Weitian Yan

PhD Candidate
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Weitian Yan studies Chinese calligraphy, with a particular emphasis on the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). His dissertation examines Yi Bingshou (1754-1815), one of the key calligraphers in the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries. By investigating the intricate relationship between Yi’s political career and his artistic production, this dissertation aims to explore how Yi employed archaic styles of calligraphy to invent a new canon of calligraphic exemplars, construct a regional cultural identity in Huizhou, and memorialize his relationship with Cantonese in late imperial China. This study of Yi will showcase significant ways in which styles of personal writing were used by national-level scholars and regional elites to create and communicate cultural, social and political meanings in Qing-dynasty China.

Fields of Study

Chinese Calligraphy
Sites of Memory
Japanese Narrative Scrolls

Dissertation Title

Envisioning Antiquity: Yi Bingshou and the Politics of Memory in the Qing Dynasty


"Collecting the Pei Cen Stele in Qing China." Ming Qing yanjiu, Special Issue "Collecting, Collections, and Collectors." Università degli Studi di Napoli "L'Orientale", Dept. of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies. Published by BRILL. 24.2 (2020): 245­–278.


MA University of Kansas
BA Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, Wuhan University

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