Eighteenth-century culture in England, Western Europe, and America is clearly characterized by the intellectual climate of the Enlightenment even though, just as clearly, Enlightenment spread only gradually and unevenly throughout the regions and cultural strata of the West. The Enlightenment manifested itself in, and alongside, many modes: discipline and excess, satire and sentiment, classicism and modernity; it expressed itself in music and literature, philosophy and theology, architecture and garden design, manners and morality; it dealt with issues of liberty and slavery; marriage and child-rearing; virtue and vice; it influenced how we now think about government and constitutions, rights and obligations, class and gender, about beauty, and about our relations with cultural “others” and as well as with “others” of different species: animals, plants, landscapes.
China in the eighteenth century entered its “High Qing” era, and was governed successively by the Qing emperors Kangxi (康熙), Yongzheng (雍正), and Qianlong (乾隆). It was a period in which literature blossomed and many literary genres were brilliantly practiced. We can think of Tung-Cheng Classical Literature (桐城派) as practiced by Fang Bao (方苞), Liu Da-Kui (劉大魁), and Yao Nai (姚鼐), the poetry of Yuan Mei (袁枚), Jiang Shi-Quan (蔣士詮) and Zhao Yi (趙翼), and Ci poetry represented by the Chang-Zhou Ci School (常州詞派). In this era, the well-known Imperial Collection of Four was published, and Shu-Jing Huang(黃叔璥), an officer of the Qing Dynasty assigned to Taiwan, wrote his travelogue Tai-Hai Shi Cha Lu (台海使槎錄), describing the custom and scenery of Taiwan.
For a special issue of the peer-reviewed Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities, we invite essays on any aspect of eighteenth-century Chinese or Western literature, music, or art. We will be pleased to consider essays that offer fresh perspectives on eighteenth-century cultural productions of any kind, but especially welcome are essays that deal with connections and interactions between different disciplines, writers, artists, composers, and parts of the world.
Manuscripts of 4,500-10,000 words should be sent by 15 September 2012 to: