Engendering Social Networks: Women's Writing, Publications, and Professional Engagement in Modern China
1: Whose Social Networks? Framing Qing and Republican Women's Literary Collections
Saturday, March 26, 2022
6:00pm – 7:30pm EST
Virtual Paper Presenter(s)
McGill University, Canada
This paper is an experiment in the application of Digital Humanities methods to post-Qing publications of classical-style poetry and prose collections that are represented by a corpus of some fifty works in the Ming Qing Women’s Writings database (https://digital.library.mcgill.ca/mingqing/). Publications of literary writings by women in traditional xylographic format in the Republican period (1911-1949) point to motivations, functions, and the agency of women and men that varied according to the actors involved and the phase when they were published in these rapidly changing decades. The woodblock medium in which classical literary genres were literally carved when typeset editions were becoming prevalent embodies mixed features of traditional and modern technology in form and content. The life spans of the women writers of these collections – whether they lived and died in the Qing or lived from the late Qing into the Republican period – raise important questions concerning the social networks and agency that inform the production of their works. The focus on several exemplary case studies will attempt to address the crucial question – what and whose social networks are reflected in these collections? The key data employed to identify and map patterns that address this question are basic biographical data (dates, region, relation) of the women poets and the paratext writers of prefaces (xu), postscripts (ba), biographical accounts (e.g., zhuan, xinglue) and endorsement verses (tici), etc., of each collection, and the publication date of the collection.