Chinese Women in the Imperial Past: New Perspectives

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The present volume is the result of a Leiden University workshop on women in imperial China by a group of international scholars. In recent years Chinese women and gender studies have attracted more and more attention, and this book is one of the first efforts to focus on major aspects of this subject. It covers a wide range of topics and disciplines, including bibliography, demography, history, legal studies, literature, history of medicine, and philosophy.

Chinese Women in the Imperial Past can rightly be seen as connected with the new Brill journal NAN NÜ, Men, Women and Gender in Early and Imperial China, which was founded to provide the scholarly community with a lasting forum in which the subject of Chinese women and gender can be dealt with in its own right.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'...the high quality of the analysis, the richness of primary materials, and the originality of the individual undertakings means that no one working in the field of Chinese women's history can afford to pass the volume by…Brill and editor Zurndorfer should be commended both for the current volume and for their ongoing commitment to developing this rich sub-field.'
Ellen Widmer, Nan Nü, 2000.
'It is in their diverse treatment of these fundamental intellectual concerns that all the authors of this book deserve to be read by scholars in and out of Chinese studies.'
Dorothy Ko, JESHO, 2000.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004110656
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/31/1999
  • Series: Sinica Leidensia Series , #44
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet T. Zurndorfer, Ph.D. (1977) in History, University of California, Berkeley, has taught Chinese history at the Sinologisch Instituut, Leiden University, since 1978. She is the author of Change and Continuity in Chinese Local History: The Development of Hui-chou Prefecture 800-1800 (Brill, 1989), China Bibliography: A Research Guide to Reference Works about China Past and Present and is Editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient and of NAN NÜ.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
"Introduction" 1
"Male Fantasies and Female Realities: Chu Shu-chen and Chang Yu-niang and their Biographers" 19
"The Ritual and Sexual Bodies of the Groom and the Bride in Ritual Manuals of the Sung Dynasty (Eleventh through Thirteenth Centuries) 53
"Women Practicing Medicine in Premodern China" 101
"Blood and Statistics: Reconstructing the Population Dynamics of Late Imperial China from the Biographies of Virtuous Women in Local Gazetteers" 135
"Women in the Life and Thought of Ch'en Ch'ueh: The Perspective of the Seventeenth Century" 223
"Between Constraints and Opportunities: Widows, Witches, and Shrews in Eighteenth Century China" 258
"Little Vimalakirti: Buddhism and Poetry in the Writings of Chiang Chu (1764-1804)" 286
"Encouragement from the Opposite Gender: Male Scholars and Women's Publications in Ch'ing China, A Bibliographic Study" 308
"Women in the Epistemological Strategy of Chinese Encyclopedia: Preliminary Observations from Some Sung, Ming, and Ch'ing Works" 354
Index 397
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