An Intellectual History of Literati Localism, 1100-1500
Colloquium: Center for Chinese Studies | March 9 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library
Peter Bol, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
Nicolas Tackett, History, UC Berkeley
Literati communities took form at the local level in the twelfth century and developed various forms of voluntary activism in areas that had once been the province of the state and religious institutions. Some Neo-Confucians encouraged this voluntarism, but generally literati continued to see themselves as members of a national elite even if they lived their lives locally. This case study of Wuzhou (Jinhuafu) considers why in the fourteenth century literati began to claim that their position depended on identifying with local traditions in the first place and what the social and political consequences of this way of thinking were.