On April 20th and 21st 2018 a group of twenty-four scholars of traditional Chinese literature, language, and culture assembled at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for the conference “Philology and the Study of Classical Chinese Literature: An International Symposion on the Future of Sinology in the 21st Century.” The participants, all renowned figures in the field from the US, Asia, and Europe, attracted a large audience of about fifty members. The audience included colleagues from our own campus and beyond as well as current and former graduate students of the Boulder Chinese graduate program, among them almost twenty alumni. The conference was an immensely inspiring and productive gathering. The twenty- four presentations given during the event provided a tremendous wealth of material and triggered lively discussions across historical periods, disciplines, and theoretical approaches. Presenting different facets of a philological approach to pre-modern Chinese texts, while at the same time probing the continued validity and potential of this well-established approach, the conference contributed to the current renaissance of philology by delineating the concept of “world philology” with a focus on China.
The conference, co-organized by three Boulder alumni—Profs. Timothy Chan (PhD 1999, Hong Kong Baptist University), Jinhua Jia (PhD 2000, Hong Kong Polytechnic University), and Ping Wang (MA 2000, University of Washington)—as well as faculty member Antje Richter, took place on April 20–21, 2018 at the University of Colorado Boulder with the financial help of the Center for Asian Studies. The feedback of the domestic and international participants as well as that of the members of the audience was overwhelmingly positive. The conference corroborated the excellent reputation that Chinese Studies at Boulder enjoy, not only in the United States but also abroad.