太公 Traditions

He Jin, Peking University Shu (述) and zuo (作): History Officials in the Zhouli and History Writing in the Pre-Imperial Period

Martin Kern, Princeton University Quotation, Memory, and Performance: Actualizations of Voices Past in Zuozhuan

Maria Khayutina, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich The Beginning of Cultural Memory Production in China and Memory Policy of the Zhou Royal House during the Western Zhou Period

Li Wai-yee, Harvard University Inconvenient or Unnecessary Details in Zuozhuan

Nino Luraghi, Princeton University Documenting the past: primary sources in Greek historiography

Ellen O’Gorman, University of Bristol Historical Knowledge in Ancient Rome

Yuri Pines, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Beyond the « One Size Fits All »: Heterogeneity of Early Chinese Historiography Reconsidered  

Sharon Sanderovitch, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mediation and Immediacy: On the Historical and Historiographical Representation of Royal Speech in the Pre-Imperial Era

David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles Pre-Qin Historiography and Rhetorical Pragmatism: Zhanguoce as Paradigm

Edward L. Shaughnessy, University of Chicago The Yi Zhou shu 逸周書 or Leftover Zhou Documents

Gideon Shelach, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Yitzhak Jaffe, University of Haifa Shimao and the Rise of States in China: Archaeology, Historiography, and Fantasy

Michael Shenkar, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Empires without Historiography: Orality, Mythology, and Epic in Ancient Iran

Kai Vogelsang, University of Hamburg Society, History, and Social History in Ancient China

Nathan Wasserman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem The Sumerian King List: Rulers, Cities, No Gods

Xu Jianwei, Renmin University Under the Imact of Chunqiu: The Classical Characteristics of Shiji and its Style of the « Era of Decline »

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