Dr. Jan Vihan

Bild von Jan Vihan

Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"
Hartmannstr. 14
91052 Erlangen

Home Institution: Charles University, Faculty of Humanities

IKGF Visiting Fellow September 2014 - June 2015

IKGF Research Project

Time, Diction, Human Agency: the Mantic Foundations of Philological Practice

Curriculum vitae

Jan Vihan was born and grew up in Prague. After completing a B.A. at Harvard (thesis on personhood and human agency in the work of the Han historian, Sima Qian), he studied and worked as a guidebook writer in northern India, eventually earning a master’s degree (on the relation between time, word, and meaning in the Sanskrit grammatical tradition). During his subsequent Ph.D. years, his interests crystalized into three areas: classical Chinese philology as articulated in the Qing commentaries to the Han character primer Shuowen Jiezi, an exegesis on the Book of Changes, and fifth century Mahāyāna translations, specifically Kumārajīva’s Bodhisattvadhyāna and Vimalakīrtinirdesha. He has taught at the Charles and Masaryk Universities and at the National Gallery in Prague.


Institution and Location Degree Year(s) Feld of Study
Harvard University B.A. 1999 East Asian Studies
Cambridge University M.Phil. 2002 Classical Indian Studies
Harvard University Ph.D. 2012 East Asian Lang. and Civ.

Positions and Honours


2013 - 2014 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chiang Ching-kuo Center for Inter-Scholarly Exchange, Oct 2013- June 2014, Charles University, Prague
2009 - 2013 Lecturer in Chinese and Buddhist Art, 2009-2013, National Gallery in Prague, Asian Art Collection
2000 - 2001 and Lecturer at Charles University in Prague
2010 - 2011 Lecturer at Masaryk University in Brno
2001 - 2014 Guide for Rick Steves’ Europe in Central/Eastern Europe, Summers 2001 - 2014

Honors, Awards and Scholarships

1996 - 1997 Yenching Scholarsphip to Nanjing University

Selected Publications

Books and Editions

  • Prague and the Czech Republic (with Rick Steves, Berkeley: Perseus Books, 2004- updated re-editions)


  • “The historical evidence for tripartite division of Formal, Informal, and Elevated registers: the Airs, the Elegantiae, and the Eulogia of the Odes,” (with Feng Shengli, forthcoming in Barbara Meisterernst, ed. New Aspects of Classical Chinese Grammar. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2015)
  • “Havel: An Authentic Life,” In the Fray, Jan 2012 (inthefray.org).
  • Wang Bi’s re-interpretation of divination as authentication (forthcoming)
  • The Master said: expanding the logic of Yi line statements into abstract knowledge (forthcoming)
  • The wellspring of (mis)fortune: inner vs. outer or genuine vs. spurious? (forthcoming)
  • Hexagram/situation as simultaneity of factors and as progression of instances (forthcoming)


  • The meaning of etymology in a synchronic linguistic system, Special invited lecture, Olomouc, Palacky University, January 8, 2015