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Michaelmas Term 2016

Department of East Asian Studies

Postgraduate Research Seminars

Academical Year 2016-2017

Old Divinity School

Venue: Old Divinity School, St John’s College (source)


Please join us for the DEAS Postgraduate Research Seminars, designed for graduate students in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean studies to regularly meet, discuss your ideas, and present your projects – all in front of an interested and supportive audience! Some sessions will be period-specific while others will be region-centered, but all are intended to bring together DEAS graduate students to talk about your research in friendly surroundings while consuming drinks and nibbles! To enrich our experience of inter-institutional academic communication, this year we will have several guest speakers (all postgraduate students themselves) from other departments around the UK and around the world!

The Seminars are generously sponsored by the Chinese Studies Group of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

Unless otherwise noted, seminars meet on Tuesdays at the Arthur Quiller Couch Room, Old Divinity School, St. John’s College, CB2 1TP (Entrance opposite St John’s Great Gate)

Old Divinity School Location Map

* Location may change. Please follow the information on the website, as well as information sent by email prior to each seminar session.

The seminar starts at 5:00pm and ends at 6:30pm

For questions, or if you’re interested in presenting or organizing, please contact Avital Rom ().

Michaelmas Term, 2016

  • Tuesday, 15th November, 2016

    Independence and Investigations: The Significant Awareness to Hergé from The Blue Lotus
    PAN Zhiyuan, Ph.D. Candidate in Chinese Studies, University of Cambridge

    The Blue Lotus (1934) from The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé has been seen as a big leap from its precedents, especially in the aspects of exceptional standpoint and strong voice towards political events. However, such statement needs to be qualified, as an examination of the historical and biographical background of Hergé shows that this work ironically didn't break too far away from the previous limitations. Admitting the inadequacy, I would argue that the significance of The Blue Lotus lies in its implications on the working philosophy to Hergé. Contextualising this work as well as putting it in the whole Tintin series, I purpose that it provided Hergé with two significant elements, independent opinion and scrupulous investigation, that elevated Tintin afterwards to a new level. Even though he could not always fully convey those principles in the cartoon nor in his own political choice, particularly during WWII, such awareness remained crucial in reminding him of his own conscious and conscience in a turbulent time period. This analysis could serve to better understand the historical situations in Belgium, and make sense of the significance of the exposure to alternative culture in the early 20th century.

    Legitimising Xianglianti Poetry: The Early Reception of Wang Cihui’s (1593-1642) Yiyu ji as a Case Study

  • Lucrezia Botti, Ph.D. Candidate in Chinese Studies, SOAS, University of London

    The literary label xianglianti 香奩體 (fragrant dressing case style) refers to a thematic category of traditional Chinese poetry which focuses on the sensual and aesthetic aspects of love and women. Praised by Yuan Mei袁枚 (1716-1797) as a “fragrant dressing case masterpiece” (xianglian juediao 香奩絕調), Wang Cihui’s 王次回 (1593-1642) Yiyu ji 疑雨集 (Doubtful Rain Collection) is one of the most representative late imperial collections of xianglianti poetry.

    In a tradition where the supposed aim of shi 詩 poetry was to reflect the author’s interiority and moral stance, xianglianti poetry was generally perceived as frivolous and morally problematic. For this reason, many authors and admirers of this type of poetry often felt the need to find ways to legitimise and justify its production, promotion, and transmission.

    My presentation takes the early reception of Wang Cihui’s Yiyu ji as a case study for the complex and tense relationship between poetic orthodoxy and the amorous-erotic sphere in the history of traditional Chinese literature. Through close reading of Yan Shengsun’s 嚴繩孫 (1623 – 1702) and Hou Wencan’s 侯文燦 (fl. 1690) prefaces to the Yiyu ji (the earliest prefatory materials to the collection) and of a letter by Yuan Mei written in defence of Wang Cihui’s amorous-erotic verses, I will show how admirers of xianglianti poetry adopted different strategies to elevate its status and legitimise its transmission.

For further information, contact:

Avital Rom