Dirk Meyer

Bernhard Karlgren Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Chinese Philosophy and Fellow of The Queen’s College, University of Oxford

Dirk Meyer read Chinese Philology at National Taiwan University, and later Sinology and Philosophy at
Universität Heidelberg and Leiden University. In 2008, he received his Ph.D. from Leiden University for
the thesis ‘Meaning-Construction in Warring States Philosophical Discourse: A Discussion of the
Palaeographic Materials from Tomb Guodian One’.

Meyer took up his position at the University of Oxford in 2007 and has been fully tenured since 2012. He
has been Visiting Scholar at Princeton University and National Taiwan University, and Visiting Professor
at the Renmin University of China (People’s University), Beijing.

Meyer’s research interests relate to the history of thought, focusing on the interplay of material conditions
and ideas, orality and literacy in early Chinese philosophical discourse, transition periods in philosophy as
well as argumentative strategies in early Chinese philosophy. He has worked extensively on text and
manuscript culture, as well as on strategies of meaning production in early China.

Meyer is the author of Philosophy on Bamboo: Text and the Production of Meaning in Early China (2012),
the first systematic study of excavated philosophical manuscripts from circa 350 BC to treat text as a cultural
phenomenon in order to demonstrate the interplay among the material conditions of text and manuscript
culture, writing and thought. Meyer is editor of The Classic of Documents and the Origins of Chinese Political
(with Martin Kern, Princeton University; forthcoming) and Literary Forms of Argument in Early
(with Joachim Gentz, University of Edinburgh; forthcoming). Currently, he is launching The Journal of
Manuscript and Text Culture
with colleagues in Egyptology, Classics and Ancient History.

At SCAS, Meyer will work on ‘The Creation of the Shangshu’ as a corpus-based conceptual history. Meyer
reconsiders a core text from ancient China as a multilayered intellectual enterprise where ancient meaning
communities verbally conceptualise changing social realities as well as adapt realms of experience to common

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2014-15.