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Session 13: Wu Family Altars and Shrines: Han Dynasty Art and Architecture

Organizer: Anthony Barbieri Low, University of Pittsburgh

Chair and Discussant: Hung Wu, University of Chicago

Keywords: China, Han Dynasty, art history, architecture.

The panel forms an interdisciplinary team to study the mid-second-century Wu family cemetery located in present-day Shandong. Stone slabs engraved with pictorial scenes survive from at least three structures in the cemetery. The surfaces of the slabs are entirely carved with bas-reliefs and have become an important source for the study of Han iconography ever since they were rediscovered in 1786. The carvings also number among the earliest works from China to be examined on an international stage by art historians. Important recent studies have focused on reconstructing a pictorial program for the carved scenes in the shrine traditionally believed to be dedicated to Wu Liang (AD 78–151). The other structures in the cemetery and the configuration of the whole site have received less attention.

Panelist Cary Liu will propose a new reconstruction of the entire Wu family cemetery based on the pictorial carvings and comparative archaeological materials. Michael Nylan will propose a novel reading of the iconography of the two altars at the front of the cemetery. Anthony Barbieri-Low will discuss the rise of private luxury workshops during the Han, focusing on the workshops commissioned to create the Wu structures. Klaas Ruitenbeek will discuss a Han artifact known as a "money tree," whose iconography is related to that of the Wu carvings.

By reexamining the pictorial wall carvings at the Wu family cemetery in the contexts of tomb architecture, ritual practice, and workshop organization, this panel seeks to reconfigure the study of Eastern Han tomb and shrine decoration.

Architectural Reconfiguration of the Wu Family Altars and Shrine

Cary Y. Liu, Princeton University

This paper examines the Han dynasty Wu family cemetery structures in relation to their architectural typology and pictorial carvings in order to reconfigure possible ritual burial patterns. Proposed is a reconstruction for the site layout and order of the Wu structures that presents a new reading of the pictorial carvings corresponding to a sequence of two front two-bay altars and one rear, one-bay ancestral shrine arranged facing north and ending with the unexcavated family tumulus in the south.

Newly published fuller rubbings of the pictorial stones and reconstructions of three halls will be relied upon for this analysis, along with comparative archaeological materials from the same region. In addition, a sketchy description of the cemetery design recorded in a Wu family stele inscription found at the site will be compared to precedents of ritual burial practices outlined in the Book of Documents and Book of Rites. These materials lend credence to the possible reconfiguration of the Wu cemetery as having front altars and rear shrines.

The Iconography of the Wu Family Altars

Michael Nylan, University of California, Berkeley

Many previous studies have focused on the Wu Liang iconography, while saying little or nothing about the two altars in the same complex, which can be traced to the same private workshop. Looking at these altars complicates our picture of the iconographic program, specifically regarding views of gender, the afterlife, the relation between myth and history, and the function of the altars in public display culture. For example, the program of the altars appears to place much more emphasis on mothers and female deities than previously thought.

Private Luxury Workshops during the Han Period

Anthony Barbieri-Low, University of Pittsburgh

This paper investigates the nature of the privately-sponsored luxury workshops which arose during the late Warring States period and flourished during the two Han dynasties. It first introduces a set of historical and economic factors which encouraged the establishment of the shops. Then, using inscriptions from recovered objects made by private workshops, the paper discusses issues of market area, advertising, competition, and distribution.

Focusing in on the Wu family cemetery, the paper closes with a discussion of the workshops which were commissioned to build and decorate the altars, shrine, and pillars at the site. Issues of workshop style, division of labor, and compensation will be discussed.

Money Trees of the Eastern Han

Klaas Ruitenbeek, Royal Ontario Museum

Since Susan Erikson’s seminal article in the BMFEA 66 (1994), much more money tree material has come to light. My paper centers on four money trees in the Royal Ontario Museum, and one in the Princeton Art Museum, as well as on the three that are part of the "Ancient Sichuan: Treasures from a Lost Civilization" show that tours the U.S. and Canada in 2001–2. There are two main types of trees: one with very fine, detailed figures and decorations in the branches, with sharp outlines in relief lines, and another type where the decorations are less sharp. The fine type especially invites close reading and this will be my point of departure. Many comparisons with Han engraved stone decorations can be made, and much can be learned about Eastern Han religious ideas and paradise beliefs.


Session 14: People and Environment on the Northern Chinese Frontiers

Organizer and Chair: Piper Gaubatz, University of Massachusetts

Discussant: Stanley Toops, Miami University

Keywords: China, frontier, geography, environment.

Owen Lattimore’s Inner Asian Frontiers of China (1940) highlighted the historical dynamism of political, economic, and cultural change through contact between agriculturalists and nomadic pastoralists. Since the 1960s, Chinese geographers have brought new perspectives to these issues through the pioneering work of Hou Renzhi and his students and colleagues at Beijing University. In 1998, Hou Renzhi and more than a dozen researchers from China and the U.S. initiated a long-term project on the historical geography of people-environment relations, funded by the National Science Foundation of China and the Henry Luce Foundation.

This panel presents a selection of this research emphasizing three main themes:

(1) The inclusion of the environment as a factor in understanding settlement patterns and economic dynamics;

(2) A new interpretation of the role of climate change, as well as human impacts, in historical desertification and environmental degradation;

(3) Multidisciplinary research methodologies. The papers integrate analyses of Chinese historical sources with field research and other data ranging from archeological materials to aerial photography.

The session will begin with an overview of environmental change on the northern Chinese frontiers from ancient times to the present, followed by three case studies: the changing geography of settlement and evolution of the division between farmers and herders in Shang and Zhou Shaanxi/Shanxi; environmental change and settlement and subsistence patterns in the Inner Mongolian Maowusu desert from the fifth century to the present; and the environmental impacts of Inner Mongolian urban development in the Ming and Qing eras.

Environmental Change on the Northern Chinese Frontiers: A Geographical Perspective

Shouchun Wang, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The role of human activities in the degradation of the environment on the northern Chinese frontiers has long been debated. The historical record provides rich detail on aspects of environmental change ranging from desertification to deforestation, which twentieth-century historians often ascribed to human activities. However, reanalysis of these historical records in the context of fieldwork, climatic change data, pollen analysis of vegetation change, landsat and air photograph analysis of landforms, and environmental archeology reveal that prior to 300 years ago climate change may have played a more important role than human activities in environmental change in many areas of the northern frontier. This paper presents an overview of current thought on environmental change on the northern Chinese frontiers illustrated with case studies from the author’s research on vegetation change on the ancient loess plateau, the rise of cities in the Ordos region, and desertification in the West Liao River basin.

The Guifang: Environmental Change and Subsistence Systems in Northern Shaanxi and Shanxi during the Shang and Zhou Periods

Xiaofeng Tang, Beijing University

The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian identified a land use division in the Shang and Zhou eras between a southern agricultural zone and a northern mixed agricultural and pastoral nomadic ("semi-agricultural/ semi-pastoral") zone along a line from Longmen (today’s Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces) and Jieshi, in today’s Hebei Province. It now appears that in northern Shaanxi and Shanxi this land use geography developed during the Shang period and reflects adaptation to climatic change. This paper examines land use change and establishes the time period of the emergence of the Longmen-Jieshi line by utilizing archeological, historical, and climatic change data to analyze the Guifang people of northern Shaanxi and Shanxi.

This area was an agricultural region from 5,000 BC to 2,000 BC. During the Shang dynasty, when the climate became more arid, the Guifang people placed an increased emphasis on pastoralism and developed a subsistence system which combined agriculture and pastoralism. Evidence for this comes from a 67,000 m2 settlement at Lijiaya, unearthed in 1984, which has a rammed earth wall as well as stone and pottery artifacts associated with both agriculture and herding. This is a revision of standard accounts of the Guifang, who have usually been described as pastoral nomads through interpretations of historical sources such as the Shi Jing, which states that the Guifang were widely scattered. Guifang land use thus exemplifies the development of a transitional mixed agricultural and pastoral nomadic zone in the Shang and Zhou periods, which corroborates Sima Qian’s account.

Tongwan: An Analysis of Urban Form and Environmental Change in the Inner Mongolian Maowusu Desert

Hu Deng, Beijing University

Tongwan, a city established on the southern edge of the Ordos Plateau by the Xiongnu in 419, is an example of cultural interaction between the northern frontiers’ nomadic peoples and the Chinese, and of changes in the relationships between people and environment. This study analyzes historical records, archeological evidence, field research data, and aerial photographs in order to reconstruct the form and development of the city and local environmental change over the past 1,500 years.

This analysis confirms that the city consisted of two adjacent walled areas: an "inner city" on the west, and an "outer city" on the east. The city was established by the Xiongnu, who decorated the city walls with many horse’s heads (on defensive towers) and oriented the buildings along an east-west axis, in a manner different from Chinese tradition. The city also, however, incorporated aspects of Chinese urban form, particularly in the alignment of the walls, gates, and monumental structures.

By 431, Tongwan city and its hinterland supported a population of more than 40,000, which consisted of nomads and Chinese farmers. By 984, however, the city was abandoned, and the regional population declined dramatically. Eventually it was almost buried by shifting sands. Historical records suggest that Tongwan city was established at a place with a rich natural environment at the edge of a desert. Aerial photographs indicate a dry moat and a stream channel, relics of a more favorable environment, while other scientific evidence of historical desertification correlates with accounts of the abandonment of farming in the region.

Hohhot: Environmental Impacts of Urban Development on the Mongolian Frontier (1557–1911)

Piper Gaubatz, University of Massachusetts

When Altan Khan established a walled city at the site of modern-day Hohhot in 1557, the nearby Daqing mountains were thickly forested. By 1736, when the Manchu built the walled settlement of Suiyuan adjacent to what had become the Chinese-Mongolian city of Guihua, the forests of the Daqing mountains had been devastated. This was only one of a number of environmental impacts that the early development of Hohhot as a frontier city had on its immediate surroundings and mountain and grassland hinterland.

For many centuries the establishment of self-sufficient military outposts and cities was an important component of Chinese control and settlement of the frontiers. These cities created new regional patterns of land use and environmental change as they generated demands for their construction and the subsequent maintenance of urban life. Adjacent areas were opened for agricultural settlement and development, and the cities served as channels and collection points for large-scale resource extraction to supply distant core areas. Successful frontier settlements also became destinations for migrants from China’s heavily populated core areas.

This paper is a case study of the environmental impacts of the development of the twin cities of Guihua and Suiyuan, the nucleus of contemporary Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. It examines the influences of Chinese, Mongolian, Manchu, and Muslim architectural and urban design traditions; urban demand for timber, bricks, stone, charcoal, firewood, coal, salt and grains; transformation of grassland to farmland; and long-distance trade in timber, salt, wool, hides, and livestock.


Session 16: "Cold War" with China? Culture and Diplomacy Reexamined

Organizer and Chair: Charles W. Hayford, Independent Scholar

Discussant: Steven I. Levine, University of Montana

Keywords: China, United States, international relations, history, political science, culture.

Scholars and diplomats debate across disciplinary boundaries about which factors in international relations are more powerful in which situations: "culture" (presumably the less conscious or articulate set of institutions, assumptions, and vocabularies which characterize particular groups), "ideology" (whether Marxist, liberal, or otherwise), or diplomatic "realpolitik." An intriguing test is the stages of relations between United States and China from the 1940s to the present. We have long debated "who lost China?"—was there a "lost chance," or "no chance"? Our international panel of historians and political scientists will gain fresh perspective by reexamining the periods before, during, and after the so-called Cold War in light of new materials and recent arguments. One paper examines the cultural basis of the Cold War in American Open Door writings, another the classic 1956 Cold War confrontation and misunderstanding. Two papers present post Cold War scenes to ask whether the Cold War has indeed ended. One reports on the notable rise of anti-American sentiment during the 1990s arguing that the new hostility is different from the Cold War mentality. Another examines 2001 diplomacy of apology to test how far cultural analysis will take us. There is continuity; tension and conflict persist. Can we describe this continuous theme without using the term "Cold War"? Should we rather say "the culture of conflict"? Was the 1949–1972 period an "inter-regnum," that is, a passing and anomalous phase of misunderstanding and learning, or a realistic expression of underlying structural forces which will lead to a "new Cold War"?

The American Open Door and Cultural Roots of the Cold War with China

Charles W. Hayford, Independent Scholar

From 1898, many Americans saw the uplift of China as part of their self-justifying role in the world; fostering "middle class revolution" was a more than political mission, but one which involved deep cultural self-definitions. The public writings of Americans who lived and worked in China—such authors as Pearl Buck, Alice Tisdale Hobart, Richard McKenna, Carl Crow, and the wartime journalists—represent informed and earnest attempts to understand emerging Chinese nationalism and revolution. Increasingly critical of American Open Door ideology, they construed various and contending Chinas for their audiences back home: some pictured a China waiting to be brought light by already enlightened Americans, others a China dominated by Boxer-like mobs who defied rationality, and still others a revolutionary China working towards an alternative modernity. The lack of effect of these writings in domestic American politics has often been remarked upon, but their less well noted internal contradictions and difficulties reflect deeper problems of the larger American political project. The diplomatic policies of the post-1949 Cold War were not dictated by these images or perceptions (although they certainly affected how policies were publicly presented), but they did sorely constrain policymakers in the early 1950s.

Cultural Categories, Moral Perimeters, and Ideological Rhetoric in Sino-American Interactions in the Mid-1950s

Simei Qing, Michigan State University

In 1956, for many American officials, China’s rapid transformation of private enterprise and the rural collectivization drive led to clear conclusions: "Sino-centrism" combined with a militant communist ideology to make China a more efficient tool in Moscow’s global ambition; the PRC was set to do what Nazi Germany had done in Europe. Meanwhile, Moscow was worried that Beijing was "flirting" with Washington and trying to break away from socialism. In fact, China’s domestic developments and foreign policy intentions in the mid-1950s were neither anti-Soviet nor anti-American, but part of its ongoing search for a "unique" Chinese path to modernity. Thus, in 1956, Beijing proposed the concept of socialism without class warfare, which focused on mobilizing all Chinese people to engage in China’s industrialization. More important, in the mid-1950s, Beijing attempted to apply the five principles of peaceful co-existence not only to nations of different political systems, but also to the socialist bloc, which included Beijing’s recommendations of withdrawing the Soviet troops from Eastern Europe and the Chinese troops from North Korea. Beijing also launched a "peace initiative" toward Washington, the centerpiece of which was Zhou Enlai’s invitation for American journalists to visit the PRC.

How could Washington and Moscow both miss out on a major portion of the Chinese "reality" and misinterpret Beijing’s foreign policy intentions in their respective observations in the mid-1950s? This paper will focus on the complex relationship between culture, society, and ideology to answer this question in terms of long-run China-United States relations.

Other and Self: Chinese Intellectuals’ Discourse on the United States in the 1990s

Jing Li, Institute of Modern History

After the formal Cold War more or less ended in the 1970s, Chinese intellectuals went through two major stages in their discourse on the United States. In the 1980s, the Chinese intelligentsia, eager to foster liberal change, came to focus on certain works which they interpreted and expounded in close connections to the ongoing events in China: Alvin Toffler, Thomas Kuhn, Milton Friedman, Samuel Huntington (with his discussion on democratic transition in developing countries), and Max Weber. Entering the 1990s, as the reform in China accelerated and Sino-American relations assumed a new tone which some argue is a return to Cold War rhetoric, Edward Said and Samuel Huntington, the latter with his controversial notion of the "clash of civilizations," generated heated discussion and debate on Chinese national identity and its relationship to the West; American scholars’ studies of East Asian history and culture provided a special impetus for Chinese intellectuals to reflect upon their own country; and the emerging mass media and mass market also gave rise to the kind of demagogic intellectuals whose strong nationalist and anti-American views, as expressed in works such as China Can Say No, seemed to indicate a reversal of the cosmopolitan trend of the 1980s. But, since China’s new self-confidence has arisen out of the liberal changes in the past two decades, the latest development is more in the nature of continued dialogue between the East and West, at a higher level, than the simple affirmation of self and rejection of the other, and not a return to the Cold War.

Culture Clash or New Cold War? Apologies East and West in 2001

Peter Gries, University of Colorado

Following the April 1, 2001 plane collision over the South China Sea, China and the United States engaged in two weeks of intensive "apology diplomacy." What role did culture play in these events? Drawing on experimental findings in social and cross-cultural psychology, we argue both against those pundits who essentialized cultural difference and against those who denied that culture matters. Instead, we maintain that both cultural differences and cultural commonalties played a significant role in Sino-American apology diplomacy.


Session 17: Sentiments and Desires in Ming-Ch’ing China: A Multifaceted Investigation

Organizer: Ping-chen Hsiung, Academia Sinica

Chair: Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota

Discussants: Angela Zito, New York University; Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota

Keywords: sentiment, desire, Ming-Ch’ing, neo-Confucian orthodoxy, personal intimacy.

Recent studies on Chinese society and culture in the Ming-Ch’ing period suggest an environment that presented its inhabitants with many new, exciting possibilities as well as some ultimate constraints. We reexamine the surprising dynamics that emerged out of strict orthodox frameworks, exploring both the potentials of drastic change and profound perseverance. Human "sentiments and desires" is the theme we chose to bring forth some of the results of these intellectual excises that started a fresh foray in the "history of emotions" from a comparative perspective.

This panel consists of three papers, from history, literature, and classics study respectively. Ping-chen Hsiung’s paper will discuss the way Ming-Ch’ing male authors recorded mother-daughter relations, comparing that with the way women did it and the way men wrote of male kinship ties to show the matrilineal lives lived behind and within patriarchal order. So-an Chang’s study of Ch’ing philologists’ reconsideration of key Confucian rituals (of mourning, marriage, and inheritance) intends to reveal the intellectual dynamics of change at the core of late imperial classicism. Hua Wei’s paper on an eighteenth-century commentary on the Poeny Pavilion calls attention to the powerful potential of revolt carefully wrapped under the terms for little noticed literary criticism. Together these three studies hope to showcase some of the exciting new results of the Ming-Ch’ing research on "sentiments and desires," whereby both the presumably fixed orthodox culture in shifting its fundamental grounds, and numerous new channels of expression in social practices and textual representations were created. At the end, all three participants shall reflect on the intellectual significance of these discoveries in review of the development of the field, and on their historical implications as they are related to the past or connected with the future in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

With her studies in Ming politics, ritual, and religion, Ann Waltner (she will be attending an international conference on "privacy" and "sentiment" therefore meeting with the three panelists) shall serve as the chair. With her own research on the High Ch’ing court ritual, Angela Zito, who has visited Academia Sinica and witnessed the growth of the research project on history of emotions as well as participating in a conclusive conference on "sentiments and desires of the Ming and Ch’ing," shall act together with Ann Waltner as discussants of this panel. By supporting this presentation, the AAS takes an important step in sharing the newest works in the field that are of strong interest across many academic disciplines and institutional boundaries.

Unlike Mothers, Unlike Daughters: Ming-Ch’ing Men’s Inscription of their Genealogy at Heart

Ping-chen Hsiung, Academia Sinica

As part of a monographic study on changing domesticity in late imperial China, this essay will examine how Chinese men individually and collectively write about mother-daughter relations as they understood, or imagined, them. It begins by categorizing the different social and literary contexts that men might raise or be requested to take note of and reports about these ties. Out of these various kinds of mother-daughter pairs (e.g., from the author’s perspective, those between his mother and maternal grandmother, his wife and mother-in-law, his sisters and mother, his aunts and paternal grandmother, or his own daughter and his wife), a typography is then mapped out to show the priorities a man placed on these various female kinships in his mind, the degrees of intimacy he held them in his world, and the particular angle he chose to gaze at and thus record about them.

Out of this exercise, the investigation intends to answer three questions. One, how was a man’s observation, engagement, and representation of this matrilineal linkage different from the self-reporting or the recording of similar female ties from the perspective of a woman? Two, what subjective feelings we may detect as the main operating mechanism of the male psychology as he chose his materials and fashions of recording. And three, from these traces of a genealogy of the sentiment according to the masculine angle, what may be learned of his emotional world in the daily life as it reflects on the social sanction and collective recognition of the feminine bondage sustaining, reproducing, and working for the continuous existence of China’s patriarchal social order.

Ritual Learning, Evidential Studies, and the Reconstruction of Ritualism in Late Imperial China

So-an Chang, Academia Sinica

Two major cultural trends emerged in the eighteenth century: the rethinking of human desire and the revival of classical learning. Ritual learning then took the route of evidential studies in order to re-appropriate the original classical Confucian ritualism.

What is ritualism or the reconstruction of ritualism? It took two forms of anti-orthodoxy debates. That is, opposition to the Song-Ming Neo-Confucian way of institutionalizing the rituals on one hand; and, opposition to the totalistic Confucianism of the May Fourth (1919) Movement on the other. In this context, the target of the eighteenth century was Song-Ming ritualism.

Three examples of in-depth study of changes in philologically-based on classical studies in High ch’ing are offered as specific examples:

1. The significance of the evidential studies debates over whether "elder-brother’s wife and younger brother cannot be mourned as relatives" and "what kind of a relationship is appropriate between elder-brother’s wife and younger brother?" lay in the relaxation in the theory of the boundary between men and women.

2. Evidential studies took the notion of "[the husband] personally goes to welcome [the bride]," rather than "engagement ceremony" as marking marriage in order to explain why "becoming a wife" was more important than "becoming a daughter-in-law." They thus attacked the custom of engaged women’s chastity.

3. The basic notion of "respect" in evidential studies was to respect "the inheritor" rather than the "ruler," thus attacking autocracy, in order to show that the respect due the emperor was on account of his duties, not his position. The functional view of the monarchy was thus gradually forming.

With these, we see the rethinking of the private self and human desire. The private realm and desire were affirmed and gradually expanded in the field of social relations.

How Dangerous Can the Peony Be? Textual Space, Caizi Mudanting, and Naturalizing the Erotic

Hua Wei, Academia Sinica

Of the many editions of Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion that survive, Caizi Mudanting is rarest and most unconventional. The physical format of this edition places the text of the Peony Pavilion in the bottom two-fifths of the page and its commentary in the top three-fifths, the discrepancy in space due to the much larger size given over to notes. This commentary is attributed to Cheng Qiong, the wife of the publisher Wu Zhensheng (1695–1769), and presents an erotic rereading of this popular late Ming drama text. The commentary follows a fixed format: each scene is first provided an erotic lexicon and then explained in detail by lengthy annotations and forays into philosophical discourse about seqing or sensual passion. The author of the commentary proposes that seqing, which includes a mutually equal ability to express and admire beauty and talent, is the distinct characteristic of humans, not ethics or morality. She challenges stringent moral doctrines about female chastity and sexuality, proposing mutual female lovemaking (duishi) as a release for sexual tension that arises from the needs of remaining chaste. In at least two instances, she discusses the sexual tension that exists between fathers and daughters and boys and older women, subtly suggesting that sexual energy is a natural, irrepressible force. In that context, she challenged prevailing Neo-Confucian attitudes about child-rearing and family as overly disciplining and punishing. Most importantly, she opened up a critical space for female readers, one that satisfied their erotic imagination and justified their own sexual desires. With this example, we can perhaps reconsider the possible ways in which subversive social voices circulated in eighteenth-century China, and the use of literary criticism as a powerful tool of resistance to cultural hegemony.


Session 18: Daoist Inner Alchemy and Life Philosophy

Organizer: Dahua Li, Academy of Social Science

Chair: Xun Liu, University of Southern California

Discussant: Fabrizio Pregadio, Technical University, Berlin

Daoism underwent great change in the Tang Dynasty when inner alchemy which focuses on the cultivation of the Mind-Nature (xing) and the Allotted Life or Body (ming) gradually replaced the laboratory alchemy aimed at the refining elixir for prolonging life. Almost all Daoist schools have since sought to cultivate the Mind and the Body of the individual rather than alchemic transformation. As a result of this shift in focus, a whole new system of cosmological and existential outlook on life, man and nature evolved with regard to the inner body.

This change played an important role in shaping the attitudes to body and bodily cultivation practices in the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. As the body became the object of philosophical contemplation and physical cultivation, Daoist cultivators perceived their body as a microcosm that was governed by the same laws of the larger universe outside their body. This perceived intrinsic linkage between the body and the universe convinced the Daoist cultivators that by physically cultivating and refining their Mind and Allotted Life, they would not only attain the transformation of their own body, but also of the world. Out of this vision of the body and the cosmos evolved the Daoist life philosophy and ethics for human conduct, outlook on human existence, which in turn shaped many other aspects of Chinese culture and thought from cosmology, medicine, and morality.

This panel assembles three leading scholars of Daoism from China whose work addresses various aspects of this vital inward shift in Daoist self-cultivation practices that occurred in late Tang, and seeks to assess the theoretical and practical ramifications in areas of Chinese cosmology, medicine, and self-cultivation practice from the Tang to the Qing periods.

How Did the Life Philosophy Form?

Dahua Li, Academy of Social Science

Laozi of Daoist classic ever said that Dao meant Perpetuity, and De meant permanence. This viewpoint was approved by Daoism in Han, Wei, and Jin Dynasty. When Daoism was created, as a basic belief, the immortality of life was established, though Daoism can not refuse its other social duty for this reason. However, in the long term, Daoism chose a way of taking alchemy, it based on the viewpoint that Dao was both the spirit of world and the special substance, so whoever got Dao, one could be immortal. Tang dynasty was transformed period, due to a series of problems from alchemy, people gradually paid attention to traditional cultivation. While the cultivators were practicing inwardly, they found the body was so complicated, that they believed the body was a little universe just similar to the big universe outside, and both had the same construction, law of movement, time and orientation. Further, the body became the object of research, of learning through practice. Meantime, this cultivation was linked with Chinese Medicine, cosmology, and the like. Almost all Daoists believed that there were little universe and big one, and medicine should study this little universe. Especially, they were sure that Dao originally existed in body, so long as people kept on practicing on Xing and Ming inward (Xing means mind, Ming means body), they could found it. On the fundamental outlook, the Life Philosophy of Daoism formed. Later, Confucian, in the light of Daoism, thought the spirit of heaven and earth existed in body. Simply, the influence of the change of Taoism gradually enlarged various aspects, such as the outlook of life, Chinese cosmology, epistemology, ethical ramifications, and so on.

Inner Alchemy and Dynastic Life-Philosophy: Some Examples from the Late Yuan and Early Ming

Lowell Skar, Tufts University

Some of the most vital, subtle, and prolific writers on Inner Alchemy worked in South China during the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Although their concerns varied considerably, they generally promoted the traditions of alchemical revitalization taught them by their masters, revived earlier traditions with new alchemical interpretations and revelations, and hoped to restore order to the larger social and political disruptions around them. For many of them, in other words, the project of alchemy was central to the project of restoring the order of Chinese life to the lands and lives diminished by Mongol rule. This included not only teaching disciples the specifics of returning their lives to the order of the Dao, but also reminding non-initiates about the wider general significance of their activities. It may have come as a surprise to the heirs of these alchemical traditions, then, when the first Ming emperor sought to diminish the role of alchemy in the appropriate means needed to run the empire. Far from quashing adepts’ ambitions, however, these efforts led to a greater integration of their writings, ideas, images, and integrating vision of a spiritual life into many new popular religious traditions. They also became central to the literary edifice that best demonstrated the fullest dimensions of the Dao’s workings in the world—the Daoist Canon—and some of the ritual traditions that gave Daoism its social purpose. This essay will explore several major compilers, commentators, and practitioners from the late Yuan and early Ming.

The Symbol Metaphor of Long Life and Golden Elixir

Shichuang Zhan, Xiamen University

The theory of Jindan (Golden Elixir) is very important in Daoist health-preserving culture. Jindan is a longevity medicine which is taken for the purpose of long life, and the skill of making elixirs is known as golden elixir refining. Because of the golden elixir materials, the mineral picked from outer of the man’s body, this medicine is entitled "Waidan" (Outer Elixir). Later, many peoples take the activity of assorting with the essence, breath and spirit in the inner of body as the practice of alchemy. The "Dan" in the body is called the "Inner Cinnabar." Without reference to Outer Elixir or Inner Cinnabar, they are all related to the idea of long life in the ancient times. In many stories of Huang Di (Yellow Emperor), we can discover the wish for long life, as the story of the highly skilled doctor, Bianque, is the symbol of long life. Moreover, Pengzu, the master-hand of health preserving, he established the preserving theory foundation for Daoism because he possessed of many skills of life. Checking and unscrambling the mythologies and the legends, we can find many mysteries of Daoist health-preserving culture.


Session 19: Ceci n’est pas UNE CHINE: The Treachery of Images in Chinese Civic Political Communication

Organizer: Maurizio Marinelli, State University of New York, Fredonia

Chair: Merle Goldman, Harvard University

Discussant: Stephanie Donald, University of Melbourne

The title of this panel paraphrases the famous painting by Rene Magritte commonly known by its subtitle "Ceci n’est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe)." This image epitomizes the potential challenges in any apparently clear-cut or one-sided representation of reality.

The idea, the rhetoric, and the vision of China as provided by the propaganda apparatus have been for decades based on the axiomatic existence of a relation between a precise "sign" and a pre-defined "referent." To use Chinese traditional categories: they have depended on a correspondence between a "name (ming)" and a more or less fictitious "reality (shi)." For decades, the ritual of propaganda (xuanchuan), (that in Chinese overlaps with "political communication") has carried out the complex task of "preparing public opinion" and "unifying thinking." Role models and "correct" imagery have offered a positive, reassuring, mimetic, and unequivocally codified image of experience. Today, however, even though government control of public discourse remains, the framework of communication practices and processes at work in Chinese communities have become much more diversified. The role of traditional rhetorical topoi has assumed different forms or expressive modalities.

This panel brings together scholars with different backgrounds or specializations. They work in different academic contexts but all of them share an interest in Chinese government "propaganda."

All the participants have conducted extensive research or fieldwork on political discourse and communication, analyzing the practices or the processes through which representation, meta-representation, or hyper-representation of reality are created and how they operate at the national or transnational level. All the speakers share a commitment to understanding the significance of the official representation of a claimed reality and its effects on political discourse.

The panel pursues the following themes:

• the role played by the creation of an image of China in the definition of national specificity,

• the characteristics of communication processes through which the representation of a claimed reality is constructed,

• the relation between this claimed reality and public discourse in Chinese society.

An interdisciplinary panel will allow each participant to present his/her research as it relates to the main topics. It is hoped that the audience will contribute to a wide ranging discussion on scholarly approaches to the understanding of political communication in contemporary China.

Consumer Citizenship, Spiritual Consumerism: Privatizing Propaganda and Commercial Advertising in the People’s Republic of China

Steven W. Lewis, Rice University

Political communication is undergoing a gradual but radical transformation in the People’s Republic of China. The decentralization of state authority has provided incentives and organizational structures for local governments and Party organs to experiment, innovate, and adapt forms of political communication best suited to local agendas. Local authorities are currently shaping a national "socialist spiritual civilization" propaganda campaign to create images of a model citizen who identifies with distinctly local development needs.

At the same time, the shrinking of state ownership and the semi-privatization of state media have turned propaganda cadres into "public relations" technologists and merged political organs with marketing and advertising firms. Such privatization has provided sophisticated new communications technologies for state actors, but has also sparked the evolution of new forms of political communication that are mediated by the norms of consumerism. Decentralization and privatization have created the potential for consumer citizenship and spiritual consumerism, a merger between political and commercial communication.

This paper examines the interplay of the production of images—representations of a claimed reality—of transnational, national, and local lifestyle identification by political and economic actors. I draw upon surveys of outdoor political signs from the "spiritual civilization" campaign and underground subway commercial advertisements in Beijing and Shanghai in 1998 and 1999 to obtain images of collective lifestyle identification, and then examine the degree to which these political and commercial advertisements share common form, content, and language. I conclude with speculation about how this interplay between consumer citizenship and spiritual consumerism will affect future public discourse in Chinese society.

Propaganda Posters in the Reform Era: Promoting Patriotism or Providing Public Information?

Stefan Landsberger, Leiden University

Through the ages the Chinese government has educated the people in what was deemed to be correct thought, by various means and media. Since 1949, this educational process has continued in the People’s Republic of China. So-called propaganda art reproduced on posters has played a supportive, but still major role in the many campaigns that were designed to mobilize and educate the people.

Conditions in the twenty-first century certainly do not bode well for government-inspired education, in whatever form. The educational images, slogans, and messages that the Party continues to produce are increasingly seen as irrelevant and fall on unseeing eyes and deaf ears. With popular interest in politics at an all-time low, people no longer care about being ideologically or politically pure. They are more interested in having fun, and therefore in the size of their paychecks or in the question of whether they’ll still be employed tomorrow.

This paper will discuss how the propaganda poster seems to have arrived at a crossroads. On the one hand, I will show how many posters continue to serve a political purpose, albeit in a diluted form: they are used to bolster patriotism and other elements of socialist spiritual civilization, in particular among school children. On the other hand, the increasing number of posters devoted to real topics, both positive (2000 national census) and negative (floods), points to an attempt to transform the poster into a medium providing a more "public information service" type of message.

Icon of Power: The Little Red Book

Robert Benewick, University of Sussex

In this paper we argue that the iconization of Mao Zedong thought was fundamental to the founding of a revolutionary political culture. We develop this argument through an examination of three related themes: its material manifestation as packaged in the Little Red Book; the visual representation of the Little Red Book as an icon of political activism in posters and related visual cultural and material objects (Evans and Donald 1999, 1–6, Gittings 1999, 32); and the parallels between the Maoist politicalization of society and the personalization of power and the depoliticalization of society and depersonalization of power under the leadership of the post-Maoist reformers. We suggest finally that the depoliticalization of China has involved the strategic reinvention of Mao in popular memory. The story of Mao Zedong, and therefore the lasting significance of the Little Red Book, may be understood to be a traveling site of national memory in China’s thrust towards global economic power.

The Role of Language in Political Communication

Maurizio Marinelli, State University of New York, Fredonia

The topic of this paper is an analysis of the linguistic aspects of political communication in the PRC, where language has always played a crucial role in the construction of a claimed reality. Under Mao Zedong, the authoritarianism of official language constituted one of the most effective devices to set boundaries in the people’s range of representation of the "real" world. "Mao’s style" had a strong illocutionary force and a high potential for alignment, absorption, and internalization on the receiving end.

In post-Mao China, the reiteration through the media of the same formalized linguistic patterns—even though the keywords had changed—claimed to create another fictitious image of a one-sided reality, based on the preassumption of annihilation of any possible dichotomy between surface and underlying structures of names (ming) and actuality (shi).

In this paper I examine the basic semiotic and ideological processes acting on and through the official language. I argue that in the last two decades official language and its authority have undergone a progressive devolution along with the vertical and horizontal cleavages of ideology. I believe that language determines thought as much as thought determines language: if we really want to disclose the treachery of codified images we have to consider language "as an instrument of discovery, clarification and insight" (Whorf 1956). I have decided to use the peculiar relationship existing in Chinese language between the name (ming), the saying (yan), and the actuality (shi) as a paradigm to evaluate the degree of distance between the values proposed by the propaganda apparatus via the official language and the possible expressive range of reality.

Hong Kong: Virtual Tourism and Political Transition

Stephanie Donald, University of Melbourne, Australia

This paper explores our observation that tourism is important both as a marker of changes in commercial practice and as a mediator of national (or quasi-national) self-description. Focusing on the phenomenon of virtual tourism we examine therefore web-based profiles of Hong Kong, a society in political transition. Transition is defined in this context as a national or quasi-national community moving from one political sphere of influence to another. Thus, Hong Kong is a quasi-national and postcolonial "special administrative region," with a long history of British domination and a new history of democratic struggle. It is also struggling to maintain its position as the most popular Asian destination city for overseas and regional tourists. Its national status is poised between community histories and Chinese imperatives. These constitutive states of being fall on a spectrum between banal nationalism (exemplified by US interests) (Billig 1995), and active nationalism (demonstrated by Chinese political edict).

The paper traces both the expansion of US influence in the management of regional tourism domains online, and micro and national (Chinese) level attempts to combat this trend. Our case study exemplifies a wider contextual shift in world politics and the status of nationhood as an organizing concept within world economic and cultural flows. Following Brian Winston’s argument that "the technological idea will be grounded in scientific competence" (1998), this paper suggests that the technological intervention into commercial interests will be strongly associated with national self-description at an ideological level.


Session 20: Politics in the Crafting of Market Institutions: New Evidence on the Pathologies of Chinese Economic Reform

Organizer: Victor Shih, Harvard University

Chair and Discussant: Edward S. Steinfeld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Keywords: China, political economy, economic reform, SOE, financial market.

This panel examines the problems of the Chinese economic reform in the 1990s. Focusing on various sectors and factors of production, participants will explore the fate of well-meaning reform policies intended to replace old structures of the planned economy with market-based allocation mechanisms. The questions panelists will address include: how have forms of administrative allocation and planned redistribution persisted alongside the reformist measures? In what ways has the political economy of this new policy environment prolonged and modified politically-motivated interventionist policies? Does it create new obstacles to further reform?

The four panelists each focus on one aspect of the Chinese economy, using fresh empirical data gathered during recent fieldwork. Bill Hurst (UC Berkeley) examines how political institutions induce layoffs in SOEs independently from forces of market necessity. Kun-Chin Lin (UC Berkeley) argues that the imposition of Western corporate governance on top of the pre-existing socialist industrial organizations creates unintended and inefficient outcomes. Matthew Rudolph (Cornell) explains the conflicting objectives of securities market reform and the persistence of state dominance and discretion. Victor Shih (Harvard) will examine how the state’s growth target and political agenda conflict fundamentally with the stated goal of reforming the banking sector.

Panelists each employ different theoretical perspectives, ranging from organization studies to interest group coalition theory. Panelists also use a variety of research methodologies, including in-depth case studies, large-N statistical analysis, and macro- and microeconomic data comparisons. Ultimately, the authors arrive at similar conclusions. Recent reforms have created as many problems as they have solved.

The Political Logic of Laying off Workers in China’s State Owned Enterprises

William Hurst, University of California, Berkeley

Beginning in 1993, and continuing through the present day, 20 million workers in China’s State Owned Enterprises have been laid off. Though some of these layoffs are necessary in order for SOEs to avoid bankruptcy, the decisions at the firm level regarding whom to lay off and how many workers must be cut are often motivated far more by political ambition and personal self-interest of managers than by raw economic necessity. The root cause of this is a misguided directive from the 15th Party Congress to make SOEs profitable by 2000.

Based on numerous interviews with SOE managers, employees, and local officials in at least two cities, I will demonstrate that managers lay off workers in an effort to appease their superiors and represent to the central state that they are serious about meeting the Party’s directive. By examining workers’ statements regarding their dismissal or that of their acquaintances, I will show that corruption and illicit stripping of assets and extraction of bribes from workers by managers also play a role in the logic of decisions regarding lay offs.

This paper will illuminate the ways in which well intentioned, but poorly thought out and implemented, reform directives can skew the political landscape at the firm. level. These altered political incentives and constraints promote legally dubious and often economically sub-optimal outcomes at the firm level. Today’s rushed reforms can actually impede the smooth and rational functioning of an emerging labor market in the state sector.

Between Socialist Relics and National Champions: Limits in Statist Manipulation of Organizational Behaviors in the Chinese Oil and Petrochemical Industries

Kun-Chin Lin, University of California, Berkeley

In 1998, PRC Premier Zhu Rongji directed the Chinese oil and petrochemical sectors to reconsolidate all assets and operations under two integrated and territorially protected national oil corporations (NOCs) in which the state held the controlling share. Zhu further directed the NOCs to split themselves into a profitable "core" part consisting of the most competitive assets, and a disadvantaged "non-core" part consisting mostly of technical and production service units and social functions. This centrally-imposed, path-breaking reform sought to simultaneously correct distortions in industrial structures, rigidities in enterprise management, and property rights, as well as to end the conservative moral economy of socialist enterprises. The establishment of a modern corporate governance structure on top of existing production units was the silver bullet to cure the above evils.

From my fieldwork in several key oilfields and petrochemical plants in China, I found that the intended efficiency ends have been seriously threatened by political contentions arising from the new production relations, including: asymmetric bargaining between the core and non-core parts, obsolescing administrative hierarchy within the SOE, and the increasing burden on the local economy to absorb SOEs’ surplus workforce and operations. In sum, I identify the areas where modern corporate institutions have actually converged with the prior political economy to create new and vicious behavioral patterns and suggest that statist manipulation of industrial structures bears a heavy risk despite the good intentions of the central reformers and the soundness of the blueprint.

The Politics of Marketizing Capital: Institutional Legacies and the Development of China’s Securities Market

Matthew Rudolph, Cornell University

State control over the allocation of capital has been the sine qua non of late development strategies. China’s recent efforts to reform its capital markets thus marked a significant shift for CCP policymakers. Creating a market for capital includes the process of securitization in which tangible assets such as firms (equities) and intangible assets such as revenue streams (bonds) are packaged into uniform, anonymous, tradable instruments. Creating a market for securitized assets diminishes the government’s ability to control the allocation of finance.

The government sidestepped this problem by segmenting the share market, and by maintaining a huge controlling share of all securitized assets. The limited goal was to raise "free" funds to support loss-making SOEs. However, once these "one-off" gains were achieved, this mercenary use of the securities market left a new set of reform problems, including: (1) determining the purpose of the securities market, and the government’s role in it, (2) how to sell off the state’s huge share without depressing the market, and (3) how to control emerging powerful financial actors.

Focusing on China’s securities regulator, the paper relies on interviews, official documents, and market data to explore these questions and to evaluate several explanations for the persistence of distributive intervention by a regulator designed ostensibly to conduct procedural supervision. These explanations, include: (1) the structure of fiscal and external economic exposure, and in particular an over-dependence on FDI, and, (2) the conflicting objectives of increasing efficiency in capital allocation and the need to maintain state control for social and development purposes.

Questionable Reforms: Political Obstacles to the Commercialization of State Banks in China

Victor Shih, Harvard University

Since the passing of the Commercial Banking Law in 1994, China has implemented a series of banking reforms that seemingly brought Chinese banks closer to commercialization. This trend accelerated in 1998 when Zhu Rongji strongly signaled bureaucrats at all levels to stop meddling with banks. Despite these encouraging developments, this paper argues that banks in China have achieved only marginally increased independence from the government. Rather, the central government has merely taken control of the banks from the local government.

Drawing from hundreds of internal documents and over 70 interviews with central and local government and bank officials, this paper further outlines the ways in which politics and state priorities have directed the flow of bank loans in the banking system. Specifically, Premier Zhu has used the central government’s control over banks to fulfill his "campaign promises" of alleviating SOE losses, preserving social stability, propping up the rural economy, and maintaining growth. Moreover, the banking system has and will play an important role in the development of Western China, a campaign that makes little economic but much political sense. Finally, although less pervasive, personal connections and factional allegiance still exert a subtle effect on the distribution of bank loans.

In conclusion, this paper points out that while recent reform policies have slowed down the formation of non-performing loans, continual state intervention in the banking sector means that inflationary pressure on the economy will persist. Moreover, the centralization of control over banks might further decrease the efficiency of capital allocation in China.


Session 21: Of Other Places: Space, Desire, and Identity in China

Organizer: Paola Zamperini, University of Aveiro

Chair: Stephen H. West, University of California, Berkeley

Discussants: Jinlin L. Hwang, Tunghai University; Sandra Teresa Hyde, Harvard University

Keywords: China, space, desire, dream, gender, identity.

This panel looks at space as a medium through which to rethink Chinese cultural expressions of gender, desire, and identity from the perspective of anthropology, literary criticism, history, sociology, and visual studies. Thinking with space results in a deeper theoretical insight in and broader practical understanding of the dynamics at play in Chinese literary, visual, and historical representations. Debunking the ideas of margins and center, or nei and wai, as the dominant discourse about space in traditional China, each of the papers presented examines this issue from different perspectives. The space allotted to dreams, primary perceptions, and passions and its relationship to gender, history, performance and time are under study here to generate a critical re-examination of this fundamental category of analysis. The proposed panel will be structured in the following way: a discussant’s introduction (ten minutes), three very brief presentations (twelve minutes each) followed by the second discussant’s analysis (ten minutes each). We believe in the importance of changing the traditional panel format to create a more interactive way of presenting and discussing our scholarship. Thus, the role of both discussants will be to raise theoretical questions for all the participants, in order to stimulate an interesting dialogue with the audience, rather than simply critiquing the merits (and/or demerits) of the respective papers.

Secret Gardens: Polysemantic Spaces in Qing Women’s Tanci Narratives

Siao-chen Hu, Academia Sinica

In traditional discourses of space and gender in China, women’s proper position was usually constructed as "nei," inside. Privacy and feelings were thus associated with this feminine positioning, However, in female authored texts produced during the Ming and the Qing dynasties we find quite complex and multifaceted representations of the inner worlds women were supposed to inhabit. Using female author Qing dynasty’s tanci narratives, the present paper explores the multiple functions the enclosed spaces of the garden could play in women’s fictional texts. In these narratives, the garden is depicted as a space where the female characters can find solitude, an area of reclusion within the crowded household. On the other hand, it creates a contact zone between the "inner chambers" and the outside world, and thus it becomes a dangerous area where women’s desire for transgression can be expressed, if not fulfilled. Furthermore, because of the proximity of house and garden, it also symbolizes a place of rest and escape from the menial routine of household work, while providing a mysterious enclosure in which to experience the unusual and the fantastic. Thus the garden can and should be read on all these multiple levels, and its readings can enrich our understanding of women’s spatial perceptions and desires in Qing China.

Remapping Borders: Ren Bonian’s Frontier Paintings and Late-Nineteenth-Century Shanghai

Yu-chih Lai, Yale University

This paper, by examining the frontier-related paintings done by the late-19th-century Shanghai painter Ren Bonian (1840–1896), analyzes how the traditional cultural repertory of the northern frontier helped Shanghai people orient themselves in the midst of the late-19th-century’s radical culture encounters with the West. Unlike a traditional subject-matter-oriented study, which usually focuses on reconstructing the historical development of a particular theme, this study tries to weave a tapestry, where this group of paintings is connected horizontally to the city and the city life. This is an intertextual study of the sense of place (what kind of place Shanghai was), the physical space (the old southern Chinese Shanghai and the new northern foreign settlements), and the Shanghai visual culture. By reading the discussions about physical boundaries, including the coastal defense, the division into two urban enclaves (the south Chinese city and the north foreign settlements), and most importantly, the depictions of the frontier in Ren Bonian’s paintings, supplemented by the rich materials provided by the contemporary novels, tour guides, and journals, this paper will hopefully be able to trace the invisible symbolic boundaries by which Shanghainese perceived the self and the other, and also how this perception contributed to their sense of Shanghai as a place, in a clear fashion.

Dreamscapes: The Vertical Horizons of Late Qing Fiction

Paola Zamperini, University of Aveiro

The present paper looks at late Qing novels and their deployment of dream space to construct new narratives of desire, identity, and nostalgia. The oneiric landscapes that become the background of many novels of this period are essential to understand how late Qing authors depict a disintegration of space and time, forcing characters and readers alike to constantly strive to reach a vertical point of view from which to be able to reorient themselves as well as reorganize the plot. Profound spatio-temporal deformation and metamorphosis take place at the turn of last century, as cities and the people who inhabit them change face. New bodies and new vehicles appear, and a new tempo and speed propel them across the pages of the novels. Thus dream narratives, though a long standing tradition in Chinese literature, become a fundamental narrative component of these texts, as the most appropriate fictional device to mirror the explosive emergence of powerful new desires, consumerism against the urban landscapes of Shanghai, so exotic as to appear unreal. This paper explores this "architecture" of late Qing fiction, namely, the relationship between real and imagined spaces, new bodies of consumption and new fantasies of empowerment.


Session 35: Warlords Revisited: Rethinking Nation and Revolution in Frontier China

Organizer and Chair: Uradyn E. Bulag, City University of New York

Keywords: warlords, historiography, ethnic minorities, nationalism, socialism, borderlands.

Recent Western revisionist scholarship has challenged Chinese nationalist and socialist historiography critical of warlords for undermining Chinese national unity, and sees in warlords an alternative or federalist mode of governance of China. Not coincidentally, in China some warlords have recently been resurrected in the new post-revolutionary national historiography. They have been praised not so much for their challenge to the central government as for their contribution to a unified China, issues that resonate with China’s interface with bordering nations and peoples and have deep implications for issues of Chinese nationalism.

This panel, consisting of anthropologists and historians from China and the U.S., reexamines four prominent warlords, Liu Wenhui, Fu Zuoyi, Long Yun, and Ma Fuxiang, who long reigned over parts of today’s Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, all frontier areas of China in the 1920s–40s. While Long and Ma were ethnic Yi and Hui respectively, Liu and Fu were Chinese. Locating these warlords betwixt and between recalcitrant frontier minorities and an expansive central government, the panelists analyze the role of ethnicity in shaping disparate warlord political visions for China and the regions under their rule, and in the shifting historiographical representations of these warlord regimes in both the Republic and People’s Republic. This panel aims to shed new insights into the changing dynamics of China in relation to its ethnic frontiers in the twentieth century and beyond, so as to deepen our understanding of ethnic and minzu issues in volatile borderlands.

A Double Virtue: The Islamic and Nationalist Agendas of Ma Fuxiang

Jonathan N. Lipman, Mount Holyoke College

Ma Fuxiang was the first of the northwestern Muslim warlords to join the Guomindang, and the only one to achieve high office outside his native region. Though he died young, he had already been the mayor of a major city and a provincial governor. He also served as head of the Tibetan-Mongolian Commission of the Guomindang, in which capacity he reinforced (at least rhetorically) Chinese nationalist claims to rule the entire Qing empire, including his own Hui people.

Well educated in the classical Chinese curriculum, Ma Fuxiang had also studied the Chinese Islamic canon and developed an extensive program of publishing and distributing its major works. He thus consciously placed himself at the intersection of Chinese and Islamic literary cultures, displaying his erudition in filial Chinese stelae as well as deep reading of the works of Qing period Muslim literati.

This paper will delve into his writings and the current scholarship on his life to discover the roots of this double virtue, both Chinese and Islamic, and his vision of a Chinese national future which left ample room for Muslims to live fully Islamic lives. I examine this vision in contrast to the Guomindang and CCP evaluations of him as a warlord, as well as the recent Hui reappraisal of him as a hero. The paper explores potentials in and challenges to such a vision in the aftermath of China’s minzu project which has reified ethnic identities as mutually exclusive.

An Yi Patriotic Warlord: Long Yun’s Ethnic, Provincial and National Politics

Jiao Pan, Central University of Nationalities

Throughout the twentieth century warlords have been denounced in Chinese historiography for hindering China’s national unification. Recent Western scholarship, on the other hand, has given them an aura of progressiveness, representing an enlightened federalism in China’s nation building. Both approaches, however, denied nationalism to warlords.

This paper shows how Long Yun pursued power by taking the Chinese nation-state for granted rather than challenging it in his legendary career starting from a subaltern officer of ethnic Yi origin to a warlord, governor of Yunnan province (1928–45), sympathizer with pro-democracy intellectuals and Jiang Jieshi’s prisoner de facto from 1945 to 1948, a leading minzu and "democratic" representative in the early 1960s, and finally China’s "biggest rightist" in 1957.

Drawing on Long’s case, this paper argues that disintegration in the first half of the 20th century was paradoxically, in rhetoric at least, a product of contending appeals to a better "unitary" Chinese nation-state rather than "de-constructing" it. All power players in China, including the most notorious warlords, strove to present a patriotic public image. To understand how patriotism and "national salvation" became unchallenged hegemonic stances in modern China, we need to take into account power relations in various locales: local power dynamics as well as those of the central vs. the local and China vs. foreign powers. This paper examines Long Yi’s identity as a factor in his changing political fortune under both the Guomindang and Communist governments.

Recycling a Warlord: Liu Wenhui’s Provincialism in Xikang

Wenbin Peng, University of Washington

This paper discusses Liu Wenhui’s provincial and colonial projects in Xikang to explore the hybridization of frontier politics in Republican China, a process mediated by the narratives of Nation and Revolution, but replete with tensions and ambiguity.

Zhao Erfeng, a late Qing warlord, viewed the prospect of a Xikang province on the Sino-Tibetan frontiers as crucial to the incorporation of Tibet into the Chinese Empire. Though no less nationalistic, Liu had to scale down his predecessor’s Xikang blueprint to a more localized one to secure a base after he was defeated by other Sichuanese warlords. Liu’s resurrection of the Xikang provincial project coincided with the Guomin-dang desire to consolidate its grip on southwest China following its retreat there during the war years, yet, Liu’s presence in Xikang continued to haunt Jiang Jieshi’s unification imaginary, reminding him of his unfinished campaigns against those "lesser" warlords on Chinese frontiers. Several times Jiang tacitly supported efforts by a Khampa elite to oust Liu from Xikang.

To Khampa Tibetans and Yi in Xikang, Liu Wenhui has been remembered as a Chinese villain for his assimilationist policies and suppressions of their self-rule movements. But a reading of post-revolutionary history illustrates a complex process in which Liu evolved from a "feudal warlord" to a hero whose "uprising" helped overthrow the Nationalist regime and a model "reformee" whose "progress" on a revolutionary path exemplified the Party’s own transforming power, as Liu himself proudly wrote in his memoir.

Remembering the Great Friendship between Fu Zuoyi and Ulanhu, or How to Write a Post-revolutionary History of Inner Mongolia?

Uradyn E. Bulag, City University of New York

The Inner Mongolian self-determination movement in the 1920s–1940s was predicated on liberation from Chinese chauvinism, epitomized by warlord colonization of Inner Mongolia. Fu Zuoyi, by virtue of his hard-line stance towards Mongols and his position as governor of Suiyuan province, has been the chief Chinese villain in the Inner Mongolian revolutionary historiography of this era. Eliminating Inner Mongol territorial identity, opening up Mongol grassland for agricultural development by military colonies, as well as suppressing Mongol resistance, were among Fu’s great "crimes" against which Mongols led by Ulanhu fought. They eventually built the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 1947 and eliminated Suiyuan as a province in 1954, or so the Inner Mongolian revolutionary history would tell us.

This paper reexamines the Inner Mongolian revolutionary historiography of the pre-Cultural Revolution era that legitimized the raison d’être of Mongolian territorial autonomy under the Chinese Communist Party in juxtaposition with the recent Chinese reappraisal of Fu Zuoyi and Ulanhu. In this new nation-centered reappraisal, premised on his contributions to the building of a unified China, Fu Zuoyi has been reincarnated as a builder of Inner Mongolia and even of the Inner Mongolian revolutionary resistance force upon which Ulanhu established his communist, ethno-nationalist, and anti-Japanese credentials. This paper will then discuss the future of the inner Mongolia Autonomous Region when its ideological foundation has been taken away for the sake of a unified Chinese nation.


Session 36: Education, Society, and Politics in Modern China: A Panel Commemorating the Contributions of Professor Knight Biggerstaff of Cornell University

Organizer: Robert M. Culp, Bard College

Chair and Discussant: Ernest P. Young, University of Michigan

Discussant: Barry Keenan, Denison University

Keywords: education, nationalism, politics, culture, society.

On May 13, 2001, Professor Knight Biggerstaff, one of the founding figures in U.S.-China studies, passed away at the age of 95. By presenting contemporary research on the history of education in modern China, this panel celebrates Professor Biggerstaff’s scholarly contribution to the field with his classic book on the beginnings of modern Chinese education, The Earliest Modern Government Schools in China (1961).

The papers in this panel, all by Cornell alumni, assess different aspects of Chinese education in order to better understand the changing political, social, and cultural landscape of modern China. Jessie Lutz’s (Cornell Ph.D., 1955) research on China’s Christian colleges, which she extends here, has greatly contributed to our understanding of the influence of Christian missionaries on Chinese society and politics. Stephen Averill (Cornell Ph.D., 1982) demonstrates the pivotal role of local schools in the cultural politics of Republican period Jiangxi, and Robert Culp’s (Cornell Ph.D., 1999) analysis of the content of secondary school geography textbooks contributes to ongoing debates about the nature of Chinese national consciousness.

While all the presenters follow Professor Biggerstaff’s lead in using the study of education as a window onto a broader horizon of social and political change, each addresses new subject areas and adopts research methodologies that have emerged since the publication of his book forty years ago. The panel’s discussants will address both the legacy of the history of education within the field of modern Chinese history and the recent changes within that subfield, as represented by these papers.

Chinese and Western Scholarship on the China Christian Colleges, 1950–2000

Jessie G. Lutz, Rutgers University

The historiography of the China Christian colleges, 1950–2000, mirrors the historiography of Christianity in China and also Chinese history in general. Most of the earliest narratives of the colleges were written by former Western missionaries, many of whom had been associated with the colleges as administrators or teachers. Their point of view was Western, with a concentration on the contribution of Westerners and the colleges to the cause of Christianity in China. Based on memory and Western sources, these works of the 1950s and 1960s gave scant attention to the Chinese personnel and made little attempt to integrate the history of the colleges and the history of China, 1850–1950. Mainland Chinese authors of the period were highly critical of the colleges. They depicted them as agents of cultural imperialism, graduating denationalized students who knew more about the West than about China.

By the 1970s trained Western historians were studying the colleges as agents of modernization. Of special interest was the relationship between Chinese nationalism and anti-Christian movements. Though still heavily based on Western sources, the works of these scholars attempted to place the institutions within the context of Chinese history.

Today much of the research on the colleges is being conducted by mainland scholars. A project to locate and catalogue materials in China on the colleges has been launched. The careers of alumni, the role of the Chinese staff, and the student life of the colleges as well as the contribution of the colleges to change in China and to the growth of Christianity in China are topics of study.

The Cultural Politics of Local Education in Early-Twentieth-Century China

Stephen C. Averill, Michigan State University

The end of China’s imperial order intensified ongoing processes of cultural reevaluation, social redefinition, and political reorientation. The tight historical connection between Confucian learning, government service, and social standing meant that educational attitudes and institutions were inevitably deeply implicated in these ongoing processes. This paper examines this complex interaction, as seen in the roles played by schools and study societies in structuring the passage from empire to republic of elites in rural Jiangxi Province.

Networks of schools mediated the flow of people and ideas into the countryside, but they were also politico-cultural combustion chambers in which divergent groups and ideas interacted. As institutions for cultural socialization and elite certification at a time when definitions of essential cultural knowledge and "eliteness" were disputed, Jiangxi schools became sites for contention as differentially situated elites competed to renew or solidify their status by (re)constructing the content and control of educational achievement.

Conflicts over cultural reproduction and elite certification were facilitated and structured by informal elite organizations. The most ubiquitous of these—the study society—amalgamated overlapping conceptual frames drawn from Chinese and Western models. Their organizational versatility made study societies popular vehicles through which diverse elites could express factional interests, explore new ideas, and defend established values. Study societies were also entry points into local arenas for larger political ideologies and organizations. If school networks were transmission routes and staging areas for the introduction of concepts and movements into China’s hinterland, study societies were essential interfaces through which they were translated into concrete political action.

Ambivalent Images of National Community in Chinese Secondary School Geography Textbooks, 1912–1937

Robert M. Culp, Bard College

Recent historiography has emphasized how Republican period Chinese intellectuals and political leaders sought to construct a sense of national community on the basis of shared race or ethnicity. Significantly, geography textbooks of that period, which were written by elite intellectuals and sanctioned by the state, portrayed tremendous diversity among China’s ethnic groups and variation even within the Han Chinese majority. The tremendous racial and linguistic difference textbooks described suggested to students that ethno-racial unity was not a feasible basis for a shared sense of national identity.

Instead, geography textbooks portrayed the nation as an all-encompassing and historically rooted territorial unit, characterized by fixed borders and uniform sovereignty. Yet geography textbooks also problematized this sense of territorial cohesion by relating in detail the stark variations in economic development and level of "civilization" (wenming) across China’s many regions.

Why did these textbooks intended to stimulate national consciousness articulate so clearly the fissures and fragmentation within the Chinese nation? This paper argues that by arranging places and communities within the nation along hierarchies of development or levels of civilization, these textbooks made a compelling case for an aggressive project of economic modernization, centralization, and acculturation of relatively "backward" (luohou) areas. The developmental project justified by these textbooks promoted in secondary students a distinctive mode of active citizenship geared toward national construction. Geography textbooks’ accounts also reinforced the cultural hegemony of China’s modernizing elites and the dominance of urban, coastal areas, which most closely approximated privileged Euro-American patterns of economic development.


Session 37: Borderland Elites, Imperial Contexts

Organizer: Ellen McGill, Columbia University

Chair: Mark C. Elliott, University of California, Santa Barbara

Discussants: Joanna Waley-Cohen, New York University; Mark C. Elliott, University of California, Santa Barbara

Keywords: empire, borderland, frontier, Tibet, Mongolia, Inner Asia, Qing, identity, administration.

Empires by definition tie a multiplicity of political and cultural orders to a central power; in the process, they often link them to each other. This panel investigates how aristocratic, religious, and Eight Banner elites mediated between the Qing court and local society, and across different constituencies, in the Inner Asian borderlands. Ruohong Li and Ellen McGill examine the role of eighteenth-century Tibetan and Mongol aristocrats in shaping the institutions of imperial rule in their respective territories. They explore the complex interplay of central concerns and local interests in delineating the ethnic and administrative limits of different facets of the Qing polity. While Li and McGill look at politics on the ground, Johan Elverskog arid Gray Tuttle discuss this question from the perspective of more centrally-affiliated figures. Elverskog focuses on the Mongol elder statesman, Songyun, who was not only active in the consolidation of Qing power across Inner Asia but left a record of his vision of Qing imperial rule in Tibet. Gray Tuttle analyzes the role of the Wutai shan and Yonghegong Tibetan jasagh lamas and the Lcang skya (Zhangjia) lama as intermediaries between the Qing court and the Tibetan government. The panelists draw on Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Manchu-language sources to ask how the institutions and practices created in part by these Inner Asian elites shaped politics and identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and what legacy they left for the post-Qing period.

Songyun and the Tibet Question

Johan Elverskog, Southern Methodist University

In the wake of the Gurkha wars Qing policy towards Tibet’s political and religious institutions changed dramatically. One reason for this shift was the Qing’s growing awareness of the implications arising from the active engagement between Tibet’s religious and political elites. It was this re-vitalized religio-political fusion, with its imagined political ramifications for Qing involvement in Tibet, that resulted in Qing officials advocating an active de-politicization of Tibet’s ruling structure. The Qianlong emperor subsequently made this policy manifest through his lengthy 1791 imperial edict erected on a quadra-lingual stela in the center of Beijing’s Yonghegong temple. One key official assigned to implement this new initiative was the famed Mongol statesman Songyun. During his tenure in Tibet Songyun wrote a manual in Chinese describing how Tibet should be ruled, of which there is also extant a slightly different Mongolian version. This text provides the basis for this investigation into Qing policy of the incorporation of Tibet. In particular, how did this work by a "minority" member of the imperial elite mediate the Manchu court’s ethnic policies of de-politicization, an approach that had worked so successfully in the Qing incorporation of the Mongols a century earlier? This inquiry into Qing governance in Tibet aims to achieve a better understanding of Qing expansion and the role of elites in the borderlands. It further poses the question of how linkages can be drawn between Qing and PRC multi-ethnic political entities through a comparison of Qing "ethnic policies" and the contemporary "minzu paradigm."

A Tibetan Aristocratic Family in 18th-Century Tibet: A Study of Qing-Tibetan Contact

Ruohong Li, Harvard University

By investigating the precarious political career of the Rdo ring (or Dga’ bzhi) family, an eminent aristocratic family in central Tibet, this paper presents a case study of Qing-Tibetan contacts during the eighteenth century. Drawing upon firsthand sources in various languages, mainly Rdo ring Bstan’ dzin dpal’ byor’s autobiography, this research adopts a micro-historical approach to illuminate the personal and official connections between Tibetan lay aristocrats and Qing officials. The Rdo ring family rose to power as a result of the Qing’s early pro-lay-aristocracy policy, on the basis of their strong ties with the Qing court. The eventual downturn of the family’s political power signaled fundamental problems in Qing Tibetan policy. The lay aristocracy had failed the court; the Dalai Lama’s dominance in both the political and religious realms could not ensure a balanced power structure, and a regency was not a reliable option in the face of a chaotic situation. The Qing court was left with no other choice but to turn to its own ambans.

This paper concludes that the ultimate failure of Qing Tibetan policy resulted from the temporary and opportunistic features of the policies themselves, the inefficiency of the amban system and the decline of the Qing empire from the late eighteenth century. Qing suzerainty over Tibet was largely wishful thinking. Deeply troubled by imperial administrative laxity and widespread socioeconomic disturbances, Tibet was left out of the mainstream of the Qing empire in the post-Qianlong era.

Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted: Defining the Banner in Ordos

Ellen McGill, Columbia University

The key Qing institution for governing the Mongols was undoubtedly the banner. Through this administrative innovation, specific Mongol groups were tied to particular princely lines and territories; the dynasty thus significantly limited Mongol mobility and organizational capacity and implemented its characteristic policy of "ethnic bloc governance." The experience garnered in the incorporation of Inner Mongolia informed Qing approaches to other parts of Inner Asia and bequeathed to twentieth-century Chinese governments an administrative structure that remains to a certain extent still intact in the present day. But how was the ethnically and spatially delimited unit of the Qing banner realized on the ground, especially in historically contested areas? What was the role of the banner princes in this process? This paper takes up this question by analyzing several cases of boundary debates from eighteenth-century Ordos in western Inner Mongolia. Drawing on Mongolian- and Manchu-language archival materials, as well as better-known Chinese-language sources, it describes several instances of conflict and discussion over the precise limits of Mongol and Chinese lands and the rights inherent therein. In doing so, it illuminates a range of views among Qing officials and Mongol princes; it also suggests that the latter at times contested central policy, acting as not just ethnic but also local leaders. By pursuing eighteenth-century questions, this essay hopes to provide a more nuanced perspective on the social role of the Mongol princes and on the administrative and social evolution of Inner Mongolia.

Tibetan Buddhist Intermediaries between the Qing Court and the Tibetan Government

Gray Tuttle, Harvard University

From the Kangxi period until well into the Chinese Republic, the principal representatives of Tibet in China proper were the jasagh lamas of Wutai shan and Yonghegong. The institution of Tibetan-appointed jasagh lamas started during the fifth Dalai Lama’s visit to the Qing capital in the mid-seventeenth century. Over the next three centuries, the various Dalai Lamas appointed some nineteen jasagh lamas to Wutai shan. Whether Mongol or Tibetan, all of these lamas had spent decades at the cultural center of the Tibetan Buddhist world, Lhasa. At the imperial monastery of Yonghegong, the Beijing jasagh lama was typically an ethnic Tibetan appointed to oversee the Mongol monks of the imperial monastery. These Lhasa-appointed monk-officials served the imperial family as preceptors in Tibetan language and Buddhist teachings.

As a counterbalance, the Qing court supported the Lcang skya reincarnation series, with monastic estates in Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, and Wutai shan. Ethnically Mongol, the Lcang skya lamas rarely trained extensively in Lhasa. Nevertheless, unlike the Qing ambans resident in Tibet, they were "insiders" to the Tibetan Buddhist world. They were recognized as important lamas and were able to mediate delicate situations on behalf of the Qing court, especially during the early eighteenth century when the Qing were trying to stabilize the Tibetan government. The importance of these lamas was highlighted in the early years of the Chinese Republic, even after the imperial court ceased to exist, when they became the only real link between China and Tibet.


Session 38: Lineage in Chinese Buddhism of the Tang and the Song

Organizer: Elizabeth Morrison, Stanford University

Chair: Thomas A. Wilson, Hamilton College

Discussants: T. Griffith Foulk, Sarah Lawrence College; Linda Penkower, University of Pittsburgh

Keywords: premodern China, religion, Buddhism, lineage.

Several schools of Chinese Buddhism boast a "lineage" of masters, or "patriarchs," beginning with the Buddha. The transmission of religious authority through a series of specially designated individuals is not unusual; forms of it occur in many religions, including Chinese traditions predating the introduction of Buddhism to China. In Chinese Buddhism, however, lineage involves an explicit parallel with the family and has to an unusual extent influenced matters of sectarian identity and institutional organization. In addition to "patriarchal" lineage, at ordination, all monks and nuns enter a tonsure lineage, which to a large extent shapes their ecclesiastical careers.

In spite of its centrality, the varying uses and constructions of lineage have not been fully examined by scholars. The three papers will present different approaches to and perspectives on lineage in Chinese Buddhism.

While the formal presentations will focus on lineage within Buddhism, one of the goals of the panel is to explore the wider context of lineage within Chinese social and religious history. With that in mind and in response to the call for innovative formats, the panel will consist of brief presentations of fifteen minutes each, followed by the comments of the discussants. To encourage a substantive roundtable-like audience participation, we plan to secure from several additional scholars with expertise in Chinese Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism informal commitments to read online the papers on which the presentations are based. The papers will be posted a month before the conference, with notices sent to the appropriate academic mailing lists.

Local Lineage, Local Practice: A Critical Look at the Biographies of the Eighteen Eminent Monks of Nanyue (Nanyue shiba gaoseng zhuan)

James Robson, Stanford University

In recent years there has been a thorough rethinking of the nature and existence of clearly defined Buddhist "schools" prior to the Song dynasty (960–1279). It is now evident that the medieval Chinese Buddhist landscape was much more complex and intertwined than heretofore acknowledged. In order to move towards redrawing the contours of that religious landscape, in this paper I suggest a more decentralized approach to medieval Chinese Buddhism by moving away from a sole focus on famous patriarchs and a tacit acceptance of well-entrenched orthodox lineages, and towards the study of regional or local lineages that were often either ignored or subject to erasure in traditional Buddhist historical sources. Here I will be focusing my purview on a significant Buddho-Daoist site in medieval China and looking closely at a local lineage that was nearly edited out of history. This study, based on the fragments of a lost Tang dynasty work titled the Biographies of the Eighteen Eminent Monks of Nanyue that I have been able to cull from local sources, epigraphy and other biographical collections, will, I hope, add to other recent work that attempts to detail the processes and expose the stakes and strategies involved in the construction of an orthodox Tiantai lineage. In order to reflect more broadly on the notion of "local lineages" in medieval China I will also bring forward for discussion the equally problematic nature of local Chan, Vinaya, and Daoist lineages at this site.

The Functions and Meanings of Lineage in Song-Dynasty Buddhism

Morten Schlutter, University of California, Los Angeles

Concepts of lineage and descent line in monastic Chinese Buddhism are strikingly similar to those of family kinship units, to the extent that monastics employ inter-relational terms such as zu (paternal grandfather/master’s master) or shu (uncle/master’s fellow disciple). In this paper I investigate the degree to which the development of Buddhist notions of lineage parallels developments in kinship organization and ask whether Buddhist lineages had functions and meanings that were similar to those of kinship lineages. I argue that in Song-dynasty Buddhism, several different types of lineage, that in many ways functioned differently, can be discerned. When the multivalent nature of lineage in Chinese Buddhism is recognized, it becomes possible to make meaningful comparisons to Song elite lineage practices and theoretical writings. I argue that Buddhist notions of lineage were deeply influenced by the elite interest in descent line and genealogy, but that Buddhist uses of lineage differed in important ways from those of kinship units and that these differences tell us much about strategies of various traditions within Song-dynasty Buddhism.

The Logic and Limits of the Genealogical Model for Chan History

Elizabeth Morrison, Stanford University

The Chan school of Chinese Buddhism emerged from a number of groups claiming Bodhidharma as their spiritual forebear, and this initial self-definition in terms of lineage led to a tradition of histories in the form of genealogies. Critics and rivals of the Chan school repeatedly questioned the historicity of the lineage claims in these early works and made accusations of sectarian self-interest, charges scholars have found to be largely justified. This criticism was perceived as a threat, especially as the Chan school established itself institutionally and rose to prominence in the Five Dynasties and early Song, and it prompted increasingly sophisticated efforts to produce an account of Chan lineage that was both credible and representative of the expanding school. In this paper, I will focus on one such attempt by the Northern Song Chan monk Qisong (1007–1072), the Record of the True Lineage of the Transmission of the Dharma (Chuanfa zhengzong ji), and the accompanying historiographical essay. Despite the importance of lineage to Chan, it is not often discussed explicitly, and the work of Qisong, who is unusually impassioned and articulate on the topic, offers us an excellent opportunity to explore the beliefs about lineage and patriarchs that structured and guided Chan history-writing. I will address as well the nature of the genealogical model itself, which, at least in the case of Qisong, proved inadequate to describe the Chan past.


Session 39: Crisis and Transformation in China’s Hong Kong since 1997

Organizer: Alvin Yiu-Cheong So, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

Chair: Ming K. Chan, Stanford University

Discussant: Lynn T. White III, Princeton University

Keywords: politics, China, public policy, contemporary.

This panel aims at assessing the major crises and crucial changes reshaping China’s Hong Kong. The four papers examine the HKSAR’s interactions with the mainland, cross-border crimes, bureaucratic reform, and the reorientation toward "soft authoritarian developmentalism." Together, they provide an informed and multidisciplinary baseline to evaluate the performance of the new regime as well as the challenges and opportunities confronting the HKSAR in the initial phase of its long march toward full reintegration with the Chinese mainland by 2047.

Specifically, the first paper by public policy analyst and ex-legislator Loh highlights the HKSAR’s new role in offering "software" inputs to facilitate the PRC’s modernization. The second paper by political scientist Lo investigates the trans-border crime issues undermining law and order and regional cooperation between the HKSAR and its South China neighbors. The third paper by public administration specialist and ex-legislator Cheung critiques the reform options for the postcolonial civil service system. The fourth paper by historian Chan and sociologist So charts the HKSAR regime’s shift from laissez-fairism to an interventionist approach in public policy. This, coupled with the illiberal Basic Law polity sowed the seed for "soft authoritarian developmentalism."

The life and work, hopes and fears of HKSAR residents as citizens of the PRC’s most cosmopolitan city-region have been drastically remolded by the China factor and the Asian economic crisis beyond expectation. Collectively, these four papers will illuminate the major dimensions of Hong Kong’s ongoing transformative processes and search for new national/regional identities unleashed by the sovereignty retrocession.

Comprador for "One Country"? A Role for China’s Hong Kong

Christine Loh, Civic Exchange

Hong Kong, a city of seven million and a former British colony, is the world’s ninth largest trading economy where people enjoy higher per capita GDP than in many Western countries. It is also doing better economically than most major East Asian cities. Yet, it feels threatened by the rise of Shanghai, which some say could replace Hong Kong as the region’s premier financial center in the next decade or so. Will Hong Kong just be another Chinese city albeit shinier than some?

To remain a dominant force, the SAR government has adopted the vision that Hong Kong should become "Asia’s world city." Hong Kong people appear skeptical because they have doubts about whether their political leaders have the ability to transform the city. Loh argues that Hong Kong can play a significant role—perhaps the most significant role—as the comprador for "one country" by packaging ideas and people from among the Chinese-speaking world as well as internationally to contribute to building the China of the 21st century. That role will require Hong Kong to think beyond its traditional trading and commercial role to new roles in social undertakings, environmental design, corporate governance, public participation, and more. It should use its traditional, entrepreneurial flair to promote China’s modernization. Hopefully the HKSAR and the Pearl River Delta would become the most preferred place to live in China with a clean environment, strong regulatory systems, rule of law, good schools, fully-wired communication networks, and sensitive city planning, with vibrant culture and entertainment.

Trans-Border Crime in Hong Kong and South China: The Dark Side of Regional Reintegration

Shiu Hing Lo, University of Hong Kong

The intensification of human interactions between the PRC’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and adjacent cities (including the Macau SAR, Shenzhen and Zhuhai special economic zones) reveals that cross-border crime is fast constituting a security threat to law and order in the region. Cross-border crime takes the forms of kidnapping, drug smuggling, sex rings, money laundering, human trafficking, and triad wars that have become increasingly difficult for the law enforcement agencies to interdict. Although extra inputs and coordinated efforts have been made by the South China authorities to combat these vices, money laundering and drug trafficking are still baffling problems. In particular, money laundering became serious between Hong Kong, Macau, and neighboring cities, where banks and monetary authorities cannot plug the trafficking loopholes. Kidnapping also remains a gangland favorite for quick gains.

This case study of Hong Kong’s interactions with South China proves that organized crime has become far more regional, trans-border, sophisticated, and complicated than ever since 1997. Triads have also demonstrated their capacity to transcend South China’s multiple jurisdictions, even participating in local elections and underwriting local elites. Unless effective efforts and Hong Kong-like measures for anti-corruption are undertaken in mainland China and Macau, organized crime will continue to be a fatal erosive threat to the HKSAR and its South China hinterland. Such a cross-border crime wave is indeed a thorn undermining the social, administrative, and legal reintegration of the new Hong Kong and Macau SARs with mainland China.

Transforming the Post-1997 Hong Kong Civil Service: Reconfiguring the Mandarinate and the Rise of a Political Class

Anthony B. L. Cheung, City University of Hong Kong

During British colonial times, Hong Kong’s civil service doubled as both a service organization and a bureaucratic institution which effectively ruled the territory in the absence of party politics and democratic elections. Upon its return to China’s sovereignty, the new Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is to retain a high degree of administrative continuity from the past. The civil service is regarded as an important pillar of stability.

However, four years into the HKSAR era, after a series of setbacks and crises of efficiency, probity, and efficacy, it has become clear that the civil service institution is embroiled in increasing difficulties over the retention of its power as the most predominant political force. Not only has its previous "invincibility" been greatly questioned externally, within government the civil service’s tensions with the new SAR Chief Executive has also come to a stage where the latter is going to introduce a "ministerial" system of policy officials based on political appointment in the name of enhancing accountability. The evolving development will likely see a redefinition of the role and power of the civil service mandarinate—represented mostly by the Administrative Class—and the corresponding rise of a new political class. Possible scenarios and routes of change are explored in the paper.

Crisis and Transformation in the HKSAR: Toward Soft Authoritarian Developmentalism?

Alvin Yiu-Cheong So, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology; Ming K. Chan, Stanford University

With a "crisis-transformation" framework, this paper will first examine the five major crises—democracy, constitution, governability, development, and legitimacy—facing the HKSAR. Then it reviews the "blessings" empowering the HKSAR actors to confront these crises. Finally, it illuminates Hong Kong’s reorientation toward "soft authoritarian developmentalism."

The SAR regime is developmental in the sense that it is more proactive in guiding the economy than the colonial regime. Besides the 1998 stock market intervention, it has formulated plans to propel the HKSAR into a high-tech hub and launch massive reforms in the civil service, housing, education, and health care to increase Hong Kong’s global competitiveness.

While an executive-led government facilitated the state’s capacity to embark onto a developmental track, it also paved the path to soft authoritarianism. The weakening of the democratic camp and the constitutional compromise through which the judiciary sets its own limits have emboldened the SAR regime to impose itself over the civil society. The proposed "executive accountability" would strengthen the bond of political appointees as senior officials to the SAR Chief Executive. Since the Public Order Ordinance, Society Ordinance, and the Basic Law have already laid the legal groundwork for authoritarianism, it owes only to the "self-constraint" of both the HKSAR regime and the Beijing authorities that such authoritarianism has been taking a "soft" form of intimidation and surveillance rather than a "hard" form of suppression, arrests, and imprisonment. In order to make such "soft authoritarianism" work, the civil society must also play the "soft" game as well.


Session 40: The Medium’s Impact on the Message: Journalism in Republican China

Organizer: Timothy B. Weston, University of Colorado, Boulder

Chair and Discussant: Stephen R. Mackinnon, Arizona State University

Keywords: journalism, China, history, Republican era.

Each of the papers in this panel is concerned with the various ways that the forms and practices of print journalism contributed to the creation and shaping of public discourse in Republican China. All three papers concentrate on journalism as a vehicle that intellectuals self-consciously used to promote particular political agendas and on the process by which newspapers and journals worked to solidify the parameters of hitherto unexamined or unfixed ideas and values. None of the papers makes claims about journalism’s influence on China as a whole. Rather, each of them focuses on a limited example, and cumulatively they reveal that newspapers and journals played a critically important role in the shaping of competing social visions during a time of ongoing upheaval. The papers span the Republican era. Timothy Weston’s paper inquires into the creation of normative journalistic knowledge and practice by focusing on two of the earliest journalism textbooks published in Chinese. He is interested in the politics inherent in the formation of journalism as a respectable profession during the May Fourth era. Rebecca Karl focuses on the way debates about economics shaped and were shaped by journals and newspapers in order to explore how economics became a central mode of articulating Chinese modernity in the 1930s. Finally, Joshua Howard studies how workers and the CCP used Xinhua ribao (New China Daily) to express their grievances and aspirations in wartime Chongqing and why it is that workers were attracted to that newspaper.

The Politics of Journalistic Knowledge Creation

Timothy B. Weston, University of Colorado, Boulder

Many Chinese reporters of the 1920s and after were graduates of formal journalism programs, which differentiated them from newspaper reporters of earlier decades. These later figures were more self-conscious about their professional identity, more informed about journalistic practices in the West and Japan, and better organized as a corporate body, than their predecessors. In this paper I explore the creation of normative journalistic knowledge and practice during the May Fourth era by focusing on two of the earliest Chinese-language journalism textbooks: Xu Baohuang’s Basics of Journalism of 1919 and Shao Piaoping’s Practical Journalism of 1923. I also consider the Xinwenxue yanjiuhui (Journalism Study Society), which Xu and Shao ran together at Beijing University in the late 1910s.

The purpose of the textbooks and the study society was to train specialists who could take pride in their work and elevate the status of the journalism profession. Xu and Shao asserted that newspapers were among society’s most important institutions, that they had a responsibility not just to cover the news but also to represent and nurture public opinion, develop general knowledge, and promote morality. They emphasized the critical importance of a reporter’s non-partisan, professional stance, yet they offered their instruction within a highly charged atmosphere that left it open to political readings. I pay particular attention to the politics that informed the creation of journalistic norms and to the manner in which core journalistic ideals propounded by Xu and Shao—such as "objectivity" and "neutrality"—themselves carried political meanings.

Journalism, Intellectuals, and Economics in 1930s China

Rebecca E. Karl, New York University

This paper inquires into the ways in which the fierce economic debates of the 1930s comprising, among others, the famous Social History Controversy and the efflorescence of liberal economics and sociology, as disciplines and as modes of knowledge-formation and social inquiry shaped and were shaped by one of their primary forums: the journals and newspapers of the day. The rapid appearance, disappearance, and transformation of various radical, liberal, and conservative journals revolving around economic questions; the anthologizing of debates from these journals into handy pamphlets and overview books that set out the various positions in readily accessible formats; as well as the deepening of intellectual divides through the ideological, cultural, and political specifications of the role of economics, or, more precisely, of economic inquiry in local, national, and global life were all prominent features of this period. The centrality accorded the economy and economic questions in the newspapers and journals, therefore, not only assisted in the airing of different intellectual views, thus consolidating the role of modern intellectuals and of journalism in prescribing and proscribing parameters of social debate, but, more fundamentally, this centrality also shaped how economics became a central mode of articulating the particular form of China’s modernity in the 1930s.

The Communist Press and Workers in Wartime Chongqing: The Case of Xinhua ribao

Joshua Howard, University of Mississippi

As one of the few legal fronts for the Communist Party in wartime Nationalist territory, Xinhua ribao (New China Daily) assumed vital importance in articulating the CCP message and garnering public support. Not surprisingly, it is said that Chiang Kai-shek recalled this conferral of legality as his "biggest mistake vis-à-vis the Communists." This paper examines how both workers and the CCP used Xinhua ribao as an organization and as a public forum to express their grievances and aspirations in wartime Chongqing. I first analyze the subculture of opposition in which radical workers as well as rank and file workers participated to illustrate why they may have been drawn to the Communist daily. One important reason why the Communist press proved so popular was the participatory form of journalism involved in the paper’s production. Certain columns were expressly written by and for workers. I analyze these columns and worker letters published in Xinhua ribao to show how the paper facilitated workers’ class consciousness by promoting an "imagined community" of class. Moreover, the newspaper became a vehicle for workers’ organizing. Both workers and the CCP used the daily as a political weapon during the strike waves of 1946. The history of Xinhua ribao thus sheds light on the fruitful but also tense relationship between workers and Xinhua ribao, and by extension the CCP, as well as the relationship between workers and the Nationalist government during the united front period.


Session 41: The Identity of Female "Writing" and the Question of Desire in Contemporary China

Organizer: Zhen Zhang, New York University

Chair: Xueping Zhong, Tufts University

Discussant: Ban Wang, Rutgers University

Since the early 1990s, the Chinese literary scene has been auspiciously dominated by women writers/ producers. This dominance, characterized by its amazing marketability and commercial success, has triggered a nationwide academic interest in the cultural nature of female writing. While most critics in China hold that women have been playing a double role in literary production, both as the objects of desire and the agency of desire, this panel attempts to give a wider look into some other aspects of the production of female writing and the consumption of female desire. Xueping Zhong examines two novels, both about relationships between Chinese women and Western men, I Love Bill by Wang Anyi and Shanghai Baby by Wei Hui. She is interested in the political and gender power dynamics against the backdrop of China’s globalization. Yiyan Wang presents her reading of Xu Kun’s novella Goddess Nüwa. She tries to highlight the feminist narrative mechanism in the novella and to explore the possibility of a feminist national narrative. Di Bai studies a website in Chinese language produced by women: She analyzes the ways in which web practices have been gendered, different kinds of pleasures are derived, and the traditional feminine contents are subversively addressed. Zhen Zhang intends to explore a different kind of female writing through or mediated by film or video camera, and how this form of visually oriented writing expresses a particular kind of female consciousness and social vision.

Female Desire and the Masculine Other: Contemporary Chinese Women Writers’ Representations of Chinese Women and Western Males

Xueping Zhong, Tufts University

Since the late 1980s and early 1990s an increasing number of Chinese women writers have written about relationships between Chinese women and Western males, thereby creating a rather unique literary phenomenon unprecedented in modern Chinese literature. More than a decade later, especially after the controversy of the novel Shanghai Baby (by Wei Hui), it is time to examine the implications of this literary phenomenon, especially the female desire manifested in it. In this paper, I will first briefly summarize this phenomenon and then place it within the larger historical context of China’s search for modernity and the growing web of globalization. I will do so specifically in conjunction with the political and gender power dynamics that inform the production of desire in this body of literature, in particular, and in China in general. I will then focus on two texts, I Love Bill (a novella by Wang Anyi) and Shanghai Baby respectively, and conduct a comparative reading of the two. I will explore how they share and differ and what their similarity and difference indicate. Additionally, I will examine the ways in which the various representations of female relationships with (Chinese and) Western men signify a complex psychic trajectory in modern Chinese history.

From Feminism to Matriarchy: National Narration and Goddess Nüwa by Xu Kun

Yiyan Wang, University of Sydney

A close link between national narration and the quest for cultural roots can be found in many novels by contemporary Chinese male writers. Moreover, this connection between China’s national identity and Chinese traditions is often represented through manifestations of masculinity, as in the cases of Liu Heng’s novella Fuxi, Fuxi (1992) and Chen Zhongshi’s Bailu Yuan (1993). However, a strongly feminist perspective in national narration has appeared with Goddess Nüwa (1995) by Xu Kun, a female writer in her thirties in Beijing. This paper intends to analyze the role of women’s desire in Goddess Nüwa, especially desire as agent in shaping alternative femininity and in delineating matriarchy as opposition to the dominance of masculine texts. My purpose is to highlight the feminist narrative mechanism in Goddess Nüwa and to explore the possibility of a feminist national narrative. I argue Goddess Nüwa is constructed with a feminist consciousness as a counter-narrative to the masculine representation of Chinese cultural traditions. Women Writing on the Web

Di Bai, Iowa State University

The Internet and its "shop window," the WWW, are becoming increasingly widespread and used media for communication, consumption, and other leisurely uses alike. It is important to note that these online services and communications are ubiquitously gendered. Since the mid-1990s, cyberfeminist research has looked at the Internet, discussing how different renegotiations and redefinitions of sexuality, identity, and agency have been achieved, particularly in the context of women as content producers.

This paper intends to be a feminist investigation of one particular web site in Chinese language produced by women and targeted at women: Mainly as an online women/feminist literary periodical, huazhao also covers, through different columns, nearly every aspect of feminine space; from how to take care of family finance to how to dress in the workplace, from providing cooking tips to how to set up a beauty-parlor at home. However, through different means, huazhao deconstructs rather than reinforces the tradition. The paper analyzes critically the ways in which web practices have been gendered, how these practices are entwined into the structure of everyday life, how different kinds of pleasures are derived from them, and more importantly how the traditional feminine contents are subversively addressed.

Women Writing with the "Kino Eye" in the Era of "Zhuanxing" (Transformation)

Zhen Zhang, New York University

This project has two interrelated goals: (1) it offers a tentative survey and assessment of the involvement of women in filmmaking (in particular, as scriptwriter and director) and in independent video making since 1990; (2) through an analysis of several films and texts, including their production contexts and forms of dissemination, I explore the rhetoric and practical strategies these creative women employed in finding new ways of articulating their own voices and desires as well as those social subjects represented in their works. I am particularly interested in how these women filmmakers and writers negotiate the intermedia boundaries between writing and filming, and how new media forms such as the Internet and DV are affecting the creative choices of women writing with the "kino eye" in a time of rapid social and technological change. Texts to be discussed include Mama (1990), Love in the Internet Age (1995), I Love Beijing (2000), and There Are More Than One Who Are Unhappy (2000).


Session 41.5: Reading Tombs: Mortuary Texts and Burial Contexts in Early China

Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Donald Harper, University of Chicago

The tomb is the preeminent site for archaeological investigation of the life of the elite of the Warring States, Qin, and Han periods (roughly fifth century BC to second century a.d.). Much of twentieth-century research on this era contextualized the tomb within the interpretive framework of the received Ritual Canons (all Han or earlier in date) and utilized the contents of tombs to speculate on elite culture. The purpose of this panel is to engage in a necessary re-conceptualization of the tomb as an object of study—to offer a new reading of the realia of the tomb in contemporary elite culture and to investigate the religious and intellectual aspects of death. While the received Ritual Canons and their pronouncements on death and burial are not removed from consideration, the existence of several kinds of writings actually placed in tombs (mostly bamboo, wood, and silk manuscripts) or at tomb sites (epitaph stelae) provides one key to re-conceptualizing the tomb; analysis of the form and function of the tomb from the dual perspective of this world and the other world provides another. Moreover, there is an evident reflexive relationship between the written materials associated with the tomb and the tomb structure itself, including the other material goods placed there. Are the tomb texts to be read in the same fashion as the tomb? Do the texts address the same realia? These are the issues to be addressed by each of the panelists.

Reading Eastern Zhou Burial Spaces

Joy Beckman, University of Chicago

Recent rethinking of ancient Chinese burials has shifted away from the perspective of viewing burials as merely rich repositories of material culture. It has become very evident from recent scholarship that a burial is never just a sum product of its contents but is instead the end product in a series of ceremonies, which have left their traces in the ordering, placement, and packaging of the artifacts. This paper will examine Eastern Zhou burials to explore how ritual processes affect their organization and how different forms of spatial organization directed the manner in which a tomb was read. By examining how artifacts were made visible, and how they were concealed, which artifacts were organized within the tomb space and which were not, this paper will identify how a visual field was constructed within the burial space.

Early Chinese Textual Burial as Perceived through Documents on Ancestral Veneration

K. E. Brashier, Reed College

"The reason why one cannot read his father’s books (shu) when his father has died is because the trace of his father’s hand remains upon them," the Li ji states. There was an intimacy between individuals and texts, and so both were distanced from the living at death. According to Han primary sources, such textual intimacy could reach the level of the text shaping the psyche itself. If so, when texts were preserved in tombs, something of the individual was preserved as well. Yet once entombed, what role did written texts play? The answer is contingent to the level of independent agency assigned to the dead.

In a "function-oriented" afterlife, the dead were granted an independent existence, interacting with other dead and utilizing tangible sacrifices. In this understanding of the afterlife, grave goods were functional, and buried texts were indeed read. Many excavated texts evince this functionality.

Such functionality starkly contrasts with the "form-oriented" afterlife. When the seasonal metaphor was applied to the human lifespan, a person’s spring, summer and autumn were seasons of activity, but winter—the after-death existence—was torpidity, storage, stasis. This common depiction translated into rituals such as pre-sacrifice abstentions in which the living entered into the yin realm via quietude, settled mind and utter stillness of body, thereby resonating with this torpidity. Yet the most abundant evidence for this function-free stasis arises from the mortuary conception of xiang, of static forms. The dead were identified as becoming xiang, their grave goods (such as clay models) were xiang, and their offeratory dances were even titled Xiang. As for the texts themselves, Han scholars state how the written graphs, too, derived from xiang, and in a culture that stressed oral performance, writing fixed and even deadened the oral text. Thus the dead, their goods, and their texts were xiang, and in the tomb these goods and texts perpetually defined the dead rather than served them. They were stored away in the yin realm to maintain a static, hibernal ideality once the tomb was sealed.

This paper will use stele inscriptions, ritual prescriptions and other ancestral veneration documents to argue for this distinction in how textual burials should be interpreted.

Social Pretensions or Agents of Moral Transformation? Later Han Funerary Inscriptions

Miranda Brown, University of California, Berkeley

Scholars generally assume that the primary function of second-century funerary inscriptions was to extol the deceased. Almost without exception, eulogists attributed illustrious descent to the deceased as well as sage-like virtue. They also idealized the relationships between the deceased and his community, going to great lengths to depict the devotion of his community. Quite understandably, some historians have dismissed inscriptions as blatant attempts to flatter the social pretensions of paying customers.

But a closer examination reveals that inscriptions also served a didactic function. Eulogists such as Cai Yong (132–192) hoped inscriptions would provide future readers with models of the good life. This paper will attempt to treat at length this didactic function of inscriptions by answering three closely related questions. First, what constituted the good life? (In order to answer this, we will have to ask what eulogists chose not to extol.) Second, why did funerary inscriptions become popular in the second century? Third, what beliefs about tombs did second-century mourners have and how did they shape the content of inscriptions?

Where Have All the Grave Goods Gone? Tomb Inventories and Warring States Conceptions of the Afterlife

Guolong Lai, Smithsonian Institution

Excavations from Baoshan tomb no. two in Jiangling, Hebei province yielded 28 pieces of inscribed bamboo strips that listed elaborate chariot fittings, ritual vessels and utensils, prepared food, and other offerings. These strips were buried with corresponding artifacts in three of the four compartments surrounding the coffin. These inventory lists (qiance) not only can help us identify the original nomenclature of the burial goods and tomb construction but also can help us understand the function of art objects in the context of burial and religious beliefs. In this paper, I will use the Baoshan materials as an example to explore the relationships among texts, grave goods, tomb construction, and Warring States (453–221 B.C.E.) conceptions of the afterlife.

The practice of burying an inventory list of grave goods first emerged during the Warring States period. These lists often recorded the number of chariots, ritual vessels, musical instruments, food, and servants that were supposed to accompany the dead into the other world. But more often than not archaeologists have found a discrepancy between the objects listed and those that have been found. To explain this phenomenon, I will first examine the concept of qiance and explore its intellectual and religious background. I will then reconstruct the ritual context behind the practices of public displaying of grave goods and public reading of qiance before the funeral proceeding. Finally I will explore the role of texts in the religious transition during the Warring States period. Tomb texts like other ritual artifacts were substitutes of real "things." They reflected newly developed religious concepts. The tension between the sumptuary display of wealth and power in funerary rites and the "imperfect" nature of spirit artifact (mingqi) had accelerated the artistic creativity. This created the imagined afterlife that people of the Warring States period perceived.


Session 55: Taxation and Resistance in Twentieth-Century China

Organizer: Lucien Bianco, Ecole des Hautes Etudes

Chair: Thomas P. Bernstein, Columbia University

Discussant: Christine P. W. Wong, University of Washington

Keywords: taxation, resistance, prostitution, twentieth century, China.

The recent resurgence of tax protests in rural China calls to mind the historical nexus between tax administration strategies and tax resistance. Throughout the twentieth century, why have central and local governments chosen particular strategies of taxation and social control? How and why have Chinese people resisted such efforts? This panel explores interactions between resistance and tax administration before and after 1949.

Elizabeth Remick’s paper on the Republican-era prostitution tax in Guangzhou asks how both resistance by prostitutes and political pressure from local social groups shaped the municipality’s decision to tax and regulate prostitution, rather than to monopolize or ban it as other localities did. Lucien Bianco’s analysis of nearly 1,500 incidents of tax protest and collective resistance during the late Qing and Republican periods finds that tax resistance was primarily inspired by low, but increasing, tax burdens, and by both administrative abuses and reforms. Thomas Bernstein notes that in the post-Mao era, central government interests, strategies, and capacities have shaped peasant tax resistance. Local governments are caught between the demands of the center for development and peasant protests against the taxes and fees that such development requires. Finally, Patricia Thornton surveys tax protest and evasion strategies in the contemporary period and finds that, despite some similarities to pre-revolutionary collective action, reform era protest repertoires are clearly shaped by the organizational and ideological legacies of the Mao era.

Taxing Prostitution in Republican Guangzhou

Elizabeth J. Remick, Tufts University

Governments are often faced with a difficult choice regarding "sinful" activities like gambling, drug use, alcohol consumption, or prostitution. They can choose to ban them, to tax and regulate them, or to monopolize them. Between 1900 and 1949, most provincial capitals in China chose, over significant opposition, to tax prostitution. Municipal governments used prostitution-derived revenues to engage in building new institutions to discipline prostitutes, including rehabilitation centers, venereal disease clinics, and women’s reformatories; they also used the revenues to build local state institutions and services, including roads, schools, and police forces. Why did different localities choose either to ignore or take advantage of this potentially useful revenue stream? How did tax resistance, protest, and local political alliances figure into this decision?

This paper focuses on the case of Guangzhou, where both the municipal and provincial governments chose to tax and regulate prostitution. During the 1920s, the local governments banned prostitution briefly, but between 1900 and 1949 otherwise elected to construct an elaborate system of taxation and regulation of prostitutes and brothels. Why was this the dominant strategy in Guangzhou, given the other available opportunities and approaches? What role did alliances among, and protests by, different social groups—tax-resisting "private" prostitutes, brothel owners, the police, militarists, local organized crime, women’s rights groups, religious organizations such as the YMCA, tax farmers, and merchants’ associations—play in determining that taxation would be Guangzhou’s dominant strategy in dealing with prostitution? What were the political consequences of this strategy?

Tax Protest as the Foremost Expression of Peasant Resistance: China, 1900–1949

Lucien Bianco, Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris.

More than one thousand tax riots took place in this period—close to 1,500 if ambiguous events are included, triggered by both taxation and other causes, such as late Qing "new policies" at the outset of the period, or military conscription at its end. They belong to three main categories, and raise three kinds of issues. The three categories, all illustrated by examples, are: riots resisting an increase in the tax burden, often in the form of new taxes or of surcharges to the land tax; those motivated by tax collection abuses or by severe anti-smuggling campaigns; and those triggered by land survey and registration. Three main questions arise. How can the seemingly light tax burden be reconciled with the widespread discontent against taxes? Who were the most frequent initiators of tax protests: small landowners, better-off peasants, resident landlords? What was the impact of peasant resistance on attempts at reform, and ultimately on the modernization process? The first question is linked to the first two categories outlined above: peasants resented not so much the tax burden itself as a local increase of it, or specific abuses committed while collecting taxes or pursuing evaders. Likewise, the third category of riots raises the third question. To answer the second question, one needs to assess the economic conditions of the leaders of all three categories of riots. The conclusion compares pre-1949 and post-1980 tax protests.

Explaining Rural Tax Protest in Contemporary China: The Interplay between Central, Local Governments, and Peasants

Thomas P. Bernstein, Columbia University

In recent years, peasant resistance to heavy taxes and fees has been on the rise. In explaining this resistance, peasant strategies must be examined, but so must the interests, strategies, and capacities used by the Center and the local governments. The central government’s interest lies in maximizing local development efforts but without imposing excessive burdens on the peasants or requiring Beijing to pay the bill. In "agricultural China," where there is little revenue from TVEs, local officials are consequently stuck with unfunded mandates, which are the main source of the peasant burdens. When peasant anger rises, the Center tends to side with the peasants because of its preoccupation with social and political stability, demanding that burdens be reduced. Local officials are caught between these incompatible demands, but their organizational and individual incentives prompt them to fulfill developmental plans regardless of financial capacity. Peasants legitimate protest by invoking Central regulations, but this requires knowing about them. Hence a major weapon of local officials is to maintain information asymmetry, i.e., to prevent them from learning about the rules. Peasant strategies include breaking through the information blockade, appealing to the Center, bringing lawsuits, and engaging in violent and nonviolent protest, thereby drawing the Center’s attention to their plight.

Comrades and Collectives in Arms: Tax Resistance, Evasion, and Avoidance Strategies in the Post-Mao Era

Patricia Thornton, Trinity College

The renewed focus on tax and fee collection as a means of enhancing local and municipal government revenues during the reform era has resulted in rising waves of social protest, as well as other forms of collective action aimed at subverting tax collection efforts. While many such incidents of the past two decades bear a strong resemblance to tax protests and riots of the late imperial and Republican periods, this paper highlights the unique features of organizational and discursive repertoires of collective action deployed against tax collectors during the reform period. I argue that contemporary tax resisters and tax evaders, particularly those who have not benefited as rapidly from market reforms, often develop collective strategies that rely upon organizational and ideological resources developed during the Mao years. Drawing on cases of both urban and rural tax protest and evasion, this paper explores Mao era influences on the organizational and discursive repertoires of tax resistance, including the emergence of the danwei (work unit) as an institutional locus for the articulation of collective interests against tax collectors; the involvement of rural cadres in defending the interests of rural taxpayers against the incursions of higher levels of government; and how rural collectives and former communes are now mobilizing to protest the current "peasant burden problem."


Session 56: Late Ming Confucianism: Regions and Schools (Hsüeh-P’ai)

Organizer: Yu-Yin Cheng, Marymount Manhattan College

Chair: Kwang-Ching Liu, University of California, Davis

Discussant: Irene Bloom, Barnard College

Keywords: late Ming, Confucianism, schools, Chiang-yu, Che-chung, T’ai-chou.

In Ming intellectual history, Wang Yang-ming (1472–1529) was the most prestigious philosopher, whose ideas and those of Chu Hsi’s in the Sung dynasty form two pillars of Neo-Confucian philosophy. Works on Wang Yang-ming have covered a wide range of topics, centered on philosophy, religion, politics, and social institutions. Nonetheless, there is not yet a comprehensive study on the divergent developments of Wang Yang-ming’s disciples facing dramatic changes in economy, society, and culture during the late Ming (roughly 1550–1644). This panel explores the different responses of the three major branches of the Yang-ming learning: the Che-chung, the Chiang-yu and the T’ai-chou schools, towards the multifaceted challenges they confronted.

Studying the Che-chung school in Chiang-nan, Jie Zhao shows that Che-chung scholars endeavored to reinvigorate Yang-ming’s teaching against external challenges from political prohibition of lecture meetings, diversified cultural developments in the Nanking area, and Buddhist influences. Chiang-yu scholars of Chi-an, central Kiangsi, as Miaw-fen Lu shows, faced a crisis caused by the decay of their own cultural power, the debilitating effects of the civil service examinations and the tension with the Chiang-nan culture. They tried to reconstruct their cultural legacy through compiling local histories and developing new philosophical discourses. Yu-Yin Cheng, on the other hand, shows that the T’ai-chou scholars of northern Kiangsu and eastern Kiangsi were optimistic about the future. They advocated the egalitarian idea of sagehood for all, proselytized innate knowledge (liang-chih), or its popular form, conscience (liang-hsin) among the common people, and created a vibrant movement of Yang-ming learning.

The Predicament of Wang Scholars in Late Ming Chiang-nan

Jie Zhao, University of Southern Maine

In 1579, Chang Chu-cheng, the powerful senior grand secretary, abolished private academies nationwide and banned their gatherings. This policy effectively destroyed the political climate that Wang Yang-ming’s disciples and followers needed to maintain their formidable presence in the intellectual arena. Peking’s increasing intolerance after 1579 forced the Wang adherents to seek refuge in Nanking, a cultural hub in its own right. This center, however, was tied into the market economy. Paintings, calligraphy, essays, plays, and popular novels, produced as attractive commodities, captured enormous attention both in the literati circles and society at large. Meanwhile, philosophical discourse was pushed to the side with rather few scholars discussing profound issues. Bitter internal divisions over certain controversial issues further fragmented this already diminished group.

Against this background, the Che-chung Wang scholars during the Wan-li period found themselves slipping into a predicament where their distance from power centers deprived them of powerful patrons, their interest in Buddhist thought exposed them to harsh criticism, and their lectures failed to attract large audiences. To be sure, Nanking provided the Wang disciples with a sanctuary where they could pursue their interests, but the cultural agendas there no longer centered around Wang Yang-ming’s teachings.

Local Identity and Learning in the Late Ming Yang-ming School of Chiang-yu

Miaw-fen Lu, Academia Sinica

Chiang-yu had been the most prominent area for Yang-ming learning since the 1510s. During the late Ming, both the overall intellectual competency of Chiang-yu scholars and the level of Yang-ming learning declined seriously. Because of this, some scholars not only advocated Yang-ming chiang-hui activities, but also reconstructed their own tradition in order to respond to the impact from Chiang-nan. This paper endeavors to study Chiang-yu scholars’ local identity and their efforts to reconstruct their local histories and intellectual tradition, as well as the characteristics of their chiang-hui during this period.

Although Chiang-yu scholars embraced a broader vision and appealed to audiences beyond their region, this approach and the anxiety caused by noticing the decay of their cultural competency prompted them to reaffirm and even to reconstruct their own cultural legacy. I will explore this issue by mainly investigating the scholars’ involvement in the compilation of local histories and related discourses. Cultural interactions and confrontations also stimulated active dialogues between scholars in Chiang-yu and those of the Che-chung and T’ai-chou schools. To compare Chiang-yu scholars’ criticism of other schools as well as their own propositions, I will discuss three characteristics of Chiang-yu learning, namely: (1) the engagement of bodily cultivation, (2) the emphasis on ritual (li) and the assertion of the link between name and reality (minx/shih), and (3) the nurture of a more austere and quiet atmosphere in chiang-hui activities.

The T’ai-chou School and the Popularization of Liang-chih (Innate Knowledge)

Yu-Yin Cheng, Marymount Manhattan College

The T’ai-chou school—the school of Ming Confucianism that advocated that everyone, regardless of social background, shared the same moral instinct as that of the sage and thus could attain the moral perfection of sagehood—was generally viewed as the most radical development of Wang Yang-ming (1472–1529) learning. Founded by Wang Ken (1483–1541) in northern Kiangsu, the T’ai-chou school was, as Huang Tsung-hsi observed, "popular everywhere under heaven" in late Ming.

Examining both ideas and activities of the T’ai-chou scholars in T’ai-chou and eastern Kiangsi, the major centers of the T’ai-chou school, this paper explores the factors that contributed to the flourishing of the school during the late Ming. First, this study investigates what new ideas were developed and how they reinforced the school’s mission to maintain the vitality of their movement. Second, the paper looks into the actions of the T’ai-chou scholars—how they adapted to the accelerated transformations of their time in order to proselytize their ideal. Through their works and deeds, the T’ai-chou scholar-activists transformed Wang Yang-ming’s liang-chin (innate knowledge) into the fresh concept of liang-hsin (conscience) that spread among the audiences in lecture meetings, and created a vibrant movement of Yang-ming learning among the common people. Though the T’ai-chou school seems to have disappeared after the Ming, the concept of liang-chih, or its popular form, liang-hsin, continued to thrive and is a part of today’s common language of all Chinese. Late Ming thought is not only historically significant but also a living history.


Session 57: Bone, Bronze, and Bamboo: Divination and the New/Old Guicang Manual

Organizer and Chair: Constance A. Cook, Lehigh University

Discussant: Sarah Allan, Dartmouth College

The discovery in 1993 of a new divination manual in a Qin period tomb near the old capital of Chu in Jiangling, Hubei, has stimulated new research in ancient Chinese divination—a field once dominated by studies of Shang period oracle bones and the Yijing (accepted by many to be of an early Zhou date). This new manual (consisting of 394 bamboo strips and fragments representing two copies), is now identified as the Guicang mentioned in later texts. Like the earliest layer of the Yijing, it consists of hexagrams, the names of the 53 different hexagrams, and an omen text. Unlike the transmitted version of the Yijing, the hexagrams are represented by an ancient numbering system found also on earlier bone, bronze, and bamboo texts. Even more startling, the mythological and historical events used as omens in the text are completely different from those in the Yijing. Questions of dating, textual transmission, method, use, and interpretation will be examined in this panel.

The Structure and Schools of the Guicang

Xing Wen, Peking University

The Guicang, which might be translated as "The Book of Concealment," was attributed as a divinatory classic of the Shang Dynasty in early China, and thus supposedly pre-dated the better known Zhouyi or Yijing (The Book of Changes). However, the scattered citations of the Guicang in received tradition which were edited as "reconstituted redactions" (jiben), have been considered forgeries for centuries. This misunderstanding ended with the discovery of bamboo slip versions of the Guicang from a Qin tomb in 1993.

In this paper, I will re-examine and clarify some basic textual issues of the Guicang using both the excavated materials and received texts. I will argue that the reconstituted redactions misrepresented the true textual structure of the classic. I will analyze connections between different schools of the Guicang and the extant Guicang chapter divisions and hexagram names. Besides exploring textual characteristics of early Chinese divinatory classics, I will discuss the reconstruction of a critical edition of the Guicang and how best to read the text.

Some Observations on Early Milfoil Divination

Stephen Lee Field, Trinity University

My analysis will begin with a look at a bone inscription dating from the late Shang or early Zhou, unearthed at the Zhou homeland of Qishan. It contains a six-digit numerical string, followed by a sentence of six Chinese characters. Apparently the record of a milfoil divination, the sentence is most likely either the diviner’s counsel based on the number cast by milfoil, or an omen text cited by the diviner which corresponds to that particular number. In order to further anchor this text in the early development of milfoil divination, I will compare it to fragments of the Guicang found in the Qin tomb at Wangjiatai. Then I will look closely at a bone-cracking ritual recorded in the Zuozhuan. Finally, I will compare all of the above records with the standard text format of the Zhouyi.

From Bone to Bamboo: Sacrificial Vessels and the Divination Event

Constance A. Cook, Lehigh University

This paper will examine the role of Zhou religion in transferring the divination record from bone to bamboo. Numerical hexagrams link the recording of divination events on Shang and Zhou oracle bones, Western Zhou bronze vessels, and Warring States period bamboo texts—yet the texts themselves reflect the concerns of radically changed societies. Although attention will be focused on the relationship of the divination event to the manufacture and use of Zhou sacrificial vessels—particularly those with inscriptions—inferences about the nature of the event itself will be drawn from the earlier and later divination texts. Finally, the paper will comment on the formation of the Guicang manual.

Dicing and Divination in Early China

Mark Edward Lewis, Cambridge University

One striking feature of the Wangjiatai tomb in which the Guicang was discovered was the placing inside the coffin of implements including a diviner’s board, sixty bamboo counters, and twenty-three dice. While there is no proof that these dice were used in association with the text, the fact that they were six-sided and privileged the numbers "one" and "six" suggests a link with the numerical hexagrams found in the Guicang and other recently discovered hexagram texts. This linking of dice with the hexagrams suggests several interesting arguments regarding divination in early China.

First, the possibility that dice were used to generate hexagrams, along with the construction of hexagrams as sets of numbers, indicates the importance of numbers in the interpretation of hexagrams and links them to other types of divination based on the manipulation of numerical series or sets.

Second, the link of dice to hexagrams hints at an association with the game liubo, which also used dice and sometimes was a means of divination. Links between liubo and hexagrams are suggested in Han depictions of the game, and the "Bo Divination Chart" discovered at Yinwan strengthens this link.

Finally, dice have been employed for divination in many cultures, including Tibet and ancient Greece. The Greek case is particularly suggestive, as indicated in the myths of Palamedes who was variously the inventor of dice, divination, and writing. The discoveries at Wangjiatai suggest that these domains also overlapped in ancient China.


Session 58: In the Service of the Nation: Changing Views on History, Music, and Family in Late Imperial and Early Modern China

Organizer and Chair: Hung-yok Ip, Oregon State University

Discussant: Don C. Price, University of California, Davis

What has been commonly known as "modern China" is constructed on two ruptures: the end of the imperial system in 1911 and the New Culture Movement in the 1920s. Both have been defining moments in the birth of the modern Chinese nation-state. Being the "other" of modern China, the late Qing is frequently depicted as a period of decline, despondency, and traditionalism. It is considered as a time when the "imperial tradition" was still dominant, and the "feudalistic" system was inhibiting the efforts to modernize the country. From different angles, this panel calls into question this picture of the late Qing. It examines some lost visions of modernity in that period, and evaluates the possibilities for having a decentralized nation-state in China. It stresses important links before and after the 1911 Revolution, and questions the purported novelty of the New Culture iconoclasts.

There are four papers in this panel. Comparing the ways late Qing intellectuals and May Fourth intellectuals used the concept of "feudalism" (fengjian), Viren Murthy argues that the democratic potential of the late imperial concept of feudalism was lost in anti-traditionalism. Through analyzing regional music publications labeled as "national music" (guoyue), Frederic Lau shows how indigenous forms of music performance and instruments were appropriated as modern forms of national music. By examining the dilemmas that Wu Yu faced in his family life, Kristin Stapleton uncovers the complex reasons for his fleeting iconoclasm. Focusing on women’s physical education, Denise Gimpel shows us how the discourse on women’s bodies in the late Qing was absorbed into the discourse on the nation in the 1920s.

Fengjian, Feudalism, and the Construction of the Modern Chinese Nation-State

Viren Murthy, University of Chicago

Today most scholars of China think that feudalism and modernity are antithetical. In general, people believe that feudalism represents the hierarchical and the autocratic, while modernity entails equality and institutions associated with the modern nation-state. Historians who write within this framework often describe the late Qing intellectuals as unable to overcome the force of feudal and traditional values. In this paper, I question the above conceptual paradigm by examining the way in which intellectuals in the late Qing attempted to combine feudal (fengjian) principles with the modern goal of creating a constitutional nation-state. I then evaluate the manner in which May Fourth intellectuals reinterpreted the concept of feudalism in the early Republican period.

In the late Qing, reformers such as Liang Qichao and Huang Zunxian advocated feudalism as part of their vision of a decentralized nation-state, in which local people would have more decision-making power. On this interpretation, feudalism signifies a method of democratization. However, in their desire to reject all things traditional, the May Fourth intellectuals rejected the idea of feudalism as well. From the perspectives of both the Marxists and the Liberals of this period, feudalism begins to signify the past, the outdated, or the premodern. Hence the democratic potential of the late imperial concept of feudalism was lost. As a result, May Fourth intellectuals endorsed a centralized model of the nation-state, which the communists eventually put into practice more successfully.

Between Sentiment and Coercion: Wu Yu (1872–1949) on the Chinese Family System

Kristin Stapleton, University of Kentucky

For a few years during the May Fourth era, Wu Yu enjoyed nationwide fame for his powerful attacks on the Chinese family system, published in New Youth. After that, according to the editor of a recent edition of his works, Wu Yu "dropped out of the ranks of the revolution." In consequence, the details of his life and career are little known. This paper examines the formative experiences of Wu Yu’s youth, including his family history as well as his formal education in Chengdu and Japan, to illuminate his decision to put himself at the head of the forces attacking "Confucius and Company" in the 1910s and explain his rapid eclipse in the 1920s. Wu Yu’s detailed diaries from the 1920s and 1930s document the dilemmas of family life in an era of considerable cultural upheaval. Dissatisfaction with his own daughters is reflected in his last public statements on families, which critique neo-Confucian thought for the centrality it gives to family relations. Instead, Wu Yu argued that "small" (nuclear) families and the Japanese model of "virtuous wife, wise mother" should be promoted to create a harmonious community and a strong nation. As a frustrated father, Wu Yu may be said to have theoretically "rescued" a form of patriarchy from neo-Confucianism, but his daughters’ notoriety sabotaged his attempts to define family ideals for a modern China.

Exercising Women’s Rights

Denise Gimpel, Philipps-Universitat

The paper will try to explore the movement to promote women’s physical education in China at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. The aims are threefold: (1) to identify and assess the participants in the discussion of women’s physical condition and their motivations for it; (b) to place this interest within the international context of a growing worldwide concern with the status and activities of women and to place the reception of (perceived) Western ideas about women into its historical context; (c) to show that, within the particular historical context of this movement, the ideas expounded and the activities undertaken were both modern and progressive.

The discourse on women’s bodies and the possibilities of women’s interventions in society of the late Qing was broader, livelier, and more colorful than the discussion of the "women’s question" (funue wenti) in the late 1910s. It was not restricted to "late-Qing feminism" a la Qiu Jin, and its frame of reference was neither narrowly national nor limited to the cultural referents that became the hallmarks of the "May Fourth Movement" (e.g., individualism, democracy). This discussion has been neglected to date due to the prevalence after 1919 of a new perception that not only placed women within a far more rigidly political context, but also increasingly called upon the very cultural referents that characterize the May Fourth period to (mis)judge all previous developments.

Nationalizing Sound in the Age of Modernity

Frederick Lau, University of Hawaii, Manoa

The May Fourth Movement ushered in an era in which many Chinese intellectuals condemned traditional Chinese culture as backward and stagnant, and valorized Western ideas and values as the main force behind the creation of an enlightened new nation. The production of new cultural movements and literary forms is generally viewed as an unqualified acceptance of Western ideals. This Western-based vision of modernity polarized the perceived difference between tradition and what it means to be new and modern, yet it also created an opportunity for many to actualize alternative visions of modernity and nationhood.

This paper explores how modernity was envisioned and produced against the privileging of Western knowledge as the sole source of Chinese modernity after the May Fourth Movement. In particular, I investigate how this historic ideological shift played out in the field of music. I examine the notion of guoyue (national music) as seen from the viewpoints of musicians of the time and the ways this genre was being created and presented. By focusing on the writings and musical innovations of Shanghai-based musician Zheng Zhiwen, I argue that alternative ways of establishing a modernized music were realized by restructuring traditional repertory and performing practices. By juxtaposing Zheng’s vision with a handful of regional music publications labeled as national music, I demonstrate the ambiguity of the term guoyue and its entanglement with the idea of nationalism and modernity. These musical productions contradict the notion of modernity as a radical break with tradition and suggest both continuity and fusion.


Session 59: Reevaluating Reform: Rhetoric, Politics, and the Personal in Shaping Republican China

Organizer: Rebecca Nedostup, Purdue University

Chair and Discussant: Mary B. Rankin, Independent Scholar

Reform, in every realm of life, was to make Republican China into a modern nation-state. Yet its success or failure turned out to depend less on high-minded ideals and able planning, and more on intrigue, personal gain, and the political astuteness of China’s new citizens. The details of how reform was articulated and enacted reveal a complicated realm of interaction among players who regularly crossed the putative boundary between "state" and "society." Rather than focusing on the extremes of political hegemony on the one hand, and pure resistance on the other, this panel aims to show how actors inside and outside of government appropriated the language and structure of reform, reshaping the process in unforeseen ways.

The papers cover four areas of reform in the Beiyang and Nanjing eras. Shareholders of the Bank of China in the Beiyang period became adept at using financial reform to further political intrigue. Following the rise of the Nationalists, Shanghai education bureaucrats attempted to balance orders from Nanjing against resistance from private vocational school administrators, and in the process transformed and redefined national education policies. The new capital itself became the object of contention between visionary urban planners, high-level officials, and everyday administrators. Finally, protests from blind fortunetellers and dispossessed monks forced Kuomintang officials to reassess their ideas about the place of popular religion in a modern Chinese society. A single thread connects these diverse subjects: the development of reform as a rhetorical and political tool, rather than simply as an end in itself.

Writing Politics Back into the Historical Narrative of the Bank of China in the Beiyang Period

Georgia A. Mickey, Columbia University

The standard narrative of the Bank of China focuses on the bank’s mission to modernize Chinese banking and finance. Emphasis during the Beiyang period (1912–1927) is on the bank’s efforts to become independent from the central government in Beijing. The narrative claims that the Bank of China finally achieved that independence in the early 1920s, only to lose it again when the bank was nationalized in 1935. This telling of the story not only depoliticizes the history of the Bank of China, but it also perpetuates the judgment that the Bank of China failed in its modernizing mission when it cooperated with Beiyang period governments. An alternative to this narrative is to acknowledge that as one of China’s de facto central banks during this period the Bank of China had little alternative but to participate in the turbulent politics of the Beiyang period. This participation was, however, not always unwilling. Behind the rhetoric of reform that they skillfully employed in the popular press of the day—rhetoric that has perpetuated the narrative that valorizes the separation of the Bank of China from politics—shareholders and employees of the Bank of China were adept at using the political environment to further not only personal ambitions but also broader political alliances. At the same time, their activities strengthened the bank’s position in the marketplace. Instead of writing politics out of the historical narrative, we should understand that politics were integral to the Bank of China’s pioneering role in building China’s modern banking industry.

Private Vocational Secondary Schools in Shanghai, 1932–1937

Hongming Liang, Washington University, St. Louis

The goal of political education (the so-called "partification of education") changed dramatically in less than four years after the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) swept to power in 1928. By 1932 the central government in Nanking promulgated policy directives to rapidly promote vocational education on all levels and in turn to discourage the continuation and the expansion of the regular track schools. These policies were most relevant for students and school administrators at the secondary level. This new policy represented the ideal as well as limitation of the Kuomintang. First, the central government saw vocational education as a vital component in the greater goal of developing the Chinese economy. Second, they believed that by turning students away from the more dangerous disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, incessant student protests (often against the Kuomintang) would subside. And finally, the decision to promote vocational education in the 1930s was made with little consultation with the localities that were primarily responsible for the regulation of all schools below universities. This paper will discuss the impact of the national policy on the Shanghai Bureau of Education. Founders of new private secondary schools as well as proprietors of venerable existing private secondary schools were keenly aware of the new national policy. They were also aware, however, of the continued preference by students and parents for an education designed for promotion into the universities. The Bureau of Education’s task was to balance the interests of its local constituents without breaking with the national policy.

The Features of the Modernization of Nanjing City

Ling Luo, Nanjing University

The modernization of Nanjing City was deeply influenced by Western culture. But as a capital of a country with an Eastern civilization, to overemphasize occidentalization would have been improper. The planners of Nanjing City therefore selected the clever method of "zhong xue wei ti, xi xue wei yong." This method was embodied in two ways. One is seen from the outside—for example, in the architecture of the city. The other is seen from the inside. Thus the noumenon of the development of Nanjing shows features of the Chinese tradition, although the techniques of development came from Western countries.

In addition, governmental behavior greatly influenced the modernization of Nanjing. The establishment of local self-government and the perfection of its organization promoted the dual transformation of Nanjing—the creation of basic infrastructure and the reshaping of society. Local government began to pay attention to the fate of the city. The GMD central government also showed solicitude for the modernization of Nanjing, and put its mark on it. Thus Nanjing felt the influence of government actions much more than any other city.

As the capital of ten dynasties, Nanjing had a large number of buildings in the obvious style of the imperial family. These magnificent and splendid palaces occupied the best spots in the city. Although in the modern period the palatial spaces were reduced and the market spaces enlarged, and temples declined and workshops prospered, the landscape of Nanjing City still maintained a uniform Confucian idea of city planning. The old city coexisted with the new official buildings that occupied the main roads, and the markets and workshops scattered in everywhere.

The Uses of Superstition: Religion and the Nationalist Campaign to Reform Chinese Society

Rebecca Nedostup, Purdue University

When the Nationalist government at Nanjing (1927–1937) pledged to "destroy superstition," KMT leaders had more in mind than simply rearranging China’s cultural priorities. They intended a wholesale restructuring of society. Party politicians assumed the role of tutors to the incompletely formed citizens of China, and they saw religious practice as a natural place to begin lessons. The Nationalists hoped to defuse the practical power of religion by attacking its physical manifestations, whether it be mediums and diviners or City God temples and landholding monasteries. They then would be able to remove the matter to a cultural realm, where rational thought could sort out the difference between acceptable modern beliefs and embarrassing and dangerous superstition.

It was not long, however, before unexpected protests exposed the deficiencies of the modernist regime that the Nationalists had envisioned. Blind fortune-tellers and makers of spirit money, marked as expendable symbols of the corrupt old society, not only turned out to wield economic clout, but were able to deploy the KMT’s own ideological weapons in their defense. Temple seizures precipitated mob riots and anxious petitions from religious leaders, and further produced thorny property disputes in which the crusade against superstition simply masked attempts to turn a profit or settle a grudge. Such examples from the social history of the KMT anti-superstition campaigns demonstrate the practical limits of the regime’s authority. They also reveal the contradictions inherent in a government that seeks both to represent society and to transform it.


Session 60: Chinese Cyberspaces: Technological Changes and Political Responses

Organizer and Chair: Eberhard Sandschneider, Free University, Berlin

Discussant: Zhang Junhua, Free University, Berlin

Keywords: Internet, CCP, stability, political control, technological change, modernization.

Internet technology may become one of the most prominent symbols of the CCP’s own mouse-trapping: On the one hand, it offers a major key to economic development and prosperity. On the other hand, attempts in regulating Internet access have only created doubtful results, thus aggravating the Party’s problems in stabilizing its political rule. After more than two decades of successful economic transformation, the CCP is haunted by the specters of this very success: pluralization, individualization, and the growing exposure to global influences have contributed to the Party’s loss of political control. These trends will be further aggravated by the impact of technological changes primarily in the fields of communication, media and advanced IT.

The attempts of the PRC to formulate and implement an Internet policy may be regarded as one of the most typical problems of institutional and political adaptation to challenges of technological change. After hesitating and temporarily focusing on scientific objectives, the PRC has been implementing an active Internet policy since the mid-1990s in order to keep up with the tremendous development of communication technologies. Meanwhile the number of users increased from 2.1 million in 1999 to approximately 27 million in 2001.

However, given our actual information about its practical use, the Internet is right now a potential threat for continued authoritarian rule at best. It may increase the dangers of destabilization because it offers access to free political information (while the overwhelming interest of present users, however, still seems to be concentrated on non-political issues); an unrestricted opportunity for comparing lifestyles on a really global basi, comparison being a major element of political dissatisfaction and ensuing social upheaval; potential access to uncontrolled political communication; and considerable opportunities for building organizational capacities among opponents of official policies (the crackdown on Falungong was just a first example of the Party’s fear of such capacities).

Political science has been comparatively slow in taking up this new type of challenge to political stability. Western analyses of China’s Internet development have stressed four major aspects: Internet has been discussed first, as a new forum for activities of political dissidents at least in China’s urban centers, second as a major factor of promoting economic development, third as an indicator for China’s opening to the outside world, and finally, as an instrument of possible change in China’s political system. Partly overlapping, research within China has first of all concentrated on problems of external impacts and a possible "Sinification" of this new technology. A second major issue is concerned with possible political changes, and finally there is an intensive discussion on how the Chinese state could and should protect itself against destabilizing influences.

For all these different approaches, the most obvious and most important question, of course, is: can the Internet and non-democratic rule co-exist? While the similarly obvious answer to this question seems to be simply "yes," it would mean to neglect a second, and perhaps even more important set of questions. What will be the political reaction towards the party’s loss of its information monopoly? Can the Party meet one of the most basic challenges to its still monopolized rule? And what could be a possible strategy for successfully containing the effects of political contamination through an uncontrollable Internet? As all major technological inventions, information technology may have positive, as well as negative consequences.

These consequences will be the subject of panel discussions from four integrated perspectives: government control and political response to broadening information access (Harwit); Political control and local effects/use of e-government (Hachigian); policies and strategies of telecommunication infrastructure development (Tan); and economic potentials and consequences for China’s modernization (Thomas).

Political Implications and Social Impact of the Internet in China

Eric Harwit, University of Hawaii

Internet use in China has grown at a tremendous pace over the past decade, and as of mid-2001 there are more than 27 million users in the country. Analyses in academic as well as popular publications suggest the result of large information flows will be social and political liberalization and perhaps even rapid moves toward civil society formation and democratic institutions. This paper suggests that, in the short run, the Internet is not necessarily a force to bring major social or political transformation in the PRC. Furthermore, government control efforts may rely more on self-censorship by users than on heavy-handed restrictions that would curb beneficial effects of the network on the Chinese economy and educational system.

This paper begins by examining government control over the physical data pipelines and network content. It explores the management and revenue flows from the information highway and political efforts to directly capture profits generated at various levels of the network system. The essay then considers ways the government seeks to regulate the content that appears on Chinese computer screens. It discusses cases in which the government seeks to intimidate users of the network system, and ways in which citizens can bypass government blocks on certain types of web content. It then examines user demographics to compile a profile of the typical Internet user in today’s PRC.

The paper concludes that the political drive for control over Internet revenue and general network content is muted by a desire to maximize the broader economic and education features of the network that would benefit the entire nation. However, key variables such as user self-censorship and, in the short run, user demographics will act to limit the potentially socially destabilizing effects of the information network.

Political Control and Political Use: Local E-Government in China

Nina Hachigian, Pacific Council on International Policy

Analyses of the political effects of the Internet in China are polarizing. One school, the liberal "ICT idealists," argues that authoritarian governments must fear the empowerment of citizens through information and communication technologies. As with the printing press, fax machine, and other technologies before it, the Internet will shift the balance of power to groups who would challenge the status quo by allowing them, in particular, to organize and to find out about other political systems. Political change, if not democracy, is an inevitable result, they argue.

Proponents of the alternative school, who think of themselves as "realists," note the lack of evidence for this hypothesis of political change, argue that few Chinese are interested in "subversive" information, and focus on the ways in which ICTs can actually strengthen authoritarian regimes.

There are two critical local phenomena, which these schools do not address, that will be examined. First is change in availability of news about local events within China. Perhaps it is not political information per se that is threatening to the Communist leadership, but the truth of events in day to day life, particularly information about local official wrongdoing, that is now more available.

Second, the above analyses ignore the use of ICTs by local governments. Especially in wealthy, coastal cities, officials are embracing "e-government." Many claim to want to bring "the government to the people" and to make government more transparent, offering mayors’ e-mailboxes and online procurement. What will be the effect of these initiatives?

Building Infrastructure for Chinese Cyberspaces: Government Policy and Institutional Reform

Tan Zixiang, University of Syracuse, New York

The Internet has emerged as a powerful communication and commerce tool worldwide, including in China. It is recognized that China has attempted to implement an active Internet policy in order to balance the positive and negative implications of the growing Internet.

This paper concentrates on China’s efforts in building its telecommunications infrastructure for its cyberspaces. The scheme is to examine how and why China has adopted a government-intervention approach regarding its telecommunications infrastructure.

The following are the focuses: theoretical debate on China’s government intervention approach—freer market, more rules; China’s market entry policy—ownership concerns; government-operated institutional reform—coordinated restructuring and competition; and the influences of external forces—foreign direct investment and WTO membership.

Economic Effects and Beneficiaries: An Outline of E-Commerce Perspectives in China

Simona Thomas, Free University, Berlin

This paper analyses the potential contribution of the Internet and the presumed effects of its commercial application within the People’s Republic of China. E-commerce has expanded exponentially over the past five years and is widely expected to continue its development rapidly. Contrary to this single and possibly over-optimistic prediction, a more realistic analysis of the effects in this field has to cover a wide range of questions concerning the current and emerging framework of e-commerce development in China: What are the major driving forces for e-commerce in China? Who are the economic beneficiaries of the technical innovation and Internet revolution? Are the opportunities of e-commerce in China fully exploited? What are the profound impacts on individual sectors of the economy (growth, productivity, investment)? How are governance aspects developing regarding, e.g., consumer protection, fulfillment, delivery, security, intellectual property, taxes, costs etc.? What are the expected impacts on competition and competition policy, trade policy and regulatory issues, social issues, employment, and labor market policy?

The paper tries to answer these questions from the perspective of foreign companies in China, especially IT, telecommunications, brick-and-mortar, and their specific role of China’s e-commerce development (e.g., by using new business models). Based on this analysis the paper concludes by offering competing approaches to a deepened understanding of China’s performance in the global information economy and society.


Session 61: Individual Papers: Agents of Change and Tricks of Memory in the Modern Chinese City

Organizer and Chair: David Strand, Dickinson College

Huang Yanpei’s Vision of Modern China

Thomas D. Curran, Sacred Heart University

At the New England regional conference of the AAS last fall I delivered a paper on the fate of Chinese vocational education during the Republican era. It attempted to apply arguments made initially by others, such as Prasenjit Duara and Ho Xiaoming, to the effect that twentieth-century China must be viewed as a complex organism harboring some cultural elements that were atavistic along with some that were quite novel.

The paper argued that modern educational reforms were often met by a skeptical public. As many reformers themselves complained, some people resisted them because they violated conventional expectations regarding the proper place of educated men. Others, however, rejected them due to a very realistic assessment as to the costs and benefits of modern education in the context of an employment opportunity structure that was still essentially pre-modern.

Feedback I received from that paper encouraged me to return to the early writings of Huang Yanpei, leader of the vocational educators, and consider the sort of national culture that he imagined would be the product of modern education. What, it asks, was the image of China that he saw when he projected his efforts into the future? It will be noted that his views changed during the course of the Republican period. It will also be argued, however, that there were some enduring threads, especially, a profound patriotism and faith in a developmental approach that shunned notions of class struggle and focused upon economic transformation through cultural reform.

God’s New Medium: Radio and the Experience of Christian Conversion in 1930s Shanghai

Carlton Benson, Pacific Lutheran University

In 1940 Dr. Joseph King, an American medical missionary in Shanghai, published a collection of twenty-six testimonials produced by Chinese radio listeners who were converted to Christianity over the airwaves. Each had suffered from serious health problems and tuned in to "Medicine and Hygiene," Dr. King’s nightly radio program on XMHD, seeking medical advice. Nevertheless, each was converted to Christianity by Dr. King’s religious message, allegedly cured of various ailments, and subsequently invited to visit the studio of XMHD and personally deliver a speech relating his or her conversion experience to fellow listeners. These speeches became Dr. King’s published testimonials and open another window into the nascent world of radio broadcasting in the 1930s. This paper will examine these testimonials to shed light on two basic questions. First, who listened to the radio during these early days, in what context, and what did they hear? I will suggest that a diverse audience listened under a variety of circumstances to miracle tales, which—like the most popular forms of radio entertainment—in some ways belied a progressive audience of sophisticated city dwellers. And second, what impact did this new technology have on Chinese society? Did it alter people’s lives in unsuspected ways, or was radio a safe new "tool" (yong) with which to preserve the Chinese "essence" (ti)? I will suggest that a powerful new medium was indeed used by missionaries to penetrate Chinese households and introduce a foreign religion, but it was also used creatively by listeners to solve their age-old problems.

How to Train and Control a Banker? The Corruption Cases of the Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank, 1920s–1930s

Pui-Tak Lee, University of Hong Kong

Banking history is one of the under-explored areas of modern Chinese history, as archives or research materials are not open to researchers for decades, and scholars do not really pay attention to the topic. Previous study mostly focused on the documentation of materials; how bankers associated with the government politically; how a bank functioned as a monetary and financial organ economically. However, microstudy or sociological study of banking employees such as tellers, cashiers, and managers has rarely been approached.

This paper will be an economic and sociological study of banking employees of modern China with illustration of several corruption cases of the Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank during the period of the 1920s and 1930s. In this paper, several questions will be discussed. First, how can banking employees be trained both technically and ethnically? Second, what was the training and staffing system of the bank and what problems occurred to these systems, which the bank relied upon. Third, how did the senior management level react to the corruption cases, in terms of accounts auditing, staffing structure, and employee guarantor system? Fourth, what was the daily life of a teller, cashier, and manager in urban cities like Shanghai, Hankow and Tientsin during the 1920s? How were they dazzled by the gaiety and splendor of the metropolitan world?

"Shanghai Nostalgia": The Colonial Past as the Prologue for Change?

Tianshu Pan, Harvard University

This paper is an ethnographic examination of "Shanghai Nostalgia," a multifaceted phenomenon that characterizes the cultural scene of post-socialist Shanghai and has affected its people in virtually all the spheres of social life. It asks how far the emergence of "Shanghai Nostalgia" as a cultural industry answers the strategic need of the local people for rediscovering, reevaluating, and reinventing colonial Shanghai in the local and global contexts of social and political change. I argue that as a reconstruction of the collective memory of a pre-communist colonial past (1843–1949), the imagined "Shanghai Nostalgia" not only helps the Shanghainese make sense of their present, but also serves as a possible source of inspiration to facilitate the ongoing transition toward a late socialist, civil society. During my presentation, I intend to use official historical accounts, local gazettes, individual life stories, unofficial histories of pre-1949 Shanghai, and personal anecdotes. This paper seeks to provide a fresh perspective for the ethnographic investigation of the effects of colonialism on the life of the local people and the production of nostalgia in the post-Deng era.


Session 75: Beijing on and off Center: Imagination and Construction in a Transnational Capital

Organizer: Ju-chen Chen, Rutgers University

Chair: Terry Woronov, University of Chicago

Discussant: Mary Ann O’Donnell, Independent Scholar

Keywords: China, anthropology, transnationalism, social geography, gender.

Beijingers—and indeed most Chinese—think of the capital as more than just the political center of China; they also understand it as the nation’s cosmopolitan cultural and intellectual center, and a model of modern development that other cities in China hope to emulate. This vision is reinforced by efforts to seek recognition of the capital as a city of global importance, considered central rather than peripheral to world affairs. Rather than adopting wholesale this axiomatic premise, the papers in this panel consider Beijing on and off center, by examining how the capital city is imagined and constructed through a variety of social practices. A double focus on imagination and construction allows panelists to consider the political, economic, and cultural processes that predicate the ongoing production of Beijing as the "center" of China. Based on ethnographic research, panel papers address a wide range of sites, including Internet use, education, transnational marketing, and the art world. Each paper analyzes the kinds and intensity of social labor—and its gendered divisions—that shape the Beijing imaginary. Taken together, these papers suggest the extent to which transnationalism simultaneously requires and enables specific forms of local practice.

To encourage audience discussion, we propose a new format for this panel. Rather than reaching specific conclusions about the meaning of the capital, each participant will raise a series of discussion questions so as to open a forum to include views from anthropology, sociology, history, women’s studies, and literary studies.

Emerging from Beijing: Transnational Professionals and Local Communities

Ju-chen Chen, Rutgers University

This paper draws upon research on transnationalism and addresses differences within local societies affected by transnational imagination. Based on ethnographic research with transnational professionals, working class families, and internal immigrants, I examine the construction of transnational professional communities in Beijing, with an emphasis on class reproduction. I focus on Beijing as a social space of local, national, and transnational communities.

In contrast to, for example, Malay women workers in Japanese factories portrayed by Aihwa Ong, the subjects of this paper participate in transnational capitalism as managers of giant multinational companies. For these professionals, who are world travelers and have extensive experience managing foreign capital, Beijing is less a characteristic capital of China than a hub of transnational marketing. They strive to create and to live a life similar to their counterparts in New York, Tokyo, etc. Nevertheless, Beijing is still a locality of China and these professionals’ lives are locked up with the other local residents and with the legacy of socialism. Self-positioning in transnational societies not only provides them with new identities among other Beijingers but also transforms the Beijing imaginary. I look closely at an example of a transforming relationship in marriage to demonstrate how transnational imagination penetrates various social domains and works on creating social differences, and to elucidate discussion, including: how does the increasing visibility of transnational professionals in Beijing affect foreigners’ imagination of Beijing as the capital of China and other Beijingers’ self-positioning as residents of the capital?

Virtual Motherhood: Parenting Discussion Groups on the Internet in China

Gan Wang, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

In the recent years, there have emerged some active parenting discussion groups on the Internet in China. Whether being professionals, white-collar, or homemakers, most of the participants of the discussion groups are young mothers with higher education and income to have access to the Internet. Taking pride in their new identities, they not only exchange experiences in their new lives through the Internet, but also organize various kinds of activities in real life.

This study focuses on two mothers’ discussion groups: the Sina Childrearing Discussion Group and the Yaolan Early Education Group. Research methods include retrieving popular discussion issues, reviewing different opinions, participant observation in the discussions on the Internet and in activities organized by the "net-moms," and interviewing key informants (including seasoned "net-moms" as well as website organizers). Preliminary research shows interesting contrast between the two discussion groups. Sina mothers are busy networking among themselves, weaving webs of "faked" kinship or even jokingly "arranging" their children’s marriages. Yaolan mothers are more interested in distributing "modern" childrearing knowledge, which often comes from the West through Chinese mothers living overseas, returned students, and Chinese young mothers married to foreigners.

This paper tries to answer the following questions. How does the ongoing process of globalization interfere with the views of motherhood of this young generation of Chinese women? In what way does the Internet facilitate the expression of their new identity? Are the social relationships in the virtual space copying the relationships in real life, or are they are making any differences? What does it mean to "be in the center in a fast-changing world" while childrearing practices in Beijing are influenced by ways in New York, and in turn, are influencing ways in other provinces in China?

Departure Beijing: Trafficking in Contemporary Chinese Art

Sasha Su-Ling Welland, University of California, Santa Cruz

This paper draws upon anthropological research on contemporary Chinese art worlds as social networks of people and objects that flow between art academies, state bureaucracies, independent artist villages, museums, and galleries. In a departure from the tradition of examining expressive culture within a single, culturally circumscribed field, I analyze how "Chinese avant-garde art" emerges as the cultural product of a multi-sited circuit that crosses national borders. This paper focuses on Beijing as one point along the circuit.

Artists from all over China flock to Beijing, believing in the capital as a cultural center, often setting up collective residence in the suburban and rural outskirts of the city. While many of them view Beijing as a place where entry into the international art market is possible, they also struggle against the political conservatism of local government, viewed as less permissive of artistic expression than other places in China. At the same time, foreign-owned galleries located in Beijing attract overseas buyers; and curators from abroad conduct stopover tours of local studios hoping to discover talent to feature in international contemporary art exhibitions.

Through ethnographic research with artists, gallery managers, and curators during their residence, sometimes short-term, sometimes long-term, in Beijing, I consider where the city figures along imagined continuums of rural-urban and local-national-international. Investigation of this social geography and its gendered dimensions demonstrates how participants in these networks conceive of art as part of the cultural debate about China’s condition as a society caught between the logics of socialism and transnational capitalism.

Imagining the Nation, Imagining the Capital

Terry Woronov, University of Chicago

Every June lst, International Children’s Day, first graders across China are ritually inducted into the Little Red Pioneers, the Communist Party organization for children aged 7–14. For children in Beijing, however, the ceremonies associated with Pioneer membership take on a particular resonance, since they are conducted at Tiananmen Square and other spaces identified as the symbolic center of the Chinese nation. Broadcast widely to the rest of the country, these events cast Beijing’s children as prototypical representatives of the nation’s future.

Based on fieldwork research in elementary schools in Beijing, this paper looks closely at these and other "rituals of the nation" in which children are participants, to examine the production of national subjects for China’s future. Assuming, pace Anderson, that nations are constituted as imagined communities, this paper seeks to understand how children learn to imagine the national community they are becoming a part of and how this imagination is linked to the space they inhabit. The discussion questions raised by this research include: as Beijing’s leaders aggressively seek to make the capital a city central to the global economy, how are the rules for imagining the nation changing; and how do children inhabit a space that is both the center of the Chinese nation and an increasingly global city?


Session 76: Lost Voices in Language Reform and Chinese Literature in Modern China

Organizer and Chair: Kai-wing Chow, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Discussant: Theodore D. Huters, University of California, Los Angeles

In recent studies of modern Chinese literature, attempts have been made to challenge the one-dimensional and triumphant narrative of the "New Literature." Predicated upon a categorical distinction between old and new, and traditional and modern, the "New Literature" is presented as a "Western" literature transplanted into China to replace the outmoded home grown writings. But, as David Der-wei Wang and Lydia Liu have pointed out, this linear progressive narrative of the "New Literature" suppresses many diverse voices that are vital to Chinese modernity.

This panel attempts to recover four suppressed voices that have never been examined. Offering a major revision of the interpretation of Lu Xun, Lung-kee Sun discusses the lost voice in the writer’s dismal view of the masses and the decadent influences he received from Europe. Reexamining the Butterfly’s silence in the history of modern Chinese literature, Jianhua Chen discusses the Butterfly writers’ lost voice in their insistence on writing in classical style (wenyan), which was rejected as not qualified for the new nation’s language. Focusing on the journal Xueheng (1922–1933), Zongqi Cai examines the thought of its editor, Wu Mi, who developed theories of culture and literature based on Irving Babbitt’s Neo-humanism to counter the Progressivism of the New Culture Movement. Reviewing the roots of the language reform in the early 20th century, Kai-wing Chow traces the complex process in which the peculiar view of the Protestant missionaries on the Chinese non-phonological writing system became the "orthodox" position of the New Culture intellectuals on their own language.

From Writing for God to Writing for the Nation: Writing Reform in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period

Kai-wing Chow, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

It has been widely known that drastic change in Chinese language took place in the early twentieth century. The leaders of the New Culture Movement, like Hu Shi and Chen Duxiu, called for not only the substitution of the classical style (wenyan) with the vernacular (baihua), but also the eventual abolition of Chinese writing. They regarded the classical style as an obstacle to the creation of a national language, a communication and ideological system crucial to the survival of the Chinese nation. Missing in this picture, however, is the role that the Protestant missionaries played in creating a discourse on language reform in nineteenth-century China. Frustrated by the Chinese non-phonological writing system, the Protestant missionaries criticized the Chinese language for being an obstacle to introducing science and new knowledge. Some tried to develop methods to romanize the scripts; some simply called for the abolition of the writing system.

This paper examines the complex process in which the peculiar view of the missionaries about Chinese writing became the "orthodox" view of the New Culture intellectuals about their own writing system. It focuses on the thought of Zhang Binglin, Wu Zhihui, Hu Shi, and Fu Sinian. In particular, it will examine how leaders of the New Culture Movement exaggerated their contributions and roles in the language and literature reform movement, and how they failed to acknowledge the enormous change that had already taken place in literature and writing style from the late Ming to the late Qing.

Lu Xun: China’s First Proto-Modernist

Lung-kee Sun, University of Memphis

This paper attempts a major revision of the interpretation of Lu Xun, who has been officially enshrined in the narrative of China’s national liberation. He remains a national icon even after Mao has been deprived of that status. Official historiography also interprets his relentless attack on the Chinese heritage as "anti-feudal," and landed the pre-Marxist Lu Xun in the same category as the Russian "revolutionary democrats" of the 1860s. My contention is that Lu Xun was a fin-de-siècle thinker, who had a "degenerate" view of humankind, and of the "masses" in particular. His dark view of the Chinese Herd has been translated into a critique of the Chinese "national character."

In this paper I examine Lu Xun’s seminal essays published in 1908. In them, it is evident that he regarded himself as a partisan of the "new schools of thought" that had emerged in "late-nineteenth-century Europe," which he identified with the anarcho-individualist or anarcho-psychological tradition culminating in Nietzsche. He also tended to conflate the romantic icons of the early nineteenth century, namely, Byron and Pushkin, with the late-nineteenth-century decadent artist-rebel. While Lu Xun aimed at becoming the former, the national icon for the entire nation, he adopted the stance of the latter, the marginalized "outsider," or even the madman. These essays also revealed that Lu Xun was conducting a premature crusade against the modern mass culture epitomized in newspapers of popular circulation, even though modern mass culture was yet to be born in China.

The "Linguistic Turn" and the Butterfly Authors’ Resistance: The Literary Controversy between the New and Old Writers in 1920s Shanghai

Jianhua Chen, Harvard University

Since the late 1980s the attempt to "rewrite modern Chinese literary history" has called for an urgent inquiry into the modern canon and power relations in the formation of literary history. One major topic is the literary debate between the "new" and "old" writers in Shanghai in early 1920s. The debate concluded with the triumph of New Literature written in the vernacular that the May Fourth writers promoted, leaving the authors of Butterfly novels written in the classical style voiceless.

In investigating this debate in relation to issues of print culture and the public sphere, this paper focuses on several writers: Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Zheng Zhenduo, Yu Dafu, Bao Tianxiao, and Zhou Shoujuan. It aims to show how out of the debate emerged a May Fourth mode of literary discourse, which came to enshrine vernacular literature as the modern canon. Supported by a new print institution, this univocal and absolute discourse established a "system of exclusion," silencing other voices of modernity.

I further argue that the triumph of vernacular literature was directly affected by the movement to create a "national language." It was under the compound forces of the new literary movement and the national language movement that the Butterfly writers lost their battle. They were not simply "defeated" by the progress and liberal nature of new literature as historians conclude.

Rethinking Cultural and Literary History: Wu Mi’s Theories of Culture and Literature

Zong-qi Cai, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

In studying the new views on cultural and literary history in the first three decades of the twentieth century, scholars in both China and the West have focused their attention on those presented by New Culture advocates and largely neglected those put forward by their opponents. New Culture advocates do deserve our special attention as they did prevail and set the course of Chinese cultural and literary development at the time. However, it is wrong to neglect New Culture opponents. Although they failed miserably to influence the cultural and literary developments of the time as they wished, they left us with a large body of valuable writings on culture and literature. Many of these writings are far more systematic and theoretically sophisticated than those by their predecessors and opponents, and are therefore fully deserving of our careful reevaluation.

In this paper, I examine the writings by Wu Mi (1894–1978), the editor of the journal Xueheng (Critical Review), which was launched in 1922 to counter the radical New Culture Movement. In leading the challenge to the New Culture advocates’ evolutionist views of cultural and literary history, he skillfully adapted the Neo-humanist ideas of his teacher Irving Babbitt and developed his own systematic theories of culture and literature. His theories not only represent a major breakthrough in early twentieth–century intellectual history but also provide a great wealth of insights that are still valuable to our present endeavors to initiate balanced dialogues between the Chinese and Western cultures.


Session 77: Wings of Belief: Modern Chinese Religious Transnationalism

Organizer: C. Julia Huang, Harvard University

Chair: André Laliberté, University of Ottawa

Discussant: Robert P. Weller, Boston University

Keywords: contemporary, transnationalism, religion, China/ Taiwan.

The relation between religions and Chinese transnationalism has fallen into the cracks between a continuing focus on religious lives grounded in specific Chinese societies, on the one hand, and the recently burgeoning political-economic studies of Chinese transnationalism, on the other hand. Recent studies show that new religious movements from Taiwan and China, as well as Western Christian churches, have significantly expanded among the Chinese diasporan communities by taking advantage of, rekindling, or confronting the various links among different Chinese societies and overseas communities. These findings reveal the need for a comprehensive approach to religions and Chinese transnationalism that sheds lights on two major issues: the role of religions in the flexible identities of the Chinese transnationals whose lives straddle their original societies and their host societies; and Chinese religions’ capacity to confront or reaffirm the relevance of the territorial-based nation-state. More specifically, the session will address to what extent religions can be an "independent" mechanism in the formation of the flexible identities of the Chinese overseas, to what extent the practice of Chinese religions across political boundaries may have challenged or reified the relevance of the power of the state, and to what extent such transnational movements may have affected their original religious discourse and practice. This panel will address the key issues involved in the myriad of religions, identities, and states by showing how the border-crossing religious practices of the Chinese subjects may shape or be shaped by the structure of Chinese transnationalism.

Sacred or Profane? Ciji (Tzu-Chi) Transnationalism

C. Julia Huang, Harvard University

The Buddhist Compassionate-Relief Merit Society (Tzu-Chi or Ciji Gongde Hui) is a lay Buddhist movement with a monastic leadership that focuses on relieving human suffering through secular action. Ciji is presently the largest formal association in Taiwan with increasing overseas expansion: within the last decade overseas Chinese, especially emigrants from Taiwan, have formed branches in 28 countries, comprising 600 commissioners among the claimed 90,000 overseas members. Overseas devotees carry out Ciji missions by localizing Ciji’s Buddhist charitable practice in their host societies and by forging and sustaining ties with the headquarters in Taiwan, especially through various forms of so-called "homecomings." Why are overseas Chinese interested in Ciji? Is Ciji’s overseas expansion a change of religious identity among the Chinese overseas, or is it merely an ethnic association in Chinese transnationalism that frames its representation in religious terms?

Based on my field research in Taiwan and among Ciji branches in Boston, New York, Tokyo, and Malacca, this paper seeks to create a preliminary construction of the structure of Cij i transnationalism. It will analyze how four overlapping layers of identity—Buddhist, Ciji collective, Chinese ethnic, and Taiwanese—are present in Ciji’s initial local planting, appeal to local devotees, local missions, and proselytism, and it will examine the mechanisms maintaining local branches’ linkages to the headquarters. It will show that Ciji built its overseas expansion largely upon the resources pre-formulated in the Buddhist, Chinese, and Taiwanese identities. The transnational linkage to Taiwan it has forged remains a distinctive feature of the Ciji collectivity.

Religious Institutions as Norm Entrepreneurs? The Tzu Chi Foundation and Cross-Strait Relations

André Laliberté, University of Ottawa

The claim made in political science that norms and values can be diffused across cultures is tested with an examination of the charity activities of the Tzu Chi Foundation in the People’s Republic of China. Relying on constructivist theory, this paper looks into Tzu Chi as a "norm entrepreneur" and into its charitable activities as a means to diffuse its spiritual values in secularized societies abiding by neo-liberal or post-Marxist norms. Providing welfare services and promoting the value of compassion in Taiwan for more than 35 years, the charity organization has started to provide relief to victims of natural disasters in mainland China since 1992, but has not sought to promote its values across the strait. Summarized in the motto "to educate the rich and to help the poor," the social dimension of Tzu Chi’s theology contrasts significantly with the materialist epistemology that informs the views of the Chinese central government on social welfare. The paper identifies the cultural, historical, and social factors facilitating the transmission of norms across the Taiwan Strait, notes the political obstacles that prevent this diffusion, and outlines the strategies available to overcome them for Tzu Chi volunteers and those who benefit from their help. The paper then concludes that while the accommodating attitude adopted by Tzu Chi and local actors in China allows the performance of charity activities by the organization, it comes at a price: the "three no’s policy" of the organization’s "no propaganda, no religion, and no politics" precludes the transmission of norms.

Transnational Christian Proselytism among New Migrants from the PRC: Introductory Thoughts

Pál Daniel Nyíri, University of Oxford

Doing fieldwork among recent migrants from mainland China to Europe, I found that Christian proselytism influenced the social and business networks and further migration patterns of interviewees. I found also that organizations that conduct or coordinate missionary activities are "transnationally constituted." While most have their headquarters in the U.S., they often have branches on different continents, with members routinely shuttling between these and field mission trips. (This parallels current findings by Fenggang Yang on Chinese Christian organizations in the U.S.) Evangelistic organizations react sensitively to the appearance of Chinese in new areas, efficiently distribute missionary literature, and assist in founding congregations that have standard patterns of liturgy and social organization across continents. For example, the England-based Chinese Overseas Christian Mission helped create 14 Christian churches across Italy within the past decade. Jehovah’s Witnesses, over the same time period, formed a network of Chinese-speaking congregations across Europe with its own network of traveling supervisors and language trainers.

These findings have led me to formulate, jointly with Frank Pieke, a research proposal that is currently pending with the Economic and Social Research Council in the U.K. The proposal focuses on how religious (Christian) proselytism by co-ethnic and non-co-ethnic missionaries, as an act of identity manipulation, contests or rearms various national and transnational identity models specifically targeting transnational migrants. These identity models may be cosmopolitan (Jehova’s Witnesses), transnational (Chinese Christian), or, in essence, assimilationist (American fundamentalist Christian). The present paper is an introduction to our preliminary findings and research questions and hypotheses.

The Falungong in the New World

David Ownby, University of Montreal

The Falungong, like the larger qigong movement out of which it grew, draws substantially on what scholars have called the North China "sectarian tradition" in terms of its religious and cosmological discourse. Because of the Chinese government’s sustained campaign against Falungong, however, the center of the movement is now located in North America, and its major spokespersons are well-educated, English-speaking members of the Chinese diaspora. This paper will weigh the effects of the "Americanization" of the Falungong by examining: (1) the incorporation of the discourse of human rights and freedom of religion into a religious discourse, which, in its original incarnation, was largely indifferent to such concerns; and (2) the effects of the use of the Internet on the original sociological organization of many North China sectarian traditions, particularly on the traditional place occupied by "master-disciple" relations.


Session 78: Creative Ecology: Nature Writing in Contemporary Taiwan

Organizer: Nicholas A. Kaldis, State University of New York, Binghamton

Chair and Discussant: Thomas Moran, Middlebury College

Keywords: Chinese literature, environmental studies, cultural studies, nature writing, Taiwan studies.

This panel explores Taiwan’s flourishing genre of nature writing (ziran xiezuo), a type of literature that emerged in the 1980s and is characterized by its combination of environmental concerns with literary creativity. The three main panelists will respectively: provide a historical overview of the genre; discuss the uneasy ties between large media organizations and nature writers; and address ethical issues inherent in the Western academic reception of nature writing from Taiwan.

The first speaker will be Professor I-Ming Chien, whose recent dissertation on the subject represents a milestone in the inception of Taiwan nature writing as a genre proper into Chinese literary studies. Dr. Chien will discuss the development and internal divisions of the genre and propose that nature writers be separated into three main schools, according to their concept of "wilderness" (huangye).

Following this, we will hear from Ke-Hsiang Liu, Taiwan’s most popular and respected nature writer. Like many of his fellow nature writers, Mr. Liu has reached a large audience through the "Literature" section common to most Taiwan newspapers. His lecture will focus on one of the enduring difficulties of this relationship: how to nourish and sustain environmental consciousness among Taiwan’s growing middle class while retaining the creative vitality of traditional Chinese writings on nature. Professor Nick Kaldis will then discuss what types of discourse and theoretical praxis are appropriate to the study of Taiwan nature writing. Such writing, he argues, forces us to confront the ways that (Western) studies of Chinese culture are detached from the environmental contexts on which both scholar and society rely for their existence. Finally, Professor Thomas Moran will comment on the panelists’ papers, concluding with some possible topics for the following question and answer session.

Untamed Ideals: Concepts of "Wilderness" in Contemporary Taiwanese Nature Writing

I-Ming Chien, Mei-Ho Institute of Technology

This discussion will take the form of a brief survey of the main intellectual trends and recurring issues in Taiwan nature writing. Since various notions of "wilderness" (huangye) figure prominently in the works of almost all Taiwan nature writers, we will take this term as a keyword, using it to separate and classify these works according to their different versions—images, representations, definitions, ideas—of wilderness.

Since its emergence in the 1980s, nature writing has arguably been the most engaging and robust genre in contemporary Taiwanese literature. A large and diverse group of literary works are commonly included under the classification "nature writing" (ziran xiezuo), but closer inspection reveals much disparity from text to text. These incongruities are most clearly manifested in each work’s representation of "wilderness." "Wilderness," in turn, is usually depicted as a relationship between "man" (ren) and "nature" (ziran). Three versions of this relationship become prominent as we survey Taiwan nature writing of the past several decades. (1) One type of nature writing views "wilderness" as the highest, most exalted form of existence. In these works, all "men"—save a select few environmentalists, ecologists, and writers—are treated with contempt for having sinned against sacred "nature." (2) A second type views "wilderness" as an item for cultural consumption, in which "nature" serves as a scenic backdrop for an economically prosperous society. In these works, flora and fauna are no more than vessels for the projection of "man’s" enlightened search for spiritual and physical sustenance. (3) A final type of nature writing proceeds from a preconceived philosophical agenda: the integration and harmonizing of any antagonistic notions of "wilderness" which would pit "man" and "nature" against one another.

Saving Nature but Losing Tradition: The Frustrations of a Nature Writer in Contemporary Taiwan

Ke Hsiang Liu, The China Times

In this paper I would like to discuss the pivotal role played by nature writing in the evolution of Taiwan’s environmental movement in the 1980s and 1990s. How is it that creative writers could be so influential in fostering an unprecedented public interest in conservation and preservation during the past two decades?

The answer lies in the fact that the main forum for nature writing has been the literature section commonly found in Taiwan newspapers, where many nature writers have published essays and been hired as editors and columnists. Through this forum, nature writers have nurtured environmental awareness among Taiwan’s rapidly expanding middle class and helped determine the agendas of ecological organizations. The results have been remarkable: the establishment of nature preserves such as the Guandu estuary and mangrove swamps, and the protection of endangered species such as the black-faced spoonbill, gray-faced buzzard eagle, and red-tailed shrike.

However, despite the ecological successes resulting from these ties between nature writers and media organizations, there is a shared sense of anxiety and dismay among Taiwan’s nature writers. We feel frustrated at our own inability to develop and sustain the kind of relationship to nature cultivated by our literary and intellectual forebears in traditional China. We know that this is largely the result of Taiwan’s rapid and environmentally-devastating economic and social developments of the last 50 years. We are also aware that these changes demand a new type of relationship to nature and a new type of writing to embody and conceptualize that relationship. Nonetheless, we are unable to overcome this discouraging sense of separation from our cultural heritage and the spirit of traditional Chinese writings on nature.

Making up Lost Ground: Discourse and Praxis in the Study of Nature Writing

Nicholas A. Kaldis, State University of New York, Binghamton

This discussion reflects my current thoughts on devising a methodology and language for the study of nature writing (ziran xiezuo) from Taiwan. I begin with two formulations that inspire my ideas on the subject at hand: "I fear this particular dry knowledge may affect my imagination and fancy, that it will not be easy to see so much wildness and native vigor there as formerly;" and "In the city, I am lonely and isolated. Out in nature, friends surround me. Poetry must go there too, to acquaint these new friends." The first comes from Henry David Thoreau, the second from my friend and fellow panelist, Ke-Hsiang Liu.

Determining an academic approach to nature writing might seem an easy enough task—a matter of introducing names, dates, and exemplary texts, providing a sample cross-section of the variety found therein, and then analyzing the literary devices in selected passages. This is familiar ground to an American scholar of Taiwan literature, a standard formula used to expedite the process of turning foreign cultural products into subjects for domestic and local study, a kind of intellectual colonization, according to some theorists. But in treating Taiwan nature writing as just another literary genre, I would betray the very thing I was ostensibly venerating. For such writing demands a praxis that is lived daily, not relegated to abstraction and conceptualization within the borders of one’s mind. The paradox is this: how does one theorize, discuss, and teach writing by authors who are deeply connected to and inspired by nature, whose works express a passion and concern for the contexts about and from which they write? In what follows, I present my answers to these questions; I also propose the organization of an informal collective of Asianists with shared interests in environmental activities.


Session 79: The Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project: Defense and Criticism

Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Yun Kuen Lee, Harvard University

The generally accepted chronology of Chinese history begins in 841 BC, seventy years before the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty. In his monumental work, the Historical Records, Sima Qian (c. 145–89 BC) compiled a chronological table of twelve contemporary states starting with 841, but he found his sources inadequate for earlier exact dating. Over the past two thousand years, scholars have tried to extend dating farther back, without agreement. The Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project was recently commissioned by the Chinese government to reconstruct systematically a reliable chronology of early Chinese history starting with Xia. After five years and the efforts of some 170 experts in different fields of study, a new chronological table of early China was disseminated in November 2000. It was anticipated that all future discussions on the absolute dates of early China would have to be based on the project’s results. Nevertheless, the project was at once broadly criticized, first in two news articles in the Far Eastern Economic Review and the New York Times. These criticisms have triggered heated debate. Controversial questions include the project’s methodology, the accuracy of its dates, the question to what extent nationalism played a role in its work, and the very existence of the Xia Dynasty. This panel aims at bringing into discussion for the first time both major Chinese scholars who participated in the chronology project and some of the project’s best-informed observers and critics.

The Xia, Shang, and Zhou Chronology Project: Methodology and Results

Xueqin Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Xia, Shang, and Zhou Chronology Project is a multidisciplinary research program started in 1996. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a scientifically based absolute chronology of the Xia, Shang and Western Zhou, the three earliest dynasties in the history of China. The project involved the collaboration of more than 200 experts in the fields of archaeology, history, astronomy, and radiocarbon dating from about 30 institutes and universities. Forty-four topics organized under nine themes, each with explicit and achievable goals, were set up to implement the project. After more than four years of study, a new chronological chart of the Three Dynasties was derived and disseminated in the autumn of 2000.

The new chart offers the exact reigns of ten Western Zhou kings and nine late Shang kings, and a framework for the chronology of early Shang and Xia. Some important datum points of the chronology are: the beginning of Xia and that of Shang are dated to ca. 2070 BC and 1600 BC respectively; the date of King Pangeng’s move of the capital to Yin is estimated to be ca. 1300 BC; and the Zhou conquest of the Shang, that is, the beginning of Zhou Dynasty, is set to 1046 BC.

A Study of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou Astronomical Information from Classical Literature

Peiyu Zhang, Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory CAS

The chronologies of the Xia-Shang-Zhou era that derived from the classical literature can be grouped into the long-count and short-count systems. The task groups of the Chronology Project use different means to independently determine the dates of the reign of Shang King Wuding and the Zhou conquest of the Shang. The short span between these two sets of dates indicates that the short count seems to be more likely the case. Most of the astronomical and calendrical records of the Three Dynasties were written by later hands. They are often contradicting and controversial. Future effort must ferret out fabricated entries in the documentary record and search for new evidence in the unearthed documents. The astronomical event of the conjugation of five planets as read in documentary texts could not be fabricated and should be treated seriously. The inscription on the Li gui vessel verifies that Zhou’s conquest campaign gained a decisive victory over the Shang on day jiazi. "Suiding" is very likely pointing to the central position of Jupiter. This paper systematically investigates the calendrical and astronomical evidence during the Shang-Zhou transition.

The Three Dynasties Chronology Project: Two Approaches to Dating

David S. Nivison, Stanford University

The Sandai Project began in a desire to have Chinese museum exhibits be up to world standards, i.e., to have exact dates, not just approximate ones. This desire moved the PRC government to finance, liberally, a five-year archaeology project funding hundreds of scholars and scientists in different fields to do more digging, more carbon-14 analysis, whatever might be required to get exact dates for the earliest history of China.

But this involves two quite distinct kinds of work. Site work and carbon-14 (etc.) analysis has clear agreed-on standards. It is conducive to group effort. Consensus is attainable. But precise results are not attainable. The very best work will only yield more and more narrow approximations. It can reasonably be supposed that results are always incomplete, but do provide a basis for further progress.

Precise dates are attainable only by old-fashioned historical detective work, done by individual scholars, consulting experts, and technical aids like C-14 data as may be necessary. Results, and genuine consensus, cannot be predicted or assured by carrying through the program of a "project." To provide a basis for future progress, results must be correct. Otherwise they simply have to be discarded, and hinder progress, because there will always be resistance to discarding them.

What the project seems to have done is to suppose that the second type of research is just like the first. The paper will explore some of the worst effects of this mistake.

Controversy on the "Modern Text" Bamboo Annals and Its Relation to the Sandai Chronology

Dongfang Shao, Stanford University

In trying to define the exact nature of the Bamboo Annals and its relation to ancient Chinese chronology, scholars both Chinese and Western have increasingly debated the authenticity of this chronicle. The purpose of this paper is to present some of the ideas generated in an ongoing study of the Bamboo Annals by David Nivison and myself relevant to its textual history and dating information. The paper will begin with an account of recent scholarship on the "Modern Text," as presented in a selection of papers edited by us and recently published in Taipei.

While many Chinese scholars have long judged the "Modern Text" a forgery, new studies by American scholars question this judgment. Thorough studies of the "Modern Text" by Chinese scholars have been supplemented by Nivison and Shaughnessy, whose findings require reconsidering the importance of the "Modern Text," as an unavoidable threshold problem for any study of ancient Chinese chronology. They claim that the evidence points to a close relationship between the supposedly inauthentic two-chapter "Modern" Text, and the various collections of fragments known as the "ancient text"; and that the "Modern Text" gives us an important glimpse into ancient chronology. This suggests that the Sandai Project needed to make its own evaluation of the "Modern Text," a subject the project completely avoids. The paper will conclude with an assessment of the need for future work on the analysis of the Bamboo Annals.

The Pre-dynastic Zhou Culture in Fengxi

Changshou Zhang, Institute of Archaeology CASS

The Fengxi area in Changan county, Shaanxi, is said to be where Zhou King Wenwang built the capital Fengjing. Archaeological survey and excavation indicate that this area is densely covered with rich sites of the Western Zhou period. Nevertheless, for a long time archaeologists could not recognize some of the deposits are that of the pre-dynastic Zhou period. The 1967 excavation at Fengxi yielded several burials furnished with high-collared round-legged pottery li-vessels, as well as weapons of the late Shang style. These burials were soon dated to the pre-dynastic Zhou era. 1n 1997, as one of the sub-topics of the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project, excavation was carried out at Fengxi. A set of typical stratigraphic relationships was revealed. A late pre-dynastic Zhou ash pit was superimposed by early Western Zhou cultural layers. A systematic study of the radiocarbon dates derived from different cultural levels indicates that the date of the Zhou conquest of the Shang should be bracketed between 1050 and 1020 BC.

Radiocarbon Dating and the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronological Table

Shihua Qiu, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Radiocarbon dates are the backbones of the Xia-Shang-Zhou chronological table. With the recent innovation in high-precision dating, high-precision calibration, and wiggle-matching, radiocarbon scientists can significantly reduce the error terms, thus producing meaningful data for the construction of an absolute chronology of the Three Dynasties.

To start, a series of carbonized samples have to be obtained from well-stratified archaeological contexts that are highly correlated to a well-established relative chronology of archaeological cultures based on typological and seriation studies of the material remains. A series of high-precision 14C dates with small margins of errors are then extracted from the laboratory. In the light of archaeological information that the sequence of the serial carbonized specimens are firmly established, the 14C dates are converted into calendric dates by fitting them with the high-precision calibration curve and by using the wiggle-matching method. Then radiometric scientists and archaeologists work together to produce an archaeological calendric framework of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou period.

The calendric framework derived from 14C dating has to integrate with the calendric studies of historical documents, astronomical events, Western Zhou bronze inscriptions, and ritual cycles as seen in late Shang oracle inscriptions to build a chronological table of the late Shang since King Pangeng moved the capital to Yin and a dated king list of the Western Zhou. The calendric date of Xia-Shang demarcation and the chronological framework of the Xia are estimated from the 14C dates of early Shang, Erlitou, and Wangchenggang as well as paleo-astronomical studies.


Session 80: Making Art: The Material and Textual Production of Images and Objects in Tang to Yuan China

Organizer: Jennifer G. Purtle, University of Chicago

Chair: David A. Sensabaugh, Yale University

Discussant: Maggie Bickford, Brown University

Keywords: art history, cultural history, Tang, Song, Yuan.

China’s well-developed and continuously transmitted textual culture has long played an important role in the production and reception of images and objects in contexts above and beyond that of textual illustration. To explore the relationship of material and textual production of images and objects in China of the Tang through Yuan dynasties, this panel will present case studies that describe: the role of a single text in the production and reception of images; the engagement of a single material with texts in the production and reception of images and objects; and the construction of a historical persona and of cultural topography from dialogues of material and textual production and reception of images and objects.

Recovery of the dialogue between objects, images, and texts will permit this panel to suggest how, in China of the Tang and later, texts drove production and reception of images and objects; how changing attitudes toward images and objects elicited the production of texts; and how texts adapted themselves to accommodate unavoidable images or objects. This panel will also assess the extent to which images and objects were seen through texts, rather than in purely visual terms. Through comparative analysis of material and textual production and reception of images and objects this panel seeks to illuminate the ways in and degree to which images, objects, and art were made by texts in China from the Tang through Yuan dynasties.

Textual Authority in Chinese Painting History

Oliver Moore, Leiden University

This paper considers an early case of textual authority in the art history of China, and explores evidence for alternative views of art that this text has long occluded. Zhang Yanyuan’s Record of Famous Paintings throughout the Ages (Lidai minghua ji), ostensibly completed in 847, is a key text in the art history of the Tang and earlier. Its evaluations of artists, artworks, classic art theory, and social practices of early painting history have long earned it the kind of canonical status that Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (1568) enjoys as the earliest and best organized interpretation of art in European culture.

This paper will explore how widely editions of Records of Famous Paintings circulated during the late ninth century and later. Furthermore, this paper will test to what extent this text was really a canon for historians of art in the late medieval and early modern periods. It will ask what process authorized Zhang Yanyuan’s views of ancient and medieval art history to endure so permanently, and will question the extent to which their endurance was influential. Finally, this paper will show that, although Records of Famous Paintings soon earned high status as a pioneering experiment in writing art history, its long-term impact suffered setbacks as early as the close of the Tang dynasty. The discourse of later artists, viewers, and collectors of art challenge the dominance of Zhang Yanyuan’s views and offer variant perspectives on the reception of this work.

Bronze in Song Literary and Material Culture

Ankeney Weitz, Colby College

The Song elite loved bronze ritual vessels. In fact, the bronze craze spawned a thriving market in "recovered" grave goods. It also encouraged the manufacture of faithful imitations and archaic inventions and generated numerous books, essays, poems, and illustrated catalogues on the subject. As emblems of distant antiquity and power, bronze vessels served a variety of functions during the Song and thus provide insight into material expression of Song historical, political, and social thought.

This paper considers Song bronze culture from a variety of perspectives. It will begin by briefly surveying the physical production of bronzes, from the dubious practice of "archaeological reclamation," to the operation of Song imperial foundries, to the workings of shady forgery workshops. The paper will then consider bronze alloy as a material with multiple values and uses. Southern Song imperial decrees mandated the confiscation of bronze vessels to be melted down and made into new currency; this policy had a significant effect on both the material and textual production of bronze ritual vessels. In fact, during the Southern Song period, bronze texts from earlier in the dynasty increasingly conditioned the production and reception of bronze vessels. Investigation of a wide range of texts and objects will permit this study to explore the intricate relationship between bronze vessels and the intellectual, political, and social configurations of the Song dynasty that endowed them with meaning.

Images of Li Qingzhao (1084–ca. 1151)

Uta Lauer, Heidelberg University

A well-known woman poet of the Song, Li Qingzhao together with her husband Zhao Mingcheng (1081–1129) collected artworks and books. This paper will examine the textual and material construction of different textual, pictorial, and material images of Li Qingzhao. These range from her own literary inscription of herself as a woman of letters, collector and connoisseur of art, and loving wife in a caizi jiaren (talented man and beautiful woman) relationship in the Jinshilu houxu, an essay Li appended to their collection catalogue (Jinshilu) after Zhao’s death; to later literary and pictorial inscriptions of her as a national heroine upholding Han cultural values against the invading Jin; to material inscription of her as a cultural icon and tourist attraction. Images of Li Qingzhao, which include paintings, woodblock prints, sculptures, her memorial hall in Jinan and its Jet Spring Park (Shuyuquan) inspired by one of her poems, tourist literature, and popular accounts, constitute the material on which this research is based.

This paper will ask: whose interests did a particular image of Li Qingzhao serve? What did such images intend to achieve? What are the underlying mechanisms utilized and strategies pursued in the creation of these images? Comparison of later pictorial images of, and material objects associated with, Li Qingzhao to period biographical data for her life and oeuvre will permit analysis of, and provide fresh insights into, the material now layered around her, thus creating a new image of Li Qingzhao.

Special Practices: Textual Construction of Local Painting Modes in Song-Yuan China

Jennifer G. Purtle, University of Chicago

Recent scholarship attributes visual dissimilarity of painting patronized at the Northern and Southern Song courts, for example, to differences in the physical topographies of the capitals at Kaifeng and Hangzhou. Yet explanation of the visual taxonomies of painting produced in different locales as a consequence of the impact of physical topography on painting practice obscures more subtle understanding of the cultural geography of painting practice in Song-Yuan China.

This paper will argue that although cultural topography and administrative policy informed local painting practices, textual definition was the most influential mechanism in their making, dissemination, perpetuation, and recognition. Evidence of the existence and importance of the critical reception and construction of local specialization within individual period texts will be presented. However, this paper will argue that the scope of the production of discourses of geographic specialization was not limited to explicit statements within individual texts, but was broadly reproduced in a variety of textual sources through exclusive description of some painting modes and total omission of others, recoverable through cultural geographic mapping of data from such sources. In turn, such textual production of specialization appears to have further circumscribed documentation of pictorial production, effectively retrofitting later documentation of contemporaneous painting production to previously established local specialties. This paper will conclude by arguing that description of painting modes as distinctive, and by extension emblematic, of place established painting as a medium in which native place identity could be articulated.


Session 81: Law Becomes Fiction: Narrating Crime and Punishment in the Qing

Organizer: Janet M. Theiss, University of Utah

Chair and Discussant: Melissa A. Macauley, Northwestern University

Discussant: Matthew H. Sommer, University of Pennsylvania

Keywords: Qing law, crime fiction, legal culture.

Scholars have long been fascinated with the interplay between fiction and genres of legal writing in late imperial China and have recently turned their attention to tracing the mechanisms and implications of this intertextual relationship. This interdisciplinary panel explores how authors, case-writing magistrates, and case participants fused fictional tropes and knowledge of law and legal procedure to shape narratives of crime and punishment. In the paradigm of requital framing most crime tales justice is often judicial: evildoers face their fate in a courtroom, if not in this world then in the next. Authors of crime stories enhanced the realism of their tales with frequent, if sometimes distorted, references to statutes and judicial proceedings. However inaccurate crime fiction may have been, it, in turn, had a significant influence on popular perceptions of how magistrates dealt with crime and on the conduct of actual trials. The three papers on this panel examine how this mutual influence works in specific texts and its implications for popular mores, legal culture, and justice.

Youd analyzes the narrative shaping of crime and its consequences in an unusual collection of swindle stories and explores the implications of an author’s disturbing disinterest in notions of requital and punishment. Hegel examines the common narrative strategies used by magistrates writing criminal case reports and the authors of court case fiction. Finally, Theiss traces the influence of fictional tropes of gendered moral behavior on the construction of character in criminal cases, showing how such familiar stereotypes were deployed to imply guilt or innocence.

Unrequited: Undoing the Moral Universe in Jianghu lilan dupian xinshu

Daniel M. Youd, Princeton University

Some years ago historian Natalie Zemon Davis explored the "extent to which [people] shape the events of a crime into a story," with penetrating insight into sixteenth-century French society. This paper will explore the shaping of narratives of crime (and punishment) in seventeenth-century China.

My central text will be the little known, yet fascinating, Jianghu lilan dupian xinshu (A New Book of Fraud and Trickery as Experienced and Witnessed in the Great Wide World). Each section of the work provides stories said to illustrate a certain category of swindle, including, among many others, frauds perpetrated by commercial middlemen, swindles carried out while traveling by boat, and deceitful tricks involving lost bags.

At first glance, Dupian xinshu resembles a typical "morality book" (shanshu) in its reliance on illustrative stories to caution its readers. It also shares much of its anecdotal material with more obviously fictional accounts of crime, punishment, and the law from the late imperial period. However, unlike morality book tales and court case stories, which, as Patrick Hanan notes, almost always illustrate the workings of a moral universe and its governing principle of bao, or "requital," the author of Dupian xinshu is profoundly uninterested in the reiteration of this idea. Though he expresses shock at the depravity of human behavior he depicts, his scoundrels quite regularly succeed in their plans and get off scot free. Why, my paper asks, are the gods in Dupian xinshu mute and the system of human administered justice so ineffectual?

Making Convincing Arguments in Legal Cases

Robert E. Hegel, Washington University

To the extent that all writings are constructed in response to generic, among other, considerations, Qing crime case reports are conventional in the ways they describe crimes and criminals. This is not only true in the legalistic language used to record the facts of the case. To an interesting degree, the oral testimony represented in records of capital cases also follows common stylistic patterns. This paper demonstrates that the use of rhetorical questions in criminal depositions parallels the uses of similar stylistic features in fictional narratives of the Qing. These common features reveal a common conception of how to build a convincing argument and reveals that to be effective in crafting case reports, magistrates also had to be proficient as writers of narrative dialogue.

Gender and the Construction of Character in Qing Criminal Cases and Fiction

Janet M. Theiss, University of Utah

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the complex interplay between legal and fictional texts in late imperial China. This paper will focus particularly on the questions of character in the two genres in the Qing, specifically, how defendants, witnesses, and magistrates used gendered stereotypes of moral and immoral behavior to construct the victims and perpetrators of crimes. Shrews, wastrels, chastity heroines, and upright patriarchs are familiar figures not only in written and oral genres of fiction but also in criminal case memorials. The parallels between the construction of character in case testimonies, confessions and verdicts, and in fiction are manifold, including the cast of character types, the behavioral components of "good" and "bad" characters, and the language used to describe people’s "essential nature" and its social consequences. Such points of overlap between these genres can be seen as a reflection of the routine influence of fictional tropes on case participants and judicial officials. But they also reveal pervasive assumptions about proper gender roles and the parameters of moral behavior. Stereotypes that elicited sympathy or disdain in fictional genres worked to project innocence or guilt in the higher stakes game of criminal trials.


Session 95: Colonial Encounters on an East Asian Frontier: States, Borderland Societies, and World Systems in the Making of Modern Taiwan

Organizer: Paul Barclay, Lafayette College

Chair: Murray A. Rubinstein, City University of New York

Discussant: John R. Shepherd, University of Virginia

Keywords: colonialism, indigenous peoples, Taiwan, Japan, history.

This panel seeks to address key issues in the study of colonialism in East Asia by focusing on aspects of state and society in Taiwan under three different imperial regimes. The papers range across time periods, cover varied subject matters, and employ different methodologies, but are unified around the theme of political, cultural, and commercial interaction in colonized Taiwan, a frontier zone of the Dutch, Qing, and Japanese empires. They show that colonial encounters in this borderland both shaped and were shaped by the way conquering states imagined and enforced policies to: govern recalcitrant populations; create new political, social, and economic structures; and commodify land, labor, and agriculture throughout the island.

Tonio Andrade’s work highlights the relationship between settlers from Fujian and the Dutch authorities as both parties sought and profited from the expansion of a settler economy into the plains occupied by Austronesian indigenous peoples. Antonio Tavares focuses on the life of a tribal leader during the Qing-Japanese transition to study the transformation of old practices and customs revolving around the production and exchange of camphor for a world market. Paul Katz’s paper is an investigation of a major incident of resistance to Japanese colonial policies by Taiwanese living on the lower mountainous borderlands of southern Taiwan. Paul Barclay examines the construction of a banfu/fanfu (Aborigine woman) by Japanese officials, writers, and scholars and links it to intelligence gathering, economic exploitation, and sexual slavery. The discussant, John Shepherd, contributes his extensive knowledge of Taiwan during these three periods.

The Company’s Chinese Colony: Fujianese Settlers and the Dutch East India Company in Taiwan, 1623–1662

Tonio Andrade, State University of New York, Brockport

When in 1623 officials of the Dutch East India Company established a base off the coast of southern Taiwan, they had no intention of taking control over the island’s hinterlands. They wanted a small port to partake of the rich Sino-Japanese silk-for-silver trade. Yet by 1650 Dutch forces controlled a wide swathe of Taiwan’s western plains, from present-day Kaohsiung to present-day Chi-lung. Why did they change their minds and invest in territorial conquest? The answer lies in the Fujianese immigrants who began flocking to Taiwan in the 1630s. Dutch officials realized that they could profit from the island’s rich ecology by turning it over to Fujianese fishers, hunters, traders, and farmers. Attracted by Dutch subventions, thousands took up residence in Taiwan, benefiting from the Dutch military presence, which provided protection from the Austronesian Aboriginal peoples. This paper focuses on interactions between the Dutch, the Fujianese settlers, and the Aborigines of Taiwan, showing how the Dutch company encouraged the growth of Chinese settlements on Taiwan and administered the island’s new and often unstable plural society. It had at once to profit from and placate its Chinese colonists, who did not always recognize the company’s authority: many had ties to rival organizations, such as pirate bands or the powerful trading empire of the Zheng family. As the new Sino-Dutch colony emerged, the Aborigines did their best to adapt to a new world, in which international commerce changed their culture and societies and converted their forests to rice paddies and sugar fields.

Colonial State and Local Society in Southern Taiwan: The Background and Impact of the Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915

Paul Katz, National Central University

During the summer of 1915, two discontented members of the Taiwanese elite, Yü Ch’ing-fang and Chiang Ting, led an armed force of Han Chinese and Aborigine fighters in a bloody rebellion against the Japanese colonial authorities. This uprising, known as the Ta-pa-ni Incident, cost over one thousand Japanese and Taiwanese lives. Subsequent mass trials and executions prompted an outcry among Japanese intellectuals and politicians that resulted in the resignations of high-ranking colonial officials. This paper will explore how the Ta-pa-ni Incident reflects the successes and failures of Japan’s early colonial enterprise, as well as how its impact helped shape subsequent policies. In general, Japanese rule is presented in a highly positive light in studies of education and economic development, yet very negatively in research on social policies and the law. Such scholarship tends to overlook the impact Japan’s colonial policies had on the lives of most Taiwanese, particularly in the realm of economic life. Armed uprisings like the Ta-pa-ni Incident were largely a result of seemingly "progressive" and "rational" economic policies involving land registration and taxation, the sugar monopoly, and the confiscation of under-utilized forest lands. Understanding why Taiwanese located on the Aborigine-Han frontier rose in rebellion can help social historians understand how villagers tried to cope with dramatic changes caused by Japanese policies that linked their local economies to the global marketplace. Importantly, the data on the Ta-pa-ni Incident and its aftermath also shed light on how the colonial state adjusted its policies following the uprising’s suppression.

Camphor Capitalists, Indigenes, and the State in Nanzhuang (Nanshô), Taiwan, 1886–1903

Antonio C. Tavares, Princeton University

The history of Taiwan’s mountainous interior and its articulation with the external world has until recently been largely recounted as a positive tale of the progress of civilization, state power, or capitalism. This paper charts the underlying and often brutal process of primitive accumulation that accompanied these developments, yet has remained buried and concealed by their very operation. I focus on the rise and demise of customary forest rights and mountain fees (shangongyin) in a peripheral region of East Asia. In the process, I assess how encounters between conquering states and borderland peoples both shaped and were dictated by concrete policies of political control and economic exploitation.

My study revolves around the life of Ri Aguai (Basi-Banual), a little known but important local figure involved in the political economy of camphor production for a growing world market. As a Hakka Chinese adopted into an indigene tribe on the borders of the late Qing empire, Aguai rose to the position of tribal chief and served as a powerful broker with extensive control over the camphor forests near Nanzhuang (Nanshô), a main production center. The entry of Japanese camphor capitalists and the colonial state’s eradication or transformation of Qing practices governing camphor production, mountain fees, access to forest resources, and land reclamation worked to tie and subordinate this part of Taiwan further to the world economy. They also formed the preconditions for a bloody uprising in 1902 led by Aguai and a confederation of indigenes and disgruntled Chinese frontiersmen.

The Taiwanese Banfu in Imperial Japan: Bicultural Interpreters, Marriage Alliances, and Sexual Slavery in the Tribal Zone

Paul Barclay, Lafayette College

This paper examines the several ways Taiwan Aborigine women participated in the Japanese empire, by volition and under compulsion. I argue that the complex figure of the banfu (Aborigine woman) is central to understanding Japan’s imperial mission in Taiwan’s "Tribal Zone," defined by Ferguson and Whitehead as "the area affected by the proximity of a state, but not yet under its administration."

In 1896, Puli station chief Hiyama Tetsusaburô married the daughter of regional headman Bisau Sabo to become the first in a line of Japanese men who used marriage alliance as a means of infiltrating Aborigine societies. At the same time, Japanese journalists and literati celebrated the figure of the banfu, who appeared in print media as well-paid government interpreters, participants in cross-cultural romantic entanglements, and exemplary success stories from Japan’s civilizing mission. Against this background of adoration and respect, mistreatment of Aborigine women in the heavily policed Puli area bred resentment of the Japanese, eventually boiling over into the bloody anti-colonial Musha Uprising of 1930. With the reduction of the "Tribal Zone" to an administered area, Taiwanese Aborigine wage labor and school enrollment became routinized as whole village complexes were forcibly relocated and self-sufficient economies effectively undermined. Greatly exploiting the hinterland’s new need for cash, military personnel entrapped Aborigine women into the imperial system of sexual slavery (as "comfort women") under the pretext of recruiting cooks, laundresses, and tailors for highly remunerated work in Taiwan’s military barracks.


Session 96: Amdo-Gansu in China’s Political Imaginaries

Organizer: Maris Gillette, Haverford College

Chair and Discussant: James Millward, Georgetown University

Keywords: Gansu, China, history, anthropology, politics.

What kind of place is northwest China, who belongs there, and why? Participants in this panel explore some of the ways that the Amdo (Tibetan)-Gansu region and its inhabitants have been conceptualized and put to political use in Chinese history. We examine particular representations of Amdo-Gansu, exploring how the production of knowledge about this place and its peoples has figured in local, national, and international projects of conquest, domination, and modernization. In our papers we investigate the ways that Chinese elites and other political actors, American explorers, and local inhabitants have characterized this area and related the qualities of this place to the lifeways and ethnic, racial, religious, and national heritages of its peoples. Presenters attend to how specific images of Amdo-Gansu, in verbal and visual forms, legitimate the claims of particular people to live there, develop the area, educate its peoples, and wage war. We explore the discourses of "need" that visitors to and inhabitants of the region have produced, and how definitions of need, lack, and abundance have justified external and elite interventions. Of particular interest to the panelists are the continuities and disjunctures that we can discover by juxtaposing specific representations of Amdo-Gansu produced in different periods by diverse actors, and what information we can learn about the place and its peoples, as well as about the individuals and groups who have represented Amdo-Gansu for public consumption, and the relationship between knowledge production and political goals.

Annexing Amdo in the Late Northern Song

Paul J. Smith, Haverford College

The Northern Song (960–1126) participated in a multi-state system that exchanged wealth and cultural capital for relatively stable borders. But not all players in the Song state gained equally from frontier stability: literati whose ambitions had been thwarted might reactivate a flagging career by enthralling the emperor with visions of territorial expansion, which could in turn provide unique opportunities for soldiers, adventurers, eunuchs, and the like to acquire unusual merit and influence.

For the first sixty years of the eleventh century humiliating military defeats at the hands of the Khitan Liao and Tangut Xi Xia reenforced the desire for frontier stability. But in 1068 the frontier adventurer Wang Shao submitted a plan for subduing all of the Song’s northern foes, by first annexing the Tibetan federation of northeastern Amdo (centered on modern Xining) and transforming its "raw" inhabitants into a "cooked" fighting force made culturally digestible by the homogenizing influence of sinification. For the next half century Amdo provided an arena in which emperors, ministers, frontier generals, and eunuchs played out their political ambitions, despite the protests of observers who opposed their dynasty’s intervention in the affairs of a sovereign polity. Although the annexation of Amdo yielded no lasting strategic benefits it abetted an important change in Song political culture. For in order to lay claim to a rare military victory the last Northern Song emperor agreed to the suppression of all policy critics, thus silencing the political debates that had heretofore been a hallmark of Song policymaking.

Discovering "Kansu": The Documentary Record of Frederick R. Wulsin, 1923

Maris Gillette, Haverford College

In 1923, Frederick R. Wulsin, a Harvard engineering graduate and would-be "scientific explorer," spent ten months investigating Gansu Province in Northwest China. Wulsin collected specimens of flora and fauna and made a documentary record of the region and its inhabitants that includes more than 2,000 photographs, his daily journal, and a report that he wrote for the American National Geographic Society. In this paper I explore the textual and photographic portrait of Gansu that Wulsin created on his "scientific" mission. Wulsin regarded Gansu as a "little known region" where "Mongolia, Tibet, and China come together." He saw the Mongols as Gansu’s natural inhabitants, whose rough yet noble pastoral lifestyle best suited Gansu’s "dry," "open" terrain. Nevertheless in Wulsin’s eyes this "active" and "hardy" people were "helpless" in the face of Chinese incursions, lacking the skills to fight the Chinese farmers who settled their lands and unable to withstand the power of Chinese garrisons. Wulsin saw the relations between the Mongols and the Chinese and what was happening in Gansu in 1923 as evidence of the inevitable march of history: the defeat of nomadic pastoralism in favor of sedentary agriculture and the forces of modernization. I examine how Wulsin s visual records dramatize his understanding of "history" and "progress," and how his sense of history, which draws on an American narrative of frontier conquest and westward expansion, legitimated the Chinese presence in and development of Gansu. I use Wulsin’s records to reflect on the ways that particular understandings of society and history affect projects of "scientific" observation and data collection and how in turn "science" becomes entangled in political action.

Gu Jiegang and "Developing China’s Northwest"

Haiyun Ma, Georgetown University

A historian from the Jiangnan region, specializing in ancient Chinese texts, Gu Jiegang was suddenly exposed to a radically different view of China when he fled from the Japanese invasion of 1937 and spent a year, sponsored by a Western NGO, examining the society of Northwest China. He was part of the first movement to develop that so-called "backward" part of the country under the slogan Kaifa xibei, "develop the northwest," a movement related more than geographically to the current campaign to kaifa daxibu, "develop the great west." This paper will use Gu’s own diary to describe his trip to the northwest and to discuss his ideas about the inhabitants of Northwest China, China’s frontier development, and the modernization of the Chinese nation, topics which concerned him for the rest of his life. I conclude by examining Gu Jiegang’s relevance to, influence on, and difference from China’s current campaign to modernize the northwest.

Poverty Reduction or Population Transfer? Competing Interpretations of a China-Tibet Resettlement Project

Ann Frechette, Hamilton College

This paper analyzes the 1999–2000 debate over the proposed resettlement of some 58,000 Chinese farmers into Qinghai’s Tulan Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It demonstrates the different ways in which the Chinese government, the Dalai Lama’s exile administration, international Tibet support groups, and the World Bank interpreted the project. The debate among all of these groups engaged such issues as the nature of China’s autonomous regions, the goals of the World Bank, use rights over pastoral lands, and the goals of China’s population transfer policies. The Chinese government presented the project as a poverty-reduction measure, an interpretation the World Bank initially supported. World Bank officials note that China has successfully implemented more than 30 anti-poverty projects helping more than 200 million Chinese. The Dalai Lama’s exile administration, along with numerous primarily U.S.-based Tibet support groups, argued that the project is part of China’s population transfer efforts, aimed at undermining the Tibetans’ right to self-determination. The paper argues that World Bank withdrawal from the project demonstrates the growing influence of Tibet support groups over other international organizations. The paper contributes to on-going debates about China’s efforts to incorporate, control, and develop its western regions; the exile administration’s efforts to claim the right to self-determination; and Tibetan advocates’ efforts to influence international policy.


Session 97: Twice-Told Tales: Alternative Sources and Paradigms for Studies on Premodern China

Organizer: Frances Gudaitis, University of Michigan

Chair and Discussant: Catherine Bell, Santa Clara University

Keywords: history, religion, early Chinese philosophy.

One of the overarching concerns of scholarship in the postmodern era has focused on the need for a heightened sensitivity to the polemics and generic assumptions that inform both the histories we receive and the histories we generate. The need for critical discussion that constructively dismantles these histories is nowhere more pressing than in studies that focus on the premodern period where the very age and august nature of received texts and taxonomies have made these histories appear impervious to interrogation. The panel will examine the sources of several assumptions that underlie the received histories and taxonomies still influential in a variety of fields treating the premodern period. Drawing on materials and methodologies from recent work in archaeology, historiography, religious studies, and linguistics our panelists will offer alternative methodologies, materials, and perspectives directed toward scholarship on the classical and medieval periods. Dr. Robert Campany in his paper, "On the Very Idea of Religions in Early Medieval China," reviews the basic assumptions that have traditionally comprised Western notions of what constitutes a religion and examines the suitability of applying such schemes to Early Medieval China. Dr. David Schaberg, in his paper, "Myths and Methods: Writing the History of Early Chinese Philosophy," offers a careful critique of historiography on the Classical period in the early part of the twentieth century and suggests alternatives to its enduring legacy. Frances Gudaitis, in her paper, "Alternative Sources for Assessing the Scope of Chinese Philosophical Concerns," will examine the adequacy of canonical sources in presenting a balanced account of philosophical concerns in early China.

Myths and Methods: Writing the History of Early Chinese Philosophy

David C. Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles

The first comprehensive histories of Chinese philosophy were not written until the twentieth century. The works of Hu Shi and his many successors established basic categories and concepts that have remained influential until our own day. Yet their choice of genre entailed an account of the pre-Qin origins of philosophy that surviving texts cannot support. In an effort to give this period personalities, transmissions, schools, and debates resembling those of better documented eras, the historians argued well beyond the tolerances of the available data. From the various texts bearing the names of zi or "masters," they derived putatively coherent individual philosophers with coherent systems of thought. This approach required that they disregard evidence showing that most zi texts originated neither as the records of an individual’s thought, nor as the controlled discourse of a unitary school, but as Han-period compilations around loosely defined themes. They also tended to forget that the surviving texts amounted to a tiny sample, and not necessarily a representative sample, of the period’s philosophical life. They treated a canon as a transcript. That versions of their account should dominate standard handbooks and anthologies now, even after the discovery of numerous manuscripts attesting to a rich traffic in unattributed and fragmentary texts through the Han, suggests that scholars of our generation also have much invested in the various myths of coherence. A careful critique of earlier scholars’ methods is the first step toward the creation of a historical account based on the features of the received and recovered texts themselves.

On the Very Idea of Religions in Early Medieval China

Robert F. Campany, Indiana University

What is a "religion," and what does it mean for a person, text, or practice to "belong to" one? What is the nature of "religious identity"? What happens, exactly, when one religion "influences" another? My paper probes these questions with reference to evidence from early medieval China, on the one hand, and to recent work on the history of the idea of "religions" and notions of culture on the other. I argue that: (1) religions (as distinct from people and their artifacts) are not natural entities, but ideas—taxonomic constructs, discursive strategies—originating in polemical contexts; (2) as such, they have cultural histories that are likewise polemically shaped; and (3) predominant but unexamined metaphors by which we habitually think and speak about religions (e.g., as entities, as organic beings, as liquids flowing into containers called "cultures" or as themselves containers holding ideas and texts and people, as buildings, as commodities), combined with expectations created by aspects of Western religious history (e.g., the denominational model, the trope of pure spiritual origins followed by cultural decline) leave us prone to modes of description and interpretation that distort the religious scene in early medieval China (e.g., the tendency to reify religions as if they were hard objects colliding with one another, an obsession with deciding which religion a figure "believed in" or a text "belonged to," an idea of "influence" that hides agency, and an assumption that "original" means "pure" and "mixed" means "popular" as opposed to "elite"). I conclude by suggesting alternatives.

Alternative Sources for Assessing the Scope of Chinese Philosophical Concerns

Frances Gudaitis, University of Michigan

The philosophical concerns and expository strategies of what we call "Chinese philosophy" have been defined by both Western and Chinese modern scholastic traditions almost exclusively in terms of the Confucian or Daoist classics. It is not surprising, then, that those features which have been perceived as the limitations of classical Chinese philosophy share certain generic conceptual, textual, and linguistic characteristics. What is surprising is that, despite trends in recent scholarship that readily observe the social, economic, and political polemics informing canonical taxonomies, many scholars still look almost exclusively to the pre-Qin classics, and the neo-Confucian writings that redefined them, to assess the purview of the "Chinese mind." This paper explores the value of texts, such as personal treatises from the Six Dynasties salon subculture, for the characteristics they do not share with canonical sources and questions the usefulness of consigning such works to fields like aesthetic discourse. My paper suggests that, given the ideological and taxonomical limitations of canonical sources particular to Chinese traditions, an exploration of such fields (and materials) may produce rich yields in terms of offering a more balanced assessment of the scope of Chinese philosophical concerns.

In this paper, by way offering an alternative reading of Xi Kang’s Sheng wu ai le lun, I respond not only to the current state of curricula in Chinese thought, which privileges the apogees of ethical inquiry over, and often to the exclusion of, traditions in epistemological or ontological inquiry, but also to recurring studies on linguistic determinism and the Chinese mind.


Session 98: Bodies of Learning and Scholarly Communities in Medieval China: The Buddhist Case

Organizer: Yang Lu, Princeton University

Chair: Robert M. Gimello, Harvard University

Discussant: Peter Gregory, Smith College

Keywords: Buddhism, medieval, China, learning, community.

It is common knowledge that the large collections of Buddhist writing constitute a vast repository of knowledge, significant not only for the study of doctrine but for an equally important set of questions pertinent to a general understanding, first, of the historical structures, and second, the socio-cultural contexts, of learning, both regarding the constitution of bodies of learning and the formation of learning communities. Therefore, the contextualized inquiry into the Buddhist case promises to yield a variety of highly suggestive generalizations relevant to our understanding of the dynamic of the constitution of curricula and scholarly communities.

1. Regarding bodies of learning, we find a fluctuation of attention from bodies of learning imported from abroad, that is, from the systematic to the pre-systematic sources as embedded in scripture. How are bodies of learning constituted? What is their scope? What are the reasons for their epochal transformations? How are they predicated on the availability and circulation of knowledge? Which role is played by ritual, homily, and travel?

2. Regarding scholarly communities, we find a transformation of the patterns of their constitution, partly predicated on respective sets of learning, partly on external factors. How are scholarly communities based on bodies of learning, and how does the transformation of the latter provide the conditions for the formation of the first, that is, how do the two mutually impact?

The Quest for Knowledge: Travel and Learning in Medieval Chinese Buddhism

Yang Lu, Princeton University

One striking feature of medieval Chinese Buddhism consists in the widespread travel of monks. Between the fifth and tenth centuries, both outstanding figures such as Zhiyi or Xuanzang and equally less prestigious monks spent a substantial portion of their lives traveling to centers of learning in order to pursue advanced studies. While there is an increasing quantity of studies on pilgrimage in traditional China, little attention has so far been paid both to the pivotal role played by travel in the formation of social and intellectual networks of medieval Buddhism and to the rise of some of its distinctive scholastic features. As a part of a project studying the phenomenon of learning through travel in medieval China, this paper concentrates its investigation on social, economic, and cultural conditions under which such practice became possible and desirable. It argues that travel not only posed challenges to, but also served as an important means for aspiring members of the Buddhist community to establish their reputation within a wider institutional and non-institutional circle. A systematic investigation of the historically shifting destinations of such travel serves to map out the changing landscapes of Buddhist learning. Based on some preliminary observations, this paper studies: (1) the patterns of clergy travel as well as the distinction and connection between travel and pilgrimage, and (2) the possible connections between the decline of such practice and the changing nature of Buddhist learning.

Neixue: The "Profession" of Sacred Learning in Medieval Chinese Buddhism

Robert M. Gimello, Harvard University

Focusing on certain of the monastic academies of seventh-century Chang’an and Zhongnanshan—most particularly on the careers and writings of several prominent scholar-monks who pursued therein the study of then-influential traditions of thought like "representation-only" (weishi or Yogacara)—this paper will explore the topic of monastic learning as a discipline or form of knowledge and as a clerical career.

Attention will be paid less to the substantive doctrines formulated by the Buddhist scholars in question than to the protocols of their endeavor—its tacit or explicit procedural principles, its shared or contested criteria of inquiry and evaluation, the institutional matrix within which it was conducted, and the sense of mission or vocation that motivated its practitioners and drew them together into self-conscious confraternity different in practice and self-understanding from anything known in either the Indian Buddhist traditions or the traditions of secular Chinese learning.

Drawing on the biographies (hagiographies) of the selected clerics, but especially on the prefaces and introductions with which they opened their treatises and commentaries, we will examine the strategies and tactics of study they employed as they sought to master a huge corpus of largely foreign primary (sutra, jing) and secondary (sastra, lun) sources, to domesticate that corpus, and to create out of it a canon that would be persuasively authoritative within actual (i.e., the social, political, economic) structures of the Chinese samgha. The intent is to show something of how a medieval Buddhist monk-scholar differed from (and perhaps understood himself to differ from) his Indian Buddhist and Chinese non-Buddhist counterparts.

Bodies of Learning and Scholarly Communities in the Mid-Seventh-Century Tang Capital

Alexander Mayer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The historian Burkhardt has highlighted the ternary structure of politics, religion, and culture as forces formatively constellating historical lifeworlds. Among these three it is only culture that he considered genuinely dynamic. While modern research has often focused on either doctrine or socio-political institutions exclusively, it can be argued that in seventh-century China the strongest dynamic transforming the lifeworld issued from the sphere of culture. For the sake of developing a middle ground, I will highlight the cultural dynamic evolving on the basis of the various types of cultivating diverse bodies of learning by scholarly communities. Concentrating on the imperially sponsored Academy established by Xuanzang (600–664), I will study the lineages of the educational elite of the Hongfu and the Ci’en monasteries and relate these, first, to the curricular pivotal bodies of learning of the Vinaya, Sarvåstivåda-Abhidharma, Yogåcåra, Prajnåpåramitå, Tathågatagarbha, and Tantra, and, second, to the modes of learning and their respective applications. By the analysis of the composition of the monastic curriculum together with the tracing of the dislocation of several of its components and finally transformation of the body of learning, we get a better understanding of the cultural dynamic of the time.

The Lay Buddhist and the Appropriation of Pure Land Scriptures in the Song: The Case of Wang Rixiu

Chi-Chiang Huang, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

That the lay Buddhist constituted a major Buddhist group and contributed much to the growth of traditional Buddhism is a noticeable historical fact. Many works on traditional Chinese Buddhism have, one way or another, touched upon lay Buddhists’ function as members of the traditional Buddhist community. Despite the relative paucity of their individual collected works and the piecemeal accounts of their religious lives, lay Buddhists and their multifarious involvements with Buddhism have, or are expected to, become an important area of Buddhist studies. This is because their writings, after having been anthologized or put together as a single volume in different dynastic periods, formed substantial bodies of Buddhist literature and learning informative of the practices of Buddhism at the different levels of scholarly, and perhaps even non-scholarly, communities in traditional China. It is incumbent on a historian of Chinese Buddhism to study and tell the stories about these lay Buddhists and their dedication to Buddhism before he/she assesses their contributions and influences. This paper represents a modest effort along this line. It is concerned with the lay Buddhist, Wang Rixiu, and his writing about the Pure Land faith. It argues that Wang appropriated Pure Land scriptures and interpreted idiosyncratically to his audience some desirable forms of deliverance to the Pure Land, while fervently promoting the Pure Land faith associated with the Buddha Amitabha.

This study is based primarily on the famous tract Longshu Jingtu wen (Writings on the Pure Land by Wang Longshu) which emerged in the Song dynasty. In studying this tract, the author has to contextualize the formation of the text and situate it among a number of similar scholarly writings that formed a significant body of learning germane to the Pure Land tradition. The author also compares the text with the accepted Pure Land scriptures, identifying the proselytizing skills and rhetoric that Wang Rixiu used to champion his own version of rebirth or deliverance, which is often dissimilar to what is taught in scriptures. Reading Wang’s summary of Pure Land scriptures from the viewpoint of text-manipulation/reinterpretation helps shed some light on the lay Buddhist’s subjective and discrete reading and use of Buddhist scriptures, or of Pure Land scriptures in this case, and on the scholarly dissemination of the Pure Land faith when a new form of scholarly Pure Land discourse was under way. Wang Rixiu’s tract represented a powerful voice in scholarly communities in the Song and formed an influential Pure Land literature one may not have expected. It introduced aspirants to the mysterious world of the Buddha Amitabha much more effectively than Pure Land scriptures or their commentaries. It also continued enhancing the process of Buddhism’s signification, as did earlier Buddhist apocrypha.


Session 99: Roundtable: Narratives East and West: Internationalization and Indigenization in the Socioeconomic History of China

Organizer: Billy Kee-Long So, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Chair: Evelyn S. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh

Discussants: Timothy Brook, University of Toronto; Mio Kishimoto, University of Tokyo; Bozhong Li, Tsinghua University; Ts’ui-jung Liu, Academia Sinica; Harriet Zurndorfer, Leiden University; Evelyn S. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh

It is now more than a decade since Evelyn Rawski reviewed leading Chinese/Japanese- and Western-language scholarship on Ming and Qing socioeconomic history for an anniversary issue of the Journal of Asian Studies. Since then, a number of the themes to which she referred, such as ‘publishing and printing,’ ‘women and gender,’ and ‘ethnicity,’ have taken on an identity of their own, and are no longer just ‘sub-fields’ of socioeconomic history. More recently, Rawski has drawn attention to the interest in China’s socioeconomic development by historians of Europe/America who aim to introduce the significance of Asia in the ‘making of the modern world.’ In an unpublished paper she noted that more and more colleges and universities in the United States are enlarging their curricula to include the study of Asia, and by implication, China since the Song dynasty, usually in the form of a world history course. In mainland China, with academic internationalization becoming more commonplace, as demonstrated by the mass movement of Chinese studying abroad, the frequency of international conferences, and not least, the growing popularity of cultural studies and postmodernism, China historians working in institutions of higher learning there may face another kind of challenge: governmental and societal efforts to forge stronger concepts of national and local identity in their teaching and research programs. In other parts of East Asia such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan, China scholars may encounter similar phenomena whereby both internationalization and local priorities affect funding and administration in the academy. Hence, what we are now witnessing in the study of Chinese socioeconomic history is on the one hand, educational institutions in the West revising curricula with a view toward ‘internationalization,’ and on the other hand, their East Asian counterpart stressing indigenous development in this rapidly globalizing age. These two trends, ‘internationalization’ and indigenization, are both contradictory and complementary, and are certain to affect the future development of the study of Chinese socioeconomic history as an academic discipline in both the West and the East.

This roundtable will bring together scholars of Chinese socioeconomic history attached to universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China, all of whom will give a short five-minute summary of how the impact of ‘internationalization’ or ‘indigenization’ has had on their own work (teaching, research, administration, etc.), and how they project the study of Chinese socio-economic history will proceed in the future. Thereafter, those attending this roundtable will be able to put forth their views and have roundtable members and others respond to their statements, questions, and viewpoints.


Session 100: The Rule of Law and Enterprise Reform in China

Organizer: Susan H. Whiting, University of Washington

Chair: Veronica Taylor, University of Washington

Discussant: Minxin Pei, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Keywords: rule of law, economic reform, China, law, political science.

In the neo-liberal paradigm, implementing the "rule of law" is regarded as essential to underpinning economic development and the transition to capitalism in China. Indeed, multilateral institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, along with many think tanks and foundations based in the developed world (including the United States, Japan, and Europe), have initiated technical assistance programs to foster the implementation of "the rule of law." However, the nature of "rule of law" and the role it plays in China differ markedly from the theoretical ideal. Nevertheless, China’s economic transition appears to be progressing apace.

These circumstances raise important questions about the relationship between the "rule of law" and economic reform in China. Clouding the assessment of this relationship is the lack of empirical research on law-related issues, but this gap is beginning to be filled. This panel brings together scholars actively engaged in empirical research on law and economic development. Donald Clarke, one of the leading academic specialists on Chinese law, presents his findings on the economic, political, and legal reasons for the predominance of particular enterprise forms. Tang Xin presents new research on law and the nature of corporate takeovers. Finally, Susan Whiting presents the first of several studies of dispute resolution focusing on labor disputes that arise in the context of enterprise transition. In her capacity as chair, Veronica Taylor brings her expertise on Japanese and Asian law as well as her critical perspective on the law and development literature. As discussant, Minxin Pei brings not only his expertise on the political economy of legal reform in China, but also his experience with the Democracy and Rule of Law Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. This panel will confront both theory and practice with the results of new empirical research on law and enterprise reform.

Corporate Governance, Business Forms, and Investors’ Rights in China

Donald Clarke, Yale Law School

The era of economic reform has seen a proliferation of new business forms in China, as well as great changes in the economic importance of old ones, from individual households and small partnerships on one end of the spectrum to enterprise groups on the other.

In some cases, there are specific regulations governing these forms; in others, they are essentially homegrown. This paper is part of a broader project exploring the economic, political, and legal reasons for the predominance of particular forms in particular sectors of the economy, focusing on how the potentially conflicting interests of various participants in the enterprise are managed and what the implications are for investment incentives. The paper will look in particular at the regulatory structure of the company limited by shares (gufen youxian gongsi).

Takeovers through Agreement of Listed Companies in Mainland China

Tang Xin, Qinghua University School of Law

When the incorporation movement of state-owned enterprises began in the middle of the 1980s in mainland China, the state itself was generally required to be the controlling shareholder in the firms; the listing of the stocks owned by the state or the legal entities was also strictly limited. The situation has not basically changed until now. Nowadays, most of the 1,100 listed companies have issued "state-owned shares" (SOS) and "legal entity owned shares" (LOS); these shares amount to 66 percent of the general capital of the listed companies on the average, and they are not yet permitted to be bought and sold in the stock exchanges. On the contrary, "public shares" which are listed for exchange constitute only a relatively small part of the capital. Thus, it can be hard for the bidders to control the listed companies through a tender-offer on the second market. Such a capital structure of listed companies makes a quantity of shares sluggish and non-transferable; it also makes takeovers through agreement—bargain with the stockholders one by one and acquire enough SOS and LOS—the most realistic method to control a listed company at the present. According to the statistics, cases of listed company takeovers (including so-called "assets rearrangements") increased every year from 1994 to 2000 on the securities market of China. Among all these cases, the vast majority are takeovers through agreement.

Whether, on balance, takeovers are a "good thing" or a bad is a hotly disputed question. Many writers from the U.S. argue that takeovers can realize synergy gains and reduce agency costs—they can even constitute "an effective, simple and common method" to improve corporate governance. The main structure of corporate governance in mainland China is very different from that in the U.S. or U.K., however; so, in the light of the specific conditions on the capital market, it is very important to research if and how to regulate the takeovers through agreement, to protect the minority stockholders of the targets, and to construct takeovers as an effective part of corporate governance. My paper will involve these aspects: a brief review of economic analysis of takeovers through agreement, the "control" under the securities regulations, the due care of a seller of controlling shares, and observations on the relevant provisions of the Securities Law of 1999.

Enterprise Reform and the Generation and Resolution of Labor Disputes in China

Susan H. Whiting, University of Washington

Enterprise reform in China has engendered a growing number of labor disputes. Many of these disputes arise in the context of state-owned enterprise (SOE) transition (including bankruptcy and shareholding conversion, among other forms). Indeed, the relationship between the worker and the firm is being redefined—in some cases through the courts. This paper draws on a unique source of information on labor disputes (namely, an internal publication on labor disputes published by the Ministry of Labor) and employs this source as an empirical window on the nature of disputes, the process of dispute resolution, the choice/sequence of dispute resolution mechanisms, and the role of the courts in redefining the relationship between the worker and the firm.


Session 101: Individual Papers: Female and Minority Stalwarts in Chinese Literature since the Late Qing

Organizer: David Strand, Dickinson College

Chair: Philip F. C. Williams, Arizona State University


Female Heroes (nu haojie): The New Woman in Late Qing Intellectual and Literary Discourse

Rui Shen, Bowdoin College

In the late Qing period, Chinese reform-minded intellectuals made great efforts to construct new ideal models for Chinese women, models that could represent not only the New Woman, but also the transformation of China from a traditional country into a modern nation. For this purpose, female heroes (nu haojie) became the vogue in literature between the years 1902 and 1911. Various ideal nu haojie, from both Chinese history and Western culture, were recast as the ideal reformed woman for a modernizing China.

In this paper I investigate the concept of nu haojie by reading Liang Qichao’s novella The Eastern European Female Hero (Dong’ou nu haojie). While the nu haojie is a traditional Chinese cultural image, it was infused with new meaning during late Qing intellectual and literary discourse. Nu haojie is constructed as the ideal New Woman in Liang’s works. This New Woman became a prototypical female image in twentieth-century Chinese literature, particularly in revolutionary literature. I suggest that the term nu haojie should not be translated into "heroines" but is better interpreted as "female heroes," because the concept itself indicates inherent contradictions. The general image of a nu haojie is a sword-carrying, horse-riding, wine-drinking, masculine woman who has a female body but possesses culturally sanctioned male characteristics and behavior. She is determined to selflessly fight for national liberation. Nu haojie problematizes traditional Chinese gender boundaries and provides a unique subject position for women. However, the construction of nu haojie reflects male intellectuals’ anxiety over imperialist invasions of China as well as a native resistance to the West.

Qiu Jin and Lu Xun

Eileen J. Cheng, University of California, Los Angeles

Qiu Jin was . . . clapped to death.
Lu Xun

Qiu Jin (1875–1907) was a prominent figure in the overseas Chinese student community in Japan since her arrival there in 1904. Lu Xun (1881–1936) was also studying in Japan at the time and familiar with Qiu Jin’s flamboyant character and revolutionary stance. Qiu Jin’s sacrifice apparently left a lasting impression on him, as he refers to it in conversation with and letters to friends, in his essay "Fan Ainong," and in his short story "Medicine." Puzzling contradictions, however, arise in Lu Xun’s various representations of Qiu Jin: how are we to reconcile Lu Xun’s remark that "Qiu Jin was . . . clapped to death," with his representation of her as the male revolutionary Xia Yu in "Medicine," whose execution was accompanied by jeers and condemnation? What accounts for the disparity in the image of Qiu Jin as a figure who garnered widespread attention and applause with that of an isolated revolutionary? In what manner does gender factor into these representations? I will argue that the disparities in these representations reflect both Lu Xun’s own ambiguous attitudes towards revolution as well as his conflicted attitudes towards Qiu Jin. For while he clearly admired Qiu Jin’s commitment to revolution, Lu Xun himself was against political sacrifice and deeply skeptical of the possibilities of revolution. And while paying homage to Qiu Jin’s role as a public figure, he nonetheless harbored a deep-seated reservation towards the tremendous attention that Qiu Jin generated—attention that was no doubt linked to her gender.

Zhang Chengzhi: Ethnic Consciousness and Maoist Legacy

Jin Wu, University of Oregon

In this paper, I argue that Zhang Chengzhi’s identity shift from a pious Maoist, a fanatical former Red Guard, to a staunch advocate of Jahriyya, a local Muslim sect constituted of uneducated peasants in remote and barren northwest China, shows what strategy he took to let the old ideology adapt to the new situation and how he integrated the conflicting ideologies, Jahriyya Muslim and Maoism, into a new hybrid. Zhang’s indignation at and anxiety about the social reality of 1980s and 1990s, in which a "civic society" loomed up and intellectuals lost their privileges as legislators of moral standards, surely is one of the reasons that leads him to reinvent Maoist legacy, which would rather be bellicose than compromise, spiritual than materialistic, emotional than rational. In this regard, Jahriyya, a "poor people’s religion," becomes an ideal substitution for the out-of-date Maoism not only because it highlights Zhang’s inflexibility toward belief, but also because it shows his detestation of all institutionalized powers. As he repeatedly claims in History of the Soul (1991), a novel that chronologically traces the history of Jahriyya Muslims, that "I am in the remote Beijing," Zhang’s real desire is to decenter the universally accepted configuration of Chinese culture and politics. Inheriting the Maoist legacy of anti-intellectuals, Zhang’s way to engage in ideological construction in the post-Mao period distinguishes him from his contemporary humanists who also worried about "loss of human spirit" under the pressure of rampant commercialism. In fact, Zhang’s ethnic consciousness had not been really aroused until he firmly parted company with the mainstream discourse of contemporary Chinese intellectuals.

Historical Alternatives for China: Tibet in Contemporary Fiction by Tashi Dawa, Alai, and Ge Fei

Howard Y. F. Choy, University of Colorado, Boulder

While the Beijing government celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its "liberation" of Tibet in the summer of 2001, a selection of fiction about this autonomous region of China by contemporary Tibetan and Chinese writers, entitled Tales of Tibet, was first published in English. Originally writing in Chinese, the authors are credited with their use of traditional Tibetan culture to create "an oriental alternative for China as it confronts the incursion of Western rational materialism." Dichotomous as it may seem to be, some narratives collected in this book, plus a few more I found from other sources, indeed exemplify a new generation’s literary efforts to question and supplement the official history of Tibet invented by the Communist Party, or, in Tsering Shakya’s words, "the rejection of the colonizer’s linear view of history."

In this paper I will analyze six texts by two Tibetans, namely, Tashi Dawa and Alai, as well as one Han Chinese, Ge Fei. Tashi Dawa’s three magic-realist stories bend the linear twentieth century into a circular life span but blank out when the British and Chinese forces invaded Lhasa. in the first decade of the 1900s and early 1950s respectively. The 1903–4 military expedition led by Col. Francis Younghusband, however, is picked up in Ge Fei’s novella, which ends in a Buddhist monk’s assertion that the Earth is triangular, suggestive of the tripodic Sino-Tibetan-British relations. Infused with tears and blood from 1950–51 to the Cultural Revolution, Alai’s intertextual biographies of his father, who is a fallen noble, and his father’s foe and friend, a wandering Red Army veteran, are personal searches for identities and memories lost under Chinese rule. These pieces, complementary to each other in the time frame, at once rewrite the local history of the plateau and present alternative models for Chinese historiography.


Session 116: Art in Daily Doses: Authorship and Fiction Serialization in Twentieth-Century China

Organizer: John Christopher Hamm, University of Washington

Chair and Discussant: Michel Hockx, University of London

Discussant: Rey Chow, Brown University

Keywords: China, literature, popular culture, twentieth century.

Although serialization in newspapers and periodicals has been a crucial medium for the circulation of fiction in modern China, scant scholarly attention has been devoted to the role played by serialization in shaping either the texts so circulated or the professional identities of their authors. The participants in this panel break new ground in approaching the material and discursive aspects of authorship and serialization across a range of periods and locales. Alexander Des Forges analyzes the distinctive aesthetic of serialized fiction and explores its relationship with the conscious articulation of authorial professionalism during the late Qing and early Republican eras. Eileen Chow addresses perhaps the most admired of commercial authors, Zhang Henshui, and a crucial paradox of market-oriented writing: the tension between commodification and the aura of artistic uniqueness. Chris Hamm considers the construction of "literature" and authorial identity through antagonistic struggle with serialization and the cultural order it represents in a classic of modernist fiction from Hong Kong. The multiple strands connecting these three papers, and their implications for our study of texts and the material and social contexts of their circulation, will be addressed in prepared remarks by the panel’s two discussants: Michel Hockx (SOAS, University of London), who specializes in the sociology of modern Chinese literature, with a particular interest in literary journals and the literary field of the Republican period; and Rey Chow (Brown University), who has published widely on modern Chinese literature, cinema, and culture. The discussants’ remarks will also be aimed at stimulating audience comments and discussion.

Wild Chickens, Professional Anxiety, and the Problem of Desire: 1909 to 1924

Alexander Des Forges, University of Massachusetts, Boston

This paper investigates the imagination of the "professional author" as a figure in late Qing and early Republican vernacular fiction, with particular attention to the reconceptualization of the narrative as commodity, the emphasis on local informants on whom the author depends as laborers in a market-based enterprise, and the dynamics of simultaneity that ensue from the production of multiple works of fiction in a single "workshop." We are led to believe that the writer featured in these texts differs radically from the author of a previous generation, who poured him or herself entire into a single work that would express his or her individuality to future generations; the professional writer, instead, is afflicted by multiplicity in his or her output and subscribes closely to the fickle interests of contemporary audiences. These early-twentieth-century professional authors therefore find it necessary to distinguish themselves from other purveyors of commodified texts, like journalists; in the process they develop a distinctive aesthetic of delay, transience, and refined structure through which the serial fiction of this period can profitably be read. How does the "professionalism" characteristic of these authors relate to the pejorative yet multivalent term yeji (wild chicken), used to refer to urban business conducted under independent or ad hoc auspices? What are the ways in which the reader/consumer’s desire for further installments of text is conceptualized, and how does this desire relate to the distinctive serial aesthetic? Finally, how do figures of professional practice, salesmanship, and manufactured desire tie into the broader routinization of leisure time in early-twentieth-century urban China?

The Real and Fake Zhang Henshuis: Copyrights and Afterlives, or the Author in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, Harvard University

In a 1943 newspaper column titled "A Theft of Words," the popular writer of serialized fiction Zhang Henshui expresses his distress over the manner in which he is circulating beyond his control: "I cannot stash the three characters ‘Zhang Henshui’ away in a safe deposit box, can I?" Zhang was rightfully preoccupied with copies and fakes—a veritable cottage industry of forging the best-selling novelist’s works had sprung up by the latter half of his career. Questions of authorship, authenticity, copyright, and afterlives thread throughout the author’s life and fictions. In twentieth-century literary history, there is the paradoxical need to see film and literature as faithfully documenting the real yet also to claim it as artistically "unique" and so copyrightable. This is Zhang Henshui’s dilemma: he is a "word machine" who dictates what he sees—yet the aura of his authorship becomes itself a marketable commodity. While Zhang always claimed that he was "just doing his job" as he churned out novel after novel, we might also see his prodigious production as an expression of an age in which the fortuitous conjunction of technology, commercialization, and star culture create a new status for the author. Copyright becomes an articulation of the relationship between a novelist and his work, and by studying it we may be able to trace the production of another, more naturalized fiction, our construction of an author’s life. What does it mean to pursue the "biographical subject" in the age of mass culture and mechanical reproduction, when the "aura" of the author is mass mediated and mass produced?

Serialization, Addiction, and the Impossibility of Art: Liu Yichang’s The Drunkard

John Christopher Hamm, University of Washington

The fiction and literary supplements of Hong Kong’s burgeoning and fiercely competitive newspapers during the 1950s and 1960s hosted a wealth of serialized fiction, in modes both high-brow and low-brow and in genres ranging from social comedy to martial arts adventure. Liu Yichang’s classic modernist novel Jiutu (The Drunkard, 1962) offers a portrait of the social contexts and psychic experience of serialized fiction from an author’s perspective—a virulently dystopic vision of a world in which the unchallenged dominance of the values of the market-place reduces the would-be artist to a cycle of addiction and "literary prostitution." This paper examines the novel’s representation of literary activity in postwar Hong Kong and probes the intersection of such representation with the text’s own practice. How is the production of a resolutely "literary" text such as Jiutu possible under the conditions it portrays? Or to what extent is a representation of the impossibility of art constitutive of the text’s self-creation? What is the role of the writer—the "drunkard" of the title—in such a conception of literary art, and how does the text’s first-person stream-of-consciousness narration refract the writer’s represented plight? The exploration of these questions will illuminate not only the text under consideration but also the discursive parameters of the field of literary production in mid-century Hong Kong.


Session 117: Cultivating Perfection: Women’s Religious Practices in Traditional China

Organizer: Xun Liu, University of Southern California

Chair: Livia Kohn, Boston University

Discussant: Miriam Lindsey Levering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Despite formidable gender, social, and political restrictions, Chinese women actively pursued a variety of Daoist and Buddhist self-cultivation practices during the last millennium which spans from late Tang to the late Qing dynasties.

Using fresh and unexplored primary sources, this panel seeks to reconstruct both the inner and the outer worlds of women’s religious practices. Based on their close reading of poems, practice manuals, testimonials, and hagiographies written by or for women practitioners, the four panelists explore how women’s spiritual and religious practice was constructed, how women produced culture and meanings through such practice, and how such factors as their personal circumstances, social and gender relations, and practical concerns for health and spiritual well-being shaped their pursuits of Daoist and Buddhist self-cultivation practice over time.

Additionally, the panel also examines the role of writing and its relationship to women’s practice. By analyzing the poems, hagiographies, instruction manuals, and practice testimonials related women’s practice, the panel seeks to ascertain women’s role and their voice in the production and consumption of knowledge about their religious practice.

Leaving Home and Wandering Unrestrained: Chan Master Jizong Xingche (b. 1606)

Beata Grant, Washington University, St. Louis

This paper is an exploration of the religious training, and subsequent teaching and practice of Jizong Xingche (b. 1606), a Linji Chan Buddhist abbess and formal dharma-heir of Wanru Tongwei (1594–1657). Based largely on her written work, semi-autobiographical accounts, poems and correspondences with her family and her male and female followers, the study demonstrates that Jizong Xingche, and a number of other abbesses like her, played a key role in the brief revival of Linji Chan practice during the late Ming and early Qing period.

Her writings reveal a woman determined to follow the traditional patterns of spiritual cultivation of the old Linji Chan masters, including the intensive use of the huatou and the focus on liberation rather than merely accommodation, and the necessity and spiritual value of enduring hardship and engaging in extensive travel. As a teacher, she was concerned, as were her more famous male contemporaries such as Yunqi Zhuhong and Hanshan Deqing, about the lack of discipline within monastic communities. She was also very supportive of lay practice, although insistent that practice within the home did not justify a slackening of the traditional Linji discipline and determination.

In her writings, at least, Jizong Xingche often echoes the traditional Chan rhetoric about enlightenment being beyond male and female; in instructing her disciples, which included many men and women from prominent literati-official families, she also made substantial use of the small but important body of stories and Chan cases featuring women.

Women’s Religious Practice during the Tang Period

Suzanne E. Cahill, University of California, San Diego

Using poems and hagiographies from the Tang period, I will explore how Tang women create culture and meaning within the limitations placed upon them by Chinese society, how religious practice gives them opportunities to do this, what happens when their goals exceed what they are able to do, how they turn violence and obstacles into transformative occasions. Further, I also discuss to what extent poetry can show us the voices of actual women practitioners, and to what extent hagiographical accounts are reliable in telling us about women’s actual practice.

Repelling Illnesses: Women’s Meditative Healing Practices in the Late Ming

Xun Liu, University of Southern California

While both Ming gynecological discourse (fuke) and neo-Confucian-informed social ideology stipulated gestation and reproduction as the primary goals of managing women’s bodies and health, Daoist and inner alchemic discourse (neidan) of the late Ming responded to such established medical and social ideology with complex and divergent views about women’s bodies, health, and their functions.

Cao Heng, a Daoist inner alchemist, medical writer, and syncretist follower of Lin Zhao-en (1517–1598) active during the late Ming period, published one of the earliest pieces on women’s meditative and healing regimens based on Daoist inner alchemy in 1632. Most of his regimens teach women how to use inner alchemic meditation techniques in treating common gyno-obstetrical disorders. In examining these regimens, I seek to understand Cao Heng’s construction of the female body, his etiology of female illnesses, and his approach to women’s healing and health.

I argue that with their specific understanding of the female body and illnesses and their detailed operative instructions, Cao’s regimens represented the earliest comprehensive female meditative and healing practices based on Daoist inner alchemy and that almost from their inception, Daoist female meditative and healing regimens had integrated inner alchemy’s goal of soaring transcendence with women’s practical concerns for reproductive and day-to-day health. Yet at the same time, self-healing meditation regimens prescribed by Cao were also the very conduits which enabled women to engage themselves in spiritual and religious pursuits beyond their physical and reproductive well-being.

Composing Transcendence: Women’s Spiritual Practice Poems of the Late Qing Period

Elena Valussi, University of London

In this paper I will analyze poems on female alchemical practice written by historical women or received from female immortals during séance, mostly from the Qing as well as earlier periods. Composed to address and reflect various aspects of female alchemy practice, these poems afford us a rare opportunity to examine the practice conditions and the inner worlds of female practitioners during the period. By closely reading between the lines, I hope to explore such issues as conceptions of the female body and of female religious practice from a female point of view.


Session 118: Wicked People and the Chinese State: Common Transgressions and Political Control from Qing to Republic

Organizer: Mark McNicholas, University of California, Berkeley

Chair: Nancy Park, Independent Scholar

Discussant: Bradly W. Reed, University of Virginia

Keywords: China, history, crime, state, Qing-Republic.

Swindling, robbery, adultery, drug addiction, littering: Such transgressions are quite common, but at times Chinese governments have taken them very seriously. Why? Whereas many studies of China’s history emphasize the damage inflicted on the state by large-scale social, religious, and political organizations and movements, this panel will shift the focus to seemingly "petty" transgressions that ruling regimes found no less threatening.

We begin by examining a wide range of officially-denounced miscreants whose insidious behaviors undermined state-sanctioned social, moral, and political orders from the High Qing to the Republic. These included presumptuous commoners who forged government documents and impersonated officials, private security guards who shielded robbers from the police, urbanites whose misdemeanors challenged state visions of proper civic conduct, and poppy growers and opium smokers who impeded the Nationalist nation-building project.

The difficulties these offenses created for the state could be as formidable as those created by major political opposition. Failed attempts at eradication revealed limited state capacities and profound weaknesses in the ruling structure: The eighteenth-century bureaucracy could not prevent infiltration and abuse of its authority by outsiders, and the late Qing state’s inadequate police control turned travelers to underworld elements for protection. Republican efforts at social cleansing were compromised from within or overwhelmed by the sheer number of "wicked" people they confronted.

Thus, by extending the historian’s focus to putatively minor transgressions, this discussion deepens our understanding of state-society tensions in China and helps to explain the state’s historical preoccupation with subduing, controlling, and remodeling its subjects.

Growers, Smokers, and the Limits of State Authority: Nationalist Opium Suppression in Town and Country

Alan Baumler, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

This paper uses state statistics, policy debates, and the reminiscence literature to demonstrate how the Chinese Nationalist (Guomindang) government adjusted its nation-building project to the social and ideological landscapes of urban and rural China and to its own limited capacities. The Guomindang made repeated efforts to stop people from producing and smoking opium outside of its monopoly system, and these attempts reveal fundamental differences in the regime’s approach to urban and rural crime. The disparities are related in part to the positions that farmers and drug addicts occupied in the Nationalists’ project and in part to the levels of knowledge and control the state had in different settings.

Poppy growers, presumably ignorant and economically desperate as well as remote from the national project and potentially rebellious, were treated with relative tenderness. Moral suasion, economic incentives, and the threat of drastic punishment were the preferred methods. Urban opium smokers were both directly connected to discourses of national decay and decadence and easier for the state to find and control. A process of rehabilitation, either self-directed or in a state-run opium clinic, was needed to cleanse the smoker of his crimes. If this failed, imprisonment or execution might be appropriate.

In each case the state faced limits on its ability to control its own bureaucracy. Both urban and rural representatives of the state took advantage of their positions to subvert the law for their own benefit, and Nanjing was forced to adapt its policies to the natures of both citizens and functionaries.

Bandits, Private Security Forces, and Officials: The Ambiguity of Authority in Qing and Republican China

James McGough, University of Washington

Increasing commercialization of the economy during the Qing and into the Republican period, in conjunction with deficiencies in local police control, led to the development of private security agencies, or biaoju. These organizations provided armed escort for travelers and merchants and their cargo, contracted with the government to convey tax revenues, bullion, and the like, and provided bodyguard services to protect the persons, property, and kin of the wealthy and powerful.

The biaoke (guards; employees of a biaoju), who generally came from the same social ranks as did the bandits, highwaymen, and robbers, tried to keep them at bay through intimidation, the ability to speak criminals’ argot, intimate knowledge of their methods, and, often, personal relationships with them. The behind-the-scenes backing of an official, or other powerful person with official ties was also crucial; someone who could provide protection from schemers, secret society groups, and the outlaws against whom the biaoke in turn provided protection.

I will use a variety of historical sources to discuss the resulting ambiguity of authority in which, for example, bandits sometimes obtained protection from police forces by relying upon personal ties with the biaoke, who in turn used their private influence with powerful officials to stymie the police forces in their attempts to arrest those same bandits.

Presumptuous Commoners and the Vulnerable State: Forgery and Impersonation in Eighteenth-Century China

Mark McNicholas, University of California, Berkeley

Identity theft enjoys a venerable history. This paper examines two crimes that were common in the middle years of China’s Qing dynasty (1644–1912): forgery of official documents and impersonation of government personnel by members of the general populace. A study of these seemingly isolated offenses reveals both their broad political significance and numerous institutional obstacles to their eradication.

First, the variety and frequency of these crimes show that the state was systemically vulnerable to fraudulent use of its authority in such key areas as policing, tax collection, and the sale of ranks and offices. Outsiders with some knowledge of official symbols and procedures—from lower gentry to day laborers—could and often did interpose themselves and, pretending to represent the state, swindle money and gifts from unsuspecting victims. Second, while most such offenses stemmed from a desire for money, in the eyes of the state they held grave political implications. Even a minor fraud could damage the government’s prestige, and officials were especially alert for signs of political organization. Finally, the crimes persisted despite a growing array of administrative safeguards, laws, investigations, and severe punishments. The porous bureaucratic structure itself, a confusing mix of formally ranked officials and privately recruited underlings, inevitably invited deception even in the halcyon days of Qing stability.

This paper is based on archival case records from Beijing and Taipei, and is part of a larger project, my dissertation on popular appropriations of official authority in the middle Qing.

Wicked Citizens and the Social Origins of China’s Modern Authoritarian State: Civil Strife and State Control in Republican Beiping, 1928–1937

Yamin Xu, University of California, Berkeley

The gentry-centered order that characterized the political landscape of the late Qing was fundamentally altered under Nationalist rule, and would be further demolished by the Communists as the modern Chinese state strove relentlessly to reassert and extend more direct control over its people. To broaden our understanding of this process, this paper, using official documents and local newspaper coverage, directs our attention to interactions between state and society in the local setting of Republican Beiping (Beijing).

Beiping in the 1920s and 1930s, as municipal authorities bitterly complained and local newspapers reported daily, was a diseased city filled with multitudinous "wicked people" (jianren): ordinary citizens turned kidnappers, thieves, quacks, con artists, adulterers, wife-beaters, litterbugs, and street corner urinators. Their "evil social practices" (diaofeng) corrupted "public morality" (fenghua) and created rising tensions and tremendous uncertainty in already deeply pauperized families and neighborhoods, seriously challenging the validity of the newly-established Republican social, moral, and political order.

From the perspective of city authorities, family and social crises created by "wicked people" called for "political tutelage" that could be implemented only by an omnipotent authoritarian state. The municipal government saw itself as an enlightened and sanctified local agent of such tutelage, its foremost duty and mission being the elimination of "wicked people" and remodeling of all citizens to end the unbridled familial and social strife that was leading the city to self-destruction. While the Nationalist efforts ultimately proved ineffective, they presaged new and more comprehensive approaches to state control in the People’s Republic.


Session 119: Roundtable: New and Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Contemporary Chinese Civil Society

Organizer and Chair: Margaret M. Pearson, University of Maryland

Discussants: William P. Alford, Harvard Law School; Richard Baum, University of California, Los Angeles; Douglas Guthrie, New York University; Margaret M. Pearson, University of Maryland; Elizabeth J. Perry, Harvard University; Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Indiana University

The early 1990s saw a "first wave" of scholarship on the emergence of civil society in China. This initial scholarship, which followed the form and tone of such analyses on post-1989 Eastern Europe, sparked something of a "counterwave" critique. Since the first iteration of scholarship on China appeared, discussion has been largely farmed out to the disciplines—sociology, political science, history, and (to a lesser extent) law. To wit: sociologists and political scientists (but not economists!) have considered the degree to which economic reform is a crucible for political liberalization; historians have examined the historical precedence in pre-1949 China for civil society and the "public sphere"; and legal scholars have detailed and theorized about the seeds for and obstacles to emergence of the "rule of law." These discipline-based studies offer a plethora of empirical materials, many based on regional, sectoral, or functional studies, that are alternately supportive and critical of "civil society" conceptualizations.

This roundtable has been organized out of the sense that it is time to attempt a synthesis. Hence, we will ask: what have we learned about phenomena that look like civil society? Are they in fact indicators of civil society? Where is the strongest support for the concept, and where is the weakest? Ultimately, is the concept a robust one for contemporary China? 1f "civil society" fails us, what alternative conceptualizations prove useful across disciplines? Finally, what conclusions can we draw as to the multidisciplinary "state of civil society."


Session 120: "We Are Old Friends": China’s Cooperative Bilateral Relations with Burma, North Korea, Pakistan, and Thailand

Organizer: Andrew Scobell, U.S. Army War College

Chair: Suisheng Zhao, University of Denver

Discussant: Allen S. Whiting, University of Arizona

Keywords: China, Burma, North Korea, Pakistan, Thailand, foreign relations.

Scholarly understandings of China’s cooperative international behavior remain modest. In fact, it is China’s conflictual behavior, rather than its amity, that has tended to attract more research, especially with regard to its regional neighbors. While China’s cooperative relations with the superpowers (i.e., the Soviet Union and United States) have been studied extensively, its alliances and alignments with Asian neighbors remain an under-examined topic. Studies of China’s conflicts or rivalries with neighboring countries tend to be more numerous, particularly in cases where the two countries have come to outright war, such as with India and Vietnam. To help remedy this oversight, this panel focuses on China’s enduring cooperative relationships that tend to be concentrated in Asia. It examines four case studies of China’s cooperative relations: with Burma (Myanmar), North Korea, Pakistan, and Thailand. In each instance the relationship will be examined from the perspective of both China and the respective Asian partner.

The China-Pakistan "Special Relationship"

Devin T. Hagerty, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

China and Pakistan have forged a remarkably robust strategic entente since the early 1960s. For Beijing, its relationship with Islamabad has at various times constituted a foothold in South Asia, a pillar of China’s strategy of containing India, and a means of contesting Russian dominance over Central Asia. For Islamabad, Beijing has for 40 years been Pakistan’s most steadfast ally, providing it with military assistance, economic aid, and strategic reassurance.

The China-Pakistan entente has endured strains in recent years. The Cold War’s end dramatically altered the geopolitical equation throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region. While Pakistan’s dependence on China continues, Beijing’s foreign policy posture has shifted dramatically. China’s main external concerns, once regionally oriented, have steadily become more global. Beijing’s economic liberalization strategy has increased its incentives to cooperate with the United States, Russia, and even India—to the relative neglect of the China-Pakistan relationship.

More recently, the September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington have added to the fluidity and complexity of Asia-Pacific strategic alignments. While it would be foolhardy to predict the precise ordering of the emerging strategic puzzle, it is not premature to begin analyzing how the China-Pakistan entente will be affected. The formation of a semi-permanent, global anti-terrorist coalition, combined with Beijing’s internal concerns about Islamic unrest in western China, gives Chinese decision makers powerful incentives to stop supplying Pakistan with material and technology that can be used to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Much will depend on internal Pakistani political developments over the next year or two. If Pakistan’s tilt toward the West endures, Islamabad and Beijing will continue to have a substantial overlap of strategic interests. If, however, domestic Islamic radicalism trumps Pakistan’s "look West" strategy, China may find irresistible the incentives to abandon an increasingly isolated Pakistan. This paper will analyze the relative probability of these two outcomes.

"The Chinese and the Thais Are Brothers": The Evolution of the Sino-Thai Friendship

Michael R. Chambers, Indiana State University

Thailand has been a key player in China’s policy toward Southeast Asia for the last 40-plus years. In the 1960s, Thailand was a major target of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) support for communist insurgencies in the region and its efforts to combat the U.S. presence/influence on its southern borders. In the 1970s, in the words of a Thai scholar, Sino-Thai relations changed "from enmity to alignment" as the two countries normalized relations in 1975 and then agreed to an informal alliance in 1979 to oppose Vietnam’s invasion and occupation of Cambodia. As a result, Thailand was one of the closest security partners of the PRC during the 1980s. While the close of the Cambodian conflict ended the alliance, Thailand remains a very special friend of China in Southeast Asia. This paper will examine the evolution of the Sino-Thai friendship, and will explain why China and Thailand have sought to maintain this special relationship.

Too Close for Comfort? A Half Century of Beijing-Pyongyang Cooperation

Andrew Scobell, U.S. Army War College

The China-North Korea relationship remains the most enduring, uninterrupted bilateral friendship for both countries. This brothers-in-arms relationship was solidified early during the Korean War. Sharing a common border and ideology, both Beijing and Pyongyang confront the frustration of divided nations. And while, on the one hand, each views the United States as hostile, Beijing and Pyongyang, on the other hand, appear to crave better relations with Washington. Arguably each clings to the other because they have nowhere else to turn—each believes that close cooperation with the other is vital to its own national security. No doubt each country would prefer to be less dependent on the other. China has a major stake in ensuring the continued survival of the North Korean regime and may be willing to go to considerable lengths to guarantee this. Beijing seeks to encourage Pyongyang to undertake economic reforms and soften its bellicose posture on the peninsula. North Korea, meanwhile, has made significant efforts to improve its relations with other countries including South Korea, the United States, and Russia in an effort to obtain foreign aid, investment, and other assistance as well as to lessen its dependence on China. However, these efforts have so far been disappointing to Pyongyang and North Korea seems destined to remain heavily dependent on China for moral support and material assistance.

Chinthei (Lion) and the Naga (Dragon): A Special Relationship?

Tin Maung Maung Than, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

The lion or chinthei symbolizes Myanmar, which is currently under military rule, while Myanmars tend to associate the People’s Republic of China (China hereafter) with the naga or dragon, an image widely used by the West as well. Myanmar’s relationship with China has waxed and waned over the last five decades. Such variations in Myanmar’s relations with its giant neighbor are usually determined by the attitudes and actions of the latter. Nevertheless, Myanmar had been able to deflect undue influence throughout the Cold War period by practicing strict neutrality, while developing personal relationships between the leadership of both countries. However, following the 1988 "uprising" that brought the current military regime to power, the new generation of Myanmar’s military leaders, ostracized by the West, appears to be becoming more dependent on the latter for diplomatic, economic, and military support. Despite the military’s allegations that the now-defunct Burmese Communist Party (BCP) cadres were behind the 1988 upheaval and the fact that BCP leaders were given sanctuary in China, Myanmar sought and embraced China’s friendship in the early years of military rule. The result is a seemingly ever-increasing influx of merchandise, investments, people, weapons and development assistance. However, it is argued that Myanmar’s ensuing "special relationship" with China should be seen in a proper context and allusions to Myanmar becoming a "client state" are simplistic and disingenuous.


Session 121: Engaging Confucian Traditions in the Early Yuan: Chinese Literati in North and South China (Sponsored by the Society for Sung, Yuan, and Conquest Dynasties Studies)

Organizer: Linda Walton, Portland State University

Chair: John D. Langlois, Jr.

Discussants: Hoyt Cleveland Tillman, Arizona State University; Yuan-Chu Ruby Lam, Wellesley College

Keywords: Yuan, Confucianism, intellectual/social history, Daoxue.

Studies of Yuan history have moved well beyond the limitations of the Sinicization approach, but much remains to be understood about the processes of cross-cultural interaction between the Chinese and the Mongol regime and between northerners and southerners in the reunited empire. Explicitly linking intellectual and social history, this panel addresses aspects of the Song-Yuan transition in north and south China. The three papers explore a range of issues related to the accommodation of Confucian literati culture to the conditions of Yuan rule. Chinese scholars in north and south China participated in different ways in the negotiation of Confucianism to the needs of the times. Around the same time that Daoxue gained acceptance as intellectual orthodoxy in the Southern Song, Chinese scholars in the north also began to promote these teachings to their Mongol rulers. How did the exigencies of Yuan rule in the north shape the reception of Daoxue ideas there? After the Mongol conquest of the south, many southern Chinese scholars encountered a precipitous decline in their individual and family fortunes as well as a dramatic alteration in their prospects for professional employment. How did they respond intellectually to these challenges through their reinterpretations of Confucian tradition? How did they resolve the Confucian ethical dilemma of service or retreat in the new circumstances of Yuan rule? By examining the adaptation and negotiation of Confucian traditions by both northern and southern Chinese scholars, all three papers contribute to reconstructing the complex cultural world inhabited by both Chinese and non-Chinese under the Yuan.

Northern Interpretations of Daoxue in the Early Yuan Period

Peter Ditmanson, Colby College

This paper explores the reception and reappropriation of southern Daoxue neo-Confucian teachings among prominent literati at the Mongol Yuan court. These teachings were vaguely known in the north since the late twelfth century, but after the capture of the southern scholar Zhao Fu in the Mongol conquest of the Hubei region in 1235, the coterie of Chinese advisors around Prince Qubilai at Peking began to make authoritative claims to Daoxue teachings.

These scholars were aware of the broad prestige that Daoxue held in the south and they saw considerable potential in the systematic program of Daoxue for bringing intellectual unity and political centralization to the diversity of Chinese scholastic traditions across the new Mongol empire. But in their adoption of these teachings, they transformed the social meaning of Daoxue as it had developed in the south. In particular, they overlooked the patterns of intellectual lineage structures that validated one’s adherence to Daoxue.

It is clear, however, that the social and political features of southern Daoxue were not entirely lost upon these northern scholars. While embracing the ideals of these teachings, some warned of the severe partisan context of this movement in the south, partisanship that many felt had led to the political and social deterioration of the Southern Song.

Negotiating Poverty and Integrity among the Hangzhou and Mingzhou Literati of Early Yuan

Jennifer Jay, University of Alberta

A key figure among the Hangzhou and Mingzhou literati, Dai Biaoyuan (1244–1310) was known for the spirit of chongzhen siwen, loosely translated as "rejuvenating the strand of Confucian culture." We can interpret this notion to apply both to rescuing shi poetry and essays from contemporary mediocrity and, more importantly, to restoring the credibility of siwen by defending the integrity of the scholar-official class.

Among the literati of Hangzhou and Mingzhou, the conflict between individual and group consciousness produced dilemmas concerning poverty and integrity from which only a few, including Dai Biaoyuan, were able to negotiate a pragmatic balance and emerge satisfied with the individual choice of government service. Dai and others like him became associated with schools and academies as teachers, thus influencing the next generation of educated elite.

The primary objective of the paper is to define this pragmatic Confucian culture and to discuss the negotiating process of early Yuan Hangzhou and Mingzhou literati through the writings of Dai Biaoyuan and his contemporaries, including those of his most famous student Yuan Jue (1266–1327). The essence of this culture was using ethics and literary abilities to reinforce each other so that both writings and integrity would become more mature and solid through the experience of hardship and poverty. Dai was persuaded by the fundamental Confucian premise of completing the way of man and achieving the "mandate of heaven," whereby one sought to be without shame in living and to be without regret in dying.

Academies and the Southern Chinese Elite in the Early Yuan

Linda Walton, Portland State University

After the Mongol conquest, southern Chinese scholars faced an ethical dilemma rooted in Confucian ideals: service to the alien Yuan dynasty or retreat to private scholarly life. For the vast majority, however, the question of service or retreat was less a matter of choice between ideals than a practical response to personal or family circumstances and limited professional opportunities. Whether seeking office or withdrawing from public life, academies were important institutions in their lives: some were retreats for private scholarly pursuits; others provided one of the few options for official appointment available to these men. Before the restoration of the examination system in 1313, appointment as headmaster at an academy recognized by the Yuan court was one of the most common means of entry into official life for southern Chinese. The "profession of education," nurtured among scholars in Southern Song academies, provided excellent preparation for this post and thus enabled many southern Chinese to bridge the Song-Yuan transition successfully.

Focusing on the relationship between southern Chinese elite families and academies during the early Yuan, this paper will highlight institutional, intellectual, and social continuities under conditions of foreign rule. It should yield important clues to the fate of the southern Chinese elite after the Mongol conquest, and help to reconstruct a crucial link in the social and intellectual history of the Song-Yuan transition.


Session 122: Language Policy in China: Theory and Practice in Minority Communities

Organizer: Minglang Zhou, Dickinson College

Chair: Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania

Discussants: Florian Coulmas, University of Duisburg, Germany; Ann Maxwell Hill, Dickinson College

Keywords: China, language policy, minority language, minority nationality, national equality.

Since 1949 the Chinese government has recognized, in theory, that language equality is a necessary condition for the equality of nationalities—a concept that Western democracies, too, have been wrestling with. In practice, however, China has difficulties in delivering what it promises to minority nationalities, in spite of, at times, its best efforts.

This panel of international scholars examines the issues in the relationship between China’s minority language policy in theory and the policy in practice. These issues have important consequences for the legal status, well-being, and identity of China’s minorities, and for our understanding of other nation-states where linguistic inequality constitutes a major dimension of social inequality.

As an insider involved in making and implementing language policy in China, Sun reviews policy formation and implementation, particularly in the area of writing reforms, over the last five decades and discusses how China is to address, via legislation, the relationship between Chinese and minority languages in this century. Based on five years’ fieldwork and policy research, Zhou examines the contradiction between the theory and practice of China’s language policy with a focus on the issue of equality in three critical areas—development, legal status, and government service. To resolve the contradiction, he proposes changes in principle and a structured approach for on-the-ground application in minority communities. Complementing Sun’s and Zhou’s contributions, Dwyer takes advantage of her extensive fieldwork in Mongolian communities to demonstrate how minority language policy is locally implemented and its implications for self-identification among Mongolic-language-speaking minority groups in China.

Minority Language Classification in China: The Case of the Mongolic Languages

Arienne M. Dwyer, University of Kansas

The Chinese state’s classification of people into Minority Nationalities in the 1950s was an organizational move that has shaped both language policy and the conceptualization of Minority Nationalities themselves. How and why were these decisions made? How did they affect the lives of ordinary people?

It is well known that membership in an ethnolinguistic community was then determined by the presence of a set of shared features thought to delineate "a" culture and distinguish it from others (e.g., common language, common economy, common territory, common psychological nature). The actual classification process, however, was in many cases more subtle: some peoples with mutually unintelligible languages living in noncontiguous regions were classified as one group (e.g., the "Tu"), while others with mutually intelligible languages in contiguous regions were classified separately (Dagur and Mongolian).

This paper explores the reasons behind such decisions, and how they have affected local language policy and ethnic self-identification. A short video clip will be shown to illustrate the diversity within one nationality.

Writing System Reform for Minority Languages: An Assessment of Issues, Policies, and Practice

Hongkai Sun, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

China’s fifty-five minority groups speak over one hundred languages. Before 1949, only a dozen of these languages had a written form. In the 1950s, the PRC government launched an extensive survey of minority languages and, on the basis of that survey, established a minority language policy aimed at creating writing systems for oral languages and reforming existing minority language scripts. Fifty years’ experience has shown that this policy has been well received in China’s minority communities, for it facilitates the development of their cultures and improvement of their education.

Regarding minority language use, the Chinese government has adhered, since 1949, to the principle of freedom of choice of languages and writing systems for use in education, religion, judicial processes, government, and society at large in minority communities.

Currently, minority language workers are trying to get passed new national legislation on minority languages, so that the maintenance, development, and use of minority languages and writing systems will be fully protected by the law. As globalization in China progresses, this law is intended to address the issue of the relationship between Chinese and minority languages by encouraging minorities to learn Putonghua while maintaining their indigenous languages through various strategies for bilingual education.

This paper contributes to the panel by (1) a review of the formation and implementation of the policy, (2) an examination of a half-century’s practice of the principle of freedom of choice, and (3) a discussion of the current process and principles of the national legislation under deliberation.

Minority Language Policy in China: Equality in Theory and Inequality in Practice

Minglang Zhou, Dickinson College

Since 1949, the PRC has constitutionally guaranteed minority language rights, with the underlying principle that all (minority) languages are equal, based on what it calls the Marxist-Leninist principle of national equality. This paper examines the Chinese government’s actual practice of the principle of equality of minority languages, focusing on development, legal status, and service.

Equality of development requires that all languages have equal opportunities to create, reform, and use their writing systems, whereas in practice the Chinese government has given more opportunities to minority communities strategically located along China’s borders. Equality of legal status requires equal status in law for minority languages as the language of government and its institutions, but in practice the Chinese government limits the status of minority languages by classifying their writing systems as official, experimental, unofficial, or "none." Equality of service mandates the same degree and quality of government service to speakers of all languages, but the majority of Han officials in autonomous governments fail to provide it.

This paper shows that there is a contradiction between the government’s practice of the Hobbesian principle of equality—minority communities of equal threat to the state receive equal rights (in language)—and the minority communities’ perception of the constitutional rights in light of the principle of equality of benefits. This contradiction is harmful to ethnic harmony and minority language maintenance. Thus, this paper proposes the principle of equality of respect, in theory, and a structured approach, in practice, as a means of eliminating the contradiction.


Session 136: Split Screen Connections: Rethinking Chinese Cinemas through Transnationality

Organizer and Chair: Christopher A. Berry, University of California, Berkeley

Discussant: Jianmei Liu, University of Maryland

Keywords: transnationality, cinema, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, globalization, national cinema.

This panel looks at the links and disjunctures between the different Chinese cinemas to meet the challenge of thinking transnationally and reconfiguring studies of the Chinese cinema as studies of Chinese cinemas. In the wake of the opening of the People’s Republic and its rapid insertion into the current wave of "globalization," academics have both examined Chinese involvement in transnational phenomena and questioned the national framework upon which much prior scholarship rested. This is also true for studies of Chinese cinemas. In the introduction to his anthology Transnational Chinese Cinemas (University of Hawaii Press, 1997), Sheldon Hsiao-Peng Lu notes not only the growing direct links between different Chinese cinemas in recent years, but that these Chinese cinemas never developed in national isolation, contrary to the implications of the long-standing national cinema model.

How do we respond to this challenge of thinking outside the national and re-thinking the connections between the Chinese cinemas without collapsing the distinctions between them? The split screen effect places different images within one frame, where they are viewed at the same time without being reduced to one image. It serves as a guiding metaphor for this panel. Each paper selects a particular theme, visual trope, or other pattern found in at least two Chinese cinemas, and considers how they may be connected and at the same time function autonomously within their own local context.

Real to Real: Long Shot Aesthetics in Chinese New Wave Cinemas

Christopher A. Berry, University of California, Berkeley

In the 1980s, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People’s Republic of China each experienced a cinematic New Wave. Hong Kong directors like Allen Fong, Ann Hui, and Tsui Hark emerged at the beginning of the 1980s, when a young generation of Taiwanese filmmakers also made their first films. By the middle of the decade, they were joined by the mainland Chinese 1982 graduates of the Beijing Film Academy now known as the "Fifth Generation." All three groups shared exposure to the Bazinian realist aesthetics, which attacked the use of close-ups and the shot reverse-shot editing style of Hollywood cinema as unrealistic and advocated a long shot aesthetic instead. The trace of this exposure appears in the films from these three different cinemas, but in different ways. Through the close examination of selected examples of long shot aesthetics and the consideration of the different kinds of mainstream cinema the Hong Kong, Taiwan, and People’s Republic New Waves were in rebellion against, this paper seeks to grasp both the connections and local differences between these Chinese cinema movements.

Family Resemblance and Sibling Conflict: Rethinking "Chinese Cinema"

Yiman Wang, Duke University

This paper revisits the reified notion of "Chinese cinema" with a hope to reconfigure it as a border-crossing performance.

I focus on three films from different historical periods of Shanghai and Hong Kong. They are the 1934 Shanghai-made Sister Flowers, the 1962 Hong Kong-made The New Sister Flowers, and the 1965 Shanghai-made Stage Sisters. Drawing on Tom Gunning’s notion of "cinema of attraction," I explore how the variable forms "attraction" of the visual-aural spectacle were simultaneously shaped by and constitutive of their socio-cultural circumstances. The second part deals with the films’ differing formulations of gender, class and self-identity. These signal the diverse audiences and spectatorial horizons the films sought to cultivate. A related issue is how local producers and critics appropriated the films for self-positioning. This can be addressed in connection with what Gerard Genette calls the "paratextuality" of the films.

The films serve as sites of (re)iterating and deploying cultural, regional identities for the purpose of resisting the ideological "other." Utilizing various strategies of intertextual translation and transposition of the "other," they seek to perform into being a unique subject position. In this sense, the nation-centered "Chinese cinema" dissolves into a constellation of positions of iteration that constantly vie with each other, thereby paradoxically contributing to each other’s formation.

An Exilic Phantasmagoria on the Screenscape: Floating in Between

Ping Fu, Carleton College

Marx used the term "phantasmagoria" to refer to the deceptive appearance of commodities as "fetishes" in the marketplace. Benjamin later adapted the term in his description of the spectacle of Paris, which he characterized as a magic-lantern show of optical illusions that would rapidly change in size and blend into one another. The former bespeaks of the economic analysis of capital whereas the latter contends a philosophy of historical experience. Yet both standpoints pinpoint how the representational value of the spectacle formulates and contextualizes people’s perception and understanding of it. By the same token, the exilic phantasmagoria/ spectacle perceptively epitomizes cultural traveling through the spatio-temporal density of interculturality and interpoliticality between a homeland and a foreign land. My inquiry into the production of the exilic phantastmagoria can be summarized as a gesture toward the reappropriation of the in-between political cognition and cultural practice in transregional and transnational contexts and conditions.

The case subjects scrutinized in my paper are a group of recent Hong Kong films and mainland films that reflect boundary crossing and the floating life of an exile. By examining these films and their historical conditions, my paper will explore how these films are cast in the common or different visions of the interrelationship and interaction between nations and nation-states in terms of political assertions, cultural practices, and aesthetic manifestations, and how the interface of global forces and local constellations is refracted through the public and private tastes of different regions in China.

The Representation of Colonial Time in Shanghai ’30s and Taiwan ’80s

Guo-Juin Hong, University of California, Berkeley

This paper is concerned with the representation of colonial time in two different time periods and locations; namely, Shanghai in the ’30s and Taiwan in the ’80s. In the face of colonial influences, these two cinemas share an intention to negotiate modernity. In both cases, modernity is not a ready-made import but a point of conflict and contention, a point where different temporalities converge and diverge. Through an investigation of how these two cinemas deal with colonial time in different ways, I want to show that colonial space needs also to be understood as a temporal problem. Cinema is best suited for such theorizing because cinematic space can only be apprehended through time: both the time in which the narrative unfolds and the time needed for the narrative to take place.

In Shanghai cinema, the ubiquitous image of the clock tower on the Bund represents an imposing time, a temporal center around which various urban temporalities are organized. Many Taiwanese films in the ’80s, on the other hand, approach the urban/modern from the outside, either from the rural fringes or from a historical past. The obsession here, in clear contrast to Shanghai cinema, is a desire to return to an uncontaminated/rural innocence or to a mythical/ national origin. While Shanghai cinema in the ’30s strives for a unified timeline towards a new national future, Taiwanese cinema in the ’80s seeks to jettison a homogenized national time in search of an already lost national past.


Session 137: Narcotic Culture: A Social History of Drugs in Modern China

Organizer and Chair: Frank Dikötter, University of London

Discussant: Sander Gilman, University of Illinois

Keywords: narcotics, consumption, injection, medicine, prohibition, social exclusion.

Opium and China are synonymous, yet historians have so far failed to answer one key question: why was opium rather than cannabis or coffee so eagerly consumed? This panel will analyze the cultural significance and social uses of narcotics from the sixteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries to highlight how and why demand for drugs was generated. On the basis of newly discovered archival material, the three papers will focus on the social dynamics behind the huge expansion of narcotics, from opium smoking as a prestigious élite activity in the seventeenth century to the mass use of morphine in the twentieth century. The panel will aim to: (1) account for the rapidly changing patterns of opium consumption and establish their cultural, social and economic determinants; (2) explore the "pre-history" of opium well before the advent of the "Opium War" in order to explain how foreign merchants responded to indigenously generated demands; (3) explode the myth of "opium smoking" as the main consumption pattern by charting various narcotics used in the twentieth century while highlighting their diverse modes of consumption, from heroin pills to morphine injections; (4) elucidate how prohibition contributed to social exclusion, driving drug consumption down the social ladder as it was criminalized, and how far government policies purporting to contain opium actually created a "drug problem."

Opium as Pleasure and Cure in Late Imperial China

Lars Laamann, SOAS, University of London

In late imperial China, opium fulfilled essential social and medical needs which have been routinely disregarded by modern historians. Based on official records and private accounts, this paper will analyze the changing patterns of narcotic consumption during the Qing. It will argue that opium was used by various social groups, consumed for differing reasons, and that its use led to excess and "addiction" far less frequently than commonly assumed. Opium was an essential component of social activities, and to offer it was a customary ritual of hospitality. Its reputation as an aphrodisiac was legendary, as it was thought that it could enhance male longevity and improve one’s sex life. It is important to note that "opium" was never a single substance in its medical uses. Differences in anarcotine contents were crucial, due to its greater febrifugal properties. The smoking of anarcotine-rich Bengali opium, for instance, formed a popular weapon in the fight against epidemics, in particular malaria, cholera and the plague. As in contemporary Europe (laudanum, belladonna), opium could be administered in combination with alcohol and aromatic oils or essences against fevers and dysentery. Foreign surgeons also observed with interest the inhalation of opium as prescribed by local physicians against rheumatism and malarial fever (ague). Opium was especially appreciated for calming gastric and abdominal convulsions. In the absence of a modern healthcare system, opium provided solace and hope for countless ordinary people.

A History of Narcotic Consumption in Modern China

Xun Zhou, SOAS, University of London

Narcotic consumption was widespread in modern China. Large quantities of heroin, morphine, and cocaine were imported and used by those who could not afford to smoke opium. Heroin was sold in pills, including the "red pill," the "golden elixir" and an array of "anti-opium" quack remedies, while morphine was injected in dens catering for the poor. The modern pharmaceutical industry further marketed a whole range of new alkaloids such as dionine, codeine, eukodol, papaverin, pantopon, and pavinol. Such substances were snorted, smoked, chewed, and injected by consumers from very different social backgrounds, ranging from government officials to homeless vagrants. By using newly uncovered archival material, this paper seeks to explore the cultural and social determinants of narcotic consumption across the social divides, although it concentrates on the mass of ordinary people. Instead of superficially referring to all users as "addicts" who were in the iron grip of physical dependence, as most historians of China have done, it emphasizes the variety of consumer choices and their experiences, ranging from the use of morphine to kill pain, red pills to relieve boredom, opium to induce sleep, or cocaine to fight a hangover. For the vast majority of users, however, narcotics provided welcome relief from a range of diseases where pain was a prominent symptom, including neuralgia, migraine, bronchitis and other lung troubles, diabetes, renal diseases, bowel and rectal complaints, and women’s diseases. Last but not least, this paper will elucidate how prohibition contributed to social exclusion, accelerated the downward spread of narcotic consumption and engendered a black market that pushed opium smokers to switch to morphine injection—few drugs, indeed, become safer when their distribution is handed over to criminals.

A Cultural History of the Syringe

Frank Dikötter, University of London

Morphine spread quickly during the anti-opium movements in China because it was cheaper and easier to use than opium: its injection became widespread among hundreds of thousands of users in the republican period. This paper will explore the almost magical properties attributed to the syringe in both élite medical culture and popular drug consumption in modern China. Although the hypodermic syringe appeared only in the late nineteenth century, it rapidly became an established feature of drug consumption and self-medication. After-care drugs were initially injected into the veins of opium smokers in detoxification centers, thus introducing many patients for the first time to the hypodermic syringe and contributing to the banalization of injection. Morphine was commonly applied hypodermically in guesthouses and morphine dens in the 1910s and 1920s; it was widespread among workers, many of whom died every year of septicemia induced by dirty needles. Needles were also used for administering a whole variety of products offered by pharmaceutical companies, from vitamins to tonics against cough or a headache. Quack doctors claiming to be able to cure venereal diseases with the hypodermic needle were legion, a reflection of the popular belief in the efficacy of injected medicine. On the other hand, modern medical innovations including serums and vaccines were also based on intravenous use. Our own idea that injection habits among drug users are particularly injurious may, of course, be due to culturally determined fears of the syringe which also need to be questioned.


Session 138: Perspectives and Problematics in Chinese Theories of Reading

Organizer: Ming Dong Gu, Rhodes College

Chair: Shuen-Fu Lin, University of Michigan

Discussant: Pauline Yu, University of California, Los Angeles

Keywords: exegetical inertia, perspectives of reading, problematics of reading, formal aspects of reading, new paradigms.

Reading is an indispensable part of cultured life in general and an essential procedure for scholarship in particular. Whether one reads for personal enjoyment or scholarly research, and whether one reads literature, history, philosophy, or other writings, he/she is invariably adopting a perspective to read his/her materials. A great deal of attention has been paid to "what has caused one to adopt a certain perspective in reading." But as to "how a certain perspective may affect one’s reading," not much has been done. This situation has existed partly because the "how" involves conceptual inquiries into reading and partly because it concerns formal aspects more than thematic aspects of reading. The formal aspects of reading are an area that deserves more attention than it has received, especially from the theoretical perspective. Reading is not simply a process of getting the content or information out of a text; its outcome is often controlled by the formal elements of reading, especially perspectives. In a way, perspectives on reading have constituted some of the fundamental problematics in reading. These problematics have troubled traditional Chinese scholars through the centuries and will continue to trouble latecomers. If we do not confront these problematics of reading, the troubles with reading may turn out to be troubles in reading and may even force us to produce troubled readings. However, if we pay due attention to these problematics, a self-conscious exploration of reading perspectives will open up new vistas and help us generate unexpected readings.

We wish to explore some problematics of reading in the Chinese tradition from both the conceptual and practical perspectives. First, we wish to examine some issues concerning reading and make an effort at conceptual inquiry. Second, we want to examine how traditional scholars dealt with the problematics of reading from a cross-cultural perspective with the aim to bring traditional Chinese ideas into a meaningful dialogue with Western theories of reading. And finally, we wish to explore how perspectives on reading may offer precious insights into the practice of reading, enlarge the hermeneutic space of canonical texts, and help overcome exegetical inertia in time-honored paradigms of reading.

The Trouble with Reading: Sima Qian’s Jing Ke

Stephen Owen, Harvard University

Like the European tradition with its long lineage from Paolo and Francesca to Madame Bovary (and, of course, Don Quixote), the Chinese tradition has a long tradition of warning readers of the ills that can befall them. The troubles arise when the experience of reading texts enters a "real world"—though that "real world" is itself a textual construct. Perhaps the most famous example of a troubled reading causing trouble is Du Liniang’s reading of the first poem of the Classic of Poetry in Mudan ting; but the earliest example, though less specific is no less interesting. Describing the would-be assassin Jing Ke, Sima Qian takes the bowen qiangji ("widely versed in oral lore and with a good memory") of the Yan Danzi and changes it to "liking books," a characterization Sima Qian uses very sparingly and otherwise only for Han scholars and writers. The fact that Jing Ke is a reader may be central to this very peculiar story. Jing Ke’s last words, explaining his failure, invoke the precedent of Cao Mei, standing textually at the beginning of Sima Qian’s "Biographies of the Assassins." Texts and images from old stories (including the Qin "letter of the law" that keeps the King of Qin’s guards from intervening in the assassination attempt) have a peculiar blocking agency in this narrative in which a reader who has suffered at the hands of an autocrat tells the story of another reader who fails to kill another autocrat—fails because he knows an earlier story.

Early Chinese Theories of Reading: A Conceptual Inquiry

Ming Dong Gu, Rhodes College

As the term dufa (how to read) suggests, the bulk of theories on reading in Chinese literary thought deals with practical methods of reading. Conceptual inquires into the rationale of reading are not a favorite subject. Among traditional scholars, the ideas of Mencius, Zhuang Zi, and Wang Bi were to have a formative impact on the development of reading theories in China. To a large extent, their ideas laid the foundation of Chinese theories of reading, and the paths blazed by their initial inquiries turned into the highway to reading in the development of Chinese literary thought. Few later scholars have deviated from their charted courses, and fewer have opened up new vistas or have arrived at insights with originality that surpassed those of the three masters. Among the three, however, not all of them were interested in pure conceptual inquiries. Mencius’s inquiry is largely practice oriented. His famous notion of reading—"To use the reader’s understanding to trace back to the author’s intention; this is how one reads"—came out of his practical reading of a poem in the Shijing. Zhuang Zi’s inquiry displays profound and fascinating insights into reading, but his approach is highly intuitive. His use of parables like "Wheelwright Bian" and metaphors like "fish-traps and rabbit-snares" testifies to his imaginative approach. Only Wang Bi was consciously engaged in a pure conceptual inquiry with a rigor that equals contemporary reading theories. My presentation will examine some major ideas of reading in Mencius’s, Zhuang Zi’s, and Wang Bi’s thought with a focus on Wang Bi’s "Clarification of Images in the Zhouyi." By offering a critique of those ideas of reading from the perspective of conceptual inquiry, I attempt to explore what rationale is behind each idea, what insights they may offer into the theory and practice of reading, whether we can reconfigurate their ideas into paradigms of reading in terms of conceptual categories, and to what extent we can bring Chinese ideas into a meaningful dialogue with Western theories.

The Problematic Self-Commentary: Gong Zizhen and His Love Poetry

Kang-I Sun Chang, Yale University

Gong Zizhen (1792–1841) has been regarded as one of the greatest poets during the last three hundred years in the history of Chinese literature. Modern readers are particularly interested in the alleged tales of love and intrigues between Gong and some female figures of his time, tales that were based mostly on sketchy and contrived readings of certain ambiguous lines in Gong’s poems. Although several intriguing events in Gong’s life tended to inspire misreadings (or over-readings) of his poetry, I believe that it was Gong Zizhen’s own commentary on his love poetry that has become most problematic. On the one hand, because of its intensity and self-absorption, Gong’s love poetry is doubly rich when accompanied with diary-like notes. On the other hand, the poet’s desire to "tell more" through the self-commentary often has the paradoxical consequence of leading the reader to more conjectures and hence fictional fabrications.

This paper intends to examine Gong’s notion of love and the readers’ problematic reading of him through a close reading of his love poetry for the courtesan Lingxiao. Rumor asserts that Lingxiao later poisoned Gong Zizhen, which led to the poet’s sudden death. We still do not know whether the rumor was based on any particular comments that Gong wrote for his love poems, but there is a possibility that some readers might have read something into Gong’s comments about the "unpredictable" nature of Lingxiao. I suggest that a poet’s self-commentary, though extremely effective in literature, can be very dangerous in real life. Burdened by the commentary’s evocative power, and filled with curiosity and imagination, some readers might have invented their own version of what happened. The irony is that Gong Zizhen’s original intent was exactly the opposite. He wrote the self-commentary to give later historians a clear view of his life, but it turns out that the poems he so carefully clarified have simply generated fresh enigmas—they have, in effect, a life of their own. Like many great authors, Gong Zizhen was brought into the canon only after his death. There are layers of ambiguity surrounding him that modern readers have yet to strip away.

Vignettism in Chinese Poetics

Dore Levy, Brown University

Literary sequences in the Chinese tradition depend on the principle of enumeration (fu) for their coherence. Sequence is essential to narrative, but there are many kinds of sequences in art, and not all are narrative. Sequence is the order in which a reader/viewer encounters the elements of experience in a work of art. For a sequence to be narrative, these elements must involve actions, events, or temporal references—a grounding in time, though this need not be objective time. The structure of a narrative is determined by the structure of its temporal sequence. Narrative sequence, however, is only one kind of artistic sequence, and unlike the Indo-European traditions, not necessarily the most highly valued in China. Furthermore, the principles of lyric poetics, including those which govern sequence, in Chinese aesthetics reach beyond poetry and prose into other arts.

One of the great challenges for the Western-trained reader is to appreciate the succession of lyric tableaux which characterize the Chinese mode of narrative. Like lyric poems, each tableau in principle creates a moment in time free from time, in which the reader’s consciousness may be integrated, before reading on to integrate the moment into a larger temporal sequence. No moment of experience is intrinsically more significant than any other. This mode of expression, which I have called vignettism, is essential to mimesis in works of Chinese art which depend on sequence for their readers’/viewers’ appreciation. These include poetry, prose fiction, and historiography; in arts beyond literature, painting and garden design employ vignettism to integrate lyrical effects with the experience of temporal and spatial sequence.

In this paper, I will describe the role of vignettism as a mode of representing reality (mimesis) in Chinese art. Drawing from traditional Chinese poetic criticism, particularly Liu Xie’s Wenxin diaolong, I will describe vignettism’s role in reading and appreciating sequence in various media, with a view to increasing our understanding of the expressive character of lyric poetics.


Session 139: Rural Migration, Rural Labor, and the Evolution of Rural Society in China

Organizer: Scott Rozelle, University of California, Davis

Chair: Margaret Maurer-Fazio, Bates College

Discussant: Bryan T. Lohmar, U.S. Department of Agriculture

This panel focuses on rural migration and rural labor market developments and their profound effects on rural society. Since China’s economic reforms began in the late 1970s between 100 and 150 million farmers have found non-agricultural employment, with estimates of the migrant population alone as high as 100 million. The young, who have aspirations to move beyond the farm, and the elderly, who are increasingly forced to rely on their own resources to generate income, are playing new and evolving roles in China’s rural labor markets. Women constitute an increasing share of migrants and their migration experience is affecting their status, expectations, and reproductive health. In short, migration is reshaping life in rural China.

To more closely examine these issues, the first paper explores in depth the emerging labor trends of the youngest cohort of rural workers. They are turning their backs on agriculture and increasingly specializing in the off-farm labor market. However, most of China’s rural labor force still lives in rural areas and the rest of the papers examine the links migrants maintain with rural areas and the effect migration has on the socio-economic structure of the village. The second paper explores whether and how the new concepts, norms, and skills that women migrants bring home affects their health, fertility, sexual behavior, and gender role expectations. The third paper examines the impact of migration and remittances on investment and development in the source community. And, the final paper investigates a series of interrelated questions about how the elderly work and retire and especially how their lifestyles are being affected by the propensity of their sons and daughters to live and work outside of the village.

The Role of China’s Youngest Cohort in the Transformation of China’s Rural Labor Markets

Linxiu Zhang, Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy

The overall goal of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing assessment of China’s rural labor markets—paying special attention to whether these markets are developing in a way that is more or less conducive to the nation’s modernization. We provide an update of the trends in off-farm labor force participation. We estimate the nation’s aggregate off-farm participation rates, and compare, after five years of relatively slow economic growth (between 1995 and 2000), how rural labor has fared relative to its performance in the mid-1990s. Moreover, we decompose the growth in off-farm employment and seek to identify the determinants of some of the off-farm participation trends.

We find, based on our nearly national representative survey of 1,200 households across China, that the rapid rise in off-farm employment continued even during the late 1990s. By 2000, more than 40 percent of the labor force in rural China had off-farm jobs, up from about 32 percent in 1995. When we disaggregate labor market trends, we find evidence that shows labor markets clearly acting in ways consistent with an economy in transition from agriculture to non-agriculture and a population shifting from rural to urban. Our descriptive analysis illustrates that labor markets allowed migration to become the dominant form of off-farm activity; are increasingly dominated by young and educated workers; and expanded fastest in economies or areas that are relatively well-off.

The Impact of Women’s Migration on the Women’s Status and Reproductive Health in Rural Sichuan and Anhui, China

Rachel Connelly, Bowdoin College

This paper highlights the effect of migration on women who have migrated and returned home in four major areas: fertility and fertility proxies, aspects of reproductive health, indicators of women’s status in their families, and indicators of family income and wealth. We hypothesize that women migrants bring home new concepts, norms and skills, as well as the financial resources, acquired in urban areas. We investigate whether what they have experienced, learned, and earned in cities affects their future reproductive health in terms of their general level of health, fertility, educational aspirations for their children, health seeking for themselves and their families, sexual behavior and expectations, status in the family and gender role expectations.

The data analyzed here were collected for this study in four counties (two in Sichuan and two in Anhui) in the fall of 2000 from rural women aged 20–40. Of the 3,186 respondents, one-third are returned migrants and one-fourth both migrated and have husbands who have migrated. Using a multivariate analysis we find that in most categories, having ever migrated herself has a significant effect on behavior while being married to a man who has migrated has more limited effects.

Returning to the Farm: The Dynamics of the Reverse Migration in Rural China

Alan de Brauw, Williams College

Migration has been the fastest growing component of the off-farm labor force in China during the past decade and many questions about China’s migration process have yet to be answered. While out-migration has rapidly increased, the number of migrants moving back to their home villages has also accelerated through the latter half of the decade. Researchers disagree about the primary motivations for migrants to return to their home villages: some believe that migrants primarily return home because they fail to find work in other places, whereas others believe that the primary motivation of migrants to return home is to start families and households, and/or to take advantage of the skills they acquired as migrants by applying these skills in new economic activities within or closer to their home village.

The contributions of this paper to the above-mentioned debate are based on the analysis of a data set containing 20-year employment histories for a nearly nationally representative sample of 2,268 individuals from 60 villages in 6 different provinces. Preliminary findings indicate that migrants that return home do so after spending an average of five years working away from home. A small percentage of those returning appear to have returned because they could not find work. However, a significant portion of migrants start their own households, get married, and make investments in the land when they return home, indicating that migrants that return do so more often to start households or begin new economic activities than because they failed to find work.

Working and Retiring in Rural China: A Labor Supply Study of the Elderly

Lihua Pang, Research Center for Rural Economy, MOA

The fastest growing segment of China’s population in rural areas is the elderly, those people who are over 50 years old. While people in this age group in many economies are now beginning to look forward to enjoying retirement, living with their children, and collecting social security, those in rural China are facing more uncertainty than at any time in the past. In this paper we examine the forces that are affecting the way the elderly in rural China work and stop working and how these forces affect their welfare. In this study we draw on a unique, nationally representative data set that includes information on nearly 1,000 individuals over the age of 50. Our first objective is to describe the trends of the work and retirement behavior of the elderly.

In our paper, we examine a number of trends in rural areas that have a great potential to affect the livelihood of the aged. Rural migration is accelerating to all-time highs and often results in children moving far away from their parents. Extended families are fracturing into nuclear ones. The aged are increasingly being left on their own or at the most are receiving remittances from their children who live in different households or even different cities or provinces. However, on the other hand, forces are giving the elderly more opportunities to work than ever before. The rise of factories in local areas and the ability to start their own businesses is giving the elderly chances to move out of agriculture in some areas. Finally, we seek to assess the impact of these trends on the work behavior, retirement, income and health of the aged.


Session 140: Women and Power in Imperial China: Issues in Perception and Historiography

Organizer: Lydia Thompson, Independent Scholar

Chair: Morris Rossabi, City University of New York

Discussant: Valerie Hansen, Yale University

Keywords: women, China, history, imperial.

This cross-disciplinary panel will critically examine the relationship of women to power as recovered from the historical and pictorial record and the global media. Covering a broad time period from the Song to the end of the Qing dynasty, the four papers present women who assert their autonomy and authority through both subtle and overt means.

Hui-shu Lee will address gender and the social practice of art at the Song dynasty court by examining how women strategically deployed their talent as ghostwriters to the Emperor. Pei-Yi Wu recovers the story of Yang Miaozhen who achieved extraordinary power as a warrior and governor of the Shandong region in the thirteenth century thereby challenging the patrilineal, patriarchal, and patrilocal system portrayed in China’s traditional historiography. Focusing on Ming dynasty Empress Zhang’s portrayal as a Daoist priest in a hand scroll dating to 1493, Lydia Thompson considers how social and gender roles are manipulated to create an image of authority, and the role that this self-representation played in the consolidation of her power. Barbara Mittler critically examines contemporary portrayals of the reviled last Empress Dowager Cixi in both the Chinese and foreign press. She searches for an alternative view of the woman, while arguing that her depiction as vicious and unloved was part of a globalized misogyny that ran across cultures/nations. In all four papers, these alternative views will be juxtaposed with traditional accounts of women and power as presented in the standard histories and the modern media.

Emperors’ Lady Ghostwriters in Song Dynasty China

Hui-shu Lee, University of Callifornia, Los Angeles

Throughout the latter half of the Song dynasty, it was common for talented imperial women to engage in the art of writing in the service of the emperor. Ghostwriting was a prevailing phenomenon, though only Empress Wu, imperial consort of Emperor Gaozong (r. 1127–62) has attracted significant attention by scholars for her role as an assistant in Gaozong’s monumental task to transcribe the Confucian classics. Li Xinchuan, the most authoritative historian of the Southern Song, tells us that women were active especially during the reigns of Huizong (r. 1100–1125), Gaozong, and Ningzong (r. 1194–1225), though the practice continued to the end of the dynasty.

This paper will consider the social value of employing women of the inner quarters as ghostwriters by focusing on the various writing styles of Empress Yang, consort of Emperor Ningzong (r. 1194–1225). Paying particular attention to the specific contexts of each piece and the relationship of the recipients of the writing with the empress, I will show that Empress Yang utilized her role as imperial patron, with the attendant skill of calligrapher, as a subtle means of self-statement within the well-defined boundaries of traditional gender performance. With the reign of Emperor Ningzong, and the rise to power of Empress Yang behind the screen, one finds that ghostwriting could also be employed as a tactic, the empress holding the means to usurp the voice of the emperor as a means to further her own political aims.

A Woman Warrior in Thirteenth-Century China

Pei-Yi Wu, Columbia University

As a military commander Yang Miaozhen served as well as fought three dynastic regimes. The last post she held was governor of Shandong under the Yuan. Her great and varied feats notwithstanding, there is no biography of her in any of the three Dynastic Histories. They, however, contain enough accounts of her activities that her life can be reconstructed. At an early age Yang Miaozhen mastered the most traditionally masculine of all crafts: warfare. She was peerless both in single combat and in strategic planning. When her elder brother, the leader of a private army, died, she was chosen by the soldiers as the next commander. She met her future husband when he flocked to her banner with his band. The apparently uxorilocal marriage lasted as a partnership of equality. The couple went on to carve out a large area between Shandong and the Yangzi River and ruled it as their private domain. Although they ostensibly pledged allegiance to the Southern Song, any overseer sent from the court, whatever his station or achievement, could enjoy his tenure only at her pleasure. Those who affronted her invariably paid with their lives, but only after having suffered great indignities. Thus her story stood on its head the complex patrilineal, patriarchal, and patrilocal system generally believed to have obtained in China throughout history.

The Empress’s New Clothes: A Daoist Ordination Scroll and the Projection of Female Authority in the Ming Period

Lydia Thompson, Independent Scholar

The Ming period saw a broad expansion of women’s participation in religious institutions. Through the sponsorship of temples, in their roles as lay members of religious associations, pilgrims, and nuns, women were allowed a measure of personal autonomy and authority outside the patriarchal domains of state and family. At the imperial level, Empresses expanded their influence beyond the court through pious beneficence, in the form of lavish financial support of temples and nunneries.

A monumental hand scroll commemorating the ordination of Empress Zhang (d. 1541) as a Daoist priest in 1493, further suggests that imperial women adopted a religious persona as a strategy for building their authority. Wearing the robe and cap of a Daoist priest, and accompanied by fifty-two deities and adepts, the young Empress Zhang audaciously assumes her place in the Daoist pantheon. In this paper, this self-representation will be examined in relation to both religious imagery, such as female deities, portraits of monks and priests, and secular imagery, such as imperial portraits with a view to the following questions: how are pictorial conventions and social and gender roles manipulated to construct a persona of religious and political authority? Towards which group(s) was the scroll directed? As an influential Empress, and later Empress-Dowager, whose life extended across three reigns, what part did the scroll play in the consolidation of Zhang’s power? Also to be considered is how the pictorial record of her ordination jibes with accounts of the Empress’s life in the written record and traditional historiography.

"Much Maligned and Never Loved?" A Powerful Lady’s Negative Press: The Empress Dowager Cixi

Barbara Mittler, University of Heidelberg

In Pearl S. Buck’s sympathetic novellistic account, the "Imperial Woman," Empress Dowager Cixi appears as a frustrated lady who committed many a brutal act because she herself was denied the privilege of being able to love and be loved. Even in this portrayal, then, the Empress Dowager comes across as a "demonic beauty" and a "usurpatious regent," stock images well known from depictions of powerful women in Chinese dynastic histories. These clichéd images are pervasive in many contemporary (such as Bland and Backhouse) and even later "revisionist" (such as Seagrave) versions of the Empress Dowager’s story. They have settled her contours in the mind of a general (and global!) public.

It is the purpose of this paper to study and compare the contemporary Chinese- and English-language press to trace for alternative readings of the last powerful Empress in China. I will argue that the fabrication of the "vicious Empress Dowager Cixi"—more wicked and frightful than any powerful woman before her in Chinese history—was the product of a new "globalized misogyny." As China became part of a global media community, descriptions of female nastiness would be cross-culturally reinforced and only thus could the empress dowager become the exceptionally cruel monster she is said to have been.


Session 141: "The Mind of Modern China": Liang Qichao’s Historiography in Historical Perspective

Organizer: Peter Zarrow, University of New South Wales

Chair: Paul A. Cohen, Harvard University

Discussant: Frederic Wakeman, University of California, Berkeley

Keywords: historiography, Liang Qichao, universalism, national identity.

Modern Chinese historiography is often traced back to Liang Qichao, whose seminal essay "New Historiography" (Xin Shixue) was published one hundred years ago in 1902. Liang has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the West at least since Joseph Levenson’s Liang Ch’i-ch’ao and the Mind of Modern China (1953), and has preoccupied Chinese historians as well. This panel seeks to reconsider the nature of Liang’s accomplishments by offering new perspectives on his views of history and historiography and the role they played in the later development of history-writing in China.

At a time of increased interest in Chinese historiography, we hope to illuminate the complexity of Liang’s attitudes as they changed over the period from 1902 to the 1920s, the different influences they reflected (from social Darwinism, science, and nationalism to globalism, morality, and tradition), and the ways later historians reacted to Liang. The problem of particularism and universalism in Liang’s historiography, in particular his attempts to reconcile the quest for a Chinese national identity with a sound concept of world history on methodological, historiographical, and philosophical levels, provides a focus for the first two papers in this panel. The third paper examines how Liang’s views and role have been understood by the (mostly) Marxist historians writing in the People’s Republic. We anticipate members of the audience will be interested not only in Liang, but also in the range of influences on modern Chinese historiography and what they may tell us about "the mind of modern China."

Liang Qichao’s Early Historiography and the Dilemmas of Universalism

Peter Zarrow, University of New South Wales

In his first methodical explorations of Chinese and world history in the early 1900s, Liang Qichao made extensive use of evolutionism and social Darwinist ideas. His essays setting out his new ideas, critiquing traditional Chinese historiography and suggesting a program for future history-writing are well known. However, Liang’s own uneasiness with his program has received less attention. His early essays on Chinese history apply evolutionary concepts only inconsistently. This paper argues that Liang’s growing nationalism led him to draw back from some of the universalist implications of evolutionism. At the same time, his lingering commitments to universalistic moral values left him uneasy with the amorality of Darwinism (though not its universalism).

Evolutionism was thus a powerful tool that Liang was among the first to bring to Chinese historical analysis, both in theory and in practice. Liang also used it to draw a deceptively clear distinction between traditional historiography and his modern historiography. Nonetheless, it could not solve all historical problems, even in Liang’s own terms. In particular, Liang had difficulty in saying what made different peoples different and why Chinese history appeared "blocked" in comparison to the West’s progress. In the case of the traditionally-despised Qin dynasty (221–207 b.c.), for example, sometimes Liang heralded it as a historical breakthrough but sometimes he continued to denounce it. Moral values (universal) thus warred in Liang’s new historiography with the ideal of national progress (expressible in either universalistic or particularistic terms).

World History and the Problem of Historical Relativism: The Development of Liang Qichao’s Historiography after 1919

Axel Schneider, Leiden University

Liang Qichao’s intellectual development after 1919, especially his concepts of history, have been the focus of much debate. Some of this debate has been inspired by and critical of Joseph Levenson’s Liang Ch’i-ch’ao and the Mind of Modern China (first published in 1953). Liang, who apparently turned "conservative" by 1919—in his opposition to May Fourth radicalism—abandoned his previous social-Darwinist and evolutionary vision of history. He developed new historiographical concepts that have been characterized as being influenced by American New History (Wong Young-tsu), as being post-nationalist, stressing a "global imaginary of difference" (Tang Xiaobing), or as based on an appreciation "of the value of past periods in their own terms" inspired by neo-Kantianism (Edward Wang).

Based on an analysis of his theoretical texts and actual historical research, I argue that after 1919 Liang developed a new view of history that tried to reconcile the desire for a Chinese identity based on continuity with tradition with the need to anchor this view in transcendent values providing a common ground for a history of humankind in which the Chinese nation played a major role. However, Liang was not influenced by the New History (in fact his major assumptions are at odds with it), nor was he a post-nationalist, because nationalism was still central to his new conception. He was influenced by neo-Kantianism, however, not in order to appreciate "the value of past periods in their own terms," but rather to counter relativism with transcendent values, an attempt that itself was based on a peculiar understanding of Neo-Kantianism.

Anything Goes? PRC Historiography on Liang Qichao

Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, University of Heidelberg

Historians’ analyses of Liang Qichao in the People’s Republic of China present many different images of Liang Qichao’s historiography. Some authors severely criticize him for being an "idealist"; others regard him as a model of how to write a general history of China (tongshi) based on facts but imbued with an overall vision of China’s historical evolution. Some authors focus on his "neo-Kantian" phase, while others focus only on the early writings in which Liang denounces traditional Chinese historiography. Such differing approaches to Liang took place in the context of an intensive discussion among Chinese historians on how to write history. Liang proved a useful positive or negative model of how to combine historical facts (shi) with historical theory (lun).

Looking at Liang’s early works, most PRC historian authors find Liang a positive example of how to extract theoretical explanations from the facts of history, while others stress that he tended to distort history in order to establish his vision of China’s future development as based on its history. Lung’s later "neo-Kantian" phase is most often seen critically in terms of his loss of vision of both China’s past and future and therefore a regression to traditional history as a compilation of facts. This paper puts recent work on Liang in the context of a debate on shi and lun that has been going on in China at least since the nineteenth century.


Session 142: Language Policy in China: Theory and Practice in Chinese Dialect Communities

Organizer: Minglang Zhou, Dickinson College

Chair: Timothy Light, Western Michigan University

Discussant: Charles Li, University of California, Santa Barbara

Keywords: China, language policy, Putonghua, Chinese dialects, standard language.

A national/standard language is promoted by the state to unite dialect-speaking groups and/or sometimes to advance the interest of the standard-language-speaking majority and suppress that of a dialect-speaking minority, while dialects are used and reinforced by groups to separate themselves from the surrounding majority and to maintain group solidarity. The conflict between a standard language and dialects, between which speakers have to choose to demonstrate prestige or solidarity in daily communication, may hinder or facilitate the diffusion of the standard language, depending on the policy, its implementation, and socioeconomic and cultural changes.

Since 1956, China’s language policy has mandated Putonghua use in education, media, and public service and promoted its use in other spheres. China’s policy has experienced successes and failures, judged by its own standards, and faces new challenges. This international panel assesses this policy and its implementation from four perspectives. Saillard argues that the design of the policy allows vernacularization of Putonghua, as a compromise, and establishes a relatively benign relationship between Putonghua and Chinese dialects. Zhang and Yang show what challenges Putonghua faces in Hong Kong, where language policy handles a trilingual relationship, rather than the usual bilingual relationship, in a globalized community. Erbaugh proposes that dialect bilingualism should be viewed in the same light of Chinese-minority bilingualism, both being tolerated by the government and valued by the speakers. Whether Putonghua spread is considered a success or failure, Guo examines how the Chinese government has reevaluated and readjusted its policy to promote Putonghua with linguistic pluralism since 1986.

Tacit Support for Additive Bilingualism: Minority Languages as Models for Chinese Dialect Bilingualism

Mary Erbaugh, City University of Hong Kong

Language law attracts debate. But contentious rights to use Chinese dialects are finessed by being unwritten. China has a much higher literacy and national language fluency than most developing nations. Yet dialects from Hong Kong to Shanghai thrive, with de facto bilingual education. Legal support for National Minority languages actually reinforces Chinese dialect vitality. Chinese speakers defend dialects by pointing to minority policy.

Many nations attempt to eliminate local languages, including pre-1945 Japan and the Chinese Nationalist policy, which continued until recently on Taiwan. Communist support for bilingualism attracted both dialect speakers and minorities during the guerrilla era. After 1949 even highly variable and under-funded support for National Minority languages proved significant.

Language offers a more attainable unifier than race or religion. Delaying constitutional mention of Mandarin until 1982, after fluency became widespread, softened much resentment. China selects largely realistic goals by targeting children and young adults for reaching a broadly intelligible pronunciation.

Historically, both the classical spoken "language of the officials" (guanhua) and Putonghua were viewed as career assets rather than replacement languages. Guerrilla war made the older leaders value a common language, without denting pride in their mother tongues. Modern leaders are multilingual. Demographically, the Han Chinese so greatly outnumber the minorities that Han resentment is muted. Instead, the richest regions are Shanghai and Cantonese speaking, where the urbanizing economy rewards Han literacy and multilingualism.

The Value Orientation of the Policy of the Popularization of Putonghua in Current China

Longsheng Guo, Institute of Applied Linguistics

After the policy of the popularization of Putonghua was adjusted in 1986, a national proficiency test of Putonghua has been developed, a Propaganda Week of Putonghua Popularization has been annually scheduled, the regulations of the Survey of the Application of Chinese Language and Characters have been enforced (within the mainland limits), and the Law for the Commonly Used Language and Characters of the People’s Republic of China has been enacted. All of these have illustrated linguistic pluralism and the coexistence between Putonghua and other Chinese dialects in current China.

The value orientation of the policy of the popularization of Putonghua in current China, that is, Putonghua will play a leading role in social communication, is at dialectical unity with linguistic pluralism. To popularize Putonghua throughout the country does not mean eliminating other Chinese dialects. In fact, Chinese dialects can be freely developed in certain areas. This paper analyzes and studies the history of the popularization of Putonghua since 1986, and shows the scientificity, feasibility, and necessity of the value orientation of the policy simultaneously.

Putonghua Education and Language Policy in Post-colonial Hong Kong

Bennan Zhang, Hong Kong Institute of Education; Robin Yang, Open University of Hong Kong

On 1 July 1997, Hong Kong ceased to be a colony of the United Kingdom (UK) and became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As a result of the political transition, coordinating the relationships and roles among English, Cantonese, and Putonghua has become a difficult task or a severe test for the Hong Kong government. Under the formula of "one country, two systems" since 1997, the Hong Kong government has implemented a series of language policy reforms affecting local education.

Through reviewing the development of Putonghua education in Hong Kong, this paper will demonstrate that, if ideologies of language are linked to other ideologies that can influence and constrain the development of language policy, Hong Kong language policymakers faced two significant challenges when they promoted Putonghua—which symbolizes nationalism—education: the challenge of localism from Cantonese and the challenge of internationalism from English. This paper will argue that, in terms of politics, the policy of "bi-literate and tri-lingual education" effectively protected English against Putonghua, and, in terms of culture, the policy of "mother tongue education" effectively forbade Putonghua from entering the classroom as a medium of instruction. Consequently, the paper will conclude with the idea that, although the Basic Law promises the Hong Kong government freedom to decide its own language policy, Hong Kong policymakers are restrained by cultural and political hesitation when trying to find a balance among the three languages.

On the Promotion of Mandarin Chinese in China: How a Standard Language Becomes a Vernacular

Claire Saillard, University of Paris

This contribution aims to deal with the linguistic properties of Modern Standard Chinese (also called "Mandarin Chinese"), bearing in view its sociolinguistic function as a vehicular language for Chinese nationals, as a result of twentieth-century language policy in China. We shall be concerned with issues related to the standard’s diffusion among speakers of other Chinese languages/dialects.

After fifty years of language policy in China, the facts make it quite clear that some work remains to be done either regarding the number/proportion of competent speakers of the standard, or concerning their degree of competence. The relative unsuccess of the standard’s diffusion is explained in terms of conceptions regarding language structure and language teaching.

First of all, it shall be shown that the notion of "standard language" in China refers first and foremost to "standard pronunciation," issues of syntax and lexicon being comparatively ignored. Second, the definition of standard syntax is based on modern and classic literary works, despite their diachronic and regional variability. These two facts have had direct impact on standard language teaching, first at the elementary level (emphasis on pinyin), then at the secondary level (emphasis on literature). Finally, observing language uses in China at the phonological, lexical, and syntactic levels reveals that the standard language, promoted as vehicular for nearly fifty years, is now subject to regionalization processes, leading ultimately to vernacularization.


Session 143: Individual Papers: China

Organizer and Chair: Pamela Crossley, Dartmouth College


Writings on the Wall: Graffiti at Inns in the Song Dynasty

Cong Zhang, University of Washington

The Song was a time when people traveled further and more often than they had in the past. Consequently, both official and commercial inns became increasingly visible in the literary productions of the time. Not only did travelers write about their lodging-related experiences, they also wrote on the walls of the inns where they stayed. This paper looks at the latter genre in an effort to gain a better understanding of the social and cultural world of the Song scholar-official class.

Writings on the walls were written by and for the travelers on various topics ranging from administrative affairs to homesickness to reflections on interpersonal relationships. Women were active participants, jotting down lines of poetry and personal stories to which men enthusiastically responded. The fact that such writings were appreciated by other travelers and tolerated, even encouraged, by the owners of the inns shows that these written impressions had become an integral part of the travel culture. Therefore, this "graffiti" deserves to be viewed as an important component of the Song cultural landscape.

The Keys to the Emancipation of Chinese Women under the Communist Regime

Jinghao Zhou, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Since the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, Chinese women’s situation has been greatly improved in many areas. However, the author raises the questions: have Chinese women fully enjoyed women’s rights under the communist regime? Is the party the sole savior for Chinese women? Can Chinese women be truly liberated under the current Chinese political system? This article will carefully examine women’s role and women’s rights in present China and find that the achievements of Chinese women’s rights are limited in economic areas. Therefore, Chinese women have not truly been liberated based on the general standard of women’s liberation. This article will explore the characteristics of Chinese women through a comparative study between the Western women’s movement and Chinese women’s movement and point out the fundamental difference between the two types of women’s movements: Western women fight for "self-liberation," but Chinese women wait for "party salvation," and conclude that the true emancipation of Chinese women fundamentally relies on their self-liberation. The keys to the emancipation of Chinese women are "self-consciousness women’s organizations, separate from the Chinese Communist Party, economic independence, continuing education, and political participation." The author will also make efforts to reveal the relationships between the five keys and the women’s movement and China’s democratization in the twenty-first century.

Whistling in Early Medieval China

Ziye Fan, Heilong Jiang University

Whistling, a form of verbal music in ancient China, was extremely popular among the literati. On the basis of research by previous scholars, this paper pursues several new areas of inquiry that situate this music in religious and literary practice. I will first introduce the origin of the art during the pre-Qin period, and then focus upon whistling’s historic significance as a cultural phenomenon during the Western Jin and Northern and Southern Dynasties (third through sixth centuries).

Main areas of the discussion are: (1) cultural characteristics of whistling; its musicality, theoretical features, and relationship to the concept of nature; (2) whistling and the Daoist immortals: its religious meaning, use by practitioners of Daoism, and references to whistling in the genre "Poems about Wandering in the Transcendent State"; (3) whistling by Chinese poets; the influence upon medieval authors of the ancient regard for whistling; examples of poems and rhapsodies about whistling from the works of Cau Pi (187–226), Ruan Ji (210–263), and Chenggong Sui (231–273), and the symbolic import of whistling in poetry of the Wei-Jin Nanbeichao era.

Chinese Perceptions of Buddhist Nuns since the Sung (960–1279)

Ding-hwa E. Hsieh, Truman State University

The point that nuns were considered an unfavorable opposite to domestic women is expressed in many Chinese elite males’ writings. Nuns were listed among the so-called san-ku liu p’o, the sort of "petty women" whom women of good families should avoid contacting. A popular Chinese proverb also says: "The daughters of good families should not be sent to Buddhist nunneries to be nuns." It seems that traditional China, dominated by Confucian values and ethics, generally held an antagonistic view toward women who left home to join the monastic order. However, as this paper demonstrates, it was not until the Sung that the images of Buddhist nuns as sexually aggressive and morally fallible begin to occur in increasing numbers. Such a sudden increase in the number of negative representations of Buddhist nuns in Sung and late imperial Chinese sources was closely associated with the contemporary conceptions of gender and sexuality. Together with this tendency to portray Buddhist nuns as a dangerous and unwelcome social group was Confucian elite males’ increasing repression against women joining the nuns’ order. This paper thus also examines how Sung perceptions of Buddhist nuns were carried on in late imperial China and what impact they had on Buddhist women’s monastic communities.

Encountering Evil: Ghosts and Demonic Forces in the Lives of the Song Elite

Hsien-huei Liao, University of California, Los Angeles

This study explores the Song elite’s religious piety and ritual practices concerning ghosts and demonic forces. Through examining their encounters with vengeful ghosts, seductive spirits, and wandering specters, this study demonstrates that the prevailing ideas about demonic forces often infiltrated and greatly shaped the elite’s lives. While recognizing the firm place of demonic forces in their lives, this study contends that the Song elite also contributed to the spread of popular beliefs about the supernatural. The elite’s fear of the supernatural world was both partially self-induced and partially externally reinforced. Their belief in karmic retribution and supernatural forces was the root cause of their fear of evil spirits. Yet the social, cultural, and religious conditions in which the Song elite was situated often stimulated and strengthened beliefs in ghosts and demonic forces. To explore the influence of these beliefs, several questions are discussed, such as why demonic forces were so feared, what attributes were embodied in these ghosts, and when and where the elite’s encounters with them occurred. Another issue is how the Song elite responded to the assaults of demonic beings. By analyzing why they succumbed to some of the assaults but successfully countered others, what kind of resistance strategies they employed, and how they developed these strategies, this study sheds light on elite perceptions of demonic forces and attitude toward the esoteric arts. The similarity and difference between the elite’s interactions with the demonic world and those of commoners are also brought to light.


Session 159: Struggle for Survival: Beggars and Urban Life in Modern China

Organizer: Di Wang, Texas A&M University

Chair: Richard J. Smith, Rice University

Discussant: Perry Link, Princeton University

Keywords: beggars, beggar organizations, street life, urban China.

Beggars were one of the most visible groups in modern Chinese cities, yet little scholarly work has been devoted to studying these people. The goal of this panel is to explore the complex social relations between beggars, local community, and state power. All three presenters are to emphasize beggars’ struggle for access to public space to pursue their livelihood and daily life by establishing their own organizations under acknowledged leaders who were responsible to the authorities for beggars’ public behavior.

The three papers will consider the history of beggars in a variety of historical contexts and geographical locations. Hanchao Lu’s paper will examine the structure and function of beggars’ organizations by analyzing beggars’ "guilds" based on evidence from both central metropolises and peripheral cities. He points out that since the government did not exercise adequate control nor show concern over mendicants, beggars had to organize themselves for survival. Man Bun Kwan’s paper will explore the subaltern world of Tianjin’s beggars in the late Qing, addressing interactions of organized beggars, lineages, chiefs, and turfs, concluding that beggars formed part of Tianjin’s urban tapestry, enlivening the city as an unruly facet of an emerging civil society. Di Wang’s paper will reveal the changes of beggars’ life after urban reform in the early twentieth century by studying beggars’ unique strategies to maintain their space in an unequal society and explaining how beggars became the principal targets of reformers, how they responded to the changes, and how they continued to survive by employing these strategies.

A Class for Itself: Beggars’ Guilds in Modern China

Hanchao Lu, Georgia Institute of Technology

From the late Qing to the early twentieth century, street beggars were a ubiquitous part of China’s cities, yet little scholarly work has been devoted to studying these people and the social and cultural phenomena they represented. This paper examines beggars’ "guilds" in China, drawing evidence not only from major metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai, but also from regional cities in China’s peripheral areas such as Manchuria and Mongolia. The paper looks at the structure and function of beggars’ guild-like organizations and suggests that they reflected a multi-layered relation between state and society in China. The Chinese state pursued a policy of allowing and, in some cases encouraging, beggars’ organizations so as relieve the state from burdensome and expensive responsibility of coping with street people. The fact that thousands of rural refugees made a living in the cities on a permanent basis simply by means of mendicancy can be seen as a result of the state shifting an economic burden onto society. Alms-giving virtually became a type of taxation, hence the expression "beggar’s tax." On the other hand, in a situation where the government neither showed concern about nor exercised control over mendicants, street people had to organize themselves (and rackets were inevitably involved) in order to extract the maximum from "decent" society and to establish social order among themselves. In that regard, beggar organizations were similar to other spontaneous and autonomous organizations that reveal the extraordinary resilience of Chinese society.

Of Beggar Kings and Gangs: Tianjin’s Public Sphere in Late Imperial China

Man Bun Kwan, University of Cincinnati

This paper explores the subaltern world of Tianjin’s beggars and mendicancy in late Imperial China. Local officials recognized their dreary existence by providing public relief, but problems of enforcement and funding limited such services, with the gap filled by rich private donors and other non-state public relief agencies. The bulk of the urban poor were thus left to their own devices, making them a frequent and familiar scene for foreign observers. Even Tianjin’s own citizens found them overwhelming in numbers and tactics. From individuals down on their luck to highly organized beggar gangs, complete with lineages, chiefs, and turfs, they worked the streets and eked out a living through a wide range of activities, with or without the approval of local officials. Some embarrassed their victims with excessive humility, while others accomplished the same goal with strong-arm tactics, if not quite extortion. A nuisance to some, they would perform tasks that no respectable citizen would touch, and contributed their songs and rhymes to a vibrant urban culture. Most of them might be poor (except the beggar kings), but they formed part of Tianjin’s urban tapestry, enlivening the city as an unruly facet of an emerging civil society.

Strategies of Survival: Beggars’ Street Life and Urban Reform in Early-Twentieth-Century Chengdu

Di Wang, Texas A&M University

This paper reveals beggars’ street life and changes after urban reform in early-twentieth-century Chengdu. The street has always been an arena for social conflict. Beggars struggled for access to the street to pursue their livelihood and daily life and cultivated unique strategies to maintain their space in an unequal society. Beggars did everything imaginable to survive and they were not always peaceful, but often were involved in robbery, pickpocketing, and blackmailing. Beggars usually belonged to an established group and organized under an acknowledged leader who was responsible to the authorities for beggars’ public behavior. During the early-twentieth-century reform movement, beggars became the principal targets of reformers, and various regulations and police actions limited their use of public space. The police established workhouses for beggars and forced them to work.

By examining beggars’ strategies for survival, this paper concludes that for most beggars, street life was attractive enough that they detested living in the workhouses. The reasons that beggars preferred street life were numerous and complicated, but one obvious factor was the loss of freedom experienced in the workhouses. During this period, beggars had to deal with many new regulations in addition to searching for food. When change jeopardized their survival, they were forced to struggle for their rights of livelihood. From these new measures imposed by the police, we may say that whereas in the past beggars had nothing but freedom, during the period of the reform they lost even this.

Modern Dilemmas: Dealing with Nanjing’s Beggars, 1927–1937

Zwia Lipkin, Harvard University

Beggars existed in China throughout history, but were rarely considered the state’s responsibility. The state interfered with beggar activity only when it threatened the regime or public order. In the Republican era, however, the increasingly penetrating state began considering beggars’ control as a part of its duties.

Beggars posed a problem for most municipal governments in the Republic, but were especially challenging for the government of Nanjing, the capital. The Nationalists hoped to rebuild Nanjing as a model, modern capital. Beggars—dirty, smelly, and ragged—did not conform to new ideas of urban hygiene. Operating on the streets, they often interrupted traffic, another symbol of modernity. They were thus seen as anti-modern and an eyesore, a threat to the capital’s image. As such, they were targeted for elimination.

The government, however, had historical and moral obligations to "show sympathy" towards beggars, the lowest social class, and provide for their needs. The imperial Chinese state, after all, was expected to act as the "father and mother" of the people and support destitute segments of society. Sun Yat-sen’s teaching and Western missionary examples only supported this tradition. Failure to help beggars would have thus reflected defects in social customs, as well as a weakness of the regime.

Throughout the decade the Nanjing municipal government attempted to maneuver between its wish to clean the city of beggars and its moral obligation to support them. My talk will describe these attempts and explain their failure.


Session 160: Photography’s Places in Modern Chinese Culture

Organizer and Chair: S. William Schaefer, University of Minnesota

Discussant: Martin Powers, University of Michigan

While recently the field of modern Chinese cultural studies has seen a salutary rise in research on visuality and media, the almost complete neglect of photography is quite striking. This is especially so, given photography’s particular power in modern China: photography was among the first modern mass visual media; by the 1920s, photography had taken a place in print culture virtually equal to that of writing; and, often regarded as a specifically foreign and very powerful way of seeing and image making, photography has been crucially implicated in China’s colonial and postcolonial histories. Indeed, since its first appearance in China, photography has served as a medium for reconstructing identities through its images of particular places and pasts, even as it has altered the relations among texts and images through which such identities are represented.

Our panel will examine the cultural reception of photography in China during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by taking up these two intertwined concerns regarding transformations of identity and relations among words and images. Examining photographies of architecture, the emperor’s throne, Chinese landscape, and of personal history in Cultural Revolution Hangzhou, all of us are concerned with how photographic technologies have been understood in China to register, mediate, circulate, proliferate, and recompose specific places and moments. As literary scholars, we are concerned with how various verbal media have engaged with this new visual technology, even as that technology enables new ways of seeing, understanding, and imagining the real. In various ways, we address the interplay of visuality and textuality photography entails, as well as the ways in which verbal culture has been reconceived in an age of photography. For, as we suggest, often the very relationships of the verbal and the visual have been founded upon notions of cultural identity and difference which photography has transformed.

In thus bringing together these questions of identity and representation, we collectively ask, What histories of modern Chinese culture might be rewritten through photography’s shadowy images?

"China through the Stereoscope" and Other Nineteenth-Century Technologies

Andrew F. Jones, University of California, Berkeley

The prominent architectural historian Liang Sicheng devoted much of his career to the documentation—photographic, graphic, and textual—of old Chinese buildings. This project in large part centered around his efforts to (re)construct a Chinese architectural "Order," and in so doing, posit a functional equivalence between Chinese civilization and that of the Greco-Roman West.

In this paper, I examine the genealogy of this claim by situating Liang’s work in relation to nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century practices of architectural photography. I argue that colonial photographs of Chinese architectural monuments and surrounding urban spaces serve not only to "document" these buildings as signifiers of civilizational difference, but also to transform them into a form of currency (both real and symbolic) in the unequal economy of colonial exchange. At the same time that these buildings begin to circulate as images in the global marketplace, in other words, they also serve to reify and "fix in place" the lived spaces and historical processes that they pictorially represent.

This reification takes place in collusion with the distinctive characteristics and constraints of nineteenth-century photographic technologies. Here I compare the work of two war photographers, Felix Beato and James Ricalton, both of whom documented the city of Beijing in conjunction with imperialist military campaigns against the Qing dynasty, first in 1860, and later in the wake of the Boxer uprising in 1900. An understanding of the divergent imaging technologies these two men employed (wet collodion photography and stereography, respectively) is crucial to decoding not only how these images look to us now, but also the way they suggested and perpetuated imperial ways of seeing, evaluating, and profiting from technologically reproduced visions of "China" in their own historical moment.

Re-orienting Images: Writing, Photography, and Landscape

S. William Schaefer, University of Minnesota

With the proliferation and increased dissemination of photography, illustrated magazines, and cinema in everyday life in the late 1920s–early 1930s, China’s relationship to the world and its own past became increasingly mediated by the global circulation of visual images. In print culture, photography assumed an importance equal to writing; photographs were perceived as vessels of cultural transmission, as well as shadowy traces of places. This paper argues that photographic images and their means of production altered conceptions of representation and the relations among texts and images, literary and visual art. I show how a crucial site for this interplay of photography and writing was landscape, space, and place. Landscape was understood as uniquely signifying Chinese identity, first because landscape images represented places in China, and second, because their traditional manner of representation in poetry and painting was understood to be uniquely Chinese. Photography, however, posed a challenge to both the nature of place and representation itself.

Specifically, I examine how globally-circulating photographic images stimulated both modernists and traditionalists in Republican Shanghai to conceive of Chinese identities and landscapes as imbricated in changing relations among verbal and visual images. Traditionalists such as Feng Zikai insisted on ancient claims of the identity of writing and image in the representation of Chinese landscapes as a civilizational marker of Chinese cultural identity, a view apparently posed in resistance to photography’s disruption of word-image relations, and its perceived ability to fragment, circulate, and juxtapose place. Literary modernists reconceived verbal images through the figure of photography. Xu Chi introduced Ezra Pound’s imagist poetry, not as an appropriation of Chinese aesthetics, but as a resistance against the "deceptions" of photography’s shadowy images. By contrast, Gao Ming conceived verbal and visual images as traces of different places and times, which could be fragmented, circulated, and juxtaposed to create critical geographies through collage and montage.

I shall conclude by examining work by the technically innovative but ideologically conservative photographer Lang Jingshan, who tried to appropriate and overcome such modernist fragmentation of Chinese space by creating "traditional Chinese landscape paintings" through photomontage. By thus containing photomontage within traditional aesthetics, however, Lang’s images and theoretical writings only collapsed geographical difference within an ahistorical notion of a "pure" Chinese identity.

Reading Family Albums from Mid-1970s China

Nicole Huang, University of Wisconsin, Madison

A family reunion captured at a local photo shop—quanjiafu in Chinese—remained an important ritual, and a major expenditure, for most Chinese families until the late 1970s. In today’s booming industries of nostalgia, old family photographs became collectible artifacts and were sought after and channeled back into everyday consumption. These black and white frames might seem banal at first glance, but they became of personal as well as historical interest precisely because they could be read as a system of age imprinted with political symbolisms and popular cultures of their time, providing rare glimpses into a depth of private lives that would otherwise remain obscure.

In this essay, I look at a group of family photographs taken toward the end of the Cultural Revolution era and define quanjiafu as an important cultural genre that formed a dynamic contrast to photographic propaganda of the era. These engineered images of dignity and happiness were a subtle attempt to turn the medium into narratives of family histories and to locate, conceive, and reinvent a personal past. While post-memory becomes a focus in many recent studies on visual cultures in post-socialist societies, my essay examines mechanisms, family photography being one, of shaping personal and cultural memories even before an era was drawn to an end.


Session 161: Roundtable: Political Power and the Environment in China, Pre-imperial Times to the Present

Organizer and Chair: Judith Shapiro, American University

Discussants: J. Mark D. Elvin, Australian National University; Robert B. Marks, Whittier College; David Cowhig, U.S. Department of State; Peter C. Perdue, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Richard Louis Edmonds, University of London; Anna Brettell, University of Maryland; Song Li, Global Environmental Facility

This roundtable brings together three historians, a geographer, a political scientist, a Global Environment Facility officer and a foreign service officer to examine human interactions with the environment in China, past and present. These interactions are to be considered in the contexts of political and economic pressures, technological capabilities, ideology and culture, and resource limitations. Core questions to be addressed for the periods of participants’ expertise include: what are the major environmental problems during the period under discussion? What are the central dynamics of environmental degradation? What are the continuities and discontinuities between this period and others? What is the role of the state and political power in environmental protection and/or degradation? This roundtable will build a basis for a comparative study of Chinese environmental degradation across time.

Participants’ areas of expertise: Elvin: pre-imperial and imperial (lower Yangzi region); Marks: late-imperial (South China); Perdue: late-imperial and modern (Central and NW China); Shapiro: Mao years and contemporary; Edmonds: contemporary with a component of the past; Li: contemporary (global issues); Cowhig: contemporary

Books by participants include Shapiro’s Mao’s War against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China (CUP, 2001), Edmonds’s Managing the Chinese Environment (Oxford, 2000), Elvin’s Retreat of the Elephants: China’s History in an Environmental Perspective (Westview, 2001), Perdue’s Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Harvard, 2002), and Marks’s Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China (CUP, 1998).


Session 162: Jin: Art and Culture in Search of Identity

Organizer and Chair: Nancy S. Steinhardt, University of Pennsylvania

Discussant: Peter Bol, Harvard University

This panel explores how the Jin (1126–1234) expressed a distinct cultural identity. The underlying question is the extent to which the Jurchen and people of their empire defined themselves in relation to contemporary China, contemporary non-Chinese civilizations, and civilizations which had come before them. The panel focuses on art as a means of first, identifying images of the Jurchen and/or the Jin; second, seeking where the Jin turned in their own or other historical pasts, fictitious or real, to give themselves imagery; third, differentiating Jin images from those of Song, Liao, and Yuan China; and last, exploring the impact of Jin art and culture on later China or Northeast Asia.

Each paper deals with specific paintings, statues, or buildings to answer these questions. Each will show that Jin patrons or citizens of the Jin empire produced works of art of impressive symbolism, intellectual depth, and technical rigor, even by the standards of Chinese dynasties that preceded or came after them. Each will show, moreover, that Jin artisans at one site were aware of art production at other locations. The question for discussion will be whether after a century of Jin rule an impact or legacy of Jin remained.

Jin Sculpture from Shanxi: Motifs and Motives

Marilyn Gridley, University of Kansas

Naval battles on the Yangtze, the Yellow River’s raging floods and change of course, serious opposition to the emperor-designate: the rulers of the Jin Dynasty confronted these major crises in the late twelfth century. The Jurchen rulers, like so many of their predecessors and contemporaries, sought to enlist and empower Buddhist and Daoist deities to secure a favorable outcome for each potential disaster. Jin patrons and sculptors of monastery and temple statuary in Shanxi province were quite innovative in developing motifs and iconographic schemes tailored to their purposes.

Contemporary art historians, however, have let many of these motifs and motives go unexamined. Western scholarship on Jin sculpture from Shanxi has generally limited itself to analyzing style and traditional iconographic attributes. The conclusion usually is that while the Jin were capable of producing aesthetically successful works in wood and clay, the sculptors and their patrons were not particularly original or cosmopolitan. To appeal this rather unfavorable verdict, this paper will examine evidence from well-known sculptures as well as recently published ones.

Not surprising is the evidence that Jin patrons and sculptors found inspiration in Western Wei stelae and northern Song sculpture near at hand in Shanxi. Much more surprising is evidence that the patrons and sculptors were aware of and drew inspiration from art being produced at the same time as far away as Southeast Asia.

Women as Protagonists in Jin Paintings

Susan Bush, Harvard University

Some compelling depictions of women as protagonists occur in Jin paintings. Why did sophisticated female imagery appear at this time? Was it an extension of earlier Song developments or was Jurchen influence operative here? Are few active female heroines shown in post-Jin art? Tentative answers to these questions will be suggested in discussions of specific Jin works. They fall into two basic categories, Buddhist narrative paintings and hand scroll illustrations of literary themes.

Women are the source of pollution and purification in the murals of Yanshansi, a Buddhist temple on the northern pilgrimage route to Wutaishan. There Hariti, a female cannibal, atones for sins on a pilgrimage through a fantastic landscape. Female patrons helped pay for these murals whose stories feature mothers and sons and concerns of interest to women.

Two hand scrolls on literary subjects depict opposite female types. In the erotic mode that focuses on beauties, a painter from the commercial Pingyang region depicted "The Dream of Sima Yu." Here the singing girl’s apparition forebodes the sleeping scholar’s death as well as the fall of a dynasty. Following the Han tradition of representing virtuous women to instruct palace ladies, a Jin court artist painted "Wenji’s Return to Han." It shows a filial heroine with unbound feet who braves a cold wind that daunts her barbarian escort. For similar combinations of purity, beauty, and strength as shown in these works we may have to look to depictions of modern heroines.

One Size for All: Uses of "Lady Wenji Returns to Han" as a Subject in Southern Song and Jin Painting

Tsao Hsing-Yuan, University of Hawaii, Manoa

The story of Lady Cai Wenji’s return to Han territory through the arrangement of the general Cao Cao many years after she was captured by the Xiongnu chieftain, Left Benevolent King Chanyu, has been turned into a symbol of cultural triumph in Chinese literature. The tradition of painting this subject to celebrate Chinese political influence that could overpower the "nomads" may be traceable to the famous Northern Song painter Li Gonglin, with whom album leaves of the subject have been associated. The complexity of the situation arises because the Return of Lady Wenji was a painting subject sponsored at the courts of the Jin, Southern Song, and Yuan, that is, by both native and non-native dynasties.

In this paper, I shall argue that Lady Wenji paintings do not simply signify goals of legitimation or the triumph of Chinese power. I shall suggest that certain subjects in Chinese painting belong to politically fixed types that could be appropriated by any political power, from huge regime to small kingdom. In all cases, however, Lady Wenji’s return stands for the triumph of imperial power and her Xiongnu captors represent the opposing force. The ethnic differentiation between Wenji and the Xiongnu came to symbolize the difference between the central imperial power and the peripheral state. Taking the Jurchen’s use of the paintings of "Lady Wenji Returns to Han" as a pattern, I shall suggest we consider other paintings of related situations in the similar way. One is Li Gonglin’s "General Guo Ziyi Meeting with the Uighurs," which also has a Yuan version, at least. Works of these themes were created to stand for typical circumstances of certain dynasties, but later, their subjects came to be appropriated to represent issues of imperial power or imperial status.

The Main Hall of Jingtusi: A Mirror of Jin Cultural Identity through Architecture

Nancy S. Steinhardt, University of Pennsylvania

This paper will focus on the main hall of Jingtu Monastery in Ying county, Shanxi, as a means of exploring what is Jin about Jin architecture. The building is selected among 65 Jin wooden structures that survive in Shanxi and probably more than 100 in the territory that comprised the Jin empire in part because its exterior is extraordinarily lackluster. It is also selected because, in contrast to the exterior, its ceiling contains nine cupolas of exceptional and exquisite carpentry.

Through the building, the paper will explore the theme of the panel: explication of the image of Jin, in this case to the extent it exists in architecture, and pursuit (beneath the surface) of the accuracy of that image. From the main hall, the paper will turn to better-known and more gradiose timber-frame buildings from the Jin period at Chongfu, Huayan, Shanhua, and Foguang monasteries, all in Shanxi; then to the architecture of Jin tombs, most of them also in Shanxi; and then to selected buildings of Liao, Song, and Yuan China, still in search of how Jin identified itself through architecture. The limited features that characterize Jin will lead to conclusions in which the more general question of Jin as a cultural entity will be explored.


Session 163: Gender and Colonialism: Reexamining Colonialism through the Question of Mui Tsai (Female Bondservants)

Organizer: Ka-Ming Wu, Columbia University

Chair and Discussant: Gail Hershatter, University of California, Santa Cruz

Keywords: mui tsai, colonialism, gender, Hong Kong, twentieth century.

The past fifteen years have seen an explosion of writings on the mui tsai issue in Hong Kong, most of which centered on the exploitative nature of the system and the liberating effort by the British missionaries and politicians. However, until recently, most scholars have mainly treated the issue as a parochial one and overlooked the manipulations of gender, class, and culture in the colonial context.

This panel attempts to address the complexity of the mui tsai issue and colonialism by tying both to broader questions of narration, welfare, and social management. Using the colonial discourses on the mui tsai issue as a focus, our panel consists of three different approaches, and the discussion will center on how the situation of Hong Kong could illuminate for colonial studies. The panel examines how the mui tsai system actually was employed for various colonial agendas that required the designation of the mui tsai system as a form of Chinese tradition. Hon-Ming Yip argues that the new policy of charity and the formation of the Po Leung Kuk (the Society for the Protection of Women and Children) in the 1880s symbolize a compromise between the Chinese elite and the British government officials and their final acknowledgment of the mui tsai system. Ka-Ming Wu examines how the anti-mui-tsai legal movement embodied and impacted the contemporary narratives about liberation, humanity and progress. Angelina Chin juxtaposes mui tsai with prostitutes and tries to situate the mui tsai problem in larger frameworks of South China migration and the management of women from the 1870s to the 1920s.

The Protection of Women under Colonialism: The Case of Early Colonial Hong Kong

Hon-Ming Yip, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Using the establishment of the Po Leung Kuk (the Society for the Protection of Women and Children) in early 1880 as a case, this paper explains how the effort of protection of women and girls from kidnapping in early colonial Hong Kong shifted to the charity work of caring for victims of kidnapping.

In negotiating with the colonial authorities, the Chinese elite managed to defend the age-long custom of mui tsai (young female bondservants) keeping which had been criticized by some Westerners as a form of slavery. By distinguishing the system itself from the problem of its abuses such as kidnapping of girls and selling or exporting them as prostitutes, Chinese elites who were most likely mui tsai keepers themselves, argued that the institution as a far cry from slavery was actually a form of charity to rescue poor girls from female infanticide, hunger, or potential prostitution.

To solicit support from the local community, the colonial government often invoked the "divide-and-rule" states-craft and the "non-intervention" policy under which Chinese residents in the colony were allowed to maintain their own traditional customs. Meanwhile, they entrusted the Chinese social leaders with the charity work to care for victims of abuses. Among colonialists themselves, the above-mentioned colonial ruling strategies were legitimized by a set of orientalist knowledge articulating the peculiarity of the Chinese tradition which should be tolerated as a lower form of social evolution, the gap between Chinese and Western cultures, and the inapplicability of legal and moral principles of Western progressive societies to a Chinese community.

Knowledge Formation: Social Forces Around the Question of Mui Tsai

Ka-Ming Wu, Columbia University

My paper aims to relate the question of mui tsai to formation of knowledge in Hong Kong, China. I look specifically into the different social groups and their discourses around the legal movement against the mui tsai (young sisters who were sold to work in rich families) in Hong Kong. From this legal movement, I want to see how different social forces (missionaries, nationalists, legal experts) were consolidated at that time and how their debating discourses became important historical background to articulate some of our contemporary understanding of modernity, humanity, and progress. The mui tsai issue is not simply a question of exploiting female and child labor, but one of mobilized conflicting social forces that debated fiercely on the meanings of slavery, Western civilization, Chinese tradition, customs, and Chinese forms of charity and labor. On the one hand, I want to see how these social forces and their debates inform us about knowledge on modernity and tradition. On the other hand, I want to show how the question of mui tsai is indeed formative of the development of pressure groups in Hong Kong. It was an important part of the early colonial history in which people organized themselves against or for the colonial administration and it is important to know how they articulated the issue differently.

The Management of Women’s Bodies: Regulating Mui Tsai and Prostitutes in Hong Kong under Colonial Rule, 1841–1935

Angelina Chin, University of California, Santa Cruz

The history of lower-class female immigrants in Hong Kong is always known through records of colonial administration, and their identities in historical writings have been regulatory labels issued by the colonial regime and other active political participants. This narrative reduces the history of these women to how they appeared in political discourses and attaches permanent stigma to such women. To create an alternative narrative, it is necessary to examine how and for what purposes some of their fixed identities were created. My paper focuses on two of these identities: mui tsai (female bondservants) and prostitutes. It argues that both groups originally belonged to the same wave of women from rural areas in South China during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but were categorized separately after their arrival in Hong Kong. My paper traces the regulating discourses among the British government, the Hong Kong government, the missionaries, the Chinese elites, and the local activists from the beginning of British colonialism in the 1840s to the abolition of the two institutions in the 1930s. Their different purposes of managing women’s bodies reveal conflicting agendas for the colonial project: while many British politicians wanted to preserve national prestige and colonial authority, feminists and missionaries wanted to uplift the morals of the colonized people by advocating reforms. The debate was further complicated by local responses, most of which arose from economic interests and legitimacy of rule that were in conflict with the agendas of the British colonial regime and activists.


Session 164: Not Made in China: Diasporic Literature Crossing Time and Place

Organizer: Carsey Yee, Harvard University

Chair: John B. Weinstein, Simon’s Rock College of Bard

Discussant: Dan Wang, Harvard University

Modern Chinese literature is neither centered in nor restricted to modern China. From Tu Wei Ming’s "Cultural China" with its three symbolic universes, to Leo Ou-fan Lee’s notion of the "periphery as center," contemporary scholars have mapped out a broad, open-ended notion of "Chineseness" that recenters production on the edges of, and even beyond the borders of, the Middle Kingdom. Following their lead, the papers in this panel will explore the creation of Chinese literature in the Chinese diaspora and its reception in a global context. We make the case for an emerging Chinese diasporic literature that should be viewed as a world literature rather than a national one.

The four papers in this panel examine poetry, fiction, and drama in settings that vary from Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia) to North America and Europe, in addition to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China. The papers range temporally from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. In terms of crossing disciplinary boundaries, two of the papers deal directly with the definition and scope of "Asian-American" literature and its relationship to "Chinese" literature. Finally, the scholars on this panel represent a range of academic fields, from history to literature to theater studies and Asian-American studies, in addition to a diversity of gender, ethnicity, and nationality. Moreover, our discussant is an exiled PRC dissident scholar and published poet, not just an observer but an active participant in the emerging global phenomenon of Chinese diasporic literature.

Ming Loyalist Poetry in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam

Carsey Yee, Harvard University

Mac Thien Tu (1711–1780) was the son of Mac Cuu, founder of the Ming Loyalist settlement at Ha Tien, on the Cambodian-Vietnamese frontier. After inheriting control over this fiefdom from his father, the younger Mac governed as a model Confucian ruler, emphasizing the importance of literary pursuits and gathering around him literati from throughout the region as well as from southern China. Not only was he the patron of these literary activities, but he was also an active participant. He established a literary society called the "Beckon Heroes Pavilion," the members of which produced a body of classical Chinese poetry on ten set themes based on the scenery of the Ha Tien area. These poems were collected and published under the title, "Odes on the Ten Scenes of Ha Tien," or "Ten Odes to Ha Tien," some of which exist to this day. The translation and analysis of a set of ten of these poems reveals two main themes: first, the poets wrote about local Ha Tien scenery and passionately expressed their admiration for the natural beauty of the region; second, there are explicit and implicit indications of nostalgia for the Chinese homeland from which their forefathers had been exiled. This paper will consider the historical (rather than the literary) significance of this cultural production on the fringes of the Chinese diaspora in the middle of the eighteenth century. What do these poems reveal about the cultural identity of the Ming Loyalists in Ha Tien?

Mapping the Chinese Diaspora: The Case of S. I. Hsiung

Shuang Shen, Rutgers University

S. I. Hsiung (1902–1991) was a writer of Chinese descent whose literary career exemplifies the notion of "diaspora" which transcends nationalistic cultural mapping. Born in Jiangxi Province, S. I. Hsiung lived and studied in Beijing and Shanghai until 1934, when he went to England to produce his play Lady Precious Stream, which had a successful run of some 500 performances in London’s West End. Lady Precious Stream is a modern re-writing of a Peking opera that describes the love triangle between a pauper turned general, his loyal Chinese wife, and the princess of a foreign tribe. In his travels, Hsiung established himself as a cultural liaison among three locations: Shanghai, London, and New York. Through personal connections with Anna May Wong and Paul Robeson, Hsiung tried to promote Chinese films and Mei Lan Fang in the West. This unique role of cultural interlocutor enabled Hsiung to stay in touch with the Chinese-language public sphere. In the late 1950s, Hsiung traveled to Singapore and Hong Kong, where he wrote novels, produced plays, and made films until his death in 1991. After briefly discussing his life and works, I shall examine this cultural figure through various lenses: the unique form of cosmopolitanism of Chinese modern culture; the politics of race in the West; the search for Hong Kong’s identity; and the contribution of expatriate and exiled writers from the mainland. The rich and complex interactions between China and the West, rooted and defined by different locales, is what creates the cultural dynamism of the Chinese diaspora.

Writing Chinese Literature in Multilingual Malaysia

Alison M. Groppe, Harvard University

This paper will consider language use in a selection of literary texts written in Chinese by the ethnic Chinese in Malaysia from the 1950s through the 1980s. Modern Malaysian Chinese literature derives largely from the New Literature movement from mainland China. This legacy compelled a generation of Malay(si)an Chinese writers such as Miao Xiu and Xia Lin to distinguish their work from mainland Chinese writing by accentuating local characteristics; the principle of realist writing encouraged them to try to represent accurately the society in which they lived. For these reasons, the multilingual nature of Southeast Asian society at large and their own multilingualism inspired these writers to incorporate words from various dialects (Hokkien, Cantonese) and languages (Malay, English) in their written Chinese to assert a local Southeast Asian Chinese identity. These attempts at producing a hybridized, written Mandarin Chinese relatively early in the history of modern Malaysian Chinese literature (1950s) can be usefully compared both to similar attempts in English-language writing in Singapore, and to later developments in Malaysian Chinese literature, in which contemporary Malaysian Chinese writers such as Li Yongping, Shang Wanyun, and Pan Yutong write in a "purified" Mandarin. While this paper will primarily consider the efforts to use dialect speech in Chinese writing, the other examples will help to illuminate larger issues regarding the gap between written and spoken languages, the politics of language use within the Chinese-speaking world, and what it means to live and write in a multilingual environment.

Rethinking Chineseness: The Theater of Gao Xingjian

John B. Weinstein, Simon’s Rock College of Bard

Gao Xingjian neither lives nor works in China. The 1990s saw no major production of any Gao Xingjian play within the Chinese mainland. Gao’s plays are, nevertheless, frequently labeled "Chinese" drama. This paper explores the complexity of assigning nationality to dramatic works or, in some cases, to individual playwrights. Though relevant to novelists and poets, this issue is even more complex for playwrights, given the greater degree of collaboration involved in realizing theatrical work. Gao’s plays from the 1990s form the core examples in this study. Two possibilities are suggested for situating Gao’s dramatic opus. The first is a category of "Asian diasporic drama." This notion extends the conception of contemporary Chinese drama from one rooted in Chinese national origins and language to a broader diasporic phenomenon. It also extends the boundaries of Asian-American drama; the focus becomes emigration from Asia rather than immigration to the United States. In lieu of a restrictive model of intersection, in which playwrights, directors, actors, and even themes must derive from similar sources, a model of union may be more fruitful for scholars and practitioners alike. The second analytical framework is that of global versus local. Gao’s plays have been produced in many different countries in many different languages, and his subject matter increasingly addresses an abstract human nature infrequently explored in the modern Chinese theater. His formal innovations do not readily link to work by other playwrights working in the Chinese language. Is Gao, then, a global playwright who just happens to write in Chinese?


Session 165: Individual Papers: China

Organizer and Chair: Lydia H. Liu, University of California, Berkeley


Lawyers and Clients in China: The Power of a Powerless Profession

Ethan Michelson, University of Chicago

Since the revival of the profession just over twenty years ago, lawyers in China have expanded at tremendous speed to a current volume of about 120,000, Despite their rapid development, large size, and economic, political, and social significance, little is known about the everyday practices of lawyers in China. In the context of the strict governmental regulation of legal practice, this paper’s core research problem is the extent to which and how lawyers exercise power over the legal process. This paper attempts to demonstrate that despite difficulty entering certain areas of law and handling certain types of cases (most notably criminal and administrative matters) and despite official regulations constraining how lawyers find, manage, and bill clients, lawyers nevertheless enjoy a significant amount of power vis-à-vis their clients. Lawyers exercise their power by defining the client’s problem as legal or otherwise, by imposing goals on the client, and by mapping strategies and courses of legal action. This paper also shows how lawyers’ power is realized through their billing methods, patterns of refusing clients, and mobilization of interpersonal relationships. Evidence is marshaled from two sources: (1) a survey conducted in the summer of 2000 of 462 lawyers in Beijing and of 529 lawyers in 24 small- and mid-sized cities outside Beijing; and (2) intensive observations of over 30 lawyer-client conferences in a Beijing law firm in the spring and summer of 2001. This paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for popular access to justice in China.

From 400 to 55 in under Forty Years: Towards a History of China’s Ethnic Identification Project (Minzushibie): The Kangzhan Period

Thomas Shawn Mullaney, Columbia University

Within the broader topic of ethnicity in the People’s Republic of China, there is perhaps no component as singularly important as the Ethnic Identification project. The project, which took place over the course of decades, shaped the way Chinese minority identity is spoken about and enacted, both among scholars and the minority peoples themselves. Most amazingly, it determined (perhaps once and for all) which groups in China would enjoy official minority status, and which would not—from 400 potential groups to just 55 in under forty years.

Convention holds that the project was a Communist endeavor whose outcome was determined by Stalinist principles of ethnic identity. This paper departs radically from such conventional accounts. It demonstrates how minzushibie scholars subscribed to a variety of political and academic schools of thought, the majority of which were neither Communist nor Marxist. Second, it demonstrates how minzushibie scholars experienced their most formative years during the 1930s and 1940s, well before the project’s official starting date in the PRC period. Specifically, it was during the war with Japan when most scholars were first exposed to China’s non-Han populations. Scholars in this period began to form long-lasting ideas regarding the nature of ethnicity, and its place within the fledgling Chinese nation-state. These ideas, already quite developed by the 1950s, contributed to the outcome of PRC-era ethnic studies far more than did Stalinist theories. Third, this paper attempts to rediscover the intensely human history that has been written out of most accounts of ethnic identification. The scholars involved regarded their work as one of hardship, mission, adventure, exoticism, enlightenment, and personal growth. Without an exploration of such personal matters, our historical understanding will forever remain incomplete.

Worker Protests in China: Toward a New Public Management of Social Conflicts

Antoine Kernen, University of Lausanne

In order to understand the increasing workers demonstrations in urban China, it is important to recall the context of SOE reforms characterized by a progressive retreat of the state as a welfare provider. But this explanation is slightly short. The impoverishment of a certain group of the population does not imply automatically its mobilization. Also, laid-off workers are certainly not the most disadvantaged social group in China.

In this paper, I favor a more political perspective to analyze the workers’ demonstrations. I rely on the concept of "Political Opportunity Structure" (Tarrow) to understand how those movements frequently and "successfully" emerged in a such repressive context. I show that the nature of their demands (limited to their own enterprise), their vocabulary (which frequently refers to socialist discourse), as well as the modality of their protests (petitions deposit) insert their actions in a well-established and tolerated "Repertoire of Protestation" (Tilly). At the same time, workers’ protests are renewing this repertoire by the use of slogans and street itineraries and by playing on the number of protesters. In between a petition deposit and a demonstration, these movements are tolerated so long as they are confined to one enterprise. Under such conditions, the Chinese government has till now succeeded in preventing the emergence of an organized labor movement.

This leads me to question the nature of the Chinese state and its ability to invent a new political control in a transitional society, particularly by analyzing the new role played by the old "Office for Complaints and Petitions" (xinfang bangongshi). My research is based on different field studies in Northeast Chinese cities (Shenyang Changchun, Harbin).

WTO and Chinese Agriculture

John Qunjian Tian, Connecticut College

China’s pending entry into the WTO has generated much excitement that has largely drowned out the challenges China may have to face as a member. This paper examines the potential impact on the Chinese agricultural sector, which has already been infested by sluggish peasant income growth, widening urban-rural disparities and increasing instability in the rural arena. Many peasants have abandoned their farmland to seek opportunities in cities, creating an exploding number of migrant workers. Government efforts to reverse the situation have so far failed given its declining financial capacity that has constrained its ability to further raise procurement price of agricultural produce. Also, there is not really much room for price rises because prices of most of China’s major cereals are already above international levels.

Thus, a more liberalized trade regime within the WTO framework can be a major challenge to Chinese peasant farmers since it will open the door for more grain imports to equalize the price differentiation between China’s domestic and international markets. While this may benefit consumers, it can also depress income growth for peasant farmers. With per capita farmland less than 0.08 hectares, about 25 percent of the global average, one can hardly expect small Chinese farmers to compete successfully with multi-national agribusiness groups. While China’s entry into the WTO may turn out to be in China’s interests in the long term, the pains of structural adjustment in the short run may fall disproportionately on Chinese peasants given the lack of institutionalized representation of rural interests.


Session 180: Can Capitalists Serve the People and the Nation? The Party-State and Private Enterprise in the Twentieth Century

Organizer: Parks M. Coble, University of Nebraska

Chair: Andrea McElderry, University of Louisville

Discussant: Sherman Cochran, Cornell University

Keywords: China, capitalists, patriotism, party-state.

The 1990s witnessed the reemergence of private enterprise in China, not simply the small individual household enterprises but firms of considerable scale. Yet many party intellectuals remain disturbed at this trend, believing that capitalist forms of ownership are inherently selfish and cannot serve the people or the nation. In their view the leadership in developing China should rest with the party-state and not private entities. Yet the debate over the role of private capital in building China is not new. In the early twentieth century a dynamic modern sector of the economy developed, one dominated by private bankers, industrialists, and merchants. Drawing on the works of Sun Yatsen, many intellectuals in the Guomindang movement felt that the state, not the private sector, should take the lead in industrializing China. With the Communist victory, Mao completely reorganized society, socializing private business and implementing a planned, non-market economy.

The papers presented in the panel will examine the relationship between the party-state and private capital from the 1920s through the 1950s. The leaders of the governments during these decades sought to build a strong, economically advanced China. Could private capital have a role?

Commodifying Chinese Anti-Imperialism: Wu Yunchu and the Flavor of Patriotic Production

Karl Gerth, University of South Carolina

How did the creation of an intensely nationalistic consumer culture shape state-business relations in early-twentieth-century China? The lack of tariff autonomy and internationally competitive products made it impossible for China to exclude foreign commodities from its domestic market. As a result, the very presence of imports became a powerful symbol of lost economic sovereignty. Likewise, the manufacture of Chinese products became symbols of hope and survival. The story behind the popular deification of Wu Yunchu (1891–1953) as a "patriotic producer" helps uncover the mixed legacy of this close association between capitalist success and national survival.

The relationship of Wu Yunchu’s enterprises to domestic and international markets defined him as a specific kind of Chinese entrepreneur. He was a Chinese-educated scientist and entrepreneur whose "national product," a flavoring-enhancing powder made of monosodium glutamate (MSG), successfully replaced the Japanese "enemy product" Ajinomoto in the Chinese marketplace. Wu Yunchu’s biography became iconic within Chinese efforts to define what it meant to participate in markets. The widely circulated biography provided evidence of success and a model for other Chinese to follow; in effect, the biography became a primer in China’s struggle to recover economic sovereignty. On the one hand, the deification of Wu and his "national product" clearly helped his business. His MSG gained market share because it was Chinese, and not simply because it was inexpensive. On the other hand, this deification linked enterprises such as his to the nation-state in ways that persist down to the present.

National Salvation Intellectuals and Chinese Capitalists during the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance

Parks M. Coble, University of Nebraska

China’s National Salvation Movement gained prominence in the late 1930s by opposing Chiang Kaishek’s policy of appeasement towards Japan. By the outbreak of war in July 1937, however, the movement followed the CCP and adopted a United Front approach. It advocated an alliance of all social classes under Chiang’s leadership to resist the Japanese. As Chinese forces retreated westward to Wuhan and then Chongqing, most salvation intellectuals left the coastal areas for either Guomindang or CCP areas.

In sharp contrast, only a handful of China’s capitalists followed the Chinese army to the interior. Most stayed in unoccupied Shanghai or Hong Kong or remained in the occupied zone. As the front lines moved inland the economy of these zones began to improve and many capitalists began to prosper. The contrast between conditions in Chongqing or Yan’an, with its hardships and dangers, and the relatively comfortable situation in Shanghai and Hong Kong became increasingly glaring. The salvation intellectuals, who had curtailed criticism of capitalists, became increasingly hostile. Their attacks on capitalists would continue through the war and civil war period. Many of China’s most prominent businessmen would be tainted with the label of collaborator. Their social and political standing was thus gravely weakened on the eve of the Communist Revolution. This paper exams the growing attacks on China’s capitalists by salvationist intellectuals during the war era, and their consequences.

In Search of China’s "National Bourgeoisie": Hu Juewen and the China Democratic National Construction Association

Thomas D. Lutze, Illinois Wesleyan University

Among the most patriotic of the Chinese capitalists during the twentieth century were those who, in cooperation with the Nationalist government, moved their factories to the interior to support the war against Japan. This study of Shanghai machine manufacturer Hu Juewen and the capitalists he mobilized to relocate inland not only sheds light on these patriotic industrialists in the rear but also offers new material for consideration of the controversial notion of the "national bourgeoisie." Hu and his associates, though resettled in the wartime capital of Chongqing, maintained independence from the Nationalist government, raising their own economic and political demands—demands typically associated with the interests of a "national bourgeoisie": resistance to the imperialist presence in China; development of China’s national industry; an end to bureaucratic capital; relief from onerous business taxation; and postwar peace, unification, and democracy. To advance these demands, Hu co-founded the China Democratic National Construction Association in late 1945. Over the next years, the CDNCA joined anti-civil-war, anti-American, and anti-KMT protests. The organization ultimately endorsed the CCP’s program of New Democracy and assisted the new regime after 1949 in building a working relationship with business leaders. Based on archival materials and interviews conducted between 1992 and 2001 with former capitalists and members of the CDNCA, this paper explores the early history of Hu and his organization, and suggests that in its desire to establish a modern, independent, wealthy, and powerful China, the CDNCA was closely representative of the ideal type known as the "national bourgeoisie."

From Cooperation to Confrontation: Shanghai’s Textile Industrialists and the Guomindang Government’s Economic Policy in the Postwar Period (1945–1949)

Ju Wang, Harvard University

Contrary to common scholarship, this paper demonstrates that the Shanghai textile industry experienced its best golden age in 1946 and 1947 since its inception in 1890. In analyzing various factors contributing to the boom of the Shanghai textile industry, the author emphasizes the positive role of the Guomindang government’s economic policies in the early postwar period. The government abolished its wartime control policy toward the textile industry, released its restrictions on foreign exchange, and promoted domestic cotton production. Encouraged by these relatively laissez-faire policies, Shanghai private textile industrialists cooperated with the government and greatly expanded their production and made huge profits in 1946 and 1947.

Unfortunately, the prosperity only lasted a little more than two years. Confronting repeated failure in the civil war and skyrocketing inflation after late 1947, the Guomindang government tried to use textile products as a tool to stabilize the market. From raw material imports to product distribution, from foreign currency to market price, the government imposed more restrictions over private companies that severely hurt Shanghai private textile companies. The cooperation between the private industrialists and the government turned to confrontation. Most Shanghai private textile companies secretly transferred huge amounts of cash abroad. The capital evasion exhausted the working capital of these companies and provoked a crisis in the Shanghai textile industry. The crisis expressed the deep disappointment of the Chinese business people toward the Guomindang government. Most of their evaded capital fled to Hong Kong, not to Taiwan, and laid the foundation for Hong Kong’s later prosperity.


Session 181: Masculinity in China: Issues of Gender and Power

Organizer: Melissa S. Dale, Georgetown University

Chair: Carol Ann Benedict, Georgetown University

Discussants: Giovanni Vitiello, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Mayfair Yang, University of California, Santa Barbara

Keywords: China, masculinity, gender, power, modernity, eunuch.

Redirecting the focus in gender studies from the female to the male, this panel will explore the discourse on masculinity in China through an interdisciplinary approach to the concept of the Chinese male in the Qing, Republican, and contemporary periods. Sharing the common themes of gender and power, three case studies reveal how Chinese have defined masculinity. Juxtaposed against eunuchs, feminist movements, and images of the Western male, the identities of Chinese males are tested and even reinterpreted as self-identities clash with social identities and masculinity becomes intertwined with issues of modernity, feminism, and nationalism.

Melissa Dale examines the stigma of emasculation and reveals how gender misfits such as eunuchs tested the boundaries of masculinity in the Qing and Republican periods and how wealth and power could temporarily negate the stigma associated with emasculation. John Zou will examine how movements for social change such as feminism and modernity affected the discourse on masculinity and argues that despite all of the discourse about the "new woman," there was little discussion in Republican literature about the "new man." Everett Zhang, through his examination of contemporary discourse on the body, finds that comparisons with the Western male body have created a "complex of impotence" that serves as an important facet for understanding China’s sense of inferiority in its quest for modernization.

Ultimately, through an interdisciplinary approach, this panel aims to shed new light on Chinese masculinity and its interconnections with other important issues in Chinese studies such as modernity, feminism, nationalism, and social status.

The Stigma of Emasculation

Melissa S. Dale, Georgetown University

Emasculation of the Chinese male severed more than body parts. The act also symbolically destroyed familial and social bonds. Sexual dysfunction uniquely qualified eunuchs for access into the seat of imperial power. Yet, emasculation also rendered eunuchs social outcasts, labeled "unfilial" for their inability to procreate, and "immoral" for their circumvention of the traditional route to power. Emasculation produced a powerful stigma that complicated social perceptions of eunuch gender and power. Emasculation confused and challenged traditional Chinese views of masculinity. The eunuch body shared many characteristics commonly associated with the female sex. Physically, they lacked the outward manifestations and sexual function of men. Yet, changing perceptions of eunuch purity after puberty, fears of the regeneration of organs and the effectiveness of emasculation in eradicating sexual desire, suggest an uncertainty over eunuch gender. Among eunuchs, there appears to have been no such confusion; their self-identity as men remained unchanged. A eunuch’s social identity was based upon the physical features he lacked. Genital mutilation marked the body and represented a form of subjugation. Yet, the excision of the male genitalia did not necessary result in emasculation in terms of power. Eunuch power was variable, based upon a eunuch’s physical proximity to power. While some eunuchs managed to climb to the very pinnacle of power, wealth and power could never truly erase the stigma of emasculation. In sum, the majority of eunuchs existed among society as gender misfits and social outcasts, even as they themselves had a clear sense of their own masculinity.

Men Beyond: Male Feminism and Paternal Obsession in May Fourth Melodrama

John Yu Zou, Bates College

The paper is about how the question of masculinity came to be (or rather "not be") in Republican Chinese literature and culture. Where there were heated discussions regarding the "new women," why was comparable interest in the "new men" all but very scant, or may such an accepted view withstand genealogical critique? I explore the May Fourth male feminist construction of the "Nora" myth in spoken drama and suggest that the projection of May Fourth male fantasy is intrinsically related to the trope of female and feminine transgression. It is through compassion and assistance to the vulnerable and violated traditional women that modern men master their own vulnerability and experience of violation. To a certain extent, the presence of the subjected and thus insurgent women provided the ultimate discursive condition for May Fourth men to sever their identity with traditional patriarchs and ritualistically mobilize their modern "ethic." But at the same time, the deposed father, typically communicated in terms of perversion and inanity, became a subject of what René Girard calls the persecution texts, i.e., an apparent target of discursive and institutional violence and a secret figure of ultimate identification. The performance of hatred against the father, particularly in the name of feminist justice, was interminable, precisely because he occupies a sexually charged position which seemed to be permanently removed from the reach of the May Fourth man.

Modernity, Nationalism, and the Complex of Impotence in China

Everett Yuehong Zhang, University of California, Berkeley

An important characteristic of Chinese modernity is the "complex of impotence," a sense of inferiority in comparison with Western industrial countries, expressed through discourse and the body. An anthropological field study of popular beliefs in two male clinics in two Chinese cities in the late 1990s and early 2000s shows that increasing exposure to images of the Western male body produces frequent comparisons between Chinese and Western men. These comparisons are still couched in terms of essential racial differences, stemming from a tradition that can be traced back to the turn of the last century. The Western male body’s "stronger potency" is attributed to dietary habits and physical size, despite the changing diet of the Chinese today. Chinese scientific rhetoric, which plays down the importance of the size of the penis in sex, and the Chinese sense of disgust toward the imagery of the ultra-potent male Western body in erotic videos and VCDs do not seem to stem these beliefs. This racial essentialism has been reproduced by increasing encounters between Chinese and Westerners in the state’s project of modernization in the post socialist period, and the socialist state’s tradition of catching up with the West. Yet it would seem that more victorious moments such as China entering WTO and winning the bid for the 2008 Olympics would continue to reproduce, rather than eliminate, this complex. Despite the rhetoric of modernity with Chinese characteristics, the linear temporality of modernity continues to dominate the mentality of the state modernizing project and nationalism.


Session 182: The Lessons of Defeat: Transforming the Qing State after the Boxer War

Organizer: Richard S. Horowitz, California State University, Northridge

Chair and Discussant: Roger R. Thompson, Stanford University

Keywords: Xinzheng, state, state building, Qing Dynasty.

Recently scholars have focused attention on the development of the Chinese state in the Republican period. This panel argues that the roots of China’s modern state lie earlier, in the Xinzheng (New Policy) reforms during the last decade of the Qing dynasty. These reforms marked a radical departure for the Chinese state, involving a sustained effort to import foreign models and adapt them to Chinese realities. Although scholarship on reforms to provincial and local state institutions in this period is substantial, the transformation of the central government in Beijing has received little attention.

The papers in this panel reflect on the idea that at the central government level the Xinzheng reforms represented a critique of existing Qing practices and a blueprint for a modern Chinese state. They show that the introduction of foreign models was fraught with political and administrative difficulties and was influenced by long-standing concerns of Chinese statecraft. Horowitz examines 1905–6 government reform commission’s critique of Qing institutions and limited endorsement of European models. Strauss suggests that reforms in bureaucratic recruitment constituted a transitional effort to reconceptualize the Chinese state. Bourgon shows that efforts to abolish "cruel punishments" in the legal system were not a paper response to foreign pressure, but a major development rooted in Chinese legal culture. Gabbiani explores the regularization of the position of lower level officials in the central government ministries to eliminate malfeasance. As a whole this panel shows that the Xinzheng reforms were crucial to the development of the modern Chinese state.

Breaking the Bonds of Precedent: The 1905–06 Government Reform Commission and the Remaking of the Qing State

Richard S. Horowitz, California State University, Northridge

In January 1901 the Empress Dowager Cixi initiated the Xinzheng (New Policy) reforms, declaring that China’s weakness was "caused by the strength of convention and the rigid network of regulations." Over the next decade Qing officials began a complete overhaul of the Qing central state institutions seeking to achieve the "wealth and strength" of Western states. In 1905–6 a commission of six officials led by Zaize was sent abroad to study systems of government in Europe, the United States, and Japan, and based on their findings recommend changes to Qing institutions. While the commission has been celebrated for endorsing a shift to a constitutional system of government, the broad range of the commission’s evaluation of problems of the Qing state and the potential of foreign institutional models has been ignored.

This paper examines the commission’s findings and recommendations on improving decision-making and policy implementation within the central state. It will assess the commission’s efforts in three dimensions: first, as a critique of the actual functioning of the Qing bureaucratic monarchy; second, as an effort to adapt foreign models of ministerial government to a Chinese context and to fit with Chinese notions of good government; third, as a reform effort related in its goals but different in its methods from those proposed by central government officials during the self-strengthening era and Hundred Days reforms. This paper concludes that the Xinzheng reforms marked a watershed in Chinese ideas about the proper structure and distribution of power in central state institutions.

Abolishing "Cruel Punishments": A Reappraisal of the Chinese Roots and Long-Term Efficiency of the Xinzheng Legal Reforms

Jérôme Bourgon, CNRS

The abolition of "cruel punishments" such as dismemberment and exposure of the head, and legal tortures or corporal penalties in spring 1905 has been construed by historians as a mere lip service paid to Western legal conceptions. Evidence of cruelties committed after this date has led to a general skepticism about the efficiency of the abolishing measures. In this paper, I intend to show, firstly, that arguments for the abolition of cruel punishments were based not only on Western promises to relinquish exterritoriality if Chinese laws were humanized, but more importantly by citing memorials and essays expressing opposition to legal cruelties under previous dynasties. This mobilization of secular Chinese legal culture grounded the abolition decrees in the ethical values that were at the very root of state legitimacy. Secondly, as a consequence of the involvement of officials in these reforms, the abolition was widely effective: dismemberment and exposure of the head were definitely banned from penal practices, and despite temporary revival during Yuan Shikai’s restoration, judicial torture and bamboo beatings were efficiently prohibited from judicial practice. All atrocities that disgraced twentieth-century China (including "campaigns" of the Maoist period) were, and were eventually deemed to be, abuses of power, and not application of a legitimate law promulgated by the state. The abolition decrees of April 1905 should therefore be recognized as a turning point in the history of Chinese law and government.

"The Redemption of the Rascals": The Xinzheng Reforms and the Transformation of the Status of Lower Level Central Administration Personnel

Luca Gabbiani, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

As a consequence of the humiliating end to the Boxer uprising the Qing government implemented major institutional reforms, known as the Xinzheng reforms or New Policies. In recent years, they have drawn growing attention from scholars in China and the West, but much work remains to be done in order to understand how they have remodeled the organization of the central administration and transformed its internal workings. In this paper, I will show how the implementation of reform policies brought greater official recognition to the lowest levels of central administration personnel. These lower level "clerks and runners" were essential to the working of the traditional administration but at the same time were seen as its main source of corruption and inefficiency. Starting in 1905 this segment of the traditional imperial administration was directly integrated into a remodeled administrative hierarchy and became eligible to receive an official salary.

In my paper, I will first examine who were the persons in this group, what were their functions and their numbers, and what administrative problems they posed as a group. Second, I will study the main measures adopted in order to modify their situation: establishment of a specific selection process, the integration of the successful candidates into the official hierarchy, and the systematic provision of salaries. Last, I will show how important these adjustments were to the persons concerned and place them in the larger context of the reform of the status and position of central administration personnel in general.

Creating "Virtuous and Talented" Officials for the Twentieth Century: Discourse and Practice in Xinzheng China

Julia C. Strauss, University of London

The recruitment, evaluation, and promotion of a loyal and effective body of administrators is one or the more important challenges for developing countries undergoing state-building reforms. The Qing in the Xinzheng era (1901–1911) confronted a particularly acute version of this problem. The dynasty had inherited a firmly institutionalized set of discourses and procedures for its civil bureaucracy that were finally recognized to be unsuitable for the strong and "modern" state envisioned by the Xinzheng centralizing reforms.

This Xinzheng era reconceptualization of the central Chinese state was accompanied by an ambivalent but significant shift in understandings of what it meant to be a "virtuous and talented" civil official in "modern" China. This essay focuses on two aspects of this wider transitional shift: (1) the ways in which the official discourse on civil service, examinations, recruitment and evaluation of the "virtuous and talented" changed; and (2) the ways in which particular institutions for recruitment, examining, and evaluation of the "virtuous and talented" were reformed, particularly focusing on a set of central civil service examinations given in 1910.

This paper argues that the Xinzheng discourse and the civil service institutional reforms were paradoxically both forward looking and anchored in the past. The general thrust of the reforms anticipated many of the actions, concerns, adaptations from models abroad, and structural weaknesses of the central state in the Republican era, while a large portion of the vocabulary, concepts, and categories important to thinking about civil service continued to be influenced by earlier frameworks.


Session 183: Reconstructing a New Cultural Identity in Ming China

Organizer: Yonglin Jiang, Grand Valley State University

Chair: Edward L. Farmer, University of Minnesota

Discussant: Benjamin Elman, University of California, Los Angeles

Keywords: Ming, cultural identity, law, music, literati, arts.

Throughout Ming history, the ruling elite had made considerable efforts to "restore antiquity" (fugu) in cultural and social values. Nevertheless, "restoring antiquity" was not blind imitation. The Ming ruling elite was highly selective and innovative when it modeled its empire on historical precedents.

This panel explores the ways in which the Ming ruling elite re-created a new Han-Chinese cultural identity by way of "restoring antiquity." Yonglin Jiang argues that while the Great Ming Code copied the Tang Code to a considerable extent, the Ming law reconceptualized Chinese legal culture in areas such as legal cosmology, imperial authority, ritual institutions, and social relations. Joseph Lam demonstrates that while Ming theories of ancient music were a legacy from the past, Ming practices of the music produced contemporary and unique expressions. Kenneth Hammond argues that there was a much greater degree of literati intellectual diversity than the focus on Cheng-Zhu Daoxue orthodoxy might suggest. Yun-Chianh Chen finds that in addition to adopting the aesthetic values and pictorial vocabularies of the Song-Yuan period, Ming literati artists tried to provide new meanings in order to meet their contemporary needs. Overall, these four papers indicate that out of the movement of "restoring antiquity," the Ming redefined the Han-Chinese cultural identity and reoriented the cultural values and practices inherited from the earlier Chinese dynasties. Benjamin Elman’s works on intellectual movements and cultural identity in late imperial China give him the broad perspective necessary to comment on all the issues raised by this panel.

Re-creating the Han-Chinese Cultural Identity in Early Ming Legislation

Yonglin Jiang, Grand Valley State University

The early Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) witnessed intensive efforts to re-create a universal empire based on Chinese culture. "Restoring antiquity" (fugu) became a cultural banner to guide the purification of the "polluted" social values and practices. Under this banner, however, the Ming ruling elite undertook substantial reforms of Chinese cultural identity. This paper looks at the Ming legislation by way of comparing and contrasting the Great Ming Code (1397) and the Tang Code (653). It argues that although the Ming lawmakers claimed the legislative principle of "all following the Tang tradition," they proceeded to redefine and reorient the Chinese legal culture.

Indeed, while the Great Ming Code inherited many stipulations from its Tang counterpart, it nevertheless contained a large number of new rules to meet contemporary situations. The law code was interpreted more in line with the neo-Confucian legal cosmology. Political institutions centered more on imperial authority. Social relations changed more toward equality. And the government became more involved in economic transactions. By legislating societal changes since the mid-Tang dynasty, the Great Ming Code testified new cultural elements along with the age-old tradition.

Ancient Music, Present-Day Musics, and Ming Dynasty Rulers and Scholar-Officials

Joseph S. C. Lam, University of Michigan

Ming rulers and scholar-officials strove to restore ancient music (guyue) in their own times, because it was supposedly the "most perfect and beautiful" (jinshan jinmei) expression of antiquity when sage kings implemented benevolent policies to guide commoners to live harmoniously. Ming rulers and scholar-officials believed that with diligent and sincere efforts, they could reconstruct ancient music from the few remnants that had been preserved. This belief might be self-serving, but it concretely realized the imperial practice of governing with ritual and music. Thus, throughout the Ming period, there were many attempts to restore ancient music, producing results that contrasted with various present-day musics of the time.

This paper will examine Ming dynasty ancient and present-day musics through analyses of music theories, notated compositions, and descriptions of music performances preserved in DaMing jili (Collected Ceremonials of the Ming Dynasty, 1370), Shenqi mipu (Fantastic and Precious Notation of Qin Music, 1425), Yuelü quanshu (Collected Works on Music Theory, 1598), Wanli yehuo bian (Miscellaneous Notes of the Wanli Period, 1606), and other Ming sources. The examination will demonstrate that while Ming theories of ancient music were a legacy from the past, Ming practices of the music nevertheless produced contemporary and unique expressions.

Literary Archaism and Literati Pluralism in the Ming Dynasty

Kenneth J. Hammond, New Mexico State University

In the Ming dynasty the Daoxue school of Confucian thought was the official orthodoxy for the imperial examination system, continuing the practice of the preceding Yuan dynasty. Cheng-Zhu thought, represented in the Four Books selected and commented by Zhu Xi as the most essential texts in Confucianism and the basis for framing questions and answers on the examinations, had been widely perceived as the dominant ideology of the later imperial era. Here I focus on one aspect of Ming intellectual culture, the fugu movement of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to argue that there was in fact a much greater degree of literati intellectual diversity than the focus on Daoxue examination orthodoxy might suggest.

Fugu (archaism, or returning to antiquity) first became a significant literary movement in the fifteenth century among a group of writers and literary theorists known retrospectively as the Former Seven Masters, led by Li Mengyang and He Jingming. In the sixteenth century a second wave of archaism developed, embodied in what has been called the Later Seven Masters, led by Wang Shizhen and Li Panlong. The fugu position has been, somewhat oversimply, characterized as promoting a view of literature which only valued Qin-Han prose and High Tang poetry.

A fuller consideration of fugu thought reveals a very complex intellectual system with implications that go far beyond literary issues. Indeed, the principles of the fugu movement were rooted in a Confucian perspective which emphasizes the primacy of wen as opposed to the Daoxue emphasis on li. This difference can be related to broader concerns about the proper ordering of society and the role of the imperial state.

Restoring Antiquity in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Ming

Yun-Chiahn Chen, University of Chicago

Ming painting of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, especially the so-called Wu School developed around the area near Suzhou, is often considered to have closely associated with the literati painting traditions of the Song and Yuan. In addition to adopting the Neo-Confucian aesthetic values, Ming literati artists also inherited a set of pictorial vocabularies formulated over the course of the Song-Yuan period. A reccurring idea in the literati tradition is the idea of fugu, or the restoration of antiquity, which had occupied the center of the intellectual and artistic discourses since the Song.

Nevertheless, Ming literati artists faced the challenge that they not only had to uphold the pictorial tradition of antiquity in order to maintain their literati identity in competition (or interaction) with so-called "professional artists," but also tried to provide new meanings beyond the inherited visual idioms in order to meet their contemporary needs. Indeed, a contextual analysis of the works by leading Ming literati artists, such as Shen Zhou and Tang Yin, reveals the complexity of their roles as artists, Confucian scholars, and literary figures. The participation of merchants as both economic and cultural elites gave the literati tradition of the Ming period a unique social spin which had not been seen before. Such a study not only helps us to comprehend the artistic expressions of Ming literati painting beyond the pictorial, but also gives us a fuller understanding of how traditions were played out in constructing the cultural identity of the Ming.


Session 184: The Cuisine of Sacrifice in Ancient China

Organizer and Chair: Roel Sterckx, University of Arizona

Discussant: Lothar von Falkenhausen, University of California, Los Angeles

Keywords: early China, religion, sacrifice.

Sacrifice constitutes the single most important act of organized religion in ancient China. Scholarly debate on sacrifice has hitherto primarily focused on the socio-political role of sacrifice, the use of sacrificial liturgy, and the textual history of ritual codices documenting sacrificial practice during the late Zhou and early imperial periods. Despite the wealth of material preserved in early Chinese texts, the mechanics of sacrificial practice itself, however, are still understudied. This panel will explore the internal architecture of sacrifice as documented in writings and archaeological evidence from Shang to Han. By means of a retrospective anthropology of sacrifice, it will examine underlying symbolisms and principles surrounding the sacrificial act such as the taxonomy of sacrificial foodstuffs, the orthopraxis of offering, the role of ritual cooking, the use and selection of animal victims, and the application of sacrificial techniques. The panel will also examine how sacrifice and imagery related to ritual killing and cooking became a recurrent topos not only in the writings of ritual specialists but also in philosophical texts of the Warring States and Han period where it provided a recurring subject for philosophical analogy. Each panelist will discuss one specific aspect related to the sacrificial offering or object of sacrifice that served to mediate communication with the divine. Gilles Boileau examines the difference in status between food and drink in Shang and Zhou sacrifice. Wang Tao addresses the role of color associated with sacrificial animal victims, and Roel Sterckx discusses the concept of sacrificial flavor and its role in the portrayal of sensory perception in Warring States thought.

The Status of Food and Drink in Sacrificial Ceremonies during the Shang and Zhou Periods

Gilles Boileau, Tamkang University

This paper examines the difference in status between food and drink in Shang and Zhou sacrifice. A minimal and physical definition of sacrifice could be formulated as follows: the destruction, partial or complete, of something in offering to a non actually living entity. This definition presupposes the existence of a sacrificial object to be destroyed but does not offer any explanation as to the meaning of such an act. Accessing the meaning of sacrifice should entail an analysis of the exact process of the act of destruction—in other words, how the sacrificial object is treated. Addressing the role of ritual cooking provides one possible way to unravel the meaning of sacrifice.

The sacrificial act should be studied within the framework of the sacrificial ceremony as a whole. Here I propose to distinguish four sequences related to cooking: (1) the nature of the offering to be cooked; (2) the mode or technique of cooking; (3) the presentation of what has been cooked; and (4) the use or destination of what has been cooked. Shang data present an interesting problem related to ritual cooking: whereas the cooking of animal victims and the ingestion of wine (mostly sweet millet wine) appear to be an integrating part of the ceremony itself, the actual consumption of foodstuffs was not. This difference in status between food and drink is one of the identifying traits of Shang sacrifice, yet its meaning remains clouded by its negative assessment in Zhou texts. I will argue that the disconnection observed in Shang times between the ceremony proper and the consumption of food gave rise to a reappraisal of the status of food, in Zhou sacrificial systems.

The Red Ox in Shang and Zhou Rituals

Wang Tao, University of London

In studying the typology and mechanisms of early Chinese ritual and religion, the foodstuffs used in sacrifice are an important aspect that has attracted both classical scholarship and modern anthropological investigation. Modern archaeology has now provided us with more materials and the topic deserves a fresh look. Like taste or flavor, color is an integral part of Chinese cooking, either for man or for the gods. Of all the victim animals used in sacrifice, the red or red-yellow ox is the most striking: It appears frequently in early inscriptions as well as in ritual and historical texts. Its usage in sacrificial rites is complicated and varied across time. This problem needs closer examination.

In an attempt to reconstruct the context and meaning of color in Shang and Zhou rituals, I will investigate the evidence in Shang oracle bone inscriptions and Zhou bronze inscriptions and compare it with transmitted texts dated before the Han dynasty. I will offer an interpretation of why and how offerings of a particular color were selected and used in a particular context, and show how later color systems such as the "Five Colors Theory" were influenced by earlier practice. By comparing the differences between the Shang and Zhou systems, we should be able to achieve a deeper understanding of the changes and development of the ritual system during the transitional period.

Sages and Flavors in Warring States China

Roel Sterckx, University of Arizona

In their assessment of the efficacy of sacrifice, Warring States and Han ritual texts emphasize the central role of flavor as an agent in the communication with the divine. Taxonomies of sacrificial flavor were based on several factors such as the timing of the sacrifice, the relation between the production of foodstuffs or animal victims and their taste as offerings or sacrificial meats, and the status of the ritual participants and/or the spirits addressed in sacrifice.

Parallel with the identification of specific foodstuffs as ideal sacrificial offerings, natural philosophies identified the sampling of flavors as an act of spiritual authority. Just as the ritualist was charged with blending or "transforming" foodstuffs into the right composition, so the sage was expected to be able to balance flavors to their highest degree of cosmic potency. The abilities to blend flavors, taste the "tasteless," and savor cosmic flavors were thus seen as acts of numinous power. Likewise, the image of spirits being able to sample or inhale the essence of flavored foodstuffs found its philosophical double in self-cultivation literature where sages and adepts were portrayed as agents capable of savoring cosmic flavors and integrating their "essence" or "energy" within the body. Thus, while spirits were to be lured to the cooking vessels through the fumes of specified condiments and spices, the ultimate efficacy of sacrifice depended on the degree to which these ingredients could be blended or diluted into an essential flavor devoid of particularity. At the crossroads of sacrificial liturgy and sacrificial offering was the premise that spirits would savor the flavor of a text (prayer, incantation, inscription, performance) in the same way as they would savor food offerings. Literary ornament, such as verse and rhyme, and its performance in song and dance were seen as the liturgical counterpart of the refinement (slicing, cooking, boiling) of sacrificial foodstuffs.


Session 185: Ethnic Conflict and Cooperation on the Frontiers of the Chinese Middle Period

Organizer and Chair: Don J. Wyatt, Middlebury College

Discussant: Robert Hymes, Columbia University

Keywords: ethnicity, frontiers, China, history, middle period.

For those eras of Chinese history prior to the late traditional period (1368–1911), scholars have naturally tended to view consciousness of ethnicity as an inherently destabilizing rather than consolidating force. The study of the collaborative cultural, political, and institutional ramifications of ethnicity achieved popularity long ago in connection with the conquest dynasties of the Mongol Yuan (1279–1368) and especially the Manchu Qing (1644–1911). However, for the preceding stages of Chinese history, we have yet to arrive at an understanding of the few conspicuous non-divisive products of ethnicity that matches our knowledge of the many more divisive ones. We must include the middle period of Chinese history—spanning most broadly from the seventh to the fourteenth century C.E.—in this vast category for which ethnic confrontation rather than cohesion has been the emphasis.

Focusing on specific historical occurrences in the early eighth, mid-eleventh, and early thirteenth centuries, respectively, and using ethnicity as the crucial locus of inquiry, the proposed panel analyzes discernible cooperative trends and developments in otherwise contentious frontier relations. Each paper examines a momentous and defining episode involving either ethnic Han Chinese or Mongol representatives of the Chinese empire and border-state representatives of a different ethnic extraction (Turgish, Vietnamese, or Uyghur) in terms of its cooperative as well as its conflictive dimensions. Each paper debunks the myth of invariant interethnic hostility, antagonism, and strife between the two groups examined by revealing the complex, shifting, and often concordant nature of the intercultural interactions in which they were enmeshed.

Loyalties Divided: The Question of Ethnicity in the Tang-Turgish Conflict of 708–09

Jonathan K. Skaff, Shippensburg University

In the years 708 and 709, forces of the Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907) were involved in a struggle with the pastoral nomadic Turgish tribe on their northwestern frontier. On the surface, this episode appears to have been a straightforward conflict between Chinese and Turgish ethno-political groups. However, a close look at the sources reveals a tangled web of intrigue involving intra-ethnic squabbling and inter-ethnic cooperation. As a result of infighting among Tang generals and Turgish chiefs, opposing factions on each side reached across political and ethnic boundaries to form alliances that would bolster their personal positions. Thus, the Tang general Guo Yuanzhen (655–713) cooperated closely with the Turgish Chief Saqal (r. ca. 707–712), while Yuanzhen’s competitors, generals Guo Qianguan and Zhou Yiti, allied with Saqal’s rival Ashina Kul Cur Zhongjie (d. 708). The latter alliance used political intrigue involving the Tang court to instigate warfare in an attempt to bring down its opponents, but ultimately was defeated and disgraced.

This obscure incident is one example from a larger body of research demonstrating that, on the Tang frontier, personal interest was often more important than political or ethnic solidarity in forming interpersonal bonds. It also cautions historians not to assume that the ethnic and national loyalties that we take for granted today played equivalent roles in either Chinese or Inner Asian pastoral nomadic history of much earlier times.

Tempting "Treacherous Factions": The Manipulation of Frontier Alliances in the Breakdown of Sino-Vietnamese Relations on the Eve of the 1075 Border War

James A. Anderson, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

This paper describes relevant aspects of the rebellion of frontier chieftain Nong Zhigao (1025–1053) and concentrates on the escalation of Sino-Vietnamese border tensions in the years following the suppression of Nong’s revolt. It argues that the pacification campaign launched against Nong Zhigao’s followers in the 1050s and the subsequent submissions of strategic frontier communities to direct Song control were both occurrences that contributed directly to the outbreak of the Sino-Viet border war of 1075–1077. However, even as important as it was, the factor of shifting alliances between the two courts and these frontier communities was key but not all-determinative in the conflict that brought about the breakdown in relations between the Chinese and Vietnamese courts. While they will be discussed only in passing, there were also other factors, such as the Chinese court’s efforts to increase frontier economic activity under Wang Anshi’s New Policies (1068–1085) and the Vietnamese Ly (1010–1225) court’s consolidation of peripheral fiefdoms during an accelerated period of state-building.

Nevertheless, despite these other factors that led to rebellion, in the aftermath of hostilities, the negotiated border between the Dai Viet kingdom and the Song empire marked a diplomatic watershed in middle-period Sino-Vietnamese relations. This paper concludes by discussing the role these frontier Tai-speaking communities played in shaping this firm line of demarcation between Chinese and Vietnamese domains.

Porous Boundaries: Uyghurs and Social Change in China’s Northern Frontier Zone

Michael C. Brose, University of Wyoming

This paper examines the multiple roles of Uyghur aristocrats in nomadic and sedentary societies before and immediately following their submission to the Mongols in 1209. The Uyghur kingdom in the Tarim Basin had representatives at a number of courts prior to the Mongols, including the Qidan, the Naiman, and the Qarakhitai. After submitting to the Mongols, the Uyghurs continued to act as advisors to the Mongol qans and were also employed in China, Persia, and other kingdoms. Examining the roles of the Uyghur aristocrats who filled these offices reveals a great deal about the relative importance of ethnicity and various other forms of cultural capital in border relations among states and peoples on China’s northern frontier at the time, including China itself.

The data appear to show that ethnicity itself was a powerful form of social and cultural capital but only one of those used by the Uyghurs who were involved in interstate affairs. Just as important were factors such as literacy and experience at administering ethnically diverse populations. Neither Uyghur literacy of non-Uyghur cultural traditions nor their accumulated administrative experience should surprise us. After all, the Uyghur kingdom itself, situated amidst the major trade routes, was an entity long populated by various groups. Therefore, well before the thirteenth century, it had already inherited and incorporated a great variety of administrative traditions, ranging from those of the Sogdians to those of the Chinese.


Session 186: A Contending Voice from the Far South: Lingnan Poetry in Seventeenth-Century China

Organizer: Lawrence C. H. Yim, Academia Sinica

Chair and Discussant: Wai-yee Li, Harvard University

Discussant: Allan Barr, Pomona College

Keywords: China, literature, history.

The late Ming and early Qing witnessed the blossoming of Lingnan (Guangdong) poetry, a subject as yet hardly studied. Amidst merciless political turmoil and huge personal losses, Lingnan poets wrote and won critical acclaim. They traveled extensively, mingled with famous poets in other cultural and literary centers, and were conscious that they were creating a poetics that would define Lingnan culture and themselves.

While Qian Qianyi, Wu Weiye, and Gong Dingzi—supposedly the best Jiangnan poets of the time—were dubbed the "Three Great Masters of Jiangnan," Qu Dajun (1630–96), Chen Gongyin (1631–1700), and Liang Peilan (1632–1708) were collectively called the "Three Great Masters of Lingnan." This epitomizes the canonical status, on a par with that of their Jiangnan peers, that the three Lingnan men gained even during their lifetimes.

Any study of seventeenth-century Chinese poetry is incomplete unless one also takes into account the Lingnan tradition represented by Qu, Chen, and Liang. Yet most scholars have neglected Lingnan literature in favor of its counterpart in Jiangnan.

This panel is the first concerted effort among Western scholars to study Lingnan poetry of the Ming-Qing transition. Furthermore, the three papers in this panel examine issues of relevance to a larger understanding of seventeenth-century China. These include a reexamination of such poetic genres as "poems on objects" and "social verse"; the importance of place in the formation of poetic identities; cultural and literary interaction between Lingnan and Jiangnan; and the impact on literature of the political changeover from the Ming to the Qing.

"National," Local, and Personal Memories in Qu Dajun’s "Poems on Objects"

Lawrence C. H. Yim, Academia Sinica

Qu Dajun (1630–96) was arguably the most famous and important poet from Lingnan after Zhang Juiling of the Tang dynasty. A native of Panyu, Guangdong, he wrote during the Ming-Qing dynastic changeover. Qu fought the conquering Qing forces near Guangzhou, survived, donned the monk’s robe, left home for extensive travels in various parts of China, befriended many eminent figures, and participated in the Ming revival movement on several occasions. His was a most colorful life. Yet literary history would not remember him had Qu not also been an excellent writer.

Skilled in poetry (both shi and ci), prose, and historical writing, Qu was canonized as one of the "Three Great Masters of Lingnan." His influence was intensely felt not only in Lingnan but also in Jiangnan; some critics even spoke of a "Wengshan School of Poetry" (Wengshan was Qu’s style name). Qu’s poetry impresses readers with a startling freshness, in both subject matter and artistry. Drawing on earlier poetic traditions, contemporary experiences of the Ming-Qing transition, and local cultural memories of Lingnan, Qu’s poetic voice is mightily moving and relentlessly nuanced.

This paper examines Qu’s yongwu shi, "poems on objects," such as those on the azalea, the fern, the willow, the cicada. Yongwu poetry is a highly self-conscious art form—the poet is obliged to employ conventional rhetorical and figurative devices and to observe stringent formal rules. Yongwu poems also boast a vigorous allegorical tradition. It is therefore interesting to see how Qu wrestles with this poetic mode to fuse his "objective correlative" with his innermost feelings. Qu’s yongwu poems reveal a wondrous art and, no less, the cruel world that shaped it.

Place, Memory, and the Ming-Qing Transition in the Writings of Chen Gongyin

Steven B. Miles, Southern Illinois University

This paper explores the roles of specific places in Lingnan’s Pearl River Delta and particular memories associated with them in the poetry and prose of Chen Gongyin (1631–1700). Significant places and their associated memories include: (1) Jinyan in the Shunde county seat of Daliang, site of a shrine honoring Chen’s father, Chen Bangyan, a locally renowned poet and a martyr for the Ming cause in 1647; (2) Jinzi Peak in Shunde’s Longshan township, home of the Chen lineage and where Chen Bangyan had organized a township militia; (3) the Donggao Thatched Hall in the eastern suburb of Guangzhou city, where delta poets and future Ming martyrs had gathered, and where such gatherings were revived in the early Qing under the sponsorship of a Bannerman; and (4) Mt. Luofu in the eastern reaches of the delta, a place often touted as a natural wonder of Lingnan, which attracted poets and Daoist pilgrims from Lingnan and outside alike. Writing about such places afforded Chen Gongyin opportunities to emphasize alternatively places of exclusive importance to the family or lineage, and places associated with pan-Lingnan or wider literati gatherings.

Therefore, this paper contributes to an understanding of the importance of place among seventeenth-century Chinese literati. Most places that appear in the writings of Chen Gongyin recall the personal loss experienced during the dynastic transition. Furthermore, such a focus allows us to address the extent to which particular Lingnan places contributed to the construction of a unique Lingnan identity or aesthetics in seventeenth-century China.

Liang Peilan and the Poetics of the Three Great Masters of Lingnan

David B. Honey, Brigham Young University

During the Ming-Qing transition three poets were singled out by their contemporaries as carrying forward the torch of the Cantonese poetic muse. The most famous member of the trio was Qu Dajun (1630–1696), famous nationally for both his prose and poetry. Close behind him in terms of local reputation was Chen Gongyin (1631–1700). Both Qu and Chen swore never to serve the new dynasty; therefore they were regarded as "leftover" loyal citizens of the defunct Ming. Their close friend was another poet of exquisite taste and imagination, Liang Peilan (1632–1708).

Representative pieces from their voluminous poetic writings were anthologized during their lifetime in 1692, called Selections from the Poetry of the Three Great Masters of Lingnan, in 24 juan. These three friends dedicated many poems to each other, some exchanging compliments or celebrating various journeys and anniversaries, some narrating the progression of picnics and excursions to historical sites around the region.

This paper explores the chief characteristics of Liang’s contributions to these social verses. We find that, perhaps because he lacked the background of underground resistance of his two "leftover" patriot friends, his verses tend to avoid the dramatic sweep and dense allusive texturing that seem to characterize much of the verse of his friends. This aspect of his poetics provides a helpful entrée into the impact life experience makes on even casual or occasional verse, and serves to highlight the purely literary merits that justify his inclusion among this exalted trio even while lacking any "extra-literary" reputation.


Session 200: Media and Performance in Contemporary Taiwan

Organizer: Robert Chi, State University of New York, Stony Brook

Chair and Discussant: Tze-lan D. Sang, University of Oregon

Keywords: China, Taiwan, contemporary, media, performance.

Since the lifting of martial law in Taiwan in 1987, the mass media and performing arts have reexamined the notion of identity in ways that are both far-reaching and medium-specific. In some cases reconsideration of their intrinsic properties has provided a new vocabulary for representing a Taiwanese identity. In other cases shifting and overlapping demands such as those of ethnicity, gender, class, and location have prompted innovations in existing forms of media and performance. In still other cases those changes themselves have cultivated entirely new forms and forums, such as the Internet.

This panel examines how intrinsic and extrinsic factors have informed such explorations of identity in the mass media and performing arts. Specifically, the panel asks: How have the state’s efforts at democratization necessitated such new explorations? How do those explorations negotiate among language, history and memory, sexuality, and the body? How does the manipulation of particular representational techniques in the media and performing arts express a sense of self? How do the reproduction and circulation of media images and the liveness of performances complement each other in such explorations of identity?

Identity Formation in Contemporary Taiwanese Drama: Towards an Anthropological Theatre

Craig Quintero, Worcester State College

In June of 1989, the Taiwanese avant-garde performance company, U Theatre, launched "The Plan of Tracing Back"—the first formal attempt to develop a unique Taiwanese performance style and actor’s body. The company promoted a Taiwanese identity rooted in native traditions, traveling to rural areas, participating in temple festivals, and studying traditional arts. U Theatre drew on the past as they performed an alternative cultural identity in the present, rejecting Nationalist Chinese cultural paradigms as they reclaimed marginalized traditions and reacquainted themselves with the people and land of Taiwan. U Theatre revolutionized Taiwanese theatre by initiating the field of anthropological theatre and promoting the use of embodied research as a vehicle for both aesthetic and cultural learning.

In this paper, I examine the role of anthropological theatre in shaping a contemporary perspective valuing traditional Taiwanese arts as a source of cultural knowledge and self-empowerment. While The Plan of Tracing Back seemed to be directed towards the past, towards reclaiming a mythic identity that had been either lost or forgotten, it was part of a radical process of restructuring Taiwan’s present and future. Anthropological theatre remains a vital site and praxis in constructing a contemporary Taiwanese consciousness and identity.

In Search of History Point Zero: Taiwan Drama at the Turn of the Century

Yomi Braester, University of Washington

The paper explores recent changes in the way Taiwan drama formulates Taiwanese and Chinese identity. In particular, I examine stage and film director Lai Shengchuan’s play of 1998, Wo he wo he ta he ta (I and Me, He and Him) in light of Lai’s earlier work. The piece addresses the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, celebrates the millennium, and commemorates the tenth anniversary of the 1989 Tian’anmen massacre. Yet the play centers not on the events but rather around the characters’ forgetfulness of what happened before June 4, 1989. Instead of simply forming an identity based on the past, the two protagonists wrestle with their historically-conscious alter-egos. Lai clearly alludes to his earlier piece, Anlian/Taohuayuan (Peach Blossom Land), in which voices from the present and the past come together in a fugue that both underscores and challenges the working of memory. Yet the more recent play goes further in ascertaining the impossibility of using the past as the main source of identity. The implications of I and Me, He and Him are complex—reasserting Taiwan’s link to the mainland in an age when disregarding pan-Chinese narratives is in vogue, stressing the desire to remember, and at the same time giving the lie to simplistic solutions. The characters’ frequently reiterated wish to "start from the beginning" calls for a closer look at how 1989, 1997, and 2000 have been constructed as "points zero" of history, through which one may reassess recent reconfigurations of Taiwan history.

On the Margins of the Margins: Contemporary Taiwanese Documentary Films

Robert Chi, State University of New York, Stony Brook

Documentary film occupies a unique position in the landscape of culture and mass media in Taiwan today. The rise of documentary film can be traced back to three trends that began in the 1980s: the spread of inexpensive video formats like VHS, the decline of the Taiwanese feature film industry, and the proliferation of cable television. Documentary film was further legitimated in the 1990s through various institutional programs. As a result, documentary film has grown quickly to represent many aesthetic, social, and political points of view.

The most common goals of contemporary Taiwanese documentary film include the recovery of lost or disappearing histories, the uncovering of marginal worlds, and the appeal for social or political justice. One filmmaker whose work has combined all of these is Dong Zhenliang, a native of the island of Kinmen (Jinmen). His work as a director and producer has focused primarily on that island. Films like Every Odd Numbered Day and Black Name question the production and meaning of documentaries by intercutting real interviews with quasi-fictional dramatizations, by casting the real interviewees in those dramatizations, and by revisiting in the present the real sites of historical events from the recent, tumultuous past. Dong’s films are thus marginal in both form and content: they are self-reflexive experiments in documentary filmmaking, and they aim to represent the liminal island of Kinmen to audiences on the "mainland" of Taiwan.

"Waiting for the World to Prove I’m Right": Taipei Lesbian Youth Cultures and the Alternative Music of BBM

Amie Parry, National Central University

This paper explores the cultural significance of the recent career of a lesbian, Taipei-based band named BBM. Originally formed in 1998, the band played at T-bars (lesbian bars—"T" is short for "tomboy") in Taipei and at gay and lesbian festivals and activities, including the first city government sponsored Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Festival which took place in September of 2000. In June 2000, BBM independently recorded a CD by playing their songs live and recording them with their own equipment. The CDs were sold in Taipei at Fembooks (the leading feminist bookstore), Jinjin Bookstore (the first gay bookstore) and on the band’s website. The band’s short career (the CD was made as a memento when the band planned to split up as a result of many difficulties) corresponds to a period of heightened local activism and media representation of gay and lesbian issues. The lyrics, printed on the CD and distributed at performances, have received appreciative responses from lesbian listeners. This paper investigates how, in the ironic context of increasing media representation but exclusion and invisibility in everyday life, the lyrics of two songs, "Accept" and "I’m Narcissistic," provide complex modes of self-affirmation for its lesbian listeners during live performances and in the consumption of BBM’s necessarily "underground" CD.


Session 201: Alternative Voices: Modes of Literary Deviation in Modern Chinese Wartime Literature (1937–1949)

Organizer: Steven P. Day, University of California, Los Angeles

Chair: Charles A. Laughlin, Yale University

Discussant: Xiaobing Tang, University of Chicago

Keywords: modern China, Chinese literature, wartime.

In the spirit of "rewriting" modern Chinese literary history (chongxie wenxue shi), our panel will examine the emergence of alternative voices in the literary scene in wartime China (1937–1949). While attempting to shed new theoretical and scholarly light on a particular corpus of literature largely overlooked due to ideological considerations (unequivocally classifiable as either "patriotic" or "traitorous" for nationalist historiography), presenters will bear in mind the crucial importance of the mediated relationship between writing and historical context in their reports.

One intriguing aspect of this body of works is that at the moment of greatest urgency, when modern Chinese literature could ostensibly be deployed to fulfill its founding mission of national salvation, certain writers turned to modes of writing which, while not strictly antithetical to wartime efforts, were not entirely in conformance with nationalist exigencies either. Amidst literary proscriptions and prescriptions issued in occupied China and the rear, how were these writers able to effect a space in which alternative voices could be articulated and heard? In what ways did the wartime re-evaluation of normative discursive categories, such as "modern," "traditional," "Chinese," "popular," and the "everyday," enable rather than problematize literary production during the war? In addition to representing experiences unique to wartime, did these voices also serve as a means to negotiate a complex skein of often overlapping cultural policies advocated by different regimes? Through an examination of wartime poetry, essays, and fiction, our panel intends to foster further inquiry into the implications of these issues for rethinking both the period at hand and its place in modern Chinese literary history.

A Literature of Listening: Aurality and Ideology during the War of Resistance

John A. Crespi, Swarthmore College

While studies of visual culture have proliferated in the modern China and other fields in recent years, the domain of the heard—sound, voices, and aurality in general—is only beginning to be explored by scholars. One of the most fertile sites to begin an inquiry into the cultural experience of the heard is the phenomenon of modern warfare, and in China’s case, the soundscape that accompanied the War of Resistance against Japan. Gun and cannon fire, the whistle of falling shells, rumbling explosions of bombs, the hum of airplane engines, the tramp of marching feet, the blare of bugles—such auditive phenomena entered and were transformed by China’s wartime cultural and literary imagination.

Following a theoretical consideration of audition as a mode of sensory apprehension, this paper focuses on examples of poetry and familiar prose to examine how China’s wartime cultural producers recoiled and recuperated the raw sonic violence of war noise. What strategies, for instance, did wartime recitation poets use to extend the "silent" poetry of print into the realm of the heard? Similarly, how did writers and poets such as Zhu Ziqing, Ren Jun, He Qifang, and Mu Dan alternately configure the sonic drama of the air raid? More broadly, how do these and other writers transform the domain of the heard into nationally redemptive representations, or, in some instances, produce texts that evade or exceed the reduction of sonic events to the ideologies conveyed by the pervasive tropes of awakening and national unity?

Gujin and the Literature of Leisure: The Modern Chinese Essay under Japanese Occupation

Charles A. Laughlin, Yale University

I examine here xiaopin and other types of essays published in the magazine Gujin from 1942–44. Gujin was produced by a cohort already connected with previous central vehicles of modern xiaopin like Lunyu, Renjian shi, and Yuzhou feng. By the mid-1930s, this tradition in the form of xiaopin wen was already being lauded as the crowning achievement of modern Chinese literature.

Though in the beginning the vernacular essay’s achievements were attributed to the influence of the British and French essay, those like Zhou Zuoren who ventured to explain the process and its origins eventually came to emphasize important premodern elements that played a key role in the emergence of the modern Chinese essay. I read essays in occupied Shanghai as a means of creative self-expression through the evocation of those premodern elements. Even if such literary practices did not fulfill the mandate of socio-historical engagement that emerged with New Literature and drove wartime resistance literature, they can be read as a constructive cultural gesture, where elements of the past are renewed as essential material in the creation of a liberal cultural modernity.

Gujin met the needs of a readership already cultivated by the earlier magazines. These readers may not always have had a modern college education, but did possess the linguistic and cultural competence to appreciate the premodern content. The cultural agency of this sophisticated mass audience must be taken into account and balanced against the more purely elite revolutionary literary culture we usually consider the mainstream of modern Chinese literature.

Ba Jin and His Three Novellas of "Little People, Little Events"

Haili Kong, Swarthmore College

Ba Jin’s anarchistic call for breaking with the feudal "family" and his passionate pursuit of individual happiness gradually became powerless and empty as the War of Resistance (1937–1945) worsened and national crisis intensified in the 1940s. As the title of his collection of novellas, Little People, Little Events, symbolically suggests, Ba Jin’s concerns obviously shifted from grand revolutionary themes to more mundane matters. Rather than a sweeping, passionate cry for rebellion, his meticulous depictions of the insignificant lives of office clerks, workers, and maltreated patients in third-class wards, and their mundane, visceral concerns fill Ba Jin’s three novellas, Qiyuan (The Garden of Rest, 1944), Disi bingshi (Ward Four, 1946), and Hanye (Cold Nights, 1947). Intellectual narcissism and over-confident naïveté are apparently replaced with self-criticism and a sense of uncertainty before unanswered questions. The elegiac tone of the three novellas not only reflects the author’s depressed state of mind at the time, but also expresses the profound doubt and disillusionment of his generation’s fascination with the May Fourth ethos. This change in his writing also indicates that the anarchistic Ba Jin was transformed into a humanistic writer and a mature novelist under the constant shadow of human plight.

Wartime Literary Negotiations and the Aesthetics of Dissolution: Formal Innovations in Shi Tuo’s Wartime Writings

Steven P. Day, University of California, Los Angeles

One distinctive feature of Shi Tuo’s (1910–88) wartime fiction (1937–49) is a tendency to undertake more radical formal innovations in his writing. This frequently results in a dissolution or partial breakdown of established literary form, manifested primarily as a breakup of unitary narrative point of view and voice, a dissolution of generic distinctions, and a general move away from tight structuring elements to looser, essayistic forms of writing. In my paper I contend that these formal innovations served as a means for Shi Tuo to negotiate the geopolitically and culturally complex situation in Solitary Island (gudao), occupied, and civil war Shanghai.

During the war cultural policies advocated by different regimes of power were by no means mutually exclusive, actually overlapping in some instances (such as the call for the creation of national forms and "Chinese" literature by different sides). Writers thus often had to negotiate on several cultural fronts simultaneously. In cultural politics and policy debates, form functioned as a convenient label of cultural identities and values, signifying what constituted the "modern" or "traditional," "Chinese" or "Western." By breaking down established forms and generic distinctions through the creation of innovative hybrid forms, Shi Tuo situated his writing interstitially between strict formal and generic categories and any values with which they may have been invested. In this way, he effected a new space in which to write during wartime, and problematized attempts to enlist his works for more strictly political ends based on formal criteria alone.


Session 202: The Cultures of Political Legitimacy in Tenth-Century China

Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Peter A. Lorge, Vanderbilt University

The final collapse of the Tang Dynasty in 907 ignited an intense struggle for political legitimacy among the regional powers of its former territory. Since imperial ideology rejected the possibility of a number of identifiably Chinese states coexisting, and since before the second half of the tenth century none of those powers could effect a military solution to the empire’s disunity, their only alternative was to demonstrate their legitimacy through civil cultural means. Yet without a single, uncontested center to establish the legitimate political power’s culture, and an emerging set of regional concerns which were content to seek purely local, but not exclusive authority over the Chinese ecumene, each polity developed its own version of validating civil culture with greater or lesser ties to Tang culture. The formerly unified Tang culture was diffracted into multiple lines of development.

Franciscus Verellen demonstrates that the search for cultural legitimacy in Shu created an enduring Sichuanese identity. Cheng-hua Fang analyzes how the military men of the Later Liang were transformed by the civil culture they were forced to employ, while Richard Davis follows the course of not just civil culture, but Chinese civil culture, among the Shatuo Turk rulers of three dynasties. Finally, Johannes Kurz traces the transmission of this quasi-Tang culture into the Song dynasty. These papers detail not only the political uses of civil culture, but also the confusing and often centrifugal cultures which the early Song rulers had to reintegrate into their unified empire.

Cultural Innovation and the Politics of Secession in Shu

Franciscus Verellen, Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient

During the Five Dynasties, two independent kingdoms governed China’s southwestern region of Sichuan successively. Under their autonomous rule, regional culture blossomed and a sense of local distinctiveness, rooted in the civilization of ancient Shu and Ba, in turn bolstered the kingdoms’ claim to independence.

After the fall of the Tang dynasty, many leading officials, literati, religious leaders, and artists from the former imperial court settled in Chengdu, the capital of Shu. This paper suggests that the remarkable cultural and technological advances of tenth-century Shu were stimulated by a tension between the Tang legacy maintained and cultivated by refugees from the imperial court and the region’s newly emancipated local civilization. The multi-polar political constellation that prevailed in tenth-century China has traditionally been disowned by Chinese historians as "illegitimate," concerned as they were with the linear transmission of "legitimate" central authority. This study argues that the state of disunion deserves on the contrary to be closely examined as a catalyst for the deep transformations that brought about the transition from China’s middle ages to its modern period at that time.

The social and economic changes marking that transition are reflected in the rich cultural remains of tenth-century Shu, including renowned contributions to the visual arts, literary culture, and religion. After the reunification of the empire, the effects of this surge of local culture, in Sichuan as well as other parts of China, survived in the form of an increased sense of regionalism, a legacy of tenth-century separatism that continues in China to this day.

Establishing an Orthodox Dynasty: The Problems of Legitimacy in the Later Liang

Cheng-Hua Fang, National Jinan University

In 907, Zhu Wen dethroned the Tang emperor and established his own dynasty, the Later Liang. Zhu’s dynasty faced a crucial problem: how to legitimize his enthronement during a time in which a number of other autonomous powers coexisted in Chinese territory. Like other regional power-holders, Zhu had originally established his regime after the Huang Chao Rebellion (875–84) by his military prowess alone. How could Zhu prove that he, rather than any other general, possessed the "Heavenly Mandate"?

To pursue legitimacy, Zhu Wen could no longer concern himself with territorial expansion alone; to fit the imperial ideology of an orthodox dynasty, the Later Liang government needed to engage in civil affairs as well. Coming from lower social strata, however, Zhu Wen and most of his military comrades lacked literary knowledge. Zhu was thus forced to rely upon literati to handle the process of legitimation. As the literati demonstrated their value to the new dynasty, military men were no longer able to monopolize political power, and needed to accept the value system of the literati. Thus, in pursuing legitimacy, Zhu and his successors had to change their attitudes toward the civil elite and literary learning.

This study will analyze how Zhu’s efforts to transform his military power into legitimate authority influenced the Later Liang government both politically and culturally. The example of the Later Liang will also provide a window into similar problems of other regimes during the Five Dynasties period.

The Limits of Assimilation in Tenth-Century China: The Shatuo Rules of the Later Tang

Richard Lee Davis, Brown University

Three of the five dynasties to rule North China during the Five Dynasties era—Later Tang, Jin, and Han—were Shatuo in origin, representing proto-Turkish groups originally from the far north and west of China. Shatuo federations had served the Tang dynasty for generations as mercenaries, the court even rewarding them by conferring Chinese-style names on late-ninth-century leaders Li Guochang (d. 883) and his son, Keyong (d. 908). Father and son were generally staunch defenders of dynasty in the face of challenges from regional governors, as foreign allies against Chinese infidels. After the Tang was overthrown by Liang upstarts, Keyong and his son, Cunxu (d. 926), overthrew the usurpers and ruled themselves, adopting the Tang namesake and modeling political institutions on the former dynasty.

Despite the long-standing identification of Guochang and Keyong with Tang rule, both were only marginally conversant in Chinese language and culture. Not so for Cunxu, who formally founded the Later Tang dynasty in 923. But he ruled for only three years, until he was overthrown by a less literate and less Sinicized adopted brother, Li Siyuan (d. 933), who held his predecessor’s cultural interests in general disregard. This reflected a conflict within the first Shatuo ruling house on the limits of cultural contact with China and the perception that Cunxu had exceeded the limits.

This paper will discuss the problem of assimilation with respect to ethnic and cultural identities, as well as professional and class identity, as socially marginal military men were catapulted to the throne.

The Winner Takes All: Southern Tang Contributions to the Early Northern Song

Johannes L. Kurz, University of Brunei

This paper will explore the various ways in which the empire of the Southern Tang (937–958) contributed to the legitimization of the Song dynasty as heir of the Tang dynasty, and, in so doing, contributed to early Northern Song culture.

Since its founding, every Southern Tang ruler had invited scholars to the court where they were given employment and where they enjoyed imperial patronage. At the same time, these rulers also strove to build up their art and book collections with items produced under the Tang. With this "brain trust" of scholars, as well as the important material artifacts of the book and art collections, the Southern Tang could, in fact, lay more claim to imperial rulership than most of the other dynasties and empires during the period.

This paper argues that early Northern Song rulers sought to acquire Tang dynasty political legitimacy by taking over the material and human apparatus of culture preserved by the Southern Tang. The early Northern Song imperial libraries were in large part built on the Southern Tang book collections. At the same time the participation of Southern Tang scholars was crucial for the compilation of such major works as the Taiping yulan, Taiping guangji, and Wenyuan yinghua. Thus, in the process of pursuing political legitimacy through cultural acquisition, much of the intellectual foundation of the early Northern Song was in fact based on the Southern Tang heritage.


Session 203: Re/constructing Women’s Discourse Communities in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century China

Organizer: Liuxi Meng, University of British Columbia

Chair: Jerry Schmidt, University of British Columbia

Discussant: Susan Mann, University of California, Davis

Keywords: women’s discourse community, critical discourse, publishing, late imperial China.

This panel begins with a broad notion of discourse community as constituted by people who share interpretative strategies and principles of writing. Before women’s participation in writing poetry as an integral part of their lives became a prevalent practice in the late imperial period, men constituted and dominated the formation of discourse communities in Chinese history. The three papers will demonstrate the formation and constitution of different women’s discourse communities attending the rise and rapid increase of women as writers and readers in this period.

Ellen Widmer will examine how a largely invisible but powerful discourse community of women readers influenced the publishing of certain genres of fiction. Grace Fong will explore how the sense of gendered community informs the production of critical discourse on women’s poetry and is at the same time constituted within that discursive space in a critical work by the nineteenth-century woman poet and critic Shen Shanbao. By mapping their poetic interactions, Liuxi Meng will investigate how the famous women’s poetry group surrounding the eminent poet Yuan Mei (1716–1798) took shape, developed, and functioned as a discourse community.

By taking as objects of analysis three social and textual fields—a female literary and social constellation, women as implied and actual readers of fiction, and female communities underpinning critical discourse on women’s poetry—the panel aims to articulate the variety and significance of women’s discourse communities and their impact on cultural production in late imperial China.

Fiction’s Female Audiences in Nineteenth-Century China

Ellen Widmer, Wesleyan University

Before the nineteenth century, one finds isolated examples of women who read fiction, whether it be long, rambunctious novels like Shuihu zhuan or short, chaste, scholar-beauty romances. There is also some evidence that women may have written tanci to be read by other women, but these were never published. What is different about the nineteenth century are the many signs that women figured in the intended audiences for published fiction. This is especially true of tanci. The woman editor Hou Zhi (1764–1829) was responsible for editing or authoring five published works in this genre. All assume an audience of guixiu readers. The sequels to Honglou meng provide examples of published xiaoshuo that, for the most part, reach out to female audiences, although they do not make a point of referring to readers as female. Even Jinghua yuan, a kind of sequel to Honglou meng, includes women among its intended readers, though its chief intended audience was male. Fiction written in whole or in part for women displays the following characteristics: it features women characters, at least some of whom are talented; it deals with life in the women’s quarters or with the type of female adventurers that women fantasized about; it advocates virtues such as chastity or modesty that pertained especially to women; and, on the whole, it refrains from vulgarity. The abundance of published materials of this type from the early nineteenth century allow us to infer that female readership was becoming a force to which publishers paid attention at this time.

Real and Imagined Communities: Shen Shanbao’s (1808–1862) Critical Discourse on Women’s Poetry

Grace S. Fong, McGill University

Recent scholarship on women’s history suggests that by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the majority of women poets wrote in the company or in the knowledge of other women who were also active members of a shared literary culture. Yet in significant ways their sense of marginalization persisted. Women were acutely aware of the vulnerability of their position as writers and the perishability of their literary efforts in a culture and society that questioned the propriety and usefulness of female writing. Over the course of the Qing dynasty, this awareness motivated several determined women to produce massive collections of women’s poetry in several forms.

This paper explores how, within this cultural context, the sense of "community"—both real and imagined—informs the production of critical discourse on women’s poetry and is also constructed within that discursive space in the landmark work Mingyuan shihua (Remarks on Poetry by Notable Women) by Shen Shanbao. I will examine her attempt to be comprehensive; her adoption of the historiographical model of dynastic history, both to define the parameters of community on the temporal level and to tell individual lives; and her articulation of regional and personal identification and association as discursive means to constitute a broad community of literary women. I will compare Shen’s approach with those of earlier women critics and anthologists to argue for women’s increasing responsiveness to each other as a gendered community based on their common discourse of poetry—as writers, readers, and critics.

Women’s Discourse Community: Yuan Mei’s Female Disciples and Their Interactions

Liuxi Meng, University of British Colombia

This paper will investigate the membership of Yuan Mei’s (1716–1798) female entourage, which was one of the most famous women poetic groups in Qing China, the influence of Yuan Mei’s teaching, and the affects of their interactions with each other, as well as the various significant reasons as to why these women poets joined this group.

Who joined Yuan Mei’s female group and why did they join? I will tabulate fifty-six verifiable female disciples, including detailed information about the time when they each joined Yuan’s entourage, their residential place at the time when they became his disciples, how they joined, and the frequency of their contact with Yuan Mei, as well as the references for their status as a disciple. In my exploration of the motives causing these women to join the Yuan group I will also talk about the psychoanalyst and feminist Nancy Chodorow’s theory regarding women’s relational gender identity and its role in women’s writing.

How did they interact with Yuan Mei and with each other? I will discuss the activities that Yuan Mei initiated through his particular teaching practices and the nature and method of Yuan Mei’s teaching. I will also examine the significance of the interactions between these women poets. These female disciples actually started to form their own discourse community, in contrast to predominantly male-dominated traditional ones. In their own discourse community, they began to adopt male-oriented language as their own.


Session 204: Christianity as a Chinese Religion

Organizer: Thomas H. Reilly, Pepperdine University

Chair and Discussant: Robert Entenmann, St. Olaf College

Keywords: religion, modern China, Qing Dynasty.

Scholars browsing through lists of topics on Chinese religion do not normally expect to see topics dealing with Christian ideas and practices, for the simple reason that Christianity was not one of China’s traditional religions. Chinese religion, nevertheless, has changed along with the rest of China, with one result being that Christianity has today become one of China’s modern religions.

Inspired by this development, scholars have redirected the focus of their research on Christianity and China. Rather than studying Catholic and Protestant missions in China, or even the Chinese reaction to European evangelical efforts, scholars are now taking Chinese Christianity, a dynamic, new Chinese religion, as an object of research.

This panel features a sampling of this approach. Eugenio Menegon will provide an introduction to this topic, and then examine a case from the mid-Qing of the transformation of Catholicism into a popular religion. Tom Reilly will examine the Taiping rebels as an example of a similar phenomenon from the late Qing. Joseph Lee and Eriberto Lozada both have documented in recent fieldwork processes of transformation which began in the late Qing and which continue in post-Mao China.

In this panel, we endeavor to not only capture aspects of the historical process of this transformation, but also, more ambitiously, we hope to present a snapshot of the changing world of contemporary Chinese religion as well as suggest changes to our understanding of the terms Chinese religion and Christianity when each of these terms is applied to Christianity in China today.

"Religion of the Europeans or ‘Teachings of the Lord of Heaven’?" Christianity in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries as a Chinese Religion: Historiographical and Historical Dimensions

Eugenio Menegon, University of California, Berkeley

When a Christian was arrested in Sichuan in 1754, and was asked by local officials what teachings (jiao) he followed, he responded: "We do not follow the teachings of the Europeans, but the Teachings of the Lord of Heaven (Tianzhujiao)." Starting in the late sixteenth century, Chinese Christianity underwent a gradual process of entrenchment in local contexts, which transformed the foreign creed into a Chinese popular religion. By the eighteenth century, the "Teachings of the Lord of Heaven" (i.e., Catholicism) had become one of the numerous heterodox religions forbidden by the imperial government, and had lost many of its foreign associations in the minds of officials and people at large.

My paper will first offer a historiographical assessment of the question of Christianity as a Chinese religion, focusing on recent research conducted on Chinese Catholicism before 1800, and on the general trends in the field of Chinese religions. In the second part of the paper I will ground the historiographical survey in a specific case study, examining the process of transformation of Christianity into a Chinese popular religion in Fujian in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Before 1800, Christianity as a Western discourse in China was in fact a contested ground. An examination of the contested ground of Christianity in seventeenth and eighteenth-century China contributes to the debate over the modern meaning of religion, and to the ongoing redefinition of the field of Chinese religions.

Sectarian Conspiracy in the Taiping Rebellion

Thomas H. Reilly, Pepperdine University

Before there was the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, there was the movement, the Society of God Worshippers. This Christian movement, while inspired by Protestant ideas, quickly developed into a faith which was distinctively Chinese in its orientation, character, and purpose. It became a Chinese religion.

Qing officials had their own theories about the origins and character of the movement. They believed that the Taiping rebels were an offshoot of the Heavenly Lord sect (i.e., Chinese Catholicism). These suspicions were vividly recorded for us in the pages of the anti-sectarian manual, Bixie Jishi (A Record of Facts to Ward Off Heterodoxy). Professor Paul Cohen analyzed this text for his classic study of the impact of Christian missions on the rise of anti-foreignism, but given its Taiping Rebellion provenance, it can also be profitably used for describing the official campaign against the Heavenly Lord sect during the rebellion.

In this paper, I will be exploring the consequences for the Heavenly Lord sect resulting from these alleged connections to the Taiping. The most immediate consequence of this association was government persecution. But the pages of this manual also testify to a more long-term consequence of this association: an opportunity for the Heavenly Lord sect to develop a more authentic Chinese religious identity. For this manual witnesses to the government’s efforts to reconstitute the category of heterodox religion, to include Taiping, popular Buddhist, and Heavenly Lord sectarians, and also to redefine this category according to the official perception of sectarian conspiracy.

The Bible and the Gun: Christianity and Intragroup Violence in Late-Nineteenth-Century Chaozhou, Southern China

Joseph Tse-hei Lee, Pace University

This paper explores the relationship between Christian expansion and intragroup violence in Chinese grassroots society. By focusing on the highly competitive environment of Chaozhou, this paper argues that mass conversions were encouraged by the conviction that Christianity—through church affiliation and missionary connections—would provide external sources of support, protection, and other advantages in the violent domain of local politics. When the American Baptist and English Presbyterian missions used kinship and lineage networks to win converts and build churches, they became entangled in longstanding intra-lineage and intra-village conflicts. In the Baptist movement, the creation of autonomous village churches and the absence of missionary control enabled the converts to capture and use the churches in communal power struggles. In the Presbyterian circle, the building of market churches as a center of rural congregations and the centralization of power in the Presbytery made it easier for the missionaries to supervise and discipline the converts than was the case in Baptist churches. By supplementing the Protestant missionary and Chinese archives with fieldwork data that were collected in several Baptist and Presbyterian villages in Chaozhou in 1998, this study hopes to highlight the inner dynamics of Chinese Christian movements, and to evaluate the extent of Protestant missionary control over their scattered flock.

Is Catholicism a Chinese Religion?

Eriberto P. Lozada, Jr., Butler University

Since the 1860s when the first priests from the Missions Etrangeres de Paris arrived, Catholic practices have been an important part of the cultural identity and social practices of the people who live in a rural Hakka village in northern Guangdong that I call Little Rome. During the tenure of the American Maryknoll missionaries in the Republican period, Little Rome developed into a regional Catholic stronghold. Like other Chinese religions, Catholicism remained underground during the Maoist period, but resurfaced with the "reform and opening" policies of Deng Xiaoping. But how has Catholicism been transformed during this period of immense social change in Chinese history? Has Catholicism become a local Chinese religion? Based on fieldwork conducted in a Catholic village in Jiaoling County, Guangdong, between 1993 and 2001, this paper will examine how Catholicism has become an integral part of what it means to be modern Chinese for the people in Little Rome. As participants in the flow of labor from rural villages to the regional centers of global capitalism in southern China, people in Little Rome are developing a uniquely Chinese modernity as they work and play, while adhering to the faith of their fathers and mothers. This paper will argue that the methodological techniques and analytical perspectives used by anthropologists, historians, religious studies specialists, and others who examine popular Chinese religion must be used to understand how world religions like Catholicism have become a part of Chinese culture. Through a close examination of the structure of everyday life in Little Rome, I will describe how Catholicism has become a popular Chinese religion.


Session 205: Social Inequality and Education in Rural China

Organizer and Discussant: Mun C. Tsang, Columbia University

Chair: Xian-Ming Xiang, Beijing Normal University

This panel is based on the premise that education has an important role to play in social inequality and inequity in rural China. Using economic, sociological, cultural, and gender perspectives, the panel provides a multidisciplinary, multifaceted, in-depth analysis of inequality and inequity in primary and lower-secondary education in rural counties in China. The study of educational inequality and inequity encompasses both microanalysis of household educational decision-making and macro-analysis of the system of educational financing. It covers disparity analyses at various levels, including educational differences among students within and across schools, across counties within a province, and across provinces and geographical regions in China. A variety of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are employed, including in-depth case studies of education and culture, as well as correlational, regressional, and other multivariate analyses of the schooling process. It provides educational comparison between gender, ethnic, and socio-economic groups. Primary and secondary data sources are used, such as national and regional surveys of educational financing, surveys of schools, and surveys of households and students. The panel attempts to show the inter-relatedness and complexity of factors involved in understanding education’s role in social inequality in rural China. It demonstrates the usefulness of employing multiple perspectives and methodologies in research on this subject. Three of the four studies in this panel are collaborative efforts between researchers in U.S. and Chinese institutions.

Gender and Access to Schooling in Rural China

Danke Li, Fairfield University

This study examines household dynamics of educational spending and decision-making regarding education and their impact on girls’ access to schooling in poor rural China. Although the establishment of the Compulsory Education Law in China in 1986 has laid the legal and structural bases for educational equality in schooling for boys and girls, household economic considerations, culturally-related expectations regarding males and females at home and in society, and the burden of private costs of schooling all influence households’ decisions regarding schooling for their children, particularly on girls’ access to schooling. The study examines the complexity of gender power relations at the household and community levels in rural areas in order to better understand the education of girls in the economic, political, and cultural contexts of rural China. It is based on a survey of 400 rural households in four poor rural counties, with two counties in northwest China and the other two in north-central China. Three of the counties have a majority of Han Chinese while the fourth one has a Tibetan majority. The research consists of a detailed case study of local culture as well as quantitative analysis of factors affecting parental decisions regarding schooling.

Families, Classrooms, and Educational Engagement in Rural Gansu, China

Emily Hannum, University of Pennsylvania

A child’s degree of educational engagement, defined in terms of aspirations, academic confidence, industriousness, and alienation, provides obvious benefits for his or her school performance. There is very little research on educational engagement and school performance in China to date. This study examines how family and school characteristics, including both observable background characteristics and a range of commonly used measures of social and cultural capital, affect children’s educational engagement in rural China. It utilizes data on 2,000 children aged 9–12 and their families from rural household surveys conducted in the rural areas of 20 counties in Gansu province in the summer of 2000. Detailed statistical analyses find that girls have lower educational aspirations compared to boys as well as lower degree of academic engagement (particularly in terms of lower aspirations and higher alienation) among children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. However, girls do not have a disadvantage in terms of confidence, industriousness, and alienation. The study also finds that the degree of engagement is not simply a function of background characteristics, but rather can be affected by certain social and cultural environmental factors at home and in the classroom. Finally, classroom environment, in terms of disruptive activities, does make a difference for academic engagement.

School Inequity in Rural China

Albert Park, University of Michigan

We describe inequality in the provision of education services to children in rural areas in northwest China. Using data from a survey of a representative sample of 120 rural primary schools in Gansu province conducted in 2000, we first describe the expenditure composition and financing sources for rural schools. We then describe how the different sources and uses of funds relate to the local level of economic development. We find that differences in the amount of funds raised locally exacerbate inequalities associated with differences in government spending, that richer schools spend much larger shares of expenditures than poorer schools on recurrent expenses like energy, classroom supplies, and office expenses, and that regressivity is much more pronounced among schools in different counties than among schools in the same county. We verify that differences in school quality indicators such as teacher qualifications and infrastructure quality exhibit similar patterns. Using secondary data on county budgetary revenue and expenditures, we assess the extent to which China’s fiscal system ameliorates inequities. Finally, we examine the fee-setting behavior of rural schools and the level of voluntary and involuntary household expenditures using data from surveys of 2,000 households located in the same sample villages. We describe the financial burden of educational financing for poor, rural households, and find that schools set fees lower in poor areas despite fewer available funds from other sources. We conclude that local communities in poor areas are unable to compensate for insufficient budgetary support for financing primary school education services, and that budgetary reforms are essential.

Urban-Rural Disparities in the Financing of Compulsory Education in China

Yanqing Ding, Peking University

Educational disparities between urban and rural areas are a major dimension of uneven development in China today. While previous studies on urban-rural disparities in education tend to examine urban-rural differences in terms of enrollment rates, years of schooling of residents, and other educational statistics, there is a lack of analysis of the underlying education financing structure that contributes to such disparities as well as the extent of financial inequality in education. This paper has two major tasks: explaining the different financing bases of compulsory education (primary and lower-secondary) in urban and rural areas, and estimating and documenting the extent of financial inequality in compulsory education between urban and rural areas. The financial analysis covers recurrent and capital expenditures from both government and non-government sources, at the primary and lower-secondary levels. It is based on data on 2,400 counties in 28 provinces in 1997. A Gini coefficient and Theil index are computed, and educational expenditure equations are estimated. The study finds substantial disparities in per-student educational expenditures between rural and urban areas, nationally, and across regions. There are also clear inequities in the financing burden between urban and rural households. Comparison with earlier studies using regional data indicates that there have been increasing disparities over time, particularly at the primary education level. Strategies for reducing urban-rural disparities are explored, including the development and strengthening of a regularized and substantial intergovernmental grant scheme for the financing of compulsory education in the country.


Session 206: Global Knowledge, Local Power: Returned Students in Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century China

Organizer: Natascha Vittinghoff-Gentz, Gottingen University

Chair: Weili Ye, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Discussant: Michael Lackner, Erlangen University

From the nineteenth century, Chinese students went abroad to obtain knowledge that was considered necessary for China’s modernization. Through the acquisition of this privileged knowledge these students were able to assume central roles in a range of fields. For political and ideological reasons, however, their contribution was often marginalized, ignored or co-opted by certain social groups—a phenomenon still observable today.

The panel will start from this seeming paradox and investigate, first, how the experience of the overseas students influenced academic, political, and cultural processes in modern China; and, second, how the achievements of certain groups of returned students were appropriated by specific cultural, national, or political discourses while other groups of returned students played an active role in producing such discourses.

The first paper concerns the earliest group of overseas students in the nineteenth century. Contrary to widely-held assumptions, the paper demonstrates that these students exerted a decisive influence through their establishment of effective networks and their central role in the organization of the field of new (scientific) knowledge in China. The second paper explores the experience of female students in Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It overcomes the tendency in the existing secondary literature to read the significance of these women’s experience in purely nationalist terms by examining the broader cultural meaning of this experience. The third contribution outlines the dominance of returned students in CCP politics and traces the meaning of the label "Russian Returned Student."

Returned Students and the Internationalization of Knowledge Production in Nineteenth-Century China

Natascha Vittinghoff-Gentz, Gottingen University

Academic studies have hitherto neglected the significance of the nineteenth-century Chinese overseas study movement in the West because of the small-scale and limited duration of this initiative. Scholarly studies of Chinese overseas students therefore begin with the mass student migration to Japan after the Sino-Japanese War in 1894–95.

This paper will argue, however, that despite their small number, these earliest returned students exerted a crucial influence as organizers of new fields of scientific and Western knowledge in nineteenth-century China. The paper traces the fate of individual returned students sent abroad under the auspices of the first governmental and private educational missions. It then explores these students’ later roles both in the public sector and in new institutions of scientific knowledge production. The biographical data on these largely unknown individuals reveals a diverse community which included officials, merchants, missionaries, and scientists linked together through their common international experience.

In contrast to the dominant secondary literature the paper will show that although these early students were comparatively small in number, their close institutional and personal cooperation made them a particularly coherent group with an effective agency in the negotiations about China’s future modernization. The reason their contribution has been largely overlooked is due, in part, to the rising influence of returned students from Japan who denounced the efforts of their forerunners and sought to dominate the modernization discourse.

New Lin Daiyus: Female Overseas Students in Japan in the Early Twentieth Century

Joan Judge, Institute for Advanced Study

In the 1908 novel Xin shitou ji (The New Story of the Stone) Lin Daiyu undergoes a metamorphosis from tragic, romantic heroine to empowered overseas student and teacher. The novel’s assertion of the transformative power of study abroad is repeated in current scholarship, which argues for the importance of the female overseas movement in Chinese women’s history. This paper explores this assertion, focusing on the cultural meaning of the female overseas experience in Japan in the early twentieth century.

Contrary to much of the secondary literature, the paper argues that while nationalism contributed to the formation of new feminine cultural identities in this period, it was not the crucial element in the female experience abroad. The women students viewed Japan less as a national model and more as a cultural mirror which both reflected a repugnant image of their present selves and offered literate, professional Japanese women as models for the future. While nationalist, cultural, and educational agendas were merged in these women’s writings and activities, their most important contribution was ultimately not in the realm of national politics but in the development of women’s education in China.

The paper questions how the students’ daily life in Japan contributed to the formation of new feminine identities and social roles, examining who these women were, how their lives in Tokyo were structured, and which communities they were part of. It both recovers fragments of the lives of women whose names are largely unfamiliar to us and investigates more fully the experiences of some of the better known women in this period.

"Russian Returned Students" and the CCP Leadership

Thomas Kampen, Heidelberg University

Returned students played an important role in twentieth-century China, particularly in the CCP leadership. For decades, the majority of Politburo members were returned students (and the current leadership also includes returned students like Jiang Zemin and Li Peng). Some communists had studied in Japan, America and France, but most of them were "Russian Returned Students." In the 1920s and 1930s more than a thousand Chinese students studied in Moscow, the "center of world revolution." In contrast to students who went to other countries, they were less interested in culture, literature, sciences, and arts, but concentrated on learning political and military means to support the Chinese revolution. Another difference was a high percentage of women and workers. As experiences differed, it could be assumed that political conflicts would arise between those who had studied in different countries. I will, however, argue that this was not the case: in the factional struggles of the 1920s and 1930s most of the victims of the Stalinist group were not those who had studied elsewhere, but those who had also studied in Moscow. These included many "Trotskyists" and individuals like Liu Shaoqi, Li Lisan, and Qu Qiubai. This shows that the term "Russian Returned Students," which has been frequently used in Western accounts of CCP history, is misleading and does not mean "Stalinists." I will discuss the relations between the different groups who had been to Moscow, their relations with returned students from other countries, and with Chinese communists who had not studied abroad.


Session 207: The Chinese Communist Party in the Post-Communist Era

Organizer: Ignatius Wibowo, Atma Jaya University

Chair and Discussant: David Shambaugh, George Washington University

Keywords: CCP (Chinese Communist Party), cadres, private entrepreneurs, second transformation, post-communist era.

This panel would like to address one simple question: can the CCP survive the dramatic social changes currently underway? The first paper will investigate the pattern of recruitment. For a long time the Party only recruited workers and peasants, and aspired to become the vanguard party of the proletariat. Wibowo will show that the Party is moving away from that traditional conception, and pursuing a different path. Not only that, more private entrepreneurs are recruited, but also more and more Party members are running enterprises and becoming entrepreneurs.

The second paper seeks to uncover the way the CCP manages cadres (ganbu), a crucial social group which supports the domination of the CCP. Broedsgaard examines the size and composition of the 40 million strong cadre corps, and he argues that new forms of cadre management have strengthened the Party’s domination over the society in recent years.

The third paper will look at the transformation of the CCP from the way it deals with private entrepreneurs. Deng Xiaoping’s southern tour legitimated a capitalist economy, and resulted in a long wave of rapid economic growth in China. After the successful first transformation—from a revolutionary party to an administrative party—in keeping with capitalist economic development, today the CCP has begun its second transformation from an administrative party to the one that rules the country by political means.

The panel is expected to generate a lively debate with regard to the future of the CCP as it is entering an era that scholars label the "post-communist era."

The Party and Cadre Management

Kjeld Erik Broedsgaard, University of Copenhagen

The paper discusses the important topic of Party and cadre management in China. The first part of the paper examines the origins and the size and composition of the 40.5 million strong cadre corps. Who are the cadres? What are the sectoral and regional distributions of the cadres? How many women cadres are there and what is the proportion of national minorities? The second part deals with the concept of nomenklatura. It will be argued that nomenklatura and bianzhi are not identical concepts, as is often suggested in the literature. The third part addresses the issue of cadre management. It is argued that cadre management is an important instrument used by the Chinese leadership to maintain control over the political and administrative system. This part will focus on leading cadres, i.e., cadres above the county (division) level. Finally, the conclusion will argue that the new emphasis on cadre management in China is linked to current efforts to strengthen the role of the Party.

Political Leaders, Private Entrepreneurs, and Party Transformation in China

Zheng Yongnian, National University of Singapore

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the interplay between political leaders and private entrepreneurs has pushed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) transformation in post-Southern Tour China. It first discusses how the leadership provided political support for the private sector, and then discusses how the private sector helps party transformation. Deng Xiao-ping’s southern tour legitimated a capitalist economy, and resulted in a long wave of rapid economic growth in China. Economic growth enabled the leadership to deliver economic goods to its people and thus increased its political legitimacy. Nevertheless, the rise of a private entrepreneur class also generated dynamics for party transformation. After the successful first transformation—from a revolutionary party to an administrative party—in keeping with capitalist economic development, today the CCP has begun its second transformation—from an administrative party to the one that rules the country by political means.

The New Pattern of Recruitment of the CCP

Ignatius Wibowo, Atma Jaya University

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) still routinely recruits new members, and, accordingly, managed to expand itself from 4.5 million members in 1949 into 64.5 million members in 2000. The first part of the paper presents the pattern of recruitment from 1954 to 1979 as reported by the study of Roberta Martin. She showed how Mao Zedong played a decisive role in recruiting members from the peasantry with the result that 69 percent of CCP members in 1957 were peasants. After the Cultural Revolution two trends were observable: 1969–1973 and 1973–1977. The first is characterized by the recruitment of the followers of the "Gang of Four," and the second by the followers of Deng Xiaoping. The second part of the paper tries to find the pattern of recruitment in the 1990s, a period after the completion of rectification campaign from 1984 to 1987. The official statistics (from Zhongguo baike nianjian, 1990–1994) showed a significant decline of the members from the peasants and the workers, and the rise of other social groups (administrators, technicians, etc.). There was, however, a big omission in those statistics, namely, the private entrepreneurs. As reported in journals in China, private entrepreneurs have been recruited since the beginning of reform. The latest report suggests between 12 and 59 percent private entrepreneurs are recruited into the Party. The fourth part of the paper will draw some conclusions with regard to this new composition of Party members.


Session 220: Local Cults and Local Practices: Religion and Identity in China from Song to Modern Times

Organizer: Shin-yi Chao, University of British Columbia

Chair: David G. Johnson, University of California, Berkeley

Discussant: Terry F. Kleeman, University of Colorado

Keywords: popular religion, China, 960–1990s C.E., history, anthropology, local identity.

Local religion has long been the meeting ground for the negotiation of national and local identities. Religious organization and worship played a central role in building the cohesiveness of local communities and thus constructing their identities. The government promoted standardized versions of religion. Local communities sought and accepted these officially sanctioned versions. However, this acceptance did not prevent them from maintaining and strengthening their particular forms of worship, and even utilizing national standards to reinforce local identities. This panel, from various angles, addresses the adaptation of standardized discourses to local practices in ways that contributed to the building of local identity.

The papers of this panel present the dialectic between local religiosity and society from traditional to modern times. T. J. Hinrichs looks at the development of policies to bring the customs of Fujian into conformance with national norms in the eleventh century in relation to the broader history of efforts to standardize Chinese religion. Shin-yi Chao chronicles the development of a community temple in late imperial Guangdong, in order to examine the process by which local people converted a national deity into the patron saint of their town. Xiaofei Kang’s paper, based on her fieldwork in a village in northern Shaanxi, explores the ways in which village people manipulate an officially sanctioned religious symbol to serve local ends. Finally, Thomas DuBois examines two sectarian groups in modern Hebei as local religious networks.

National and Local Identity in the "Transforming" of Customs in the Song Period

T. J. Hinrichs, Connecticut College

The Northern Song (960–1126 C.E.) government developed policies to "edify and transform" the local customs (jiaohua fengsu) of southern China. These policies were unprecedented in their intrusion into local society. While most were abandoned with the fall of the north, many later became models for the more community-based approaches of neo-Confucian activists. Scholars such as James Watson have attributed the development of a unified Chinese culture to related measures, such as the incorporation of local cults into an official pantheon, and to the neo-Confucian propagation of standardized ritual forms. This scholarship has brought attention to the critical role of local elites in initiating and supporting these moves.

For the most part, however, in the Northern Song it was officials from other regions, not local elites, who initiated policies to transform local customs. Cai Xiang (1012–1067) operated in both roles. He was closely identified with the Min people and region (of Fujian), served there as an official, and was concerned with disseminating positive images of his home region. As both official and local leader, he worked to bring Min mores into line with national norms. In the service of this goal he sought to eliminate local customs such as the clientage of shamans, gu poisoning, and certain marriage and funeral practices. In this paper I will examine the meeting of national and local concerns in Cai Xiang’s policies, and place these in the broader context of efforts to integrate and standardize Chinese culture and religion.

Localizing State Religion: A Case Study of the Cult of Zhenwu in Foshan Township, Guangdong Province, during the Ming Dynasty

Shin-yi Chao, University of British Columbia

Zhenwu (Perfected Warrior) is an anthropomorphic deity originally conceived in ancient China as the spirit of a constellation in the northern sky. During Ming times, Emperors Chengzu (r. 1403–1424) and Shizong (r. 1522–1566) promoted him to be a patron deity of the royal house and his cult acquired nationwide popularity. Zhenwu emerged prominent not only because of royal patronage but also because of successful localization. This gradual and multilevel process is well exemplified in the history of the community temple dedicated to Zhenwu in Foshan, Guangdong, built at the beginning of the Ming dynasty. By the mid-Ming, the temple had become a venue for community activities and the locals had transformed Zhenwu into their tutelary deity. In making a state-promoted god their own territorial guardian, the people of Foshan localized a state cult while they consolidated the local prestige in appealing to state religion.

By carefully examining folklore, anecdotes, genealogical records, stone inscriptions, gazetteers, and official history, this paper reconstructs the 300-year-long process of the localization of the Zhenwu cult in Foshan and investigates the process by which temple fairs, family history, and local politics intertwined to nourish the local cult. It will help to shed light on the role of the localization of national cults in the shaping of local identity.

In the Name of Buddha: Local Pride and Religious Practice at a Sacred Site in Contemporary Rural China

Xiaofei Kang, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

On a research trip in 1997 I visited a recently renovated Buddhist temple in Buoluo town in northern Shaanxi. The temple is the pride of the whole town, known for a gigantic stone Buddha, carved out of a cliff, purportedly by a Tang Dynasty monk. As an officially designated cultural preservation site it has received substantial government funding since 1984. Among the eight guardians of the Buddha is a diamond king dressed as a traditional scholar. While official documents remain silent on this scholar guardian, locals identify him as a fox spirit. A few hundred yards away from the temple are the home of a spirit medium and a cave where the medium regularly invokes the fox spirit to heal visitors from the town and surrounding areas.

This paper studies the spatial arrangement of the temple, and the textual and oral narratives about the temple, the Buddha, and the fox spirit, as well as religious practices centering on the temple in the context of the religious revival in contemporary northwest China. Under the government’s patronage of the great stone Buddha, the people at Buoluo have sheltered a dubious medium cult for personal and local needs, developed a sense of uniqueness, and framed social networks beyond official ideological and institutional control. The case of the Buddhist temple in this small town in northern Shaanxi exemplifies how in today’s rural China official efforts to control traditional cultural resources are often diverted to construct local power and identity.

Sectarian Networks in Local Society: The Heaven and Earth and Laozi Teachings in Cangzhou, Hebei

Thomas DuBois, Washington University, St. Louis

Although sectarian groups are generally treated by scholars as discrete networks with characteristic doctrine, scriptures, and rituals, they are also local phenomena. This is evident in the local organization and consciousness of the Heaven and Earth Teaching (Tiandimen) and the Laozi Teaching (Taishangmen) in modern Cangzhou, Hebei. Each of these teachings spread widely throughout North China during the Qing dynasty, but in modern Cangzhou both remain primarily local, with strong ritual and social networks in the immediate area, but little or no contact with branches outside of it.

Of the two teachings, the Heaven and Earth Teaching retains the stronger network, both extra-locally and among villages within Cangzhou. Extra-local ties consist of the knowledge of Dongjialin Village in northern Shandong as the origin and spiritual center of the teaching, and the scriptural memory of its spread to Cangzhou. In addition, groups in Cangzhou retain contact with those in Duliu, near Tianjin, which had received the teaching from a Cangzhou teacher during the mid-Qing. However, the strongest ties are those maintained among Cangzhou villages. In contrast, the Laozi Teaching has no scriptural and little consciousness of its history as a teaching or its arrival in Cangzhou. Villages with the teaching have no knowledge of groups outside the area. Within Cangzhou, villages with the teaching are divided into North Chest and South Chest networks, suggesting that they had once cooperated in a ritual capacity. However, within living memory, ritual ties even among local villages in the teaching have been weak.


Session 221: Narrating the Nation: Education and Memory Transmission in Modern China

Organizer: Grace Ai-Ling Chou, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Chair and Discussant: Daniel W. Y. Kwok, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Collective memory is always replete with potent cultural and political ramifications, but never more so than during a moment of great crisis or social change. Our panel highlights four such moments in twentieth-century China during which not only memory revival but also memory reconstruction came to play a central role in the resolution or redefinition of China’s history and destiny. At each moment, education—its tools, its institutions, its purposes—became the battlefield upon which various forms of national and cultural memory competed. Au Chi-Kin’s paper demonstrates that, during the turbulence preceding the 1911 Revolution, textbooks published by revolutionaries competed with those composed by the late Qing government, with the former aiming to incite memories of interracial hatred while the latter portrayed a flow of Han-Manchu unity. The threat of political fragmentation, reemerging relentlessly during the Republican years, similarly spurred the Republican government to not only manipulate the content of history textbooks but also, as Wai-Keung Chan shows, actively suppress rival memories so as to promote patriotism in the service of national unification. When national unification was achieved in 1949, some of those convinced that it had been bought through cultural treason arose to teach a vision of modernity that, as Grace Ai-Ling Chou explains, necessarily rooted itself in the very Confucian soil that the communists sought to trample underfoot. Living under PRC dictates denying both Confucian and Christian influences in Chinese history, high-powered alumni of Christian universities were forced to suppress memories of their educational experience until the 1980s when, as Phillip Yuen-sang Leung points out, the atmosphere of opening and reform prompted them to revive and reconstruct the history of Christian higher education in China. Through these four cases, we hope to tease out the specific dynamics of these important turning points in twentieth-century Chinese history and the unique types of memory created to respond to them. At the same time, we will look for patterns and commonalties between them that may point to specific characteristics particular to modern Chinese historical memory.

Constructing Chinese Nationhood: History Textbooks in the Late Qing Period

Au Chi-Kin, City University of Hong Kong

Amongst the many factors contributing to the turmoil of the late Qing period, the mounting racial animosity between the Han Chinese and their Manchu rulers figured prominently. The Qing government, feeling its legitimacy threatened, sought to downplay and extinguish this animosity, while those seeking the Machus’ demise actively emphasized and exaggerated it. Both sides, aware of the immense potency of education as an ideological tool, chose to make use of history textbooks to narrativize and spread their own interpretation of the Han-Manchu relationship and its proper resolution. The Qing government, anxious to justify its sovereignty, compiled and published history textbooks which narrativized Han and Manchu as sharing common origins and minimized the differences between the two groups. At the same time, revolutionaries working to overthrow the Qing wrote textbooks which highlighted not only the stark differences between the two races but the long history of conflict between them and the injustice of minority foreign rule. Those textbooks sponsored and produced by the government, best exemplified by Liu Yizhen’s Lidai shilue (An Outline of General History) and Huang Rongbao’s Benqiao shi guangyi (Lectures on the Present Dynasty), became part of the approved curriculum and hence were used at the most important government-sponsored schools of the day. The written narratives of the revolutionaries such as Liu Shipei’s Zhohgguo lishi jiaoke shu (Chinese History Textbook), on the other hand, were published surreptitiously and read at private local academies. The contrast between the official and the radical portrayals of the history of the Han-Manchu relationship reveals not only the conflicting political interests but also the contesting nationalistic conceptions behind the two types of narrative. By examining the differences between these history textbooks, we can better understand the crux of the late Qing racial conflict, for the stakes embedded in these narratives were nothing less than the delineation of Chinese nationhood and the right to rule it.

The State and the Transmission of National Memory: School History Textbooks in Republican China, 1911–1949

Wai-keung Chan, SOAS, University of London

Forging the nation’s collective memory is one of the integral functions of modern education. The successful completion of this task can turn young people into loyal citizens and can help instill a shared identity. In Republican China, the state sought to control the educational apparatus and to shape the national memory by determining what was to be included and what excluded from the curricula and school history textbooks. Such a course of action opened the way for manipulation of the past in order to mold the present and the future. In this paper, I suggest that, at the peak of national crises, in order to forge new modern national and racial identities, history textbooks of Republican China exaggerated the glories of the nation, distorted historical evidence, and even fabricated some non-existent historical miracles. In history, the state found a rich reservoir of glorious memories, events, heroes, and symbols, the representations of which facilitated the meaningful cultural integration of the nation. This "recovered" and "invented" history provided the materials for creating a significant and unbroken link with a seminal past that could fill the gap between the nation’s origin and its actuality.

However, the official tales presented in history textbooks very often had little resonance with the memories and emotions embedded in different national, political, social, and local communities in Republican China. The narration of Chinese history was contested between the state, modernizing elites and even neighboring countries because it was of central importance to the formation, maintenance, and redefinition of national identities. The (re)invention of new memories of the nation and the suppression or erasure of old narratives of China’s past represented the transformation of national identity. Based on sources still inaccessible as of several years ago, such as educational decrees and regulations, correspondence of the Ministry of Education, school history textbooks, and teacher’s manuals, this paper focuses on how official memory competed with and eventually obliterated all the rival and alternative memories (local memories, class memories, and national memories) in modern Chinese nationalist discourse.

Modernity and Memory: The New Confucians’ Teaching of Historical Narrative

Grace Ai-Ling Chou, University of Hawaii, Manoa

By the time the People’s Republic was established in 1949, many prominent Chinese intellectuals had already chosen to leave their homeland and remake their lives and their visions for China from beyond its borders. Amongst these were some whose convictions lay with the Confucian tradition, believing that China’s modernity, in contrast to that proposed by the communists, must derive from the historical logic of China’s Confucian past. These New Confucians, from the peripheral communities of Hong Kong and Taiwan, proposed in their first years of self-exile a vision for China’s modernization that would be based not on a dialectical materialist interpretation of China’s developmental stages but on a Confucian-determined conception of cultural progress and historical momentum.

That the New Confucians’ modernity relied so heavily on their sense of historical imperative reveals, more broadly, the depth of their intellectual investment in social memory as an indispensable force in cultural development and cultural identity. Theirs was a warning against collective amnesia, and it was to prevent such wayward forgetfulness from spreading amongst China’s youth that they dedicated themselves to education. By teaching their concept of modernity and the historical logic on which it is founded, they aimed to create for the students an image of their own Chineseness which would not only combat the negative influence of communism but also spur China to the actualization of her historically-determined destiny. Based on lecture transcripts and curriculum schemes, this paper examines the particular vision of modernity taught by the New Confucians and their efforts to produce in their students the kind of collective consciousness that comes from an active and socially coordinated perpetuation of memory.

Experiencing, Remembering, and Reinventing the Past: The History of Christian Higher Education Reconstructed

Phillip Yuen-sang Leung, Chinese University of Hong Kong

For more than half a century before 1949, Christian higher education occupied a significant place in Chinese society. During the Republican period, from the 1910s through the 1940s, approximately two dozen Catholic and Protestant institutions for higher education were established in China. Some of these, such as Yenching University, Ginling University, Fu Jen University, St. John’s University, and Cheeloo University, developed a national reputation rivaling that of Peking University and Tsinghua University, the topmost national universities in China. These Christian colleges and universities produced thousands of graduates, many of whom later became important leaders in the Chinese government. After the Communist revolution of 1949, however, these Christian institutions were pressured to discontinue their endeavors. In the fifties and sixties, all Christian enterprises in China were denounced, condemned and uprooted. The history of Christian higher education was suppressed and erased, and alumni of these colleges and universities were afraid to discuss their past experiences at and affiliation with these institutions. However, since 1979, the history of Christian higher education has made a return, mainly driven by two forces: the growing interest of young academics in the study of Christian influences in China, and the vigorous activation of memory by the alumni of these institutions. These alumni have written dozens of memoirs in the last two decades and published around a hundred essays. Based on these memoirs and written documents, this paper attempts to study the act of remembering of this group of alumni who had first-hand experience of college life and education at these Christian universities, were forced to forget or erase those memories during the 1960s, and have been anxious to "re-connect" with their past and to reconstruct the history of these institutions in recent years.


Session 222: The Living Past: Identity through Place and History in the People’s Republic of China

Organizer: Brian R. Dott, Fort Lewis College

Chair: Susan Naquin, Princeton University

Discussant: James L. Watson, Harvard University

Keywords: China, PRC, historic sites, national identity.

For much of its existence, the Chinese Communist Party sought concertedly to sever the Chinese people from their past traditions, which were deemed feudal and oppressive. This philosophy often resulted in the destruction of temples, homes, gardens and other buildings connected with historic sites. Organized political campaigns for the destruction of sites peaked during the Cultural Revolution. With Deng Xiaoping’s launching of the "Four Modernizations," however, came a relaxation in restrictions connected with pre-1949 practices. With economic liberalization and the suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen protesters many people lost their faith in communism. Subsequently, the Party has turned to actively promoting traditional cultural practices and history to promote a national identity and national pride, connecting itself to past regimes, as well as creating an international position for China’s cultural past. Recent restoration of temples and historic sites can be viewed as economically driven (as a bid for foreign and domestic tourist monies). However, a subtext also promotes these sites because of their importance to Chinese history and their ability to reflect and reproduce Chinese traits and characteristics. More recently, historic sites are once again under attack, now threatened by urban renewal. Thus, the preservation of historic sites depends upon their ability to draw tourist monies, and promote desirable traits and an appropriate international image. In this panel we analyze some of the ways in which the CCP is currently using sites in Hangzhou, Suzhou, and on Mount Tai as a means for promoting nationalism, national identity, and historic pride.

Upholding Chinese Characteristics by Selling Hangzhou Culture?

Liping Wang, University of Minnesota

Hangzhou is now one of the most successful tourist cities in the PRC. The city’s flourishing tourist industry relies upon marketing West Lake as an embodiment of quintessential Chinese cultural tradition. This paper analyzes some important representational strategies by which such a valuable image has been created. First it discusses the ways by which Hangzhou, a designated "famous historic and cultural city," naturalizes West Lake to have it embody a timeless tradition. Recent management and representation of West Lake focuses on the supposed permanency of the landscape, while its historic changes, especially its virtual disappearance on several occasions, is very much downplayed. As a testimony of the city’s success, West Lake was awarded the title of the best "natural scenery" at a 1992 national competition. Being timeless, West Lake is dissociated from the Southern Song, a period when Hangzhou was the capital of a weak Chinese regime, destroyed by foreign invasion. By presenting human traces on the landscape as merely pertaining to appreciation of the natural wonder, the city entices visitors to imagine they are participating in a long Chinese aesthetic tradition. Secondly, the paper examines Hangzhou’s promotion of Buddhist monasteries in the lake area as sacred sites for peasant pilgrimages. I argue that Hangzhou caters to the pilgrims not only to capitalize on their purchasing power but also for representing the city as a unique center of ancient spiritual tradition, one that is increasingly important for current PRC nationalistic discourse.

Sites of National History/World Heritage in Suzhou

Peter J. Carroll, Northwestern University

Named a "Scenic Tourist City" in 1981 and one of the first places designated a "Historic Cultural Capital" in 1982, Suzhou has been at the center of the rediscovery of the imperial and ancient past that has emerged as a feature of the contemporary formation of modernity. The physical and discursive place of guji within the city has remained a decisive and controversial focus for state development plans. Concerns regarding the long-term viability of key historical sites within the urban fabric in the face of economic development led local authorities to successfully petition UNESCO in 1996 to recognize four of the city’s famous scholar gardens as world heritage sites. In terms of national history, this action represented a significant expansion of these sites’ historicity. During the early PRC, the gardens and other guji were opened to the public and interpreted as artifacts of a rich but oppressive feudal order, the passing of which was emphasized by the fact that these properties were now public properties frequented by the socialist masses. Contemporary interpretation also celebrated these gardens and other historical sites as artifacts of uniquely national spirit and genius. Now, however, they are no longer delimited by a national framework alone. They have, at the level of political discourse and regulation, at least, been reinscribed as part of a common international cultural patrimony. This paper will conclude by reflecting on the resonance between the contemporary redaction of the sites’ historicity and earlier attempts to (re)form urban modernity during the late Qing and Republic.

Signifying Mount Tai: Modern Meanings of an Ancient Site

Brian R. Dott, Fort Lewis College

Republican and early PRC governments sought to convert Mount Tai’s sacrality into secular and revolutionary space. The busiest day on the mountain is not the fertility goddess’s birthday, but May Day. Thousands admire scenery, read inscriptions, and recite poems, like late imperial literati. A 1958 song booklet shows Mount Tai as a soldier shaking a fist at an American ship in the Taiwan Straits. In the picture and song lyrics Mount Tai stands for China and the towering strength of the Chinese people. Mao’s body lies directly on a large piece of polished black Mount Tai stone. A recent work titled Mount Tai: Symbol of the Chinese Spirit quotes famous author Guo Morou: "Mount Tai is part of the epitome of Chinese history and culture." Recently, the PRC expanded the ways in which it appropriates the meanings of this mountain. In this paper I analyze the complex synthesis of pre- and post-1949 beliefs. For example, two tombs of local Communist Party members at the base of the mountain, an attempt to make revolutionary space on this sacred site, were recently reappropriated by local worshipers. During the spring pilgrimage season in 1995 both tombs were covered with cypress twigs—borrowing the fertility ritual where cypress twigs mean having many children. On a visit in the summer of 2000, the largest pilgrimage group I observed was from Taiwan, a sign of changing economic and cultural ties across the straits. However, the most popular temple on the mountain still attracts numerous believers.


Session 223: Transforming the State: Bureaucratic Structures and Governance in Contemporary China

Organizer: Kenneth W. Foster, University of California, Berkeley

Chair: Marc Blecher, Oberlin College

Discussant: Vivienne Shue, Cornell University

Keywords: China, reform, state, bureaucracy, governance.

A popular characterization of China’s experience over the past two decades is that the CCP has managed to carry out a wholesale transformation of the economic system while preventing any sort of significant alteration of the political system. However, since the early 1980s the CCP has in fact engaged in a multi-faceted and ambitious project to reform state institutions. The goal may not be democratization, but the aims and consequences of this effort are of great significance nonetheless. The task is immense: reshaping a state apparatus built to serve a Stalinist-style command economy into one with the structures and modes of operation suited to managing and promoting a modern market economy. The papers that form this panel each examine a particular aspect of this understudied area of China’s reform process. Xiaobo Lu considers efforts to reorient the bureaucracy around the task of regulating the economy (rather than running it), examining two state agencies that were given new regulatory powers. Ken Foster looks at how reformers have promoted the development of trade associations to replace dismantled state agencies and to play a new sort of role in economic governance. In her paper, Jane Duckett traces the effect of bureaucratic restructuring on policymaking and implementation in the realm of social policy, showing how gradualism now pervades both areas. Last, in her analysis of housing privatization policy, Corinna-Barbara Francis reveals the persistence of old modes of governance centered on administrative coercion even when the goal is to create a new market. Overall, then, the picture is one of both change and continuity in state structures, policy processes, and modes of governance.

From Player to Referee: The Changing Role of the State and the Bureaucracy in China

Xiaobo Lu, Columbia University

This paper will explore the changing role of the state in a transitional economy by studying China’s ongoing reforms in the area of government regulation of the economy. Two parallel but often conflicting tendencies characterize the transition process. The first is increasing demands for more government regulation and greater regulatory capacity in order to promote and maintain order in the fledgling markets. The nascent market economy has often spawned lawlessness and disorder. Monopolistic practices, fraudulent products, copyright infringements, and shoddy-quality products are commonplace. This calls for more regulation. The other tendency is that, as the government’s regulatory authority increases, its enforcement capacity is not necessarily enhanced. More significantly, the increased regulatory power has provided a rent haven for both bureaucrats and bureaucratic agencies, giving rise to rent-seeking activities. Thus the direction of further reform is to reduce government intervention and regulation in order to improve the investment environment by reducing transaction costs and rent-seeking opportunities. Pressure to change in these two directions comes also from external sources such as China’s pending accession to the WTO. The apparently paradoxical transition process raises some interesting questions, both empirical and theoretical. How has the Chinese state responded to such a perplexing challenge? How well do bureaucratic institutions and bureaucrats perform in their new, often constantly changing, roles? Since the key player in this process of change is the bureaucracy, how do Chinese bureaucrats themselves react to such changes? I will address these questions by examining two cases of government agencies that have undergone a transformation that has given them new regulatory power.

Replacing Government Agencies with Associations: Administrative Restructuring in China

Kenneth W. Foster, University of California, Berkeley

Over the past two decades, the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly attempted to restructure the administrative apparatus of the Chinese state (with major initiatives in 1988, 1993, and 1998). One of the central goals of administrative reform (jigou gaige) has been to eliminate or shrink those parts of the bureaucracy deemed unnecessary in the new marketized environment, in the process shedding government functions and personnel. The most drastic reforms were aimed at those agencies that had served as the pillars of the command economy—the Ministries of Machinery, Light Industry, and Textiles, among others. These were gradually downsized, and by 2001 they had disappeared altogether. These reforms have involved not just the destruction of old bureaucracies, but also the creation of new organizations and institutions both to fill the (perceived) gaps in governance mechanisms left as a result and to help provide a bridge from the old system of governance to the new one. Early on, reformers decided that trade associations had a vital role to play in the process of administrative restructuring and in the emerging marketizing economy. The idea was that state agencies would create trade associations and gradually transfer functions and personnel to them, fostering a new mode of governance and new linkages between economic actors and the state. This paper will examine the relationship between administrative restructuring and the emergence of trade associations, looking at the design, implementation, and outcome of efforts to replace agencies with associations. The analysis will be based on case studies of the Ministry of Light Industry and the Ministry of Domestic Trade.

A Culture of Gradualism: State Restructuring and the Making and Implementation of Social Policy

Jane Duckett, University of Glasgow

This paper will examine how bureaucratic restructuring within central and local government has influenced social policymaking in the 1990s. Focusing on health insurance policy, it begins with an examination of policymaking at the central government level. There, bureaucratic restructuring (downsizing the Ministry of Health and creating a Ministry of Labor and Social Security) reduced the MoH’s capacity to influence health insurance policy. As a result, policy development has been driven by the MoLSS, the Ministry of Finance, and the experiences of local trials. The paper assesses the trials to show how local intra-bureaucratic and enterprise interests shape their implementation and how these feed back to affect the direction of national policy. It argues that policymaking in this policy area is still characterized by fragmented authoritarianism and gradualism (Lieberthal and Oksenberg), but that bureaucratic restructuring has enhanced the influence of local bureaucratic and enterprise interests to produce gradualism in policy implementation as well. This gradualism is now anticipated by local actors and has become self-perpetuating as those actors resist implementation in the hope of a policy change in their favor. The result is that social safety nets for the neediest are developed only slowly and patchily even in the wealthiest coastal areas.

Market Transition and Modes of Governance: Housing Privatization and Forced Consumer Spending Campaigns

Corinna-Barbara Francis, University of Missouri

China’s shift to a more market-oriented economy raises the potential for changes in modes of governance. One perspective is that the growth of a market economy requires, or encourages, a transition from administrative fiat and bureaucratic leverage as the predominant mechanism by which states achieve their policy goals, towards more indirect methods that include changing structures of incentives for individual citizens and consumers. We would particularly expect this to be the case in the realm of consumer behavior. Another perspective is that the bureaucratic mode of governance will survive the market transition.

This paper will look at housing privatization as a case through which to explore the persistence of the "traditional" bureaucratic mode of governance. For a variety of reasons, including the desire to improve labor mobility and to reduce employer leverage over employees, as well as the need to increase consumer spending, the Chinese state has been committed to some form of housing privatization.

The paper will examine the Chinese state’s approach to achieving this policy goal. It concludes that the state has relied heavily on "traditional" methods of policy implementation that utilized the coercive power of employers to shape individual behavior. The Chinese state has continued to utilize these traditional methods, although now for goals related to promoting the market economy. The paper finds that bureaucratic coercion—exercised through employers—has played a key role in the state’s pursuit of housing "privatization," while market mechanisms—e.g., improving consumer incentives to purchase housing—has played a secondary role. This has made housing privatization a scheme through which the state can force urban residents to increase spending and to tap into their considerable savings.


Session 224: The Sorting That Puzzles Things Out: New Perspectives on the Text and Context of the Zhuangzi

Organizer: Andrew Meyer, Brooklyn College

Chair and Discussant: Harold D. Roth, Brown University

Keywords: China, Warring States, philosophy, Daoism.

Students of the Zhuangzi have long recognized its heterogeneous nature. The Inner, Outer, and Miscellaneous chapters of the current text exhibit an array of stylistic modes and philosophical perspectives. Guo Xiang, the earliest compiler of the extant Zhuangzi, asserted that much of the text could not reasonably be attributed to its putative author. Most subsequent Chinese commentators have accorded with his judgment. Recent scholars such as A. C. Graham and Liu Xiaogan have proposed schematizations of the text, outlining the authorship and dating of its constituent chapters.

Despite this long history of commentary and scholarship, profound questions about the Zhuangzi remain. The authorship of all sections of the text is still debated, as are the designs and motivations of the text’s transmitters and compilers. We are still left wondering not only why the individual chapters were composed, but why the Zhuangzi as a whole comes down to us in the form it has today.

This panel will present four new perspectives on the authorship and composition of the Zhuangzi. Each paper examines a section of the text with an eye both to its relation to other portions of the Zhuangzi and its impact upon society and culture at the time of its production. In total, the panel hopes to present new possibilities for understanding both the evolution of the Zhuangzi as a text and its influence upon the evolution of Chinese thought and culture more generally.

On the Trail of Robber Zhi: An Intra- and Inter-textual Reading of Zhuangzi

Andrew Meyer, Brooklyn College

Chapter 29 of the extant Zhuangzi, "Robber Zhi," is one of the most interesting pieces of pre-Qin literature. Constructed around a mythical encounter between the titular paragon of rapine and lawlessness and the great sage Confucius himself, "Robber Zhi" is at once a richly woven farce and an exquisitely subtle political and philosophical allegory. Many students of Zhuangzi have noted the uniqueness of Chapter 29. In this essay I will present a few suggestions about the text and its place in the pre-Qin intellectual world based upon a comparison of "Robber Zhi" with other chapters of the Zhuangzi and other writings found in works such as the Hanfeizi.

I argue that "Robber Zhi" manifests a basically consistent worldview with several of the Outer Chapters A. C. Graham grouped together as "Primitivist" (Chapters 8–11), as well as Chapters 16 ("Menders of Nature") and 28 ("Yielding the Throne"). The author or authors of these texts were contemptuous of the wealth, power, mercantilism, and belligerence of the great mega-states of that era. They advocated a return to smaller, more strictly agrarian communities and the practice of mystical forms of personal cultivation for the regulation of the individual and society.

Of great interest is the highly polemical nature of these chapters. Their authors were deeply steeped in the intellectual debates of the Warring States, and developed a form of "trialectical" logical attack (the exclusion of two radical extremes against a correct center) that seems to have been quite influential in the philosophical culture of the third century B.C.E. Other late Warring States texts adopt tropes and rhetorical constructs developed in these Zhuangzi chapters, seeking to forward their own polemical agendas.

The Jwangdž Inner Chapters

Taeko Brooks, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

A. C. Graham’s 1979 vocabulary statistics (though Graham himself drew the opposite conclusion) show that no two of the Jwangdž “inner chapters” (JZ 1–7) resemble each other stylistically, hence no two imply a common authorship. No edition of the Jwangdž before the Six Dynasties identifies these chapters as a group, with or without the label “inner.” Instead, Lw-shr Chun/Chyou quotations focus on JZ 28 (“Renouncing Kingship”), and Han statements identify such high-numbered chapters as JZ 29 (“Robber Jr”) as the work of Jwang Jou. On this evidence, there is no first presumption that JZ 1–7 are a group, let alone one possessing special authenticity. They are thus available for study de novo.

My own study concludes that the first two of these chapters, JZ 1–2, are philosophically mature, and may have been added late in the text’s formation process. JZ 3–7, on the other hand, appear to be the records of five distinct and relatively early authorship groups. In this paper, I will show how analogous responses to the same contemporary issues are reflected in each.

The date of these chapters is fixed by the relationship of JZ 4:7 with a parallel Analects passage (LY 18:5). Analects 18, in turn, is from the Tswei Shù layer of that text. For other reasons, the Tswei Shù Analects cannot be as early as the late-fourth-century date usually assigned to Jwang Jou. I find no grounds for dating this or any other part of the Jwangdž before the early third century.

Distinguishing the "Rational" from the "Irrational" in the Early Chuang Tzu Lineage

Brian Hoffert, North Central College

Although the Chuang Tzu has been revered as a Taoist classic for over two thousand years, the question of the text’s composition remained largely unexplored until modern scholarship demonstrated that Master Chuang himself wrote only the first seven of the thirty-three chapters in the received text. Particularly significant in this regard is the work of the British sinologist A. C. Graham, whose stratification of the text remains the standard among Western scholars. According to Graham, the text was compiled by a group of Han dynasty Taoists from a number of different sources manifesting varying degrees of proximity to the thought and style of the Inner Chapters. My paper focuses on two distinct groups of writing which so closely resemble the material of the Inner Chapters that Graham includes them in the "School of Chuang-tzu" section of his translation—despite his claim that no such school existed. Based on his assumption of the text’s diverse origins, however, Graham draws a sharp contrast between the rationalizing perspective of the "Great Man" writers who regard knowledge as "an unquestioned good" and the irrationalizing philosophy of the "Knowledge Roams North" authors for whom "to speak articulately about the Way is enough to show that one has not grasped it" (Graham, Chuang-tzu, p. 158). Through a textual analysis of these two groups of material, I will demonstrate that apart from a relatively minor shift in emphasis they share the same fundamental view of true knowledge as "an understanding that rests in what it does not understand." I will then go on to show that both were attempts to elucidate Chuang Tzu’s own epistemology and indeed that they represent the work of the first two generations of Master Chuang’s disciples.

From Fear to Loathing: Utopia and Violence in the Primitivist Documents

Hagop Sarkissian, University of Toronto

The conventional pairing of the Laozi and the Primitivist documents from the Zhuangzi at first seems reasonable. Not only do both contain broad criticisms of technology, high culture, and instrumental rationality, but they also share nearly identical visions of an agrarian utopia. Nonetheless, stressing these similarities obfuscates the Primitivist’s distinctiveness. Treated in isolation, it becomes apparent that the differences between the two texts are considerable.

Not only is the Primitivist uninterested in a mystical Dao or cosmological speculation, he had also lost faith in remedying the problems of society through reformation or proper rulership. His move towards radicalism itself is a censure against the Laozi: the fear underlying that text has turned into rancour, while its aphoristic appeals to moderate desires and scorn luxurious objects have been replaced with ideological calls for the destruction of the socio-cultural order and the elimination of noxious intellectuals.

By shifting focus away from the text in which his writings were eventually compiled—the heterogeneous Zhuangzi—to the intellectual climate in which they were probably composed—late Warring States/Qin-Han interregnum—the pragmatic, ideological concerns of the Primitivist are easily understood. Instead of looking at other "Daoists" as sources of influence, I will suggest the Primitivist can be fruitfully compared to such unlikely contemporaries as Hanfeizi and Li Si.


Session 225: What Is So Different about the Eighteenth-Century Chinese Novel?

Organizer and Chair: Wei Shang, Columbia University

Discussant: Keith McMahon, University of Kansas

The eighteenth century marks a turning point in the history of the Chinese vernacular novel. It produced such a stellar array of works as Rulin waishi (Unofficial History of the Scholars), Honglou meng (The Dream of the Red Chamber), Yesou puyan (The Humble Words of an Old Rustic), and Qilu deng (Light at the Crossroads). These were all written by literati authors, for a literati audience, about literati concerns, and more often than not, with an exquisite display of autobiographical elements. Thus the literati brought about great changes in the narrative, circulation, and perception of the vernacular novel. How shall we interpret these changes? What do the novels tell us about the literati and their effort to cope with the changing world of increasing uncertainty? And to what extent do they inform us of the cultural and intellectual trends of the time? These are the questions we are to ask ourselves.

The eighteenth century is sandwiched between two ages of momentous events: those of the Manchu conquest and the Western impact. The latter, moreover, took place amid internal turmoil, the crumbling of the Confucian elite, and the disintegration of local society. On this backdrop, historians have seen in the eighteenth century the division of literati as a social group, the rise of evidential scholarship, and the development of Confucian ritualism. But they disagree with each other in their assessment of the mores and orientation of the literati: some detect a sense of disenchantment with the Confucian orthodoxy; others find a conservative vein, an attempt to restore the lineage system and Confucian ritualistic order. Few, however, have examined, in this connection, one important area of the literati’s cultural and intellectual life: the eighteenth-century literati novel. Without such an examination, our understanding of the age will remain incomplete.

This panel is designed to remedy the situation. It sets the goal to integrate the eighteenth-century literati novels into our interpretation of the intellectual and social tenor of the time and to illuminate the authors’ unique contributions.

Confucian Imagination and Self-Reflexivity: Rulin waishi as an Intellectual Novel

Wei Shang, Columbia University

Of the eighteenth-century novelists, Wu Jingzi is most engaged with issues of contemporary intellectual discourse. His masterpiece Rulin waishi navigates a broad range of subjects from the problematic of the civil service examination and the lineage system of local society to the decline of literati’s moral prestige and personal integrity. It is Wu Jingzi’s bold ambition to integrate all these issues into a dynamic process of critical reflection on the predicament of the Confucian ritual or li. And he achieved it.

This paper challenges the common understanding of Rulin waishi’s representation of the Confucian ritual. It argues that rather than seek confirmation and comfort in any predominant concepts or doctrines, Rulin waishi often questions the values it openly embraces and insists on exploring alternatives from within the Confucian tradition. The paper also argues that the novel’s significance lies, not in any definite answers to its questions, but in the questions themselves—questions that explore the predicament of Confucian practices, test the limits of the Confucian ethical thinking, and conjure up a critical voice or consciousness capable of reflecting upon the inherent problematic of its own moral imagination.

Ritual in the Eighteenth-Century Novel Qilu Deng

Maram Epstein, University of Oregon

Much of the scholarship of the twentieth century viewed Qing scholar novels as critical of, if not cynical about, late-imperial bureaucratic and intellectual institutions. While most novels do contain critiques of some aspect of literati and bureaucratic culture, a number of mid- and late-Qing novels reveal a deep sympathy for Confucian ritualism as a defense against the rapid breakdown of traditional social structures and values during this period. I will discuss Li Lüyuan’s novel Qilu deng (Light at the Crossroads, preface dated 1777) as exemplifying this mid-Qing interest in ritualism. Ritual concerns were so closely related to the author’s concept of his novel that several manuscript editions contain a set of household rules that he had compiled.

Unlike many novels which focus on the husband-wife relationship as foundational to domestic order, Qilu deng explores the intergenerational practices associated with filial piety and lineage organization: obedience to parents, mourning, the writing of family genealogies, and the worshiping of family ancestors. Moreover, Qilu deng is unusual in foregrounding the father-son bond, over the more affective mother-son dyad, as the dominant expression of filiality. I argue that this stems from the growing literati interest in reviving a textually-defined ritualism and lineage organizations in place of the earlier emphasis on individual self-cultivation.

Coincidence and Infinitude in Honglou Meng

Tina Lu, University of Pennsylvania

Unlike any novel before or after, Honglou meng creates a fictional world that seeks to encompass quite literally the entire universe. This novel assumes an important part within creation itself: the text—and the boy Baoyu—are the extra stone unused by Nüwa, and part of the goddess’s flawed creation of the universe. A number of critics, from the nineteenth-century Zhang Xinzhi to Princeton’s Andrew Plaks, have taken these cosmological intimations to suggest that the novel might be read as allegory (whether of Yijing numerology or of other ideologies).

Instead of allegory, I suggest that the novel proposes another totalizing model, that of anthropology. Honglou meng consistently undercuts its own gestures toward the singularity upon which all allegorical significance rides. Instead, coincidence repeatedly undermines singularity (as if the novel were posing that central anthropological question, whether there are many histories, or a single one). Are coincidences possible in an imagined world where all details (as Zhang Xinzhi and Plaks suggest) are redolent with significance? Is singularity possible in an imagined world of seemingly infinite size? The problem is exemplified in the boy Jia Baoyu, whose uniqueness seems so inviolate—he is after all Nüwa’s extra stone—but who nonetheless has a perfect double, who is his twin even in name, Zhen Baoyu. Characters propose different explanations for the double: is there some mysterious significance to the two characters’ resemblance? Or, as Baoyu’s grandmother suggests, is this coincidence inevitable—and therefore insignificant—given so enormous an empire? This debate recurs repeatedly, writ small—in discussions over family members’ shared birthdays—and writ large, for example, in whether all the Jias in the novel are related to the great clan at the novel’s center, or whether some are merely coincidentally Jias.

Reconstructing Confucian Masculinity in Yesou puyan

Martin W. Huang, University of California, Irvine

The male protagonist of the eighteenth-century novel Yesou puyan (The Humble Words of an Old Rustic), Wen Suchen, is an exaggerated but impressive figure of Confucian masculine hero. Well versed in Confucian learning, Wen Suchen also demonstrates expertise in medicine, mathematics, and other specialized knowledge. His image as a Confucian maverick is boosted by his martial prowess and incredible "virility" or "masculine fecundity," which has enabled his numerous wives and concubines to produce so many male offspring that even the emperor becomes envious. Furthermore, he is a great "lover." Almost every beautiful girl, once catching sight of him, wants to become his concubine. And yet he is able to remain ethically impeccable even judged by the most stringent Confucian moral standards.

This paper seeks to read the novel in terms of the changing literati self-perceptions during the eighteenth century and their gender implications. It also tries to evaluate the novel’s important role in the emergence of a new trend in the Chinese novel during that period—the convergence of the elements of scholar-beauty fiction and those of military romances (the convergence of ernü and yingxiong), which was to characterize many works of fiction in the subsequent century.


Session 226: Roundtable: The Cultural Revolution Museum: Virtual, Textual, or Architectural?

Organizer: Yongyi Song, Dickinson College

Chair: Roderick MacFarquhar, Harvard University

Discussants: Yongyi Song, Dickinson College; Youqin Wang, University of Chicago; Jian Guo, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater; Yuan Zhou, University of Chicago; Xinmin Hua, Chinese News Digest

Keywords: Cultural Revolution, musem, historical truth.

The Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) was a pivotal event and a human tragedy in the fifty-year history of the People’s Republic of China, and indeed had no precedent in world history. In the interest of preserving historical truth and collective memories, the proposal for a Cultural Revolution Museum has been raised by well-known scholars, writers, and other intellectuals in both China and overseas. Since the 1980s, some U.S. scholars have been working on a virtual museum of the Cultural Revolution and other significant projects such as a CD-ROM database, reprints of multi-volume Red Guard publications, an encyclopedia, and so on.

This roundtable will provide an opportunity to introduce their undertakings, exchange ideas, and discuss how to finally build this meaningful museum project in the future. Discussing this important theme will not only shed interesting light on the new materials and new perspectives which each participant found, but also broaden the scope of research on the Cultural Revolution and deepen people’s understanding about this vital period in both Chinese and world history.


Session 227: Meanings of Gender in Modern China

Organizer and Chair: Sharon R. Wesoky, Allegheny College

Discussant: Zheng Wang, University of Michigan

Keywords: modern China, gender, women, identity.

This panel considers the changing roles and meanings of the concept of "gender" in modern China, examining its significance in political and scholarly discourses, past and present. From the unintentional construction of a diverse set of subject identifications of women by the Women’s Federation in the Great Leap Forward, to contemporary usages of ideas of "gender" in psychological counseling and academic scholarship, the idea of "gender" has had varied political and social significance throughout the era of the People’s Republic.

A common theme emerging in the panel is thus the salience of "gender" as a form of identity in modern China, and how this idea has been transformed through local and global, historical and contemporary, transformations in China. Additionally, the panel examines the usage of "gender" as a significant historical category, as a form of organizing for identity politics, as well as a contemporary concept useful to promoting ideas of social change. It examines how the idea of "gender" has changed from Mao-era usages that emphasized mobilization for state interests to contemporary, reform-era concepts that allow for more local and identity-based organizing.

Communes, Canteens, and Crèches: Rethinking Gender and Resistance in State-Society Politics

Kim Manning, University of Washington

In this paper I will discuss the dynamic participation of leaders in China’s national women’s organization, the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), during the Great Leap Forward. Drawing on archival research and interviews with grassroots and national Women’s Federation cadres, I argue that during the Great Leap Forward, the Women’s Federation manifested a kind of ideological and institutional fragmentation around the concepts "woman," "women’s interests," and "women’s equality." Whereas some women delighted at the opportunity to take up new leadership roles in their community or at large work-sites in the late 1950s, others resented a policy of equality that required long working hours, provided insufficient support, and separated them from their children and families.

In order to develop a full sense of the contradictions at play in the All China Women’s Federation, I am using a critical feminist perspective to revise state-in-society analysis. This perspective, which I call a critical anthropology of the state, agrees with the state-in-society notion that center and periphery constantly transform one another in state and society interaction, but emphasizes discourse over actors in the quest to understand this interaction. I thus focus on the subject formation of grassroots women leaders during the 1950s and discuss how that subjectivity differed from the subjectivity of national and regional federation leaders, and from the subjectivity of many rural women. It is my conclusion that the institution that sought to create one kind of socialist woman ultimately cracked and fissured on this powerful diversity of subjectivities.

The Gender Angle in Women’s Hotline Counseling

Le Ping, Maple Women’s Psychology Center, Beijing

This paper applies the idea of "gender" to social work and organizing in contemporary Beijing. It examines the nature of gender angles and how they can be used in women’s hotline counseling. There are currently two opposing views on this at the Maple Women’s Psychology Center in Beijing—some counselors argue that the gender angle should not be used in counseling. However, this paper asserts that the gender angle is essential to women’s hotline work, and that the purpose of these services is to include a gender or feminist angle. Counselors need to be aware not only of issues in psychology, but also in sociology, politics, and law, including the gender angle from a feminist viewpoint. This will greatly strengthen counseling, as well as provide strategic benefits to the women’s movement.

Creating "Gender" in Chinese Women’s Studies

Zhang Jin, University of Michigan

This paper will examine the development and evolution of concepts of "gender" in contemporary Chinese women’s studies. In particular, it will first look at early ideas of sex/gender (xingbie) in the Chinese women’s movement, and discuss the general reification of the idea of "women" and "gender" in Mao-era and early post-Mao era discourses. It will then examine the evolution of the idea of a more socially-based notion of "gender" in the 1990s and review and discuss recent examples of the employment of the idea of "social gender" (shehui xingbie) in Chinese women’s studies and women’s activism. While examining the notion that shehui xingbie is in part an import from Western feminism and women’s studies into Chinese contexts, this paper will also examine ways in which the concept has been localized into Chinese political, social, and cultural settings.


Session 228: Individual Papers: China

Organizer: Pamela Crossley, Dartmouth College

Chair: Norman Kutcher, Syracuse University


Tao Yuanming’s Early Reception: A Comparative Study of His Biographies

Wendy Swartz, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper will study the characterization of Tao Yuanming (365–427) as a recluse and assess his early reception. Early on, he was dismissed to a great extent as a poet and classified as a recluse in official dynastic histories, and this status determined in no small measure subsequent readings of his works. The four extant early biographies, dating from the late fifth to early seventh centuries, discuss Tao’s reclusion in historiographic terms.

I will argue that the early biographies can no longer be taken, as most scholars up to the present have done, as a reliable, undifferentiated body of biographical data. Rather, they should be treated as the first group of texts in the history of Tao’s reception. They not only set the terms for later discussions and provide contexts and authorial intentions with which to read certain poems, but also mold the imaginations of later readers. These biographies are by no means "innocent" retellings of Tao’s life, but should be analyzed in their own right and read against one another and other contemporary sources. A comparison among the four reveals developments in the narration of Tao’s life and betrays the aspect of construction in the biographers’ portrayal of Tao Yuanming.

Dismantling Unity: Wang Tingxiang’s (1474–1544) Critique of Neo-Confucianism

Youngmin Kim, Harvard University

While Chinese Marxist scholars have retrospectively admired Wang Tingxiang for the purported materialism of his thought, Wang Tingxiang’s thought has been more or less ignored in English language scholarship. In this paper, I propose to consider Wang’s thought in the intellectual context of his time, rather than looking at it retrospectively. By so doing, I would like to present Wang’s thought as a window into the mid-Ming intellectual world.

I begin by taking up a simple yet fundamental question: What kinds of problems was Wang responding to? What were the competing philosophies he found difficult to accept and what was the problem that he perceived in them? Posing, and answering, these questions brings us to the heart of mid-Ming neo-Confucian discourse, which Wang shared with his contemporaries Wang Yangming (1472–1529), Zhan Ruoshui (1466–1560), and Luo Qinshun (1465–1547).

Whatever their differences, all these thinkers shared a concern with what I call "neo-Confucian unity." This was the central theoretical underpinning for the neo-Confucian claim that personal morality was the basis of social well-being. Wang Tingxiang, however, rejected the notion that unity could be found in human nature, or in the world at large. Wang went further by posing the question: how are we to come to terms with this disunified and ever-changing world?

Wang’s response to the dis/unity provides us with an excellent chance to explore the meaning of neo-Confucianism in mid-Ming China.

Paleography and Archaic Scripts in Sixteenth-Century China

Bruce Rusk, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper will examine paleographic studies in mid-Ming China, and assess the role of the study of ancient scripts in the scholarship of this period. From around the 1520s, a heightened interest in the ancient forms of Chinese characters manifested itself in a number of ways: paleographic dictionaries, discourses on the history of writing, examination questions, and archaisms in works of art and in books. The wider influence of paleography can be seen in the uses of archaic scripts in the arts of the period, including calligraphy, porcelain, and typography.

Of course, paleography did not begin or end with this period; Ming paleographers were part of a long tradition that continues into the present. As they generally built on existing scholarship from the Song and Yuan Dynasties, they were seen by Qing scholars as, at best, adding nothing to the achievements of earlier dynasties and, at worst, propagating blatant forgeries. Nonetheless, frequent reprinting of works on paleography, and an interest in it by major sixteenth-century scholars such as Yang Shen (who compiled several dictionaries), indicates its important place in the intellectual life of the period. Paleography was used for various purposes, including support of and opposition to the relatively new teachings of Wang Yangming.

After summarizing these developments, this paper will assess the place of paleography in Ming scholarship and in the development of a taste for the antique more generally.

Can We Trust the Qing Commentaries When Studying a Late-Thirteenth-Century Text by Wang Yinglin?

Christian Soffel, University of Munich

When studying medieval Chinese texts—e.g., from the Song period—one has often to deal with Qing dynasty editions and commentaries. On the one hand Qing scholars possessed a very high level of education, so that their comments provide valuable philological information; and they were several hundred years closer to former dynasties than we are today. On the other hand there was great impact of their own political and social background on their work—especially due to the fact that they themselves were governed by a foreign ruling class. Therefore their opinions sometimes may be biased.

In this paper I analyze the commentaries to the Kunxue Jiwen by Wang Yinglin (1223–1296), a book that was completed soon after the end of the Southern Song. There exists an excellent print of this work dating to 1325. However, due to the broad scholarship of its author, it is very difficult to study the Kunxue Jiwen without using the extensive annotations of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century scholars such as Yan Ruoqu (1636–1704) or Quan Zuwang (1705–1755). In their commentaries they frequently state Wang Yinglin’s grief over the fall of his dynasty and his anger against traitors collaborating with the Yuan. While the importance of the Qing scholars’ philological work on the Kunxue Jiwen is indisputable, their other remarks should be analyzed more deeply: is Wang Yinglin really a Song patriot or are the Qing scholars merely hinting at their own situation? The answer can be found in Wang Yinglin’s works: the former seems to be the case.