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Publications in VIVO

Richter, Matthias Ludwig

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My research focuses on early Chinese politico-philosophical literature. I am especially interested in how the texts from pre-imperial China, which have been transmitted to us in a form they were given only in the early empire, were understood at the time when they were composed before the Chinese empire was founded. I apply methods of historical textual criticism and make extensive use of newly excavated manuscripts to explore notions of textual identity in pre-imperial China. This new approach to early Chinese literature will in many ways lead to a re-writing of the history of early Chinese thought.


  • early China, literature, philosophy, manuscript studies, textual criticism, palaeography


selected publications


courses taught

  • ASIA 4001 - Advanced Language Co-Seminar Arts and Humanities
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Acts as a Co-Seminar for advanced Asian Studies students.
  • CHIN 3321 - Political Thought in Ancient China
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Focuses on the political, religious, philosophical and literary aspects of ancient Chinese civilization (1500 B.C.-A.D. 200). Special attention is paid to foundational works that influenced later developments in Chinese culture. All readings are in English and taught in English. Recommended prerequisite: CHIN 1012 or CHIN 1051. Same as HUMN 3321.
  • CHIN 4210 - Introduction to Classical Chinese
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2023
    Introduces the classical language based on texts from the pre-Han and Han periods. Stresses precise knowledge of grammatical principles and exactitude in translation---the basis for all further work in classical Chinese.
  • CHIN 5210 - Ancient Prose
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Studies selected pre-imperial and Han prose texts important in their own time and for the influence they exercised on the later development of Chinese literary history. Focuses on works such as the Lun yu, Mengzi, Zhuangzi, Huainanzi, Shiji, Hanshu, and Lunheng. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours. Knowledge of Classical Chinese at the level of CHIN 4220 is required.
  • CHIN 5280 - Topics in Ancient Literature
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2023
    Examines a specific problem or issue in ancient Chinese literature, e.g., early views of language's relationship to reality, or the commentary tradition and the emergence of allegorical and metaphysical approaches to interpreting texts. Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours. Knowledge of Classical Chinese at the level of CHIN 4220 is required.


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