Early Medieval China Journal

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Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:37 pm

The Early Medieval China Journal is a yearly publication that been running since 1994 and features article by such eminent professors such as Carl Leban, Robert Joe Cutter and J. Michael Farmer among others and an example of an article from this year is 'Sanguo Zhi Fascicle 42: The Biography of Qiao Zhou'.

According to its website:

It aims to promote and further the study and understanding of the Early Medieval period in East Asia by encouraging activities for all persons interested in it. It provides a channel of communication between all those interested in Early Medieval China; to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote scholarly cooperation in this field.


I'd love to subscribe but it seems quite pricey at £139.00 annually for a print copy.

Does anyone else subscribe or belong to a university that pays for its students to have access? If so is it worth the money? Do you have access to the back catalog? There are so many articles that have been written over the years that I'd love to add to my library!
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:58 am

Funny you mentioned this; I've been considering subscribing for the past year, but never committed!

If I recall correctly, it's just a single issue per year. So yeah, it does feel rather pricey. I do know for a fact that Farmer uploads his work to various academic websites, and I imagine the other authors do as well, so it may be cheaper to subscribe to one of them since you aren't covering print costs. IIRC academic database subscriptions are cheaper in Europe if you go through a library (don't quote me on this; just something I think I remember reading before).

I do have one article from it: namely, On the Composition of Zhang Hua's “Nüshi Zhen” by Farmer.

I'm going to be honest: I can't speak for the other authors at the moment, but I've discovered a few errors among Farmer’s claims, and a little bias, especially in his various Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women entries; and that kinda puts me at odds with his work. He also tends to not write names if he doesn't have to, probably to avoid overwhelming readers; for instance, he'll sometimes say something like "an important Wei general" instead of just naming the guy. Can be frustrating for serious study.

The above article seems accurate though, and is actually one of the very few out there that analyzes the Nüshi Zhen as criticizing Yang Zhi instead of Jia Nanfeng (an interpretation I agree with), which is nice, so it may be a better indicator of the journal than his BDCW entries are. His work has some slight bias though that I’d prefer not be in publications; such as pro-feminism bias. (I'm not saying feminism is bad, per se, but it shouldn't obscure the lens through which one is viewing history.)

Probably not much help, but that's the extent of my experience. :P
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:31 am

Jia Nanfeng wrote:Funny you mentioned this; I've been considering subscribing for the past year, but never committed!

If I recall correctly, it's just a single issue per year. So yeah, it does feel rather pricey. I do know for a fact that Farmer uploads his work to various academic websites, and I imagine the other authors do as well, so it may be cheaper to subscribe to one of them since you aren't covering print costs. IIRC academic database subscriptions are cheaper in Europe if you go through a library (don't quote me on this; just something I think I remember reading before).


In all fairness on the buying page it only lists a price for an institution not for a private individual. I have considered emailing them asking if it would be cheaper for me than it would be or a university for example! Perhaps they might do a discount if we can find a group of people who were interested? :lol:

The thing is I like having hard copies of my sources, even if it is more expensive! I keep paying out to get the thesis' I buy in book form despite .pdf's being so much cheaper. :oops:

Jia Nanfeng wrote: I do have one article from it: namely, On the Composition of Zhang Hua's “Nüshi Zhen” by Farmer.

I'm going to be honest: I can't speak for the other authors at the moment, but I've discovered a few errors among Farmer’s claims, and a little bias, especially in his various Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women entries; and that kinda puts me at odds with his work. He also tends to not write names if he doesn't have to, probably to avoid overwhelming readers; for instance, he'll sometimes say something like "an important Wei general" instead of just naming the guy. Can be frustrating for serious study.

The above article seems accurate though, and is actually one of the very few out there that analyzes the Nüshi Zhen as criticizing Yang Zhi instead of Jia Nanfeng (an interpretation I agree with), which is nice, so it may be a better indicator of the journal than his BDCW entries are. His work has some slight bias though that I’d prefer not be in publications; such as pro-feminism bias. (I'm not saying feminism is bad, per se, but it shouldn't obscure the lens through which one is viewing history.)


Ah fair enough! I've not actually read anything by Farmer, he's just a name that I'm aware of as an academic who has actually written about the Three Kingdoms in English! A rare breed, sadly. In comparison I do own Leban's Cao Cao dissertation and Cutter's Empresses and Consorts both of which are quality sources!

I agree academic journals shouldn't show blatant bias but beggars can't be choosers and to be fair it is impossible to write things completely without bias. None of us will be aware of all the biases we've inhaled from our culture and family!
Last edited by Sun Fin on Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:15 pm

Sun Fin wrote:In all fairness on the buying page it only lists a price for an institution not for a private individual. I have considered emailing them asking if it would be cheaper for me than it would be or a university for example! Perhaps they might do a discount if we can find a group of people who were interested? :lol:

The thing is I like having hard copies of my sources, even if it is more expensive! I keep paying out to get the thesis' I buy in book form despite .pdf's being so much cheaper. :oops:

On their official non-T&F website (https://www.earlymedievalchinagroup.org/membership/) they have a membership option for $30 USD per year, which is much cheaper. According to the payment page:

“Annual membership dues are $30 USD. Annual membership includes a subscription to the current volume of the journal and access to electronic copies (including back issues). Membership expires at the end of the fiscal year.”

I can’t parse whether that means you get physical copies each year you subscribe (and a back catalog of PDFs) or if it means a PDF of the current volume. :?: If it does mean physical (which I think it might) then that’s not a bad deal at all! Might be worth looking more into.

Also I totally understand wanting physical over digital. I’ve just recently got an eBook reader and I’m not too sure about it yet. :P

Ah fair enough! I've not actually read anything by Farmer, he's just a name that I'm aware of as an academic who has actually written about the Three Kingdoms in English! A rare breed, sadly. In comparison I do own Leban's Cao Cao dissertation and Cutter's Empresses and Consorts both of which are quality sources!

I agree academic journals shouldn't show blatant bias but beggars can't be choosers and to be fair it is impossible to write things completely without bias. None of us will be aware of all the biases we've inhaled from our culture and family!

Oh, I didn’t recognize Cutter’s name; I’ve been wanting Empresses and Consorts but haven’t gotten around to getting it yet. Yeah, if those other writers are involved and have impressed you then my criticisms of Farmer can be overlooked. :oops:

You’re right that beggars can’t be choosers; with how few authors are writing about 3K stuff, like you said, we kinda gotta take what we can get. So in that light Farmer is great!

I guess the only other thing to mention is that, looking at the articles contained in past issues, it indeed covers history as a whole. If you aren’t as much into all the other dynasties, it might not seem like a good price to pay having to wait for an article from an era that does interest you!
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:35 pm

I didn't know that website existed! Good find! That price is far more reasonable, I think I might email them and inquire. My reading of that sentence is that you get the hard copy of this years edition and electronic access to the back issues. I'd be interested in whether they'd be willing to sell me copies of their back catalog that has articles relevant to my interests. I don't know if being UK based will be an issue or not... I'll let you know what response I get.

I have a Kindle which I use for holidays and books that I'm not obsessive over but i much prefer paper copies!

Empresses and Consorts was a great addition to my 3K library and is reasonably priced!

Your point about other dynasties is a good one, I guess that price for access to the back catalog and to be at the front line of historical study might still be worth it! I guess you're not obliged to pay every year, only when they publish an article that interests you!
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:04 pm

Jia Nanfeng wrote:I do have one article from it: namely, On the Composition of Zhang Hua's “Nüshi Zhen” by Farmer.


The website has something on Zhang Hua?! Son of a... I might have to get a subscription.
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby Jia Nanfeng » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:47 pm

Sun Fin wrote: I'll let you know what response I get.

Please do, I’m curious about physical back issues too. I’m also curious when subscriptions take effect; say, if they publish a journal one year that has articles which interest me, so I subscribe, do I retroactively get the physical copy that just came out or does my subscription only apply to the next physical copy?

Empresses and Consorts is on my buy list, but I’m waiting a bit — still kinda recovering from spending $300 on the Soushen Ji translation in “Search for the Supernatural”. Totally worth it though, that book is amazing, and has several stories about Jia Nanfeng. ;)

DaoLunOfShiji wrote:
Jia Nanfeng wrote:I do have one article from it: namely, On the Composition of Zhang Hua's “Nüshi Zhen” by Farmer.


The website has something on Zhang Hua?! Son of a... I might have to get a subscription.

The journal does, in issue 10/11.1.

I just learned that Farmer has uploaded it to academia.edu... after spending money on it a few months ago. You have to subscribe to download it but you can access the full text on this page: Read it while you can!

http://www.academia.edu/6191030/On_the_ ... ang_Huas_Nüshi_zhen_

(I think the ü is killing the url code, here’s a tinyurl link: https://tinyurl.com/yac2qv5y)
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:55 pm

Wow, thank you very much. I've always wanted to read more on Zhang Hua. Very fascinating guy.
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:44 pm

I've just sent this email:

Dear Dr Wells,

I hope you are well?

I'm interested in signing up to the Early Medieval China Group and Journal but I have a few questions first if that's alright?

Most importantly I'm not a professional academic, nor am I part of an educational institution (although I am being interviewed about doing a masters in a completely unrelated subject at the moment). Rather I'm just an enthused amateur whose passion has lead him to investing in various academic works by authors such as Rafe De Crispigny, Carl Leban and Robert Cutter. I also belong to an online community who are passionate about the Later Han dynasty, the Three Kingdoms and the Western Jin. A few other members of said community have also expressed an interest in signing up. Would this cause any problems?

Secondly I'm based in the UK, whilst it appears most of your membership is in the US, would you still be happy to send a print version of a journal to me?

I also just wanted to clarify what signing up entitles a member too? Does it come with a print version of the most recent journal (for example, would I receive the 2017 version) and then pdf access to previous editions? If I wanted print copies of particular earlier journals would I be able to pay extra to order them? If so how much would that be?

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to hearing from you,

Sun Fin (obviously I used my real name in the actual email)


Jia Nanfeng wrote:
Empresses and Consorts is on my buy list, but I’m waiting a bit — still kinda recovering from spending $300 on the Soushen Ji translation in “Search for the Supernatural”. Totally worth it though, that book is amazing, and has several stories about Jia Nanfeng. ;)


Believe me I get that! Expensive history books are a bi-yearly event for me as Christmas and Birthday presents form my parents. My wife wouldn't be very happy if I spent £200 on a new history book every month :(.
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Re: Early Medieval China Journal

Unread postby waywardauthor » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:15 pm

I have access to a couple of the articles, and they are some of the best stuff to come out in the past decade. Only about a third to a quarter is Three Kingdoms related directly, with a little bit more being generally applicable, but I'd recommend it. There are still a few I'd like to see that I don't quite have access to yet.

The only one of their articles that I posted up at the Academic Corner was the article on Wang Dao for the Jin.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
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