The Intellectual Persuasion in the Twenty-First Century: A Conversation With Peter K. Bol.

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The Intellectual Persuasion in the Twenty-First Century: A Conversation With Peter K. Bol.

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Title: The Intellectual Persuasion in the Twenty-First Century: A Conversation With Peter K. Bol.
Author: Bol, Peter K. ORCID  0000-0002-1485-095X ; Yao, Ping

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Yao, Ping, and Peter K Bol. 2012. The intellectual persuasion in the twenty-first century: a conversation with Peter K. Bol. The Chinese Historical Review 19, no. 2: 150-161.
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Abstract: Interviewer’s Note: Peter K. Bol is the Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. A leading scholar in the field of Chinese intellectual history, the much-published Professor Bol has long been an active figure in academic conferences and research collaborations. Professor Bol’s influential works on Neo-Confucianism, especially the monograph, “This Culture of Ours”: Intellectual Transitions in T’ang and Sung China1 and his recent book, Neo-Confucianism in History,2 present a compelling delineation of the transformation and magnification of intellectuals’ roles from the seventh century to the seventeenth century. Professor Bol is also a distinguished Harvard faculty member, being its first director of the Center for Geographic Analysis, first director of the China Biographical Database project, and department chair from 1997 to 2002. He won the prestigious honor of College Professor in recognition of his dedication to teaching.

I first met Professor Bol in the spring of 1997 when I participated in a symposium he organized for graduate students in the field of premodern China. During the 2008‐09 academic year, I was a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School and had the opportunity to tour his Center for Geographic Analysis and meet with him from time to time to discuss the CBDB project. I also visited his class and interacted with his students. I sensed that Professor Bol’s vision and passion as a humanist and his dedication to education are very similar to those of Neo-Confucians of the Song-Yuan-Ming eras, save for his acute interest in global politics and, especially, the state of affairs in the US and China. Inspired by this encounter, I made a request for interviewing him for CHR readers. Professor Bol graciously accepted my request. Here is the interview.
Published Version: doi:10.1179/12Z.0000000008
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