East Asian Humanities Workshop: Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire, Lara Blanchard

Lara Blanchard
Date Range
Thu May 19th 2022, 4:30 - 6:00pm
Event Sponsor
East Asian Humanities Workshop
East Asia Library Room 338
Admission Information

Please RSVP by Wednesday, May 18th.

Lara Blanchard

From Brill: 

"In Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire, Lara Blanchard analyzes images of women in painting and poetry of China’s middle imperial period, focusing on works that represent female figures as preoccupied with romance. She discusses examples of visual and literary culture in regard to their authorship and audience, examining the role of interiority in constructions of gender, exploring the rhetorical functions of romantic images, and considering connections between subjectivity and representation. The paintings in particular have sometimes been interpreted as simple representations of the daily lives of women, or as straightforward artifacts of heteroerotic desire; Blanchard proposes that such works could additionally be interpreted as political allegories, representations of the artist’s or patron’s interiorities, or models of idealized femininity."

Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire is the 2020 winner of the Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize (China), The Association for Asian Studies.


Lara Blanchard is Luce Professor of East Asian Art in the Department of Art and Architecture at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is the author of numerous chapters and articles on gendered depictions in Chinese art including, most recently, “Defining a Female Subjectivity: Gendered Gazes and Feminist Reinterpretations in the Art of Cui Xiuwen and Yu Hong” Positions: Asia Critique (2020) and "Imagining Du Liniang in The Peony Pavilion: Female Painters, Self-portraiture, and Paintings of Beautiful Women in Late Ming China" in Women, Gender and Art in Asia, c. 1500-1900, edited by Melia Belli Bose (2016).