International conference on Tsinghua Bamboo Manuscripts gathers top paleographers to decipher bamboo-slip texts
03 Nov 2017
In view of the publication of Volume VII of the Tsinghua Collection of Bamboo Slip Manuscripts earlier this year, the HKBU Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, the Department of Chinese Language and Literature of the University of Macau, and the Research and Conservation Center for Excavated Texts of Tsinghua University joined hands and organised the International Conference on the Tsinghua Bamboo Manuscripts with the aim of fostering closer ties among the organisers and with other famous research institutions in order to push forward the pioneering study of the manuscripts.
Ever since the announcement of its existence, the Tsinghua University collection of Warring States bamboo slip manuscripts has attracted serious academic interest, and has been widely considered as one of the most important corpora of excavated texts ever discovered in China, worthy of comparison to the Confucian scriptures found in the walls of Confucius’s house in the Former Han dynasty and the historical documents found in the Warring States tomb of Duke Xiang of Wei located in Ji commandery during the Western Jin period. The Tsinghua Bamboo Manuscripts have proven to be indispensable to future studies of early Chinese history, intellectual history and literature.
With the participation of over 30 excellent scholars from Greater China, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore, the conference opened on October 26 at HKBU and then took place at the University of Macau for the next two days. Four research fellows from Tsinghua University’s Research and Conservation Center for Excavated Texts, namely Zhao Ping’an, Li Junming, Liu Guozhong and Ma Nan conducted close reading sessions and panel discussions to help the audience reach a deeper understanding of the issues that arise from the manuscripts. Scholars and paleographers expressed different opinions on the transcriptions in the official publication, and illuminated insights into the manuscripts from the various perspectives of paleography, textual studies, historiography and intellectual history, paving the way for further researches.