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Grant number like: FT-54571-06

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Shou-Chih Yen
Massachusetts College of Art (Boston, MA 02115-5801)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

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

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 8/31/2006

Tang Emperors and Literati as Rival Calligraphers

I plan to write the first two chapters of a book TANG EMPERORS AND LITERATI AS RIVAL CALLIGRAPHERS in 2006 summer. Unlike the Medici family or the popes in the Renaissance, Tang emperors were both patrons and artists who created images to reshape the look. Through calligraphy, the Tang emperors, in spite of coming from a “barbarian” tribe, earned their roles as cultural leaders. Tang literati, however, developed new styles and reclaimed their superiority in this “civilized” art. My book is about art and sociopolitical power, class struggle, cultural identity, and visions of culture, and about why, among all the arts, calligraphy became the focus for such struggles. My book would be the first to explore this topic.