Lloyd-Dan David Research Fellowship at the Needham Research Institute and Darwin College Cambridge

Closing date: Sunday 31st January 2021

Applications are invited for a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship to work on the Comparative Study of any aspect of Science and Civilization in the Ancient World (defined as down to 1000 AD). The successful applicant will be a member of the Needham Research Institute, a Research Fellow of Darwin College, and will be expected to play a full role in the intellectual life of the Institute and the College.

For full details, please consult the NRI website:


CALL FOR MANUSCRIPTS: The Hsu-Tang Library of Classical Chinese Literature

Stefan Vranka, Commissioning Editor at Oxford University Press, would like to alert interested parties to the following call for manuscripts (please note that the Oxford Chinese Thought series is focused on philosophical works while the new series is devoted to all of Chinese literature, broadly defined):

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International Workshop: Warp, Woof, Wen / Phoneme, Pattern, Pun – Structural Approaches to Early Chinese Texts

Wolfgang Behr and Lisa Indraccolo from the University of Zurich would like to circulate the following notice:

The workshop titled “Warp, Woof, Wen / Phoneme, Pattern, Pun – Structural Approaches to Early Chinese Texts” is due to take place 12-14 April 2018 at the University of Zurich. It explores structural and phonological features of early Chinese texts, ranging from bronze inscriptions to manuscripts and received literature. More information, including the programme, is available at the following link to the conference webpage: http://www.aoi.uzh.ch/de/institut/events/conferences/warpwoofw.html

Due to limited seating, conference registration is required. Those interested in attending should send an email to Lisa Indraccolo (lisa.indraccolo@uzh.ch) by 1 April.

New Book: Ancient Greece and China Compared

A new volume titled Ancient Greece and China Compared was recently published by Cambridge University Press, edited by G. E. R. Lloyd and Jingyi Jenny Zhao. The title features fourteen essays that compare different aspects of ancient Greece and China from an interdisciplinary perspective, together with an introduction by G. E. R. Lloyd and an afterword by Michael Loewe. Those interested may like to access the book’s webpage on the CUP website here.

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Publication of volume: Masters of Disguise? – Conceptions and Misconceptions of ‘Rhetoric’ in Chinese Antiquity

The volume Masters of Disguise? – Conceptions and Misconceptions of ‘Rhetoric’ in Chinese Antiquity, edited by Wolfgang Behr and Lisa Indraccolo, has recently been published in a special issue of Asiatische Studien/ Études Asiatiques.

It can be accessed through http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/asia.2014.68.issue-4/issue-files/asia.2014.68.issue-4.xml for those who have access to DeGruyter online, and the contents page & introduction of the volume can be found under https://uzh.academia.edu/WolfgangBehr/Books.

A plaintext version of the contents follows below.


Please see below a message from Prof. Wolfgang Behr, University of Zurich.


Dear colleagues,

two days ago, Heiner Roetz turned 65 and was presented –to his great
surprise and visible pleasure!– with a Festschrift entitled “Auf
Augenhöhe” by some of his former students and current colleagues. Since
it contains quite a few articles on Chinese philosophy, especially for
those of you who read German, I am reproducing the table of contents

Pages 5-38, including a tabula gratulatoria, a short appreciation and
full bibliography of Heiner Roetz’ work are available as PDFs here:


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A review (or two) of comparative studies

Being a comparativist of ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy, I thought I’d dedicate my first post to two review articles on Sino-Hellenic comparative studies that readers of the blog may or may not be aware of.

Back in 2009, the Journal of Hellenic Studies published a review article by Jeremy Tanner, reader in classical and comparative art at University College London, entitled ‘Ancient Greece, early China: Sino-Hellenic studies and comparative approaches to the classical world.’ (The Journal of Hellenic Studies , Vol. 129, (2009), pp. 89-109. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=6779876). Tanner memorably opens the article by addressing an all-too-realistic problem: ‘Classicists have long been weary of comparisons’ (2009:89). He proceeds to provide a useful summary of the developments in the different spheres of Sino-Hellenic comparative studies, including history of medicine, philosophy and literature. Tanner ends on the positive note that ‘there is every possibility that Sino-Hellenic studies will become one of the most stimulating disciplinary sub-field within both Classics and Sinology’ (2009:109). Being one of the first (if not the first) review article on Greek and Chinese comparative studies to be published in a major journal on Hellenic studies, it may be fair to say that the article was in some sense groundbreaking.

Earlier this year in March, the International Journal of the Classical Tradition has just published an article by Ralph Weber from the University of Zurich on comparative philosophy that responds to Tanner’s review and proposes to supplement it. The article entitled ‘A Stick Which may be Grabbed on Either Side: Sino-Hellenic Studies in the Mirror of Comparative Philosophy’ (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12138-013-0318-7) identifies four different approaches to comparative philosophy, addresses certain pitfalls, and ultimately focuses on the question of the close association between the subject-matter of comparisons and the political purposes that motivate them, being altogether a very different kind of review to Tanner’s.

It is always very interesting to take a step back from the work one is constantly preoccupied with and look at it in a broader context, in a sense rather like looking at a picture by ‘stepping outside the frame’. So what do you think of these two reviews?