Li Xueqin, 李学勤, Professor of History at Qinghua University and Director of its Institute of International Sinology, former director of the Institute of History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Scientific Director of the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project, presented the 16th annual Herrlee G. Creel Memorial Lecture at the University of Chicago’s Center in Beijing, Friday, December 10, 2010.
Professor Li’s lecture was titled “The Qinghua Strips and the Shang Shu and Yi Zhou Shu.” He explained his approach to determining the validity of the Qinghua Strips, as well as what he’s learned from them.
For well over half a century, Professor Li has been the leading figure in the study of all aspects of China’s ancient history. The author of scores of books and thousands of scholarly articles, Professor Li has led the way in studying virtually all of the texts unearthed during this period, from Shang-dynasty oracle-bone inscriptions to the Mawangdui silk manuscripts of the Han dynasty. Throughout his studies he has sought always to incorporate these new discoveries into the traditional history known through China’s classic literature.
Most recently, Professor Li is leading a team of scholars at Qinghua University to edit a large corpus of Warring States-period bamboo-strip texts that were donated to the university in 2008. His topic for the Creel Lecture concerns several texts from among the Qinghua strips that are early versions of chapters from the Shang shu 尚书 or Elevated Documents and Yi Zhou shu 逸周书 or Leftover Zhou Documents, two of the most important collections of early Chinese texts.
Professor Li was introduced by Edward L. Shaughnessy (夏含夷), Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor of Early China in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago and Director of the University’s Creel Center for Chinese Paleography. Attendees included Donald Harper (夏德安), the University’s Centennial Professor of Chinese Studies, and several graduate students from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.