The city of Hangzhou symbolized all of the contradictions of the declining Song Empire (960-1279). It was paramount and feeble, awe-inspiring and threatened, the most admired city and a disgrace to its dynastic founders. Rather than debate the merit of these polemical judgments, the contributors to this volume treat them as expressions of their historical moment, reflecting ideological convictions and aesthetic preferences.
Leading scholars of the field, including Beverly Bossler, Stephen West, and Martin Powers, have produced essays that relate changes in literary convention to shifts in territorial boundaries, and analyze writing, painting, dance, and music as means by which individual literati placed themselves in time and space.
Joseph S. C. Lam is professor of musicology at the University of Michigan. His publications include Kunqu, the Classical Opera of Globalized China (forthcoming), Historical Studies on Song Dynasty Music: Theories and Narratives (in Chinese, 2012), and State Sacrifices and Music in Ming China: Creativity, Orthodoxy and Expressiveness (1998). Shuen-fu Lin is professor emeritus of Chinese literature, at the University of Michigan. He is author of The Transformation of Chinese Lyrical Tradition: Chiang K'uei and Southern Sung Tz'u Poetry and Through a Window of Dreams: Selected Essays on Premodern Chinese Literature, Aesthetics, and Literary Theory, and contributor to The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature. Christian de Pee is associate professor of history at the University of Michigan. He has published studies of Middle-period wedding rituals, gender, ritual archaism and antiquarianism, and archaeology. He is currently preparing an intellectual history of the city in eleventh-century China. Martin Powers is Sally Michelson Davidson Professor of Chinese Arts at the University of Michigan. Two of his books, Art and Political Expression in Early China and Pattern and Person: Ornament, Society, and Self in Classical China received the Levenson Prize for best book in pre-twentieth century Chinese Studies.