Ancient China in Comparative Perspective: An Afternoon of Papers in Honor of Professor Li Ling

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David Schaberg

Anthony Barbieri-Low (UCSB)
The Tombs of Scribes in Early Imperial China and Ancient Egypt in a Comparative Perspective

Rahim Shayegan (UCLA)
Nugae sino-persicae: On Early Chinese-Persian Encounters

Guolong Lai (University of Florida)
Methods of Decipherment in Chinese Paleography in Comparative Perspective

Li Min (UCLA)
Sources of Geographic Knowledge in the Legendary Landscape of the “Yugong”

Lothar von Falkenhausen (UCLA)
Bronze Age China and West Asia: Reviewing Some Possible Instances of Cultural Borrowings

** Reception **


Keynote Speech

Li Ling (Peking University)
Neighbors of the Western Zhou: The Inner Asian Backyard of Early Chinese Civilization


Professor Li Ling is a towering figure in the study of classical Chinese civilization today. Born in Xingtai (Hebei province) in 1948, he been on the faculty of the Department of Chinese Literature at Peking University since 1985. He has published prolifically in the areas of Chinese paleography (guwenzixue), classical philology, intellectual history, historical geography, the history of science and technology, as well as material culture and art history (with a special emphasis on Chinese bronzes); one of his special interests is the connections between China and other parts of Eurasia in antiquity.
Professor Li's scholarly writings are influential both within academia and with a wider readership. Of his more than two dozen books, the most recent is the four-volume Our China (Women de Zhongguo, Beijing: Sanlian Shudian, 2016). A prolific essayist, writing in a pointed and elegant literary style, he has emerged as one of China’s leading cultural critics and public intellectuals. He is also an accomplished seal carver, calligrapher, and poet.
Highly respected internationally, Professor Li this year became the first Mainland China-based scholar in the Humanities and Social Sciences since 1949 to be elected a Foreign Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Cambridge, MA). He will visit UCLA on his return to China from his induction into that prestigious society.

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Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2016