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女武士與鮮血—中晚清女性彈詞小說《榴花夢》 Women Warriors and Blood: Themes from the Nineteenth Century Tanci Fiction Liu Hua Meng


2022/23 School of Chinese Research Student Seminar



Women Warriors and Blood: Themes from the Nineteenth Century Tanci Fiction Liu Hua Meng


Speaker: Miss CHEN Ziyue


Date & Time: February 10, 2023 (Fri) 5:30-6:45pm 

Venue: CPD-3.29, Central Podium Level 3, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU 


Language: Putonghua


Mode of Delivery: 100% Face-to-face





During the Qing Dynasty, women who were able to read and write tended to be particularly interested in tanci fiction, and they were very passionate about reading and writing tanci, which usually were stories about heroic adventures or marriage. Heroic women in their fiction either cross-dress in order to win imperial examinations or fight in the battle to hold back the crises. Li Guiyu’s Liu Hua Meng (Dream of the Pomegranate Flowers, two prefaces dated 1841) is remarkable for its extraordinary length (360 chapters) and clear agenda to empower the heroines. Throughout the book, the author constructs a unique understanding of women’s life stories on the battlefield and at home, based on the middle-Tang period (766-835), which illustrates a strong desire of women to intervene and write history. Moreover, the author depicts the physical experiences of women warriors (especially their blood) from a female perspective. It is in these depictions that women’s perceptions of their physical experiences and recognition of their identities are embodied as these women characters switch their roles between the “inner” ladyship context and the “outer” social and political contexts.

Focusing on plots involving “blood,” this study examines how women’s tanci fiction constructs historical narratives about women’s bodies in light of women’s history. This talk will explore how Liu Hua Meng conforms to, transgresses, or negotiates with the discipline of the discourse as the author presents the female body, and provide insights into women’s perceptions of the body, historical memory, and power relations during the middle-late Qing period.


ALL are welcome*

*Pre-registration (Click HERE) is requested.