“Winds, Dreams, Theater: A Genealogy Of Emotion-Realms through the Lens of The Peony Pavilion”
Ling Hon Lam, Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Berkeley
Wei Shang, Du Family Professor of Chinese Culture, Department of East Asia Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
Moderated by Ying Qian, Assistant professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
February 22, 2018
4:00 PM – 6:00PM
Kent Hall, Room 403
No registration required
Ling Hon Lam is assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley. His research and teaching interests cover premodern drama and fiction, women’s writing, sex and gender, history of sentiments, nineteenth- and twentieth-century media culture, and critical theories. His publications include “The Matriarch’s Private Ears: Performance, Reading, Censorship, and the Fabrication of Interiority in The Story of the Stone” (HJAS 65.2), “Reading off the Screen: Toward Cinematic Il-literacy in Late 1950s Chinese Opera Film” (Opera Quarterly 26.2-3), and “A Case of the Chinese (Dis)order? The Haoqiu zhuan and the Competing Forms of Knowledge in European and Japanese Readings” (Asian Publishing and Society 3). His book The Spatiality of Emotion in Early Modern China: From Dreamscapes to Theatricality is forthcoming from Columbia University Press in Spring 2018. He is now working on a project concerning the fate of reading in late imperial and modern Chinese media culture.
Professor Lam’s talk is based on his forthcoming book with Columbia University Press, The Spatiality of Emotion in Early Modern China: From Dreamscapes to Theatricality. Here is the book synopsis:
Emotion takes place. Rather than an inner state of mind in response to the outside world, emotion per se is spatial, alternately embedding, transporting, or dividing us from without. This book gives a revisionist history of emotions in Chinese literature and culture centered on the idea of emotion as space, which the Chinese call “emotion-realm” (qingjing). It traces how the emotion-realm undergoes significant transformations from the dreamscape to theatricality in sixteenth- to eighteenth-century China. Whereas medieval dreamscapes deliver the subject into one illusory mood after another, early modern theatricality turns the dreamer into a spectator who is no longer falling through endless oneiric layers but pausing in front of the dream. Through the lens of this genealogy of emotion-realms, the book remaps the Chinese histories of morals, theater, and knowledge production, which converge at the emergence of sympathy, redefined as the dissonance among the dimensions of the emotion-realm pertaining to theatricality. This study challenges the conventional reading of Chinese literature as premised on interior subjectivity, examines historical changes in the spatial logic of performance through media and theater archaeologies, and ultimately uncovers the different trajectories that brought China and the West to the convergence point of theatricality marked by self-deception and mutual misreading.
Co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the MA Program in Film Studies (Columbia School of the Arts) and the Huang and Lin Fund for the Program in Chinese Literature and Culture