This book is the product of collaboration across many boundaries; no individual could have written it alone. It is a companion volume to Under Confucian Eyes, a collection of documents on gender in Chinese history also published by the University of California Press and edited by Susan Mann and Yu-Yin Cheng. Both grow out of a long-term project seeking to rethink Confucianism in East Asia by using gender as a category of analysis. Planning began in September 1994, when Susan Mann convened a workshop in Davis, California, funded by the Joint Committee on Chinese Studies of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the American Council of Learned Societies, as well as the SSRC's East Asia Regional Research Working Group. The colleagues who attended the workshop laid the groundwork for the documents collection and began planning an international conference.
In summer 1996 more than thirty invited scholars participated in a three-day conference at the La Jolla campus of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where Dorothy Ko was teaching at the time. This conference received support from a host of agencies. From within the University of California system, funding was provided by the Pacific Rim Research Program, the Humanities Research Institute, and the Council for East Asian Studies of UCSD. We are particularly grateful to Patricia O'Brien, Martha Kendall Winnacker, and Joshua Fogel for their personal encouragement. In addition, we acknowledge the generous and timely support from the Social Science Research Council and the Cressant Foundation.
The scholars who gathered in La Jolla came from Britain, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and the United States. We were relieved to find that language differences did not constitute a barrier. In fact, some non-native speakers of English were the most enthusiastic leaders in discussions. This is in large part due to the excellent simultaneous interpretation provided by a highly competent team during the four days: Madeleine Yue Dong for Chinese and Hiromi Mizuno and Eliza-