P17. Qing Literature and Philosophy

Session: Session 3, 3:30-5:00 pm, Friday 9/29

Category: Individual Papers

Location: Graduate Boardroom

Chair: Yuheng Yan (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Paper Presenters: Jiyang Xing, Woohui Park, Yun Zhen

A Comparative Study on the Concept of Organic Unity between China and the West in “Wen-Hsin Tiao-Lung”

Speaker: Jiyang Xing
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, UIUC
Abstract: Among the theoretical works of Chinese literature, “Wen-Hsin Tiao-Lung” is the earliest systematic and well structured monograph. Although it was written between AD 501-502,  it maintains an important position in the world, especially in recent years with the increasingly close cultural exchange between China and the West. There is an interesting issue worth further discussion, which is the Organic Unity in the structure of “Wen-Hsin Tiao-Lung” and In the creation of literary works. The concept of Organic Unity originated in the field of biology and this term was officially proposed by the British Romantic poet Edward Young in the book “On Original Works” in 1759. In 1973, Vincent Yu-chung Shih introduced the concept of organic unity in his paper “Liu Hsieh’s Concept of Organic Unity” to explain the characteristics of the structural system of “Wen-Hsin Tiao-Lung”. Since then, the study of the concept of organic unity has become an important component of the study of “Wen-Hsin Tiao-Lung”, and become a theoretical dialogue point that links China and foreign countries. Through reviewing the theoretical development path of the organic unity of “Wen-Hsin Tiao-Lung”, it can be found that scholars still have controversy over the interpretation of the theoretical connotation of the organic unity of “Wen-Hsin Tiao-Lung”, and there are also shortcomings in the interpretation of this theory. Therefore, this article returns to the text and aims to dig multiple meanings of the organic unified theory and find out the concept’s modern significance in cultural exchange between China and the West.

Truth and Diversity in Han Learning Academy : Examining Philosophical Interpretations in Gujing Jingshe Wenji

Speaker: Woohui Park
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: UIUC
Abstract: Along with the Han learning movement in the mid-Qing, the official orthodoxy in education and the new intellectual trend in the academic space coexisted. Whereas most examinees were trained to write the eight-legged essay in order to pass the civil service examination, a few examinees chose the specialized educational institutions. Influenced by Han learning methodology, Gujing Jingshe (詁經精舍) in Hangzhou in 1801 was established by Ruan Yuan (阮元), a renowned scholar-official in the early nineteenth century. The Han Learning academies have been known for going against the grain of the remaining predominance of Neo-Confucianism as well as the civil examination essay style.   Unlike a purported assumptions that evidential scholars refused neo-Confucianism and denigrated philosophy, the anthology of Gujing Jingshe still entailed students’ balanced standpoints of Song learning and critical interpretations about the philosophical concepts. This paper will analyze their philosophical interpretation by focusing on Gujing Jingshe Wenji, the academic anthology compiled by Ruan Yuan. First, I will investigate the students’ assessments of Song neo-Confucianism. I will, then, consider how students interpreted the moral theory in Classics separating from the metaphysical understanding, especially about *Gewu* 格物 generally interpreted as “the investigation of things”. The critical interpretations in the anthology regarding the concepts are diverse. These diverse interpretations lead to a question of how the verification of truth had been operated to confirm their credibility. I will conclude by answering this question, examining their common ground for the interpretations and its criteria of truth as their institutional identities.

The Emperor’s Studyroom–Peiwen Zhai of Kangxi and its Cultural Space, Identifying Implications

Speaker: YUN ZHEN
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, UIUC
Abstract: The perspective of spatial theory endows the study of Peiwen Literati Study with unique cultural space observation significance. The naming of “Peiwen” reflects the relationship of subject and object between Kangxi Emperor and the physical space of the study, which has the dual meaning of the expression of individual emotion and the declaration of imperial governance. The study of Peiwen Literati Study is used as a functional place for the collection of calligraphy and painting documents, the compilation of books by Kings and ministers, and the exchange of poetry, calligraphy and painting. The cultural practice carried by it makes Peiwen Literati Study become a space symbol for the elegance of emperor. The production of the eponymous books of Peiwen Literati Study and their common features are the specific products of the unified correspondence between the materiality of the study space and the cultural representation. Peiwen Literati Study from its naming meaning, space practice, to the construction of the overall consistency of cultural products, are the Qing Dynasty to follow the tradition and rule the identity consciousness.