China Centre Conversation
A conversation with Xiaofei Tian (Harvard University), Antje Richter (University of Colorado, Boulder) and Christopher Foster (SOAS), chaired by Robert Chard (University of Oxford).
Authenticity and sincerity are complex questions with many ramifications depending on the matter in question, be that literary representation, intellectual history, manuscript culture and so on. How, during the Han, did conditions arise for anxieties over textual ‘inauthenticity’ and, in parallel, a space to interrogate authorial ‘sincerity’? Are authenticity and sincerity requisite principles for literary creation? Does authenticity in literature mean quite the same thing as ‘truth’? How is sincerity achieved through formulaic expressions? What are the differences between sincerity and authenticity? Do understandings of authenticity and sincerity evolve over different time periods? Please join us as we engage in a conversation with three scholars of premodern Chinese literature and culture ‒ Xiaofei Tian, Antje Richter and Christopher Foster ‒ to explore how to gauge authenticity and sincerity in premodern Chinese traditions, and how this can contribute to our understanding of those two critical concepts.