Forming and Redefining Belles-Lettres


Saturday, March 14, 2015, 8:30am to 6:00pm


Common Room (Room 136) | 2 Divinity Avenue | Cambridge MA 02138
"Forming and Redefining Belles-Lettres”:

Harvard Graduate Student Conference on Pre-modern Chinese Literature

belleslettres-poster-imageDuring the long interval between the emergence of China’s earliest textual records and the arrival of our modern sense of what constitutes literature, the concept of wenxue 文學 went through myriad transformations that both enrich and challenge our understanding of the literary past. At this conference, our faculty discussants and graduate student presenters will explore four topics: the relationship between textuality and genre, the impact of trauma and agency on literary history, the performative and rhetorical aspects of literature, and the reciprocity between the authorial self and community.

Conference Program:

Registration and Coffee

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Opening Remarks
8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Professor Wai-yee Li

Panel 1: Textuality and Genre
9:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Discussant: Professor Wai-yee Li

  • Huijun Mai (Harvard University): “Poetics of the Everyday”
  • Rongqian Ma (University of Pittsburgh): Benshi shi and Beyond: A Case of Textuality and Genre”
  • Chen Liu (Harvard University): “Letters in the Crow Terrace Poetry Trial (1079)”
  • Yiwen Zheng (Stanford University): “What If We Read Biji as Literature? A Close Look at the Generic Features of Yijian zhi
Coffee Break                                                

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Panel 2: Trauma and Agency                                 
11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Discussant: Professor Stephen Owen

  • Qiaomei Tang (Harvard University): “The North/South Rivalry as Seen in a Cross-State Bigamy Case: A Literary and Cultural Study of an Entry in the Luoyang qielan ji
  • Ming Tak Ted Hui (Harvard University): “Summoning the Soul of the Ming Loyalists: An Analysis of You Tong’s (1618-1704) Works”
  • Shuojun Chen (McGill University): “Wu Zao’s (1796-1862) Masculine Self-Image in Song Lyrics”
  • Huan Jin (Harvard University): “Constructing an Ironic Epic in the Ruins of History-- A Case Study of Chapter Forty-eight in Hua yue hen
Lunch Break                                                

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Panel 3: Performativity and Rhetoric        
1:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Discussant: Professor Michael Puett

  • Irena Cronin (University of California, Los Angeles): “Words of War: The Rhetoric and Genre of Early Chinese War Speech”
  • Vivian She (Harvard University): “Poetic Form as Musical Content in Tang Musical Anecdotes”
  • Xiaosu Sun (Harvard University): “A Canine Rebirth: Recasting Madame Liu Qingti in Baojuan Narratives”
  • Noga Ganany (Columbia University): “Paratexts of Fiction: Ritual Appendices in Late Ming Xiaoshuo
Coffee break                                                 

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Panel 4: Authorial Self and Community    
3:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Discussant: Professor Xiaofei Tian

  • Kate Monaghan (Harvard University): “Ruan Ji’s (210-263) Poetic Personae”
  • Graham Chamness (Harvard University): “A Form of Like-Minded Community: The Appeal of the Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove in the Eastern Jin and Liu-Song Periods (317-479)”
  • Lu Kou (Harvard University): “What is New in Chen Dynasty (557-89) Court Poetry –– Analysis of Poems on Assigned Topic (fude)”
  • Wei Wang (Washington University in St. Louis): “A Late Ming Male Literatus’ Reconstruction of Female Voices of the High Tang –– The Editing of Women’s Poetry in the Mingyuan shigui
Closing Remarks                                         
5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Professor Peter K. Bol

Organized by graduate students in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.
Sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University.
belleslettres_conference.pdf7.74 MB