Dr. Mercedes Valmisa

Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"
Hartmannstr. 14
91052 Erlangen

Home Institution: East Asian Studies Department, Princeton University

IKGF Visiting Fellow October 2017 – September 2018

IKGF Research Project:

Adaptive Agency

Curriculum Vitae

I am a scholar of Early China with strong interests in philosophy and the interdisciplinary study of the Ancient World. My research integrates philosophy, intellectual history, literary and manuscript studies, archaeology and material culture. I am originally from Spain, where I studied Philosophy (Seville, 2005) and East Asian Studies (Madrid, 2008). I have lived one year in Beijing, and three years in Taiwan, where I obtained my M.A. in Chinese Philosophy from National Taiwan University (Taipei, 2011). Then I moved to the USA to complete my Ph.D. in East Asian Studies (Early China) at Princeton University (Princeton, 2017). My dissertation is entitled "Changing Along with the World: Adaptive Agency in Early China." It deals with different models of agency to cope with uncertainty and successfully relate to the larger context, and for the first time identifies and systematically analyzes the "adaptive" model of action. I am currently preparing a manuscript on post-disciplinary methodological approaches to the study of Early Chinese philosophy. Other research interests include the comparative study of patterns of textual formation and textual practices across early civilizations, religio-political ideologies of power, and literary means of self-representation of the elite.

Selected Publications


Chinese translation of "The 'Sinological Challenge' to Chinese Philosophy: A Response from a Post-Disciplinary Perspective," in: Zhongguo zhexue yu wenhua 15 (in preparation).
2016 "La Espontaneidad no es un Valor en el Zhuangzi," in: Daoismo: Interpretaciones Contemporáneas, ed. by Paulina Rivero Weber, Mexico City: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, UNAM.
2015 "Beyond our Control? Two Responses to Uncertainty and Fate in Early China," in: New Visions of the Zhuangzi, ed. by Livia Kohn, Cambridge (Mass.): Three Pines Press, pp. 1-22.