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22 Mar 2017

CUHK to Present Public Lectures by Expert in Oracle Bone Inscriptions – Prof. CHOU Hung-hsiangAll are Welcome

22 Mar 2017

Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor Public Lecture 2017

The Institute of Chinese Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is greatly honoured to welcome renowned scholar from the University of California, Los Angeles, Professor CHOU Hung-hsiang, as the Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor this year.  Professor Chou will present three public lectures on 3, 19 and 27 April on campus.  A student and research assistant of Professor the Honourable Jao Tsung-I in his early teaching years, Professor Chou will speak about his time with Professor Jao.  The lectures will be delivered in Putonghua and members of the public are welcome. 

Professor Chou Hung-hsiang is now Professor Emeritus of the Department of Asian Language and Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles.  After graduating from high school in 1952, Professor Chou became Professor Jao Tsung-I’s student and research assistant.  Professor Chou’s research was mainly on Oracle Bone Inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty (1600 – 1046 BC).  Influenced by the extremely broad research interests of Professor Jao, Professor Chou’s research fields extended to Chinese archaeology and ancient culture.  His major publications include Bibliography of Studies of Xia History and Xia Culture, The Imperial Records of Shangyin Dynasty and Oracle Bone Collections in the U.S.  In his first lecture, Professor Chou will look back at his research and living experience with Professor Jao and the Jao Family. 

Professor Chou went on a one year trip around the world from June 1965 to June 1966 to visit Oracle Bone Collections in important museums, libraries and private collectors.   Starting from Australia, he went through Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, and then he visited about 10 cities in the United States and more than 10 cities in Europe.  During the visits, he made rubbings, photos, or pencil copies with detailed notes of those bones and shells, becoming the first person to perform this type of research.  In his second lecture, Professor Chou will introduce his experience and academic gains from the trip, as well as problems related to the original Shang Dynasty bones and shells, forgeries, replicas, etc.  He will also share some of his interesting observations related to the airlines, airplanes, buses, and general travel at that time. 

In Chinese culture, the Decimal System, the Ten Heavenly Stems and the Twelve Earthly Branches play very important roles in daily lives and the spread of Chinese culture.  However, in regard to the origins of the graphs in these systems, there are numerous different theories.  Professor Chou is of the opinion that all these three groups of graphs come from the same origin – the ‘hands’ or the ‘fingers’ as pointed out by few early Oracle Bone scholars, or the so-called ‘sign language’.  In his third lecture, Professor Chou will widely use examples from the Oracle Bone Inscriptions to prove this theory. 

Details of Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor Public Lecture 2017 

1.   Studying Under Professor Jao Tsung-I: A Vague, Yet Clear Memory
Date: 3 April, 2017 (Monday)
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Venue: Cho Yiu Hall, G/F University Administration Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 

2.   Around the World to Visit Oracle Bone Collections: Studies of Oracle Bone Inscriptions for  Half a Century
Date: 19 April, 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Staff Common Room, Top Floor, Cheung Chuk Shan Amenities Building, United College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 

3.   From the Same Origin: The Source of the Chinese Decimal and the Ganzhi System
Date: 27 April, 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Venue: Activities Room, 2/F Art Museum East Wing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 

For enquiries, please call 3943 6546 or email to

About the Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professorship Scheme

Since its inception in 1963, CUHK has devoted itself to the modernization and promulgation of Chinese culture through studies in the humanities and social sciences.  Professor Jao Tsung-I is an advocate of sinology through his immense contribution in boosting the academic and cultural exchanges between China and the West.  CUHK shares the same mission to inherit and promote Chinese culture.  In 2013, CUHK set up the Visiting Professorship Scheme under the Institute of Chinese Studies and the University is truly honoured to have this Scheme named after Professor Jao Tsung-I.   Through this Scheme, a world-class scholar on Chinese cultural research is invited for academic research and scholarly exchange at the Institute of CUHK every year.  It is hoped that the Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor will be able to inspire the young generation and further promote Chinese culture.  Professor Nils Göran David Malmqvist, leading Swedish sinologist, and Professor Léon Vandermeersch, renowned French sinologist, were named as Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor in the past years.

Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor Public Lecture 2017

Jao Tsung-I Visiting Professor Public Lecture 2017


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