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"What Did Reading and Writing Well Mean in Early Medieval China?"
Intertextuality lies at the heart of reading and writing practices in early medieval China. Chinese literati between the 3rd and 5th centuries often drew extensively from such texts as the Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Yijing and their respective commentaries in particular to express their positions on issues ranging from nature to human behavior. Arguing that any meaningful study of intertextuality must involve examining how a text functions as part of a network of textual relations, this talk explores how early medieval writers made use of diverse, heterogeneous sources suited to their needs during a period when boundaries between textual traditions were fluid, repertoires of literary and cultural meanings were expanding, and different intellectual repertoires and branches of learning were closely interconnected.
Wendy Swartz is an associate professor of Chinese literature at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on early medieval Chinese poetry and poetics, literary criticism, and intertextuality. She is the author of Reading Tao Yuanming: Shifting Paradigms of Historical Reception (427-1900) (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008), chief editor of Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook (Columbia University Press, 2014), translator of the complete poetic works of Xi Kang (3rd c.) in The Poetry of Ruan Ji and Xi Kang (De Gruyter Mouton, forthcoming 2017), and moreover has published numerous articles in leading journals. Her latest monograph project, Reading Philosophy, Writing Poetry: Intertextual Modes of Making Meaning in Early Medieval China, explores intertextuality as a mode of reading and principle of writing in medieval China.
Monday, October 24, 2016 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Performing Arts Building, PAB Classroom 332
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
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