Call for applications: Graduate Workshop at Queen's College

Call for applications: Graduate Workshop
Research Training in Old Chinese: Old Chinese Grammar and Semantics

Funded by the AHRC & BICC

Series convenor: Dirk Meyer, The Queen‚s College, University of Oxford
Series co-convenor: Joachim Gentz, The University of Edinburgh

Workshop organizers: Dirk Meyer (, Joachim Gentz (

We invite applications from graduate students (at any level) for participation in a workshop, Research Training in Old Chinese: Old Chinese Grammar. This workshop will be the sixth and final meeting in a series of workshops designed to address different thematic areas of pre-imperial and imperial China and Old Chinese. It will be held in Oxford from 9 to 13 July 2011. The workshop series is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and British Inter-university China Centre (BICC). For UK-based graduate students, we will cover travel expenses, accommodation, and board. We will accept 10 participants.

Applications should include: a CV, no longer than one page, with details of university and departmental affiliation, and proficiency in English and Chinese; a brief letter, also no longer than one page, stating your specific interest in participating in the workshop. Letters of recommendation are welcome but not obligatory. The deadline for applications is Friday 17 June 2011. Successful candidates will be notified soon after this date.

All applications should be submitted to:
Dirk Meyer


Joachim Gentz

Please specify in your application if you require accommodation for the time of the workshop. Accommodation will be in The Queen‚s College, Oxford.

Specialists attending the workshop Old Chinese Grammar and Semantics

Christoph Harbsmeier (University of Oslo)
Michael Puett (Harvard University)
Dirk Meyer (University of Oxford)
Joachim Gentz (The University of Edinburgh)

Programme of the workshop Old Chinese Grammar

Saturday 9 July
Arrival         The Queen‚s College
High Street
Oxford, OX1 4AW

5pm             Public lecture
Christoph Harbsmeier (Oslo): ŒFirst Person Pronouns and Self-Construal in Early China‚ (The War Memorial Room, The Queen‚s College)

6.30            Wine reception
Old Lodgings, The Queen‚s College

7.30            Dinner

Sunday 10 July
10-13           Old Chinese, session 1
Institute for Chinese Studies, room 207
Walton Street

13-14.30        Lunch break

14.30-16.30     Old Chinese, session 2 (ICS, room 207)

19.30           Dinner (tba)

Monday 11 July
10-12           Old Chinese, session 3 (ICS, room 207)
12-14           Lunch break
14-16           Old Chinese, session 4 (ICS, room 207)

18-19.45        Public Lecture and wine reception (Queen‚s, War Memorial Room)
Michael Puett (Harvard): ŒReason and the Emotions in Early China‚

20.15           Dinner (tba)

Tuesday 12 July
10-12           Old Chinese, session 5 (ICS, room 207)
12-14           Lunch break
14-16           Old Chinese, session 6 (ICS, room 207)

18-19.45        Public Lecture and wine reception (Queen‚s, War Memorial Room)
Michael Puett (Harvard): ŒSagehood and Immortality in Early China‚

20.15           Dinner (tba)

Wednesday 13 July

The workshop series Collaborate Research Training in Old Chinese arose from concerns that the study of Old Chinese, Chinese philosophy and classical Chinese literature are under serious threat in the United Kingdom. Classical Sinology in the UK has become marginalized; its international visibility is limited. Individual institutions in the UK tend to be small and no institution, if operating in isolation, can host the critical mass of experts in the different fields of traditional Sinology. None is therefore fully equipped with the relevant research tools needed to provide substantial training in Old Chinese. The present workshop series for intensive graduate research training aims to address this. Its idea is to connect UK centres for the study of Old Chinese into a nationwide network in order to facilitate specialized research-training in Old Chinese phonology, palaeography, grammar, literature, philosophy, and religion, and to strengthen the international visibility of traditional Sinology in the UK.

An essential element of the series is to open up research areas for graduate students that until recently were little studied in the UK. In all, five research clusters that constitute the basis for a comprehensive study of Old Chinese will be covered in a series of workshops over a period of two years, from January 2009 to September 2010. They are:

(1) Philosophy and Religion in Pre-modern China (held in Edinburgh, 29.01-02.02. 2009)

(2) Old Chinese Phonology and Palaeography (held in Oxford, 25.08-03.09.2009)

3) History and Historiography (held in Cambridge, 24-28.03.2010)

(4) Text and Textuality (held in Oxford, 24.06-27.06.2010)

5) Art and Archaeology (held at SOAS, London, 21-24.09.2010)

6) Old Chinese Grammar (to be held in Oxford, 9-13.07.2011)

At each workshop, recognized specialists will cover different aspects of the research cluster under study. Depending on the complexity of the topic, each specialist will have up to half a day to introduce relevant research tools, read a selection of texts with the participants, and discuss those texts‚ theoretical implications. Each meeting will close with a round-table discussion involving all the specialists and participants. This will offer an integrated picture of the different aspects and problems of each cluster‚s field of study. Both UK-based and international specialists will introduce their fields of research. It will thus be possible to inform participants of the latest issues and research strategies in the study of Old Chinese, and to train them as competent researchers in a way that would be impossible at any individual institution in the UK. The outputs of the workshop series will also be digitized and embedded in the online learning and research tools of the British Inter-university China Centre (BICC). This will make the workshop materials accessible to students at all UK Higher Education Institutions.

The workshop series is especially geared towards masters‚ and doctoral students of Old Chinese in the UK, but it should also appeal to post-doctoral researchers. To facilitate student participation, travel expenses, food and board for each meeting will be covered. Students from abroad are also welcome to participate: the series should be a platform for graduate students to build up international connections, vital for further research. Overseas students will be expected to meet their own costs, or have their institutions do so.

Each meeting will invite up to 20 participants. Participant groups will be fluid over the duration of the series: students will be matched to their specific training needs. It is the particular strength of the series not only to inform its participants about the latest trends in scholarship, but also to introduce them to the use of the relevant research tools ˆ tools to which most students would otherwise have no access, since few institutions host the concentration of specialists necessary for such multi-faceted research training.

Dirk Meyer
The Queen’s College
University of Oxford

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