Sinologie in Würzburg

Public lecture: Dr. des. Sabine Weber
 (Bonn), "The Origin of the Figure of the Female Scientific Inventor in Classical Chinese Fiction" (12.07.)


The Department of Sinology welcomes all students as well as everybody who is interested to this summer term's last public lecture. On July 12th 18:00 in Übungsraum 17 (Philosophiegebäude) Dr. des. Sabine Weber (Bonn) will hold a lecture on "The Origin of the Figure of the Female Scientific Inventor in Classical Chinese Fiction".


“Wo you banfa 我有辦法” – “I have the method [to solve this problem],” exclaims Zhuge Liang (諸葛亮, 181—234), the most iconic representation of innovative thought and applied learning in classical Chinese fiction, and ascribed inventor of mechanical achievements like the Wooden Ox, the Gliding Horse or the repeating crossbow. Concerning the emergence of the figure of the “scientific inventor” in Chinese fiction however, his example stands in direct contrast to the prevalent view in contemporary scholarship which sees its origins in the larger introduction of translations of European fiction during the first decade of the 20th century. Arguing that the dramatized Zhuge Liang character type embodied the same narrative and stylistic function as the scholar and inventor figure in contemporary European fiction, this talk follows its development through the Ming- and Qing-Dynasty (1368—1911), while focusing specifically on its female representations making their entrance during the 19th century. For the first literary character who epistemology fulfilled the characteristics of the “scientific inventor” not only preceded the translation endeavors of the early 20th century by roughly fifty years, but was in fact a female Zhuge Liang.