Workshop: “Letters and Notebooks as Sources for Elite Communication in China, 900-1300”

Pembroke College, Oxford, UK
9th – 10th Jan 2014


The research group “Communication and Empire: Chinese Empires in Comparative Perspective” (Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS)) will host the international workshop “Letters and Notebooks as Sources for Elite Communication in Chinese History, 900-1300”

at Pembroke College, Oxford (January 9 and 10, 2014). The aim of the meeting is to discuss primary sources for political communication among elites, with letters and notebooks as the main focus. Please find attached the complete programme. For more information please visit External Link.

There is a limited number of places for guest observers. If interested please RSVP to CHU Ming-kin ( by Friday, 6 December 2013 and briefly explain why you would like to attend. We will notify you by Friday, 20 December, 2013.



Thursday, 9 January

Panel 1: Notebooks as sources for elite communication (Chair: CHU Ming-kin)

09:30    Word of Welcome
09:40    Glen DUDBRIDGE (University of Oxford)
              How Verses on Walls Found a Universal Voice in Notebook Literature
10:00    Ronald EGAN (Stanford University)
              Authorial Intent in Song Period biji: The Case of Zhou Hui’s 周煇 Qing Bo Za Zhi 清波雜志 (Miscellaneous Notes by One Who Lives Near the Gate of Clear Wave)
10:20    Discussion
11:00    Coffee
11:30    WANG Ruilai王瑞來 (Gakushuin University)
              從近世走向近代——宋元變革論述要 (From Early Modern to Modern Times: A Brief Survey of the Song-Yuan Transition)
11:50    Ellen ZHANG Cong (University of Virginia)
              Things Heard in the Past, Material for Future Use: A Study of Song Biji Prefaces
12:10    Discussion
12:50    End of Session
13:00    Lunch

Panel II: Letters as sources for elite communication (Chair: Hilde DE WEERDT)

14:00    TSUI Lik Hang Lincoln 徐力恆 (University of Oxford)

              Mi Fu 米芾 (1051-1107) Seen from an Epistolary Culture Perspective

14:20    CHU Ming-kin朱銘堅 (Leiden University)
              Zhong Zhou Qi Zha 中州啓劄 (Epistolary Writings of the Central Plain) and Elite Communication in Jin-Yuan China
14:40    David PATTINSON (University of Leeds)
              Private Letters for Public Consumption?
15:00    Discussion
16:00    Coffee
16:20    HIRATA Shigeki平田茂樹 (Osaka City University)
              宋代科挙社会のネットワークー魏了翁『鶴山先生大全文集』の「書」と「啓」を手がかりとしてー (Social Networks and the Civil Service Examinations during the Song Dynasty: The Case of Wei Liaoweng’s Epistolary Writings)
16:40    HUANG K’uan-chung黃寬重 (Chang Gung University)
              論學與議政—從書信看孫應時與其師長的時代關懷 (Discussing Learning and Government: How Sun Yingshi and His Teachers Engaged with Contemporary Society as Shown in Epistolary Writings)
17:00    Discussion
17:40    Break
18:10    Bernard GOWERS (University of Oxford)
              Comparing Letters and Letters-Writers: China and Latin Europe in the Twelfth Century
18:30    Discussion
18:50    End of Session
19:00    Conference Dinner


Friday, 10 January

Panel III: Digital readings of letters and notebooks (Chair: Brent HO)

09:15    LI Weiguo李偉國 (Shanghai People’s Publishing House) 宋人書信類別和形態初探 (A Preliminary Survey of the Types and Forms of Song Epistolary Writings)
09:35    CHU Ping-tzu祝平次 (National Tsing Hua University)
              書信往來與南宋理學的發展:以朱熹與張栻之間的通訊為例 (Letters and the Development of Southern Song Neo-Confucianism: The Correspondence between Zhu Xi and Zhang Shi)
09:55    Discussion
10:30    Coffee
10:50    Peter BOL (Harvard University)
              Contextualizing Letter Exchanges: Using the China Biographical Database
11:10    Michael FULLER (University of California, Irvine) Prosopographical Perspectives on Letter Writing During the Song: The View from the China Biographical Database (CBDB)

11:30    Marcus BINGENHEIMER (Temple University)
              The Digital Archive of Buddhist Temple Gazetteers: The Creation of a Marked-up Corpus of Classical Chinese Text and its Importance for Information Mining

11:50    Discussion    
12:50    End of Session

13:00    Lunch

Final roundtable discussion (Chair: Hilde DE WEERDT)

14:00    Hilde DE WEERDT and Brent HO (Leiden University)
              Towards a New Platform for Tagging, Extracting, and Analyzing Named Entities in Classical Chinese Text Corpora

14:30    Discussion    
16:00    End of Workshop


Primary convenors:

CHU Ming-kin (


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