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The Song Dynasty Making of China’s Greatest Poet
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Irreducible to conventional labels usually applied to him, the Tang poet Du Fu (712–770) both defined and was defined by the literary, intellectual, and socio-political cultures of the Song dynasty (960–1279).
Jue Chen not only argues in his work that Du Fu was constructed according to particular literary and intellectual agendas of Song literati but also that conventional labels applied to Du Fu do not accurately represent this construction campaign. He also discusses how Du Fu’s image as the greatest poet sheds unique light on issues that can deepen our understanding of the subtleties in the poetic culture of Song China.
Science and Society in the Sanskrit World contains seventeen essays that cover a kaleidoscopic array of classical Sanskrit scientific disciplines, such as the astral sciences, grammar, jurisprudence, theology, and hermeneutics. The volume foregrounds a unifying theme to Christopher Z. Minkowski’s intellectual oeuvre: that scholars’ scientific endeavors are inseparable from the social worlds that shaped those scholars’ lives.
Contributors are: Anne Blackburn, Johannes Bronkhorst, Jonathan Duquette, Robert Goldman, Setsuro Ikeyama, Stephanie Jamison, Takanori Kusuba, John Lowe, Clemency Montelle, Valters Negribs, Rosalind O'Hanlon, Patrick Olivelle, Deven Patel, Kim Plofker, Frederick Smith, Barbora Sojkova, Thomas Trautmann, Elizabeth Tucker, Anand Venkatkrishnan, and Dominik Wujastyk.
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Contrary to the usual sympathetic image of Kang Youwei found in historical studies, The Big Cheat offers a starkly negative portrayal of Kang. Its author, Huang Shizhong, a late Qing revolutionary and prolific author of over 20 novels, depicts Kang as a lifelong master fraud. His attack on Kang sheds light on the reform-revolution divide featured in every narrative about the rise of modern China.

Huang’s novel stands as a period testimony to the political and ideological struggles for China’s future during the last years of the Qing dynasty before it fell in 1912. This is the first English language edition of the novel, translated by Luke S. K. Kwong, who offers an extensive introduction contextualizing Huang's novel in historical perspective.
The Lives and Legacy of Kim Sisŭp (1435–1493) offers an account of the most extraordinary figure of Korean literature and intellectual history. The present work narrates the fascinating story of a prodigious child, acclaimed poet, author of the first Korean novel, Buddhist monk, model subject, Confucian recluse and Daoist master. No other Chosŏn scholar or writer has been venerated in both Confucian shrines and Buddhist temples, had his works widely read in Tokugawa Japan and became an integral part of the North Korean literary canon.
The nine studies and further materials presented in this volume provide a detailed look on the various aspects of Kim Sisŭp’s life and work as well as a reflection of both traditional and modern narratives surrounding his legacy. Contributors are: Vladimír Glomb, Gregory N. Evon, Dennis Wuerthner, Barbara Wall, Kim Daeyeol, Miriam Löwensteinová, Anastasia A. Guryeva, Sixiang Wang, and Diana Yüksel.
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Abstract

This article investigates European collecting of Malay manuscripts during the colonial era to address two inter-related questions: was this collecting instrumental in destroying the Malay manuscript tradition, and are colonial collections accurate representations of Malay manuscript culture? It makes the case that while European intervention was certainly destructive, in fact the majority of Malay-language literary texts survive only in colonial-era collections. It also considers whether colonial collections, precisely because they are high in Malay literary texts and low in Arabic religious texts (known as kitab), are unrepresentative of Malay manuscript culture in the nineteenth century and earlier. Taking Marsden’s seminal collection of Malay manuscripts as its case study, the article provides a fuller account of how this collection was assembled, and traces the individuals known to have acquired manuscripts for Marsden. Newly documented manuscript collections that remain in situ in Indonesia and in Malaysian institutions are discussed as a counterpoint.

Open Access
In: Philological Encounters
Free access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities

Abstract

Following the Opium Wars, traditional notions of China as encompassing “all under heaven” (tianxia 天下) and the “Sino-barbarian dichotomy” (huayi 華夷) could no longer be sustained. Under the pressure and intimidation of the Great Powers’ advanced warships and fire power, the Qing government signed the unequal treaties and China was forced to adopt Western conceptual reasoning, discursive language, and rules of conduct. Western knowledge and lexicon was successively translated into Chinese, affecting transformations in local discourse and society. As part of this process, Japanese texts, which contained a great volume of Chinese characters, became an important medium for the transmission of Western epistemology. During the first Opium War between China and England, the cultural and political hegemony of the Great Powers were demonstrated through debates over interpretations of the Chinese character yi . During the Late Qing, Chinese intellectuals drew on their foundations in traditional Chinese lexicon to understand and adopt the foreign-derived words zhongzu 種族 (race) and minzu 民族 (nation). This process reflects both shifts in how Chinese people regarded collective identity and the various presumptions underlying state-building visions.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities

Abstract

The concepts “Great Unification” (Dayitong 大一統), “China” (Zhongguo 中國), and “all-under-Heaven” (Tianxia 天下) are all research topics which continue to attract the focus of the Chinese historical community. The three concepts are both related and different. This paper conducts a preliminary comparative analysis of the content of the three concepts and the role that they play in specific historical studies. It finds that the concept “China” emphasizes the origin of Huaxia 華夏 civilization and its significance as a center for expansion and Sinicization of surrounding ethnic groups. The concept “all-under-Heaven,” meanwhile, places more stress on the overall political governance relationship between the center and the periphery. Finally, the concept “Great Unification” focuses on the process by which a dynasty establishes its legitimacy in terms of both ideology and practice. Only by examining the three concepts together can we fully grasp the overall direction and characteristics of Chinese history.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities

Abstract

The inscription of “He Zun” 何尊 and the “Zicai” 梓材 in Shangshu 尚書, both of which record events during the early Western Zhou dynasty, are historical texts containing the earliest appearance of the term zhongguo 中國. The zhongguo in those texts was a concept which was extremely rich in meaning. It does not refer specifically to the Luoyang 洛陽 region, which was then considered the heart of the Chinese kingdom, but rather refers to the capital in a geographical sense as well as the state in a political sense. When zhongguo first appeared in writing, it did not refer to China and Chinese culture yet. It was neither a racial concept which referred specifically to the Chinese race, nor a cultural concept which referred to Chinese culture. When zhongguo first appeared in writing during the early Zhou dynasty, it was a written record of the concept of zhongguo which was already in wide circulation in society at that time. In fact, the concept of zhongguo probably originated even before the early Western Zhou dynasty. Noting the origins of concepts such as zhong and dizhong 地中 (the center of the land), some archaeologists have concluded that zhongguo first appeared during the Taosi 陶寺 period, the Miaodigou 廟底溝 period, or the Erlitou 二里頭 period. Studying these archaeological findings in conjunction with recounts regarding zhongguo in historical texts, it is probably historically accurate to date the earliest appearance of the concept of zhongguo to the founding of the Xia dynasty.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities