Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

East Asian Languages and Culture: Chinese

Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



This thesis focuses on the reception and re-created history of the woman writer Ye Xiaoluan. Emphasis is on the changing literary images and related cultural products created and circulated by members of the literati class from the late Ming Dynasty to the early modern period. I argue the process can mainly be divided into three stages: 1) the formation and iconization of her image among the cultural elite in the late Ming period; 2) the deconstruction and consumption of her images in Qing dynasty; and 3) the substitution and fade-out of her images in early modern period. In the course of the investigation, I am particularly concerned with the subject of the receptive and re-creative activities. Different from previous studies, I find that the subject cannot be simply defined as a collection of single individuals (especially the male individuals who seek to project their desires on women), but more and more presents a trend of collectivism and generalizing. In the concluding part I attempt to explain this phenomenon. I suggest that Ye Xiaoluan in her cultural construction showed a “non-sexual” trait that could not be accommodated in the cultural order of the time, and that the subsequent acts of collective reception and re-creation may have stemmed from the desire to define her in a way that was less transgressive.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Beata Grant

Committee Members

Robert E. Hegel Jamie Newhard