China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Measuring Influence: Exploring "Impact Factors" of Ancient-Style Poetry Anthologies in the Qing Dynasty

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Roosevelt Room 5, Exhibit Level

With the spread of print culture, the Qing dynasty saw a gradual rise of compiling and publishing ancient-style poetry anthologies. Of these books, well-known examples to modern readers may include Selection of Ancient Poetry 古詩選 (1697), Selection of Ancient Poems from the Hall of Picking Beans 采菽堂古詩選 (1706), Ancient Poetry as Foundation古詩源 (1719), and Selection of Poems from Eight Dynasties八代詩選 (1890). While at least forty such books were produced in the Qing dynasty, only a few “famous” and “influential” books have enjoyed the attention of modern readers, with many of them remain unnoticed—including those that were once extremely popular in their time yet are now forgotten. This paper, therefore, intends to look at the big picture via a rethinking of the importance of each book in relation to others. First, by using the methodology in the field of network analysis, this paper maps out the reference network for the ancient-style poetry anthologies produced in the Qing dynasty. Second, by borrowing the “impact factor” concept from the field of information science, this paper calculates and ranks the “impact factors” for these anthologies in their time. Third, by exploring the historical construction of the reputation for several famous and popular books, this paper reflects upon the application of the “impact factor” concept to the study of anthologies, and proposes a possible new way of measuring influence for Chinese poetry anthologies produced in the era of print culture.

Jing Chen

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Illinois

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2 - Measuring Influence: Exploring "Impact Factors" of Ancient-Style Poetry Anthologies in the Qing Dynasty



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