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09:30-10:30 Session SD2SKS: Taiwan Lecture on Chinese Studies by Prof. Julie Chen (University of Helsinki): "The Uyghur Issue" (Křížkovského 10, 3.32)

Eight years ago, in my book The Uyghur Lobby: Global Networks, Coalitions and Strategies of the World Uyghur Congress (Routledge, 2014), I talked about how some Uyghur diasporic organizations have been lent notable legitimacy by liberal democracies and international governmental organizations to advance their causes for the Uyghur people back in China. At that time, I observed that these activists and their organizations could no longer be considered merely splintered members of a far-flung diaspora locked in a one-sided struggle with Beijing. They used their hard-won legitimacy as legal migrants and asylum seekers to influence politics in their host countries, which expanded the Uyghur conflict into nations around the world. At that time, I also argued that whether the Uyghur lobby was capable of influencing politics in their host countries, or even in China, was less important than the fact that Uyghur groups were able to successfully use the issue to raise their visibility.

Eight years later, the Uyghur issue has not only gained international visibility but has also affected the democratic West’s negotiation and politics with China. However, in non-democratic states, there is varied state attention and local responses to the Uyghur issue. In this keynote speech, I wish to revisit the legitimacy issue of the Uyghur cause for self-determination and survey the uneven international responses to it, from states to individuals.



Julie Yu-Wen Chen is a Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Chen serves as one of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). Formerly, Chen was chair of the Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and editor-in-chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis). Chen’s research and teaching are multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, spanning political sciences, ethnic studies, sociology and Chinese studies. Her research interests include China’s soft power, Belt and Road Initiatives, ethnic conflict in Xinjiang and its international implications, theories of collective action, globalization and glocalization.

The "Taiwan Lecture on Chinese Studies"  is sponsored by Center for Chinese Studies,  National Central Library.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1A: Digital Humanities (1) (Křížkovského 10, 1.48)
Ondřej Kučera (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Kateřina Šamajová (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Michael Stanley-Baker (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Chen Huang (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Ondřej Kučera (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
(HYBRID) The Potential of Utilizing Quantitative Tools in Chinese Ethnobotanical Text Analysis

ABSTRACT. Chair: Ondřej Kučera

The knowledge about plants, their beneficial properties and the ways of processing and preserving them, play a vital role not only in sustaining societies in the times of peace, but also in preserving life in the time of scarcity. This panel aims to demonstrate the potential of utilizing quantitative-based analyses as a means of broadening the scope of well-established methods from humanities by focusing the attention of scholars on the benefits of studying the dynamics/synergies of past entanglements/relationships between plants and societies in the past. Owing to its rich and well-documented written tradition, exploring the more than two-thousand-year old ethnobotanical tradition in China may serve as an exemplary case study, providing us with a valuable methodology to determine the impact of plant-related knowledge on broader civilization themes, such as geographical expansion, state management, or crop evolution/agricultural revolution. By studying dynastic records through the perspective of plants, we may uncover unique and culturally- specific mechanisms relevant in shaping history.

New Approaches to Assessing the Effectiveness of Hunger-Preventive Strategies Employed in Ancient China

Kateřina Šamajová

The genre of Chinese botany was well established even before its confrontation with its Western counterpart in the late 18th and early 19th century, representing a continuous effort of the Chinese imperial state to distribute knowledge pertaining to plants to the masses. This paper postulates that maintaining the production and compilation of state-commissioned literary works about plants constitutes a pivotal role in maintaining the validity and legitimacy of the imperial rule. Studying the Chinese canonical plant knowledge revealed recurring patterns active in managing famine in Chinese history. By providing the common folk with the crucial knowledge of strategies for combating hunger, the Chinese imperial state apparatus has provided us with a unique (sub)genre to study in greater detail. This presentation will aim to introduce a hypothesis identifying the genre of emergency food manuals as the source of introducing new cultural plants into the Chinese canon by providing insight into a set of famine-preventing strategies employed by the Chinese government since the very establishment of Chinese imperial rule in the 3rd c. BCE. By adopting these complementary food resource-saving strategies, northern expansion of the Chinese people was thus made possible. A set of experimental qualitative-based tools will be tested to demonstrate the potential of analysing the semantic and syntactic properties of pre-modern Chinese textual sources pertaining to agro-botanical knowledge, by which we aim to showcase the potential of such genre in preventing and averting subsistence crises.

Materia Medica, Digital Humanities and the Intersection of History, Practice and Research

Michael Stanley-Baker

Plants form powerful boundary objects in the history of China: cultivated, harvested, sold, transformed and consumed, they travelled through many hands which treated them as different kinds of objects, and wrote about them in different textual genres. Materia medica thus make an excellent exemplar for studying the history of science in China. As Chinese medicine continues to be practiced today, it is further researched with new scientific methods. Digital Humanities methods afford us flexibility beyond traditional paper scholarship, to link genres of scholarship that have never been combined in the past. This work is different from the generation of new historical narratives: it is methodologically oriented, practice-based research: working with tools, creating corpora, and developing techniques that ask new questions which push past the boundaries of earlier paper-based research. The Drugs across Asia Project has • demonstrated how to combine GIS mapping with textual filiation, • linked excavated paleographic works to local plant ecologies and markets, • identified the drug repertoires of early religious communities and shown how to compare them, • compared recipes using network analysis tools, • and shown how to quantitativeldistinguished recipe literature from materia medica. Its current phase, Polyglot Medicine, compares Malay and Chinese medical manuscripts through their plant ethnonyms’ (multiple) botanical identities, confirmed and validated by Kew Gardens’ Medicinal Plant Name Services. By linking to massive biodiversity and heritage websites, and to databases of the plants’ chemical constituents and metabolic targets, it provides great potential for studying phytochemistry, the historical legacy, and the contemporary practice of these medical traditions.

Digital Tools in Presenting Chinese Materia Medica: the Case of Jiuhuang Bencao

Sarah Chen Huang

Bencao (Materia Medica) is a special body of literature on pharmaceutical natural history in China. From the 6th century to the 17th century, it has developed into a characteristic genre of classifying and documenting medicinal materials in an encyclopaedic style. The information on plants, for instance, was written in an established modular schema and heavily relied on existing medical treatises created even since the beginning of this scholarly tradition, forming a knowledge network of bencao books that referred to and commented on each other. Digital tools can be employed to organise the original bencao texts into meaningful datasets that enable quantitative analysis among a huge body of botanical information. At the same time, the digital tool could present the internal structure and editologicogics of the original book, and possibly reveal its relationship with other books. This paper will focus on a full-text database of Jiuhuang bencao (Materia Medica for Famine Relief, 1406), an illustrated treatise that contains 414 entries of edible plants to be utilised as food resources in times of scarcity. I will show how tags and metadata were attached to the original text in order to enhance the functions of browsing and searching on the digital platform DocuSky. I will also discuss the potential and challenges in expanding the digital tool for larger-scale textual and visual analysis.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1B: Gender and Queer Studies (1) (Křížkovského 10, 1.49)
Tereza Slaměníková (Palacký University in Olomouc, Czechia)
Taru Salmenkari (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Ways of Being and Not Being Political: Gay self-organizing in Shanghai

ABSTRACT. This anthropological study explores two types of gay self-organization in Shanghai. It follows gay gatherings with a long local history and Shanghai Pride with transnational contacts around global LGBT issues. This study investigates why the two types of Shanghainese self-organizing are treated differently by the Chinese authorities and by social scientists alike. While Shanghai Pride is politically sensitive and needs to adjust its activities accordingly, conventional gay gatherings meet without much state interference. Researchers likewise show dissimilar interest in NGOs, rights, and identity articulations, all present in Shanghai Pride, and overlook forms of self-organizing that do not fulfill its ideals of political. According to the standard explanation, Chinese authorities leave more space for non-political forms of self-organizing than to political activities. This explanation hinges on the demarcation between political and non-political that universalizes culturally specific assumptions about properly political activities and their relations to other spheres in society. This means that unfamiliar forms of self-organization appear non-political. To appreciate how heterodox alternative practice in gay communities undermines hegemonic positions, this study turns to East European dissidents who highlighted the politics of nonconformity that erodes the Communist Party's hegemony over how social life is organized. This move permits nuanced investigation about how various self-organizing efforts among Shanghai gays cope with cultural expectations, political negotiations, self-determination, identity politics, and social autonomy. The move helps to detect creative subjectivities, social spaces, cultural means, experiential practices and social transformations achieved through self-organizing.

Sabrina Ardizzoni (University of Bologna, Italy)
Local Gazetteers as a source for enquiring on women’s social construct: the case of rural Hakka gender building

ABSTRACT. Local Gazetteers not only provide local history information, but also reflect cultural constructs such as stereotypes, biases, and ideals on social subjects. These sources can be considered in-between the official narrative and the folk culture material, therefore they reflect many of the ideas and concepts of the folk culture. They express the “thinkable conventional normality” (Barlow 2004, 34) shaping the social ideology that typifies the Hakka women/subject: an ethnically, as well as sexually, connoted singularity. As seen in previous contributions (Xu Weiqun, 1995; Zhang Youzhou, 2004; Zhang Xueying, 2012; Zhang Yi, 2015; Yang Yanjie, 2018; Ardizzoni, 2021), the narrative on rural Hakka women is framed between the relational behaviors of Confucian prescriptions (san gang wu chang Three Bonds and Five Constant Virtues), village folk culture, and the discourse of Red Culture currently supported and emphasized by Xi Jinping's cultural policy. In the 20th century, many Hakka women reached outstanding positions in political, cultural and economic fields, both in China and abroad, and the “Hakka woman” has been a model of gender equality and a paradigm in historiography of women throughout the twentieth century (Ardizzoni, 2021b). My presentation will investigate the issue of the cultural process behind the narrative of Hakka women through the observation of local Gazetteers and Yearbooks published in the 20th century in West Fujian. I will analyse Hakka women collocation in both the textual and intertextual/visual apparatus, enquiring how the alleged gender equality gets challenged and produces an extremely contradictory narrative.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1C: History (Modern) (1) (Křížkovského 10, 2.39)
František Kratochvíl (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Qijun Zheng (École Pratique des Hautes Études - Université PSL, France)
Immortals, Storytellers and Pilgrims: Two thousand years of Maoshan pilgrimage in China

ABSTRACT. This research paper aims to study the evolution of Daoist pilgrimage to Maoshan 茅山, China from its emergence to the current day. The central objective of this research is to contribute to a better understanding of the contemporary ritual practices of Daoism by identifying its history, structure, process and participation of this pilgrimage, investigating the roles that various actors played in constructing the experience of the pilgrims to Maoshan. Maoshan is chosen as the case study because it has been the principal seat of Shangqing 上清 School of Daoism since their founding near the end of 5th century. Ranked as the 8th major "cavern-heaven" 洞天 and 1st “blessed land” 福地, Maoshan can be seen as a typical example of a Daoist sacred site, a destination of continuous pilgrimage throughout history, which gave rise to a well-established framework for pilgrimages in China. Through this research project, I intent to answer this central question: How is the Daoist vision transmitted through rituals during Maoshan pilgrimage? It is my hope that the conclusion drawn from this research paper could lay the foundation of my further research of a comparative study on pilgrimages and eventually contribute to the understanding and wider discussions on pluralism and secularism in Europe and beyond.

Felix Jun Ma (Paul-Valery University Montpellier 3, France)
Seeking Solutions for China’s Crisis - Kang Youwei and His Travels in Europe Between 1904 and 1908

ABSTRACT. A prominent reformer at the end of the Qing dynasty and a loyal monarchist to the Manchu imperial court, Kang Youwei 康有为 (1858-1927) went into exile abroad after the failure of the Hundred Days' Reform in 1898. His travels in Europe between 1904 and 1908 (Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.), with the aim of finding "a remedy for China", broadened his horizons and refined his political thinking on the construction of a modern Chinese nation-state. Our purpose here is to examine closely how this exceptional experience strengthened his political position and nourished his thinking on various aspects of political modernisation in late Qing and early Republic, which include the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in China, the organisation of state and government and the definition of Confucianism as a state religion.

Meng Yang (East China Normal University, China)
The establishment and initial operation of Chipolbrok (1950-1961)

ABSTRACT. This article is devoted to the establishment and initial operation of Chipolbrok in 1950-1961.In order to break the embargo imposed by the U.S. and other reactionary forces on China, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Poland negotiated the establishment of Chipolbrok, the first Sino-foreign joint venture in ocean shipping after the founding of PRC. This company played a great role in supporting the national economic recovery and industrialization of PRC, and was a true reflection of the close relations between China and the socialist camp during the "honeymoon" period between China and the Soviet Union. This paper mainly uses the archives of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the archives of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the archives of the Polish Central Archive of Modern Records, some Russian archives and a lot of internal archives of Chipolbrok, in an attempt to sort out the process of the establishment and initial operation of the company, and then explore the characteristics of the development of relations between the two countries during this period. It is easy to see that the establishment of Chipolbrok was the result of both socialist ideology and the economic interests of both countries. In turn, due to the differences in national conditions, language and script, customs and even political doctrines, there were frictions of interest during the joint venture between the two countries, but the consistency of ideology kept bridging such differences.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1D: Philosophy and History of Thought (1) (Křížkovského 10, 3.32)
Giorgio Strafella (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Jasper Roctus (Ghent University, Belgium)
Lenin and Bismarck Prevail over Marx: Sun Yat-sen and the First National Congress of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)

ABSTRACT. Under the leadership of Party premier Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), who had served as the Republic of China’s first provisional president in 1911, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) held its first “national” congress in Guangzhou during January 1924. This congress took place under the auspices of Soviet advisors and the KMT’s United Front with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A great deal has been written about Sun’s possible motives for embracing the left-wing during the 1920s. Harold Schiffrin (1980: 247-50) for instance alleged this was ‘merely’ a pragmatic decision born out of sheer desperation, and noted that Sun had still been searching for Western support until shortly before the congress was opened. Anti-Marxist rhetoric in late 1924 by Sun seems to suggest that to a certain extent, this viewpoint holds ground (e.g., Wilbur 1976: 243-45). Considerably less, however, has been said of Sun’s ideological adoption of Leninist organizational principles introduced by the KMT’s Soviet advisors. Through analysis of Sun’s discourse during January 1924, this contribution elucidates how Sun treaded a tightrope between genuine admiration for the Soviets’ Leninist governmental systems and rejection of what he considered to be Marxist ideological vices. Furthermore, this contribution explains how for Sun, the 1924 congress was to serve as a foundation for a KMT-led Party-state where capitalism and socialism would work hand-in-hand to bring about an economic revival of China.


Schiffrin, H. (1980). Sun Yat-sen, reluctant revolutionary. Boston: Little, Brown.

Wilbur, C. M. (1976). Sun Yat-sen, frustrated patriot. New York (N.Y.): Columbia university press.

Jorg Schumacher (Université de Genève, Switzerland)
An Ecological Three Worlds Theory in the Mengzi

ABSTRACT. Since the Zeitgeist no longer excludes discussion of natural environment as a philosophical topic, Mengzi 1A3 has gained prestige. The short text says, in essence: Nature, if treated respectfully provides humankind with nourishment "inexhaustible" bukesheng yong 不可勝用. The text is not a call to humankind.  It is addressed to the ruler and appeals, without moralizing, to his reason: the careful handling of the goods of the earth is a condition for all governance. Morality comes after the meal. Sufficient supply is the beginning of a king’s road 然而不王者未之有也 .

So far so good. But to stop here would mean to sacrifice the gem of the argument. What is first laid down in 1A3 is taken up in later layers of the work and applied to other areas. Identifying these layers as testimonies of a continuously developing school reveals far more than an ecological approach with a "Brechtian" morality attached to it. In fact the Mengzi’s approach to advancing its theses is through recycling argumentative building blocks, demonstrating that other areas of humanity are themselves ecological by their very nature.  In concrete terms, the original theory of the material world in 1A3 is complemented by a theory of transcendency as well as by a theory of moral consciousness. All three are equally ecologically founded. Similar to Popper's theory of three worlds, these are 1) autonomous, 2) interactive and 3) mutable, i.e. constantly producing ecological niches that are only comprehensible but not predictable.

Alexandra Fialkovskaya (Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)
Carl Jung and the Yijing: Archetypes, Synchronicity and Psychological Types through the Book of Changes

ABSTRACT. The interpretation of Carl Jung’s understanding of the Book of Changes is a part of the broader subject of the reception of Jungian psychology in modern-day China. The primary objective of this paper is to investigate how Chinese scholars interpret Jungian theory by analyzing what connections they make between the key concepts of analytical psychology and the core ideas of the Yijing. Can archetypes and the Self be expressed by the ‘Supreme Ultimate’, one of the main onto-cosmological concepts of the Book of Changes? What is the correlation between ‘synchronicity’ and the idea of time in the Yijing? How are the eight function-attitudes pointed out by Jung connected to the eight trigrams bagua? The main question is what the argumentation basis of the Chinese scholars establishing these correlations is. The study is based on primarily Chinese sources, although two recent English-language publications by Chinese scholars in the Journal of Analytical Psychology are also used. This paper contributes to the literature by demonstrating that modern Chinese scholars have a profound interest in establishing links between Jungian psychology and traditional Chinese culture, the Yijing being one of its integral parts. The particularity of this specific topic lies in the fact of the “meeting of minds”: firstly, Jung familiarized himself with the text of the Yijing, which had influence on some of his ideas and now Chinese researchers study Jung’s ideas in relation to their own culture.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1E: Sociology and Anthropology (3) (Křížkovského 10, 3.05)
Michaela Zahradnikova (Palacký University, Czechia)
Jiawen Sun (École des hautes études en sciences sociale, France)
“Youth without Regrets” of the Educated Youth (zhiqing) Generation: the Social Production of a Political Propaganda Slogan

ABSTRACT. The “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside” (Shangshan xiaxiang) movement of the People’s Republic of China, launched in 1953, was a rural sending movement that lasted for more than 20 years, reaching nearly 20 million urban youth, the so-called educated youth (zhiqing). This socio-political movement of the Mao era has influenced the socialization process of a whole generation of Chinese and radically changed their life trajectory. As a forced immigration movement, it caused a waste of human resources in China for more than a decade, and its profound impact on this generation of educated youth (also known as the lost generation, or génération perdue in French) has continued even into the post-Mao era. Among the many slogans and descriptive terms concerning educated youth, “youth without regrets (qingchun wuhui)” occupies a special place. On the one hand, it is one of the earliest and best-known slogans about educated youth, and even became a cultural symbol of China in the 1990s. On the other hand, its initial association with educated youth and popularity actually reflect not so much a coincidence as a complicity between the popular and state narratives. This article thus analyses in depth the whole range of issues related to the slogan “youth without regrets”: the social context and political reasons for its emergence, the process that led to its popularity, its real meaning, and the common misunderstandings surrounding it, as well as the social, cultural, and political functions hidden behind its popularity.

Kailing Xie (University of Birmingham, UK)
Marius Meinhof (University of Bielefeld, Germany)
The partner, the parents, the nation – the negotiation of Chineseness in discourses on "Love" in Contemporary China

ABSTRACT. Our presentation focuses on the negotiation of different kinds of romantic or non-romantic "love" and Chineseness in public debates in contemporary China. We ask how "love" 爱 is defined, for example as romantic love between partners, as a love between parents and children, or a love towards the nation, how these kinds of "love" are related to each other and defined as Chinese or non-Chinese, e.g. westernized. Drawing from multiple data sets, we aim to show the way in which different groups with different political visions depict the idea of "love" as key element within their political projects, e.g. as element of modernity, or as element of Chineseness, and in course of this envision different practical consequences of love. We ask how the state employs the concept of love in discourses on partnership, on filial piety and on the nation, and how such concepts are negotiated or appropriated in popular discourse. Through this, we interrogate the complex negotiations of the relationship between modernity, Chineseness and Chinese nationalism which have appeared in these debates.

Kai Vogelsang (Universität Hamburg, Germany)
The Concept of “Class“ in the Chinese Discourse of Modernity

ABSTRACT. In descriptions of modern Chinese society, there has hardly been a more pro-minent concept than “class.” ”Class struggle“ was central to the history of Maoist China, and the rising Chinese “middle class” has fascinated social scientists ever since. But while there is no shortage of scholarly publications about Chinese classes, their numbers, life styles, purchasing power etc., the Chinese concept of “class” itself is rarely reflected. “Class is not treated as a problem to be analysed,” as James L. Watson observed, “it is taken for granted.” Yet, the very concept of “class” is not older than the century itself. The proposed paper traces the emergence and early development of “class” in China. Presenting numerous contemporary sources, it analyzes the tripartite division of “upper class,” “middle class,” and “lower class” that appeared in the early 1900s, describes the welter of disparate “classes” – defined by education, occupation, wealth, and a diversity of other characteristics – in the discourse of the 1910s, and discusses how this wealth of different “classes” was finally reduced to two antagonistic classes defined in purely economic terms. The concept of “class” is a prime example of how foreign concepts were adopted, dis¬puted, and altered in a modernizing China – and how they shaped the course of history. If the concept of “class” had not been reduced to an antagonistic dualism in the 1920s, Chinese history of the 20th century would have taken quite a different turn.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1F: Politics and International Relations (1) (Křížkovského 10, 2.40)
Runya Qiaoan (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Yunyun Zhou (University of Oslo, Norway)
Political Parallelism: Institutional Challenges for Women’s Political Participation in China's Authoritarian Governance

ABSTRACT. While scholarly work on women’s political participation and representation in liberal democracies has been developed extensively, few researchers have theorised about the different nature of women’s political involvement inside of Leninist parties and authoritarian states. Using China’s post-socialist governance as an example, this article investigates the structural opportunities that allowed women to take on leadership roles within China's party-state. Based on 48 interviews with women cadres working in various types of political institutions, this article argues that party patronage, mass mobilisation, as well as gender quota have acted as key mechanisms that enabled and prevented women's involvement in China's political leadership. However, the Party-State's designation of the 'Women's Work' sphere has become a parallel political space that is segregated from the mainstream sphere of governance and hence has further marginalised these women cadres' political influence and their ability to represent the interests of a wider range of women groups.

Zhan Zhang (Università della Svizzera italiana, Institute of Media & Journalism, Switzerland)
Grounded Approach or Empty Promise? The Political and Philosophical Construction of China’s Pursuit of A Community of Shared Future for Mankind

ABSTRACT. The early concept of A Community of Shared Future for Mankind (CSFM) was put forward in China in 2013. However, the significant growth of research, literature, and public discourse about CSFM in China, according to the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure database, is only evidenced since 2017, and especially after the US-China decoupling and the COVID-19 pandemic. Very few studies in Europe looked at the conceptualization of CSFM and especially its formulation and interaction with the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). Therefore, this paper tries to investigate the discursive development of the concept of CSFM since its origin and to understand its political and philosophical implications. The author argues that CSFM not only reflects the logic of Beijing’s policymaking in international relations, it also sheds light on the rhetoric preparation of the party's (and Xi's) legitimacy amid the fast-changing geopolitical developments.

Three sets of data are collected and analyzed, including 1) articles about CSFM published by Xuexiqiangguo App as an internal study platform for Communist Party members in China; 2) articles about CSFM from China Top Think-tanks (e.g.China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations); and 3) articles about CSFM from state-owned media outlets (e.g. People’s Daily). By applying thematic analysis and discourse analysis of the collected data, the paper discusses BRI as a pragmatic platform to implement CSFM and questions the ambiguity and disconnection of the universal norms CSFM proposed (drawing from Marxism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism) in unifying the domestic public and in connecting China with the rest of the world.

Lu Zhang (University of Nottingham, UK)
‘The fate of culture and country are tied together, just as inheritance of culture and country are closely intertwined.’: Political Engagement and Mobility of Chinese Antiques in Two Exhibitions, and the Problem of Repatriation

ABSTRACT. My paper explores how the Chinese cultural relics are exhibited and manipulated in the Chinese government-sponsored exhibitions in the corresponding socio-political contexts, and the symbolic importance of antiquities for Chinese politics. The two exhibitions under examination are ‘The Journey Back Home: An Exhibition of Chinese Artifacts Repatriated from Abroad on the 70th Founding Anniversary of New China’ at the National Museum of China, Beijing in 2019 and its earlier counterpart the International Exhibition of Chinese art at Burlington House, London in 1935. Applying both visual and document research methods, this paper studies the functionality and mobility of the Chinese artefacts. In the first part, it compares the display, representation, narration of the exhibitions, aiming to understand how the two exhibitions created a heterotopic space to portray the national image and manipulate the collective memory, and how national pride was celebrated by creating contrasts between ‘past’ and ‘present,’ ‘self' and ‘other’. Secondly, building a bridge between the two cases also underlines the power of repatriation. The exhibitions reflected the different policies of the Chinese governments on the protection and conservation of cultural relics in different eras. By reviewing the international journeys of the artefacts, the paper tends to understand the importance of cultural repatriation, especially for today’s China, where the economy is taking off, nationalist sentiment is rising, and international tension is high, as well as the dilemmas of repatriation that China is facing due to some political and ethical reasons.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1G: Language and Linguistics (1) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Lectorium)
Carmen Lepadat (Roma Tre University, Italy)
Sergio Conti (Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy)
Marco Casentini (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)
Carmen Lepadat (Roma Tre University, Italy)
Valentina Ornaghi (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)
Chiara Piccinini (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, Italy)
(HYBRID) Pragmatic markers in Chinese

ABSTRACT. Organisers: Sergio Conti, Marco Casentini, Carmen Lepadat

Defined by Fraser (1996: 167) as “linguistically encoded information of sentence meaning [which] provides an indication of the direct, literal messages intended by the speaker”, pragmatic markers are a broad category of elements which also include Schiffrin’s (1987: 31) discourse markers – i.e. “sequentially dependent elements which bracket units of talk. In Chinese, linguistic forms that are commonly recognized as PMs include epistemic/evaluative conceptual expressions (e.g., wǒxiǎng 我想 ‘I think’), connectives (e.g., zaishuō 再说 ‘furthermore’), and sentence final particles (e.g., le 了, a 啊, etc.) (Guang, 2019). Due to their pervasiveness in natural languages as well as their ability to act on multiple discourse plans simultaneously (Schiffrin, 1987: 328), research on PMs is clearly paramount to fully disclose the mechanisms governing human language. Nevertheless, many aspects of Chinese PMs still require deeper investigation, both from the syntactic/pragmatic perspective and from the point of view of language acquisition and teaching. Based on these premises, the contributions in the present panel outline the state of the art concerning Chinese PMs, while also presenting original empirical data, thus opening new possible scenarios for future research.

References: Fraser, B. (1996). “Pragmatic Markers.” Pragmatics 6 (2): 167–90. Guang, F. (2019). Pragmatic markers in Chinese discourse. In C. Shei (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis (pp. 216-229). Abingdon & New York: Routledge. Schriffin, D. (1987). Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Discourse Markers in Chinese and Italian: A corpus-based comparison between ranhou and poi ‘then’

Marco Casentini, Sergio Conti, Giorgio Carella

The present study is a corpus-based comparative analysis between the Chinese discourse marker ranhou 然后 and its Italian equivalent poi. Ranhou is usually described as a temporal conjunction signaling chronological progression between two events; however, different studies highlighted its discursive functions, such as signalling a topic shift or listing different elements sequentially (but not temporarily). (Wang & Huang, 2006; Wang, 2018). Similar functions have also been pointed out for its Italian counterpart poi (Fiorentini & Sansň, 2017). For the present study, 400 occurrences of ranhou and poi have been randomly extracted from CallFriends and VoLIP corpora, consisting of a large collection of telephone conversations between Chinese (for CallFriends) and Italian (for VoLIP) native speakers. The present analysis is intended to show the different functions of the two discourse markers, focusing on the differences and similarities in the use of these expressions in the two different languages.

References Fiorentini, I. & Sansň, A. (2017). Reformulation markers and their functions: Two case studies from Italian. Journal of Pragmatics 120, 54-72. Wang, C., & Huang, L.M. (2006). Grammaticalization of connectives in Mandarin Chinese. A corpus-based study. Language and Linguistics 7(4), 991-1016. Wang, W. (2018). Discourse uses and prosodic properties of ranhou in spontaneous Mandarin conversations. Chinese Language and Discourse 9(1), 1-25.

Sentence-final pragmatic markers. The case of (ni) zhidao ma/ba

Carmen Lepadat

As strongly emphasized in Schiffrin (1987)’s seminal work, pragmatic markers (PMs) not only “connect” different portions of discourse, but can also act simultaneously at the cognitive, expressive and even interactional or social level. Although PMs can occur in different positions inside the sentence, markers being used in sentence-final position have scarcely received attention in the literature (Traugott, 2016). This is particularly true for Mandarin Chinese, a language already displaying a more homogeneous class of particles used in sentence-final position to convey similar pragmatic meanings (Chu, 1998). The present study tackles sentence-final PMs occurring in spoken Mandarin, with a special focus on the expressions (你) 知道吗/吧 (ni) zhidao ma/ba ‘(as) you know’, whose pragmatic functions can be said to parallel to some extent those of the English marker you know (Östman, 1981). The analysis is based on a number of telephone conversations between native speakers of Mandarin Chinese and aims at shedding more light on the cognitive and interactional functions of the abovementioned PMs, highlighting their role in attention-getting and -maintaining, speech turn organisation and speaker-hearer rapport management.

References: Chu, C. 屈承熹. (1998). A discourse grammar of Mandarin Chinese. Peter Lang Publishing. Östman, O.-J. (1981). You Know: A Discourse Functional Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Schriffin, D. (1987). Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Traugott, E. C. (2016). On the rise of types of clause-final pragmatic markers in English. Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 17(1), 26–54.

The use of nŕ 那 and ránhňu 然后 as discourse markers in oral communication and in textbooks

Valentino Eletti, Valentina Ornaghi

Discourse markers tend to emphasize the structuring of the speech, to connect phrasal, interphrasal and extra-phrasal elements and to place the utterance in an interpersonal dimension (Bazzanella, 1995). They are very common in Chinese language and, amongst the most frequent, we can find na 那 and ranhou 然后 (Tsai & Chu, 2017). These terms are often used as discourse markers among native speakers and students of Chinese as a second language: the first is used to introduce a turn, a topic shift or topic development; the latter is used to mark the speaker’s conceptual sequence. However, students of Chinese as a foreign language often know them only for their lexical meaning, that is deictic expression in the case of na and temporal conjunction in the case of ranhou. This is due to the fact that usually foreign textbooks only introduce the lexical meaning of these terms. Starting from an analysis of the main Chinese language textbooks used in Italian high schools and universities, we will present some didactic implications and teaching proposals to develop students’ ability to use na and ranhou as discourse markers.

References Bazzanella, C. (1995). I segnali discorsivi. In L. Renzi, G. Salvi & A. Cardinaletti (Eds.), Grande grammatica italiana di consultazione. Vol.3 (pp. 225-257). Bologna: Il Mulino. Tsai, P.S. & Chu, W.H. (2017). The Use of Discourse Markers among Mandarin Chinese Teachers, and Chinese as a Second Language and Chinese as a Foreign Language Learners. Applied Linguistics, 38 (5), 638–665.

Analysis of pragmatic functions of the utterance final particle ne 呢 observed in interactions between teachers and Italian learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language in formative contexts

Chiara Piccinini

This contribution is a qualitative analysis of the modal particle ne 呢 used as a “discourse marker” (Schiffrin 1987) in Chinese language. The particle ne can cover different pragmatic functions. Among the functions already demonstrated by previous studies are those of topic shift and the contrast effect (Shei 2014), while in interrogative sentences it can introduce doubt or uncertainty (Lee-Wong 2001). Liu (2011: 399) identifies the function of focusing the interlocutor’s attention on new, contrasting information when ne occurs after a topic in declarative sentences. This contribution uses conversation analysis to examine interactions recorded during Chinese language lessons between Chinese teachers and Italian students. Observations were carried out on a corpus of 10 hours recorded during on-site university courses. This analysis demonstrates how teachers use the marker ne pragmatically to enhance dialogue and their interaction with students, with the purpose of eliciting students’ answers and maintaining their attention. I will discuss the main pragmatic functions of ne found in these interactions and their specific uses in a formative context.

References Lee-Wong. S.M. (2001), Coherence, focus and structure: The role of discourse particle Ne, “Pragmatics”, 11, 2, pp. 139-153. Liu, B. (2011), Chinese Discourse Markers in Oral Speech of Mainland Mandarin Speakers, edited by Y. Xiao et al., Current Issues in Chinese Linguistics, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, Cambridge, pp. 364-405. Schiffrin, D. (1987), Discourse Markers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Shei, C. (2014), Understanding the Chinese Language, Routledge, New York.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1H: History (Premodern) (2) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Chapel)
Edward L. Shaughnessy (University of Chicago, United States)
Edward L. Shaughnessy (University of Chicago, United States)
Christopher J. Foster (SOAS University of London, UK)
Maddalena Poli (Pomona College, United States)
Ondrej Skrabal (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Jue Guo (Bowdoin College, United States)
(HYBRID) Textual Production and Manuscript Practices in Early China: The Tsinghua Collection and Beyond

ABSTRACT. Chair: Edward L. Shaughnessy Discussant: Guo Jue

The discoveries of Warring States period (453–221 BCE) manuscripts in the last thirty years have revolutionised the study of Early China. From palaeography and codicology, to political, intellectual, and cultural history, to conservation and publication practices, the wealth of new materials has sparked rapid development in nearly every aspect of the discipline. In the past decade, the main catalyst for this development was undoubtedly the Tsinghua University collection of bamboo-strip manuscripts, published in instalments since 2011 and containing a range of previously unknown texts. While some more obvious aspects of the collection’s historical value have been duly treated in the scholarship, much of the immense potential this collection holds for the study of early Chinese civilisation warrants further research. Towards this objective, our panel investigates the complexities of early textual production and manuscript practices, tying together material and textual features that merge into a single entity on the manuscript, and considering them in a broader historical and comparative context. The first paper focuses on the scribal record-keeping practices as evinced by the *Chu ju 楚居manuscript. Starting from the *Xin shi wei zhong 心是謂中manuscript, the second paper proposes that this and similar texts functioned as tools for courtly performance. The third paper addresses the process of textual amalgamation in the composition of the *Si gao 四告manuscript vis-à-vis the earliest prayers. Finally, the fourth paper proposes a methodological approach to the study of value ancient users imputed to texts in their manuscript collections.

The Tsinghua *Chu ju Royal Geography and Early Chinese Scribal Record Keeping

Christopher J. Foster

Among the Warring States period bamboo strips acquired by Tsinghua University is an unique manuscript the editors of the collection have titled *Chu ju 楚居(Chu Settlements). This relatively short text names the progenitors and rulers of the state of Chu, but is notably organized around their settlement (ju 居) of new capitals. No ready counterparts to this text-type survive in the received corpus of early Chinese works, with the exception of fragments of the (now lost) Shi ben 世本and perhaps portions of the Shi ji 史記drawing from similar materials. Yet it appears this text-type was an important tool for scribal record keeping during the Warring States, as yet another unearthed manuscript version was recently acquired by Anhui University in 2015. This talk reflects upon the nature of the *Chu ju text-type and its relationship to scribal record keeping. This is accomplished in part by drawing comparisons to list-making practices in other parts of the ancient world, including a comparison to witnesses of the Sumerian King List, against which we find both intriguing parallels (e.g., organization around royal geographies) and important differences (e.g., the inclusion versus lack of explicit chronological markers).

Setting the Stage for Success: Warring States Manuscripts as Performance Supports

Maddalena Poli

*The heart is what is at the center (*Xin shi wei zhong 心是謂中) is a short Warring States (453-221 BCE) manuscript. This brief text discusses the operating of the heart (xin 心) and other sensorial organs in humans. It also includes the only explicit Early Chinese statement known to date that humans can choose their destiny. Its dating to circa 330 BCE places it right at the time when influential discussions on human nature, fate, and human behavior were taking place. And yet, like with the well-known manuscript *Human Nature comes from Endowment 性自命出, *The Heart is neither mentioned nor quoted in the known literature. In this paper, I conjecture on the place of these manuscripts in the Warring States intellectual milieu, further drawing from the *Good ministers 良臣and *King Wu trod on the Eastern Stairs 武王踐阼. I argue that these are examples of “performance supports,” which characterize collections of Warring States manuscripts. By “performance supports” I mean texts that were instrumental to practices of knowledge management that individuals used to become fluent in the socio-political environment of the time. They were used to practice compositional skills, rehearse literary topics, or as aides-mémoire. With the advent of imperial structures and different learning practices, the value of performance supports changed, thereby obviating the need for works such as *The Heart.

Layers of a Prayer: The Tsinghua *Si gao 四告 Manuscript and the Composition Practices in Early Chinese Religious Texts

Ondřej Škrabal

The study of ancient Chinese prayers has been for a long time hindered by the lack of textual evidence. Archaeological discoveries and stray finds over the last decades have yielded some important artefacts related to prayer practices, enriching our understanding of Warring States period prayers used in the moments of personal crisis, such as serious illness, encounter of omens, or fear from demons or death; their audience and language, however, betray little or no similarity to the remnants of supplications used in the ancestral sacrifices as preserved in some of the Western Zhou and Chunqiu bronze inscriptions. The recently published Warring State period manuscript *Si gao 四告 (Four Announcements) from the Tsinghua University collection evinces a stunning degree of knowledge of the archaic prayer language and thus provides a missing link between the earlier and later prayer traditions. In this paper, I first propose a general typology of ancient Chinese prayers based on the corpus of pre-imperial prayers, with a particular attention to the evolution of their language and structure. In the next step, I place the four *Si gao texts in this framework and identify several divergent prayer traditions that were merged during their compilation process. Based on additional features in their composition, I argue that despite being fashioned as prayers, the main purpose of *Si gao was educational. Thus, the manuscript casts important light not only on the evolution of ancient Chinese prayers, but also on the composition and education practices in the Warring States period.

11:00-12:30 Session SD2-1I: Interdisciplinary (1) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Auditorium Maximum)
Joanna Ut-Seong Sio (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Yating Yu (Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Italy)
Natural history floating across the oceans — Ludovico Buglio’s Shizi shuo 獅子說 and Jin cheng ying lun 進呈鷹論

ABSTRACT. In the process of contacts between Chinese and Western natural history, Ludovico Buglio’s Shizi shuo 獅子說 and Jin cheng ying lun 進呈鷹論 can be described as the earliest texts presenting Western biological knowledge to be introduced in China. We can trace the knowledge of natural history included in Shizi shuo back to the De Historia animalium, by the renowned Greek scholar Aristotle (384-322 BCE). In fact, the Medieval naturalist Albert The Great (Albertus Magnus, 1193-1280) composed De animalibus, a text quoting Aristotle’s views and arguments. During the Renaissance, this link between the writings of Aristotle and Albertus Magnus’s text became a model to imitate for Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) and Conrad Gesner (1517-1565); finally, it was adopted for Buglio’s translations. Jin cheng ying lun introduces the appearance, temperament, diet, teaching, and relevant knowledge of Western falcons. These contents are derived from the discussion of falcons included in the twenty-third volume of Albert The Great’s De animalibus; the latter, in turn, was referenced also in the texts composed by Aldrovandi and Gessner. By examining the sources adopted in Shizi shuo and Jin cheng ying lun, this paper explores the view of natural history hidden in these two texts and how, through the lens of the readings during the Renaissance, such a view floated across the oceans and reached the early Qing Dynasty.

Shaw-Yu Pan (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)
Fighting to Survive: Population Problems and Imperial Imagination in Late Qing Science Fiction

ABSTRACT. Inspired by the British economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), late Qing intellectuals considered the problem of overpopulation as one of the major causes of European imperial expansion. It is acknowledged that Western science fiction (SF), as a genre that embodies imperial ideology and improves its development, combines scientific discourse and imagination of empire. Similarly, late Qing novelists construct imaginative Chinese empire by their SF. The late Qing SF such as Xu Zhiyan’s (1875-1923) Dian shijie (Electrical world) and Lu Shi’e’s (1878-1944) Xin yesou puyan (New humble words of a rustic elder) were both deeply influenced by Western ideas and translated novels. These stories not only depicted the future China as a technologically advanced utopia, but also indicated that the dramatic increase of population would lead to more intense competitions for survival. In order to solve the crisis, colonization must be introduced. Comparing to the historical context of 19th century European imperialism and the fact that late Qing China was invaded by foreign powers, these SF had represented rather intriguing parallel universes for their readers. They parodied the birth of an empire and its colonies and reversed the destiny of China. Therefore, I will firstly take Malthus’ demography as the starting point to investigate the representation and transformation of the problem of overpopulation and imagination of empire in late Qing SF. Secondly, by contrasting these SF with other late Qing literary texts, I will explore the theoretical implications, literary influences, and cross-cultural significance of the 19th century imperial discourse.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2A: Arts and Art History (3) (Křížkovského 10, 1.48)
Adriana Iezzi (University of Bologna, Italy)
Adriana Iezzi (University of Bologna, Italy)
Marta R. Bisceglia (University of Bologna, Italy)
Martina Merenda (University of Bologna, Italy)
Valentina Pasqual (University of Bologna, Italy)
(HYBRID) New Forms of Calligraphy in Contemporary China

ABSTRACT. Chair: Adriana Iezzi

Based on the first results of the “WRITE” ERC funded project, this panel seeks to examine the innovative ways in which new forms of calligraphy in contemporary China have responded to, subverted, or reinterpreted traditional idioms to define a modern artistic identity that exists comfortably within the global art world while remaining indelibly Chinese. In the last forty years, thanks to the uneven growth of the new commercial economy and the new politics of the Communist Party, which “re-opened” China to the rest of the world and to a freer confrontation with its past tradition, the art of calligraphy exploded into a plethora of different forms, from graffiti art to fashion design, reflecting the increasing cultural diversification of the Chinese society. Starting from this assumption, the first paper of this panel gives an overview of these new forms of calligraphy and outlines their main characteristics, proposing a mediabased classification into four categories (“fine and contemporary arts”, applied and decorative arts, performing arts, and graffiti art). The second paper explores how new forms of calligraphy have emerged in the graffiti scene of Shanghai and Chengdu, giving significant examples of the artistic practice of local writers/crews. Finally, the third paper illustrates the WRITE digital archive elaborated to collect, structure, and preserve the multifaceted domain of these artistic expressions and their data. This dataset is a useful tool for a deeper understanding of the new forms of calligraphy in contemporary China by means of Semantic Web technologies.

New forms of calligraphy in China from “abstract” painting to graffiti art

Adriana Iezzi

Calligraphy is a central tenet of Chinese civilization. The whole history of China is strictly linked to the history of its writing and calligraphy. In contemporary times Calligraphy has undergone a radical change and it has evolved into new forms in all fields of visual and performing arts. This paper aims at analyzing how all these forms emerged in: 1) “fine and contemporary arts”, where it became, for example, a naïf painting made of pictographic shapes of characters, an abstract combination of dots and lines, a “light-calli-photograph,” or an artistic video based on digital strokes.; 2) decorative and applied arts, where the characters lost their connection with the linguistic meaning to become decorative elements used for commercial scopes or to design modern architectures; 3) performing arts, where the rhythm, dynamism and harmonic movement of calligraphy became a choreographic gesture of a contemporary ballet or a piece of classical music; and 3) graffiti art, where the presence of calligraphy along the streets evolved from Maoist propaganda posters into graffiti pieces made of wild-style characters or cursive tags. These new forms powerfully resonate with China’s rich and enduring cultural tradition and at the same time mirror the sweeping cultural and economic changes that have taken place in China during the last decades.

Graffiti in Shanghai and Chengdu: looking for Chinese writing, symbols, and calligraphy along the streets

Marta R. Bisceglia and Martina Merenda

After a brief introduction about the birth and the development of graffiti in China, this paper firstly focuses on the Shanghai graffiti scene through three main figures: (1) the OOPS crew, the most famous and influential crew in the city that joins the Western graffiti art movement with the Chinese artistic and cultural tradition, using characters, calligraphy, and traditional Chinese symbols. 2) Tin.G, one of the most acclaimed female writers in the country, who represents the new post-graffiti trend (adhesion to hip hop culture, visual propaganda of her stickers, evolution of her puppets in open-air illustrations). While not using characters, Tin.G includes elements of Chinese culture in her pieces. (3) Dezio, a French writer highly respected in Shanghai, who uses Chinese characters and a Chinese tag in his works. The second part of this paper focuses on the Chengdu graffiti scene, and in particular on one of the most important Chinese writers of the city called GAS. His Chinese tag (Qi 氣) expresses his artistic intent: the essence of qi is everywhere, just as Gas intents to spread his art. In his works, Chinese writing is the main component, and he usually uses traditional Chinese characters and references to Chinese calligraphy, creating an original and local-oriented graffiti style.

Knowledge representation of new forms of calligraphy: the WRITE digital archive

Valentina Pasqual

Cultural institutions are nowadays increasingly implying Semantic Web technologies, and in particular Linked Open Data, to publish their data as highly structured and to improve data interchange and discoverability. In the same way, WRITE digital archive collects, structures, and preserves the WRITE artworks metadata and media. WRITE digital archive stores heterogeneous artworks from the four WRITE collections (“fine and contemporary arts”, decorative and applied arts, performing arts, and graffiti art). Each collection has been designed by respecting artworks’ peculiarities (e.g. for graffiti art “graffiti style”), but also shared patterns among them (e.g. title). Each artwork has been recorded with its descriptive metadata, such as title, description, dimensions, location of creation and conservation (when possible), author, date of creation etc. Additionally, such artworks are permeated by a network of agents, objects, and places. For this reason, involved artists (e.g. authors, calligraphers, and performers), organizations (e.g. institutions, crews, and dance companies), and literary resources with their respective metadata have been described and linked to the artworks. Moreover, a deep analysis of the artworks’ calligraphic units by the means of their artistic and linguistic metadata (e.g. script style, materials, and tools) is carried out employing an innovative approach to the research. The archive data can be browsed and queried, providing a new tool for a systematic and deeper understanding of such new forms of calligraphy and advancing scholar knowledge over this multifaceted domain.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2B: Religion (1) (Křížkovského 10, 1.49)
Renata Čižmárová (Palacký University, Czechia)
Lifei Pan (Sichuan University, China)
(ONLINE) Tracing the “Buddha” in La Tentation de Saint Antoine

ABSTRACT. The composition of the French novel La Tentation de Saint Antoine spanned twenty-five years of the French novelist Gustave Flaubert’s lifetime. In this novel, there is a section describing the protagonist Antoine’s encounter with the phantom of Buddha, which is one of the significant spiritual endeavors of Antoine. The Buddha’s appearance in this section is based on Flaubert’s personal engagement with Buddhism. By tracing first-hand resources, this paper uncovers that this section is based on translations of two Buddhist scriptures Lalitavistaraḥ普曜經 and Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra 法華經 that Flaubert acquires during his composition and he is very fond of Buddhism. It shows that in describing Antoine’s pursuit of belief, Flaubert tries to compare Buddhism and Christianity, and this is what the then newborn subject “comparative study of religions” advocates in the 19th century. This novel indicates a new interest of the then western culture that tries to break the constraint of Christianity and to turn to eastern religions.

Kehan Ding (University of Edinburgh, UK)
The Administration of Buddhism in the Northern Song (960-1127): Inter-Prefectural Restriction and Intra-Prefectural Autonomy

ABSTRACT. Buddhism was in favour by the emperors once again in the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) after the destruction of Buddhism by the Later Zhou Emperor Shizong (921-959). A new dynamic of monastery-state relations has gradually emerged with a surge in the number of ordained monks and nuns, growth in public monasteries and temples with lands, tenants, providers and patrons, and large-scale state-sponsored translations and prints of Buddhist works. The administration of Buddhism in the Northern Song has been an unprecedentedly huge and sophisticated task for the empirical court, the residential monks and the entire society, and their solutions to the question deserve more in-depth research, which will offer new perspectives to Chinese Buddhism, Chinese religious policies and the relations of state, religion and society.

This paper will investigate the administration of Northern Song Buddhism by analysing the administrative system of monk officials and institutions, the state laws and edicts, as well as Buddhist monastic regulations and related monastic records, to reconstruct the chains of administration from central ministries and local offices to individual monasteries. This study proposes that the Northern Song administrative strategy is a combination of an inter-prefectural restriction in the local admission of monks, abbots and imperial honorary masters and travel restrictions to other prefectures and an intra-prefecture autonomy in encouraging visiting monks to other monasteries and giving priority to monasteries in settling monastic disputes even violation of laws, which stabilises Buddhist communities by restricting far-distance mobility and flourishes local Buddhist activities by giving high autonomy to monasteries.

Silvia Ebner von Eschenbach (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Germany)
Buddhist Monasteries Between Charity and Profit: Taking the Issue of Water Supply of Hangzhou 杭州 (Lin’an 臨安) as an Example

ABSTRACT. This paper comes back to the role that Buddhist monasteries played as institutions of charity on the one hand and as economic organisations on the other, as Jacques Gernet revealed in his book of 1956. When during the Qian 錢 and Song 宋 dynasties Buddhist monasteries agglomerated at Hangzhou (Lin’an) and around West Lake they became venues where monks and members of the local elite met, as Chi-chiang Huang pointed out in his study of 1999.

From local gazetteers and monastic chronicles, it becomes apparent that this was corroborated by the spatial closeness of monasteries and elite housing in the city of Hangzhou and of rural villas and parks owned by elite members around West Lake. Monasteries were especially attractive locations because of their preferred proximity to freshwater springs, mostly found in the hills surrounding the lake.

The paper will elucidate how monks made available their expert knowledge and experience in hydrological engineering, much in demand by Hangzhou’s local administrators who had to cope with the city’s water supply problems. Monks were also well-versed in fund-raising for the finance of costly water projects.

Due to their tax-exempt status, Buddhist monasteries had become financially strong organisations, yet were greedy for more profit as they attempted to encroach on the lake’s surface. This, however, was not only contradictory to their original mission dedicated to meritorious non-profit activities but also conflicting with the aims of the local administration who tried hard to preserve the lake as the city’s freshwater reservoir.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2C: History (Modern) (2) (Křížkovského 10, 2.39)
Paul W. Kroll (University of Colorado Boulder, United States)
Paul W. Kroll (University of Colorado Boulder, United States)
Xiaojing Miao (University of Oxford, UK)
Elizabeth Smithrosser (IIAS, Leiden, Netherlands)
Michael Hoeckelmann (Friedrich-Alexander-University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
Amanda Zhang (University of St Andrews, UK)
(HYBRID) Projection and Protection: Self-Representations across Chinese History and Literature

ABSTRACT. Projection and Protection: Self-Representations across Chinese History and Literature

The gap between how we understand ourselves and how we are perceived by others is littered with mismatches, discrepancies, and incompleteness. The dissonance we experience as a result can underlie deep personal crises, such as over how one will be remembered by posterity, but also more worldly and immediate ones, given that one’s reputation can often have tangible repercussions for one’s profession and livelihood. We are not entirely helpless in this predicament, of course, and exert what agency we can through public and personal acts of self-representation. With the world outside awash with change, be that social, political, economic, intellectual, or technological in nature, writers react by adapting their strategies and manner of presenting themselves, and in doing so, they create reflections of their historical and literary moment in time. Our panel will explore a variety of self-representations across a broad stretch of Chinese history from the Tang dynasty to the 2010s. It will show how different people—Tang elite scholars, Ming publishing bosses, Republican academics, and female “spies”—grappled with the task of positioning or asserting themselves in the particular contexts in which they found themselves towards different aims, sometimes speaking in the voice of another person, sometimes laying out a concrete account of their past actions, sometimes navigating different conceptions of their disciplinary endeavor, sometimes doing reputational damage control, all the while enlisting different rhetorical strategies and approaches in the name of self-representation.

Self in the Voice of the Other: Practices of Daizuo 代作in the Tang

Xiaojing Miao

The tradition of impersonation in Chinese literature had existed long before the Tang 唐 (618–907), especially in poetic sub-genres like yuefu 樂府 poetry and “imitating the ancient” (nigu 擬古). In most cases, this meant a male author speaking in a female voice. In the Tang, it became typical for literati—including members of the royal family, officials in different positions, famous contemporary writers, monks, etc.—to compose writings of various kinds in the name of contemporary male figures. After a general survey of the practice of writing on another’s behalf (daizuo 代作) in the Tang, this paper will discuss two pieces of writing—a letter by Xiao Yingshi 蕭穎士 (717–768) and a memorial by Li Bai 李白 (701–762?)—to explore how this practice complicates our discussion of self-representation and authenticity. It will demonstrate that when a literary piece written on behalf of another person appears somewhat out-of-place, the reader cannot help but wonder to whom the author is being authentic. In general, the question of authenticity would not arise if a piece appropriately addressed the occasion at hand, even in cases whereby the identity of the author is manifest, and the client’s situation is not accurately reflected. In this regard, an appropriate self is an authentic self.

Free-time Side-lines: The Self-Representational Strategies of Late-Ming Humour Publishers

Elizabeth Smithrosser

The late 1500s to early 1600s witnessed a boom in print and publishing which fundamentally altered the distribution and accessibility of information and knowledge across Ming society. It placed the crucial choice of what kind of material to disseminate in the hands of a new group of men: an ascendent class of publishing bosses who presided over publishing enterprises of varying sizes and levels of influence. These compilers-publishers were clearly mindful of the exposure and perceived responsibilities that came with their newfound platform, since the prefaces (xu 序) they composed for their books often betray a certain level of self-consciousness in the way they present themselves as compilers and their decision to publish such material. My paper will examine this phenomenon through a case study of humour publications (“jokebooks”) and their public-facing paratextual materials. It will explore how, caught between the desires of the market and inherited proscriptions/circumscriptions of humorous material, publishers made use of the prefatory space to perform a careful yet precarious dance of selfrepresentation, which on the one hand defended their decision to publish, while on the other took care to distance themselves from the material itself.

The Authentic Scholar: Academic Self-Representation in Republican Chinese Letters

Michael Hoeckelmann

Authenticity is often considered a core value in modern Western societies. The post-modern, post-Enlightenment individual is expected to be true to itself and only exhibit behavior that comes from within. By contrast, dissimulation—the ability to hide true feelings and thoughts—was for a long time a survival strategy and, indeed, a marker of maturity for traditional Chinese scholar-officials or literati. The early twentieth century saw the most dramatic changes in the social and psychological make-up of the individual in China since the end of antiquity. These changes affected senses of authenticity and modes of self-representation among scholars as well. Western notions of professionalism transformed the image of the traditional literatus into that of the modern academic. The introduction of new fields and disciplines—classics, medieval studies, history, etc.—at the new universities gave rise to a specialization in humanities hitherto unknown. Accordingly, scholars struggled to set boundaries and find a new sense of their own identity as academics, which differed from traditional and Euro-American norms, and found expression not only in academic publications but also (and perhaps even more so) in their relations with colleagues and peers. This paper juxtaposes letters written by Republican medievalist Chen Yinke 陳寅恪 (1890–1969), classicist Liu Wendian 劉文典 (1889–1958), and historian Fu Sinian 傅斯年 (1896–1950) and asks how they navigated the new disciplinary boundaries, reconciled images of the traditional literatus and modern academic, and thereby found a new sense of professional and personal identity.

Female Agents, Vulnerable Heroines: Self-Representations in the Post-1980s Remembrances of Female Communist Underground Operatives During the Chinese Civil War

Amanda Zhang

This paper contributes to the study of how certain traditional gender norms regarding Chinese women lingered on into the 20th and 21st century. It investigates a selection of post-1980 accounts of Chinese women and their experiences as underground operatives for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Chinese Civil War (1945–1949). These accounts, by and about female operatives, make frequent references to traditional views of womanhood and women’s duties as mothers, daughters and wives. That this particular group of women actively perpetuated such ideas is curious given that since the CCP had sought to reject what were seen as oppressive gender structures since as early as the 1920s. Those men—and especially those women—who risked their lives for the Party might be expected to have followed suit in rejecting them. This paper examines this contradiction by exploring how these accounts and memoirs approach a range of female issues from clothing to abortion. It argues that women’s loyalty to the CCP as officials was intricately mediated by different feminine identities, together with long-standing gender structures.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2D: Philosophy and History of Thought (2) (Křížkovského 10, 3.32)
Philippe Major (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Philippe Major (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Yim Fong Chan (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Milan Matthiesen (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Elitism in Modern Confucian Philosophy: Sociohistorical Perspectives

ABSTRACT. Despite the steady expansion of research on modern Confucian philosophy in the last 20 years, the topic of elitism has not been sufficiently addressed by the secondary literature. Although researchers tend to agree the conviction that society should be led by an elite has played a central role in Confucian discourses historically, it remains an open question whether elitism equally occupies a central place in the discursive edifice of modern Confucian philosophy. If at least some of the modern Confucians integrate elitist perspectives in their philosophy, it is unclear what are the social functions such elitisms perform in the rapidly changing socio-political landscape of the twentieth century, and whether modern Confucian elitisms play similar roles as those exemplified in Neo-Confucian or pre-Qin Confucian discourses. Adopting sociohistorical approaches, the panelists propose to discuss answers to the above questions by analyzing what modern Confucians say about the elite and the non-elite, as well as how elitist perspectives are performed (or not) in their writings. The panelists will show that elitism is not equally shared by all modern Confucians. While some draw resources from democratic principles to challenge the idea that Confucianism is inherently elitist, in others elitism takes the form of self-portrayals that reshape the modern Confucians into the heirs of the former scholar-officials (shi 士). In other cases, elitism finds expression in the form of distinctions between the philosophers as a cultural elite and the “common people” or between sages having access to transhistorical truths and commoners defined by their socio-historical setting.

Ontologizing Social Distinctions: “Ordinary People” in Xiong Shili’s New Treatise on the Uniqueness of Consciousness

Philippe Major

One of the central issues addressed by modern Confucians in the Republican period is that of the social space of Confucianism after the abolition of the Imperial Examination System. In this talk, I argue that although it takes the seemingly disinterested form of an ontology, the classical edition of Xiong Shili’s (熊十力; 1885–1968) New Treatise on the Uniqueness of Consciousness (新唯識論; 1932) provides an implicit defense of the social distinction between the Confucian sage or apprentice on the one hand and “ordinary people” on the other. It does so by passing disparaging comments on “ordinary people” (yibanren 一般人 or fanren 凡人), but also by building an ontology and epistemology that naturalize the divide between them and “exceptional individuals”—Confucian sages and Buddhist masters—who have access to a higher realm of truth. Although in theory the text claims that Fundamental Reality (ti 體) and phenomena (yong 用) are one and the same, discursively the text employs the divide between the two to associate “ordinary people” to phenomena and the realm of materiality and purify “exceptional individuals” from both. After addressing the complex discourse of the text on the divide between ordinary people and exceptional individuals, I set out to show how this discourse provides an ontological justification of the social space of Confucianism within institutions of higher learning in general and in the field of philosophy in particular—a place alongside, or more properly speaking above, “westernized” philosophers.

Attempting to Realize the Confucian Ideal: Liang Shuming’s Scholar-Official Mentality and Confucian Elitism

Yim Fong Chan

Since the beginning of the republican period, the worsening socio-political situation urged numerous Chinese intellectuals to search for immediate solutions and a pathway to modernization for China. Notwithstanding the collapse of the Qing dynasty, many intellectuals were still heavily influenced by the traditional scholar-official (shi 士) mentality, which is characterized by a profound sense of responsibility to society, while modern Confucians even bore the mission of transmitting the Confucian Dao. In this presentation, I argue that Liang Shuming 梁漱溟 (1893-1988) was an exemplar who manifested the mentality of Confucian scholar-official with an elitist attitude in the implementation of his rural reconstruction project in the 1930s. This presentation first articulates how the traditional scholar-official mentality influenced Liang before addressing how this mentality is linked to his Confucian elitist attitude in the rural reconstruction project. Such attitude is conspicuous as the project was led by intellectual elites, whose responsibilities included assisting peasants to improve agricultural production with their professional knowledge and acting as teachers providing moral education. In the long run, Liang anticipated the Confucian teaching of rituals and music would be promoted extensively, which would fully develop people’s sense of moral reason (lixing 理性). Ultimately, the Confucian ideal of the Great community would be realized and the differentiation between the ruling elites and the masses would vanish. In addition, I address how the failure of his project, along with his elitist attitude, inform Liang’s support of the CCP after 1949.

Confucianism = Elitism? Evaluating the Work of Mou Zongsan

Milan Matthiesen

Ever since the emergence of the May Fourth Movement in 1919, accusations of elitism against modern Confucianism have been a mainstay of intellectual discourse between Liberals and modern adherents of Confucianism. Being depicted as an elite culture that supported the hierarchical structure of dynastic China and stifled the development of democracy and science, Confucianism had a large mountain to climb in its attempt to shed itself of these accusations. In this paper, I read modern Confucian Mou Zongsan’s 牟宗三 (1909-1995) adoption of Wang Yangming’s 王陽明 (1472-1529) concept of “knowing the good (liangzhi 良知),” or the belief that all humans possess a faculty which allows them to access moral truth, as an attempt to overcome elitist tendencies in prior iterations of Confucianism. For Mou, all humans, simply by feeling compassion, are naturally brought to pay attention to the faculty of liangzhi, even if they do not consciously recognize that their judgements and actions are based on this universal and innate quality of humanity. The only difference between an everyday person and a sage, such as Confucius or Mencius, is the latter’s ability to recognize and self-consciously act on this moral faculty. Mou therefore follows Wang Yangming’s assumption that “everyone can become a sage.” Following the accounts of Mou’s personal life, accounts of his students, and his political works, I argue that these universalist speculations did not remain merely theoretical but reached into his political ideas and his daily life and allowed him to reformulate Confucianism into a non-elitist philosophy.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2E: Sociology and Anthropology (4) (Křížkovského 10, 3.05)
Kailing Xie (University of Birmingham, UK)
Kailing Xie (University of Birmingham, UK)
Stevi Jackson (University of York, UK)
Yunyun Zhou (University of Oslo, Norway)
Sanna Eriksson (University of York, UK)
Gendering nationalism in 21st century China

ABSTRACT. In pre-revolutionary China, Confucian familialism was central to governing both gender relations and the imperial state. During the Mao era, filial piety and other core values of Confucianism were discouraged as the people’s loyalties were directed towards the Party, the nation, and Mao himself. In the context of economic reform, however, the Communist Party sought new forms of legitimacy, rooted in a rehabilitated Confucianism. From Hu’s Harmonious society to Xi’s ChineseDream, Confucian influenced values and discourse have become increasingly prominent. Xi’s intensified ideological control is manifested through an explicit invocation of Confucian family-nation sentiment, promoting a nostalgic, conservative, and paternalistic image of the family as the basis of individual happiness and a strong nation. This panel brings together scholars from different fields to interrogate the varied gendered aspects of this discursive construct in official/mass media, which have rarely been systematically studied. Jackson and Xie theorize the links between conservative gender politics and authoritarian governance, illustrating the allure and dangers of Chinese nationalism. Zhou and Xie’s analysis of the party-state’s construction of COVID19 heroines in TV dramas lays bare the state’s reliance on heterosexual gender performance in crisis management. Eriksson focuses on the construction of motherhood on popular TV dramas, while Kehoe examines gendered propaganda representations of the Chinese military. As discussant, Lin’s expertise on men and masculinity in China will further enrich the insights collectively generated. This panel will generate new theoretical understandings of gender, authoritarianism and nationalist political projects both in China Studies and beyond.


Familial Nationalism: Deploying emotion to evoke family-nation sentiment in Xi's China

The power of emotion in mass mobilization was a key ingredient in the Chinese Communists’ revolutionary victory, and remains central to party-state propaganda in post- Mao China (Perry,2002). The wide-scale patriotic education campaign launched shortly after the Tiananmen Incident is one example (Wang 2012). Under Xi Jinping, patriotism/nationalism has become apriority for ensuring regime legitimacy, social integration, and ‘harmony’ (Guo 2019). One key strategy of Xi’s deployment of emotional rhetoric has been his adoption of a vocabulary of family and traditional family values to evoke support for and identification with the nation-state. He has repeatedly called on citizens to unify their love for family with love for the nation through his promotion of ‘family and nation sentiment’ (jiaguo qinghuai) and his call for the ‘Construction of Family Values (jiafeng jianshe)’. Meanwhile, however, empirical evidence reveals an increased tolerance of different lifestyles among China’s citizens and an ongoing transformation of family practices, evinced by pre-marital cohabitation, later marriage, extra-marital affairs, more divorce and reshaped norms of filial piety (Yan 2021). Bringing together insights on the political mobilization of emotion (Goodwin et al. 2001; Thompson and Hoggett2012) with theories of gender and nation (Yuval-Davis 1997, 2011), and critical perspectives on heterosexuality (Jackson 2006, 2019) and Asian familialism (Ochiai 2014), this paper establishes familial nationalism as a theoretical framework to analyse the multi-layered implications of the emotionalization of Xi’s propaganda work. We also assess the potential power and dangers of emotionally charged familial nationalism as a means of securing regime legitimacy.

Gendering National Sacrifices: The Making of New Heroines in China’s Counter-COVID-19 TV Series

Since February 2020, presenting the “correct” narrative regarding the COVID-19 pandemic has become a top priority in China’s state-controlled media. This paper focuses on two high- profile, state-endorsed, COVID-19-themed TV series that retell stories from the Wuhan lockdown. It examines the gendered nature of state narratives by analyzing the representation of national heroines of the pandemic and demonstrates the centrality of heterosexual families and gender performances in romanticizing individual sacrifices and mass suffering in such a traumatic event. Unlike in depictions of previous socialist heroes, the personal weakness and emotional flaws of China’s new heroines are tactically displayed to enhance emotional authenticity and resonate with contemporary audiences while following the party line. These new state narratives reflect stereotypical depictions of femininity within a hierarchical gender order in post-reform China, where politicized womanhood is imbued with a sacrificial attitude and gendered conduct that serves to discipline China’s new generation of “strong women”.

Motherhood as female citizenship in contemporary Chinese TV drama

Since the start of the reform period, official state ideology has shifted from socialism to nationalism influenced by Confucian culture. Simultaneously, ‘traditional’ ideas of women’s greater domestic role, intergenerational dependency, filial piety, and the importance of children’s education have entered public discourse and individual lived experience. Contemporary domestic arrangements where women play a central role in elderly and childcare take centre stage in popular television dramas such as Nothing but thirty (2020) and A love for dilemma (2021). Notably these series have emerged at a time when the party- state emphasises the importance of ‘family values’ while women struggle between careers and family expectations. In nationalist projects, women function as biological and socio- cultural reproducers of the nation (Anthias & Yuval-Davis, 1989). From a Chinese party-state perspective, women ensure national stability through their role at the centre of the family, a core unit of society (Wu & Dong, 2019). I use Gramscian ‘hegemony’ and ‘common sense’ to analyse TV dramas as means for the party-state to distribute and ensure popular consent to elite patriarchal, nationalist values. I enquire to what extent TV dramas like the above can be understood as domestic soft power vehicles for strengthening popular views of female citizenship as centred on caring responsibilities, and emphasising and shaping the role of the mother at the core of the family unit. I explore to what extent these TV dramas form a part of the party-state’s nationalist project in envisioning gender specific roles for women in the 21century Chinese nation.

When ancient beauty meets modern army!': Military, gender and nation in Chinese state media

Since 2000, the Chinese state has used online media to embark on a newly styled propaganda campaign about the People’s Liberation Army both domestically and internationally. While training, deployment and sacrifice, all of which have long characterized military-themed propaganda in the PRC, remains prominent, this new media approach also features a more ‘down-to-earth’ picture of military life. This includes countless short videos and images of (mostly male) soldiers visiting their family, marrying their civilian brides at border stations, and riding horses bare-chested through the snow. Increasingly, we also see female military personnel, often celebrated for both their ‘looks and skills’ and described in terms of ‘girl power’. As part of broader efforts to attract new recruits and promote military service, this new media strategy raises important questions about the intersection of gender, nation and military in Chinese state media. Taking a feminist critical military studies approach, this paper examines how gendered subjectivities and symbols are mobilized across these visual and textual discourses. Paying particular attention to how these discourses enacts anew national hypermasculinity, femonationalism, and ‘family values’, it considers the ways in which idea of nation are performed by the Chinese state and its institutions through gender and sexuality in the era of consolidating authoritarian rule under Xi Jinping. In doing so, it examines the various convergences between the normalisation, celebration and entrenchment of the militarised nation and the production of normative, hegemonic gender norms in contemporary China.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2F: Politics and International Relations (2A-double panel) (Křížkovského 10, 2.40)
Nadine Godehardt (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Germany)
Nadine Godehardt (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Germany)
Eva Seiwert (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
Elżbieta Proń (University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland)
Frank Maracchione (University of Sheffield, UK)
Maryia Danilovich (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany)
Giulia Sciorati (University of Trento, Italy)
Ruslan Yusupov (Harvard University, United States)
(HYBRID) China’s Central Asia Policy: from Security Interests to Global Ambitions

ABSTRACT. China’s Central Asia Policy: from Security Interests to Global Ambitions Panel organizers (in alphabetical order): • Giulia Sciorati University of Trento • Eva Seiwert, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg

At a time when Central Asia’s political instability looms large in the minds of policymakers around the world – from US withdrawal from Afghanistan to protest waves in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in 2020 and 2022, respectively – one of the most pressing questions remains tied to China and the limits of potential future Chinese involvement to stabilize its Western neighbourhood. Previous scholarly works investigated China's policies towards Central Asia primarily through the lenses of power imbalances with other regional powers, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or the response of Central Asian actors to China’s regional engagement. While these studies have deepened our understanding of China-Central Asia relations, there remains a gap to be filled on the extent of China’s activities in and towards Central Asia in the context of Beijing’s overall international relations. This includes the diverse factors influencing China’s regional policy, its narrative-building tools, and the questions concerning how regional engagement helps the Chinese government achieve its global ambitions.

This panel discusses China’s strategic vision of Central Asia by engaging with the following questions: • How has China’s foreign policy towards Central Asia evolved under Xi and what agency and influence do Central Asian countries retain? • What tools and narratives does the Chinese government use to counter international scrutiny of its policies towards Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in Xinjiang? • What can China’s activities within the SCO and other formats tell us about its larger strategic vision beyond the region?

Session 1. Chair: Nadine Godehardt, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik Discussant: Giulia Sciorati, University of Trento

1) China’s Norm Promotion through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: What Does the SCO’s Approach to International Security Issues Reveal about China’s Vision for International Relations? Eva Seiwert, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg

In times of China’s struggle to achieve the ‘Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation’, a surge in demand for insights into the Chinese government’s global ambitions has been discernible. While the question of whether China seeks to shape the international order has been treated abundantly, less research has been published concerning the questions of which norms and rules the Chinese government wishes to see prevailing globally and how its self-created multilateral mechanisms can be used in this regard. This paper argues that investigation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as the first regional organization ever (co-)created and (co-)led by China can offer crucial insights into what an international order dominated by China might look like. Whilst its main objective is regional security cooperation, the SCO also provides a platform for the increasingly powerful Chinese government to institutionalize its norms and concepts in a multilateral setting. The paper suggests that examination of the SCO’s approach to international security crises, in particular, can help gain a better understanding of how the increasingly powerful China proposes to solve international issues. To that end, it examines the SCO member states’ common positions on the security crises in Afghanistan, Syria, and surrounding the Iran nuclear issue in the years 2001 to 2021. The questions it aims to answer are: Which norms and rules guide the organization’s approach to international security crises? Does the SCO act in accordance with its declared rules and norms, in other words, do its actions correspond to its declared statements? And finally, what can we learn from the organization’s approach to international crises about China’s vision for an international order? The findings of the paper are based on doctoral research, which analysed over 400 Chinese-language PRC and SCO documents and speeches, as well as 18 semistructured expert interviews conducted during fieldwork in China in 2018.

2) China and International Institutions – The Case of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and China’s Foreign Policy in Central Asia Elżbieta Proń, University of Silesia in Katowice

Around the mid-2010s, the SCO, the first international organization co-established and co-led by China, started to change. It expanded the membership to include Pakistan and India, altering its earlier dual leadership. Meanwhile, China announced its newest megaproject – the Belt and Road Initiative- as the main policy framework. This presentation looks at how China has used the SCO in its foreign policy toward Central Asia from 2013 to 2021. Firstly, it analyses Chinese interests and foreign policy priorities in Central Asia. Then it looks at how the SCO evolved from 2013 to 2021. Finally, it analyses the role of the SCO in furthering China's foreign policy interests in Central Asia after 2013. This presentation argues that China's use of the SCO in its policy towards Central Asia has become less prominent than before 2013, yet China has been using the organization more skilfully. While the SCO in the region is second to bilateralism and the BRI, China mastered how to use it to complement its primary foreign policy means. This presentation thus contributes to the discussion on China's foreign policy in the Xi Jinping era. It also complements the debate on the changing roles of international institutions and organizations in China’s diplomacy.

3) “Protean Spirit”: Uzbekistan’s Influence on China’s Foreign Policy Frank Maracchione, University of Sheffield

China’s involvement in Central Asia started in the 1990s in the field of post-Soviet border management and materialised in 2001 in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). With the establishment of the SCO, Uzbekistan entered the Chinese radar and the two countries have maintained stable and constructive relations ever since. The endurance of Sino-Uzbek relations is compatible with the multilateral attitude of Uzbekistan’s current President Shavkat Mirziyoev, but clashes with Uzbek foreign policy under former president Islam Karimov, who ruled the country from independence in 1991 to 2016. Karimov’s foreign policy, often referred to as ‘multi-vectoral’, was extremely fluctuant in terms of foreign relations, participation in international organisations and was characterised by rapid shifts in response to regional geopolitical manoeuvres. Sino-Uzbek relations represent both an exception in terms of Uzbek foreign policy and dependence on China. On one side, China managed to maintain stable relations with erratic Uzbek President Islam Karimov, while other great powers failed. On the other hand, explanations in terms of dependency on China do not hold, as both in its security and economic relations with great powers, Uzbekistan has maintained an approach at times balanced and at times isolationist. Through analysis of foreign policy communication and interviews during fieldwork, this research traces the causal mechanisms that led to the success of Sino-Uzbek cooperation. The main hypothesis inverts the usual direction of studies on China’s influence focusing on the foreign policy and ideational self-representation of China’s partners in shaping its foreign policy in Central Asia and elsewhere.

Session 2. Chair: Nadine Godehardt, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik Discussant: Eva Seiwert, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg

1) China and the Central Asian States: Bringing Security back to the Top of the Agenda Maryia Danilovich, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

The paper focuses on the evolution of the approaches to security developed by China and the Central Asian states and their most recent manifestations. It demonstrates how the security concepts adopted by the involved states overlap and how the interplay between the respective policies affects their interaction. Such a view on China-Central Asia interaction is needed against the typical scholarship on China-Central Asia relations, which tends to study various aspects of these relations in the “New Great Game” paradigm. Focusing on the interaction of Chinese and Russian initiatives in the region, this paradigm diminishes the actorship of the Central Asian states, thus overlooking its influence on the policies adopted by China to continue securing its interests in the region. The approach to China-Central Asia relations suggested and employed in the paper is relevant considering the continuing advancement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which attributes the Central Asian states a markedly significant role. The talk is based on the study of a corpus of official documents, interviews and fieldwork research.

2) “Constructing” Heritage Diplomacy in Central Asia: China’s Sinocentric Historicisation of Transnational World Heritage Sites Giulia Sciorati, University of Trento

As the ancient Silk Road acquired new centrality in China’s soft power strategy from the mid-2000s, heritage diplomacy equally developed as an engagement tool for fostering relations with Central Asia. The paper examines China’s heritage cooperation with Central Asian countries through the lenses of the social-constructivist school of IR theory, investigating the conditions under which the linguistic construction of heritage has elicited cooperation. Linking the constructivist canon to Tim Winter’s work, the research considers heritage as diplomacy, suggesting that cooperation is fostered when heritage is framed as a link to a past shared between states and positively engages with the core national interests of recipient countries. The research presents a qualitative content analysis to test this claim and examines China’s processes of transnational heritage construction. Chinese media articles on the “Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor” joint nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage list with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan constitute the corpus of data analysed. The paper identifies a Sinocentric historicisation of heritage that, on the one hand, shies away from historical memories of conflict and competition and, on the other, connects joint heritage work with notions of national sovereignty and regime continuity, playing on Central Asia’s core interests.

3) Many Faces of One Voice: State Propaganda of Uyghur Happiness in China’s Foreign Diplomacy Ruslan Yusupov, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Following pressure from the West, China has mounted a proactive media campaign in which it aims to influence and shape the international court of opinion about its policies towards Uyghurs and members of other Turkic minorities in the Xinjiang region. An example of this campaign is a series of events called “Press-conferences by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Xinjiang-related Issues”. The English transcripts of these conferences are posted on websites of China's missions in various other countries. During these conferences, the international media is invited to listen to the stories of ordinary Uyghur invitees– imams, mothers, artists, entrepreneurs, as well as graduates and teachers of the so-called vocational training schools, among many others–who voice their own experiences of living “ethnic unity” in contemporary Xinjiang. Drawing on anthropological observations and discourse analysis of these conferences, this paper theorizes the disturbing process in which the officials appropriate the voice of Uyghurs for their own ends. In doing so, it illustrates how the media is invited to perpetuate Islamophobia and how Western claims are turned into “crimes against state sovereignty.” The paper concludes by speculating on the image of a new global nomos with China at its centre, a nomos in which the biggest crimes against humanity are entertained as hearsay.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2G: Language and Linguistics (2A-double panel) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Lectorium)
Weiwei Guo (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France)
Weiwei Guo (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France)
Marie Laureillard (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France)
Mei Mercier (IFRAE, France)
Yiru Xu (Sun Yat-sen University, China)
Li Yi (Sun Yat-sen University, China)
Isabelle Guinamard (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France)
Xin Zhang (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France)
Old age in China: continuity and changes

ABSTRACT. If the policy of birth restriction allowed China to benefit from a demographic advantage in the last part of the 20th century, today, ageing is becoming a crucial issue in this country which has "grown old before it became rich". The country counts nowadays 2600 million people aged 60 or over, that is 18.7% of its population. How does Chinese society, which is rooted in the Confucian tradition of respect for elders, view old age in current situation? What are the issues that concern different actors of the Chinese society about aging? What do elderly people think about their lives? This panel gives voice to researchers from various backgrounds, who shed light on perceptions of old age and the elderly from angles as diverse as literature, linguistics, and arts. All studies show a very rapid evolution during the last decades and a striking disparity according to regions and socio-professional categories. Moreover, some works adopt a comparative approach with other countries/cultures. This allows us to better understand the Chinese specificities.

The Confrontation of Words老 lao and Vieux: Images of Old Age in China and France

Weiwei Guo, Isabelle Guinamard

What do we think of when we use the word "old"? Does this word summon the same images in Chinese and in French? These are the questions raised in the present study. We bring face to face the word 老 lao and its main equivalent in French translation dictionaries "vieux". They are both polysemous. While the main seme of old age is common, the derived meanings are clearly differentiated. This is particularly striking in terms of connotation when both adjectives are applied to a person. Where lao retains the positive aspect of past years: accumulation of life experience and wisdom, hence the respect due to elders, vieux implies wear and tear and decrepitude. Moreover, as far as gender is concerned, lao refers to a masculine image, and in French, the negative implicit meaning is reinforced by the feminine form vieille.

Image of Old Age in Today’s China: an online surveys-based study

Xin Zhang, Weiwei Guo, Isabelle Guinamard

The present study examines the image of old age among urban Chinese working people in their 40s who have their parents alive. The analysis is based on an online survey conducted by our team in August and September 2021. It is complemented by the readers’ testimonies in a survey conducted by Life Weekly magazine in October 2021 on the same subject. While the majority of respondents think one becomes old between 60 and 70, the feeling of being old can arrive much earlier, with both physical and psychological indicators. The view of old age is globally balanced: it is both enjoyable, as it frees one from many social constraints and marks the peak of life experiences, but also fragile, as it marks the loss of physical and intellectual capacities. Moreover, the two sexes do not share the same image: older women are viewed more positively, while men are more rejected. This representation, which diverges slightly from the Chinese tradition and contrasts with the French view, could be explained by the evolution of the socio-economic reality and the influence of the media.

Images of the Elderly People: A Corpus-assisted Study of the Reports from French and Chinese Newspapers (2010-2019)

Yiru Xu, Li Yi

The aging of the population has been accelerating in the last decade in France and China, the industrialized western country and the developing eastern country with the world’s largest population. 20.5% of the population is above 65 years old in France (INSEE, 2020), and in China the number was as low as 6.96% in 1990 but jumped to 13.50% in 2020 (7th National Census, 2021). The aging of the population has profoundly affected the society in various ways and has thus remained as a hot topic in the press of both countries. Reports concerning the elderly people were collected from French and Chinese newspapers from 2010 to 2019 and compiled into corpora respectively. Two representative French newspapers were selected, Le Monde, the most widely circulated national paid daily (393,109 copies per issue in 2020), and Le Figaro, the oldest French press still in publication. Two representative Chinese newspapers were chosen, People’s Daily, the national official daily with the largest circulation (3200,000 copies per day), and Guangming Daily, the influential newspaper featuring elite readership. A corpus-assisted study was conducted to analyze the evolution of the images of the elder people diachronically in each country due to their profound socio-economic changes over the last decade, and then a comparative study was made to analyze the similarities and differences in the discursive construction of the elderly people in both countries. This study would shed light on the understanding of the social conception of the aging population and aging problem in diverse socio-cultural context.

“Qiansou yan 千叟宴” (Banquets for patriarchs): From emperor Kangxi (1661-1722) to Xi Jinping (2013-)

Mei Mercier

China is the country with the largest number of elderly people in the world: people over the age of 60 reached 253 million at the end of 2020. The “filial piety” advocated by Confucian ethics once gave elderly people advantages in Chinese society. In the past, the term "elderly" often had a positive connotation; it is linked to wisdom, longevity and respect. Since ancient times, the respect for one’s ancestors, parents and elders is a virtue in China. Under the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the emperors Kangxi and Qianlong (1735-1795) have successively organized in Beijing four "banquets for patriarchs" (Qianshou yan 千叟宴) by inviting thousands of venerable people over the age of 65. At their peak, the elderly guests numbered 5,900. Nowadays, the banquets bearing the same "label" are still held in some Chinese cities, especially on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, day dedicated to the elderly people. Politically, the elderly people have always been valued in official Chinese speeches. However, with the disintegration of the large family and the one-child policy applied until 2016, health and retirement are among their top concerns. These problems cannot be solved by symbolic gesture such as banquets despite their media effects. This communication proposes a study of poems, parallel sentences, texts, iconographies and speeches devoted to "banquets for patriarchs", from emperor Kangxi to Xi Jinping.

“An empty nest”

Marie Laureillard

Empty Nest: I am too lonely in this world (空巢:我在这世上太孤独 Kong chao: wo zai zhe shi shang tai gudu) by Yi Zhou collects the testimonies of isolated elderly people resulting from a field survey. In China, there is a social category of elderly people called “kong chao lao ren” (空巢老人), “Empty nest elderly” or “Empty nesters”. Rapid urbanisation has also contributed to the emergence of this phenomenon, which stems from the one-child policy. Most of the elderly suffer from material deprivation, illness and even poverty, which makes medical expenses unaffordable. Psychological loneliness and social marginalisation are the major problems. This is the result of the survey conducted by the writer Yi Zhou, who visited many isolated elderly people in the countryside and in the city, and selected twenty-one interviewees as representative. It was found that the material problems were less serious than the feeling of loneliness and the disintegration of filial piety. This phenomenon will be discussed through the study of this book, which will be compared with the short stories of Huang Chun-ming, who showed the same problem in Taiwan in the 1980s, but also with films such as Last laugh by Zhang Tao (2017) or a recent TV series called Empty nest.


14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2H: History (Premodern) (3) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Chapel)
Azim Malikov (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Ekaterina Zavidovskaya (Bryansk State Univestity, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS, Russia)
Ekaterina Zavidovskaya (Bryansk State Univestity, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS, Russia)
Nikolai Samoilov (St.Petersburg State University, Russia)
Dmitrii Maiatskii (St.Petersburg State University, Russia)
Yadi Hölzl (Institut für Sinologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Germany, Germany)
(ONLINE) Old Chinese Sources on History and Ethnography of Ethnic Groups of Southwest China

ABSTRACT. Chair: Ekaterina Zavidovskaya

The proposed panel is to address Ming-Qing historical sources introducing the ethnic groups inhabiting southwest China with emphasis on illustrated materials, such as “Illustrated Tributaries of the Qing Empire” Huangqing zhigongtu 皇清職貢圖 and Miao albums Baimiaotu 百苗圖. Dr. Ekaterina Zavidovskaya will focus on four albums (two on Yunnan, two on Guizhou) from the library of St.Petersburg State University. Presentation of Prof. Samoilov will be focused on Chinese ethnographic album “Illustrated Tributaries of the Qing Empire” and its woodblock version kept in the Library of St. Petersburg State University, which was compiled by Fu Heng 傅恒 and printed in the 1750s. It consists of nine volumes and includes 598 pictures of non-Han peoples who lived in 265 territories. Dr. Dmitrii Maiatskii would share his experience of translating “Illustrated Tributaries of the Qing Empire” (1750s) and the album depicting ethnic groups of Yunnan “Illustrated Notes about Barbarians of Southwest of Yunnan Province” 滇省迤西迤南夷人圖說 (preface 1839) into Russian and challenges encountered in the cause of this tremendous project. Yadi Hölzl will analyze the earliest extant versions of Miao albums of Guizhou Province in Western collections, such as two untitled albums from the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Library of Princeton University, the “Shui Yang Ling T'ung Yao Chuang” of the Wellcome Collection in the UK, and the illustrated chapter entitled “Manliao 蠻獠” of the “General Gazetteer of Guizhou Province” (1692) housed in the National Library of France.

Four Miao albums from the collection of St.Petersburg State University in the context of other album editions

Ekaterina Zavidovskaya

Approximately 180 Miao albums depicting mainly ethnic groups of Guizhou and Yunnan dated produced during mid-XVIII – early XX centuries are housed in the libraries across the world with the earliest extant editions most valuable from the artistic and historical point of view are mainly stored outside mainland China, which owns about 30 editions. Russia holds about ten editions, four albums belong to the library of the St. Petersburg State University, one of them “Illustrated Notes about Barbarians of Southwest of Yunnan Province” (滇省迤西迤南夷人圖說, preface 1839) with 44 annotated plates has been republished in 2020, anonymous album on Yunnan with 78 plates has unique composition combining a map with visual images of tribe`s activities in the area, albums on Guizhou include anonymous one with 73 annotated plates and “Illustrations of Miao of the Entire Guizhou” 全黔苗圖 with 27 plates (originally -40). The special feature of the anonymous Guizhou album is that brief descriptions (some in verse form) are written on small sheets of paper and glued on the top of the illustration making it different from typical designs of such albums, the report is to discuss reasons for that. It will place albums in the context of other known editions and show connections with written courses on southwest China.

Images of “Barbarians” in the mid-18th century Chinese Album “Illustrated Tributaries of the Qing Empire” Huangqing Zhigongtu.

Nikolai Samoilov

Presentation will be focused on Chinese ethnographic album “Illustrated Tributaries of the Qing Empire” 皇清職貢圖 and its woodblock version kept in the Library of St. Petersburg State University, which was compiled by Fu Heng 傅恒 and printed in the 1750s. It consists of nine volumes and includes 598 pictures of non-Han peoples who lived in 265 territories. This book was illustrated with black and white engravings accompanied by descriptions. The book reflects the Chinese worldview and their knowledge about other peoples of the world in the mid-XVIIIth century. There we can find and analyze a specific classification of the countries around China and “barbarian” peoples typical for the Qing period. All the “barbarians” were divided into three groups: “foreigners” (yi 夷), “minorities” (fan 番) and others. The “fan” are classified into the “civilized” (shufan 熟番) and the “uncivilized” (shengfan 生番). Studying and analyzing the Huangqing Zhigongtu, we can not only reveal important elements of ethnic self-awareness that exert influence on the general picture of the Chinese worldview but also contribute to a better understanding of both objective factors and internal motives that determined the foreign policy of the Qing Empire in the XVIIIth century.

Qing Ethnographic Albums “Illustrated Tributaries of the Qing Empire” Huangqing Zhigongtu and “Illustrated Notes about Barbarians of Southwest of Yunnan Province” Dian Sheng Yi Xi Yi Nan Yi Ren Tu Shuo”: Difficulties of Translation.

Dmitrii Maiatskii

The report will summarize the experience of translating two Chinese ethnohistorical and ethnogeographical albums – “Illustrated Tributaries of The Qing Empire” (Huangqing zhigongtu 皇清職貢圖, woodcut block-print of the second half of the XVIII century) and “Illustrated Notes about Barbarians of Southwest of Yunnan Province” (滇省迤西迤南夷人圖說, Dian Sheng Yi Xi Yi Nan Yi Ren Tu Shuo, manuscript, the preface year 1839). The author will discuss the following difficulties: interpretation of different writing forms for Chinese characters, localization of places mentioned in albums, attribution of names and terms indicating ethnic or social groups, historical and ethnographical realities etc. For the study the author uses albums stored in Russian collections. The results of other scholars from different institutions and albums from other collections are also taken into account.

Earliest versions of Miao albums from Western Collections.

Yadi Hölzl

In my recent research I analyzed how the political changes and the interaction between the ethnic groups and the government influenced the production of the Miao albums. For the panel, I would like to go deeper into this topic and present a study of the earliest extant versions of Miao albums of Province Guizhou in Western collections, such as the album in Berlin (preface 1768), an untitled Miao album of the Library of Princeton University, the Shui Yang Ling T'ung Yao Chuang of the Wellcome Collection in the UK, and the illustrated chapter named Manliao 蠻獠 of the General Gazetteer of Guizhou Province (1692) housed in the National Library of France. As an important means of governing the “Miao territory”, these versions were usually produced by local officials shortly before or after the policy of gaitu guiliu 改土歸流. By analysing how and why the images and texts of the early sources were copied or modified for the later works, I would like to discuss the changing conceptualization of ethnicities of the Qing court reflected in the Miao albums.

14:00-15:30 Session SD2-2I: Literature (Modern) (2) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Auditorium Maximum)
Kamila Hladikova (Palacky University Olomouc, KAS, Czechia)
Paula Teodorescu (University of Bucharest, Romania)
(ONLINE) Poet Yang Li – the Xiangpi project and the avant-garde

ABSTRACT. The Chinese avant-garde movement from the '80s brought a sum of changes and innovations meant to redefine the margins of Chinese literature as it was known before. In poetry, the colloquial movement started in the '80s through the voices of groups like: Tamen, Feifei, Manghan, it survived during the 90s disputes and artistic changes, and it generated replicators in the 2000s, settling its firm position on the Chinese literary scene. The constant presence in all these colloquial experiments is poet Yang Li who started his poetry journey along with the group Manghan or Macho men, adopting a frenetic, rebellious and masculine poetry. He then wrote poetry under the vague principles promoted by Feifei, and, in the end, became the main representative of a controversial avant-gardist project, Eraser Literature, Xiangpi wenxue 橡皮文学. Although Xiangpi was one of the dominant avant-garde sites at the beginning of the 2000s, was rarely the object of analysis of research studies. The site ceased its activity in 2004, but the group that activated back then still continues to organize events, produce literature and self-puplish under this name - Xiangpi, a name which became a trademark of Yang Li's understanding of the avant-garde. Some of the Xiangpi “products” attracted a lot controversy and incited numerous discussions about the new margins of Chinese poetry, about the new meanings of the avant-garde, about decentralisation and so on.

Sara Landa (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
"Sense of Place, Sense of Planet"? Literary Negotiations of Minority Identities and Ecological Imbalance in Guo Xuebo's and Jurij Brežan's Works

ABSTRACT. From the late 1970s on, ecological concerns became more prominent in socialist literatures in which earlier on the idea of man overcoming nature had been predominant. Authors of ethnic minorities played a major role in bringing these topcis to the fore in many socialist states, also in China and in the GDR, as threats to cultural identities were intimately linked to perceptions of specific landscapes and ecosystems. The paper would like to compare the writings of Mongolian Chinese author Guo Xuebo 郭雪波 and Sorbian German writer Jurij Brežan. Both reflect the intricate relation between turbulent social and political change and aggravating ecological threats. The paper will pay particular attention to the question how "sense of place" and "sense of planet," to use Ursula Heise's famous phrases, are brought together: Threats to the specific living spaces and their interspecies relationships pose essential dangers to the identity formation of minority groups, in particular in times of rapid change, while they also embody matters of global concern. Through the interaction of the different levels, the local and the global, both authors also reflect on socialist and post-socialist or post-utopian visions of society and state as a whole.

Helen Hess (University of Zurich, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies (Chinese Studies), Switzerland)
When Forms Collide – A Formalist Approach to Sinophone Literature

ABSTRACT. The concept of the Sinophone has increasingly gained popularity in recent years. Originally, the term was mainly used as a synonym for “Chinese-speaking”. In the early 2010s, a decisive conceptual shift took place. The book Sinophone Studies – A Critical Reader, published in 2013, undertook an effort to define Sinophone studies as a field. Since then, Sinophone studies has established itself as an important subfield of modern Chinese studies. However, the emerging field has sparked controversial debates that have even led to doubts about the legitimacy of Sinophone studies as such. Rather than further contributing to these controversies, the present paper proposes to revisit Sinophone literary works – and to some extent the concept of the Sinophone – from a “strategic formalist” perspective. Strategic formalism is a method developed by Caroline Levine, who describes it as a “social close reading”, which focuses on what happens when aesthetic forms, social forms – in the sense of social structures – and other forms meet, intersect, and/or collide. This approach is not based on the aim of depoliticising the concept of the Sinophone, but on the premise that literary forms are political in their own way. Preliminary research conducted for this paper has shown that in the case of Sinophone Malaysian literature, many contemporary literary works are characterised by a multiplicity of intermeshing forms. The paper investigates how these collisions are entangled with social, historical, and political processes, such as the positionality of the Malaysian Hua (华), or language politics in postcolonial Malaysia.

16:00-17:30 Session SD2-3A: Digital Humanities (3) (Křížkovského 10, 1.48)
Joan Judge (York University, Canada)
Joan Judge (York University, Canada)
Lara Yuyu Yang (Freiburg University, Germany)
Joan Judge (York University, Canada)
Robert Culp (Bard University, United States)
Sisi Dong (Minnan Normal University, China)
Reading and Writing Early Socialism in China: Challenges in an Unstable Cultural Field

ABSTRACT. Discussant: Joan Judge

This panel uses the acts of reading and writing as a prism onto the transformational first decades of communist rule in China. For writers and readers, neither pre-existing norms and values, nor the newly engineered socialist system were sufficiently authoritative to offer full certainties in the period before the socialist state consolidated its control over the cultural field in the late 1950s. Print materials were a mixture of old and new, and both writers and publishers were faced with a bewildering array of options in terms of ideas, writing styles, languages, and even materiality. The panel brings together four scholars living in the PRC, Europe, and North America to explore the political and cultural significance of what was written and read during the 1950s. Robert Culp charts the creation and transformations of the bifurcated internal distribution (neibu faxing) and open distribution (gongkai faxing) systems that developed in the first decades of the People’s Republic and extended into the Reform Period (1978-present); Sisi Dong probes how Mao’s works were popularized and concretized through daily practices in rural Fujian; and Lara Yang discusses the ideological challenges presented by reading practices related to the Beijing Dong’an Second-hand Book-market. As the discussant, Joan Judge aims to investigate the gaps between the state’s ideological goals and the ecology of everyday cultural practices. Questioning how these processes resulted in transformation, acceptance, or refusal of certain modes of reading and writing, we illuminate the dynamic cultural landscape of the 1950s.

Internal Distribution, Segmented Reading Publics, and the Configuration of Knowledge in Mao-era China

Robert Culp

In this paper I chart the creation and transformations of the bifurcated internal distribution (neibu faxing) and open distribution (gongkai faxing) systems that developed in the first decades of the People’s Republic and extended into the Reform Period (1978-present). The internal distribution category was initially formulated in the late 1940s and early 1950s to protect national security and shield state secrets and internal party deliberations. By the mid-1950s, however, the Ministry of Culture and Central Propaganda Department extended the boundaries of the internal distribution system to include many specialized, technical, and/or foreign texts, as well as salacious or politically questionable texts from the old society. The cultural bureaucrats in those institutions viewed these texts as too sensitive to circulate openly to the general public, but rather than censor them entirely, they believed they still had value for reference (cankao) by state and party leaders and for research (yanjiu) by scholarly elites and government technocrats. By disseminating discrete kinds of texts to different communities of readers, the internal distribution system segmented the PRC reading public to create steep cultural hierarchies during this period of mass democracy. At the same time, this stratified approach to distribution configured divergent domains of specialized and common knowledge through the mechanisms of limited access and selective circulation. Examining this distribution process reveals how textual movement shapes textual meaning and categories of knowledge.

Learning Chairman Mao’s Works in Rural Eastern Fujian

Sisi Dong

The canonization of Mao Zedong’s works was a key ideological goal of the state from the outset of the PRC. Before the mid-1950s, “Reading Chairman Mao’s Works” movements mostly focused on orthodox interpretations of the philosophy and ideology in the Selected Works of Mao Zedong. Their targeted readership was primarily Party cadres, intellectuals and artists. From the late 1950s to 1960, the state started to extend the “Reading Chairman Mao’s Works” campaign to common workers and peasants nationwide, a movement that reached its climax at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. This paper explores the complex relationship between official political reading campaigns and mundane rural practices from the late 1950s. By analyzing cases in rural eastern Fujian, I argue that Mao’s philosophical works were simplified and vernacularized in these movements in an effort to make the texts more accessible to the largely illiterate peasants. Not only were the more legible chapters the focus, they were taught by adapting the narrative techniques of rural oral culture. In night schools and study classes where Chairman Mao’s Works were formally studied, movement activists used the form of storytelling, or the narrative strategy of suku, to effectively translate Mao’s works into the local vernacular. These strategies successfully aroused the peasants’ political enthusiasm which was the purpose of the movement. At the same time, an unintended consequence was that as peasant literacy advanced, newly emerging rural political elites acquired direct access to the socialist revolutionary discourse themselves.

Reading Dust from the Past: Second-hand Book-reading Culture in 1950s China

Lara Yang

What is the place of second-hand books in a socialist regime focused on creating a new cultural and state apparatus? Focusing on the tumultuous period from roughly 1949 to 1956, I examine the ways second-hand books travelled between purchasers, dealers and even garbage collectors, before they were remarketed and re-consumed by readers. As pre-1949 materials, the very existence of these second-hand books challenged the utopian goal of the state which required a clear demarcation between old and new, and a total embrace of socialist content. Before 1956, policies on these historical books were highly negative. I argue that the historical traces attached to each individual book, which I refer to as ‘dust’, made every second-hand book a singular entity. This singularity made it difficult for the state to standardize control over reading practices related to these materials. Second-hand book-reading culture, with its reification of rare texts and with the attendant ambiguity concerning the origins, contents and readership of specific books, constantly conflicted with state regulations. Focusing on the reading practices around Dong’an Market in Beijing as a case study, and using receipts, sales records, catalogues, marginalia in books, and personal accounts such as diaries as sources, I trace actual readers and their idiosyncratic cultural practices. I investigate the often contentious encounter between their values, customs, beliefs, and symbolic practices on the one hand, and the state’s ideological goals on the other, in order to reconstruct the complex landscape of second-hand book-reading culture.

16:00-17:30 Session SD2-3B: Arts and Art History (4) (Křížkovského 10, 1.49)
Roland Altenburger (University of Würzburg, Germany)
Roland Altenburger (University of Würzburg, Germany)
Xiaolin Duan (North Carolina State University, United States)
Antonio José Mezcua López (University of Granada, Spain)
Mengyuan Chai (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Qinxing Bao (Zhejiang A&F University, NSFC, China)
Roland Altenburger (University of Würzburg, Germany)
(HYBRID) Looking through the Ripple Effect: West Lake and Its Overseas Legacy in the Early Modern World

ABSTRACT. Organisers: Xiaolin Duan, Antonio José Mezcua López Disussant: Roland Altenburger

Hangzhou’s West Lake inspired numerous textual and visual materials in surrounding cultures such as Japan and Korea, as well as the Western world. Continuing the discussion about West Lake in previous EACS conferences, we propose to take this scenic place as an example in studying the transnational communication on religion, art, and landscape culture. Looking through different periods, disciplinary perspectives, and sources, this panel examines how West Lake became a cultural trope that represented a ripple effect in early modern cultural appropriation.

In the twelfth century, Japanese monks started recording important monasteries around West Lake as places for Chan teaching and leisure sightseeing, making the lake a symbol in Gonza literature (Duan). In the seventeenth century, Kano Sanraku painted a pair of six-panel standing screens depicting West Lake, appropriating Japanese and Chinese popular icons, idealizing topography, and employing rhetorical strategy in representing escapism away from the real world (Chai). The Cold Spring Pavilion and the Fei-Lai Peak next to the lake have long been a classical design copied by royal gardens. The Ritsurin garden in eighteenth-century Japan later appropriated this garden model along with its literal and visual representation (Bao). Moreover, West Lake was extensively documented in overseas travel accounts. Although all travelers toured the same space, there was a contrast between East Asian writers and those from the western world. Their perception was conditioned by particular ways to look/conceive and thus led to different forms of landscape culture (Mezcua López).

Visualizing Religious Communications: Japanese Monks’ Visit to Hangzhou’s West Lake during the Twelfth to the Thirteenth Century

Xiaolin Duan

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Japanese monks such as Setchō Chikan and Enji Ben’en traveled to Hangzhou and lived in the monasteries around West Lake. At the time, Hangzhou was known for hosting five temples among the imperial recognized “Five Mountains and Ten Monasteries.” The Soul’s Retreat, Middle Tianzhu, and Purity Compassion monasteries were the most visited ones. During their stay in Hangzhou, Japanese monks communicated with local monks and scholars, wrote poems, and observed the monasteries. Tettsū Gikai compiled Diagram of the Five Mountains and Ten Temples, detailing temples’ architecture and furniture styles. This document was later referenced in constructing Japanese Buddhist monasteries and was widely copied and reprinted. Meanwhile, these monks rendered their sightseeing experience in poems, circulating words about the lake’s scenic beauty. Place names around the lake frequently appeared in poetry gatherings, and more poems were composed for paintings about the lake. West Lake became a trope in the Gonza literature. This paper examines how Japanese monks wrote important monasteries as places both for Chan teaching and leisure sightseeing. It demonstrates that pray and play constructed West Lake as a middle landscape to navigate monks’ experience of Hangzhou and fashioned “Five Mountains” as a symbol for Chinese culture. This paper contributes to the discussion about early modern inter-East Asian religious communication by emphasizing the perspective of sightseeing and the travel of visual culture.

Chinese Landmarks from the Brush of the Kano School: A Study of Kano Sanraku’s Jinshan Island and West Lake

Mengyuan Chai

In 1630, at the age of 72, Kano Sanraku (1559–1635) painted a pair of six-panel standing screens depicting West Lake in Hangzhou and Jinshan in Zhenjiang, respectively. Named Jinshan Island and West Lake, the two screens are now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. West Lake and Jinshan are more than 150 miles apart, and in the late Ming dynasty (1368–1644), this distance formed two different literati traditions in art and literature. Sanraku linked the two different cultural symbols of the Chinese literati lineage by combining the decorative golden pigment applied to clouds with the calligraphic, literati-styled ink wrinkles used on mountains, trees, architecture, and figures. This research scrutinizes the visual elements of the screens to demonstrate that Sanraku’s composition was derived from his appropriation of Japanese and Chinese popular icons, idealization of topography, and rhetorical strategy in representing escapism away from the real world. By examining Sanraku’s representation of these two landmarks, his interpretation and imitation of previous Kano school masters, such as Kano Motonobu and Kano Eitoku, based on other scholars’ past research on the Japanese iconography of West Lake, this research further examines why and how Sanraku paired these two landmarks, blended both literati and decorative representations, and formed such an imaginative mindscape toward Chinese cultural landmarks.

The Multiplex Comparison of Scenic Spot Fei-Lai Peak between Chinese and Japanese Garden: A Case Study in the Ritsurin Garden of Takamatsu Japan

Qinxing Bao

The landscape beauty of Hangzhou West Lake is usually due to the combination of the lake itself and the surrounding hills. The scenery of Fei-Lai Peak (!"#) is generally accepted as the best scenery among these hills by local residents and travelers, for its unique appearance, fairyland rocks, and immeasurable caves. The Chinese name of Fei-Lai Peak, which means flew from India Buddhist Vulture Peak, greatly inspired designers that they could simply move a single hill or peak into gardens without having its roots. In the middle of the Tang Dynasty, Hangzhou governor built the Cold Spring Pavilion ($%&) facing Fei-Lai Peak across Cold Spring Brook, which became one classical space of West Lake repeatedly copied by the royal garden in the Southern Song Dynasty (AD 1127-1279). Since then, this space of the pavilion-water-hill from Fei-Lai Peak has become one of the significant archetypes of garden design in East Asia. However, the feature of the scenic spot of Fei-Lai peak in the Ritsurin garden of Takamatsu Japan is different from that in Chinese gardens but is more like Japan’s Mount Fuji. This paper analyzes the literal, visualization and 3-dimension layout differences of Fei-Lai Peak in the Ritsurin garden and archetypes from West Lake.

Overseas Travel Accounts in West Lake (X-XVII)

Antonio José Mezcua López

West Lake had been a very important place in the configuration of the travel culture and tourism in dynastic China. This development was part of a broad landscape culture that also took place in the countries of Chinese culture’s influence, such as Korea and Japan. However, West Lake was also visited by travelers from West Asia and Europe. When we examine the travel accounts of the West Lake left by Japanese and Korean travelers and those of the Western World, a sharp contrast arises between them. We believe that this contrast is due to the existence of a common landscape culture shared by China, Korea, and Japan, and the lack of that in the Western Countries. Although the West Lake was more or less the same environment for all of them, their perception was conditioned by particular ways to look and conceived the space that led to a different form of experience of the territory, some in terms of landscape culture and others without those terms. According to Augustine Berque, there are some civilizations that possess the concept of landscape and therefore are “landscape civilization” and others not. This paper will focus on examining those contrasts and cultural differences in the overseas travel accounts of the West Lake and how these differences led to a totally different way to look at the territory.

16:00-17:30 Session SD2-3C: History (Modern) (3) (Křížkovského 10, 2.39)
Azim Malikov (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)
Mingke Ma (University of Oxford, UK)
(ONLINE) Origins of Developmental State in Northeast China: Institutions, Geopolitics, and Early-Late Development: 1918-1931

ABSTRACT. This study examines how the Fengtian warlord regime (1918-1931) shaped the economic development of Northeast China. Under the realm of Fengtian warlord regime, Northeast China achieved a high-speed industrial development win an annual industrial production growth rate of 6.91%. In 1929, the per-capita GDP in the Northeast was also higher than the national average by 47%. This study argues that the Fengtian Warlord regime constructed an indigenous developmental state, characterised by bureaucratic institution-building and an entrepreneurial state to steer industrialisation. Intense geopolitical pressures from rival warlords and imperialism determined the elite cohesion that the Fengtian regime commanded to empower strong and durable state institutions and evoked a developmental attitude towards growth promotion. Imperialism articulated the era effects of pre-war early-late development and forced the Fengtian regime to innovate to increase productivity to address fierce market competition and maintain a buffer zone to accommodate the inherently conflicting interests between the nationalism in indigenous industrialisation and imperialism in the provision of geopolitical leverage. Recently released documents from the Liaoning Provincial Archives in 2016 provide the majority of primary sources for this research. This research begins by examine the durability of the Fengtian warlord regime since its emergence over various ruptures. It continues by analysing the institution-building and policy practices of the Civil Government on performing embedded autonomy in the areas of state-business, state-society, and state-military relations. It provide three enterprise-level case studies which represent the most important sectors to early-late development: the Fengtian Arsenal, the Fengtian Textile Mill, and the Fenghai Railway.

Emily Dawes (SOAS, UK)
The Discussion of Race in Missionary Writings on Muslims in China

ABSTRACT. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Protestant missionaries around the world often used racial identification to understand and order the people groups that they intended to reach with the Christian gospel. Missionaries scaled and identified groups by race and presumed racial origins, evaluating them on a moral scale with Christianity as the highest standard. With this paper, I explore the discussion of race in the writings of Protestant missionaries about Muslims in China. Missionaries noticed and wrote about differences in the appearances of their potential converts and what that could mean for their work in spreading the Christian gospel. Missionaries used categories to identify Muslims in China which focused on the ‘differentness’ of Sino-Muslims from Han Chinese, defining them as a racial ‘Other.’ Determining the racial origins of Muslims was a way to explain and interpret new surroundings in comparison to world of western Christianity and fit Muslims into their preconceived ideas of China and Chinese-ness. The influence of European exact sciences led missionaries to become concerned about the theme of race. The popularity of scientific inquiry inspired many missionaries and missionary-scholars to ‘study’ the people they set out to convert. They read and engaged with scientific and historical studies of Muslims in China and wrote their own ethnographic articles and books. They sought to prove that mission and academic practice could go hand in hand. Ultimately, missionaries wished to leverage an understanding of racial differences to gain converts and reach more people with their Christian message.

16:00-17:30 Session SD2-3D: Philosophy and History of Thought (3) (Křížkovského 10, 3.32)
Halvor Eifring (University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, Norway)
Halvor Eifring (University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, Norway)
Minh Khai Mai-Thi (University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, Norway)
Hsiu-Fen Chen (National Chengchi University, Department of History, Taiwan)
(HYBRID) The Conceptualisation of Emotions in Premodern Chinese Philosophy and Medicine

ABSTRACT. Chair: Halvor Eifring

Philosophy and medicine have followed parallel lines of development within Chinese thought for more than two thousand years. They have influenced each other but also developed along separate pathways. One area in which their mutual influences and differences become evident is the conceptualisation and treatment of emotions.

This panel seeks to look beyond the authority afforded to ancient classics in both philosophy and medicine and look into the actual multiplicity of views of emotions that has developed over the centuries. It will explore some of the ways emotion terminology and definitions were established in early Chinese philosophy and medicine and later transformed in adaptation to changing historical, theoretical, and social settings. This entails a comparison of generic categories such as qíng 情 and zhì 志, different listings of emotions, and concepts related to emotional processing such as ‘qi-transformation’ qìhuà 氣化 and ‘repression’ yù 鬱. A particular focus is placed on the relationship between emotion terminology and sociocultural practices such as moral and spiritual self-cultivation, mourning rituals and other forms of ritual propriety, as well as the processes of medical diagnosis and treatment. From this cross-disciplinary, comparative viewpoint we seek to approach the Chinese history of emotions in a way that allows more of its complexity and nuances, intersecting and diversified trajectories, and sociohistorical significance to be brought into light.

Emotions and Correlative Thinking in Early Chinese Philosophy and Medicine

Halvor Eifring

During the 4th century BC, Chinese philosophy began to display a shift of attention inwards and an explicit division of the inner and the outer man. As part of this development, the realm of emotions came into view as a focus of philosophical interest and a major factor in moral and spiritual self-cultivation. In the same period, the Zuǒzhuàn quotes physicians and ritual specialists as for the first-time placing emotions within larger correlative worldviews. These quotations, while retaining much of the philosophical interest in self-cultivation, at the same time display early versions of the medical interest in aetiology and treatment that becomes so prominent in the somewhat later Huángdì nèijīng texts. Even the terminology is similar, the term zhì 志 being used to refer to emotions in both sources, in contrast to most other contemporary texts. However, the somewhat messy correlations of the Zuǒzhuàn become much more streamlined in the Huángdì nèijīng, in which yīn-yáng dualism and the Five Agents are seen to lie at the bottom of most correlations. The binome xǐ-nù 喜怒 ‘joy and anger’ remains at the centre of emotional interest, while āi-lè 哀樂 ‘sadness and pleasure’, which plays a central role in both the Zuǒzhuàn and in philosophical texts, is replaced in the Huángdì nèijīng by a trinome that includes yōu 憂 ‘worry’, kǒng 恐 ‘fear’, and either bēi 悲 ‘sorrow’ or sī 思 ‘thinking’. This paper looks into the gradual development of a correlative view of emotions in early Chinese thought.

Sound and Movement in Mourning: The Regulation of Vocal and Bodily Expression of Emotion in Early Chinese Death Ritual

Ulrike Middendorf

Chinese tradition developed an elaborate mortuary ritual system to properly express culturally coded and emotionally laden responses to the loss of life. Mourning rituals and their impact on the social and psychological well-being of single persons and community helped to cope with the grief (āi) of bereavement. This paper explores the regulation of vocal and bodily expression of emotion in early Chinese death ritual, as emerging from the prescriptive texts of the Sān lǐ (Three Rituals), their commentaries, and related sources. The analysis of the vocalization (tí, kū) of grief and pain, proceeds to emotional motor components of beating the breast (pì) and stamping/leaping (yǒng), the ways of touching the corps (píng, fǔ, zhí, etc.), and ritual exposure (tǎn). Evidence suggests that the ritual code serves as a means of stepwise down-regulating high focus, direction, intensity, and arousal in grief of the chief mourner and ritual participants, observing gradation of mourning obligations by kinship proximity, gender, and age. On the paradigm of lǐ as an artificial system of social and psychological control that properly adjusts spontaneous qíng – emotion and other types of valenced reaction classified as affect (moods, attitudes, interpersonal stances, dispositions) – intrinsic regulation (self-regulation) and extrinsic regulation (other-regulation) of sound and movement are always targeted at right measure (jié) complying with change in the emotion experience. I argue that the regulation of emotional expression and emotion/affect in general serves therapeutic purposes and allows the mourner to appropriately fulfil his filial duty (xiào), confirming by this its essential social value.

Chen Wuze’s Medical Notion of the ‘Seven Affects’ 七情: Origin, Meaning and Significance

Minh Khai Mai-Thi

The ‘Seven Affects’ 七情 are central to psychological theories in Chinese and East Asian medicines. Even so, the historical roots, evolution, and functions of these concepts are not widely known. Though Chinese scholars have traced and documented many aspects of this development, little have been shared beyond the Sinophone medical community. Moreover, as a mostly internalist historiography, connections and contexts tend to be taken for granted, leaving the analyses incomplete or even incomprehensible for outsiders. This paper presents a textual-historical analysis of the Seven Affects theory as it first appeared in Chen Wuze’s 陳無擇1174 treatise Three Causes Remedies (三因方). It explains how this theory was formed through an innovative synthesis of pre-existing medical concepts, terminology popularised by Confucian and Buddhist discourses, and the author’s own clinical experience and preferences. By standardising a set of core human emotions, Chen was able to clarify and expand their role within the existing medical framework, simultaneously sorting out certain lingering ambiguities. Furthermore, his doctrine of the ‘Three Causes’ designated emotional factors as the main cause of internal diseases, emphasising their specific psychosomatic mechanisms and how these could be systematically dealt with in diagnosis and treatment. While not all the specifics were carried on by the lager medical community, Chen’s general ideas undoubtedly reshaped the understanding of aetiology, elevated the significance of emotions, and created a new foundation for medical psychology from which later physicians of the Ming-Qing era could elaborate, argue, and diversify their positions.

The Origins of Various Illnesses – the yù Disorders in Late Imperial China

Hsiu-fen Chen

In modern Chinese, yōuyù 憂鬱 and yìyù 抑鬱 unequivocally refer to depression or depressive disorders. In early China, however, the term yù 鬱more often referred to repression of environmental qi and heat, or stagnation of bodily qì and blood. When the Huángdì nèijīng (the first century BCE – the first century CE) categorised the ‘five yù’ based on the Five Phases and the Five Viscera, Zhu Zhengheng 朱震亨 (1282-1358) by contrast divided yù into six types, ranging from qi, blood, heat, damp, to phlegm and food. Both the ‘five yù’ and ‘six yù’ primarily signified bodily stagnation despite their different symptoms. When Ming-Qing physicians followed Zhu’s innovative view that yù is the origin of various illnesses, some of them also shed new light to its emotional affects and gender difference. In their diagnoses, both men and women would suffer from the yù disorders. Yet, yù was sometimes regarded as depressive mental states associated with ‘inner injury’ (nèishāng), anger, pensiveness, or sorrow. It is therefore my attempt to answer the following questions: Why did the yù disorders catch so much attention in Late Imperial China? How were they emotionalised and gendered in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Who were prone to suffer from the yù disorders, and why?

16:00-17:30 Session SD2-3E: Sociology and Anthropology (5) (Křížkovského 10, 3.05)
Marina Rudyak (Heidelberg University, Institute of Chinese Studies, Germany)
16:00-17:30 Session SD2-3H: History (Premodern) (4) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Chapel)
Yanran Li (University of Leeds, UK)
Yanran Li (University of Leeds, UK)
Qian Su (University of Leeds, UK)
Na Song (University of Göttingen, Germany)
Crisis of Recognition: The Dialog Between Literati and Society in The Ming-Qing Period

ABSTRACT. This panel is aimed at probing different issues of recognition based on literati under different contexts of society through late Ming to Qing, from individuals to groups, examining how they interacted with the society in different stages and how their sense of recognition changed along with the environments, also how they dealt with the decline or crisis of their recognition. During the period between mid-Ming and early Qing Dynasty, the society experienced multiple transformations which impacted how literati sensed themselves in various domains, thus generated different formations of recognition in separated times. In mid and late Ming, a specific literatus’s crisis of social recognition expressed through the alternation of his social relations and how he maintained them by self-fashioning and tastes. However, in Southern Ming, the struggle of literati mainly from the dual identity and complicated attitudes between the association with Qing officials. Then, from the late Ming to the mid-Qing, Guanzhong's literati turned to the construction of Guanxue in order to settle intellectual disputes and reaffirm the Way. Above all, each paper will unfold one formation of literati’s recognition through the time, meanwhile together show an explicit clue of the change of literati’s state of mind and presenting an integrated dynamic image of literati in Ming-Qing period.

Tu Long's Struggle for Social Recognition: The Recognitive Status of Literati in Mid and Late Ming Dynasty

LI Yanran

Tu Long (1543-1605) was a literatus living in mid and late Ming when the society experienced a certain extent of transformation in the areas of economy, ideology and social status, which generated an environment of intersubjective recognition between social relations. In the context of the era, literati not only had an opportunity to explore their own values of existence in the society, but also experienced the crisis of identity and social recognition. What makes Tu Long outstanding is the feature of co-existence of multiple ideas and values on him, as well as his abundant experiences and social relations. This research is mainly based on Tu Long’s letters and journals which recorded his real social bonds and the communication of his thoughts, lifestyles and social activities with his friends, which shows a clear trace of struggle for social recognition in different periods of Tu Long’s life, including the anxiety time when he could not pass the imperial examination or when he was dismissed from the official, and how he maintained his social recognition through the interaction with his friends, such as joining the literati gathering or exchanging gifts with each other. In the meantime, Tu Long’s social recognition was also expressed on self-fashioning by consciously shaping the image he would want to be seen in his friends’ or other literati’s eyes through the taste of literati. Tu Long is like a window to discuss literati’s status of recognition and the certain recognitive environment in the society of mid and late Ming.

Identity Struggles of the Southern Ming People Projected in Letters:Between the Qing Identity and the Self-identified Ming Loyalists

SU Qian

The Southern Ming people, who identified themselves as the Ming people or Ming loyalists between 1644 and 1683, had a double identity. They were both the Qing people and self-identified Ming loyalists. Due to the collapse of the Beijing government of the Ming dynasty and the incompetence of the Southern Ming court, their residence and hometown gradually became the Qing territory, which transformed their identity from the Ming people to the Qing people. However, there was a disapproval of such transformation in their consciousness. They used letters as a tool and made efforts to express and emphasise themselves as Ming loyalists, in order to break away from the Qing identity. Nevertheless, the Southern Ming letter-writers still lived in the Qing territory and presented a complicated attitude when associating with Qing officials through correspondence. Most of them had become friends with Qing officials and would ask for help when suffering political troubles. Although they refused to cooperate with the Qing government, they supported descendants to take the Qing imperial examination to secure official positions. Such facts demonstrate that the Southern Ming letter-writers struggled with the two identities while also seeking a balance. This paper will explore and discuss the dual identity of the Southern Ming people, and their efforts to struggle and balance the two identities through letters in the late Ming and early Qing period.

The Investigation of Local-state Dynamics in the Construction of Guanxue during the Qing Dynasty


It has been demonstrated that Guanxue was constructed by Feng Congwu during the Ming Dynasty, rather than a self-evident concept, according to researchers like Ong Chang Woei and Lu Miaw-fen. They discovered that the rise of locality, Feng's contemporary concerns, and the North-South competition in Daoxue were all entangled with Feng's construction. Following Feng, three scholars from various philosophical backgrounds continued to construct Guanxue in the Qing: Li Yong (李颙, 1627-1705), Wang Xinjing (王心敬, 1658-1738), and Li Yuanchun (李元春, 1769-1855). Their Guanxue formulations, like Feng's, were meant to answer specific contemporary problems and establish local identity. Simultaneously, they sought to compete with their southern counterparts for the orthodoxy line of the Way (道统) and the genuine learning in the context of Neo-Confucianism (lixue, 理学) no longer being the dominant scholarship and especially Lu-Wang learning being challenged after the Ming-Qing transition. The construction of Guanxue reflects the local-state dynamics in the Guanzhong region, which I shall address in this article.

16:00-17:30 Session SD2-3I: Literature (Modern) (3) (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Auditorium Maximum)
Kamila Hladikova (Palacky University Olomouc, KAS, Czechia)
Alexey Rodionov (St.Petersburg State University, Russia)
(ONLINE) Ah Q’s Journey to Russia: Five Uneasy Reincarnations

ABSTRACT. 2021 and 2022 mark a centennial since publication of “The True Story of Ah Q” (1921-1922) by Lu Xun (1881-1936) – one of the most influential texts in modern Chinese literature. At the same time this story was highly praised abroad, and Russia was no exception. Among 407 texts of Lu Xun translated and published in Russian language since 1929 till today “The True Story of Ah Q” is most often translated (5 translations: 1929, 1929, 1938, 1945 and 1955) and most often published (22 editions). The translation made in 1945 by Soviet journalist Vladimir Rogov (1906-1988) gained a status of a canonized version, published 19 times between 1945 and 2016. However, the accuracy and stylistic excellency of Rogov’s version were not the only reasons why other translations were sent to oblivion. Unfortunately, the politics interfered sinology too much in the Soviet times – two earliest translations, published in 1929 by Mikhail Kokin (1906-1937) and Boris Vasiliev (1899-1937), came under ban, after both translators were arrested and shot as “enemies of the people” in 1937. The paper compares the five translations of “The True Story of Ah Q” in terms of accuracy and stylistic features, as well as analyzes the literary and historical circumstances behind the publication of Lu Xun in Russia.

Carole Hoyan (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
(ONLINE) Transmediality and Translocality: On the Reception of Ann Hui’s Love after Love

ABSTRACT. Love after Love is the filmic adaptation of Eileen Chang’s renowned novella “Aloeswood Incense: The First Brazier” by Hong Kong director Ann Hui. The film had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival 2020, in which Hui won the Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement. However, the film was met with severe criticism for its casting and plot when screened in the mainland in the subsequent year. Chang’s story tells of the Shanghainese student Ge Weilong (Sandra Ma Sichun) who studies in Hong Kong and falls for the dandy George Chiao (Eddie Peng Yu-yan). The sophisticated and calculative female protagonist in the original novella is depicted in the film as a college student who has scanty experience of life and undergoes successive revelation moments in the process of her downfall as a prostitute. The line “I love you, you heartless” by Weilong is added in the last scene. When the film was screened in Hong Kong in 2021, the reception on the casting and the plot change is much more welcoming and understanding. How do we understand the differences in the trans-regional reception of the film? What does it say about Hui’s adaptation and about the city Hong Kong? This paper examines the transmedia adaptation in the context of sinophone cinema. It is the view of this paper that Love after Love can be read as Hui’s declaration of her love philosophy, and her confession of love to post-colonial Hong Kong.

Zofia Jakubów-Rosłan (University of Warsaw, Poland)
Family in the Writings of 80 hou Chinese Woman Authors

ABSTRACT. Chinese authors’ understanding of the functions the family is supposed to perform and their assessment of the family’s influence on the individual and the society have been evolving over the past few decades. In late 20th century literary works, family was often pictured as the most vital of all human communities, ensuring protagonists’ economic and moral survival, serving as refuge from the hostile outside world dominated by ruthless politics. However, one can also easily find notable examples of novels and short stories that depict family as the source of oppression of an individual and a system responsible for the transmission of harmful patterns of behavior and gender roles. The turn of the 21st century saw the rise of new generations of Chinese writers. Authors born after the Cultural Revolution have yet to achieve a status equal to that of Mo Yan, Su Tong or Yu Hua, but they have already developed a voice of their own. The present study aims to examine representations of family in realistic prose works by woman writers born in the 1980s (often dubbed 80 hou in Chinese academia). Do their choices in depicting family life constitute a continuation of one of the aforementioned tendencies, or do they offer a completely new take on the subject? Which ideological influences shape their views on the ideal family and their criticism of the family relations they observe in the Chinese society? Works by Yan Ge, Di An and Zhang Yueran will be investigated to answer these questions.

17:30-19:30 Movie Screening: 'Denise Ho: Becoming the Song' (Univerzitní 3, Konvikt Filmový sál, https://uc.upol.cz/prostory/filmovy-sal/)

Denise Ho – Becoming the Song profiles the gay Hong Kong singer and human rights activist Denise Ho. Drawing on unprecedented, years-long access, the film explores her remarkable journey from commercial Cantopop superstar to outspoken political activist, an artist who has put her life and career on the line in support of the determined struggle of Hong Kong citizens to maintain their identity and freedom.

Awards: Official Selection – Frameline (San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival), Singapore International Film Festival, the Filmex Festival in Tokyo, the Athena Festival in New York, and others.


Introduction by Prof. Andrea Riemenschnitter, University of Zurich