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[Lecture]Prof. Griet Vankeerberghen,Prof. Piotr Steinkeller:Origins of Chinese and Mesopotamia History-Writing

There will be series of online lectures about “Origins of Chinese and Mesopotamia History-Writing”, to be held from Oct 16 to Oct 30, 2021. The lecture series aim to explore the similarities and differences in early history-writing practices of ancient China and Mesopotamia through free discussion. The third lecture series will be delivered by Prof. Griet Vankeerberghen from McGill University and Prof. Piotr Steinkeller from Harvard University on the evening of Oct.30. Dr. Yegor Grebnev from The Research Centre for History and Culture (RCHC), BNU Zhuhai will host the lectures.

Please click the link to sign up and get the lecture materials: https://historywriting.org

Title 1:Shiji and the Simas: genealogy, tradition, and historiography

Speaker: Prof. Griet Vankeerberghen(McGill University )

Time & Date:8 pm- 9 pm, Oct. 30, 2021

Tencent Meetings ID: given after signing up

Abstract: Sima Qian, a scribe, starts the postface of his history (Shiji) with a genealogy—this talk will explore the interrelation between the scribal profession, genealogical activity, and historiography in the context of Western Han (206/201BCE–8CE). The main purpose of my talk is to understand why the Postface of Shiji opens with a genealogy of the Sima family. Hence, the Postface will be at the center of my talk, with the other documents there to support my arguments.

Biography: Griet Vankeerberghen (Ph.D. Princeton University, 1997) is Associate Professor at the Department of History and Classical Studies of McGill University. She has published on several Western Han texts and their social, political and material contexts. She is currently engaged in a SSHRC-supported research project on Chang'an, the capital of Western Han. With Hans Beck, she is co-director of the Global Antiquities Research Network (http://www.globalantiquities.org ). She teaches a wide variety of courses on early and medieval China, on the Chinese family, and on Confucius.

Title 2:From the administrators of temple households to the advisors of kings–the evolution of the Babylonian Managerial Class

Speaker:  Prof. Piotr Steinkeller (Harvard University)

Time & Date:9 pm- 10 pm, Oct. 30, 2021

Tencent Meetings ID: given after signing up

Abstract: This paper traces the transformation of the Babylonian Managerial class, as it evolved from the 3rd millennium temple administrators to the 1st millennium royal advisors. Towards that goal a number of relevant written sources, dating mainly to the first half of the 1st millennium, will be presented and discussed in detail.

Biography: Before coming to teach at Harvard (in 1981), Professor Steinkeller pursued research at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. His scholarly work deals broadly with the history, culture, and languages of early Mesopotamia (3000-1500 BCE), its particular focus being the socioeconomic history of Babylonia during the 3rd mil. BCE and, most recently, the early history of Sumero-Akkadian religion. He is also interested in Mesopotamian archaeology. He has written or co-authored three books and over eighty articles and book reviews, including History, Texts, and Art In Early Babylonia: Three Essays. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.

The lecture series are jointly held by The Research Centre for History and Culture, Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai, Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, SUSTech and SISU Institute for the Global History of Civilizations.