Elena Valussi, "Fu Jinquan, He Longxiang, and Xiao Tianshi: The Transmission of Daoist Alchemical Texts from Sichuan to Taiwan"


Monday, November 5, 2012, 4:00pm

Fu Jinquan, He Longxiang, and Xiao Tianshi:
The Transmission of Daoist Alchemical Texts from Sichuan to Taiwan

Elena Valussi, Loyola University

Professor Valussi will discuss textual transmission of Daoist works from their place of origin in Sichuan in the nineteenth century to Taiwan, where they were reprinted by the Daoist intellectual Xiao Tianshi, in the 1950s and 1960s. In this century-long process, the texts under consideration undergo different kinds of transmissions. The initial transmission happens through planchette writing and is received from the gods by the Daoist religious practitioner Fu Jinquan in the mid-eighteenth century in the area of Chongqing;  a second transmission is the incorporation of these writings into a larger corpus of Daoist works, the Daozang Jiyao, by He Longxiang in Chengdu at the turn of the twentieth century. A further transmission from Sichuan to Taiwan happens at the hands of Xiao Tianshi, who in 1949 physically transports these Daoist works to Taiwan and attends to their republication there. All these transmissions have different means and meanings, and Professor Valussi will try to elucidate them.

Elena Valussi is a professor in the history department at Loyola University, Chicago. Her research interests are gender in China, Daoism, and late imperial Chinese intellectual history. Her publications include “Women’s Qigong in America - Tradition, Adaptation, and New Trends,” Journal of Daoist Studies, 3 (2010); “Fu Kinsen no shōgai ni okeru insastu shuppanto shūkyo: Shisen ni okeru Dōshi, kintan-ka, shūkyoteki shidōsha, shuppan gyōsha tosite” (Printing and religion in Fu Jinquan’s life: a Sichuan Daoist, alchemist and religious leader) in the proceedings of the 2008 Japanese-American Conference on Daoism, “Daoism and Kyosei Philosophy,” Tanaka Fumio and Terry Kleeman, eds. (2009); and “Female Alchemy and Paratext: How to Read Nüdan in a Historical Context,” in Asia Major, 21, no. 2 (2008). Professor Valussi received her PhD from the University of London.

Cosponsored with the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, the Fogg Museum, and the Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University

Location: CGIS South, Doris and Ted Lee Gathering Room (S030), 1730 Cambridge Street, Harvard University