The Institute for Chinese Studies presents:
Brown Bag Workshop: How to Work with Literary Texts from the Yuan Dynasty
Georgia Institute of Technology
The Ohio State University
Abstract: In recent scholarship, the understanding of the Yuan dynasty within the broader historiography of imperial China has shifted rather dramatically. In contrast to a simple reduction of the Yuan dynasty as a "foreign" or "alien" entity, scholars have reexamined Yuan China as a key player within the Eurasian networks of different Mongol regimes (Allsen 1987; 1997; 2001; 2006), as a multilingual empire that hybridized forms of steppe and Central Asian culture with the institutions of a Chinese imperial dynasty (Brose 2007, Rossabi 2013), and as a central force in the Song-Yuan-Ming transition (Smith and van Glahn 2010). However, the assessment of the literary production of the period has yet to fully engage this "new Yuan historiography." In this workshop, we will explore some of the methodological challenges in working with literary sources from the Yuan and later periods, with particular attention to the song genre of sanqu. Everyone is welcome to share work-in-progress on sanqu and other literary forms from the Yuan period.
Wenbo Chang received her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations with a concentration in Chinese literature from Arizona State University in May of 2019. Her primary area of research is premodern Chinese drama both as staged performance and in textual form, as well as its social, ritual, political, and intellectual implications. Her dissertation Playing Roles: Literati, Playwrights, and Female Performers in Yuan Theater, investigates how Yuan zaju drama reshaped Chinese culture by bridging the gap between inherently oral popular tradition of performance and the written tradition of elite literati, when traditional Chinese political, social, cultural structures underwent remarkable transformations under alien rule in the Yuan dynasty. In addition, her research interest also include urban space and culture, narrative of the strange and the supernatural, Chinese religions, and ritual studies. Wenbo is also a dedicated teacher. Before joining Georgia Institute of Technology, she taught Chinese literature and classical Chinese at The Ohio State University, and taught Chinese languages courses at all levels as well as content courses at Arizona State University.
The ICS Lecture Series is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.