Cornell East Asia Series (CEAS)

Jianjun He on the Changing Powers of Wu and Yue

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We asked author Jianjun He three questions about his new book, Spring and Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue, and his research on the political history of China.

1. What’s your favorite anecdote from your research for this book?

I cannot think of fun anecdote except that I mock at my own research as a “grassroots project.” That is, my university’s library collection on premodern China is probably fewer than what I have in my computer and it also does not have access to data base on Chinese academic journals. Since there is no handy resource from my own institution, I often have to mobilize my friends and colleagues in China to find secondary literature concerning the Wu Yue Chunqiu for me. I joke this as “grassroots movement” styled research.

2. What do you wish you had known when you started writing your book, that you know now?

I did not know that John Largerwey’s 1975 dissertation on the WuYue Chunqiu, including a partial translation of the text, is only available in the form of microform.

3. How do you wish you could change your field of study?

I do wish translations will make more texts available for researchers and will attract more studies in the field of early China.

Featured photo: Lei Yue Mun, China. Credit: Derek Tang.

Jianjun He is Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky.

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