Origins of Chinese and Mesopotamian History-Writing First Round of the International Academic Online Conversation: 8:00–10:00 PM (Beijing Time) 23 Oct. 2021

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The second round of the International Academic Online Conversation“Origins of Chinese and Mesopotamian History-Writing”will be held online on 23 October. The event is free and open to everyone, but registration is required. To get access to preparatory materials and the link to the VooV / Tencent Meetings event, please sign up at 

Title 1: What does archaeology say? Comments on the practice of reconstructing of the Shang and Xia dynasties

Speaker: Prof. Tang Jigen(SUSTech, Shenzhen)

Time:8:00–9:00 PM (Beijing Time) 23 Oct. 2021

Abstract: This talk focuses on the notions of historicity in ancient Chinese culture as reflected in the specific case of Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historiographer. The way it narrates the events related to Xia and Shang dynasties has been confirmed in recent archaeology, which deserves special attention from scholars.

Biography of speaker: Prof. Jigen Tang is a Professor of Southern University of Science and Technology. He has served as a Researcher at Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and has directed the excavation at Yinxu in Anyang. Prof. Tang played a significant role in inscribing Yinxu in the UNESCO world cultural heritage list in 2006.

Title 2:The many arts of writing a Babylonian national history

Speaker: Dr. Odette Boivin (University of Münster ) 

Time:9:00–10:00 PM (Beijing Time) 23 Oct. 2021

Abstract: In the first half of the first millennium BCE, various traditions converged into the writing of Babylonian national histories, produced in and outside the official palace circles. Using three historiographic texts as case studies, this paper discusses the historical context and the milieus in which they were written, as well as the main topoi, differences, and commonalities between them.

Biography of speaker: Odette Boivin (Ph.D. in Assyriology, University of Toronto 2016)is a research fellow at the Institute of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology of University of Munster, Germany. Her research interest lies on the language, script, society and history of ancient Mesopotamia. She published “The First Dynasty of the Sealand in Mesopotamia, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018.”

The lectures series is organized by UIC-BNU Research Centre for History and Culture, jointly with the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at the Southern University of Science and Technology and the Institute for the Global History of Civilizations at Shanghai International Studies University.