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September 23, 2010

Fall 2010 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Lydia Chiang

Xu Xuan (916–991) and Classical Chinese Records of Anomalies

September 28, 2010
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

Xu Xuan, a prominent early Song dynasty scholar official and philologist, was the author of a collection of writing in the long-standing classical Chinese tradition of recording cosmic and human anomalies. While serving on the editing teams of Taiping yulan and Taiping guangji, a complementary pair of encyclopedias designed to promote the political and cultural legitimacy of a new imperial dynasty, Xu Xuan incorporated in Taiping guangji his own records of anomalies. The Taiping guangji later became the single most authoritative source of classical Chinese strange tales and defines the genre as we know it today. By analyzing Xu Xuan's literary representations of anomalies, this paper examines the roles Xu Xuan played in the imperial construction of norms and canons in the early Song era.

Sing-chen Lydia Chiang is Associate Professor of Chinese at Boston College and author of Collecting the Self: Body and Identity in Strange Tale Collections of Late Imperial China (Brill 2005). Her current research focuses on the contributions of the Taiping guangji to the historica.

Posted by zzhu at September 23, 2010 09:11 PM