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Traditions of Exemplary Women

Traditions of Exemplary Women

This project focuses on the Lienü zhuan (Traditions of Exemplary Women) of Liu Xiang (77-6 B.C.), the earliest extant book in the Chinese tradition solely devoted to the moral education of women. The book consists of biographical accounts of female role models in early China and became the standard textbook for women’s education for the next two millennia. The Lienü zhuan offers important insights into the culture, politics, and social structure of early China, as well as into the representation of women in various phases of China’s history. This project includes a translation of the text, a book-length study, and a digital archive that will serve as a publicly accessible tool for scholarly exploration (in both English and Chinese) of women’s social, legal, and ritual status as represented in the texts of specific periods in Chinese history.


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