Warring States Project

Hotel De Doelen, Leiden, site of one session of the WSWG 17 Conference, 2003

The following published comments testify to the influence which the Project's example of sustained creative scholarship and active interfacing has had in the Sinological field.

  • Eric Henry: ""An earlier version of this study was presented to the Eighth Conference of the Warring States Working Group, held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA, April 26-27, 1997. I am grateful to many scholars, both within and without the Warring States Conference, who studied earlier versions of this paper and made valuable criticisms and suggestions." [HJAS v59 #1, June 1999]
  • Paul R Goldin: "I have also benefited from discussions with other members of the Warring States Working Group and its two founding spirits, E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks." [Rituals of the Way, Open Court 1999]
  • Victor H Mair: "Here I wish to pay tribute to the Warring States Project which is headquartered at the University of Massachusetts. Although underfunded, this pathbreaking academic endeavor led by Bruce Brooks is totally reshaping our understanding of the formative age of Chinese politics and culture." [On Transformationists, in Cadonna ed: India, Tibet, China, Olschki 1999]
  • Jeffrey L Richey: "Altogether, these recent scholarly publications have transformed our ideas about seminal Chinese texts and their reception in both Asia and the West. As a result, the field of early Chinese textual, philosophical, historical, and religious studies has become a great deal more complicated - and hence much more interesting. Twenty-five years ago, or even ten years ago, these texts appeared to many to have been picked clean by scholars. This clearly is no longer the case." [State of the Field, AAS Newsletter, v46 #1, April 2000]
  • Stephen Durrant: "The Warring States Working Group, managed by Bruce Brooks, should provide evidence of how lively and varied contemporary Sinology can be." [JAS v59 #3, August 2000, p705]
  • Steve Farmer et al: "Important ongoing work in Sinology, much of it associated with the Warring States Project at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has helped refocus attention on processes of textual layering in the formative stages of Chinese thought. Hopefully, expanded studies of this type will help revive similar interests among Western classicists, who largely abandoned studies of this sort early in the twentieth century, and encourage new research in this direction by Mesoamericanists, who are just starting to confront the heavily layered textual traditions of literate New World societies. While research on stratified texts has been underway for 150 years, especially in Biblical and Vedic studies, philologists have rarely studied the obvious connections between textual layering and long-range developments in the history of thought. Much more attention, as epitomized by classic papers published in this journal by Bernhard Karlgren, [n71] and by recent work in the Warring States Project, has focused on the traditional goal of unraveling stratified texts to attempt to reconstruct the original historical conditions underlying individual layers." [BMFEA #72, 2000, p75]
  • Moss Roberts:  "In 1993, about the time I began thinking about how to approach this project, the Warring States Working Group was getting organized under the leadership of the research team of Professor E Bruce Brooks and A Taeko Brooks. These two scholars had been studying and analyzing the entire Warring States corpus for several decades. With the collaboration of Professor Alvin Cohen at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Brookses summoned into being a new and exciting regional symposium on a wealth of topics relevant to the history of the Warring States texts. The group provided a much-needed focus for research work and free-wheeling discussion and has now become an important national and international forum. I was fortunate to have been present at the creation of the group and to have participated in many of its meetings and other activities, and my association with it was quite helpful to my research." [Tao Te Ching, California 2001]
  • Victor H Mair: "Here I wish to pay tribute to Gu Jiegang (1893-1980) and his associates in the Gu shi bian (Verifying Ancient History) project, as well as to E Bruce Brooks and A Taeko Brooks of the Warring States Project (http://www.umass.edu/wsp) for their exacting scholarship in critically reexamining the whole range of Warring States through Han texts." [JAOS v122 #4, 2002]
  • Yuri Pines: "I benefited greatly from the Zuo zhuan-related discussions with members of the Warring States Working Group. Aside from those participants, whose studies are cited in my book, I would like to point out the important contributions of Terry Kleeman, Paul Goldin, Martin Kern, and of course, E Bruce Brooks, whose relentless criticism of my views helped me to modify and refine many of my arguments." [Foundations of Confucian Thought, Hawaii 2002]
  • Michael Puett: "Many sections of this book were delivered as conference talks and invited lectures over the past several years, beginning in 1996: several meetings of the Warring States Working Group, organized by E Bruce Brooks at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst." [To Become A God, Harvard 2002]
  • Victoria Tin-bor Hui: "Bruce Brooks scrutinized my Chapter Two in excruciating detail and answered innumerable questions on different aspects of ancient Chinese history. I am also indebted to members of the Warring States Working Group and the China/Greece Colloquium listservs for sharing their opinions. I benefited immensely, in particular, from Stephen Angle, Thomas Bartlett, Christopher Beckwith, Taeko Brooks, Chow Kai-wing, Steve Farmer, Paul Goldin, Andrew Huxley, Whalen Lai, Victor Mair, John Major, Yuri Pines, Moss Roberts, Steven Sage, David Schaberg, Raphael Sealey, and Adam Smith." [War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe, Cambridge 2005]

It has also happened that Project results, shared in Conferences and conversations, have been appropriated without acknowledgement to the Project. It would be ungraceful to give details, from Conference tapes or E-mail records, but these cases too are witnesses, of a certain sort, to the Project's influence.

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