The Tune That Can No Longer Be Recognized: Late Medieval Chinese Poetry and Its Affective Others
Access StatusFull text of the requested work is not available in DASH at this time ("dark deposit"). For more information on dark deposits, see our FAQ.
Hu, Jasmine SINIAN
MetadataShow full item record
CitationHu, Jasmine SINIAN. 2020. The Tune That Can No Longer Be Recognized: Late Medieval Chinese Poetry and Its Affective Others. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation explores relations between individual and state, private desires and public virtues, and subject-formation and gendered affect in late medieval Chinese poetry. My argument concerns the two centuries spanning the An Lushan Rebellion and the establishment of the Northern Song (roughly between 755 to 960 AD), when poetry fell under pressure to adapt to an expanding reality. The post-rebellion crisis of elite culture called into question long-held interrelations of individual literatus and Confucian state. Poetry underwent a corresponding renegotiation of practice and value, increasingly authored by male poets through female personae. This negotiation, as I will demonstrate, often engaged in affective and gendered terms: what did individual erotic or romantic feeling signify within a poem, the state, and a greater Confucian cosmology? My study treats these female-voiced love lyrics not as moral historiography does-- vacuous eroticisms that portend the fall of empire, or as contemporary scholarship up to now has-- a minor genre of gendered appropriation. Instead, I examine them as a socially constituted poetic practice, embedded within intellectual history, and eminently flexible for exposing ideological contradictions and forming alternative political agencies. Discourses of female-voiced love allow literati to register incommensurate values, imagine reversals of state power, and destabilize vestigial classicisms. Most crucially for my study, the female voice, as representing a form of affective alterity, enables an emotional expression that is simultaneously negative in valence and hermeneutically sundered from the masculine lineage of the classics and the public world of the state. Desire thus makes its own poetic world of irreducible, inviolable, and subjective values, anticipating the Neo-Confucian individual subject and corresponding populist “cults of feeling” that would emerge in later dynasties.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365545
- FAS Theses and Dissertations