WLL Lecture Series: New Books in East Asian Lit
BU World Languages & Literatures Lecture Series
New Books in East Asian Literature
The theme for 2020-2021:
Kinship, Sexuality, and Emotions
Via Zoom (Registration Required)
November 17. Orthodox Passions: Rewriting the History of Emotions in Late-Imperial China. 4:00-5:30pm
Orthodox Passions: Rewriting the History of Emotions in Late-Imperial China
Maram Epstein (University of Oregon)
Tuesday, November 17, from 4 pm to 5:30 pm (EST)
The basic goal of Orthodox Passions: Narrating Filial Love during the High Qing (Harvard University East Asian Series, 2019) is to decenter romantic love as the normative translation of qing 情 in histories of Chinese emotion. By drawing on a wide range of sources that go beyond the usual cult of qing canon, I seek to challenge the May Fourth paradigm that continues to frame filial piety as a repressive ritual obligation that undergirded the despotic system of government and social order in imperial China. May Fourth attempts to produce an enlightenment modernity created the useful fiction of a monolithic feudal tradition that needed to be discarded, and filial piety was just one of the many traditional values that was declared to have no place in the modern. This view has been so dominant that for most of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries late-imperial formations of filial piety have received little critical attention. Orthodox Passions reframes the current understanding of filial piety by arguing that it should be understood not as an externally imposed set of ritual practices but as a deeply interiorized emotion that functioned similarly to love in the European west in articulating a self with affective and ethical agency.
In addition to giving an overview of the book and its interdisciplinary methodology, I will discuss its implications for analyzing the embrace of the modern concept of “love” 愛 in China’s early 20th century.
Sponsors: BU Center for the Humanities, Department of World Languages & Literatures, and BU Center for the Study of Asia
Click here to watch a recording of the lecture, “Orthodox Passions: Rewriting the History of Emotions in Late-Imperial China” from November 17th. (BU Log-in required)
February 10. Queer Chinese Cultures and Mobilities: Kinship, Migration, and Middle Classes. 4:00-5:30pm.
Queer Chinese Cultures and Mobilities: Kinship, Migration, and Middle Classes
John Wei (the University of Otago, New Zealand)
Wednesday, February 10, from 4 pm to 5:30 pm (EST)
March 5. Flowering Tales: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan. 5:30-7:00pm
Flowering Tales: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan
Takeshi Watanabe (Wesleyan University)
Friday, March 5, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm (EST)
April 14. Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea: Between the Genealogical Time and the Domestic Everyday. 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Assistant Professor of Korean Literature and Cultural Studies
Department of East Asian Studies
Violence and bloody family feuds constitute the core of the so-called lineage novels (kamun sosŏl) that circulated in Chosŏn Korea from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Such subject matter becomes ever more puzzling when we consider that the main audience for these texts were elite women of Korea, who were subjected to exacting comportment standards and domestic discipline. Coeval with the rise and fall of Korean patrilineal kinship, these texts depict the genealogical subject—emotional self socialized through the structures of prescriptive kinship, but kinship itself is treated as a series of conflicts between genders and generations.
This talk will contextualize lineage novels and the domestic world in which they were read within the patrilineal transformation of the Chosŏn society and the emergence of elite vernacular Korean culture, patronaged by elite women. The proliferation of kinship narratives in the Chosŏn period illuminates the changing affective contours of familial bonds and how the domestic space functioned as a site of their everyday experience. Drawing on an archive of women-centered elite vernacular texts, this talk uncovers the structures of feelings and conceptions of selfhood beneath official genealogies and legal statutes, revealing that kinship is as much a textual as a social practice.
Bio: Ksenia Chizhova is an Assistant Professor of Korean Literature and Cultural Studies at Princeton University. Her main research interests include history of emotions, family, and writing in Korea, between the late seventeenth and twentieth centuries. Her most recent research project grows out of her continued fascination with vernacular Korean calligraphy and traces the shifts in contexts and infrastructure of graphic media that shaped the visual aesthetics of the Korean script, from the 17th century calligraphic practice to the contemporary fonts and graphic design in the two Koreas.