Deposit‘Still Children of the Dragon’? A review of three Chinese Australian heritage museums in Victoria

The Museum of Chinese Australian History reopened on 29th August 2010 with newly refurbished exhibitions displaying Chinese Australian history and contemporary Chinese Australian identities. This article reviews the new exhibitions in comparison with the Gum San Heritage Centre at Ararat and the Golden Dragon Museum at Bendigo and specifically examines the way each museum represents being Chinese and being Australian. This will be shown by interrogating the historical representations, text and methods of display.

MemberGrégoire Espesset

Current research themes: . History and historiography of academic Sinology and Western representations of Chinese culture / Histoire et historiographie de la sinologie académique et des représentations occidentales de la culture chinoise . History, philology and textual criticism of “Weft” (wei 緯) literature / Histoire, philologie et ecdotique des “Livres de trame” . Taoism (also spelt ‘Daoism’) in medieval China: History, historiography, sources / Le taoïsme en Chine médiévale : Histoire, historiographie, sources

DepositMore on Network Approaches in Historical Chinese Phonology (音韵学)

The discipline of Historical Chinese Phonology has made great progress during the last thirty years. Thanks to these improvements we have now a much clearer picture of the history of the Chinese language and the development of the Chinese writing system. Since Historical Chinese Phonology is an inherently data-driven discipline, it is, however, surprising that most of the research still heavily relies on qualitative investigations. Given that quantitative approaches have been proven useful to tackle different problems in general historical linguistics, it seems worthwhile to explore how they could be used to help investigating specific problems in Historical Chinese Phonology. Building on recent attempts to apply network approaches to problems of rhyme analysis in Old Chinese poetry and the modeling of Chinese dialect history, this paper presents some new ideas by which specific problems of Historical Chinese Phonology, such as the modeling of character formation processes in the history of the Chinese writing system, the analysis of sound glosses in Middle Chinese literature, or the evaluation of reconstruction systems and rhyme analyses, can be handled with help of network techniques which were originally designed to study problems in other research fields. The ideas presented are understood as work-in-progress. The goal is not to provide full-fledged solutions and applications, but rather to inspire a discussion among colleagues that may help to further improve the methods presented. All examples are accompanied by data and code, enabling scholars interested in the approaches to test the analyses themselves and develop them further.

MemberAllison Bernard

Allison is a Ph.D. candidate in premodern Chinese literature at Columbia University. Her research interests include the intersections of literary and historical writing, book history and print culture, and the world of Chinese theater. Her dissertation engages the literary world of Kong Shangren’s seminal play The Peach Blossom Fan, using the play and its network of related texts to examine ideological resonances among stage, society, and writerly legacy. Before joining Columbia’s PhD program in the fall of 2012, Allison received her BA from Middlebury College (2010) and an MA from Columbia’s EALAC department (2012). She also has interests in Japanese theater, poetry, art history, and media studies.

DepositLocal Resistance in Early Medieval Chinese Historiography and the Problem of Religious Overinterpretation

Official Chinese historiography is a treasure trove of information on local resistance to the centralised empire in early medieval China (third to sixth century). Sinologists specialised in the study of Chinese religions commonly reconstruct the religious history of the era by interpreting some of these data. In the process, however, the primary purpose of the historiography of local resistance is often overlooked, and historical interpretation easily becomes ‘overinterpretation’—that is, ‘fabricating false intensity’ and ‘seeing intensity everywhere’, as French historian Paul Veyne proposed to define the term. Focusing on a cluster of historical anecdotes collected in the standard histories of the four centuries under consideration, this study discusses the supposedly ‘religious’ nature of some of the data they contain.