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Title:Women, Femininity, and Love in the Writings of Bo Juyi (772-846)
Author(s):Yao, Ping
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Patricia B. Ebrey
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:This dissertation examines Mid-Tang perception of women, femininity and love through a textual reading of literati official Bo Juyi's (772-846) works. The primary sources include imperial proclamations, court memorials, examination essays, epitaphs, letters, poems and compilations. Six areas will be focused on: First, Bo Juyi's life is/examined to ascertain how his world view was shaped by the Tang cultural framework, and to what extent his experience and writings reflected Tang society and history. Second, Bo Juyi's writings on marriage practices and husband/wife relationships are analyzed. I argue that during the Mid-Tang, harmony and intimacy between husband and wife became more important than politically and socially connecting two families. Third, the practices of courtesanship, which peaked during the Mid-Tang period, are investigated, and the connection between the dramatic rise of courtesan culture and the increasing dominance of the examination graduates in Mid-Tang society is made. Fourth, Bo Juyi's writings on feminine characteristics and feminine appearance are examined and found to demonstrate a shift from adherence to traditional Confucian norms to that of education and sexual attractiveness. Fifth, Bo Juyi's writings on women in family roles are examined and it is determined that the Mid-Tang culture preferred a talented daughter, a wise, capable wife, and benevolent, determined mother. The remaining part of the dissertation assesses the influence of popular culture on the writings of qing (love, passion) as well as Bo Juyi's popularity as a writer of qing. I argue that the theme of qing in Mid-Tang literature represented a new perception of gender relations which emphasized the emotional life between men and women.
Issue Date:1997
Description:252 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9812816
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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