Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

(88) Contested Boundaries of Literary Chinese in East Asia

3/23/2018
12:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Location: Coolidge, Mezzanine Level

Recent research has revitalized the study of literary Chinese as a transnational phenomenon from two converse directions: on the one hand, attention to the similarities and differences with other "cosmopolitan" literatures such as Sanskrit and Latin has provided new avenues for thinking in world-historical terms about the nature of the interliterate commonalities binding the "Sinographic Sphere." At the same time, research on the diversification of literary Chinese practice across language communities has demonstrated that local vernaculars were often realized through, not against the authority of canonical literary heritage. This panel seeks to rethink the problem of trans-regional and trans-historic constancy versus local contingency as a defining dynamic of literary Chinese. Brian Steininger will discuss efforts to interpret Neo-Confucian critiques of parallel prose in fourteenth-century Japan. Christina Han will demonstrate how musical performance practices reshaped literary Chinese poetry in Chosŏn Korea. John Phan will follow the travels of an eighteenth-century Viet envoy as he applied and negotiated literary standards with his Qing hosts. Sixiang Wang will lead the ensuing discussion as, by testing parallels in the diverse appropriations of the literary Chinese tradition, we seek to develop generic, regional, and other terms that can usefully mediate between the antinomy of universal and particular, center and periphery.

Presentations:

Brian Steininger

Princeton University, New Jersey

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Brian Steininger

Princeton University, New Jersey

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Brian Steininger

Princeton University, New Jersey

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Christina Han

Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada

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John Phan

Columbia University, New York

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Sixiang Wang

Stanford University, California

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