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Faculty Fellow

Edward Shaughnessy

Lorraine J. & Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor in Early Chinese Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations University of Chicago


Most of his career has been devoted to the cultural and literary history of China’s Zhou dynasty (c. 1045-249 B.C.), the period that has served all subsequent Chinese intellectuals as the Golden Age of Chinese civilization; after all, it is not only the period founded by the sage kings Wen (d. 1050 B.C.) and Wu (r. 1045-1043 B.C.), but also that during which Confucius (551-479 B.C.) lived. Much of his work has focused on archaeologically recovered textual materials from this period, from inscriptions on ritual bronze vessels cast during the first centuries of the first millennium B.C. through manuscripts written on bamboo and silk during the last centuries of the millennium. These manuscripts, which have been unearthed in breathtaking profusion during the last two or three decades, have come to absorb more and more of my attention. At the same time, he remains fascinated with the received literary tradition of the period, especially the three classics: Zhou Yi or Zhou Changes (Better known in the West as the I Ching or Classic of Changes), Shang shu or Exalted Scriptures (also known as the Shu jing or Classic of History) and Shi jing or Classic of Poetry.

For more information, please visit his faculty profile.


Signs of Writing: The Cultural, Social, and Linguistic Contexts of the World’s First Writing Systems

2013 – 2016