Date of this Version
March 30, 2010 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
This panel attempted to think through a number of issues related to gossip and rumor in traditional China. Paola Zamperini of Amhest College presided over the affair in truly breathtaking Edwardian piratical style. Incisive comments were provided by Robert Hymes of Columbia University. Hymes asked the question of whether or not gossip was normative or subversive, suggesting that there was very little in any of the papers that could be taken as a subversive reading of gossip. Rather, gossip in each case tended to affirm or reaffirm normative social hierarchies and values.