China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Guang Tiefu, a native of Tongcheng, Anhui, compiled and published the Anthology of Anhui Women’s Poetry(Anhui mingyuan shici zhenglue 安徽名媛詩詞征略) in 1936 with the assistance of his wife Liu Shuling 劉淑玲. The anthology consists of poems in the classical shiand ciforms by 393 women who were born or resident in Anhui from the Ming through the Republican period. By 1936, such a corpus of women’s poetry had already been deemed outdated and marginalized by those who wrote China’s literary histories from modernized perspectives, such as Hu Shi 胡適 (1891-1962), the cultural giant who emerged from the May Fourth movement. Why did Guang produce such an anthology? Why women, and why Anhui? What inspired and motivated the anthologist? For what purpose? This paper aims to explore the editorial team as well as the rationale behind the making of this anthology. In so doing, I hope to understand what factors were at play in initiating a cultural project like the anthology: how it was shaped by the anthologist’s personal background, self-identification, and vision of time and space, to which larger trends he related his project, and in what sense it was meaningful to him.