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New Perspectives of Studies on Zuo Si’s “Poems on History”

Posted By admin On 02:31 PM In Past Events 2020-21 | Comments Disabled

2020-21 School of Chinese Online Seminar

New Perspectives of Studies on Zuo Si’s “Poems on History”

Dr. Zhang Yue
University of Macau

日期Date: May 14, 2021 (Friday)
時間Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
地點Venue: via Zoom
演講語言Language: 普通話Putonghua

https://hku.zoom.us/j/92740498537?pwd=a2t5UkdnZzFTZnRnOGk2R0tMWm9yQT09 [1]
Zoom Meeting ID: 927 4049 8537
Password: 144648


Zuo Si’s (ca. 250–305) “Poems on History” (“Yongshi”) have often been regarded as a milestone in the development of the yongshi subgenre of Chinese poetry. Scholars have noted Zuo’s poems break from the yongshi norms, which usually mimic historical narration and conclude with a moral assessment; instead, they articulate his personal emotions and ambitions to criticize his contemporary political hierarchy. Scholars have also recognized Zuo’s poems as representing an alternative to the ornamental style of poetry popular in his time. To deepen the extant research, this talk will re-interpret these poems using the perspectives of cultural memory and reception studies to answer some key questions: Aside from praising historical figures and articulating his emotions, what other purposes does Zuo Si aim to achieve? What approaches does he adopt to deal with historical figures? Why does he choose to retain certain details and omit others, and consequently how do these adaptations influence later writings? This talk reveals the complexity of Zuo’s appropriation of earlier cultural sources, and broadens our understanding both of the significance of his “Yongshi” and how history is disseminated through poetry.


Zhang Yue (Ph.D. from the University of Toronto) is Associate Professor and Graduate Programme Coordinator in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Macau. Prior to this position, he was Associate Professor at Valparaiso University in the U.S. Professor Zhang’s research focuses on classical Chinese literature, specifically the poetry of the Six Dynasties (220–589) and recent developments in Sinology. In these fields, he has published more than 30 articles in Chinese and English, and has three books published or forthcoming by the State University of New York Press, Fudan University Press, and Beijing University Press.

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