What are we supposed to do with our plenty?

The following entry comes from a thread I posted on Twitter today that I'd been mulling over for about a week.  If you'd prefer to read it over there, click here. I know I sometimes sound cavalier about the horrors depicted in the texts and images I work with from nineteenth century China, especially related…Read more What are we supposed to do with our plenty?

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Who/what/where in the world is “Suzy Wong?”

In late 1960, the film "The World of Suzie Wong," based on the 1957 novel of the same name, premiered in New York. The film might be best summarized as being about a mediocre white man who turns up in Hong Kong hoping to find himself, doing so by falling in love with a prostitute…Read more Who/what/where in the world is “Suzy Wong?”

Just another archival misdirection

Last Wednesday, I was chatting with a librarian about her project cataloguing what are supposed to be rare tune books, hoping that she might have found some from China. Of course, since archival boxes reveal things that aren't on their labels, as anyone who spends time in archives knows that such boxes are wont to…Read more Just another archival misdirection

“I too am afraid” 「我也怕」

Last night, a Taiwanese friend messaged me  about the US presidential election. My succinct response: 「我也怕」 ("I too am afraid.") Maybe this goes without saying, but I didn't sleep much. I began the morning with a email from a distressed student, unable to attend class because of their emotional state after the results of the…Read more “I too am afraid” 「我也怕」

Salty olives and sweet wine

This semester, my first on the other side of the table when it comes to graduate students, I've found myself returning to comfortable old favorites in the Early Modern [Chinese] Fiction course I've been assigned to teach. Lacking any restrictions other than the loose ones posed by the title of the course, I've elected to…Read more Salty olives and sweet wine

A long footnote to the last nine years

『又一句是受人之恩忘不得。 忘恩負義之人名叫做昧良心。想想從前如何待你。 你却反而無情。豈不是豬狗不及麼。』 《潘公寶卷》卷上,18a. "And there's another aphorism: Do not forget the kindness you have received. People who forget kindness and betray justice are called those who have no conscience. Think back about how people supported you. If you turn around and are lacking in feeling, is it not worse than being a pig or…Read more A long footnote to the last nine years

Embodying Guanyin, Embodying yaojing

For those who missed AAS this year, or went to one of the other amazing sounding panels on Saturday morning that were scheduled at the same time as ours, here's a recording of my paper: Paper abstract: In Liu Xiang baojuan, a popular Qing religious performance text, when exemplary protagonist Liu Xiangnü is likened to…Read more Embodying Guanyin, Embodying yaojing