Matching Items (14)

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Onikuma: The Sankebetsu Brown Bear Incident and Japanese Modernity

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In 1915, a bear slew and consumed seven residents of a farming hamlet in Hokkaido, Japan. The circumstances surrounding these killings are laden with semiotic gravitas. A comprehensive analysis of

In 1915, a bear slew and consumed seven residents of a farming hamlet in Hokkaido, Japan. The circumstances surrounding these killings are laden with semiotic gravitas. A comprehensive analysis of the millennia of historical forces that preceded and begat Japan's modern shift is impractical. Rather it is through the identification of the ideal précis of change, and a Thick Analysis thereof, that I arrive at an understanding of how, and precisely when, Japan crossed modernity's rampart. The attacks perpetrated by, and the hunt and dispatch of, the bear include aspects of separation from the past vis a vis their relationship to religion, the Ainu, and the artifacts of daily life. The bear's presence and anthropophagous propensity relate to the primal human urge to practice arctolatry, and Japanese patterns of relationship between men, land, and animals. So too is the gory nature of the incident analytically valuable insofar as macabre events resonate in the breasts of men. Finally, the presence of a monster indicates, as per Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, an epochal liminality. Thus through a disarticulation of this incident, I arrive at a cogent understanding of what sundered Japan from her past.

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  • 2020

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Biography and the world of discourse in early medieval China a study of "The Stele of Lord Lu

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Wu Yun (d. 778) was prominent poet at the Tang court. His biography of the Daoist ritualist Lu Xiujing (406-77) can be read on several levels. It functions as a

Wu Yun (d. 778) was prominent poet at the Tang court. His biography of the Daoist ritualist Lu Xiujing (406-77) can be read on several levels. It functions as a source of information on Lu's life and works, but a reading focused on this alone is insufficient. Conventions of Chinese biography dictate the text is read not just with an eye towards who Lu "really was," but also how he functions as a character fashioned by an author for certain purposes. With this in mind, the reader can learn not just about Lu, but about the audience of the text and the aims of its author. Lu functioned as a model for later Daoist masters and as an exhortation to proper conduct towards them on the part of rulers and elites. Finally, with reference to the work of Michel Foucault and scholars of collective memory, this work can be read as a window onto the world of discourse in early medieval China.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Neither dust nor gold: a comprehensive study of the Dadao School from 1115-1398

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During the twelfth century, three new schools of Daoism were founded in North China: Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), Taiyi (Supreme Unity), and Dadao (Great Way). While Quanzhen has received much scholarly

During the twelfth century, three new schools of Daoism were founded in North China: Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), Taiyi (Supreme Unity), and Dadao (Great Way). While Quanzhen has received much scholarly attention, the others have been largely ignored. By focusing on just one school--Dadao--as in depth as possible and within the historical context, I hope to elucidate the flourishing state of Daoism in North China during the twelfth through fourteenth centuries beyond just the activity of the Quanzhen school. To that end, I have amassed sixteen inscriptions and records, as well as reconstructed one inscription previously incomplete, and added them to the eleven inscriptions and records published in the Daojia jinshi lüe and the three pieces of Yuan-dynasty poetry and prose contained in the Nan Song chu Hebei xin Daojiao kao. This has doubled the available source material. Most of these have been previously published individually, but have never been studied in conjunction with the other known Dadao texts. The result is the most comprehensive study of the school in over seventy-five years, in which I also present a new understanding of the school’s founder, how the lineages developed, and the school’s ultimate fate. The portrait of the school which emerges from this dissertation challenges the notion that Dadao was nothing more than a minor variation of the Quanzhen school or is otherwise unworthy of scholarly attention.

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  • 2017

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The English Translation of the Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne by Tao Hongjing

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This thesis is a translation and analysis of the “Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom

Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne” (Epitaph below). The author was Tao

This thesis is a translation and analysis of the “Epitaph of the Wu Kingdom

Transcendent Duke Ge of the Left Palace of the Grand Bourne” (Epitaph below). The author was Tao Hongjing (456 CE-536 CE). The subject of this Epitaph inscribed on a stele was Ge Xuan (trad. 164 CE-244 CE). Ge Xuan had two titles attributed to him by later Daoists. According to the Lingbao scriptures, Ge was appointed by the Perfected of Grand Bourne, a heavenly title. Later, in the Shangqing scriptures, Ge Xuan was said to be an earthly transcendent without any heavenly appointment. This debate occurred before Tao Hongjing began to write. This stele epitaph is essential, as it records sayings from both Lingbao and Shangqing scriptures. By reading this translated epitaph, scholars can know more about different versions of Ge Xuan's legend, as well as how Ge Xuan's legend was constantly rewritten by later Daoists.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Born of the North Wind: Northern Chinese Poetry and the Eurasian Steppes, 1206–1260

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Based on literary works produced by the multiethnic literati of the Jin dynasty (1115–1234), this dissertation examines Chinese conceptions of the Steppe world in the early years of the Mongol

Based on literary works produced by the multiethnic literati of the Jin dynasty (1115–1234), this dissertation examines Chinese conceptions of the Steppe world in the early years of the Mongol era (1206–1260). As I show, late Jin literati, who took arduous journeys in the Eurasian Steppes, initiated transcultural communications between the Chinese and Steppe worlds. Their writings encouraged more Chinese literati to reach out to the Mongols and hence facilitated the spread of the ideal Confucian-style governance to the Mongol empire. In general, I follow the approach of New Historicism in analyzing poetic works. Even though the Mongol conquest of China damaged many northern literary texts, materials surviving from the thirteenth century still feature a great diversity. I brought historical records and inscriptions on stela to study the social conditions under which these literary works were produced. This dissertation aims to contribute a new voice to the ongoing effort to modify the traditional linear understanding of the development of Chinese literary tradition.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Kumano nachi mandalas: medieval landscape, medieval national identity

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A Japanese national identity is generally thought to have originated in the 17th century, with the advent of the Kokugaku movement. I will argue that there is earlier evidence for

A Japanese national identity is generally thought to have originated in the 17th century, with the advent of the Kokugaku movement. I will argue that there is earlier evidence for the existence of a Japanese national identity in the Kumano Nachi mandalas of the Kamakura and Muromachi periods. These mandalas employ the Nachi waterfall as a symbol of the strength and power of the Japanese land, counterbalancing Chinese Buddhist visual motifs. In this paper, I further assert that these mandalas are an early example of an artistic tradition of painting specific landscape features as symbols of a Japanese national identity, and that this tradition continues into the modern period.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Angry Men, Angry Women: Patience, Righteousness, and the Body in Late Imperial Chinese Literature

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So far, love and desire have preoccupied scholarly inquiries into the emotional landscape in late imperial China. However, the disproportional focus diminishes the complexity and interdisciplinarity of the emotional experiences

So far, love and desire have preoccupied scholarly inquiries into the emotional landscape in late imperial China. However, the disproportional focus diminishes the complexity and interdisciplinarity of the emotional experiences during this period. Alternatively, this dissertation seeks to contextualize the understudied emotion of anger and uses it as a different entry point into the emotional vista of late imperial China. It explores the stimuli that give rise to anger in late imperial Chinese fiction and drama, as well as the ways in which these literary works configure the regulation of that emotion. This dissertation examines a wide range of primary materials, such as deliverance plays, historical romance, domestic novels, and so forth. It situates these literary texts in reference to Quanzhen Daoist teachings, orthodox Confucian thought, and medical discourse, which prescribe the rootedness of anger in religious trials, ritual improprieties, moral dubiousness, and corporeal responses. Simultaneously, this dissertation reveals how fiction and drama contest the presumed righteousness of anger and complicate the parameters construed by the above-mentioned texts through editorial intervention, paratextual negotiation, and cross-genre adaptation. It further teases out the gendering of anger, particularly within the discourse on the four obsessions of drunkenness, lust, avarice, and qi. The emotion’s gendered dimension bears upon the approaches that literary imagination adopts to regulate anger, including patience, violence, and silence. The body of either the angry person or the target of his or her fury stands out as the paramount site upon which the diverse ways of coping with the emotion impinge. Ultimately, this dissertation enriches the current understanding of the emotional experiences in late imperial China and demonstrates anger as a prominent nodal point upon which various strands of discourse converge.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Sequence of power: ritual controversy over the Zhaomu sequence in imperial ancestral rites in Song China (960-1279)

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This dissertation explores the history of ancestral rituals and the related political controversy in the Song China (960-1279). Considering the pivotal role played by ancestral rites in shaping Chinese identity

This dissertation explores the history of ancestral rituals and the related political controversy in the Song China (960-1279). Considering the pivotal role played by ancestral rites in shaping Chinese identity and consciousness, this study contributes to a better understanding of how ancestral ritual has been politicized in Chinese history as a specific cultural apparatus to manipulate politics through theatrical performance and liturgical discussion. Through a contextual analysis of a variety of Song scholar-officials and their ritual writings, including memorials, private letters, and commentaries on the ritual Classics, this study demonstrates that Song ritual debates over the zhaomu 昭穆 sequence--that is, the positioning of ancestral temples and spirit tablets in ancestral temples with preparation for alternation or removal--differentiated scholar-officials into separate factions of revivalists, conventionalists and centrists. From a new perspective of ritual politics, this study reveals the discursiveness of the New Learning (xinxue新學) community and its profound influence on the Learning of the Way (Daoxue 道學) fellowship of the Southern Song (1127-1279). It examines the evolution of the New Learning fellowship as a dynamic process that involved internal tension and differentiation. Daoxue ritualism was a continuation of this process in partaking in the revivalist approach of ritual that was initiated by the New Learning circle. Nowadays, the proliferation of ritual and Classical studies crystallizes the revitalization of Confucianism and Confucian rituals in China. Taking zhaomu as a point of departure, this project provides a lens through which modern scholars can explore the persistent tension between knowledge and power by rethinking the modernization of ritual and ritual politics in contemporary China.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Signs, signs, everywhere a sign: an annotated translation and study of the Scripture on the cycles of heaven and earth

Description

Sacred apocalyptic texts claim to foretell coming events, warning the faithful of some terrible fate that lies beyond the present. Such texts often derive their power from successfully recasting past

Sacred apocalyptic texts claim to foretell coming events, warning the faithful of some terrible fate that lies beyond the present. Such texts often derive their power from successfully recasting past events in such a way as they appear to be "predicted" by the text and thus take on additional meanings beyond the superficial. This ex eventu status allows apocalyptic texts to increase the credibility of their future predictions and connect emotionally with the reader by playing on present fears. The fifth-century Daoist apocalyptic text, the Scripture on the Cycles of Heaven and Earth (Tiandi yundu jing, 天地運度經), is no exception. This thesis examines the apocalyptic markers in the poetic sections of the text, attempting to develop a strategy for separating the generic imagery (both to Chinese texts and the apocalyptic literary genre as a whole) from the more significant recoverable references to contemporary events such as the fall of the Jin dynasty and the subsequent founding of the Liu-Song dynasty.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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From Hangzhou to Lin'an: history, space, and the experience of urban living in narratives from Song Dynasty China

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This dissertation uncovers the contemporary impressions of Song cities represented in Song narratives and their accounts of the interplay between people and urban environments. It links these narratives to urban

This dissertation uncovers the contemporary impressions of Song cities represented in Song narratives and their accounts of the interplay between people and urban environments. It links these narratives to urban and societal changes in Hangzhou 杭州 (Lin’an 臨安) during the Song dynasty, cross-referencing both literary creations and historical accounts through a close reading of the surviving corpus of Song narratives, in order to shed light on the cultural landscape and social milieu of Hangzhou. By identifying, reconstructing, and interpreting urban changes throughout the “pre-modernization” transition as well as their embodiments in the narratives, the dissertation links changes to the physical world with the development of Song narratives. In revealing the emerging connection between historical and literary spaces, the dissertation concludes that the transitions of Song cities and urban culture drove these narrative writings during the Song dynasty. Meanwhile, the ideologies and urban culture reflected in these accounts could only have emerged alongside the appearance of a consumption society in Hangzhou. Aiming to expand our understanding of the literary value of Song narratives, the dissertation therefore also considers historical references and concurrent writings in other genres. By elucidating the social, spatial, and historical meanings embedded in a variety of Song narrative accounts, this study details how the Song literary narrative corpus interprets the urban landscapes of the period’s capital city through the private experiences of Song authors. Using a transdisciplinary methodology, it situates the texts within the cultural milieu of Song society and further reveals the connections of these narratives to the transformative process of urbanization in Song society.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017