"Contracts in History and Academic Research"-Prof. Feng Xuewei Delivered an Academic Lecture


On Oct. 21st,2022, Nankai University Law School invited Feng Xuewei, Vice Professor of the Law History Department, to give a lecture on the theme of "Contracts in History and Academic Research", introducing the methods of academic research from the perspective of contracts collection.

Prof. Feng firstly showed a variety of interesting ancient documents, such as the "codes of practice" of the beggar's gang, and then reminded everyone through the title of " disenchantment" that only relying on curiosity cannot support one's long-term academic path, and hoped that everyone would go beyond the curiosity and feel the pleasure of academic research in a deeper way.

After that, Prof. Feng introduced an important research method of legal history - the "Guihu" method, and explained the thinking of legal history research from three aspects: drawing the figure relationship diagram, dividing structural units and field investigation.

Prof. Feng pointed out that ancient contractual documents can reflect all aspects of ancient people's lives, so it is particularly important to draw the figure relationship diagram in order to figure out a certain range of ancient people living group. In addition, the relationship between existing contract documents should be sorted out and summarized by dividing structural units. When it came to the field investigation part, Prof. Feng used the example of his own research on the Qing Dynasty character Su Huchi' s household ledger "The Way to Prosperity" to talk about his experience of fieldwork in Su Huchi' s hometown.

From the perspective of legal history, Prof. Feng spent an hour and a half to outline the life of the ancient people, which gave everyone a better understanding of legal history research, broke the stereotype of legal history research as "a study of the past", and provided new ideas and methods for participants to conduct academic research.