Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
In a quite traditional way I regard myself as a sinologist that does hardly fit present-day categories of being a specialist in a single field of history or philosophy, language or literature. I began with Chinese archeaology, developed a deep interest in traditional Chinese literature and poetry with an emphasis on the history of reception and commentary. My more recent work concentrates on the history of conceptual ideas, in particular those concerning human relations in and beyond the family in China's past and present. Even more recently I became intrigued by certain aspects of Chinese social history as reflected in handbooks for government officials. Combined with this interest is the intention to explore the possibilities on how to meaningfully employ algorithms in the terminological examination of fulltext databases of these handbooks.
After finishing my dissertation at the University of Heidelberg on the early commentaries to the Lisao and the Songs of Chu, I moved to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg to coordinate a graduate school for Chinese and Japanese postgraduates with the research topic "Knowledge Transfer between Europe and China". Later I became "Akademischer Rat“, i. e. a lecturer, at the Chair of Chinese studies at Erlangen, teaching classical Chinese, introductions to research tools in Sinology, and graduate seminars on various topics in Chinese literature, history, and society. Before coming to ANU in 2013, I also had the chance to test my abilities as interim professor in Chinese studies at the University of Frankfurt.
1) “Delicate Ties: Notions of Loyalty in Traditional and Contemporary Chinese Sources“ Postdoc- project (Habilitation), monograph in English, near to completion.
2) Exegetical History of the Songs of Chu
Aims at understanding the later development of the parameters that – so the hypothesis – among certain other influences guide and restrict research on the Songs of Chu (Chuci) until the present day. Contrary to Laurence Schneider’s excellent but out-dated book on the subject, the study will concentrate on the hermeneutical techniques and aims of exegesis of certain Song dynasty and later commentators in opposition to their predecessors, with the aim of tracing their possible impact on current Chuci research, especially in the PRC.
3) Handbooks for Officials (Guanzhen shu).
With the help of a small research group of graduate students at Erlangen we are trying to find out, how digital fulltext analysis must be ideally designed to trace the development of administrative terminology in this particular genre of texts, and of course whether and how this terminology had to be adapted to a bureaucracy dealing with increasingly complex issues.
William (Shu Cheng) Zou
"Thinking Beyond Filiality and Unfiliality: The Son's Limited Agency in the Xunzi" (completed 2014)
Jose Timothy Voltaire S Salinas
Topic: "Moral Autonomy in Confucianism. With a focus on Xunzi" (completed 2015)