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Joachim Kurtz, Prof. Dr.

Academic Staff

Joachim Kurtz, Prof. Dr.


  • HCTS Professor "Intellectual History"
  • Speaker of Research Area C "Knowledge Systems"

Contact information

Karl Jaspers Centre
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 119
69115 Heidelberg

+49 (0) 6221 54 4345
+49 (0) 6221 54 4490

About Joachim Kurtz

Joachim Kurtz joined the Cluster as Professor of Intellectual History in Summer 2009. Before his assignment in Heidelberg, he was an Associate Professor of Chinese at Emory University and a Research Group Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. He has studied at Hamburg, Beijing, Berlin, Shanghai, Göttingen and Erlangen and held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His research focuses on cultural and intellectual exchanges between China, Japan and Europe, with special emphasis on practices of argumentation, logic, political theory, rhetoric, translation studies, historical semantics, and the history of the book.



Selected publications


The Discovery of Chinese Logic. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011.

Selbstbehauptungsdiskurse in Asien: China – Japan – Korea. Co-edited with I. Amelung, M. Koch, et al. Munich: Iudicium 2003.

New Terms for New Ideas. Western Knowledge and Lexical Change in Late Imperial China. Co-edited with M. Lackner and I. Amelung. Leiden: Brill 2001.


"Disciplining the National Essence: Liu Shipei and the Reinvention of Ancient China’s Intellectual History." In Science and Technology in Modern China, 1880s–1940s. Edited by Benjamin A. Elman and Jing Tsu. Leiden and Boston: Brill 2014, pp. 67–91.

"Translating the Vocation of Man: Liang Qichao (1873–1929), J. G. Fichte, and the Body Politic in Early Republican China." In Why Concepts Matter: Translating Political and Social Thought. Edited by Martin J. Burke and Melvin Richter. Leiden and Boston: Brill 2012, pp. 153–176.

"Framing European Technology in Seventeenth-Century China: Rhetorical Strategies in Jesuit Paratexts." In Cultures of Knowledge: Technology in Chinese History. Edited by Dagmar Schäfer. Leiden and Boston: Brill 2011, pp. 209–232.

"Domesticating a Philosophical Fiction: Chinese Translations of Immanuel Kant's 'Things in Themselves'." Concept and Communication 7 (2011), pp. 165–202.

“Messenger of the Sacred Heart: Li Wenyu (1840–1911) and the Jesuit Periodical Press in Late Qing Shanghai.” In From Woodblocks to the Internet: Chinese Print and Publishing Culture in Transition, circa 1800 to 2008. Edited by Cynthia Brokaw and Christopher A. Reed. Leiden: Brill 2010, pp. 81–110.

“Logic.” In Brill's Encyclopedia of China. Edited by Daniel Leese. Leiden and Boston: Brill 2009, pp. 606–608.

“Autopsy of a Textual Monstrosity: Dissecting the Mingli tan (De Logica, 1631).” In Linguistic Exchanges between Europe, China and Japan. Edited by Federica Casalin. Torino: Tiellemedia, 2008, pp. 35–58.

“Philosophie hinter den Spiegeln: Chinas Suche nach einer philosophischen Identität.” In Zwischen Selbstbestimmung und Selbstbehauptung: Ostasiatische Diskurse des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts. Edited by M. Lackner. Baden Baden: Nomos 2008, pp. 222–238.

“Was tun mit Chinas Nationaler Essenz? Disziplingeschichte versus Nationale Studien, 1898–1911.” In Über Himmel und Erde. Festschrift für Erling von Mende. Edited by Raimund Th. Kolb and Martina Siebert. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2006, pp. 260–281.

“Matching Names and Actualities. Translation and the Discovery of Chinese Logic.” In Mapping Meanings. The Field of New Knowledge in Late Qing China. Edited by Michael Lackner and Natascha Vittinghoff. Leiden: Brill 2004, pp. 471–505.

"The First Chinese Adaptation of Mill’s Logic: John Fryer and his Lixue xuzhi (1898)." Wakumon 8 (2004), pp. 35–52.

“Yuyan jiechu yu Zhongguo jindai sixiang shi" (Language Contact and Modern Chinese Intellectual History). In Yuyan jiechu lunji (Essays on Language Contact). Edited by You Rujie and Zou Jiayan. Beijing: Minzu chubanshe 2004, pp. 170–194.

“New Terms for Telling the Truth: Notes on the Formation of Modern Chinese Logical Terminology.” East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine 20 (2003), pp. 73–91, i–viii.

"Selbstbehauptung mit geliehener Stimme: J. G. Fichte als Redner an die chinesische Nation." In Selbstbehauptungsdiskurse in Asien. Munich: Iudicium 2003, pp. 219–242.

Web-based Scholarship

Young John Allen: China on My Mind. Virtual exhibition, co-curated with Eric Reinders. Online at: www.sph.emory.edu/MULTIMEDIA/YJ_Allen/.

Digital Library of Western Knowledge in Late Imperial China. Co-edited with Shen Guowei, Iwo Amelung and Uchida Keiichi (2002–present). Online at: www.wsc.uni-erlangen.de/etexts.

WSC Database: An Electronic Repository of Chinese Scientific, Philosophical and Political Terms Coined in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century. Co-edited with Michael Lackner and Iwo Amelung (2001–present). Online at mcst.uni-hd.de.