Forming and Redefining Belles-Lettres: Harvard Graduate Student Conference on Pre-modern Chinese Literature

Date: March 13 & 14, 2015
Location: Harvard University
Application materials: A single-spaced 250-word paper proposal and a short bio.
Travel & lodging: Travel expenses are not covered, but lodging may be accommodated upon request.
Registration fee: $20

The Graduate Student Committee of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University invites graduate students from any university to submit abstracts for our conference, to be held on March 13 & 14, 2015. The conference is sponsored by The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Fairbank Center, and supported by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Between early textual practices and the arrival of our modern sense of what constitutes literature, the concept of “wenxue” 文學 went through myriad transformations that both enrich and challenge our understanding of the literary past. At this conference, faculty discussants and graduate student presenters will explore topics including (but not limited to): the relationship between textuality and genre, the performativity of ritual and religion, reciprocity between the authorial self and community, and the impact of trauma upon agency and literary history.

Deadlines: Paper proposal and brief bio due January 23, 2015. Notification of acceptance by January 31, 2015. Full paper (no longer than ten pages) due February 20, 2015. Please send your application materials to; for inquiries, contact Kou Lu at lukou[at]fas[dot]harvard[dot]edu.

Panel topics:
Panel 1: Textuality and Genre
Panel 2: Religion and Performance
Panel 3: Authorial Self and Community
Panel 4: Trauma, Agency, and Literary History
Panels 5 & 6: The topics of these two panels have been left open; if you would like to propose a topic (either by yourself or in conjunction with other applicants), please include an additional short paragraph in your application describing your panel proposal.