Michael Lackner

Michael Lackner

Elite Master Program "Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures"

Curriculum Vitae


2000–present Full Professor (Chair) of Chinese Studies, Department of Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
1999–2000 Full Professor (Chair) of Chinese Studies, University of Geneva
1997 Chair of Chinese Studies, the University of Bordeaux (offer rejected)
1994–1999 Visiting Professor, Technical University, Berlin
1994–1999 Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Göttingen
1992–1994 Professeur invité, University of Geneva
1991–1992 Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin
1990–1991 Research Fellow, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris
1988–1990 Program Officer, Volkswagen Foundation, Hanover
1984–1988 Research Fellow, Teaching Assistant, Institute for Far Eastern Civilizations, University of Munich
1979–1983 Librarian, Far Eastern Collection, Bavarian State Library, Munich
1974–1983 Research Assistant, Hochschule der Bundeswehr, Munich



1990 Habilitation, (Dr. Phil. habil. in Chinese Studies) the University of Munich. Thesis: “Western Humanism in Jesuit Teachings in China”
1983 Dr. phil., The University of Munich. Thesis: “The Chinese Forest of Dreams. The Ming Dream Encyclopedia Meng-lin hsüan-chieh
1979 M.A., University of Munich. Thesis: “Prophetic Songs of the Chin Dynasty”
1973–1979 Undergraduate student (Chinese Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Ethnology), Universities of Heidelberg and Munich


Grants, Awards, and Scholarship

2017 Chaire d’État, Collège de France, Paris
2017 Tsungming Tu Award (杜聰明獎), Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan
2016-2017 Distinguished Professor, Open University of Hong Kong
January 2016 Fellow, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala
October 2014 Keynote address, Silver Jubilee, The Open University of Hong Kong
September 2014 Fudan University Guanghua Eminent Scholars Award 復旦大學光華傑出人文學者講座
August 2012 Visiting Professor, China Studies Centre, The University of Sydney
March-April 2012 Visiting Scholar, Institute for Advanced Studies, Freiburg (FRIAS)
June 2011 Visiting Scholar, Institute for Advanced Studies, Freiburg (FRIAS)
July 2009 International Research Consortium in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom, and Prognostication. Strategies of Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe”, Federal Ministry of Education and Research
March 2008 Visiting Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, National Taiwan University
September 2006–August 2007 Member, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
February–March 2006 Visiting Professor, Kansai University, Osaka
September–October 2005 Visiting Professor, Fudan University, Shanghai
2005–2007 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Research Grant: “Topik und Tradition”, with Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann and others, Freie Universität Berlin
2003–2006 Volkswagen Foundation Research Grant: “Conflicting Views of a Common Past: Recent Interpretations of National and Regional History in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea”, in cooperation with Steffi Richter (Japanese Studies, University of Leipzig), and Wolfgang Höpken (Georg-Eckert-Institut für Schulbuchforschung, Braunschweig)
2003/2004 PPP Research Grant (DAAD): “The Formation of Modern Academic Disciplines in China”, in cooperation with the Institute for History, Fudan University, Shanghai
2001–2003 IQN Project Grant (DAAD): “International Quality Network: Exchanges of Knowledge Between China and the Occident – Historical and Philosophical Perspectives”. Project website
Fritz Thyssen Foundation Project Grant: “The Early Phase of Foreign Language Teaching in China”. Project website
February 2000/March 2001 Vigoni Research Grants (DAAD), Facoltà di Studi Orientali, University of Rome
1999 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Project Grant: “Chinese Poetry in German Anthologies”
October–November 1999 Procope Research Grant (DAAD), Centre de Recherches Linguistiques sur l’Asie Orientale, Paris
September 1997 PPP Research Grant (DAAD), Language Information Sciences Research Center, City University of Hong Kong
August 1997/March 2000 VW-Foundation Research Grants, Institute for the History of Natural Science, Academia Sinica, Peking
July 1997/June 2000 Procope Research Grants (DAAD), Centre Chine, EHESS, Paris
1996–2001 VW-Foundation Project Grant: “Studies in the Formation of Modern Chinese Scientific Terminologies”. Project website
April 1997 Visiting Professor (Directeur d’études associé), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
September 1996 Visiting Professor (Directeur d’études associé), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
1996–2000 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Research Grant: “The International Character of National Literatures”, multidisciplinary project, University of Göttingen
1994–1996 VW-Foundation Project Grant: “The Use of Diagrams in Representations of Chinese Philosophy”
1993–1994 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Project Grant (with Gunter Scholtz, Bochum): “Bibliography of Western Works on Laozi”
December 1993–January 1994 Fritz Thyssen Foundation Research Grant: “Chinese Origins of Western Science?”, University of Göttingen
March 1992 Visiting Professor (Directeur d’études associé), Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris
1991-1992 Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
1984-1988 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Research Grant: “Sino-German Cross-cultural Transfer”, Institute for Far Eastern Civilizations, the University of Munich (under the direction of Wolfgang Bauer)


  • Reading, Writing, Speaking: German, English, French, Chinese, Italian, Spanish
  • Reading: Latin, Japanese, Russian

Professional Services

  • Member, University Senate, Erlangen, 2013-2015
  • Vice Dean, International Affairs, 2013-
  • President, Advisory Board International Center for East Asian Studies (IZO), Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
  • Member, External Review Panel, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
  • Member, Advisory Board, German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), “The International Position of German Humanities”
  • Director in charge, Graduate School “Kulturhermeneutik im Zeichen von Differenz und Transdifferenz”, 2006-2007
  • Vertrauensdozent, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Erlangen 2005-2010
  • Member, Faculty Senate, Erlangen, 2005-2013
  • Chair, Faculty building control office, Erlangen, 2001–2006
  • Member, Commission on “Regional Studies”, Wissenschaftsrat, 2001-2006
  • Member, Research Committee Regional Studies, Asia-Pacific, Erlangen, 2001–
  • Member, Ph.D. program “Cross-cultural Exchanges in the Middle Ages”, Erlangen 2002–2005
  • Member, Faculty Council, Göttingen, 1997-1999
  • Member, Faculty Habilitation Committee, Göttingen, 1996-1999
  • Member, Board of Directors, Institute of Asian Studies, Hamburg, 1996-1998
  • Member, DAAD Experts’ Committee on Student Exchange with the PRC, 1998-2003
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Werner Reimers Foundation, Bad Homburg, 1999-2001
  • Member, VW-Foundation evaluation committee of program grants, 1990-1992
  • Member, Various Committees of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Wissenschaftsrat


  • National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Association for Asian Studies
  • European Association of Chinese Studies
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde (German Association of Asian Studies)

Editorial activities

Co-editor, Neue China Studien, Iudicium-Verlag

Editorial Board, 國際漢學 (International Sinology), Zhengzhou, Daxiang chubanshe

Editorial Board, Geschichte der Germanistik. Historische Zeitschrift für die Philologien, Wallstein Verlag

Editorial Board, Conceptual History and Chinese Linguistics, Brill

Conferences, Seminars and Lecture Series

–December 2017: Co-Organizer (with Klaus Herbers and Hans-Christian Lehner), International Conference: The End(s) of Time(s)
–November 21-22: Unlockings Skills: Gaining and Performing Expertise in Pre-1911China (with Dagmar Schäfer and Zhao Lu)
–October 2017: Co-Organizer (with Hon Tze-ki) International Workshop: The Yijing: Alternative Visions and Practices
–June 21-22: Organizer, International Conference: Mantic Arts in China II – Handbook Series
–May 2017 Co-Organizer (with Dagmar Schäfer and Zhao Lu): Workshop: Accounting for Uncertainty. Prediction and Planning in Asia’s History.
September 2016 Co-Organizer (with Kwok-kan Tam, Monika Gänßbauer, Terry Siu-han Yip, Martin Kroher): Fate, Prognostication and Freedom in Chinese Literature, Film and Folktale
July 2016 Co-Organizer (with Dagmar Schäfer): Accounting for Uncertainty: Prediction and Planning in Asia’s History
July 2016 Co-Organizer (with Zhao Lu and Fabrizio Pregadio): International Conference “Mantic Arts in China”
June 2016 Co-Organizer (with Stephan Heilen): Closed think tank meeting “Comparative Approaches to Western, Indian, and Chinese Astrology and Chronomancy”
October 2015 „Success Stories, Past, Present, and Future: The Erlangen IQN and Its Perspectives“. Website
June 2014 Co-Organizer (with Marc A. Matten, Chi-yu Shih, Tze-ki Hon, Mingde Wang): KNOWING YOUR ENEMIES: Intention Assessment and the Prospect of East Asian Security
November 2013 Co-Organizer: “Song Dynasty Uses of the Yijing. Colloque international organisé par la chaire d’Histoire intellectuelle de la Chine et l’International Consortium for Research in the Humanities (IKGF)”, Paris, Collège de France (with Anne Cheng and Stéphane Feuillas)
May 2013 Co-Organizer (with Andrea Bréard): Techniques of Prediction I: Chronomancy
November 2012 Organizer: “Divination and Fengshui in Korea”, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
February 2012 Co-Organizer, International Conference, “Divinatory Traditions in East Asia: Historical, Comparative and Transnational Perspectives”, Rice University, Houston
October 2011 Co-Organizer, International Conference, “The Early Formation of Yi-Jing Studies”, Jinan
July 2009, 2010, 2011 Organizer, Annual Conference of the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom, and Prognostication: Strategies of Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe”
28–29 August 2006 Organizer, International Conference “Exchanges of Knowledge between China and the West: Institutions and Networks”
June 2006 Co-Organizer (with Wolfgang Höpken and Steffi Richter), International Symposium “Contesting Views of a Common Past”, Leipzig
24–26 March 2006 Curator (with Lydia Haustein and Christoph Müller-Hofstede), International Symposium “Cultural Memory in China”, Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt
December 2005 Co-Organizer (with Zhang Xiping and Yang Huilin), “德国汉学史”, Peking
27–29 September 2005 Co-Organizer (with Zhang Qing), International Conference “The Formation of Modern Academic Disciplines in China”, Fudan University
December 2004 Co-Organizer (with Zhang Qing), International Conference “Cultural Memory and Self-Assertion in East Asia”, Fudan University
December 2002 Organizer, International Conference “Die Allgegenwart von Selbstbehauptungsdiskursen in Ostasien: Chinesische, japanische und koreanische Perspektiven”, University of Erlangen (Supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation). Conference website
December 2002 Co-organizer (with Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit and Mishima Ken’ichi), Symposium “Asiatische Selbstbehauptungsdiskurse”, Berlin, JDZB
May 2002 Organizer, International Conference celebrating Wolfgang Lippert’s 70thBirthday “Sprache der Politik. Politik der Sprache”
December 2001 Organizer (with Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit and Mishima Ken’ichi), International Conference “Discourse on Cultural Uniqueness in East Asia”, Tokyo
Fall 2000–Spring 2001 Organizer, Lecture Series “Wege des Wissens: Historische Dimensionen des Wissensaustauschs zwischen China und dem Abendland”, University of Erlangen. Website
December 1999 Organizer (with Natascha Vittinghoff), International Conference “Translating Western Knowledge into Late Imperial China”, University of Göttingen (Supported by the VW Foundation). Conference website
1998, 1999 and 2000 Organizer (with Philippe Despoix), 3 International Workshops on “Oriental Travelogues Since Enlightenment”, Wolfenbüttel
1998 Organizer (with Klaus Röhrborn), Lecture Series “Traditional Societies and Modernization”, Göttingen
August 1998 Organizer, Round-Table Discussion “The Role of Japanese as an Intermediate Language in the Formation of Modern Chinese Scientific Terminologies”, University of Göttingen
April 1998 Organizer (with C. Jami), International Conference “Between Ming and Qing: The Jesuits, Internal Strife, Dynastic Decline and the Establishment of a New Order in Seventeenth-Century China (Europe in China III)”, Technical University of Berlin (Supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Conference website
October 1997 Organizer, International Workshop “Researching Modern Chinese Technical Terminologies: Methodological Considerations and Practical Problems”, University of Göttingen (Supported by the VW Foundation). Conference website
May 1997 and 1999 Organizer (with Michael Werner), 2 International Workshops “The Cultural Turn and the Future of Area Studies”, Bad Homburg
1994 Organizer (with Viviane Alleton), International Conference “Les traductions du chinois dans les langues européennes”, Paris, EHESS
1992 Organizer, International Conference “Chinese Neologisms since the 17thCentury”, Bad Homburg


Research Interests

  • Classical studies in Song dynasty
  • Sino-Western cross-cultural transfer (language, philosophy, history of ideas), 16thto 20th centuries
  • Chinese assertions of identity (from late imperial China to the 20th century)
  • History of political thought in China

Authored Books

Journal Articles

Book Contributions

Edited Volumes

Conference Contributions