Zhang Hanmo, PhD UCLA, 2012, is currently a visiting professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at UChicago and Research Affiliate of the CAEA. Prof. Zhang previously taught at UCLA and the State University of New York at New Paltz and joined the faculty of Renmin University, Bejing, in 2016. He has broad interests in early Chinese history, literature, and philosophy, investigating the early Chinese literary world in its textual and archaeological contexts, especially at the converging points of disparate disciplines literature, history, and archaeology. He is author of Authorship and Text-making in Early China (Mouton: De Gruyter, 2018) and numerous articles on topics related to early Chinese textual and material cultures.
His current research project is a reinterpretation of the Mawangdui “Dixing tu” and “Zhunjun tu” maps in their artistic, religious, and archaeological contexts. Instead of identifying these two “maps” as the byproducts of alleged political and military tension between the Han imperial court and the Southern Yue State in early Western Han dynasty, his study focuses on religious dimensions of early Chinese map making and proposes that these “maps” were primarily made for burial. In reinterpreting the purpose of these two “maps,” he aims to analyze these and other objects like them, based on their funerary context and their association with contemporary ritual practices and religious beliefs in the journey of the tomb occupant to the underworld.