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Grant number like: FT-51719-03

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Weijing Lu
Regents of the University of California, San Diego (Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5300)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2003 – 7/31/2003

True to Their Word: The Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China

This project explores the faithful maiden cult in late imperial China. During this period, an increasing number of young women responded to the death of a fiancé either by living as if they were widows, or by committing suicide to follow their fiancés to the grave. This research examines the tensions and controversy surrounding the cult. Focusing on the emotions, beliefs, psychology, and lives of the faithful maidens, it seeks to answer the questions of what shaped the gender identity of these young women and how honor, duty, love, and sexuality were perceived and expressed by them. A case study on young women, this project will challenge us to rethink the meanings of love, duty, and sexuality from a cross-cultural perspective.