Adam Schwartz

Visiting Assistant Professor 2013-15

Adam Schwartz holds a doctoral degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations (Chinese) from the University of Chicago (June 2013). He specializes in Early and Classical Chinese, with an emphasis on the paleography and grammar of inscriptions, and scribal culture and mechanics.  His ability to work comparatively is a result of training in hieroglyphic Egyptian at the Oriental Institute (2006-2009). He has held visiting scholar positions at the Shanghai Museum (Dept. of Bronzeware; 2009-2010) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Institute for the Study of Chinese Culture; 2011-2012). Recent lectures have been at Rutgers University (11.2011), Cal-Berkeley (11.2012), University of Manchester (1.2013), and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (3.2013).

His dissertation is a study and complete annotated translation of the newest discovery of Shang oracle bones (Huayuanzhuang East). This fascinating corpus from the commencement of China’s historical period is most notable for having been produced under the patronage of someone other than the king. It provides the most comprehensive and detailed information to date on the preoccupations and motivations of a member of the royal family working both for his family and his Majesty.

A two-year Visiting Assistant Professor at ISAW, Professor Schwartz will divide his doctoral dissertation into two complementary works. He will expand the translation, intended to serve as the first pedagogical “Oracle Bone reader” of its kind, by adding codicological information for each piece and a word index, and enlarge the study to include chapters on ancestor worship (rites and resources), the diviners and their mechanics, and geography. Thereafter, he plans to write on the characteristics of other diviner-scribal groups in Shang-Western Zhou China, and on the development of the Egyptian script as seen in the Pyramid Texts.