2023-09-14T18:37:38+08:002023-09-14|IAS Guia Lecture Series, News|

Event Summary

The 1stGUIA LECTURE” of the 2023-24 academic year, titled “The Misinterpreted Demise of Qin Keqing: A Multifaceted Analysis Blending Socio-Legal and Redology”, was successfully held on September 8th at the E31 Student Activity Center Theater of the University of Macau. This lecture featured Professor Lan KE, from the Law School at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and member of The Legal Culture Association of the China Law Society executive council, as the keynote speaker. Professor Yu Xingzhong, Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences of UM and Chair Professor of the Department of Global Legal Studies of the Faculty of Law, assumed the role of moderator.

The “Guia Lecture” is designed by the IAS, guided by the principle of “Rooted in Macau, with a global academic perspective.” It serves as a dynamic platform for hosting public academic lectures characterized by interdisciplinary, academic excellence, and an international outlook.

This lecture delved into the character “Qin Keqing” from one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels, “A Dream of Red Mansions”. Professor Ke initiated her exploration by scrutinizing suicide incidents involving several female characters within the novel. Later, professor Ke examined the uncertainties surrounding Qin’s demise and embarked on an insightful investigation into the intricate issue of incestuous relationships within families during the Qing Dynasty. Particularly, the lecture shed light on the distressing prevalence of father-in-law and daughter-in-law incestuous affairs, which regrettably lacked adequate legal remedies.

Professor Ke further delved into the analysis of legal provisions regarding the “Act of compelling an individual to commit suicide” during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Her discourse highlighted a critical aspect – individuals who instigated others to commit suicide for reasons beyond official duties could potentially bear criminal responsibility. This illuminating perspective underscored that the victims of sexual crimes, by choosing suicide as a means to hold the perpetrators legally accountable, were engaging in a rational form of resistance. Professor Ke’s insights enriched our understanding of the legal backdrop surrounding Qin Keqing’s tragic end.

In addition to these explorations, the lecture also probed into the potential motives behind the alteration of the narrative surrounding Qin’s demise. It scrutinized the intentions of the annotators and the author, Cao Xueqin, revealing intriguing inconsistencies within the narrative. Finally, Professor Ke emphatically emphasized that Qin was a victim of sexual crimes, and her decision to end her own life was an act of seeking justice. Through this narrative lens, it exposed a prevalent societal evil during the Qing Dynasty, providing a searing critique of the darker aspects of the legal system and the pervasive discrimination and injustices faced by women.

This lecture has provided a fresh, cross-disciplinary perspective on the interpretation of “Qin Keqing’s Demise.” It drew enthusiastic participation from over two hundred attendees, including scholars and students from diverse academic disciplines and institutions, both locally and internationally. The lecture ignited lively discussions, particularly on contemporary issues pertaining to the protection of women’s rights and the sociological exploration of suicide-related topics.

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