Lianbin Dai is a historian of late imperial China (1368-1911). His research encompasses issues of intellectual practices and understandings of nature and the world. His extensive studies range from the history of the book to analytical bibliography, textual scholarship, Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chinese state and society, history of knowledge, and intellectual history, in particular Neo-Confucianism.
Currently he focuses on textual practices in relation to the traditional Chinese humanities in the twelfth to eighteenth centuries. During his CCKF Postdoctoral Fellowship at YCAR, he will revise his doctoral thesis into a monograph manuscript entitled Learning to Be Learned: Scholarly Reading and Knowledge in the Late Imperial Chinese Humanities. In this manuscript, he will discuss how Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi’s (1130 – 1200) art of reading shaped the tradition of the Chinese humanities in late imperial China, justified the intellectual attitude towards learning, and established reading as a paradigm for cultural judgement or foresight for later Chinese Confucian elites.
Before joining YCAR, Dai was a curator in the University of Alberta Museums, working on the Mactaggart Art Collection. He taught as a College Fellow in EALC at Harvard University, and conducted his research in the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin. He is the author of a bibliography, a monograph in Chinese, and some book chapters and journal articles. Besides his own monograph manuscript, he is editing, with Timothy Brook and Kent Guy, translations from Qiu Jun’s Supplement to the Explication of The Great Learning (Daxue yanyi bu).
Dai received his BA from Nankai University (Tianjin, China), his MA from the University of British Columbia, and his D. Phil from Oxford University.
Keywords: Zhu Xi (1130 - 1200); art of reading; Neo-Confucianism; traditional Chinese Humanities; knowledge practice