Christopher J. Foster

Christopher Foster is interested in the manuscript culture of early China, focusing primarily on newly excavated texts from the Qin and Han periods. Chris received his A.B. from Dartmouth College, and both his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His dissertation, "Study of the Cang Jie pian: Past and Present,” introduces the Cang Jie pian 蒼頡篇 –  a foundational primary education work – and discusses the role it played in the spread of literacy during the Western Han period. Chris has co-authored a translation of Liu Guozhong's 劉國忠 Introduction to the Tsinghua University Bamboo-strip Manuscripts 走近清華簡 with William French, and recently published the article “Introduction to the Peking University Han Bamboo Strips: On the Authentication and Study of Purchased Manuscripts” in Early China. His current research utilizes manuscript evidence to explore standards for textual production in the early Chinese empires, in part to reassess the Han editing practices that shaped our received corpus. Other fields of interest include: early Chinese intellectual history; archaeology of the Han frontier; textual forgery in China (both in antiquity and today); and religious Daoism, among others. On the lighter side, Chris collects fake Chinese Harry Potter books. 



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