Call for Papers: The Lone Guardian. Politics, Culture, and Society in China under the Yongzheng Emperor

University of Naples “L’Orientale”, Italy
6-7th Jul 2023

Deadline: 31st Dec 2022

Organizers: Dr. habil. Phillip Grimberg (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg), Dr. Federico Brusadelli (University of Naples “L’Orientale”)
The Yongzheng Emperor 雍正 (1678-1735) and his reign (1723-1735), overshadowed by the towering personalities of his father, Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), and his son, Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796), remains an obscure figure in Chinese history with a rather bleak reputation. He ascended the throne after his father’s death under suspicious circumstances that haunted him for the rest of his life and would shape his image to this day. Nevertheless, the emperor was a shrewd statesman and an
efficient administrator who fought rampant corruption within the government and court society, as well as a gifted artist and patron of the arts who laid the foundation for his son’s splendour. The goal of this workshop, which coincides with the 300th anniversary of Yongzheng’s accession to the throne, is to examine the multi-faceted personality of this often overlooked Chinese emperor in all its facets and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We therefore invite contributions from all fields of Chinese studies that address the life and times of one of the most enigmatic rulers of late imperial China, including but not limited to history (including history of science), art history, media studies, anthropology, religious studies, literature, philosophy, politics, economics, and social sciences.
The workshop co-organized by the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, will take place in Naples, Italy, 6-7 July 2023. Please send a 300 word abstract with a title, your affiliation, and contact details to the organisers Phillip Grimberg ( and Federico Brusadelli ( by 31 December 2022. Selected papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the journal Ming Qing Yanjiu (Brill).
No registration or conference fee will be charged.

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