China’s earliest dreams (Conducted in English)

Speaker: Dr. Adam Schwartz

Dr. Schwartz holds a PhD degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations (Chinese) from the University of Chicago. He currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, and Associate Director of the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology. His ability to work comparatively is a result of advanced training at the Oriental Institute (Ancient Egyptian Language and Civilization). He formerly was Visiting Assistant Professor at New York University and Visiting Research Fellow at Yale University. He specializes in early Chinese civilization, with an emphasis on oracle bone inscriptions, bronze inscriptions and bamboo manuscripts. His first monograph The Oracle Bone Inscriptions from Huayuanzhuang East. Translated with an Introduction and Commentary was recently published in the winter of 2019.


This lecture shall evaluate dreams of the royal family recorded in Shāng divination inscriptions. Through a typology, with annotation, based on the dreamer, images occurring in their dreams, and action taken as a result, I shall discuss the affect of fear and the importance of how ambition was constantly being defined by memory and powered by overcoming despair.

This is the fourth lecture of the Online Lecture Series: New Perspectives on the Old World (2021/10-2022/6), which is co-organized by the HKBU Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, the Institute of Oriental Studies (IOS), Russian Academy of Sciences, BNU-HKBU United International College (UIC) and Research Centre for History and Culture, Beijing Normal University.