Happiness in Henan, Circa 1200 BC: A Study of the Divination Coda kan 侃in the Huayuanzhuang East Oracle Bone Inscriptions

Conveners: OI and OSGA

Speaker: Professor Adam Schwartz, Hong Kong Baptist University


A recently discovered oracle bone archive from Henan province provides a coherent and unified picture into what things caused happiness for a man of royal pedigree in 1200 BC Shang China. Prior to this discovery we lacked a systematic and detailed account based on primary sources of what caused people happiness at this time and knew basically nothing about what caused happiness for people other than the Shang kings.


Dr. A.C. Schwartz is the Associate Director of the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University. He holds a PhD degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations (Chinese) from the University of Chicago, and his ability to work comparatively is a result of advanced training at the Oriental Institute. He formerly served as Visiting Assistant Professor at New York University (ISAW) and Visiting Research Fellow and Specially Appointed Language Instructor at Yale University. He specializes in Early Chinese paleography and manuscript studies, with a concentration on oracle bone and bronze inscriptions, manuscripts, scribal and divination culture, numerology, and Classical commentary.