Playing with POV: Sanqu, Zaju and Rhetorical Innovation in Yuan and Ming China

Thursday, October 19, 2023
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Royce 243

Image for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button

Recent scholarship has made contrary claims about whether or not suspension of disbelief informed mixed-register writing prior to the late Ming dynasty. We will revisit this debate through the examination of how the new genre of sanqu songs deployed first, second, and third person pronouns. In particular, we will compare the sanqu corpus of writers like Guan Hanqing and others documented to also have been active as playwrights with those who are solely known to us as sanqu song writers. Such a comparison will allow us to explore (1) whether sanqu songs chart new terrain when it comes to the handling of POV, (2) whether such potential manipulation is a function of cross-fertilization between genres or an inherent feature of the new form, and (3) what, if any, contributions sanqu songs made toward the broader rhetorical repertoire of mixed-register literature.

Patricia Sieber is a Professor in Chinese at Ohio State University. Her primary research interests center on traditional Chinese performance genres and their afterlives in the Chinese-speaking world and in transnational contexts.

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies