New Horizons on the Book of Odes: The Formal Elements and Structural Principles - Guest Lecture by Prof. Dr. Chen Zhi (Hong Kong Baptist University)

March 2, 2017

As the first anthology of poetry in Chinese history, the Book of Odes has not only been celebrated as one of the Confucian classics in ancient China, but also as a collection of folk songs in modern scholarship. In this lecture, Professor Chen Zhi will revisit the labelling of the majority of the poems in the Odes as folk songs. Moreover, he will direct our attention to the musical structure of the Odes, a fundamental but less often studied aspect. He will explore the structure of the Odes from three perspectives: as songs, as poems, and as a classic. He will show the multiple layers of the Odes ranging from individual lines and stanzas to various genres, from the composition of an independent poem to the collection as an integrated canon.

Professor Chen Zhi is the Acting Dean of the Faculty Arts and Chair Professor of the Department of Chinese at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is also the Director of the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology there. Among other research interests, Professor Chen studies classical studies and early Chinese history, traditional Chinese poetry, and paleography. He is the author of The Tradition of the Book of Songs and Classical Culture (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 2012), The Shaping of the Book of Songs: From Ritualization to Secularization (Sankt Augustin, Germany: Monumenta Serica Institute, 2007), and the chief editor of Western Scholarship on Chinese History: Ancient China Volume (Translated from English into Chinese) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 2012).

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: IKGF, Seminar Room D1


For further information, please contact Dr. Rolf Scheuermann at

International Consortium for Research in the Humanities

"Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe."

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Hartmannstr. 14
91052 Erlangen
Telefon: +49 (0)9131 85 - 64340
Fax: +49 (0)9131 85 - 64360