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Anna M. Shields
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)
Construction of the Tang Dynasty Literary Legacy by Scholars in the Five Dynasties and Northern Song

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on how Chinese poetry of the Tang Period (618-907) was read and understood by Chinese scholars of the 10th to 12th centuries.

My project investigates the critical works that Chinese scholars of the Five Dynasties (907-976) and Northern Song (976-1127) used to define the literary legacy of their predecessor dynasty, the Tang (618-907). Writing the Tang will explore the multiple, overlapping interpretations of Tang writers and texts found in printed works that circulated widely for centuries. I analyze some of the most interventionist and influential works from the period: biographies of writers in the two Tang dynastic histories; anthologies of Tang prose and poetry; and popular anecdote collections about Tang writers and texts. Together, these works created an enduring portrait of the Tang as Chinese literature's "golden age," a view that idealized Tang literary aesthetics yet increasingly downplayed the political and social role of literary writing in Tang culture. My book will challenge this perspective on the Tang by exposing the interpretative practices that created it.

Project fields:
East Asian Literature

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 8/31/2017