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Prof. Dr. Hans van Ess

Academic Year 2011/12

Hans van EssIn the 2011/12 academic year at the CAS, Hans van Ess will conduct research into Chinese historiography of the first century BC. Investigations in this field to date have mainly been concerned with historical facts, with only rudimentary studies of the principles and motives which led to the composition of the major works of Chinese history writing. In cooperation with participants from the next generation of young scholars, von Ess will examine individual chapters from the Book of Han (Hanshu), a dynastic history from the first century BC. The focus will be primarily on an investigation of ideological aspects, with the aim of identifying the intentions of the author Ban Gu (32 – 92 n. Chr.) in compiling the work.

Hans von Ess has held the chair in sinology at the LMU Munich since 1998. He studied sinology, turkology and philosophy in Hamburg and Shanghai, and held an assistant position at the University of Heidelberg from 1995 to 1998. His most important publications of recent years include Die 101 wichtigsten Fragen. China ("The 101 Most Important Questions: China", München: C.H. Beck 2008), Hu Hong. Worte Kennen. Zhiyan ("Hu Hong, Knowing Words – Zhiyan", Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig: Verlag der Weltreligionen 2009) and Der Daoismus. Von Laozi bis heute ("Taoism: From Laozi to Today", München: C.H. Beck 2011).

Three young scholars are involved with this project. Dr. Anna Stecher is a research associate at the Institut für Sinologie at the LMU Munich and is concerned with Chinese theatre and Chinese literature of the 20th century. She is investigating contemporary Chinese plays in terms of their connections to the works of ancient Chinese history. Andreas Siegl is currently working on a dissertation on Manchurian/Mongolian correspondence between Tibet, Mongolia and the Qing Dynasty in the early 18th century. Jakob Pöllath's doctoral thesis deals with the rebuilding process of the Song Dynasty (960-1280) in Hangzhou in Southern China.

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