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Michael Anthony Fuller
Regents of the University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA 92617-3066)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010

Southern Song Poetry and the Project of Literary History

This project examines the transformation of poetry and poetics through the epochal changes in Chinese society and culture in the last two hundred years of the Song Dynasty (960-1280). Poets abandoned earlier commitments to poetry as tracing the encounter with the world and turned inward to see poetry as a revelation of the self. During this period, Neo-Confucian thinkers began to rethink the understanding of this self and its relationship with ethical universals and to the world of transient experience. Poets also engaged in the Neo-Confucian movement, and poetic and philosophical debates merged. To understand the interaction, I propose a model of the literary as aesthetic experience of language that draws on Kant's understanding of aesthetic judgments as intuitions of ordering without immediate conceptual content. Literary history, in this view, traces the difficulties of aesthetic experience that both founds and negates the conceptual content of texts.