Geiss Award Publications 2011

Since Geiss Foundation started subvention awards to publish qualified books about Ming studies in 2010, funding towards four publications were granted.  These awards are designed especially to assist first-time authors bring their finished manuscripts to publication.  Awards, which are granted the applicant’s academic press, may range between $3,500.- to $4,500.-   Both publishers and qualified individual applicants may apply.

Recipients of the Geiss Subvention Award in 2011 and their publications include:


University of Washington Press for Art by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China, formerly known as Ensnaring the Public Eye: Painting Manuals of Late Ming China and the Negotiation of Taste by J. P. Park, Assistant Professor, Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder; 384 pages, 120 illustrations.

ArtBook  Sometime before 1579, Zhou Lujing, a professional writer living in southeastern China, published prior to 1579 a series of lavishly illustrated books, which became the first multi-genre painting manuals in Chinese history. Their popularity was immediate and their contents and format were widely reprinted and disseminated in a number of contemporary publications.

In Art by the Book, the author describes how Zhou’s work promoted other publications that accommodated the cultural taste and demands of the general public.  He demonstrates how these painting manuals functioned as a genre in which everything from popular cultural icons to graphic or literary cliche shaped the sensibilities of a growing, reading public. At a time when cultural standing was measured by one’s command of literati taste and lore, painting manuals provided general readers with a device for enhancing social capital.

A review of this book by Anne Burkus-Chasson in the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies can be found at the link.

 Geiss Award Publications


The Chinese University Press of Hong Kong for Ming Erotic Novellas: Genre, Consumption, and Religiosity in Cultural Practice by Richard Wang; 256 pages, 19 illustrations.


Richard Wang examines late Ming material culture in this collection of literary (wenyan) novellas.  He focuses the marketing and distribution strategies behind and Daoist allegory contained within erotic fiction of the period by discussing each work and its significance in the development of Ming-Qing fiction.

Certain aspects of the eroticism presented in these novellas helped to legitimize sexuality in the cosmological thinking as well as to moralize and politicize sexuality; it opened the way for medical discourse on sexuality, the pleasure prescribed by ars erotica, and the religious dimension of sexuality.

A full pdf review by Keith McMahon can be downloaded here.