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Signing up for Prof. Yuri Pines' Lectures on Zuozhuan

Lecturer: Prof. Yuri Pines 尤銳 (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Language: Chinese and English


Tencent Meeting/Voov ID: 71285468583

Time&Outline: 8 Lectures, from March 3 to March 28, every Wed. and Sun., 19:00-21:00 BJT.

March 3, Session 1: Introduction. Zuo zhuan and controversies around it. Different approaches in China, Japan, and the West.

March 7, Session 2: Textual segments in Zuo zhuan. Zuo zhuan and Chunqiu

March 10, Session 3: Becoming a hegemon: The story of Lord Wen of Jin 晉文公 I

March 14, Session 4: Becoming a hegemon: The story of Lord Wen of Jin 晉文公 II

March 17, Session 5: Explaining the coup d’état: The story of Lord Xian of Wei 衛獻公

March 21, Session 6: The boring rebellion? The story of Prince Zhao 王子朝

March 24, Session 7: Intrigues and tragedies: Chu narratives of Lord Zhao 魯昭公 period

March 28, Session 8: Dealing with sensitive topics: the overthrow of Lord Zhao of Lu 魯昭公

Course Description

Zuo zhuan stood at the center of multiple controversies ever since the attempt by Liu Xin 劉歆 to establish it as an official commentary on the Springs-and-Autumns Annals    (Chunqiu 春秋). Most previous discussions revolved around questions such as the text’s authorship, the dates of its composition, and its relations to the Springs-and-Autumns Annals. Recent advances in textual studies, coupled with the impact of paleographic revolution, allow us to pose new questions and seek new understandings of Zuo zhuan. In our class we shall read selected passages from Zuo zhuan and try to address in particular the following issues: What were the primary sources utilized by Zuo zhuan compiler(s)? Who made (or invented, or modified) records of the past and for which audience? What were the goals of composers, compilers, transmitters, and editors of historical texts in the Eastern Zhou period? And how did they achieve these goals? How can we discern (if at all) different geographic, temporal, and stylistic layers in Zuo zhuan? How is Zuo zhuan related (if at all) to the Springs-and-Autumns Annals? And how is it related to a variety of unearthed and transmitted texts from the Eastern Zhou period?

The secondary goal of the class is to introduce the students to recent advancements in studies of Zuo zhuan in the West. We shall read a sample of publications by leading Western scholars of the text and discuss them parallel to our reading of Zuo zhuan, mostly in the second part of the reading group.

Basic editions recommended:

Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhu 春秋左傳注. 1990. Annotated by Yang Bojun 楊伯峻. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, rev. ed.

Durrant, Stephen W., Li Wai-yee, and David Schaberg. 2016. Zuo Tradition / Zuozhuan Commentary on the “Spring and Autumn Annals.” Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Below is the preliminary plan of our meetings. This plan may be modified according to the students’ demands and the level of familiarity with the text.

Prof. Pines' lectures are part of our Spring 2021 lecture series on the textual culture of early China. 

To find out more about other lectures, please click here.

For questions, please write to: