Workshop for PhD students on Ancient Text Cultures

We are happy to announce that the second bi-annual workshop organized by the International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures will be held in Xi’an, China, January 5-13, 2018. The theme for this time is “Manuscripts and Materiality of Text.” Four instructors, Profs. AnneMarie Luijendijk (Princeton), Daniela Mairhofer (Princeton), Matthias Richter (CU Boulder), and Xu Jianping (ZJU) will each lead a one-day workshop. Keynote speakers are Profs. Martin Kern (Princeton) and Liu Yuejin (CASS). Please refer to the attached document for more information and application. We welcome all applicants interested in the fields of Chinese Antiquity, Late Medieval Antiquity, and Medieval Latin. Deadline is Oct. 10th, 2017.  For information see the document below:

Second Biannual Workshop: Manuscripts and Materiality of Text”

International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures

Renmin University of China

Xi’an, January 5–13, 2018

The International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures (ICSATC), hosted at Renmin University of China, develops new perspectives and research opportunities for the study of all aspects of ancient textuality both in China and globally. International and comparative in outlook, it aims to create international research exchanges and collaborations for doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and senior scholars.

The Center embraces the detailed study of ancient texts—both transmitted and excavated—alongside the development of new methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives. Located at Renmin University and networking with major institutions in Beijing and across China, the Center’s core is focused on Chinese antiquity. At the same time, the Center aims to engage in cross-cultural, transnational research, integrating the study of ancient Chinese textuality with that of other ancient cultures from around the world. We explicitly encourage, and are eager to facilitate, exchanges on multiple levels across disciplines and civilizations.

The Center is designed as a global interface for the meeting of three new developments in the humanities and social sciences:

  • the dramatic increase in newly excavated Chinese manuscripts and inscriptions over the past decades, which has led the study of Chinese antiquity to unprecedented heights, depth, and breadth at institutions both within and beyond China;
  • the emergence of new global research interests in the comparative study of antiquity, internationally manifest in a number of recently established research centers but also visible in the rapidly growing Chinese academic interest in the ancient world of the Mediterranean and other civilizations;
  • the new global interest in manuscript studies, philology, history of the book, materiality of text, and related subjects that study textual cultures through multiple perspectives and disciplinary approaches.

Toward its goals of integrating these developments in a new research environment, and of creating a new global community of scholars for the study of ancient text cultures, the Center will include the following components:

  • a suite of academic and administrative offices within the School of Classics at Renmin University to accommodate visiting students and scholars from China and around the world, together with the staff to support them;
  • a research library for the primary texts of antiquity and related research publications from around the world and in multiple languages;
  • seminar rooms and lecture halls;
  • fully funded programs for short- and long-term visiting doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, young researchers, and distinguished visiting professors from around the world;
  • biannual week-long teaching workshops for Chinese and international Ph.D. students;
  • regular lectures by local and visiting researchers;
  • research conferences both small and large in scope.

The Center’s second Ph.D. student workshop will be held on January 5–13, 2018. Four renowned scholars from the fields of Chinese Antiquity, Late Medieval Antiquity, and Medieval Latin will present lectures and seminars on specific topics. In addition, there will be two keynote speeches at the beginning and at the end of the workshop, respectively. There also will be student research activities to complement the lectures and seminars. The principal language of instruction and interaction will be English.


Manuscripts and Materiality of Text


The International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures (ICSATC) of RUC

School of Chinese Classics and Shanxi Normal University

Meeting Place:

Shanxi Normal University, Xi’an, China


Prof. AnneMarie Luijendijk, Department of Religion, Princeton University

(Manuscripts of Mediterranean Antiquity, Egypt and Early Christianity)

Prof. Daniela Mairhofer, Department of Classics, Princeton University

            (Manuscripts of Medieval Latin language and literature)

Prof. Matthias Richter, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Colorado at Boulder

(Early Chinese Manuscripts)

Prof. Xu Jianping, Ancient Books Institute, Zhejiang University

(Dunhuang Manuscripts)

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Martin Kern, Department of East Asian Studies, Princeton University

Prof. Liu Yuejin, Institute of Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences


January 5:                                        Arrival and registration

Keynote speech by Prof. Martin Kern (6:00pm)

January 6–10:                        Lectures, seminars, and research activities:

January 6:        Prof. Matthias Richter

January 7:        Prof. Xu Jianping

January 8:        Prof. AnneMarie Luijendijk

January 9:        Prof. Daniela Mairhofer

January 10:      Group Discussion

Keynote speech by Prof. Liu Yuejin (6:00pm)

January 11–12:          Research Exercises and Archaeological Excursion

January 13:                Plenary Conclusion and Checkout

Attending Scholars:

Prof. Cao Shenggao, School of Liberal Arts, Shaanxi Normal University

Prof. Glenn W. Most, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa University

Prof. Xu Jianwei, School of Liberal Arts, Renmin University of China

Prof. Zhang Jing, School of Liberal Arts, Renmin University of China

Prof. Zhang Xinke, School of Liberal Arts, Shaanxi Normal University

The program will accept forty Ph.D. students who specialize in the textual study of Ancient Chinese, Medieval Latin, and Mediterranean Antiquity. Half the number of students will be admitted from Chinese universities, the other half from universities in North America and Europe. Those who have passed their required Ph.D. qualifying examinations and have started writing their dissertations are encouraged to apply.

Room, board, and other local expenses will be provided by the Center. Students are expected to cover their own airfare and transportation to Xi’an, hopefully with the assistance from their universities or other scholarships. All necessary visa documentation will be provided by the Center, but visa processing fees will not be covered.

Applications should be sent by October 10st, 2017 to:


Personal Information


Current Address:

Current Phone:

Current E-mail:

Emergency Contact:

Date of Birth:



Passport Number and Expiration:

Academic Information

Academic Status (Ph.D. students):





Expected Date of Graduation:

Thesis Topic or Research Area: 

Study Plan

Please describe in one page or less your current research and/or study plans. Include a discussion of what you hope to gain from participation in the workshop and how participation in the workshop will further your research goals and objectives.

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