Ancient China and the Yue: Perceptions and Identities on the Southern Frontier, c.400 BCE-50 CE
By: Erica Fox Brindley (author)Hardback
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In this innovative study, Erica Brindley examines how, during the period 400 BCE-50 CE, Chinese states and an embryonic Chinese empire interacted with peoples referred to as the Yue/Viet along its southern frontier. Brindley provides an overview of current theories in archaeology and linguistics concerning the peoples of the ancient southern frontier of China, the closest relations on the mainland to certain later Southeast Asian and Polynesian peoples. Through analysis of warring states and early Han textual sources, she shows how representations of Chinese and Yue identity invariably fed upon, and often grew out of, a two-way process of centering the self while de-centering the other. Examining rebellions, pivotal ruling figures from various Yue states, and key moments of Yue agency, Brindley demonstrates the complexities involved in identity formation and cultural hybridization in the ancient world and highlights the ancestry of cultures now associated with southern China and Vietnam.
Erica Brindley is an intellectual and cultural historian of early China (500 BC to 200 AD). Her interests include the philosophical and religious texts, cultural norms, and political cultures that were born and flourished during this time. She is also interested in the history of identity and cross-cultural interactions between the Sinitic cultures of the North and their southern neighbors along the East Asian coast. She is the author of Music, Cosmology, and the Politics of Harmony in Early China (2012) and Individualism in Early China: Human Agency and the Self in Thought and Politics (2010). She has also written many articles on a wide range of topics for philosophy and Asian studies journals and has co-edited volumes related to excavated texts and maritime East Asian history. Brindley has been awarded the prestigious Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship and a Humboldt Research Fellowship for her work on various projects related to the ancient southern frontier. She also serves on the editorial collective for the new journal, Verge, and on the editorial board for the journal Early China.
Part I. Orientations: Definitions and Disciplinary Discussions: Introduction: concepts and frameworks; 1. Who were the Yue?; 2. Linguistic research on the Yue/Viet; 3. The archaeological record; Part II. Timelines and Political Histories of the Yue State and Han-Period Yue Kingdoms, 500 BCE-110 BCE: 4. Political histories of the Yue state and Han-period Yue kingdoms, 500 BCE-110 BCE; Part III. Performing Hua-Xia, Inscribing Yue: Rhetoric, Rites, and Tags: 5. The rhetoric of cultural superiority and conceptualizations of ethnicity; 6. Tropes of the savage: physical markers of Yue identity; 7. Savage landscapes and magical objects; Part IV. Performing Yue: Political Drama, Intrigue, and Armed Resistance: 8. Yue identity as political masquerade and ritual modeling; 9. Yue identity as armed resistance to the Han imperium; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
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