China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Recent historiography in North America has identified a “localist turn” in social, economic, and cultural approachesto the study oflate imperial China. Our proposed panel aims to further and broaden this line of inquiry through three case studies and responses from two discussants. We will begin with Yongtao Du’s study of three high-ranking ministers, who were respectively from the Ming, the Qing, and the Republican periods, but shared an identical tie to their home county, Anyang. We will then proceed with Binbin Yang’sexploration of how several Qing women from the trans-local Huizhou-Yangzhou lineages translated the wealth of their salt-merchant families into cultural capital through literary productivity. Finally, Xiaorong Li’s paper examines how, in the year 1936, interconnected literati, gender, and provincial identities shaped the publication of a voluminous anthology of classical poetry by women of all ages from Anhui. From elite individuals to lineages, from men to women, from influential statesmen to freelance literati, and from the Ming to the Republican period, we hope to explore the politics as well as the cultural productivity generated by human-place ties in different historical periods. Our panel is intended not only to share our original research findings, but also to stimulate discussions of more general questions such as: how enduring was the localist approach in cultural production in late imperial China and beyond? How should we understand localism vis-à-vis dynastic/national as well as trans-local dynamics? Did the localist approach divide or unite people in their cultural identity?