Prof. Dr. Richard J. Smith
Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"
Richard J. Smith is George and Nancy Rupp Professor of Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University in Houston, Texas. A specialist in modern Chinese history and traditional Chinese culture, with a strong interest in transnational, global and comparative studies, Smith has won twelve teaching awards while at Rice, including the Piper Professorship (1987), the George R. Brown Certificate of Highest Merit (1992), the Sarofim Distinguished Teaching Professorship (1994), the Nicholas Salgo Distinguished Teaching Award (1996), and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching "Texas Professor of the Year" Award (1998).
Smith's books include Mercenaries and Mandarins: The Ever-Victorious Army in Nineteenth Century China (1978); Traditional Chinese Culture: A Brief Introduction (1978); Fortune-tellers and Philosophers: Divination in Traditional Chinese Society (1991); Chinese Almanacs (1992); China's Cultural Heritage: The Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912 (1994); Chinese Maps: Images of "All Under Heaven" (1996) and Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the World: The Yijing (I Ching or Book of Changes) and Its Evolution in China (2008).
He has also co-edited or co-authored six volumes: Chinese Walled Cities (1979); Entering China's Service (1986); Robert Hart and China's Early Modernization (1991); Cosmology, Ontology, and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought (1993); H. B. Morse, Customs Commissioner and Historian of China (1995); Different Worlds of Discourse: Transformations of Gender and Genre in Late Qing and Early Republican China (2008).
Smith is presently working on several articles and book chapters, as well as three books: (1) a thematically organized collection of various published and unpublished essays of his for Routledge's "Critical Asian Studies" series (the book is tentatively titled Mapping China and Managing the World: Cosmology, Culture, and Constructions of the "Other); and (2) a companion volume to Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the World, tentatively titled Eternal Writ: The Globalization of the Yijing (I Ching or Book of Changes), which looks at the way the Yijing traveled to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Tibet, and then to the West (the title "Eternal Writ" comes from a line in a wonderful poem by Jorge Borges on the Changes); and (3) A "biography" of the Yijing for the Princeton University Press series "The Lives of Great Religious Books."
Born in Sacramento, California, in 1944, Smith had a brief flirtation with professional baseball before coming to his senses. He has been married to Lisa Smith for 41 years, and they have a delightful son named Tyler, aged 34.
Books and Monographs
Fortune-tellers and Philosophers: Divination in Traditional Chinese Society (Boulder, Colorado and Oxford, England: Westview Press, 1991); slightly revised paperback edition with a new preface issued in 1993. Translated into Chinese and Korean
Chinese Almanacs (New York and Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1992)
Principal editor and contributor, Cosmology, Ontology and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought, (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993), with D.Y.Y. Kwok
Tsusho no sekai: Chugokujin no hi earabi (The World of Almanacs: Day-Selection of the Chinese People; Tokyo: Gaifu Publishers, 1998). Substantially revised and expanded Japanese-language edition of Chinese Almanacs), with Kunio Miura and Chie Kato
Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the World: The Yijing (I Ching or Classic of Changes) and Its Evolution in China (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008)
Scholarly Articles and Book Chapters
"'Knowing Fate:' Divination in Late Imperial China," Journal of Chinese Studies, 3.2 (October, 1986)
"A Note on Qing Dynasty Calendars," Late Imperial China, 9.1 (June, 1988).
"Qing Dynasty Yijing Specialists in Yuan Shushan's Zhongguo lidai buren zhuan," Zhouyi Network, 5 (March, 1990)
"Shishi yu bianhua: Tigong daode changshi yu shiji zhidao di Yijing [Timeliness and Change: The Yijing as a Book of Moral Wisdom and Practical Guidance]," Zhongguo wenhua (Autumn, 1991)
"Introduction," for Richard J. Smith and D. W. Y. Kwok, eds., Cosmology, Ontology and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993)
"Divination in Ch'ing China," for Richard J. Smith and D. W. Y. Kwok, eds., Cosmology, Ontology and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993)
"The Yijing," in Ian P. McGreal, ed. Great Literature of the Eastern World (New York: Harper-Collins, 1996)
"Chinese Divination," in Helaine Selin, ed. Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (New York: Garland Publishing, 1997)
"Gudai Zhongguo di zhanbu yu yixue [Divination and Medicine in Ancient China]," Yixue yu zhexue [Medicine and Philosophy], 18.8, (August, 1997)
"The Languages of the Yijing and the Representation of Reality," The Oracle: The Journal of Yijing Studies, 2.7 (Summer, 1998)
"The Place of the Yijing (Classic of Changes) in World Culture: Some Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," Journal of Chinese Philosophy (Winter, 1998)
"The Yijing as a Teaching Tool." Exchange: A Newsletter for Teaching About Asia, 7.2 (Winter, 1999)
"The Jesuits and Evidential Research in Late Imperial China: Some Reflections," Ex/Change (February 2002). Accessible on-line at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/ccs/
"The Yijing (Classic of Changes) in Global Perspective: Some Reflections," in Guoji Yijing xuehui [International Yijing Association], ed., Erlingling'er nian shijie Yijing dahui lunwen ji (Collected Papers of the 2002 Classic of Changes World Conference), Zhongli, Taiwan, 2002
"The Yijing (Classic of Changes) in Global Perspective: Some Pedagogical Reflections," Education About Asia 8.2 (Fall 2003). A topically organized bibliography, study guide and other related materials are available on-line at http://www.aasianst.org/eaa/smith.htm
Smith, Richard J. "The Yijing (Classic of Changes) in Comparative Perspective: The Value of Cross-Cultural Investigations." International Journal of the Humanities 1 (2003), 776-801. On-line access.
Smith, Richard J. "Knowing the Self and Knowing the 'Other': The Epistemological and Heuristic Value of the Yijing (Classic of Changes)." Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 33.4 (December, 2006)
Smith, Richard J. "Divination In Late Imperial China: New Light On Some Old Problems," in Ng, On-cho, ed. The Imperative of Reading: Chinese Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, and Onto-Hermeneutics. New York: Global Scholarly Publications, 2008
Smith, Richard J. "Qing Perspectives on Yuan Dynasty Yijing (Classic of Changes) Scholarship: Evidence from the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao (Annotated General Catalogue of the Complete Collection of the Four Treasuries). Forthcoming in Yuet Keung Lo, ed., The Qing Episteme: Thought, Culture, and Society in Late Imperial China
Smith, Richard J. "Divination: Science, Technology, and the Mantic Arts in Traditional China," forthcoming in Helaine Selin, ed. Encyclopaedia of History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures
Smith, Richard J. "Jesuit Interpretations of the Yijing (Classic of Changes) and Their Legacy." Forthcoming in Longxi Zhang, ed., Matteo Ricci and After: Four Centuries of Cultural Interactions between China and the West