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Joern Peter Grundmann

Joern obtained his BA degree in Asian Studies from the University of Bonn. He went on to study Classical Chinese Literature at the National Taiwan University where he graduated with an MA in 2013. Since he joined the University of Edinburgh as a PhD student in Chinese Studies in 2014, Joern has spend one year as a doctoral fellow at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, in Taipei. His research focuses mainly on the conditions and purposes of literary texts in pre-classical China (ca. 950 – 450 BCE). His current project on the symbolization of a corporate politico-religious identity in early Chinese texts is due for completion by the end of 2017. 


De 德 and the symbolization of a corporate politico-religious identity in early Chinese texts”

Joern’s doctoral research focuses on the articulation of a politico-religious identity in early Chinese texts. He is especially interested in tracing the development of a “symbolization of order,” (E. Voegelin) which has come to define the ecumenic discourse in the Book of Songs and the Book of Documents. In his current PhD project, he analyses the conditions for the formation of this discourse by investigating its occurrences over time in texts from Western Zhou bronze inscriptions. He shows how the boundedness of inscribed ritual bronze vessels in socio-political contexts does help us to better understand this discourse not only in bronze inscriptions, but also in transmitted texts which can be ascribed to differing contexts of production and retrieval.

Degree Theses

“Das Problem der Schuld im Werk der Chinesischen Autorin Yang Jiang” (The Problem of Guilt in the Works of the Chinese Writer Yang Jiang), unpublished BA thesis, Bonn: The University of Bonn, 2008

“從儀式行為論先秦 ‘賦詩’ 的體制 Cong yishi xingwei lun xian qin fu shi de tizhi” (Analysing the pre-Qin ‘Quoting from the Odes Tradition’ in the Light of the Praxis of Ritual Textual Retrieval), unpublished MA thesis, Taipei: National Taiwan University, 2013.

Talks and Conference Presentations

“The Materialization of Power and Fame: Study of Imperial Inscriptions from Ancient South Asia and China” Joint talk together with Ken Ishikawa (DPhil Student, Wolfson College), delivered within the Early Text Cultures Seminar Series at Wolfson College, the University of Oxford, July 2015. 

“Comparing Different Modes of Reception of Sacrificial Texts from the Odes in the Erya and in the Maoshi Zhengjian” Paper presented at the conference, “A New Perspective on the Study of the Mao Shi zhushu,” held at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, September 2015.

“Sacrifice and Commitment in Early Chinese Texts” Talk delivered at the First Symposium for Early China Scholars held at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, February 2016.

“The X Gong xu (豳公盨) Inscription Read as a Political Proclamation” Paper presented at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Early China held in Seattle, WA, April 2016

“The Concept of min 民 in Documents-style Warring States Manuscripts – The ‘Yin gao’ 尹誥 Chapter as an Example” Paper presented at the Fifth Young Scholars Forum on Excavated Manuscripts held at the Hong Kong Baptist University Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, July 2016.

“The Late Western Zhou Guoji zhong 虢季鐘 Inscription Read as a Literary Text” Paper presented at the 21st Biennial Conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies held at the St. Petersburg State University, August 2016.


Discussant at the International Workshop “A New Perspective on Historical Interpretations of the Book of Songs: Commentarial Structures and Exegetical Strategies in the Mao Shi zhushu,” held at SOAS, the University of London, July 2015 

Awards and Funding

2006/07    Mandarin Enrichment Scholarship from the R.O.C. Ministry of Education (MOE)

2009-2011    Taiwan Postgraduate Scholarship from the R.O.C. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), together with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

2014-2016    AHRC Postgraduate Studentship (fees only)

2015/16    Doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica


2014/15           LLC Asian Studies, Lecturer for Chinese 2B (Classical Chinese)

                        LLC Asian Studies, Tutor for PMEA

2016/17           LLC Asian Studies, Teaching Assistant for Chinese 2B (Classical Chinese)