Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

Letters and Epistolary Culture in China

By Helen Wang, published

Report by Antje Richter on the workshop that took place recently at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Some letters are literary, some are historical.

For more on the conference, see details
From details posted on H-Asia

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to draw your attention to the workshop "Letters and Epistolary Culture in China" that took place two weeks ago at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The workshop, generously funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, was the first meeting of a group of scholars who share an interest in Chinese letter writing culture. Although epistolary communication, literature, and culture have been crucial elements of Chinese social life for more than two thousand years, they have so far not received the scholarly attention they deserve. At the workshop, twenty scholars -- from PhD candidates to senior professors working in fields as diverse as literature, history, archaeology, and art history, and ranging from ca. 200 BC to the 20th century -- presented and discussed their research in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of the Chinese culture of written communication. The topics examined include material aspects, textual features, literary characteristics, historical implications, and the general importance of letters for Chinese society as well as methodological questions regarding the study of this field (for details see

H-Asia Ed. note: I list below the titles of papers and additional papers. Please consult the above URL for texts of abstracts. - FFC

Y. Edmund Lien (Univ. of Washington):
Reconstructing the Relay Courier System of Ancient China

Enno Giele (Heidelberg Univ.):
Private Letters from Early Imperial China

David R. Knechtges (Univ. of Washington):
Letters in the Wen xuan

Tian Xiaofei (Harvard Univ.):
Material and Symbolic Economies: Early Medieval Chinese Letters about the Transfer of Objects

Robert Joe Cutter (Arizona State Univ.):
Letters and Memorials in the Early Third Century

Antje Richter (Univ. of Colorado):
Letters of Familial Admonition in the Han and Six Dynasties Periods

Zeb Raft (Univ. of Alberta):
The Space of Separation: Medieval Chinese Poetry of 'Presentation and Response'

Matthew Wells (Univ. of Kentucky):
Captured in Words: The Functions and Limits of Autobiographical Expression in Early Chinese Epistolary Literature

Anna M. Shields (Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County):
The Inscription of Emotion in Mid-Tang Collegial Letters

Paul W. Kroll (Univ. of Colorado):
S.O.S. from the Mountains: Lu Zhaolin's Letters to Luoyang

Imre Galambos (Univ. of Cambridge):
Society Circulars from Dunhuang

Ronald C. Egan (Stanford Univ.):
Su Shi's Informal Letters in Literature and Life

Natasha Heller (Univ. of California, Los Angeles):
Halves and Holes: Collections, Networks, and the Epistolary Practices of Chan Monks

Lincoln Lik Hang Tsui (Univ. of Oxford):
Bureaucratic Influences on Letters in Middle Period China

Suzanne E. Wright (Univ. of Tennessee):
The History of Chinese Decorated Letter Papers

David Pattinson (Univ. of Leeds):
Letters and the Social Network of Yan Guangmin

Son Suyoung (Univ. of Colorado):
Epistolary Space for Intellectual Property in Late Imperial China

Janet M. Theiss (Univ. of Utah):
The Letter as Artifact of Sentiment and Legal Evidence

Tsai Weipin (Univ. of London, Royal Holloway):
A Delicate Matter: Mailing Practices in Late Qing and Early Republican China

Bonnie S. McDougall (Univ. of Sydney):
Real and Imaginary Love-letters in China and Europe

Stephen Bokenkamp (Arizona State Univ.):
Fragments of Correspondence on Celestial Subjects: Daoist Letters of the Fourth Century C.E.

Amy McNair (Univ. of Kansas):
Letters as Calligraphy Exemplars: The Long and Eventful Life of the Imperial Commissioner Liu Letter by Yan Zhenqing (709-85)

Jonas Polfuss (Univ. of Muenster):
Addressing the Future: Letters to Posterity in Mid-Tang China

Natascha Gentz (Univ. of Edinburgh):
Letter Going Public: Letters to the Editors in Early Chinese Newspapers

Li Jie (Harvard Univ.):
Red Letters Home

Based on the conference papers and on contributions by several other scholars I am going to edit a Handbook of Chinese Letter Writing, to be published with Brill in Leiden as part of the series Handbook of Oriental Studies. The volume will collect about two dozen research articles dedicated to various aspects of Chinese epistolary culture.

Everyone interested in further information about this project is welcome to contact me at

Antje Richter, University of Colorado at Boulder, Asian Languages and Civilizations, 279 UCB Boulder, CO 80309, USA


# 1.   

Dear Lincoln,

Dalhousie University, Naval Administration has asked for the full and complete submission of all articles and essays submitted to Pembroke College, Oxford during your appointment and candidacy as a student. Joan Yin Cheung has already been identified as a non-employable student with prior feudal right (Communist China) to Canada Naval Administration, which has claimed full subpoena and subvenary authority over articles submitted to China and Taiwan journals and academic conferences.

David Lavarre Young and Condé Nast is the acting body of copyright and Government power. He is employed by Princeton University by Dalhousie University's "financial revision."

complaint on Ansluß takeover - "revision", December 16, 2013, 7:49a.m.

# 2.   

Joan-Yin Cheung has been federally commissioned for life as having made legal statements about origin in the US public university and its centre of sovereign request for law.

Finally, as a comment on Chinese studies, the identified subject has federally endorsed herself or himself as a level of human origin and its positive right to relative extermination courtesy of the international codes owed to the Netherlands by Hong Kong Museum lawsuit. Thanks for the progress.

Siu Yale Club, October 11, 2014, 4:36p.m.


Your email will not be published
Raw HTML will be removed
Try using Markdown:
[link text](
End line with two spaces for a single line break.