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Premodern Chinese literature as an archive of vernacular knowledge and everyday life culture

2-4 juin 2022
En ligne - Paris - Würzburg - Verona (France)


The website will serve for an online workshop followed by a publication. Traditional Chinese vernacular literature, construed in the communicative contexts of entertainment and diversion, has many other dimensions, among which the status of archives of knowledge, or as vehicle for the transmission of ethical values. The mimetic aesthetics of vernacular literature has facilitated the shaping of rich tableaus and plots, but has also accumulated a unique archive of vernacular knowledge. Novels have been characterized as “encyclopedic” in their coverage of aspects of everyday culture and in this regard have been compared to traditional encyclopedias for everyday life. The literary representations of aspects of everyday life in vernacular literature must not be mistaken as neutral rendering: their approach require the development of specific analytical methodologies. As another innovative aspect of knowledge dissemination in vernacular literature, its linguistic medium calls for deepened analytical interest, in the context of the diglossic character of the written expression. The workshop will gather specialists of Ming-Qing China on the following topics: theoretical considerations of premodern Chinese literature as an archive of vernacular knowledge; visual and material culture as represented in premodern Chinese literature; encyclopedias for everyday life; constructions of social milieus in premodern Chinese vernacular literature; vernacular language practices; vernacular rewritings; vernacular knowledge and the propagation of ethical or religious values.
Discipline scientifique : Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie - Etudes classiques - Littératures - Héritage culturel et muséologie

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