Public Lecture by Dr. Liu Wei-Chih (7/2022)

SHI is very honoured to invite Dr. Liu Wei-Chih from Cheng Kung University, Taiwan to deliver a public lecture online this July:

Exiles, Poetry Society, and Meditation Hall: Examining the Intention of the Monk Hanke Chairing the Bing-Tian Poetry Society

Date: 11 July 2022, Monday
Time: 2:30-4:00pm
Venue: Online via Zoom (Meeting ID: 984 9846 6992, Passcode: shi)
Speaker: Dr. Liu Wei-Chih, Assistant Professor of Department of Chinese Literature, Cheng Kung University
Language: Mandarin

This paper examines the Bing-Tian Poetry Society 冰天詩社, the first literary society in the history of Northeast China. Founded in 1650, the society was comprised mainly of Han people exiled to the northeastern borderlands by the Qing court. Having a total of 33 members who used pseudonyms as variegated as grotesque, the poetry society reflected the ethos that its members’ poems and pseudonyms were mutually referential.
In view of this conundrum, rather than regarding the poetry society as a community, this paper treats the Bing-Tian Poetry Anthology as a text. Applying Julia Kristeva’s theory of intertextuality, this paper argues that the key to understanding the constant mutation of the meanings of its members’ pseudonyms, places of ancestry, and works lies not so much in the differences between the old and new meanings as in the process of transition from one meaning system to another; to wit, the ceaseless change of meanings.
To accommodate the exiles, who not only experienced the turmoil of dynastic changes and the horrors of war but also confronted ethical dilemmas and physical sufferings, their fellow poet Hanke 函可 offered them a makeshift space where they could settle down and give vent to their feelings under the pretext of the literati tradition of association. In addition, summoning supernatural beings, animals, and sentient and non-sentient beings, this shelter-oriented poetry society was filled with anachronisms as well as inconstant interpretations and signifiers.

About the speaker:
Dr. Liu Wei-Chih is Assistant Professor at the Department of Chinese Literature, Cheng Kung University. His research interest includes issues on Ming loyalists, Qing loyalists and classical Chinese poetry and Ci in early Republican China.

Full video of the lecture is now available online, with consent of the speaker. Please click here to view.