Weijing Lu F'11
Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars 2011
University of California, San Diego
Marriage and Intimacy in Late Imperial China
Literature on the history of marriage in China has been dominated by a paradigm that depicts virilocal marriage as the norm and arranged marriage as a practice that precluded affection and happiness. This project interrogates this paradigm. It investigates differentiated marriage practices and conjugal relationships by exploring the ideological, social, and economic constructs of marital life, with particular attention to conjugal emotions and intimacy. In recasting marriage as a dynamic, personal, and human experience mediated by specific late imperial contexts, the project deconstructs assumptions about static, loveless arranged marriage in late imperial China, and illuminates wide variations in the cultural understanding of happiness and intimacy.