Historiography and Hermeneutics in Early China: A Translation of the Gongyang and Guliang Commentaries to Spring and Autumn Annals ($200 000 grant)

Prize: Fellowships awarded competitively


The National Endowment for the Humanities has granted Sarah Queen (Connecticut College, USA) and myself a research fellowship of ($200 000) to complete a translation of two of the Confucian canonical texts, the Gongyang and Guliang Commentaries to Spring and Autumn Annals.

The NEH grant is part of the Scholarly Editions and Translations program, which provides grants to organizations to support collaborative teams who are editing, annotating and translating foundational humanities texts that are vital to learning and research but are currently inaccessible or are available only in inadequate editions or translations. It will support two years of research.

The Gongyang and Guliang commentaries have exerted tremendous influence on Chinese political and intellectual life for two millennia. Instrumental in elevating Confucius to the status of one of the greatest sages of Chinese culture, the texts envision him as author of the Spring and Autumn Annals, bequeathing to future generations this court chronicle containing a hidden and esoteric blueprint for world salvation.

In collaboration with Stephen Durrant (Professor Emeritus, Chinese Literature, University of Oregon), we will produce the first scholarly English translation of the commentaries, side by side with the original and accompanied by rich introductory and explanatory material. This work, expected to be part of the new translation series “Hsu-T’ang Library of Classical Chinese Literature” launched by Oxford University Press, will make the texts readily available for study by early-China scholars, comparatists, political scientists, philosophers and historians.
Degree of recognitionInternational
Granting OrganisationsNational Endowment For The Humanities