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Histories and Historians of Classical China

par Lemardelé Élise - publié le

Principal Investigators : Béatrice L’Haridon et Damien Chaussende

Participants :

Full Members

Béatrice L’Haridon (UPD), Damien Chaussende (CNRS), Sylvie Hureau (EPHE), Alexis Lycas (EPHE)

Associate Members

Pablo Blitstein (univ. Heidelberg), Daniel Morgan (CNRS, Sphere), Shao Baoqing (univ. Bordeaux)

Collaborations :
Stephen Durrant (University of Oregon), Sebastian Eicher (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), Lee Chi-hisang (FoGuang University, Taiwan), Lu Shih-hao (National Taiwan University), Michael Nylan (University of California, Berkeley), Hans van Ess (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), Olivier Venture (EPHE), Matthew Wells (University of Kentucky)


Origins, premises and scientific context of the programme

Over the past few years, the shared interest of several CRCAO members for the writing of history in Ancient and Classical China (in other terms the Song dynasty) has become increasingly prevalent and focused around a number of scientific activities. It therefore seemed fitting to create an internal programme that would give an institutional visibility to these activities and to bring us to work together on specific research themes. We do not know of any other research programme of this type across the French scientific landscape.

Description of the programme’s research activities

The programme includes three research themes that will be organised around workshops, study days and symposiums as well as dedicated panels in international symposiums. This of course does not preclude other types of related activities, such as seminars or the preparation of joint contribution in journals and other editorial projects.

The participants mentioned above are the core group at the heart of the research program, and, depending on the research themes and activities, other French or international colleagues will be contacted and invited to contribute to our work.

Programme Research Themes :

1. Study of Historical Texts

This research theme is dedicated to historical works and will aim to bring out their specificities, the questions they raise and their respective structure. Of course the project does not hope to cover all the historical texts of the period under study, but to concentrate on some works that we propose to analyse together, according to the programme members’ expertise and according to the perspectives that we will define on an ad hoc basis.

2. Texts on the Writing of History

This research theme is dedicated to historians and the methods of writing history. We propose to translate and study the “historiographical paratexts”, that is to say the autobiographies, the prefaces and postfaces written by historians, as well as all texts (such as for example memoires concerning throne presentations or imperial edicts) that will enable us to better understand the methods, concerns and intentions of historians from the Classical period, and perhaps slightly beyond it, in order to include the works of Sima Guang, which our dear colleague the late François Martin translated and studied.

3. Genres and Influences

With this third research theme, we hope to further explore the plurality of writings in ancient and classical historiography, articulating amongst other genres : narrative, judgement, documentation and description. Il will provide us with a special space to examine the overlap, continuation and influences between historiography and other writing practices such as the composition of collections of edifying biographies and anecdotes.