Edward L. Shaughnessy

Edward L. Shaughnessy, Ph.D.

Lorraine J. and Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor in Early Chinese Studies
Wieboldt 409B
Teaching and Research Interests: 


I am interested generally in the cultural and literary history of the Zhou period, and am committed especially to the study of its archaeologically recovered textual materials, from oracle-bone and bronze inscriptions through the bamboo-strip manuscripts that have been unearthed in such breathtaking profusion in the last two decades.  At the same time, I remain fascinated with the received literary tradition of the period, especially the three classics: Zhou Yi, Shang shu and Shi jing. Indeed, I find it most rewarding when it proves possible to use these two types of texts to explicate each other.

Within this general scholarly agenda, I have resolutely maintained two focal points: bronze inscriptions and the Zhou Yi, both of which reached their full maturity toward the end of the Western Zhou period (1045-771 B.C.). I recently published a book entitled Unearthing the Changes: Recently Discovered Manuscripts of and Relating to the Yi Jing (Columbia U. Press, 2014), and am now at work on a comprehensive study of the early history of the Zhou Yi or Zhou Changes. I am also in the final stages of writing a book to be entitled Xifang Hanxuejia Zhongguo chutu wenxianxue yanjiu chengguo yibai (duo) nian 西方漢學家中國出土文獻學研究成果一百(多)年 (A hundred or more) years of Western Sinologists’ contributions to the study of Chinese unearthed texts), to be published in 2016 by Shanghai Guji chubanshe.

In June, 2013, I gave a series of lectures at the College de France entitled “Unearthing the Chinese Classics” (Zhou Yi, Shang shu, Shi jing, Laozi), which are available on their website.

Also, in September, 2013, at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing I gave a lecture entitled “The Birth of China at Chicago: The University of Chicago and the Archaeology of Ancient China,” a video of which is available through UChicago News, Youtube, and iTunes U.


Selected Publications: 

Haiwai Yijianzhi: Ling guan zaoqi Zhongguo 海外夷堅志:另觀早期中國 (An overseas Record of the Strange and Sturdy: A different view of early China). Shanghai: Shanghai Guji chubanshe, 2015 (in press).

“Unearthed Documents and the Question of the Oral Versus Written Nature of the Classic of Poetry.Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 75.2 (December 2015): in press.

“You xin jian Jun gui mingwen zai kan ‘Tian zai dan yu Zheng’ rishi de niandai” 由新見《㽙簋》銘文再看“天再旦于鄭”日食的年代:再論夏商周斷代工程的得失 (Another look at the date of the ‘Heaven twice dawned at Zheng’ solar eclipse on the basis of the newly discovered Jun gui inscription: A reconsideration of the successes and failures of the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project). Lishi yanjiu 歷史研究 (Historical research): in press.

“The Dowager v. the Royal Court: A Ninth-Century B.C. Case of Family Law Recorded in Chinese Bronze Inscriptions.” In Structures of Power: Law and Gender across the Ancient Near East and Beyond. Ed. Ilan Peled. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2015. In Press.

“Shifa haishi shifa? You Qinghua jian Shifa chongxin kaolü Zuo zhuan shi li” 筮法還是釋法?由清華簡重《筮法》新考慮《左傳》筮例  (Divination method or explanation method? A reconsideration of the examples of divination in the Zuo zhuan on the basis of the Qinghua-strip Divination method). Zhou Yi yanjiu 周易研究 (Zhou Changes research) 2015.?: in press.

Shi zhi zhusong: San lun ‘si’ zi de fuci zuoyong” 《詩》之祝誦:三論 ‘思’字的副詞作用 (The prayers of the Poetry: A third discussion of the verbal use of si). Qinghua jian yanjiu 清華簡研究 (Research on the Qinghua strips) 2 (2015): 52-62。

“Philosophy or Bamboo: The Reading and Writing of Warring States Manuscripts.” China Reviews International 19.2 (2014): 199-208.

Unearthing the Changes: Recently Discovered Manuscripts of and Relating to the Yi Jing. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.

 “A Special Use of the Character 鄉 in Oracle-Bone Inscriptions and Its Significance for the Meaning of Early Chinese Divination: With Comments on the First Line of the Yi Jing.” In Institute of Chinese Studies Visiting Professor Lecture Series (III). Journal of Chinese Studies Special Issue. Hong Kong, 2013. Pp. 163-77.

Kongzi zhi qian 孔子之前. Huang Shengsong 黃聖松, Yang Jixiang 楊濟襄, Zhou Boqun 周博群 et al trans., Fan Limei 范麗梅 and Huang Kuanyun 黃冠雲 ed. Taipei: Wanjuanlou, 2013.
“La dinastia Zhou.” In La Cina, Vol 2: Dall’età del Bronzo all’impero Han. Ed. Tiziana Lipiello and Maurizio Scarpari. Torino: Einaudi, 2013. Pp. 77-133.

 “Paleography.” Oxford Bibliographies Project. Oxford University Press. 2013.

“ ‘Xia Shang Zhou duandai gongcheng’ shi nian hou zhi pipan: Yi Zhou zhu wang zai wei niandai wei lizheng”“夏商周断代工程”十年后之批判:以西周诸王在位年代为例证. In Di si jie Guoji Hanxue huiyi lunwenji 第四屆國際漢學會議論文集. Taipei: Academia Sinica, 2013. In Press.
Zhongguo guwenzixue daolun 中國古文字學導論 (Introduction to Chinese paleography). Shanghai: Zhong Xi shuju, 2013.
“The Zhou Dynasty and the Birth of the Son of Heaven.” In Maria Khayutina ed. Qin: The Eternal Emperor and His Terrcotta Warriors. Bern: Bernisches Historisches Museum, 2013. Pp. 17-26.
Chongxie Zhongguo gudai wenxian 重寫中國古代文獻. Tr. Zhou Boqun 周博群. Shanghai: Shanghai Guji chubanshe, 2012.

 “Mu tianzi zhuan yu Mu wang shidai tongqi” 穆天子傳與穆王時代銅器 (The Mu tianzi zhuan and King Mu Period Bronzes), Rao Zongyi guoxueyuan xuebao 饒宗頤國學院學報 (Bulletin of the Jao Tsung-I National Studies Institute). English translation: The Mu tianzi zhuan and King Mu Period Bronzes,” Sino-Humanitas “Xian Qin shidai ‘shu’ zhi chuanshou: Yi Qinghua jian Zhai Gong zhi gu ming wei li” 先秦時代 ‘書’之傳授:以清華簡《祭公之顧命》為例 (The transmission of ‘documents’ in the Pre-Qin Period: Taking the Qinghua strip Zhai Gong zhi gu ming as an example). Qinghua jian yanjiu 清華簡研究 (Researches on the Qinghua strips) 1 (2012): 217-27.

Xing yu xiang: Zhongguo gudai wenhua shi lunwenji 興與象:中國古代文化史論文集 (Arousals and Images: Essays on Ancient Chinese Cultural History). Shanghai: Shanghai Guji chubanshe, 2012.
  • The Chinese Classics (Winter)
  • China’s Classic of Documents (Spring)
  • Confucius and Laozi (Spring)