The Qing Bodies project is devoted to making space to appreciate multiplicity, many-voicedness, and openings in Qing texts. It uses Manchu documents as a site for play-work and work-play, but it’s meant to contribute to how we understand and work with bodytexts beyond the Manchu-language archive.
In that spirit, an important aspect of the project is an effort to experiment with writing history in a range of narrative formats, and to explore different media and narrative forms for telling stories with and about Qing bodies. Some of these are straightforwardly historical and some of them are works of fiction, and some are not comfortably defined in these terms at all and instead focus more on opening up how we think about craft and practice. In every case the work represents some sort of coproduction of history and fiction. And in every case the work makes an effort to refigure the historian as composer.
Here are some recent results of that, all in the spirit of experimentation with the craft of historical narrative: a sonic landscape of Manchu onomatopoeias , an exploration of history as the art of the DJ , and a story with images from a 19th century Tibetan/Mongolian book of materia medica. I’ll post more as they come into being!