What Makes a Falsified Text Popular? Writing the 1402 Usurpation in Seventeenth-Century China

Taiwan Studies Lecture by Chiung-yun Evelyn Liu, Academia Sinica

Thursday, May 18, 2017
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

My talk is about a current book project, which examines how the 1402 Usurpation, a four-year civil war fought in the early Ming Dynasty, had continued to be reshaped and reinvented in unofficial histories, novels, drama and Confucian textbooks during the 15th and 17th centuries. In particular, it will focus on a pair of accounts of the defeated Jianwen Emperor’s exile, which, despite contemporary and modern historians’ denunciation as “falsified history,” was popular and instrumental in reshaping the late Ming collective memory of this civil war. The talk will analyze the cultural context, memory politics and literary sensibility at work in the late Ming Jiangnan society that effected the fervor for recalling the 1402 Usurpation and discuss the broader implications of such a case study in the field of pre-modern Chinese culture and literature.



The UCLA Taiwan Studies Lectureship is a joint program of the UCLA Asia Pacific Center and the Dean of Humanities and is made possible with funding from the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, Ministry of Education, Taiwan, represented by the Education Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles.

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies, Asia Pacific Center, UCLA Dean of Humanities, Taipei Economic and Cultural Organization in Los Angeles