David W. Pankenier, Ph.D. Asian Languages, Stanford University, 1983. Professor of Chinese Emeritus, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
My formal studies in Sinology, begun at the University of Stockholm with Göran Malmqvist, were augmented by three years of private study in the Chinese Classics (四書五經) with Aisin-Gioro Yü-yün in Taiwan (1974-77) prior to graduate study at Stanford (1978-83).
I’m perhaps best known for my research focusing on the connections between astronomical phenomena and epoch-making political and military events in ancient China. The awe-inspiring presence of the sky has profoundly influenced human culture at all times and in all places. It is only comparatively recently that we have managed to construct an artificial environment around ourselves. While insulating us from the elements and enabling our modern lifestyle, artificial surroundings also isolate us from the sky to an unprecedented degree. The result has been an impoverished understanding of cosmic rhythms, as well a diminished appreciation of how profoundly astronomical phenomena have influenced domains as disparate as art, myth, cosmology, literature, ideology, and the built environment.
My current research interests range from the history of ideas in ancient China, to cultural astronomy, to archaeoastronomy. I have published (with Xu Zhentao and Jiang Yaotiao) two volumes of translations of many hundreds of ancient Chinese, Japanese and Korean astronomical observations, a collection of research articles in Chinese, as well as numerous articles on ancient Chinese chronology, cosmology, classical literature, and intellectual history.
A representative sample of books and research articles is available for download: https://lehigh.academia.edu/DavidPankenier?from_navbar=true