China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Borrowing two crucial concepts--"archived memory" and "historiographical operations"--from the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, the proposed panel investigates the construction of “memory" in Song history and historiography. Ricoeur conceptualized “archived memory” as written records and the making of “archived memory” as what he has called “historiographical operations.” Taking Ricoeur’s conceptions of archived memory and historiographical operations as the point of departure, this panel offers a platform for historians and scholars from other disciplines to rethink the relationship between history, politics and memory in traditional Chinese historiography. Through the examination of various Song and Yuan written records, such as memorials, the collected words of scholars (yulu 語錄), private historical writings, and stone stelae, the four papers in the panel explore the construction of different forms of “memories” and the implications of these processes. Ming-kin Chu discusses the transition from personal memories to canonized historical accounts regarding two twelfth-century literati elites. Hiu-yu Cheung examines the stigmatization of an early daoxue scholar and the construction of his archived memories. Jaeyoon Song analyzes how certain Song historians shaped historical records with their political agendas and thus turned history into statecraft. Zoe Lin’s paper explores the making and using of stone stelae as carriers of collective memories of local communities. In summary, these four papers focus on various historiographical operations through which memories were constructed, distorted and manipulated. Hence, the panel sheds new light not only on historiographical studies, but also on our understanding of the very meaning of historical memories.