Flaminia Pischedda


Pembroke College


DPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Thesis Title: 

The Shuzi Gua Corpus and the Yi Traditions: A Critical Study



Educational Background:

I pursued a BA (2013) and a MA (2017) in Oriental Languages and Civilisations at ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome. Before obtaining my degrees, I spent long periods of time in China studying modern Chinese at Beijing Foreign Studies University and Beijing Language and Culture University (2012‒2014), and classical Chinese at Peking University (2015‒2016). I spent the fall semester of 2016 as a visiting student at Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice, attending a course in Chinese palaeography, before arriving in Oxford in 2018, where I am currently conducting my research on Yijing-related excavated manuscripts.

Research Interests:

  • Early Chinese divination, Yijing divination tradition and related texts
  • Chinese palaeography and manuscript culture
  • Early Chinese systems of thought
  • Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies

Broadly speaking, my research explores the different manifestations of early Chinese divination traditions and communities as seen from both newly retrieved palaeographical evidence and the received literary production. More specifically, my doctoral project, supervised by Prof. Dirk Meyer, focusses on the unearthed sources currently understood as all belonging to the shuzi gua 數字卦 (numerical divinatory cypher) corpus.

Other Activities:

August 2022 – Current: Board Member (chair), Early Text Culture, Oxford.

October 2019 – Current: Committee Member, Philiminality Oxford.

December 2019 – Current: Trained Peer Supporter, Pembroke College, Oxford.

July 2020 – June 2021: Graduate Training Assistant, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford.

November 2019 – June 2020: Welfare Representative, Pembroke College, Oxford.

June 2019 - November 2019: Welfare and Environmental Representative, Pembroke College, Oxford.

Recent Publications and/or Conferences:

2022. “The Shuzi gua Corpus: A Historico-statistical Analysis” (co-authored with Andrea Bréard). In the Hon Tzeki (ed.) Dao Compation to the Book of Changes. Springer, (In preparation, expected publication 2024).

2022. “The Unity of Form and Content: The Philosophical Patterns of the Great Commentary to the Book of Changes”. In Van Daele, Raphaël (ed.) Philosophie et lieux de la pensée en Chine. Special journal issue in Laval philosophique et théologique. Submitted

2022. “A Scribal Device in Oral Clothing: Exploring the Functions of Divinatory Formulae in Early Chinese Excavated Texts”. In Ballesteros, Bernardo, Domenico Giordani, Jordan Miller, James Parkhouse, Flaminia Pischedda (eds.) Writing Orality. Special journal issue in Manuscript and Text Cultures (MTC). Submitted

2022. Review of Chutu shuzi gua wenxian jishi 出土數字卦文獻輯釋 [Organization and Interpretation of Unearthed Numerical Divination Symbol Texts] by Jia Lianxiang 賈連翔. In Bulletin of SOAS (BSOAS 85/1).

2022. The Xici zhuan 繫辭傳 (Part A): Textual Structure and Readership. Paper presented at the ETC Reading Group. China Centre, University of Oxford.

2021. “Shuzi gua excavated material”. Online entry in Database of Religious History, Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia.

2021. Writing Orality: Formulaic Language in the Oracle Bones Inscriptions. ETC HT21 Reading Group, Online (Zoom).

2020. Categorising Numbers: An Analytical Map for the Understanding of the Unearthed Material Related to Shuzi gua 數字卦. 29th annual Graduate Student Conference on East Asia. Columbia University, New York.

2019. Divinazione numerologica: una possibile mappa strutturale per la classificazione del materiale paleografico relativo agli Shuzi gua. XVIIth Conference of the Italian Association for Chinese Studies. Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Venice.

2019. Written on Bones and Bamboo: Traces of Numerological Divination in Pre-Imperial Palaeographical Material. Deciphering the Uncertain: Sociological & Epistemological Aspects of Divination in Early Text Cultures (convener). University of Oxford China Centre, Oxford.

2019. The Shifa: A Reconsideration of Early Chinese Milfoil Divination in the Light of Recent Archaeological Discoveries. WMTC Lunchtime Colloquia. The Queen's College, Oxford.

2018. Cosmos and Numbers: New Insights on the Early Chinese Cosmo-Philosophical Worldview Through the Analysis of Shuzi gua 數字卦. Textual Strategies for Elucidating the Universe. Pembroke College, Oxford.

Flaminia Pischedda