6/3: Yueling Ji

PhD Candidate, EALC

“Can style be described with adjectives of mood?”

Time: Friday, June 3, 3-5pm CT

Zoom Registration Link: 


Left: C. T. Hsia’s drawing of book cover, in letter to brother T. A., March 6, 1961

Right: Cover of first edition of A History of Modern Chinese Fiction, Yale UP, 1961

Abstract: “Style” is an elusive concept in literary studies, encompassing a wide range of textual characteristics and critical practices. One common way for a reader to engage with literary style is to describe their impression of a text with adjectives, for example, to call the text “bleak,” “stirring,” “delightful,” or “decorous,” and so on. But what is the nature of these “feeling words” that describe style? How do they relate to the formal characteristics of the text, and how do they relate to the reader who is expressing their opinion? This chapter explores these questions with well-known examples from the history of Chinese literary criticism. In particular, I discuss the influences of classical Chinese poetics and Anglo-American New Criticism on a few notable critics of modern Chinese literature active during the Cold War period.

Presenter: Yueling Ji is a PhD candidate in modern Chinese literature. Her dissertation is a study of the history and methodology of Chinese literary criticism, focusing on the concept of style. She also writes about China-Russia relations, Marxism, and gender/sexuality theories.

Respondent: Celia Xu is a Ph.D. candidate in the comparative literature department at UChicago. She works on modern and contemporary poetry in China and the U.S., with a particular interest in the interaction between science and poetry.


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