Im Exzellenzcluster "Understanding Written Artefacts"
Bronze, Text, and State: Creating the Epigraphic Landscape in the Emerging Chinese Empire (481 BCE– 9 CE) (Dr. Ondřej Škrabal)
History of Paper of Ethnic Groups in Southwest China and Mainland Southeast Asia (in Zomia) (Dr. Agnieszka Helman-Ważny)
Im Sonderforschungsbereich "Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und Europa"
Teilprojekt C10: Für Leser und Sammler: Publishing on Demand durch Kopierverlage in Peking vom späten 18. bis ins frühe 20. Jahrhundert (Prof. Dr. Michael Friedrich, Dr. Zhenzhen LU)
Dissertationsprojekte (alphabetisch nach Namen)
Bao Zhong: The German School Shanghai (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Schule Shanghai), 1895-1945
After the First Opium War Germany intensified its ties with China. The influx of German families in Shanghai brought about the establishment of a German school. It was officially opened in 1895, on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the former Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, and was renamed “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Schule” (KWS) in 1906. It lasted until the confiscation of the school building in 1945. After the collapse of the Third Reich, the German School Shanghai existed in the form of a private German Community School until the beginning of the 1950s. The fate of the German School Shanghai displays a part of the history of Germans in China, and reflects the cultural and political relationship between the two countries.
The dissertation concentrates on the history and development of the German School Shanghai. The focus of this research lies on the change of the school policies and administration as well as the transformation of national identity in the school. In addition, it attempts to explore the school´s relations to the local German Community, churches and other schools in Shanghai. The influence of the international circumstances and the German educational and foreign policy of that time on the school will also be discussed. This research project is based on material from various German and Chinese archives as well as a corpus of printed sources, such as annual reports and periodicals. Interviews with former KWS students will also be carried out.
Kevin Bockholt: Chinese Debates on the Two World Wars and their Impact on Perceptions of Europe
The First and Second World War had a tremendous economic, political, and social impact on all countries involved. Much research has been done on how both wars have changed the self-perception of Europe. However, Chinese reflections on the First and Second World War have received little attention from historians and sinologists alike. The purpose of the dissertation project at hand is to bridge this gap by examining debates of Chinese intellectuals on the two world wars and thus obtain a deeper understanding of Chinese perceptions of Europe and of modernity itself.
Chinese debates on the world wars took place in newspapers and journals and can be divided into three periods of time: From the outset of the First World War in 1914 until the mid-1930s, from the beginning of the Second World War in Europe in 1939 until the early 1950s and from the mid-1990s until today. For the first two time periods, the main emphasis will be put on studying the departure from mostly positive images of Europe which Chinese intellectuals embraced at the beginning of the 20th century. The underlying question will be whether negative notions of Europe caused by the wars had a profound impact on related discourses – such as modernity, progress, and civilization – as it was the case in postwar Europe and America.
Since discussions on the two world wars were subjected to ideologically charged discourses on the history by the Communist Party of China until the 1980s, the third period under discussion starts in the mid-1990s. Since then, the Holocaust which was not discussed extensively in the decades after the war started to receive increased academic attention. As a last step, the dissertation project will examine this arising interest in the structural and ideological context of the Holocaust in order to find out, whether it caused a transformation of Chinese perceptions of the Second World War and Europe.
He Xiaomeng: A Study on the Nature and Function of Qin Ordinances in the Manuscript Collection of the Yuelu Academy
Until now, the knowledge about the Chinese law at the end of the Warring States Period (475-221 BCE) and the short-lived Qin dynasty (until 207 BCE) is extremely limited. This is especially true for the ordinances that are one of the two main forms of legislation at that time. Only a few ordinances have been found in the received literature as well as in existing manuscripts. During the last years, several collections of inscribed bamboo and wooden slips that can be dated to the Qin and the succeeding Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 AD) have been published. This PhD project will be a study on Qin manuscripts containing ordinances that are mostly part of the collection of the Yuelu academy (Hunan). In doing so, one of the main aims is to advance the understanding of ordinances during Qin dynasty. By analysing the codicological, paleographical and textual features of the manuscripts, as well as by comparing their content with other ordinances from Qin and Han times found among the materials of Liye in Hunan (2002) and Zhangjiashan in Hubei (1983), I try to answer the following questions: What are the nature and function of the relevant manuscripts? How did the legislation process of the ordinances in Qin times take place? What is the relation between ordinances and other forms of written legislation at that time? What is the place of the ordinances in the development of traditional Chinese Law?
Huang Tian: Studie über chinesische Gesandten der späteren Qing-Dynastie in Berlin
Die „Studie über chinesische Gesandten der späteren Qing-Dynastie in Berlin“ ist zumindest in den folgenden drei Aspekten wichtig: Erstens ist die wissenschaftliche Kenntnis über die chinesischen Gesandten der späteren Qing-Dynastie in Berlin bis jetzt sehr dürftig. In Bezug auf die verwendeten Materialien wurden zahlreiche deutsche Quellen, einschließlich Archive, Zeitungen, Tagebücher, Memoiren und Briefe deutscher Diplomaten noch nicht betrachtet. Diese Studie zielt darauf, die Kenntnis der chinesischen Gesandten in Berlin zu vertiefen und sich mit deutschsprachigen Materialien auseinanderzusetzen. Zweitens standen die chinesischen Gesandten der späteren Qing-Dynastie in Berlin in Bezug auf die Besuche der späteren Qing-Dynastie, militärische Beschaffung sowie Verhandlungen im Vordergrund. Eine Studie über diese Gruppe erleichtert das Verständnis über den Werdegang sowie die Umgestaltung der diplomatischen Politik der späteren Qing-Dynastie für Deutschland, und ferner vertieft sie die Erkenntnis der modernen Geschichte deutsch-chinesischer Beziehungen. Drittens spielten die deutsch-chinesischen Beziehungen der späteren Qing-Dynastie auch für die Zeit der Republik China und sogar der Volksrepublik China eine fortwirkende Rolle. Diese Studie hilft dabei, die deutsch-chinesische Beziehung in der modernen Geschichte und sogar die Richtung der Außenpolitik Chinas zu verstehen.
Die „Studie über chinesische Gesandten der späteren Qing-Dynastie in Berlin“ ist sowohl ein Schlüssel zum Verständnis der Beziehungen zwischen China und Deutschland, als auch ein interessantes Beispiel zur Analyse der chinesischen internen Machtstruktur und der chinesischen Interaktion mit der Außenwelt.
Adrian Krawczyk: Marxist Theories of Ideology in the People's Republic of China
In light of the ongoing significance of Marxism in China, my PhD project researches the contemporary usage of one of the key concepts of Marxist theory: ideology. Applying new theoretical and methodical approaches from the field of global intellectual history and conceptual history, I trace the history of the concept in China. Skeptical of the assumptions of Western political scientists who deal with “ideology in China”, my project aims at clarifying the complex relations of theories of ideology of Western provenience, Chinese party orthodoxy and academic research in reform era China. While one can draw on numerous studies of the “shifting ideology” of CCP leaders, not a single study deals with critical theories of ideology of Chinese origin. Therefore, I will mainly focus on the work of influential contemporary scholars of ideology. Which aspects of theories of ideology by Western scholars are valued by their Chinese counterparts? How do the latter relate –if at all – their research to political practice? Do they link the analysis of Western theories of ideology to the development of Chinese socialism and society in general? And how do current politico-economic, social and cultural circumstances in China inform the respective theories? In dealing with these questions, my project explores the role of ideology in China and its various interpretations, highlighting the further development of Marxist theory and its relation to political, social, and cultural practices. Thus, my project hopefully helps to better understand notions of socialism, revolution and ideology, all of which are highly contested in China today.
Sakun Pakdeekham: Aesthetic Aspects of the Xunzi: Studies on the Lilun and Yuelun Chapters
The Xunzi is one of the most important texts of early Confucian philosophy. It is widely accepted that it was composed by Master Xun or Xunzi 荀子 (c.310 – c.235 BCE or c.314 – c.217 BCE), a Confucian thinker in the Warring States period, and his disciples. However, the transmitted text was compiled and edited by Liu Xiang (77-6 BCE) in the Han Dynasty. Furthermore, the first commentary and standard version of the Xunzi was arranged and produced by Yang Liang (8th/9th Century) in the Tang Dynasty. As a philosophical text, the Xunzi provides a number of interesting arguments as to a variety of topics, notably on human nature, moral cultivation, rectification of name and political theory.
The question that is raised here pertains to how one is to study aesthetic thought in the Xunzi in an attempt to understand the idea(s) as clearly as possible. The first purpose of my dissertation is to suggest a method through which discussion can be given to the aesthetic aspects present in the Xunzi. This is to be achieved by focusing on two chapters; the Lilun and the Yuelun. Aesthetic thought in the Xunzi should not be considered as a treatise on pure theoretical thought and analytical concepts, but rather as the result of the philosophical atmosphere of that specific historical context.
The second purpose here is to study the aesthetic ideas present in the Xunzi, specifically in regards to the Lilun and the Yuelun chapters. One of the most important points to note here is that the text does not discuss aesthetic problems as relate to modern Western philosophy. Nor does the text provide a systematic aesthetic theory. However, some ideas as relate to what we would today call “aesthetics” do exist in the text. As such, I intend to analyse these aesthetic ideas via the two aforementioned chapters. I propose that we can discuss aesthetic ideas as are present in the text via two levels; the conceptual level and the theoretical level.
The last point I wish to propose here is that the aesthetic ideas present in the two chapters under investigation are not separate from other philosophical ideas. Instead of concentrating on ethical debates, this work demonstrates how aesthetic ideas always pertain to socio-political thought, especially in regards to the ruler and the political goal of creating social order.
Stefanie Schaller: The Commemoration of History through National Monuments and Memorials in the People’s Republic of China
National monuments and memorials convey normative interpretations of the past as an uncontested history and thus can be regarded as the objects of comparative research to how nation-states commemorate their history. In my project, I will analyze those national monuments and memorials that have been erected by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 to commemorate the history of the communist revolution since the rise of the May Forth Movement in 1919. The first objective of my research is to show the development of monuments and memorials since 1949. To this end, I will map out the content they are dedicated to, as well as their shape and design, size, location and the way they are integrated in the CCP’s politics. The second objective is to look at how the CCP’s politics on monuments and memorials has changed since 1949, and how this has influenced the reception of modern Chinese history. My examination will shed light on the historical and political self-perception of the CCP and broaden the understanding for the diversity of the commemoration of history in international context.
Wang Shutao: An Analysis of Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean Manuscripts (7th-10th Century)
This project aims at researching Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean manuscripts in Chinese, Parthian, Middle Persian, Sogdian and Old Turkic, and comparing them with Manichaean manuscripts of other regions. The original Manichaean texts in Syriac-Aramaic and Middle Persian were translated into different local languages in adaption to various cultures and religions through the process of worldwide dissemination. The Manichaean manuscripts of Dunhuang and Turfan were somewhat influenced by Buddhist writings and styles of Inner Asia. This project will assess the meaning of manuscripts in Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean communities within their multi-cultural milieu, and identify scribal practices associated with writing and reading paratexts. The bilingual or trilingual fragments of Manichaean manuscripts will cast new light on the research about the originality of the texts, the techniques of translation and the recovery of missing parts of the fragments. I will provide cross-cultural and comparative insights into the roles manuscripts and images played in the transmission of Manichaean knowledge eastwards and in fostering devotion among Manichaean communities, and into the use of the texts and images as ritual objects in the artistic traditions of Eastern Manichaean cultures. As to the content of doctrines, I would like to investigate the religious symbols mentioned in Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean manuscripts, for example the tree, the ship and the ocean, in comparison with that of other Manichaean traditions, through which we can know more about the change of Manichaeism in different cultural contexts. The Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean manuscripts visually reflect the frequent interreligious communication as well as the complicated political, social and economic situation of the Silk Road towns during medieval time. The selected Dunhuang & Turfan manuscripts for my research include Bōsī Jiào Cánjīng (the Fragmental Scripture of Persian Religion), the Compendium of the Teachings of Mani the Buddha of Light,Hymns for the Lower Section of the Manichaean Religion (in Chinese); Huyadagmān, Angād Rōšnān (in Parthian); Xuāstvānift, Great Hymn to Mani (in Old Turkic); and some other Manichaean fragments in Sogdian, Parthian, and Middle Persian, also from the region.
Xu Duo: The Spread of Central Asian Music towards the East
In the early 20th century, as an instrument of Central Asian origin, several short lute music scores were excavated in Dunhuang Mogao grottoes. The music scores exhibit notation, melody, and rhythm system and can be dated back to the 10th century C.E. In addition, a number of the ancient short lute scores found in Japan contain features，which suggest they were produced in China (sometime between the 7-9th century CE),copied and transported to Japan. Many of the signs and symbols in the Dunhuang music scores are very similar to the ones discovered in Japan.
This project will explain and reconstruct how the music in Central Asia spread across the East, through medieval China, and to Japan. It will take a close look at the history of music in Central Asia and the importance of ancient manuscripts and music scores. The project is focusing on coding the Dunhuang music manuscripts, with the aim of understanding their tuning systems as well as the function and cultural value of the music scores. It includes a manuscript study of the preserved short lute music scores in the Dunhuang Manuscripts and those in the manuscripts in Japan, in order to apply the relevant adaptation theories. Illustrated manuscripts and mural paintings are considered to be invaluable materials for a visual demonstration of how music in Central Asia and its instruments have changed and developed. The extraordinary mural paintings from Buddhist grottoes in Xinjiang and Dunhuang contain some of the most intriguing images of musical instruments and music performers. Similarly, the illustrated Manichean manuscripts from Turfan (9th century C.E) and the Sogdian manuscripts from Bezeklik (10th century C.E) provide a wealth of evidence about the music in Central Asia. Therefore, this research will use these sources to investigate the types of musical instruments and the significance of musical performance for Central Asian music history and music manuscripts.