Orthodox Passions: Filial Piety in Eighteenth-Century China


ACLS Fellowship Program


East Asian Languages and Literatures

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This project is a broad, interdisciplinary study of the changing practices, representations and cultural meanings of filial piety in eighteenth-century China. Through comparative close readings of fiction, criminal case memorials, local histories and memorial biographies, this project describe how gender informed the changing practices of filial piety and how genre shaped its representation. This study suggests that late-imperial fascination with women as chastity martyrs inspired the creation of new modes of filial virtue. Further, recognizing the importance of filial piety to traditional Chinese self-identity marks a significant distinction between normative eighteenth-century and modern, western-based psychological models of self.