My field is the sociopolitical history of “High Qing” in the eighteenth century China, with two connected issues. The first one is about the social mobility among elites, followed by the second one as the history of administrative knowledge’s production, circulation, and practice.
Now I am writing my Ph. D. dissertation about the Grand Secretariat in Qing Dynasty. I have done some studies like Academic Officers (Hanlin) in Qing Dynasty, and “Mukden” as a symbol in the Qing political culture.
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期刊论文 Journal Articles
Title: “清代‘大一统’政治文化的构建——以《盛京通志》的纂修与传播为例.” (Building and Response of Grand Unification as Political Culture in Qing Dynasty: Taking the Case of Shengjing Provincial Gazetteer’s Compilation and Circulation) (co-author: 刘凤云)
Publication: 中国人民大学学报 (Journal of Renmin University of China) 32, no. 6 (2018): 159–69.
During its four times’ compilation in Qing Dynasty, The Mukden Provincial Gazetteer (Shengjing Tongzhi) has been illustrating a temporally varied ideology of High Qing court about the political cultural concept “Grand Unification”. As a part of Grand Unification Gazetteer’s (Da Qing Yitongzhi) compilation, the first two editions, finished at Kangxi and following Yongzheng period, emerged as a medium of Manchurian local knowledge, implicating the diversity of frontier. However, the following two editions of Qianlong era soon transformed into a central context, with knowledge from the court and central government, iterating the state authority by shaping a unique common memory of origin. On the other hand, in response to the ideological building process, the literati readers mainly concentrated on the rich knowledge of Manchurian local society and nature, paying little attention to the political cultural concept. The whole event showed the power of High Qing court among ideological world and its practice.
Title: “御制《盛京赋》与清代政治文化——以《盛京赋》的发布、传播与阅读为中心” (Locating Mukden in Qing Political Culture: The Posting, Circulating and Reading of the Imperial Poem “Ode to Mukden”)
Publication: 清史研究 (The Qing History Journal), no. 01 (2018): 37–51.
In Emperor Qianlong’s famous poem “Ode to Mukden”, which was written during his first imperial tour of the ancestral tombs at Manchuria in 1743, the emperor associates “Mukden” with three features of the Qing imperial political culture: God’s blessing for the advantageous natural environment, Manchu moral kindness from the pure local customs and etiquette, and the historical memory of the inception of Qing state. Through the publication and circulation of the poem among officials and literati through administrative and cultural channels, Emperor Qianlong succeeded in disseminating the ideology beyond literary circles and thus had political implications as well. This micro case reveals that the High Qing state’s approaches and ability to influence elite consciousness.
Title: “京官社交网络与盛清政治——以乾隆初年许王猷、仲永檀系列事件为例.” (Social Network among Capital Officials and Politics at High Qing: Taking Xu Wangyou and Zhong Yongtan Cases in Early Qianlong Reign as Examples)
Publication: 史学月刊, no. 06 (2017): 57–66.
A series of political conflict in early Qianlong period, involving two officials, Xu Wangyou and Zhong Yongtan, illustrates how capital officials, collaborated with merchants and plebeians, were entangled via social network, in which they sought for economic benefit, cultural experience, even political interest. Laying political foundation on circulating information, capital officials’social network could turn to political associations once a series of relatively strong connections with power were formed. Although some Censors like Zhong made attempts to prohibit these social activities for moral or political reasons, they became vulnerable, too, among the issues raised by themselves as social network with political features were also their source. Concerned with moral requirement and a desire to keep the state authority, but limited by a practice of governance, the emperor was controversy with the tension of his subordinates’ social activities.
Master Thesis: 清前期翰林官研究
Title: 清前期翰林官研究 (A research of Hanlin Officials in Early Qing Period)
In Qing Period, Hanlin Officials, known as “Academic Officials” in a typical Ancient Chinese Dynasty, was formed in Shunzhi Regime, via a progress of congregation between officials from The Inner Academy (“Nei-San-Yuan”), the Hanlin scholars who surrendered to the newly-born political power from Ming Dynasty, and the Hanlin Probationers (“Shu-Ji-Shi”). These officials, who illustrated a cultural characteristics of China and Confucianism, made attempts to reconstruct the political order of the Qing Empire into a Confucian style while they persuaded the young emperor to trust them.
In Kangxi Period, the system of Hanlin officials was constructed. Via a system of promotion and transformation of officials, Hanlin scholars became a talent pool of Qing Empire. Capable candidates were chosen to positions where new people were need, wherever it is in Beijing or any region in Chinese proper in order to set up a new atmosphere of politics. The successor emperor, Yongzheng Emperor, completed this construction and accelerated the general speed of promotion.
When a private relation of trust and support is solid with Kangxi Emperor, the Hanlin Officals set a foot in an era of development. In this era, these people were treated as three characters to the Emperor: Teachers of Classics, pals with poem, and subordinates by loyalty. The Emperor’s Confucian Classic Lessons (“Jing-Yan”) and Southern Imperial Study (“Nan-Shu-Fang”) played an important role in this communication by which the Hanlin Officials persuaded Kangxi Emperor to accept Confucianism as the institution of the Empire.
In the beginning of Yongzheng Period, the emperor inherited the Hanlin property of Kangxi and brought these officials to the imperial administration. However, the shorcomings in these administrative motivated the Emperor’s temper and disbelief when Siting ZHA, an official close to Hanlin scholars, was proved to be disloyal to the emperor and was jeopardizing the policy of the Empire to Hanlin. As a result, this became a turning spot to Hanlin’s political status for the lacking of support from the Emperor.
After Yongzheng Period, the successor, Qianlong Emperor was setting “Returning to The Three Holy Monarch in Chinese History” as a political aim. Hanlin Officials recovered the identity of “Teachers of Classics” by writing Confucian contexts to explain the way to reach it. However, the support of the Emperor, which was soon vanished after the interest of “RTTHMCH” decreased, was not adequate to sustain the position of Hanlin in the church. The political social networks, the rising of Kao-Ju-Xue, and the systematic property of literal affairs in the church finally endangered the root of Hanlin. In the last years of Qianlong Period, Hanlin was just a qualification to promote with a sign of scholars and was retreating from politics.
Ph.D. Dissertation: 内阁制度与清前期政治
Title: Grand Secretariat within the Early Qing State
The Grand Secretariat of Qing state could be dated back to 1580s, when a Jurchen literal official class called “Baksi” were nominated to handle the basic documentary work in Late Jin state. The working place for Baksi, called “Bithe Booi” in Manchu, was soon open to other literati officers including the Han lower level gentry. After 1631, Bithe Booi was developed from a simple place to a core secretary office of the Jin government. When Hongtaiji proclaimed his emperorship in 1636, he divided the Bithe Booi into a conjunction of three offices, called “nei-san yuan” in full, which is the predecessor of Grand Secretariat.
Following the conqueror of China in 1644, the Qing state began seeking for professional Han officials who used to serve the previous Ming dynasty in the Grand Secretariat. Although finding few Ming Grand Secretaries cooperative, the Qing rulers still inherited a great many of mid-ranking Hanlin officials. Also, corresponding to the Ming Grand Secretariat’s model, the new court re-designed the bureaucratic structure of nei-san yuan. In 1659, Emperor Shunzhi directly abolished the name of nei-san yuan, re-organizing it into a formal Grand Secretariat and Hanlin Academy.
The Grand Secretaries were the supervisor of the Grand Secretariat. Han Grand Secretaries were all winners of civil examination system with a rank of Jinshi. We can classify these Grand Secretaries into three kind by the career route. Route one is the prim secretaries for the emperor, with a profession in administrative, or connected with the emperor by Manchu convention. The second career route is a greeting for senior high-ranking officials, who are usually too old to participate the daily affairs of Grand Secretariat. The third is an honor for senior governor general, especially for those who were given special duties. The emperor will never hesitate to show a charisma on the personnel management of the Grand Secretaries in order to ensure his solidity of power.
The most responsibility for Grand Secretariat is documentary work on the imperial memorials, especially to prepare solutions for all document of requests from China’s wide territory. In the beginning years of Shunzhi, the emperor tried to handle the paperwork by himself, but soon surrendered in the tremendous amount of document. During the early Qing period, the power to prepare the memorial was lowering gradually, from the emperor to the high-ranking Grand Secretaries, then to the low-ranking secretaries. The emperor kept his approach to make a final decision, but just for a little key part of all the memorials. As a result, the Grand Secretariat do be of decisive power in some ways.
It is known that the rise of Grand Council set in Yongzheng Era was the cause of Grand Secretariat’s fall in the administrative system. However, the full process of Yongzheng’s reform in central government was laying its foundation on the administrative practice of Grand Secretariat. The Inner Court was formed partly by some Pi-ben officials, who were subordinates of Grand Secretariat, in Kangxi Era, then by some loyal Grand Secretaries in Yongzheng and Qianlong Era, even so after the Grand Council was built. The adoption of palace memorials, known as a keyway of communication in Inner Court, as well as the new branch of Compliance Office, was also rooted from the informal papers in daily affairs of Grand Secretariat. In a word, the new nexus system of Qing administrative should be served as a result of a process of independence of Grand Secretariat’s informal responsibility and subordinate offices.
“‘伪楚’事件 发人深省.” 博览群书, no. 06 (2017): 70–74.
“吴三桂政权武官制度研究——基于档案文书的考察.” 昆明学院学报, no. Z1 (2013): 106–10.
“美国约翰·霍普金斯大学‘晚期帝国世界中的早期现代中国’学术研讨会.” 清史研究国际通讯, no. 9 (December 2015): 25–27.
“错失政令：清代政务通讯中的种种疏漏事件.” 中国艺术报, August 11, 2017.