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China Humanities Seminar Featuring Suyoung Son – Publisher at Work: Yu Xiangdou’s Images and Visualizing Intellectual Labor
November 15, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Speaker: Suyoung Son, Associate Professor, Cornell University
How could intangible, tacit intellectual labor be legible, acknowledged, and compensated? The relationship between authorship and authorial property was hotly debated in late imperial China when a flurry of fakes, forgeries, and counterfeits abounded in the commercial book market. My talk will use examples from Yu Xiangdou (ca. 1560-1637), one of the most successful commercial publishers in Jianyang, to discuss how he claimed the hitherto invisible and therefore uncredited intellectual endeavor of making the books. Away from the prevailing conception that the images inserted in his printed books are portraits of Yu Xiangdou himself, I will approach his images in terms of the highly conventionalized image-signs and argue that his images serve as a liminal link between incorporeal authorship and material proprietorship.
Presented via Zoom
Register at: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYpcOyuqTItH9XHfGGHtpzj0f6bGEsaGjG0