The Spatiality of Emotion in Early Modern China synthesizes an ocean of materials to drive home a lucent argument that theatricality, as a mode of spatiality based on spectatorship, appeared around the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Chinese history (for one of many concise summaries, see p. 6). The title of the book immediately prompts questions: How can emotion be spatial? If emotion is spatial, what is its relation to human subjects or subject formation? And, above all, what does all of this have to do with theatricality? In this review, I would like to discuss some of the book's methods, concepts, and propositions.

First of all, the central concept of the book is not emotion in the sense of “cult of emotion in late imperial China” but “the spatiality of emotion” as exemplified by the phrase “emotion-realm.” Early in the book, Ling Hon Lam proposes that “emotion is the...

You do not currently have access to this content.