Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series

The Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series is supported by the Harvard-Yenching Institute at Harvard University.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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17.Cover: An Introduction to Sung Poetry

An Introduction to Sung Poetry

Yoshikawa, Kojiro

Despite the marked influence of Chinese poetry on that of the West in modern times, this book is the first full-length critical study of any major period of Chinese poetry to appear in a Western language. The period here dealt with is neither ancient China nor the medieval T’ang dynasty, from which the most numerous and most familiar previous translations have been drawn, but the era of the Sung dynasty (960–1279), of which the culture and thought were much more complex and “modern.”

24.Cover: Population, Disease, and Land in Early Japan, 645–900

Population, Disease, and Land in Early Japan, 645–900

Farris, William Wayne

W. Wayne Farris has developed the first systematic analysis of early Japanese population, the role of disease in economic development, and the impact of agricultural technology and practices. In doing so, he reinterprets the nature of ritsuryō institutions.

25.Cover: Shikitei Sanba and the Comic Tradition in Edo Fiction

Shikitei Sanba and the Comic Tradition in Edo Fiction

Leutner, Robert W.

26.Cover: Washing Silk: The Life and Selected Poetry of Wei Chuang

Washing Silk: The Life and Selected Poetry of Wei Chuang

Yates, Robin D. S.

This work offers information that is useful to those interested in the literature, history, and general culture of medieval China. The translations bring to modern readers of English poetry the pleasures of becoming acquainted with a complex and innovative voice from the Chinese past.

28.Cover: T’ang Transformation Texts: A Study of the Buddhist Contribution to the Rise of Vernacular Fiction and Drama in China

T’ang Transformation Texts: A Study of the Buddhist Contribution to the Rise of Vernacular Fiction and Drama in China

Mair, Victor H.

This is the most comprehensive study of pien-wen (“transformation texts” i.e., tales of metamorphosis) in any language since the manuscripts were discovered at the beginning of this century in a remote cave complex in northwest China. They are the earliest written vernacular narratives in China and are thus extremely important in the history of Chinese language and literature.

30.Cover: Readings in Chinese Literary Thought

Readings in Chinese Literary Thought

Owen, Stephen

This dual-language compilation of seven complete major works and many shorter pieces from the Confucian period through the Ch’ing dynasty will be indispensable to students of Chinese literature as well as theorists and scholars of other languages.

31.Cover: Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in Eighteenth-Century Japan

Remembering Paradise: Nativism and Nostalgia in Eighteenth-Century Japan

Nosco, Peter

Remembering Paradise studies three major eighteenth-century nativist scholars in Japan: Kada no Azumamaro, Kamo no Mabuchi, and the celebrated Motoori Norinaga. Peter Nosco demonstrates that these scholars, frequently depicted as the formulators of rabid xenophobia, were intellectuals engaged in a quest for meaning, wholeness, and solace in what they perceived to be disordered times.

33.Cover: Escape from the Wasteland: Romanticism and Realism in the Fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo

Escape from the Wasteland: Romanticism and Realism in the Fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo

Napier, Susan

Lurid depictions of sex and impotence, themes of emperor worship and violence, the use of realism and myth--these characterize the fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo. Napier discovers surprising similarities as well as provocative dissimilarities in the work of two writers of radically different political orientations. Napier places Yukio’s and Kenzaburo’s fiction in the context of postwar Japanese political and social realities and, in a new preface for the paperback edition, reflects on each writer’s position in the tradition of Japanese literature.

Lurid depictions of sex and impotence, themes of emperor worship and violence, the use of realism and myth--these characterize the fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo. Napier discovers surprising similarities as well as provocative dissimilarities in the work of two writers of radically different political orientations.

34.Cover: Inside a Service Trade: Studies in Contemporary Chinese Prose

Inside a Service Trade: Studies in Contemporary Chinese Prose

Wagner, Rudolph

This work explores the potential of literary analysis for illuminating the People’s Republic of China’s social, intellectual, and political history, illustrating swings in the Party line with stories, articles, and cartoons from the popular press.

35.Cover: The Willow in Autumn: Ryutei Tanehiko

The Willow in Autumn: Ryutei Tanehiko

Markus, Andrew

In early nineteenth-century Japan—the “silver age” of Edo-period literature—Ryutei Tanehiko was a well-known author of popular illustrated fiction. This account of his life and works covers his early yomihon (lengthy romances of improbable perils and adventures) and his gokan (intricately plotted stories in simple language intended for a general audience). Special emphasis is given his most popular work—the illustrated serial Nise Muraskai inaka Genji (An Impostor Murasaki and Rustic Genji), which ran for fourteen years—Japan’s first national bestseller.

36.Cover: The Confucian Transformation of Korea: A Study of Society and Ideology

The Confucian Transformation of Korea: A Study of Society and Ideology

Deuchler, Martina

This important new study explores the impact of Neo-Confucianism on Korean society and politics between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.

37.Cover: The Korean Singer of Tales

The Korean Singer of Tales

Pihl, Marshall

P’ansori, the traditional oral narrative of Korea, is sung by a highly trained soloist to the accompaniment of complex drumming. In the first book-length treatment in English of this remarkable art form, Pihl traces the history of p’ansori from its roots in shamanism and folktales through its nineteenth-century heyday under highly acclaimed masters and discusses its evolution in the twentieth century. After examining the place of p’ansori in popular entertainment and its textual tradition, he analyzes the nature of texts in the repertoire and explains the vocal and rhythmic techniques required to perform them.

38.Cover: Praying for Power: Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming China

Praying for Power: Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming China

Brook, Timothy

Timothy Brook studies three widely separated and economically dissimilar counties. He draws on rich data in monastic gazetteers to examine the patterns and social consequences of patronage.

39.Cover: Word, Image, and Deed in the Life of Su Shi

Word, Image, and Deed in the Life of Su Shi

Egan, Ronald C.

Remembered today primarily as a poet, calligrapher, and critic, the protean Su Shi was an outspoken player in the contentious politics and intellectual debates of the Northern Song dynasty. In this comprehensive study, Ronald C. Egan analyzes Su’s literary and artistic work against the background of eleventh-century developments within Buddhist and Confucian thought and Su’s dogged disagreement with the New Policies of Wang Anshi.

41.Cover: Studies in the Comic Spirit in Modern Japanese Fiction

Studies in the Comic Spirit in Modern Japanese Fiction

Cohn, Joel R.

Unlike traditional Japanese literature, which has a rich tradition of comedy, modern Japanese literature is commonly associated with a high seriousness of purpose. In this pathbreaking study, Joel Cohn analyzes works by three writers—Ibuse Masuji (1898–1993), Dazai Osamu (1909–1948), and Inoue Hisashi (1934– )—whose works constitute a relentless assault on the notion that comedy cannot be part of serious literature.

42.Cover: Wind Against the Mountain: The Crisis of Politics and Culture in Thirteenth-Century China

Wind Against the Mountain: The Crisis of Politics and Culture in Thirteenth-Century China

Davis, Richard L.

Richard Davis has expertly crafted a stirring narrative of the last years of Song, focusing on loyalist resistance to Mongol domination as more than just a political event. Seen from the perspective of the conquered, the phenomenon of martyrdom reveals much about the cultural history of the Song.

43.Cover: Powerful Relations: Kinship, Status, and the State in Sung China (960-1279)

Powerful Relations: Kinship, Status, and the State in Sung China (960-1279)

Bossler, Beverly

The realignment of the Chinese social order that took place over the course of the Sung dynasty set the pattern for Chinese society throughout most of the later imperial era. This study examines that realignment from the perspective of specific Sung families, using data on two groups of Sung elites—the grand councilors who led the bureaucracy and locally prominent gentlemen in Wu-chou (in modern Chekiang).

49.Cover: Precious Volumes: An Introduction to Chinese Sectarian Scriptures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Precious Volumes: An Introduction to Chinese Sectarian Scriptures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Overmyer, Daniel L.

This book, the most detailed and comprehensive study of pao-chuan in any language, studies 34 early examples of this literature in order to understand the origins and development of this textual tradition. Although the work focuses on content and structure, it also treats the social context of these works as well as their transmission and ritual use.

50.Cover: Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent

Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent

Murck, Alfreda

During the Song dynasty (960-1278), some members of China’s elite found an elegant and subtle means of dissent: landscape painting. By examining literary archetypes, the titles of paintings, contemporary inscriptions, and the historical context, Alfreda Murck shows that certain paintings expressed strong political opinions--some transparent, others deliberately concealed. She argues that the capacity of painting’s systems of reference to allow scholars to express dissent with impunity contributed to the art’s vitality and longevity.

51.Cover: Evil and/or/as the Good: Omnicentrism, Intersubjectivity, and Value Paradox in Tiantai Buddhist Thought

Evil and/or/as the Good: Omnicentrism, Intersubjectivity, and Value Paradox in Tiantai Buddhist Thought

Ziporyn, Brook

“Other than the devil, there is no Buddha; other than the Buddha, there is no devil.” The Chinese monk Siming Zhili (960–1028) uttered this remark as part of his justification for his self-immolation. An exposition of the intent, implications, and resonances of this one sentence, this book expands and unravels the context in which the seeming paradox of the ultimate identity of good and evil is to be understood. In analyzing this idea, Brook Ziporyn provides an overview of the development of Tiantai thought from the fifth through the eleventh centuries in China.

53.Cover: Articulated Ladies: Gender and the Male Community in Early Chinese Texts

Articulated Ladies: Gender and the Male Community in Early Chinese Texts

Rouzer, Paul

This volume analyzes the representation of gender and desire in elite, male-authored literary texts in China dating from roughly 200 B.C. until 1000 A.D.

55.Cover: Allegories of Desire: Esoteric Literary Commentaries of Medieval Japan

Allegories of Desire: Esoteric Literary Commentaries of Medieval Japan

Klein, Susan Blakeley

One of the more intriguing developments within medieval Japanese literature is the incorporation into the teaching of waka poetry of the practices of initiation ceremonies and secret transmissions found in esoteric Buddhism. The main figure in this development was the obscure thirteenth-century poet Fujiwara Tameaki, grandson of the famous poet Fujiwara Teika and a priest in a tantric Buddhist sect. Tameaki’s commentaries and teachings transformed secular texts such as the Tales of Ise and poetry anthologies such as the Kokin waka shu into complex allegories of Buddhist enlightenment. These commentaries were transmitted to his students during elaborate initiation ceremonies. In later periods, Tameaki’s specific ideas fell out of vogue, but the habit of interpreting poetry allegorically continued.

56.Cover: Printing for Profit: The Commercial Publishers of Jianyang, Fujian (11th-17th Centuries)

Printing for Profit: The Commercial Publishers of Jianyang, Fujian (11th-17th Centuries)

Chia, Lucille

From the eleventh through the seventeenth centuries, the publishers of Jianyang in Fujian province played a conspicuous role in the Chinese book trade. The broad cultural, historical, and geographical scope of the Jianyang book trade makes it an ideal subject for the study of publishing in China. Based on an extensive study of Jianyang imprints, genealogies of the leading families of printers, local histories, documents, and annotated catalogs and bibliographies, Lucille Chia has written not only a history of commercial printing but also a wide-ranging study of the culture of the book in traditional China.

57.Cover: To Become a God: Cosmology,  Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China

To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China

Puett, Michael J.

By treating the issues of cosmology, sacrifice, and self-divinization in a historical and comparative framework that attends to the contemporary significance of specific arguments, Puett shows that the basic cosmological assumptions of ancient China were the subject of far more debate than is generally thought.

58.Cover: Writing and Materiality in China: Essays in Honor of Patrick Hanan

Writing and Materiality in China: Essays in Honor of Patrick Hanan

Zeitlin, Judith T.
Liu, Lydia H.

Speaking about Chinese writing entails thinking about how writing speaks through various media. In the guises of the written character and its imprints, traces, or ruins, writing is more than textuality. The goal of this volume is to consider the relationship of writing to materiality in China’s literary history and to ponder the physical aspects of the production and circulation of writing. To speak of the thing-ness of writing is to understand it as a thing in constant motion, transported from one place or time to another, one genre or medium to another, one person or public to another.

59.Cover: <i>Rulin waishi</i> and Cultural Transformation in Late Imperial China

Rulin waishi and Cultural Transformation in Late Imperial China

Shang, Wei

Rulin waishi (The Unofficial History of the Scholars) is more than a landmark in the history of the Chinese novel. This eighteenth-century work, which was deeply embedded in the intellectual and literary discourses of its time, challenges the reader to come to grips with the mid-Qing debates over ritual and ritualism, and the construction of history, narrative, and lyricism. Wu Jingzi’s (1701–54) ironic portrait of literati life was unprecedented in its comprehensive treatment of the degeneration of mores, the predicaments of official institutions, and the Confucian elite’s futile struggle to reassert moral and cultural authority.

60.Cover: Words Well Put: Visions of Poetic Competence in the Chinese Tradition

Words Well Put: Visions of Poetic Competence in the Chinese Tradition

Sanders, Graham

As traced in Words Well Put, the vision of poetic competence evolved for over a millennium from calculated performances of inherited words to sincere passionate outbursts to displays of verbal wit combining calculation with the appearance of spontaneity. This book tells the story of the development of poetic competence to uncover the complexity of the concept and to identify the sources and exemplars of that complexity.

61.Cover: Householders: The Reizei Family in Japanese History

Householders: The Reizei Family in Japanese History

Carter, Steven D.

As direct descendants of the great courtier-poets Fujiwara no Shunzei (1114-1204) and his son Teika (1162-1244), the heirs of the noble Reizei house can claim an unbroken literary lineage spanning over eight centuries. Carter combines strands of family history, literary criticism, and historical research in a coherent narrative tracking the evolution of the Reizei Way. The book features an extensive appendix of one hundred poems by poets affiliated with the Reizei house over the years.

62.Cover: The Divine Nature of Power: Chinese Ritual Architecture at the Sacred Site of Jinci

The Divine Nature of Power: Chinese Ritual Architecture at the Sacred Site of Jinci

Miller, Tracy

Using an interdisciplinary approach drawing on the research of archaeologists, anthropologists, and religious, social, and art historians, this book seeks to recover the motivations behind the creation of religious art, including temple buildings, sculpture, and wall paintings.

63.Cover: Beacon Fire and Shooting Star: The Literary Culture of the Liang (502–557)

Beacon Fire and Shooting Star: The Literary Culture of the Liang (502–557)

Tian, Xiaofei

The Liang dynasty (502-557) was one of the most brilliant and creative periods in Chinese history and is one of the most underestimated and misunderstood. This book is devoted to contextualizing the literary culture of this era, exploring not only the literary works themselves but also the processes of literary production and the intricate interactions of religion and literature.

64.Cover: Lost Soul:

Lost Soul: "Confucianism" in Contemporary Chinese Academic Discourse

Makeham, John

Since the mid-1980s, Taiwan and mainland China have witnessed a sustained resurgence of academic and intellectual interest in ruxue—“Confucianism”—variously conceived as a form of culture, an ideology, a system of learning, and a tradition of normative values. This study aims to show how ruxue has been conceived in order to assess the achievements of this enterprise.

65.Cover: The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms

The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms

Murata, Sachiko
Chittick, William C.
Tu, Wei-ming

Liu Zhi (ca. 1670–1724) was one of the most important scholars of Islam in traditional China. His Tianfang xingli (Nature and Principle in Islam), the Chinese-language text translated here, focuses on the roots or principles of Islam. The copious annotations to the translation explain Liu’s text and draw attention to parallels in Chinese-, Arabic-, and Persian-language works as well as differences.

66.Cover: Through a Forest of Chancellors: Fugitive Histories in Liu Yuan's <i>Lingyan ge,</i> an Illustrated Book from Seventeenth-Century Suzhou

Through a Forest of Chancellors: Fugitive Histories in Liu Yuan's Lingyan ge, an Illustrated Book from Seventeenth-Century Suzhou

Burkus-Chasson, Anne

Liu Yuan’s Lingyan ge, a woodblock-printed book from 1669, re-creates a portrait gallery that memorialized 24 vassals of the early Tang court. This study examines the dialogues created among the texts and images in Lingyan ge from multiple perspectives. Anne Burkus-Chasson argues that despite a general epistemological shift toward visual forms of knowledge in the seventeenth century, looking and reading were still seen as being in conflict. This conflict plays out among the leaves of Liu Yuan’s book.

67.Cover: Empire of Texts in Motion: Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese Transculturations of Japanese Literature

Empire of Texts in Motion: Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese Transculturations of Japanese Literature

Thornber, Karen Laura

By the turn of the twentieth century, Japan’s military and economic successes made it the dominant power in East Asia, drawing hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese students to the metropole and sending thousands of Japanese to other parts of East Asia. Drawing extensively on vernacular sources in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, this book analyzes the most active of these contact nebulae: semicolonial Chinese, occupied Manchurian, and colonial Korean and Taiwanese transculturations of Japanese literature.

68.Cover: Empire's Twilight: Northeast Asia under the Mongols

Empire's Twilight: Northeast Asia under the Mongols

Robinson, David M.

The rise of the Mongol empire transformed world history. Its collapse in the mid-fourteenth century had equally profound consequences. Four themes dominate this study of the late Mongol empire in Northeast Asia during this chaotic era: the need for a regional perspective encompassing all states and ethnic groups in the area; the process and consequences of pan-Asian integration under the Mongols; the tendency for individual and family interests to trump those of dynasty, country, or linguistic affiliation; and finally, the need to see Koryo Korea as part of the wider Mongol empire.

69.Cover: Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China

Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China

Menegon, Eugenio

In the sixteenth century, European missionaries brought a foreign and global religion to China. Converts then transformed this new religion into a local one. Focusing on the still-active Catholic communities of Fuan county in northeast Fujian, this project’s implications extend beyond the issue of Christianity in China to the wider fields of religious and social history and the early modern history of global intercultural relations.

70.Cover: Manifest in Words, Written on Paper: Producing and Circulating Poetry in Tang Dynasty China

Manifest in Words, Written on Paper: Producing and Circulating Poetry in Tang Dynasty China

Nugent, Christopher M. B.

This study aims to engage the textual realities of medieval literature by shedding light on the material lives of poems during the Tang, from their initial oral or written instantiation through their often lengthy and twisted paths of circulation. Tang poems exist today in stable written forms assumed to reflect their creators’ original intent. Yet Tang poetic culture was based on hand-copied manuscripts and oral performance. We have almost no access to this poetry as it was experienced by contemporaries. But if we do not understand how Tang people composed, experienced, and transmitted poetry, we miss something fundamental about the roles of memory and copying in the circulation of poetry as well as readers’ dynamic participation in the creation of texts.

71.Cover: The Poetics of Sovereignty: On Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty

The Poetics of Sovereignty: On Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty

Chen, Jack W.

Emperor Taizong (r. 626–49) of the Tang is remembered as an exemplary ruler. This study addresses that aura of virtuous sovereignty and Taizong’s construction of a reputation for moral rulership through his own literary writings—with particular attention to his poetry. The author highlights the relationship between historiography and the literary and rhetorical strategies of sovereignty, contending that, for Taizong, and for the concept of sovereignty in general, politics is inextricable from cultural production.

72.Cover: Ancestral Memory in Early China

Ancestral Memory in Early China

Brashier, K. E.

Ancestral ritual in early China was an orchestrated dance between what was present (the offerings and the living) and what was absent (the ancestors). This study is a history of the early Chinese ancestral cult, particularly its cognitive aspects. Ancestor worship was not, the author contends, merely mechanical and thoughtless. Rather, it was an idea system that aroused serious debates about the nature of postmortem existence, served as the religious backbone to Confucianism, and may even have been the forerunner of Daoist and Buddhist meditation practices.

73.Cover: ‘Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern’: The Spatial Organization of the Song State

‘Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern’: The Spatial Organization of the Song State

Mostern, Ruth

Sovereignty is based on control of territory. This book uses Song China to explain how a pre-industrial regime organized itself spatially in order to exercise authority. On more than a thousand occasions, the Song court founded, abolished, promoted, demoted, and reordered jurisdictions in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of limited resources in a climate of shifting priorities, to placate competing constituencies, and to address military and economic crises.

74.Cover: The Dynamics of Masters Literature: Early Chinese Thought from Confucius to Han Feizi

The Dynamics of Masters Literature: Early Chinese Thought from Confucius to Han Feizi

Denecke, Wiebke

The importance of the rich corpus of “Masters Literature” that developed in early China since the fifth century BCE has long been recognized. But just what are these texts? Scholars have often approached them as philosophy, but these writings have also been studied as literature, history, and anthropological, religious, and paleographic records. How should we translate these texts for our times? This book explores these questions through close readings of seven examples of Masters Literature and asks what proponents of a “Chinese philosophy” gained by creating a Chinese equivalent of philosophy and what we might gain by approaching these texts through other disciplines, questions, and concerns.

75.Cover: Songs of Contentment and Transgression: Discharged Officials and Literati Communities in Sixteenth-Century North China

Songs of Contentment and Transgression: Discharged Officials and Literati Communities in Sixteenth-Century North China

Tan, Tian Yuan

A discharged official in mid-Ming China faced significant changes in his life. This book explores three such officials in the sixteenth century—Wang Jiusi, Kang Hai, and Li Kaixian—who turned to literary endeavors when forced to retire. Instead of formal writing, however, they engaged in the stigmatized genre of qu (songs), a collective term for drama and sanqu. As their efforts reveal, a disappointing end to an official career and a physical move away from the center led to their embrace of qu and the pursuit of a marginalized literary genre. After their retirements, these three writers became cultural leaders in their native regions.

76.Cover: Ten Thousand Scrolls: Reading and Writing in the Poetics of Huang Tingjian and the Late Northern Song

Ten Thousand Scrolls: Reading and Writing in the Poetics of Huang Tingjian and the Late Northern Song

Wang, Yugen

This study revolves around the poet Huang Tingjian (1045–1105), who wrote at the height of one of the most transformative periods in Chinese literary history, the Northern Song (960–1126). Wang examines how the emerging print culture of the period shaped the poetic theory and practice of Huang and the Jiangxi School of Poetry he founded.

77.Cover: A Northern Alternative: Xue Xuan (1389–1464) and the Hedong School

A Northern Alternative: Xue Xuan (1389–1464) and the Hedong School

Koh, Khee Heong

In this first systematic study in English of the highly influential yet overlooked thinker Xue Xuan (1389–1464), author Khee Heong Koh seeks to redress Xue’s marginalization while showing how a study interested mainly in “ideas” can integrate social and intellectual history to offer a broader picture of history.

78.Cover: Visionary Journeys: Travel Writings from Early Medieval and Nineteenth-Century China

Visionary Journeys: Travel Writings from Early Medieval and Nineteenth-Century China

Tian, Xiaofei

This book explores two important moments of dislocation in Chinese history, the early medieval period (317–589 CE) and the nineteenth century. Xiaofei Tian juxtaposes a rich array of materials from these two periods in comparative study, linking these historical moments in their unprecedented interactions, and intense fascination, with foreign cultures.

79.Cover: Making Personas: Transnational Film Stardom in Modern Japan

Making Personas: Transnational Film Stardom in Modern Japan

Fujiki, Hideaki

Examining the transnational film star system and the formations of historically important stars, Making Personas casts new light on Japanese modernity from the 1910s to 1930s. The book shows how film stardom began and evolved, looking at the production, representation, circulation, and reception of performers’ images in film and other media.

80.Cover: Strange Eventful Histories: Identity, Performance, and Xu Wei's <i>Four Cries of a Gibbon</i>

Strange Eventful Histories: Identity, Performance, and Xu Wei's Four Cries of a Gibbon

Kwa, Shiamin

In Four Cries of a Gibbon by the late-Ming dynasty playwright Xu Wei, characters move between life and death, and male and female, as they seek to articulate who they truly are. In this first critical study and annotated translation, Shiamin Kwa considers how Wei’s exploration of identity paved the way for further reflection in later fiction and drama.

81.Cover: Critics and Commentators: The <i>Book of Poems</i> as Classic and Literature

Critics and Commentators: The Book of Poems as Classic and Literature

Rusk, Bruce

The earliest anthology of Chinese poetry, the Book of Poems has served as an ideal of literary perfection and also a major subject of literary criticism since imperial times. Bruce Rusk unravels the competitive, mutually influential relationship through which classical and literary scholarship on the poems co-evolved from the Han dynasty to the Qing.

82.Cover: Home and the World: Editing the “Glorious Ming” in Woodblock-Printed Books of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Home and the World: Editing the “Glorious Ming” in Woodblock-Printed Books of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

He, Yuming

China’s sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw an unprecedented explosion in the production of woodblock-printed books. This volume considers what a wide range of late Ming books reveal about their readers’ ideas of a pleasurable private life, as well as their orientations toward early modernity and toward traditional Chinese sources of authority.

83.Cover: Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity

Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity

Bossler, Beverly

Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity traces changing gender relations in China from the tenth to fourteenth centuries. By taking women—and men’s relationships with women—seriously, this book makes a case for the centrality of gender relations in the social, political, and intellectual life of the Song and Yuan dynasties.

85.Cover: A Comprehensive Manchu-English Dictionary

A Comprehensive Manchu-English Dictionary

Norman, Jerry

A reference work from one of the world’s preeminent linguists, A Comprehensive Manchu–English Dictionary substantially enlarges and revises Jerry Norman’s 1978 Concise Manchu–English Lexicon. With hundreds of new entries and a new introduction on pronunciation and script, it will become the standard English-language resource on the Manchu language.

86.Cover: Drifting among Rivers and Lakes: Southern Song Dynasty Poetry and the Problem of Literary History

Drifting among Rivers and Lakes: Southern Song Dynasty Poetry and the Problem of Literary History

Fuller, Michael A.

The dominant literary genre in Song dynasty China, shi poetry reflected profound changes occurring in Chinese culture from 960–1279. Michael A. Fuller traces the intertwining of shi poetry and Neo-Confucianism that led to the cultural synthesis of the last years of the Southern Song and set the pattern of Chinese society for the next six centuries.

87.Cover: Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court

Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court

Robinson, David M.

David M. Robinson explores how grand displays like the royal hunt, archery contests, and the imperial menagerie were presented in literature and art in the early Ming dynasty. He argues these spectacles were highly contested sites where emperors and court ministers staked competing claims about rulership and the role of the military in the polity.

88.Cover: Modern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the Chinese Lyric Tradition, 1900–1937

Modern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the Chinese Lyric Tradition, 1900–1937

Wu, Shengqing

After the 1911 fall of the Qing dynasty, many declared the classical Chinese poetic tradition dead. In Modern Archaics, Shengqing Wu draws on extensive archival research into the poetry collections and literary journals of two generations of writers to challenge this claim and demonstrate the continuing significance of the classical form.

89.Cover: Cherishing Antiquity: The Cultural Construction of an Ancient Chinese Kingdom

Cherishing Antiquity: The Cultural Construction of an Ancient Chinese Kingdom

Milburn, Olivia

The rapid rise and fall of the southern kingdom of Wu inspired many memorials in the former capital city of Suzhou, including the building of temples, shrines, and monuments. Analyzing the history of Wu as recorded in ancient Chinese texts and literature, Olivia Milburn illuminates the cultural endurance of this powerful but short-lived kingdom.

90.Cover: The Burden of Female Talent: The Poet Li Qingzhao and Her History in China

The Burden of Female Talent: The Poet Li Qingzhao and Her History in China

Egan, Ronald C.

An exception to the rule that the first-rank poets in premodern China were men, the woman poet Li Qingzhao (1084-1150s) occupies a crucial place in Chinese literature. Ronald C. Egan challenges conventional thinking about Li, examining how critics tried to accommodate her to cultural norms from late imperial times into the twentieth century.

91.Cover: Public Memory in Early China

Public Memory in Early China

Brashier, K. E.

K. E. Brashier examines practices of memorializing the dead in early imperial China. After surveying how learning in this period relied on memorization and recitation, he treats the parameters name, age, and kinship as ways of identifying a person in Han public memory, as well as the media responsible for preserving the deceased person’s identity.

92.Cover: Women and National Trauma in Late Imperial Chinese Literature

Women and National Trauma in Late Imperial Chinese Literature

Li, Wai-yee

Wai-yee Li examines the discursive space of women in seventeenth-century China. Using texts written by women or by men writing in a feminine voice, as well as writings that turn women into signifiers of lamentation or nostalgia, Li probes the emotional and psychological turmoil of the Ming–Qing transition and subsequent moments of national trauma.

93.Cover: The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy

The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy

Tackett, Nicolas

Historians have long been perplexed by the complete disappearance of the medieval Chinese aristocracy by the tenth century—the “great clans” that had dominated China for centuries. Nicolas Tackett resolves the enigma of their disappearance using new, digital methodologies to analyze a dazzling array of sources.

94.Cover: Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination

Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination

Chin, Tamara T.

Tamara T. Chin explores the politics of representation during the Han dynasty at a pivotal moment when China was asserting imperialist power on the Eurasian continent and expanding its local and long-distance (“Silk Road”) markets. Chin explains why rival political groups introduced new literary forms with which to represent these expanded markets.

95.Cover: Shifting Stories: History, Gossip, and Lore in Narratives from Tang Dynasty China

Shifting Stories: History, Gossip, and Lore in Narratives from Tang Dynasty China

Allen, Sarah M.

Sarah M. Allen explores the tale literature of eighth- and ninth-century China to show how written tales of the Tang canon we know today grew out of a fluid culture of hearsay in elite society. The book focuses on two main types of tales, those based in gossip about recognizable public figures and those developed out of lore concerning the occult.

96.Cover: One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China

One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China

Shields, Anna M.

Friendships between writers of the mid-Tang era became famous through the many texts they wrote to and about one another. Anna M. Shields explores these texts to reveal the complex value the writers found in friendship—as a rewarding social practice, a rich literary topic, a way to negotiate literati identity, and a path toward self-understanding.

97.Cover: Materializing Magic Power: Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities

Materializing Magic Power: Chinese Popular Religion in Villages and Cities

Lin, Wei-Ping

Through an exploration of contemporary Chinese popular religion from its cultural, social, and material perspectives, Wei-Ping Lin paints a broad picture of the dynamics of popular religion in Taiwan. Analyzing these aspects of religious practice in a unified framework, she traces their transformation as adherents move from villages to cities.

98.Cover: Traces of Grand Peace: Classics and State Activism in Imperial China

Traces of Grand Peace: Classics and State Activism in Imperial China

Song, Jaeyoon

In Northern Song China, reform-minded statesmen sought to remove the tension between the Confucian Classics and statist ideals of “big government.” Jaeyoon Song illuminates the interplay between classics, thinkers, and government in statist reform, and explains why the uneasy marriage of classics and state activism had to fail in imperial China.

99.Cover: Fiction's Family: Zhan Xi, Zhan Kai, and the Business of Women in Late-Qing China

Fiction's Family: Zhan Xi, Zhan Kai, and the Business of Women in Late-Qing China

Widmer, Ellen

Ellen Widmer examines the writings of a literary family whose works embodied shifting attitudes toward women in late Qing China. She illuminates the diachronic bridge between the late Qing and the preceding period, the synchronic interplay of genres during the family’s lifetimes, and the interaction of Shanghai publishing with other regions.

100.Cover: Chinese History: A New Manual, Fourth Edition

Chinese History: A New Manual, Fourth Edition

Wilkinson, Endymion

This thoroughly updated fourth edition of Endymion Wilkinson’s bestselling Chinese History: A New Manual introduces students to various transmitted, excavated, and artifactual sources from prehistory to the twenty-first century. It also examines those sources’ originating contexts, and the associated problems of interpreting them.

101.Cover: After the Prosperous Age: State and Elites in Early Nineteenth-Century Suzhou

After the Prosperous Age: State and Elites in Early Nineteenth-Century Suzhou

Han, Seunghyun

Scholars have described the eighteenth century in China as a time of “state activism” and often associate the Taiping Rebellion and postbellum restoration efforts with the origins of elite activism. Seunghyun Han, however, argues that the ascendance of elite activism can be traced to the Jiaqing and Daoguang reigns in the early nineteenth century.

102.Cover: Celestial Masters: History and Ritual in Early Daoist Communities

Celestial Masters: History and Ritual in Early Daoist Communities

Kleeman, Terry F.

Celestial Masters is the first book in any Western language devoted solely to the founding of Daoism. It traces the movement from the mid-second century CE through the sixth century, and provides a detailed analysis of ritual life within the movement, covering the roles of common believer or Daoist citizen, novice, and priest or libationer.

103.Cover: Transgressive Typologies: Constructions of Gender and Power in Early Tang China

Transgressive Typologies: Constructions of Gender and Power in Early Tang China

Doran, Rebecca

Rebecca Doran offers a new understanding of major female figures of the Tang era—including Wu Zhao, Empress Wei, and Shangguan Wan’er—within their literary-historical contexts, and delves into critical questions about the relationship between Chinese historiography, reception-history, and the process of image-making and cultural construction.

104.Cover: Li Mengyang, the North-South Divide, and Literati Learning in Ming China

Li Mengyang, the North-South Divide, and Literati Learning in Ming China

Ong, Chang Woei

Li Mengyang (1473–1530) was a scholar-official who initiated the literary archaist movement that sought to restore ancient styles of prose and poetry in sixteenth-century China. Chang Woei Ong situates Li’s quest to redefine literati learning as a way to build a perfect social order in the context of intellectual transitions since the Song dynasty.

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