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January 25, 2012

Winter 2012 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Esther Klein


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Esther Klein, Coordinator, Asian Studies Program; Lecturer of Chinese, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sima Qian's Confucius and the Western Han Lunyu

January 31, 2012
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

The Lunyu (Confucian Analects) has long been considered the most important record of Confucius' thought, yet there is almost no trace of this text before the Western Han. While Confucius was ubiquitous as an authority figure before that time, careful examination shows that he was not primarily a "Lunyu Confucius." The Shiji was one of the first texts to make widespread use of Lunyu material, and my paper analyzes the function and status of this material in contrast to other non-Lunyu understandings of Confucius also present in the text.

Esther Klein has a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, specializing in early Chinese historical narrative. Her dissertation analyzed constructions of Sima Qian as author the Shiji, and in a larger sense explored what it meant to write history within the Chinese tradition from the Han to the Song dynasties. She is currently employed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, running the Asian Studies program and teaching courses in Chinese history and in Asian Studies more broadly. Her next project focuses on how Han dynasty thinkers shaped the intellectual legacy of the Warring States.

Posted by zzhu at January 25, 2012 12:58 PM