China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

(36) Reevaluating the Coalescence and Evolution of Chinese Verse Forms

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Roosevelt Room 3, Exhibit Level

This panel will diachronically explore the processes by which Chinese verse forms coalesce and evolve. It will shed light on the material, compositional, and critical practices that underlie the evolution of rhyming verse in China, and reevaluate the bounds of “poetry” and “literature” as these terms translate Chinese textual forms. While one may consider shi, fu, or other categories of rhyming verse as bounded or implicitly static categories, at least two recent developments in the field have begun to erode this assumption: first, rhyming verse texts have been newly discovered in manuscripts that defy both thematic norms and bibliographic schemes of classification; second, meta-critical perspectives that examine processes of composition, critique, compilation, imitation, and forgery have revealed both the emergence of genres and deflections in the prototypical theme, topic or form of readily identified genres. The panel seeks to employ these new sources and methodological perspectives to rethink the history of Chinese versification. David Lebovitz (University of Chicago) will employ manuscript sources to explore the problems of categorizing verse forms prior to Han bibliographies; Thomas Mazanec (UC Santa Barbara) will investigate the coherence of early medieval zan around an anti-lyrical poetics of exteriority; Su Fu (Princeton) will probe the redefinition of the sao genre in critical readings of the Song dynasty; and Feiran Du (Harvard) will discuss the boundaries between poetry and prose in Song criticism. David Schaberg (UCLA) will serve as discussant and Paul W. Kroll (University of Colorado, Boulder) will chair the panel.

Presentations:

David J. Lebovitz

University of Chicago, Illinois

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Paul W. Kroll

University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

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David J. Lebovitz

University of Chicago, Illinois

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Thomas J. Mazanec

University of California, Santa Barbara, California

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Su Fu

Princeton University, New Jersey

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Feiran Du

Harvard University, Massachusetts

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David C. Schaberg

University of California, Los Angeles, California

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