Dr. Alison Bailey, Assistant Professor in Pre-modern Chinese Literature

I’m Alison Bailey and I’m Assistant
Professor of pre-modern Chinese literature of the Department of Asian
Studies at UBC. In terms of my research, one major project is the idea of the cultural history of filial revenge Filial revenge is rather gruesome but very interesting phenomenon. Where you
have a child revenges the murder of their parent – usually their father – and
you get cases of you know boys, 11, 12, doing this in the Tang Dynasty for
example and they have big legal debates. You honour them as good filial sons,
usually sons, erecting various pennants and arches to their honour but they
either commit suicide or are executed. As a teacher, I feel that I’m changing the
world in very micro ways and I talk about late Ming society, social unease,
money, violence, about sex, about passion about all these sorts of things I’m
trying to frame it in terms of things like social history but also very much
about literary history and literary appreciation. Coming in as an outsider, when I was what, 17 or 18, to Chinese literature and culture I hope that what I’m
giving to my students is that same sense of respect and wonder that I have every
day for what I see in Chinese culture.

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