Sima Qian and Shi Ji (Part 2)

This talk is held in the Serangoon Public library, in NEX mall of Serangoon. It is located at level 4R.

Qinli is the speaker for this english talk and my contact number:[masked]

Sima Qian works as the Grand Astrologer in the Han imperial court. His job scope included making calendars, recording celestial phenonmenons and events happening during his time. Sima Qian as a historian, decided to undertake his father's wish to compile a history text of unprecedented depth, to cover history from the ancient past to his present days. The Shi Ji was a personal assignment that was not an official imperial project. Yet, Shi Ji is strange, in a sense that there was a lack of personal voice and originality , and Shi Ji contains lots of copied work, entire texts copied wholesale from early existing history texts. One may find the lack of a single author voice, but more like multiple voices speaking and offering different opinions and accounts. Shi Ji is extremely difficult to make sense of because of this complexity. Why did Sima Qian chose to write Shi Ji like this? Find out more in my concluding talk of Shi Ji.

Contents: 

How did Sima Qian completed such a grand task of Shi Ji?

Why are there inconsistencies in Shi Ji and how do we resolve this and make sense of Shi Ji?

What is Shi Ji lacking?

Is Shi Ji authentic and trustworthy?

What are some of the issues raised by the Western academics on Shi Ji

Why you should attend?

Because I'm going to remodel history to be a relevant and intriguing topic for anyone who is a newbie in the topic. I hope to spur your interest in china history.

Program highlights:

1) Ice-breaking and welcome speech by Qinli

2) Talk begins

3) Discussion and sharing among audience

4) Refreshments (Yes. Free refreshments provided by the library)

5) Casual session of card games(San Guo Sha and others) or mix and mingle in Macdonald's

6) Dinner together

Some things to note:

1)The library is as cold as winter season. Bring a jacket or heater or risk a frostbite.... (i exaggerate) :)

2) Please don't run away once the talk ends. We would like to create a critical thinking culture and hear your thoughts on the topic discussed. Here's a way to encourage you to speak up. Instead of presenting and speaking in front of the group, you can post your comments on my facebook page. I will open and create the post on the day itself.

3) Please update your RSVP. Only reply "yes", if you are seriously showing up. Put yourself in the shoe of the speaker. It's quite demoralising for the speaker to see 30 "yes" but only 10 showed up. Also, the library will prepare refreshment accordingly to the expected number of participants. Its not nice to see the food wasted.

4) Please try to set aside time after the talk and stay back for dinner. I hope to take the chance to talk to you and get to know you better. Also take the opportunity to mingle and make new friends.

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  • Yang Q.

    If u miss part 1, u still can attend part 2. U will not feel lost as i would recap the main points covered in part 1

    December 29, 2012

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