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Organizer: Mary Comerford Cooper, Ohio State University
Chair: Carl Walter, J. P. Morgan Chase
Discussant: Barry Naughton, University of California, San Diego
Keywords: China, finance, equities, credit, politics.
This panel examines a crucial issue in Chinas ongoing market reformdevelopment of financial infrastructure. As Chinas reformers are becoming all too aware, a functioning market economy not only requires major institutions such as banks and stock exchanges, but also depends on a host of supporting infrastructure. Without consistent accounting standards, bankruptcy provisions, mechanisms to disseminate reliable financial information, a legal system that enforces contracts, managerial labor markets, and regulatory agenciesjust to name a few components of financial infrastructurebanks and stock exchanges in a transitional economy tend to function perversely. We examine the political factors that have shaped the development of these institutions and with them the financial markets in China.
Each of the four panelists focuses on a different aspect of the Chinese financial markets. Although all of the research draws on extensive field research, the panelists will employ diverse methodologies from in-depth case studies, interviews with elite bureaucrats, to large-n statistical analysis. Stephen Green and Mary Cooper both address the conflicts of interest between central and local levels of government with respect to Chinas developing equity market institutions. While Greens research analyzes the battle to create a securities regulatory organization, Coopers research focuses on the company listing process. Scott Kennedy explores the political and bureaucratic interests that structure the development of credit rating organizations. He finds that although Chinas languishing credit-rating industry reflects a weak financial system, the development of this industry is not necessarily essential to strengthen Chinas financial system. Finally, Walter Hutchens examines the political dimensions of share-holder lawsuits for securities fraud.
Equity Politics and Market Institutions: The Development of Stock Market Policy and Regulation in China, 19842002
Stephen Green, Royal Institute of International Affairs, London
As Chinas government leads the transition away from socialist planning, how does it build the regulatory institutions that it needs to manage the new market economy? Creating effective institutions is essential if transition is to be successful over the long-term. This paper explains and evaluates institutional development in Chinas stock market during 19842002.
In the absence of private firms, government actors designed and controlled the development of equity institutions. These actors operated within a three-level hierarchy: the principals, the senior leadership; two sets of sub-principals, local (provincial-level) and ministry leaders; and agents, bureaux leaders working at the front lines of regulation. The principals experienced two problems in establishing equity institutions that delivered their priorities, financial stability and market development. First, local leaders captured control of the bureaux and used them to maximise investment and fiscal revenues from the stock market. Deficient regulation and regular financial crisis resulted. Second, at the central level leaders competed to defend their organisational interests. Policy stasis resulted.
This was the state of affairs between the late 1980s and 1997: a fragmented state where regulatory authority was dispersed and thus ineffectual. During 199798, radical institutional change occurred, resulting in the creation of a securities regulator with considerable administrative authority. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has been able to reduce market instability and orient development towards the central leaderships priorities.
The paper argues that Chinas central leadership can, ultimately, manage economic transition in China through the use of sector-specific institutions. These include restructuring the nomenklatura system, centralizing key powers, reducing the economic incentives for intervention by local leaders, creating criss-crossing oversight and reporting mechanisms, strengthening Party structures, and clarifying responsibilities within the centre. Such institutional changes lead to a stronger state better able to formulate and implement central government policies.
Local Governments and the Politics of Listing on the Chinese Stock Market
Mary Comerford Cooper, Ohio State University
This paper examines a key aspect of the politics of stock markets in Chinathe distinct differences in interests between central government leaders and local governments. Central government leaders have a powerful incentive to promote macroeconomic stability and good performance of the stock market. Local leaders, for their part, are less concerned with the overall performance of the stock market than with gaining access to the stock market for companies under their own jurisdiction. The paper demonstrates that company listing brings tangible economic benefits to municipalities. Listed companies are associated with higher levels of gross domestic product (GDP), budgetary revenue, and industrial and commercial tax revenue. Therefore, it is not surprising that local officials put substantial effort into lobbying for the right to list additional companies on the national stock exchanges.
Chinas Languishing Credit-Rating Industry: Canary in the Mine?
Scott Kennedy, Indiana University
This paper documents the political and economic sources of why Chinas credit rating industry has yet to successfully develop and considers the implications for the stability of the financial system. Over the past century, credit-rating agencies (CRA) have become a part of the fabric of Western financial markets, particularly in the U.S. In principle they provide investors with unbiased information about the likelihood of whether issuers of securities will default on their obligations. Since the late 1980s several Chinese credit-rating agencies have provided ratings on domestic corporate bonds and stocks. However, none of these firms has made a profit, and investors ignore their ratings. Chinas CRAs are powerless because of government intervention in the bond market, CRAs inability to obtain reliable financial information, CRAs lack of independence, and a weak regulatory framework. While Chinas languishing credit-rating industry reflects a weak financial system, the development of this industry is not a prerequisite for Chinas improved financial health. Recent comparative research shows CRAs do not fully perform the function their advocates claim they do; CRAs often act more as regulators than critical information providers. In China, investors simply need better financial information, which can come from multiple sources, of which CRAs are just one. The data from this paper comes from primary and secondary documents about the credit-rating industry in China and elsewhere, and from interviews carried out in 2002 and 2003 with CRA executives, investors, and financial regulators in China.
Shareholder Litigation in the PRC: Material Disclosure about Chinas Legal System?
Walter C. Hutchens, University of Maryland
When laws and regulations governing Chinas securities markets are enacted, "investor protection" is routinely claimed as a purpose. The Supreme Peoples Court invoked this customary mantra in 2003 when it unveiled rules enabling PRC investors to sue listed companies for disclosure fraud. Under the new rules, individual investors can sue to recover losses when companies have failed to provide transparency into their operations as PRC law requires. This suggests some strengthening of the PRCs nascent civil society and legal system. However, careful analysis of the new rules and the context in which they operate reveals that many daunting obstacles confront plaintiffs. In most cases, investors will have to sue government-owned companies in government-controlled courts. In fact, they may do so only after obtaining specific government authorization. The ability of investors to struggle as a class against defendants is also significantly curtailed. Based on these constraints, it appears unlikely this form of litigation will create powerful incentives for compliance with Chinas existing disclosure requirements. Indeed, the new rules may do more to protect the states interests rather than those of investors. In this sense, Chinas approach to shareholder litigation itself makes "material disclosure" about Chinas evolving legal system, revealing how the structure of PRC courts and the states role as an economic actor can conflict with the enforcement of individual rights through civil litigation. Such litigation thus provides a window onto the emergence of the rule of law and civil society in China and underscores ongoing tensions within PRC reform efforts.
Session 14: New Taxonomies of Knowledge in Late Qing and Early Republican China
Organizer: Joachim Kurtz, Emory University
Chair: Victoria Cass, University of Colorado, Boulder
Discussant: Joshua A. Fogel, University of California, Santa Barbara
Keywords: China, history, late Qing, Republican.
In the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century, taxonomies of knowledge in China underwent dramatic transformation. Renewed encounters with Western knowledge stimulated a massive increase in epistemic possibilities that provoked a radical re-ordering of Chinas discursive terrain. This panel analyzes the specific dynamic of the conceptual and ideological changes that sustained this multilayered process.
Kurtzs paper documents an attempt to assert the universal validity of Chinese knowledge through its translation into a Western-derived disciplinary matrix, illustrating the violent conceptual transformations that this radical effort required. Fans paper analyzes the discovery of cultural meanings in objects of nature in Republican China within a global context of scientific imperialism, tracing the encoding of these meanings in policy and law. Shapiros paper analyzes, circa 1900, the broad spectrum of ideas then falling under the rubric of nerves, relating the breadth of nervous discourse to modern transformations in the experience of disease. Changs paper revises the idea of forensic medicine in traditional China, showing how the twentieth-century reformulation of forensics broadly transformed social thinking about hygiene and the body.
These papers strive to show that changes in the theories and methods of knowing stirred broad transformations in Chinas social and cultural identity. We argue that the analytical shifts in how entities such as the past or the body were understood, pivotal to the disciplines in modern China, went beyond modifying the models used to talk about and fathom the world. Changes in knowledge, this panel argues, also implied new types of experience.
Disciplining the National Essence: Liu Shipei and His Reorganization of Chinas Intellectual History
Joachim Kurtz, Emory University
In the decades surrounding the year 1900, the classificatory schemes in which knowledge had been organized in China for centuries were unsettled and gradually superseded by a Western-inspired disciplinary matrix. The institutionalization of new curricula of higher learning and the abolition of the civil examination system unmistakably marked the demise of the old regime of learning. In the natural sciences, the transition quickly led to an almost complete denigration of endemic knowledge. In the realm of the humanities, the transformation was more complex. In order to assert the universal validity of the ethical insights contained in canonical as well as some noncanonical writings, late Qing scholars suggested various ways to integrate classical Chinese learning into Europeanized taxonomical frameworks.
One of the earliest and most consequential attempts to secure a place for Chinas embattled moral sciences within the new disciplinary matrix was formulated by Liu Shipei in the context of the National Essence (guocui) movement. Drawing on argumentative strategies of the discourse on the Chinese origins of Western science and an untested scholarly vocabulary imported from Japan, Liu outlined a master plan for a new grand narrative of ancient Chinas intellectual history that raised questions which none of the more self-assured histories of Chinese philosophy, Chinese religion, etc., with which we are familiar today, could ignore. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the key elements of this radical effort to translate Chinas endemic knowledge into Westernized terms, and to analyze the violent conceptual transformations necessary for its completion.
How Did Fossils Become National? Science and Nationalism in Republican China
Fa-ti Fan, State University of New York, Binghamton
During the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, foreign scientists roamed much of China, studying geography, ethnology, and particularly natural history. Collecting a diversity of specimens, the scientists deposited these samplings in European and American museums. Although Qing officials expressed concern that Western naturalists traveling in China might have an eye on the countrys natural riches, their anxieties regarded the protection of economic resources rather than the "native" objects of nature being gathered by the foreign expeditions. The international controversy over fossils in the 1920s was an immediate cause for the nationalization of antiquities, including fossils and archaeological remains, by the Nationalist government of China. Antiquities, even objects of nature such as fossils, became national treasures by law and thus, by law, required preservation. This episode shows the growth of a Chinese nationalist discourse in the early twentieth century in which nation defined the meaning of nature and nature guaranteed the permanence of the nation. Seen in a global context, however, this event was not an isolated incident. During this period, other nations were also passing laws to protect their antiquities, including objects of nature. This paper discusses this change of attitude and policy in both national and international contexts by examining the intersections of nature, nationalism, imperialism and scientific internationalism.
The Discovery of Nerves in Modern China
Hugh L. Shapiro, University of Nevada, Reno
Until the twentieth century, most healers and patients in China had never heard of nerves. What we now call traditional Chinese medicine, in other words, lacked both the idea and the language of nerves. But this fact, that physicians in China diagnosed and treated patients without attention to the nervous system, is remarkable only to observers from cultures in which the anatomical idea of nerves is so deeply woven into cultural identity that it is hard to imagine practicing medicine without the language of nerves. Put another way, in China, embodied experience was articulated with language and imagery wholly distinct from the vocabulary of experience in North America and Europe. Given the profound differences in social and philosophical orientation, this type of cultural difference is not entirely surprising. However, what is striking is the dynamic by which the discourse of nerves entered and took root in China, which is the topic of this paper.
This paper narrates Chinas history of nerves in two episodes. The first regards attempts by foreign protagonists to translate the idea of nerves into the Chinese language, a 300-year effort that began in the early seventeenth century. The second, the focus of the paper, analyzes circa 1900, the broad spectrum of ideas in China then falling under the rubric of nerves, from faith healing to evolutionary physiology. This breadth of discourse, I argue, influenced how the new paradigm of nerves radically transformed not only medicine in China but also the very experience of illness itself.
From "Washing Away the Wrongs" to Modern Medicine: The Transmission of Forensic Medicine into China
Che-chia Chang, Academia Sinica
This paper aims to revise our understanding of forensic medicine in early modern China. The practice of forensic medicine, I argue, had only a remote connection to Chinas scholarly medical tradition. To the contrary, medical experts did not practice forensics; instead, it was practiced by wuzuo, coroners with minimal medical training, who, in conducting autopsies, accrued significant amounts of social pollution. The practice of forensics by wuzuo and not by literati-physicians also challenges another established idea. Benevolent officials allegedly practiced forensic examination to "wash away the wrongs" of the people, to bring justice to those wronged. But in actuality this was a job executed by a social group enjoying only nominal trust from officialdom. Finally, this paper aims to make a broader point regarding the relationship between forensics and social consciousness. Transforming forensics in China into a modern medical practice entailed much more than acquiring new knowledge or mastering fresh methodologies. Beyond the actual training of forensic examiners, the principal obstacle in early twentieth-century China was the deep-rooted social taboo against dissecting cadavers. I will argue that the complex process by which this taboo was overcome, including acceptance of the analytical opening of the body, transformed not only the teaching and practice of medicine in the modern period, but also witnessed far-reaching changes in the manner that first professionals and then lay people conceptualized the relationship between hygiene and the body.
Session 15: Aftereffects of Silk Road Exchange in China
Organizer and Chair: Katheryn M. Linduff, University of Pittsburgh
Discussant: Sarah M. Nelson, University of Denver
Keywords: Silk Road, China, religion, interaction, gender, archaeology, art history.
The materials and ideas that were traded, exchanged and/or manufactured along the Silk Road had a considerable aftereffect in Chinese society. Evidence from archaeological, religious and social contexts confirms their value far beyond commercial worth. Art historians, historians of trade and religion as well as archaeologists come together here to consider materials from the Silk Road as residual evidence of the movement of people, artifacts and/or ideas into China. The papers explore the use of such items, the materials of their manufacture and the technology used to produce them, as well as their content in relation to several questions: What role did these "exotic" ideas and materials have in the lives of their patrons and/or owners? Are new ideas and materials valued as "foreign" (Wu JM, Wu XL) or are they fully incorporated or assimilated into the dominant ways of thinking as a way of "controlling" foreignness (Wu HY)? Are forms changed and original representational integrity lost in favor of technological display (Krieg), or is technology and iconography used intentionally to express a gender and/or class distinction (Wu JM, Lullo, Krieg)?
Because familiarity with material science, the history of ideas, epigraphy, and the archaeology of death, with analysis of iconography, commercial and political exchange are required to analyze these questions, the papers on the panel are grounded in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches.
Exotica in the State of Zhongshan: Migration, Trade, and Cultural Contact
Xiaolong Wu, University of Pittsburgh
According to Chinese historical records, a group called the White Di who migrated eastward from the Ordos region during the sixth century BCE founded the State of Zhongshan (c. 450296 BCE) during the Warring States Period (476221 BCE). During the late 1970s, the excavation of the tomb of King Cuo (d. ca. 313 BCE) and the Zhongshan capital Lingshou in present-day Hebei Province brought to light thousands of artifacts of various materials, including iron, bronze, jade, gold and silver, pottery, and glass. Although most artifacts belong to the Zhou tradition, many of them incorporated exotic materials and designs.
Decorative motifs borrowed by Zhongshan artisans from the northern nomadssuch as raptor-heads, winged felines, and predatory sceneswere incorporated into artifacts related to various aspects of the life of the Zhongshan elite, from architectural decoration to personal ornament. Zhongshans patronage and use of artifacts bearing these motifs not only indicate close contact with their northern neighbors, but may also suggest a shared cultural background between Zhongshan and the northern nomads. For instance, the glass beads found in Cuos tomb have different chemical compositions, suggesting different places of production. Mortuary materials selected by the Zhongshan compared to those found in contemporary tombs in neighboring regions document the existence of a trade network and raise questions about how glass beads made in the West came to China and why they were found in Zhongshan tombs and not in others.
Glass in Early China: A Substitute for Luxury
Sheri A. Lullo, University of Pittsburgh
Because of the relative paucity of archaeological evidence, glass production in early China has received little attention. Nevertheless, extant glass objects and fragments from Eastern Zhou through the Han period (8th c. BCE2nd c. CE) tombs suggest that the use of the material in its nascent stages of production was strikingly different from that in corresponding developmental periods in both Mesopotamia and the Roman Empire. In this paper, through a comparative analysis with other early glass-producing regions, I will explore the forms and functions of glass in early China.
According to archaeological and chemical analysis, it appears that the use of glass in early China was different from other regions in regard to both function and composition. During the respective stages before the advent of glass-blowing technology, Mesopotamian and Roams glass were considered luxury items. In the region of China, however, glass served two purposes: as a substitute for jade and other precious materials, and as a component in more unusual creations, amalgamated items that suggest a break from official standards. From the wider perspective of their archaeological context, including the tomb layout, objects and identity of occupant including gender and class, this paper will consider conceptions of this material in early China and possible reasons why it did not become a luxury item in and of itself.
Exotic Goods as Mortuary Display in Sui Period Tombs: A Case Study of Li Jingxuns Tomb
Jui-man Wu, University of Pittsburgh
Located in the modern city of Xian, Li Jingxuns tomb (599608 AD) was excavated in 1957. According to her epigraph, Li Jingxun was brought up by her maternal grandmother (Empress of the N. Zhou) and died at the age of nine. Many exotic burial goodsimported from the west along the silk routewere found in her tomb. In this paper, I will examine and analyze the use patterns of burial goodsboth exotic and conventional Chineseas mortuary display in Sui and Tang period tombs of females including those of princesses Yongtai and Fangling Dachang.
Based on an analysis of burial goods, coffin design and epigraphs, I will address the following questions. First, was there a relationship between exotic goods and social status? For instance, Li Jingxun was buried as an "outsider" princess, a status not possible through her father, but through her maternal grandmother, the empress of N. Zhou. Was this an opportunistic choice to make her more marriageable, one based on age, or some other reason? Second, do patterns of display of exotic goods in Sui tombs distinguish ethnic backgrounds? My hypotheses is that western style ornamentsforeign coins and vesselsfunctioned as symbols of high rank and were especially favored by the "non-dynastic-people" of the Sui period from the north. Their taste for and choice of the "exotic" can be documented by examining the contents of their tombs.
Lotus Blooming under the Cross: Interaction between Nestorian Christianity and Buddhism in China
Hongyu Wu, University of Pittsburgh
The Silk Road not only traded goods, but also saw lifestyles, cultures and religious beliefs transformed. The interaction there not only witnessed competition among religions for followers, royal patronage, and material resources, but also a process of borrowing and assimilation. The Silk Road was more than just a conduit along which religions hitched a ride east; it constituted a formative and transformative rite of passage. "No religion emerges unchanged at the end of that journey" (Foltz 1999: 8). This paper will discuss the relationship between the Nestorian Christianity and Buddhism in China in the Tang (618907) and Yuan (12061368) through examination of Nestorian relics and texts discovered in China.
Conspicuous Nestorian borrowings from Buddhism include the combined symbol of cross and lotus found on the Nestorian tablet set up in about 781 and excavated in the 17th century and on Nestorian tombstones dated in Tang and Yuan dynasty discovered recently. The lotus and cross emblem has not been found in past or present Nestorian centers. In addition to the visual materials, nine existing Tang-date Nestorian texts document borrowings from Buddhism. A Buddhist text documented co-operation in translating Buddhist scriptures, Nestorian churches and priests took Buddhist titles, and the terms for Buddha, karma, and dharma, etc., were also used in Nestorian texts. These appropriations document religious transformation in a "foreign" location.
The Life of Byzantine Coins along the Silk Roads
Annie Krieg, University of Pittsburgh
This paper will investigate Byzantine solidi and what their study can tell us about the cross-cultural contact and exchange along the silk roads. Most coins discovered in Central Asia and China either in burials or found circumstantially in excavations were produced in an era when the Chinese monetary system was not well established (approximately the sixth through eighth centuries CE). Many coins show evidence of piercing after their initial manufacture, signifying their use as ornamentation or jewelry. Coins also possibly traveled such great distances as payment for silk. Their location in burials and use as monetary payment further indicate that these coins were a valuable commodity for Central and East Asian communities. Here I investigate the appeal of these foreign coins to the Chinese and how the aesthetics of the Byzantine solidi were appropriated in Central Asian art, most notably in the bracteates and imitations. I will first devote some attention to distinctive numismatic terminology and the minting process as related to use. After attention to the history and general stylistic features of the Byzantine solidi, I will investigate specific finds of Byzantine coins in tombs in China. This will lead to a consideration of the local production, cultural significance, and stylistic characteristics of the Central Asian bracteates and their imitations in China and their significance in settings beyond the site of their manufacture and commercial use.
Session 16: Urban Lifeworlds and the Everyday: New Approaches to the Modern Experience
Organizer: Angel Lu, Rutgers University
Chair: Haiping Yan, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussants: Xudong Zhang, New York University; Haiping Yan, University of California, Los Angeles
Keywords: literature and cinema, China, late 19th and 20th century, discourse vs. experience of the modern, system vs. lifeworld, elitism vs. ordinary culture, urban consciousness, urban everyday life.
From the New Novel (xin xiao-shuo) of the late Ching to May Fourth New Literature (xin wen-xue), there was, under the guise of vernacularization, an intellectualization of literature. Literature as such, rather than registering the immediate experiences of modernity, became a mouthpiece of modern intellectual or ideological discourses. This historical background has had a significant impact on the study of modern Chinese literature and culture, which, to this day, devotes most of its energies to elite literary and intellectual practices.
This panel reflects a recent turn in the field of literary and cultural studies toward the study of concrete experiences of modernity. It looks at literary and cinematic texts as a deflection of the immediate experiences of the modern within prevalent formal traditions and dominant modes of cultural production. We pay particular attention to everyday experiences that do not relate directly to grand historical or political events, but which actually register the change of consciousness at a much deeper level.
Alex des Forges supplements the usual focus of cinema study with attention to the cinematic experience rather than the actual cinematic products in the late Ching and early Republican periods. Angel Lu examines a particular kind of modernism which celebrates the petty urbanite (xiao shimin) lifeworld as the critical response to modernity. Finally, Jie Lu interprets the national experience of China in the 1990s as the experience of the urban everyday. In each case, the aim is to show the specific characteristics which give the experience of urban everyday life recognizable form.
The Cinematic Mode in Shanghai: 18901935
Alexander des Forges, University of Massachusetts, Boston
In our contemporary imagination of Shanghai, the city is inextricably linked with the movies, not only because it served as the setting for so many classics of the 1920s and 30s, but also because Shanghai was the first city of Chinese cinema throughout the late Qing and early Republican period. What may be less obvious, however, is the extent to which the movie-going experience changed radically between 1895 and 1935; and furthermore, the significance of literary figures and tropes in the construction of a cinematic mode of consumption that would take concrete form in the films themselves and in spectators approaches to them only towards the end of this period. This paper investigates three key conventions of 1930s cinema: the viewing of a lighted screen by spectators who themselves are in the dark; the use of cross-cutting techniques to heighten spectatorial involvement; and the central place given interactions between spectacle and spectators. These three tropes are now closely associated with the cinematic experience by most critics, but in Shanghai they are first introduced in literary texts and only later adopted in cinemas. This paper asks first, how this transfer from one type of cultural production to another could take place; and second, to what extent it is linked to Shanghais central role in the early twentieth-century Chinese media-sphere.
Petty Urbanite Lifeworld: Zhang Ailings Response to Modernity
Angel Lu, Rutgers University.
According to the common connotations of the term during the Republican period, the petty urbanite (xiao shimin) is a category of people that, although residing in the city, are alienated from both the social processes of modernization and the project of cultural modernity. Yet this category of people, more than any other group, constitutes the true crowd of the urban lifeworld. Zhang Ailing (19201995), by declaring the petty urbanite lifeworld as her favorite city experience and her chosen point of view, challenges the discourses of "modernity" that marginalize this important mode of urban existence.
This paper observes that the petty urbanite "Shanghairen" portrayed in Zhangs novels and essays are "urban" in a very true sensetheir mode of existence being the result of a long history of pre-modern merchant capitalism in the lower Yangtze and other regions of China. It is an urban culture very distinct from that of the modern metropolis embodying the spirit of modern, industrial capitalism.
The paper proposes that Zhangs investment in the petty urbanite lifeworld of Shanghai is a double-edged response to modernity: on one hand it is more advanced than the most moderns in the recognition of the "human" face of money and the celebration of the innocent, healthy appetite for material and sensual satisfactions; on the other hand it is "reactionary" by questioning the meaning and relevance of the modern discoursesuniversal nationalism, abstract individualism, among manyto the urban lifeworld. The result is a quintessential modernist response to modernity.
Public Space, Urban Everyday: Reading Qiu Huadongs Beijing Fiction
Jie Lu, University of the Pacific
The paper examines how the emergence of public space created by economic reform, globalization and urbanization affects everyday life in a city (Beijing) so patently poised between "modern" and "traditional," leading to the formation of new urban consciousness and cultural dominance. Chinas urbanization that started in the early 1980s gained momentum in the 1990s. This rapid and intense urbanization has changed the urban landscape and created a new and different public space of thousands of restaurants, hotels, and shopping plazas. The space in the form of restaurants and department stores did in fact exist before, even in Maos period. Yet it was on such a small scale that it did not have any serious cultural and existential significance in urban everyday life and culture. Thus the rapid emergence of public space in the 1990s has not only changed the basic structure of everyday life in the city but has also given rise to a new sense of urbanity and pushed urban culture to the center of the cultural mainstream. The urban experience is replacing the rural one to represent Chinas national experience. I will examine specifically, through a reading of Qiu Huadongs fiction, urban, cultural configurations, and how the emergence of new public space effected the cultural transformation and everyday life. Seen in a broader context, the dominance of urban culture in the 1990s reflects a social reformation marked by the rise of middle class. I would also argue that urban fiction both represents and contributes to the cultural transformation and formation of a new urban sensibility.
Session 17: The Nature of Culture: Collecting and Conceptualizing "Chinese" Natural History
Organizer and Chair: Jennifer G. Purtle, University of Chicago
Discussant: Kathleen Ryor, Carleton College
Unlike many collectible objects, natural history specimens are distinguished by their lack of human facture. In this sense, the material cultural status of such specimens at the time of their creation is unclear. Less ambiguous is the entry of such specimens into the field of material culture when subject to human processes of evaluation and appreciation like, and often derived from, those that manmade artifacts undergo. This process of acculturation permits natural history specimens to circulate in the material cultural field, heightens their value for display, and opens them to interpretations unencumbered by discourses of intentionality.
Natural history in China has been the subject of relatively little scholarship. Consequently, this panel seeks to expand understanding of Chinese natural history by exploring the reception and exhibition of specimens of Chinese natural history across the longue durée in China, interculturally within East Asia, and beyond. This panel examines four reception contexts of Chinese natural history, those of: Song-Ming literati; 18th-century Kyoto Sinophiles; 19th-century Shanghai intellectuals of several nationalities; and 20th21st-century Chinese and foreign scientists. Despite the temporal differences of these contexts, the contiguities of interpretive manipulation, particularly collectors expressions of their own relation to the past and to "Chineseness," as they understood it, are striking. This panel thus focuses on the ways in which natural history specimens from China were interpreted, displayed, and represented to evoke an essentialist "Chinese" nature, a culturally-specific rather than a biologically-adaptive environmental past.
Conceptualizing Nature and Antiquity: Rock Collecting in Mid- and Late-Imperial China
Yun-Chiahn Chen, University of Chicago
This paper examines rock collecting as an antiquarian practice in China during the Song and subsequent dynasties. Like manmade antique objects, collectable rocks were highly aestheticized by Chinese literati antiquarians in reconstituting "lost origins," whether cultural or natural. Manuals and catalogues for rock collections, such as Rock Manual of Clouds and Forests and Rock Catalogue from the Xuanhe Hall, were produced, in a format similar to those for antique objects, to prescribe cultural and aesthetic value for these natural specimens. Governed by the notion of an idealized origin, collectable rocks, therefore, embody a crossover between nature and artifice.
Beyond the urge to collect detached nature in artificial, manmade environments, an urge intensified by the increasing urbanization in Chinese society during this period, the role of collectable rocksas both natural and artificial objectsin Chinese cultural history should also be understood in two contexts. Firstly, the micro-macrocosmic relationship between rocks and mountains provided a physical, as well as metaphysical, foundation for Chinese antiquarians to visualize and romanticize nature through collectable rocks. Secondly, the miniature scale of collectable rocks creates objecthood, a condition under which they become independent from anonymous, contiguous rock, to enter literati material culture as named, individual objects. In conclusion, interpretive parallels between rocks and antique objects elucidate parallels between nature and antiquity viewed from the perspective of Chinese antiquarianism: both were ultimate, however, lost origins, approachable only through their collectable fragments.
Recreating China: Early Modern Japanese Visions of Chinese Natural Objects
Hans Bjarne Thomsen, University of Chicago
During the eighteenth century, Japanese intellectuals became profoundly affected by the wave of interest in evidential research (kôshôgaku, kaozhengxue) that entered from the continent. In contrast to the Zhu Xi School of Neo-Confucian thought promoted by the Shogunate, the new school of thought held that the intervening commentaries and analyses of thinkers had corrupted the thoughts and words of ancient sages. In order to understand the pure intent of the ancients, it was necessary to return to the original text. This new school of Confucian philosophy came to influence a number of aspects of eighteenth-century Japanese culture: Japanese poets came to favor Tang or earlier poets as their models, calligraphers championed older clerical or seal scripts, and painters returned to the study of Chinese paintings and to direct observation of natural objects imported from China.
The fifty paintings of the Rokuonji Ensemble, painted by Itô Jakuchû (17161800) for the Library of the Rokuonji Temple in Kyoto, recreated a "Chinese" realm through their depictions of natural objects from China. Informed partly by direct observation of objects and partly by Chinese paintings, Jakuchûs paintings created a space that was pregnant with symbolism for the evidential research-dominated Sinophile salon that met within its rooms. For the members of this salon, the natural objects depicted were not simply beautiful, foreign, or exotic, but were powerful cultural symbols that conveyed and recreated the particular and potent past of the Chinese sages within a Kyoto temple.
Believing Is Seeing: Late-19th-Century Chinese Representations of Museums
Lisa Claypool, Lewis and Clark College
Representations of museums in late-nineteenth century newspapers and travelogues showed their readers sites of spectacle: vitrines and cages holding dragon-headed sheep, gigantic carp, towering camels. In such printed pictures, the museum functioned as a space for recognition of the fantastic yet familiarof the creatures recorded in the Classic of Mountains and Seas (Shanhai jing) and featured in imported ukiyo-e printsnewly organized and presented. Yet for many museum visitors, the historical and cultural status of the naturalia (wu) on display was not quite so clear. The museum was understood as a place to see the world as it was, not as depicted in illustrations. Pictures, as Kang Youwei put it in a discussion of museums, were less efficacious to knowing a thing than looking at it firsthand. The natural world to be found in the museum thus was one entirely new, and since China lacked its own museum, the forum itself posed a certain crisis in its representation of "China."
This paper will look at diaries, travel accounts, and newspaper articles to try to understand how the museum was understood at the turn of the century. It will consider visitor response to museums in Japan and Europe, with an eye to how such discourse set the stage for the establishment of the first Chinese museum, the Nantong Bowuyuan, established in 1905. Finally, it will consider the competition between the Nantong Bowuyuan and the two colonial museums in Shanghai to describe, definitively, the natural landscape of China.
Fossils and Nation in Manchuria
Ruth Rogaski, Vanderbilt University
In 1999, the National Geographic proclaimed to the world that the missing link between dinosaurs and birds had been found in Chinas Liaoning Province. Archaeoraptor liaoningensis proved to be an embarrassing hoax perpetrated by a Dongbei peasant, but its "discovery" highlighted the importance of northeast Asias fossils in world paleontology. This paper explores how fossilsas natural objects extremely susceptible to manipulation and interpretationhave been used in the creation of both a natural history and a national identity for the politically contested region of "Manchuria."
Fossilized animals and plants are abundant in the rocky hills between Jinzhou and Chengde. This paper summarizes how scientists from the U.S., Russia, Japan, and China made their reputations in the twentieth century by collecting, shaping, and displaying these objects into publicly recognized samples of the earths earliest species of birds and angiosperms. Nation, culture, and natural history became directly linked with the founding of Manchukuo when Japanese scientists launched highly publicized expeditions to the region in search of new specimens, a project that would help legitimize Manchukuo as a modern, scientific undertaking. After 1949, Chinese paleontologists used fossils to place a decidedly Chinese mark on Manchurias nature, giving names such as Sinosaur-opteryx prima (Zhonghua niao) and Confuciusoris sanctus (Kongzi niao) to new discoveries. This paper concludes with a survey of fossil displays in contemporary northeast Chinese museums, displays which represent Manchuria as a site of rich natural resources that has historically always been Chinese.
Session 18: What is Medieval Literature?
Organizer: Zeb Raft, Harvard University
Chair and Discussant: Stephen Owen, Harvard University
Keywords: China, literature, manuscript culture, textual transmission.
This panel argues that the study of medieval Chinese literature constitutes its own discipline because of a specific historical contingency: its textual sources.
The textual conditions of the medieval period differ from the ancient period, in which the circulation of written texts was highly limited, and the early-modern, in which printing technology ensured easy dissemination. The culture of the paper manuscript presents an awkward conjunction of textual abundance and instability, and this situation has important consequences for the modern researcher.
The instability of medieval texts gives rise to a plurality of variant texts. This suggests that the works had a life outside of the page, within the realm of spoken language, and that our received texts are only particular instantiations of something that existed virtually. This abundance of textual variants would, however, seem to hinder the practice of close reading that is the cornerstone of many modern interpretive strategies, as well as traditional biographical analysis.
The abundance of medieval texts, facilitated by the use of paper, fosters an acute relationship of text and context. Individual texts cannot simply be extricated from the sources that convey them, nor can they be accepted simply on the terms in which the sources present them. This balance of text and source complicates, even confounds, common approaches to literary genre and historical significance.
In short, medieval literature is viewed only through the prism of medieval textual sources, and this panel aims to explore the implications of this issue.
Tang Tales in Song Texts
Sarah M. Allen, University of California, Berkeley
Tang dynasty stories (xiaoshuo) are preserved in a number of disparate sources. The vast majority of these sources date from the Song dynasty or later, placing a gap of at least a century between the date of composition and the earliest surviving edition of a story. When more than one text exists for a given story, there are invariably differences between them. Some of these differences are due to the mechanics of manuscript transmission. But, more significantly, the editors and copyists who transcribed Tang stories also made deliberate changes in the texts: they filled gaps, deleted redundancies, and changed the diction of many stories. They also abridged and excerpted from longer stories when a shorter text was desired; some of the most important sources are Southern Song encyclopedias (leishu) that reproduce only fragments of stories. The degree of variation among texts is strong evidence that the stories as we have them today do not represent "Tang" texts, but instead texts that originated in the Tang, and have undergone countless unknown and untraceable alterations since then.
My paper explores the significance of these circumstances of the stories preservation for our reading of the stories themselves. The pervasiveness of variation reveals that Song editors regarded them as material that they were free to amend and improve. In reading these stories we must recognize that we can access them only through the lens of the much later compilations that preserved, but also changed them.
Tang Poetry in Tang Manuscripts
Christopher Nugent, Harvard University
As Tang poetry exists today primarily as a set of standardized printed texts, it is easy to forget that these texts have a long history that has removed them substantially from their original context. Few people in the Tang ever read a printed poem; all of them experienced poetry at least partially as an oral art form. The oral aspect of Tang poetry, by its very nature transitory, comes down to us only second-hand, in accounts of recitation practices and hints of oral composition and transmission. Poetry was, of course, written down in the Tang as well, though in a form far different from the printed texts of today. The Tang was a manuscript culture. Each instance of reproduction of a given text thus entailed the possibility of alteration and variance. Put simply, poetic texts in the Tang were fluid, with changes both intentional and unintentional introduced at almost every step of transmission.
My paper begins by discussing some accounts of written transmission in the Tang taken from such sources as anecdote collections and prefaces to poetry collections. I will then look closely at a few of the actual poetic texts that survive from the Tang, i.e. manuscript copies of poems from the caves at Dunhuang, and discuss the degree of variation that those texts demonstrate. The picture that emerges is one far different from the typical picture we have of Tang poetry today, but crucial for understanding what Tang poetry was for people of the Tang itself.
Literary Sources of the Han Inscription
Suh-Jen Yang, University of Washington
The inscription is a long neglected genre with a highly formal and rigid structure written in stereotyped language. I will explore certain literary features it contains such as trisyllabic, tetrasyllabic and penta-syllabic line structure, Chi ci style, and tales of immortality in the Han inscription and to draw scholars attention to these indispensable sources of Chinese literature.
The differences between the unrhymed tetrasyllabic structure in the preface, the rhymed tetra syllabic lines in the eulogy section in the inscription compared to those in the Shi jing will first be discussed.
The trisyllabic lines in the inscription combined with those in state ritual songs, Han TLV mirror inscription, Han folk songs, Han rhapsodies, and also in the works of Later Han writer Cai Yong will be the focal point in studying the development of the trisyllabic poems over time. Understanding the penta-syllabic structure in the Han inscription aids us in investigating the origin and early development of the pentasyllabic poem in Chinese literature. The Chu ci structure employed shows the authors rhetorical consciousness.
Three inscriptions with tales of immortality will be introduced and discussed with the following questions in mind: How did the concept of immortality develop in the Han period, especially among the ordinary people? What is the historical importance of these three inscriptions in the history of Chinese immortality tales? Why were these legendary figures recorded in the media of a stele inscription in the first place?
Sources for Medieval Four-Syllable Poetry
Zeb Raft, Harvard University
My paper will examine the implications of one key source for medieval four-syllable poetry, the Wenguan cilin. This 7th-century anthology, originally an enormous 1,000 juan, has been reconstituted gradually since the late Qing dynasty from fragments in a Japanese library. It currently measures 27 juan, 5 of which contain four-syllable poetry. Most of the works contained in the Wenguan cilin were previously lost or existing only in excerpts. Do these works need to be treated differently than those that have been passed down in other sources? Can we simply add the poems preserved here to the category "four-syllable poetry," or is such a category a problematic historical abstraction when its sources are not duly considered? I will contrast the structure and content of this work with other Tang and Song compendia in an attempt to draw significant connections between our sources and our texts of four-syllable poetry.
Session 19: Manchu Acculturation: New Sources for Studying Change in the Qing
Organizer: Alan Sweeten, Independent Scholar
Chair: Susan Mann, University of California, Davis
Discussant: Evelyn S. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh
Keywords: acculturation, China, Manchus, gender, history, language, medicine, Qing, tombs.
Scholarship on the Qing period has recently moved from arguments that the Manchus were fully acculturated to newer interpretations that emphasize not only the survival of a separate ethnic identity, but its importance in governing a multiethnic empire. Panelists investigate essentialist aspects of Manchu ethnicity as seen in medical, linguistic, marital, and burial practices to evaluate Manchu strategy and success.
Hanson finds that the medical knowledge translated into Manchu in the early Qing reveals basic concerns that most mattered to the ruling Manchus. They also incorporated Chinese medicine as well as therapeutic practices into their already syncretic tradition of steppes herbs and shamanistic rituals. Kims focus is on state-directed Manchu language education during the Yongzheng reign when many Manchus were losing their native fluency or purposefully becoming Chinese monolinguals. Official efforts to prevent this shift raise the issue of how emperors prioritized and supported the Manchu language. Wang looks at the issue of identity from the vantage point of Manchu-Chinese intermarriage. Qianlong period archival legal cases involving marriage issues reveal the cultural ramifications of a bifurcated policy that permitted Manchu men more freedom than women to intermarry with Chinese. Cultural mingling appears to have had gendered formations. Sweetens study of the Manchu tombs is a comparison of the early ones in the Northeast with the Shunzhi emperors. Using tomb structures and dated epigraphical data, he traces Manchu adoption of Chinese imperial symbols. The preservation of Manchu elements in tomb designs and rites was deliberately subtle, but nonetheless one important survival tactic.
Negotiation through Translation: The Significance of Manchu Medical Sources
Marta E. Hanson, University of California, San Diego
What medical knowledge did the Manchus consider important enough to translate into Manchu? Scholars have mined Manchu translations of European medicine for insights into the Jesuit-Chinese encounter, but have marginalized the more extensive efforts to translate Chinese medical texts into Manchu. This bias toward translations of scientific texts from European languages into Manchu conceals the greater effort to translate the Chinese technical literature into Manchu during the early Qing. Similarly, the humanistic orientation of scholars in both Qing history and Manchu studies has contributed to neglect of the scientific literature in Manchu. Scholarship on the Jesuit translations of European medicine into Chinese and Manchu reveals a transition during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from an emphasis on medical theory to practice.
This shift in emphasis was arguably integral to a more pragmatic orientation of the Manchus. The seventy extant medical texts in Manchu date over a span of more than two hundred years from the Shunzhi to the Tongzhi Emperor. Although the Manchus did not have a medical system of their ownrelying on the natural drugs and shamanistic practices of the nomadic cultures of the steppesonce they assumed control of China, they encountered a wide range of therapies in Chinese, European, and Tibetan medical texts. By selecting certain subjects over others, they adapted Chinese medical knowledge to their own therapeutic priorities. This process of negotiation and acculturation can be seen clearly through a combination of Kangxis own writings on medicine and extant medical texts in Manchu from his reign.
Manchu Language Education and Elite Identities in the Yongzheng Reign
Loretta E. Kim, Harvard University
The Qing emperors, in addition to their primary roles as sovereigns of a polyethnic state, were members and representatives of the Manchu ethnic group. The Kangxi and Qianlong emperors particularly advanced the cultivation and preservation of Manchu institutions and heritage. In addition to specific governmental policies, they sponsored scholarly and artistic enterprises to define and standardize elements of Manchu identity such as language.
I will examine the less-studied "Manchu ethnic policies" of the Yongzheng reign and concentrate on the states position on Manchu language education and the execution of such ideals in the establishment and improvement of relevant institutions.
The Role of Manchu Women in Acculturation: A View of Their Attitude towards Intermarriage
Shuo Wang, California State University, Stanislaus
Intermarriage is the inevitable consequence of different peoples living close together and, in turn, accelerates the process of acculturation. If one of the ethnic groups is numerically larger than the other, the smaller group usually prohibits intermarriage with the larger group to maintain ethnic identity. During most of the Qing dynasty, the rulers carried out a bifurcated policy on Manchu and Chinese intermarriage: Manchu men were allowed to marry Chinese women while intermarriage between Manchu women and Chinese men was strictly prohibited. In other words, the court secured ethnic boundaries by controlling Manchu womens nuptiality and fertility.
Using the Board of Punishments and Imperial Household Department archival records, and interviews with Manchu women who were born in the early 20th century, this paper will examine how the Manchu society reacted to the court policies regarding Manchu-Chinese intermarriage. I argue that a different level of acculturation between Manchu men and women was responsible for an unbalanced pattern of intermarriage in which men found Chinese women acceptable, but Manchu women were reluctant to marry Chinese. This pattern affected acculturation as a gendered formation. To Manchu men a family with a Chinese wife and/or concubines was a place where two cultures mingled while to Manchu women the family was a bastion in which old traditions and habits were maintained.
Early Manchu Expansion and the Development of Imperial Tombs: Insights from Monuments and Inscriptions
Alan Sweeten, Independent Scholar
As the Manchus arose in the Northeast they built "imperial" tombs for their deceased rulers. After the conquest of China began, the Shunzhi emperor selected his tomb site near Beijing rather than in Mukden where his father (Hung Taiji) and grandfather (Nurhaci) were interred. A new precedent established, the Beijing site became a complex of imperial mausoleums now known as the Qing Eastern Tombs (Qing Dongling). Due to their location, Chinese style, and the Confucian state rites performed there, most contemporary Chinese scholars see these tombs as confirmation of Manchu sinification.
Recent Western scholarship, focusing on political and institutional issues, challenges this sinocentric view of how China affected the Manchus. To date, neither the tombs in the Northeast nor China have been evaluated in light of Manchu identity maintenance and survival. Use of Chinese secondary sources along with primary materials such as the Qing Veritable Records and Collected Statutes provides valuable details, but from an on-site examination of tomb structures and sculptures, especially dated inscriptions on steles, new information helps chart Manchu changes as they expanded outward.
The conquest of China and the assumption of imperial power necessarily reflected the adoption of appropriate status symbols. Central among these were grandiose imperial tombs, which bolstered legitimacy by demonstrating support for an ancestral cult. From the Manchus perspective, the tombs represented an institutional change of sorts that did not require, necessarily, cultural concessions. In fact, it appears that the Manchus subtly yet persistently maintained at their tombs elements important to their own identity.
Session 20: Negotiating Family Values: Parent-Child Relations and the Three Teachings in Imperial China
Organizer: Ping Yao, California State University, Los Angeles
Chair: G. William Skinner, University of California, Davis
Discussants: Anne Behnke Kinney, University of Virginia; G. William Skinner, University of California, Davis
Keywords: religion, women, family, imperial China.
Although anthropologists and historians have long studied the Chinese family system, little has been done on the role of religion in family life, especially on parent-child relations. This panel attempts to explore the impact of the Three Teachings in the interactions between parents and children, by examining life experiences of Chinese women. Weijing Lus case study of "faithful maidens" of the Ming-Qing era challenges the conventional view of the devaluation of daughter in Confucian tradition. She further demonstrates that, even within Confucian families, tension and conflict arose when a daughter chose female fidelity over filial piety, and that parents decisions to respect their daughters aspiration reflects a redefined Confucian value system in the family. On the other hand, as Suzanne Cahills study shows, during the Tang and Five Dynasties period, Daoist daughters who were intent on pursuing religious careers often successfully utilized a variety of strategies to achieve their ends against expressed parental desires. Ping Yaos study on Buddhist mothers presents a more inclusive family value system. Tang epitaphs often credit Buddhist teaching with a womans determination to maintain female chastity and raise her children alone, although a child of a Buddhist mother also faced a dilemma when the mother preferred a Buddhist funeral. Through discussions on parent-child relations from different historical, social, and religious settings, this panel hopes to enhance our understandings of the dynamics of gender relations, family system, and religion from a broad perspective.
Between Filiality and Fidelity: Parent-Daughter Conflict in Late Imperial China
Weijing Lu, University of California, San Diego
This paper explores the interaction and tension in daughter-parent relationships in Chinas late imperial period, focusing on cases of zhennü, or faithful maidensyoung women who refused to marry after the death of a fiance. A daughters decision to remain celibate or to follow her fiancé in death by committing suicide typically was made against the wishes of her parents, and it caused tremendous conflict, resulting in profound distress and trauma for both the daughter and her parents.
The zhennü cases brought the ideal of female fidelity into direct confrontation with that of daughterly duty, both of which were cardinal values in late imperial society. The eventual consent by parents to their daughters uncompromised choice and the praise these women received illustrate that fidelity had become the value with primary social relevance for a woman. But emotional struggle underlay all the dramatic zhennü stories, revealing a deep emotional attachment between parent and daughter, especially between a mother and daughter, thus complicating the common view of the devaluation of the daughter within the Confucian family.
The source material for this study is drawn on biographies of zhennü, including those written by fathers and brothers of the zhennü, as well as the writings of the zhennü themselves. The rich content in both types of documents enables us to enter a realm of daughter-parent relations about which there is much yet to be known.
Girl Trouble: Daoist Daughters and Their Struggles between Filial Piety and Religious Vocation in the Tang Dynasty (618907 C.E.)
Suzanne E. Cahill, University of California, San Diego
This paper studies the lives of a small group of Tang dynasty Daoist women to investigate how they resolve the contradictions between the obligations they owe to their families and their own aspirations to pursue Daoist religious practice. Most of my cases come from Du Guangtings Yongcheng jixian lu (Records of the Assembled Transcendents of the Fortified Walled City), a set of biographies of Daoist religious women, completed around 910 CE. There we see women using various means to negotiate between conflicting demands. On the one hand, the Chinese family system requires that as young children they obey their parents, then that as young women they marry and raise children for the patriline of their husbands. On the other, religious vocations require full-time devotion to Daoist practices and, in some cases, celibacy. The strategies that young women employ to solve their dilemmas are various, and include flight, suicide, and reasoned argument. I am interested in how the historical record shows women formulating and solving their problems and how some of them achieve a successful outcome, the woman survives, is allowed to pursue her religious career, and her family accepts her choice.
Following Mothers Admonition: Buddhist Mothers and Their Children in Tang China
Ping Yao, California State University, Los Angeles
This paper assesses Buddhist influences in parent-child relationships through a close reading of Tang epitaphs for Buddhist mothers. Nearly one-hundred-and-fifty such epitaphs survived, providing us with vivid stories of how these mothers raised their children and how their children reacted to their mothers faith. The majority of the epitaphs, many of them written by the offspring, credited Buddhist faith for the mothers determination to stay widowed and raise their children alone. Moreover, about ten percent of these epitaphs recorded that one or more children of a Buddhist mother followed her admonition and renounced their mundane life to become a Buddhist monk or nun. However, offspring of Buddhist mothers would often face the dilemma of whether or not they should fulfill their mothers deathbed wish of being buried separately from her husband or cremated, as such wishes contradict Confucian practices. In examining the parent-child relationship among families with Buddhist mothers, this paper intends to show that, during the Tang, Buddhism played a powerful role in the shaping of family life and the defining of motherhood.
Session 34: Singing, Fighting, and Recounting: Transmission and Interaction of Religious Traditions with Popular Cultural Forms in China: Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions
Organizer: Shin-yi Chao, Washington University, St. Louis
Chair: Anthony C. Yu, University of Chicago
Discussant: Yuria Mori, Waseda University
Keywords: China, popular religion.
This panel explores the interaction between the religious and other aspects of Chinese popular culture, with an emphasis on literature. It has been eloquently argued by Anthony Yu that in order to understand Chinese literary tradition, we must appreciate the significant role that religion plays. At the same time, influence moves in the other direction: works of literature not only help to diffuse religious beliefs but also enrich their content. To explore this complex interaction, this panel takes four interrelated media: oral-formulaic performance, vernacular fiction, hagiographic accounts, and ritual drama.
Based on her fieldwork on the Dixi oral-formulaic narratives in Anshun, Guizhou Province, Akiko Inaba investigates the aid that the melodic structure provides to the circulation of song-prose narratives on both religious and non-religious occasions. Meir Shahars paper explores the influence of fiction on the mythology of martial arts by examining the legends of Bodhi-dharma (a Buddhist patriarch) and Zhang Sanfeng (a Taoist immortal), who are alleged to have founded, respectively, the two major martial arts schools. Pierre-Henry De Bruyn decodes the ostensibly incomprehensible miracle stories found in hagiographic accounts of the True Warrior (Zhenwu), one of the most prominent deities in the Chinese pantheon. Shin-yi Chaos paper investigates the ritual theater adapted from folklore and performed by Daoist priests at village rituals in Zhenjiang and Henan Provinces in the 1980s, and argues that the religious scenarios actually contributed to the popularity of the operas.
The Melodic Structure of the Prosimetric Type (shizan xi) of the Chinese Song-Prose Narratives: With a Focus on Dixi of Anshun
Akiko Inaba, Waseda University
Based on the promptbooks collected in the field and the tunes sung by actual performers recorded during my fieldwork research, this paper analyzes the melodic structure of song-prose narratives used in Dixi oral-formulaic narratives in Anshun, Guizhou Province. This paper argues that this melodic pattern is significant in transmitting folklore and religious beliefs, two often intermixed categories that contributed to forming a shared popular culture across Chinas vast territory.
As well acknowledged, oral-formulaic performances and texts have played a major role in cultural transmission. A good portion of the Chinese people, those who were illiterate or semi-literate, would have been entirely alienated from literary activities if not for the oral-formulaic traditions.
Religious tunes, such as hymnody and invocations sung at, for example, routine temple activities, exorcist rites, and thanksgiving ceremonies, contribute greatly to the construction of religious perspectives and the consciousness of people. These tunes, as my paper will show, often shared the same structure with the prosimetric narratives.
Two criteria have been promoted to examine song-prose literature: melodic and formal characteristics. Nevertheless, the former has not received deserved scholarly attention. It is my hope that this paper, as it looks into both the melody and syntax, will offer a new perspective from the musical aspect of how these characteristics have contributed to transmission and integration of religious and popular culture in China.
The Mythology of Chinese Martial Arts
Meir Shahar, Tel Aviv University
Chinese martial-arts are commonly divided into two schools: internal and external. The former is sometimes attributed to the Taoist immortal, Zhang Sanfeng, who supposedly resided in a Taoist temple on Mt. Wudang, Hubei; the latter is commonly ascribed to a Buddhist saint, Bodhidharma (Damo), who, according to tradition, resided at the Shaolin Monastery on Mt. Song, Henan. The two schools professed histories share a perfect symmetry of directions (internal and external), mountains (Wudang and Songshan), religions (Taoism and Buddhism), and saints (Taoist immortal and Buddhist patriarch). This symmetry casts doubt on their historical validity. The martial-arts narrative seems to be the product of a mythic imagination, which fits Levi-Strausss structural analysis. The elements of directions, mountains, religions, and saints, appear to have been constructed to fit in a harmonious structure.
When was this mythic structure constructed, and how was it propagated? In this paper I will address this question through an examination of the earliest extant manual that attributes martial-techniques to Bodhi-dharma. Titled Sinews-Transformation Classic (Yijin jing), this manual is a seventeenth-century forgery, presented as if it had been authored by the Indian saint a thousand years earlier and translated from his native Sanskrit into Chinese. Intimately related to late-Ming fiction, its protagonists, Li Jing, Yue Fei, Niu Gao, and even Bodhidharma himself, can be shown to have been borrowed from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century novels. From this perspective the emergence of martial-arts mythology was part of the late-Ming evolution of Chinese mythology at large.
How to Understand Some Ostensibly Incomprehensible Miracle Stories of Zhenwu?
Pierre-Henry De Bruyn, University of Rochelle
As one of the main Chinese gods of the Taoist pantheon, Zhenwu (the True Warrior) has a long history. Known from antiquity as a stellar god of the North called Xuanwu (the Dark Warrior), he was originally represented accompanied by a turtle, and finally with a snake coiled around a turtle, During the Song dynasty, he was identified with a Taoist monk of the Wudang (Warrior worthy) mountains, located in the northwest of Hubei. Officially recognized by the Emperor Yuan Chengzong (12951307) as Xuantian Shangdi (High Emperor of the Dark Heaven), Zhenwu was later adopted by the imperial clan of the Ming dynasty as the holy protector of their family because they saw him as the 82nd reincarnation of Laozi. During the Qing dynasty his name was mentioned in many schools of martial arts as well as popular novels. This illustrates the endurance of his popularity among the Chinese people.
The Taoist canon contains a hagiographic record of one-hundred-and-four miracles attributed to Zhenwu and monographs from Mt. Wudang also afford many similar stories. Many of these stories, however, are not only completely unreliable from a historiographical point of view, but seem on the surface to be incomprehensible. Analyzing such examples, we will reflect on the ways in which they offer information of great importance for examining, in a coherent fashion, the place of Zhenwu in the Taoist pantheon, as Livia Kohn suggested at the end of her introduction to the Daoist Handbook (Brill: 2000).
Ritual Theater in a Daoist Framework in 1980s Rural China
Shin-yi Chao, Washington University, St. Louis
This paper explores the interaction between religious practices and popular literature through ritual theater which, in some cases, has been integrated into the liturgy and in others, allows greater ritual participation of believers. This dynamic actually contributes to the popularity of the drama and illustrates the nexus of tradition and contemporary relevance. To investigate this process, I use two case studies of dramatic adaptations of subjects in popular literature: Woman Meng-Jiang, who broke down the Great Wall by her laments, and Princess Miaoshen/Guanyin, who reached Buddahood. Both were performed during the Qing dynasty, declined after 1949, and have been revived since the 1980s. The materials are from the "Studies in Chinese Ritual, Theater and Folklore" series, edited by Wang Chiu-kuei.
In villages in the Shaoxing area, Zhejiang Province, Daoist priests performed the opera of the Woman Meng-Jiang at funeral ceremonies for those who died of unnatural causes. In addition to the exorcist functions that the stage performance serves, the falling-wall plot has been integrated in a particularly local manner with the ritual called "Attacking the wall [of Hell]" (Dacheng).
The second case study is the puppet play of the Miaoshan/Guanyin story performed by Daoist priests in Chenhe, Hunan Province, during the local Offering Ritual (jiao). Particular props used on the stage would be prepared by the audience, collected by the troupe before the performance, and returned to the audience via Guanyin as part of the plot. These props then were taken home and became tokens of Guanyins blessing.
Session 35: Emperors as Collectors and Connoisseurs
Organizer and Chair: R. Kent Guy, University of Washington
Discussants: Julia K. Murray, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Marsha S. Haufler, University of Kansas
Keywords: China, emperors, art, connoisseurship.
In China, emperors did not have to become collectors in order to gain respect for their cultural attainments. They could, for instance, be patrons of living artists, or produce their own calligraphy or poetry. What are we then to make of emperors who did publicly amass collections of prized masterpieces? What were they trying to say about themselves or their dynasties? What was the impact of their actions on collecting and connoisseurship outside the court?
This panel takes up the cases of three of Chinas most famous imperial collectors, Huizong (r. 11001125) of the Song, Wenzong (r. 13281331) of the Yuan, and Qianlong (r. 17361796) of the Qing. Important works survive from each of these collections, many bearing imperial inscriptions. In the case of Huizong and Qianlong we also have detailed catalogues of their collections. Wenzong and Qianlong were members of conquest dynasties, not Han Chinese, complicating their relationship with the art world of their time. By looking at each of these emperors as a collector and connoisseur, we hope to stimulate discussion of central issues about both Chinese connoisseurship and the imperial institution in China. Because of intriguing similarities and differences in the cases, each paper will gain from being presented with the others.
We will keep each paper to twenty minutes to allow a full hour for discussion, starting with our two discussants, both of whom have done work on the connections between emperors and art in China.
Huizong and the Catalogues of His Collections
Patricia Ebrey, University of Washington
The catalogues of Huizongs painting, calligraphy, and antiquities collections have all survived, and together they list over 9,000 items, divided by genre and artist. These catalogues are well known to art historians, who use them as reference works for lists of objects extant at the time, biographies of Song artists, and critical standards of the period. But they also deserve consideration in their own right. What were Huizongs goals in having these catalogues prepared? What were his models? Who did the work for him? How did Huizong interact with his curators?
To answer these questions, this paper draws on the three catalogues and the collected works of four of Huizongs curators, erudite specialists in one or more of the fields of calligraphy, inscribed bronzes, or painting. I will show that the catalogues were modeled on book catalogues and drew from two decades of curatorial research into the objects in the collection, done primarily by officials with appointments in the Imperial Library. At the same time they reflect Huizongs personal goals. In large part because of Huizongs politically-charged relationship with the cultural elite of his day, Huizong wanted to demonstrate that his collections were the greatest ever assembled. He also took advantage of the opportunity cataloguing offered to elevate the standing of some of his favorite artists.
Connoisseurship and Identity at the Court of Yuan Wenzong
Ankeney Weitz, Colby College
Yuan Wenzong (Tugh Temur; reigned 13281329 and 13291331) was one of the most prominent imperial connoisseurs active between Song Huizongs and Qing Qianlongs reigns. Wenzong sometimes even fancied himself a latter-day Huizong. However, he also prefigured Qianlong in his use of artistic activities, especially in his collaborative effort with a group of loyal Chinese officials working in his imperial library (the Kuizhangge) to craft a Sino-Mongolian imperial identity by means of the deployment and interpretation of antique Chinese paintings at court. On the one hand, Wenzong and his scholars sought to create a façade of Confucian righteousness; in a number of public documents circulated during and after Wenzongs reign, Chinese scholars represented this particular emperors penchant for painting as a sign of his sincere moral integrity. On the other hand, several of the Chinese paintings presented to Wenzong in his library now bear inscriptionswritten at Wenzongs commandendorsing a specific Mongolian worldview.
This paper argues that Wenzongs imperial identity was shaped through the concatenation of Chinese and foreign emblems. His officials finely nuanced and multi-layered interpretations of antique paintings suggest that, for Wenzong and his artistic advisors, connoisseurship provided a means to assert a unique multi-ethnic imperial presence.
Knowledge and Action on Display: Philology and Politics in Emperor Qianlongs Connoisseurship
Chin-sung Chang, Yale University
The emperor Qianlong (r.173696) amassed the huge imperial collection of paintings that became the nucleus of major museums in China, Taiwan, and elsewhere. Qianlong, however, has long been described as a self-indulgent and unscrupulous collector and connoisseur of paintings because of his relentless acquisitions of private collections as well as his many flawed evaluations and misattributions in authenticating masterworks of the past. Qianlongs excessive use of seal imprints and superscriptions on ancient paintings further helped to establish such an image.
This paper will both challenge this misrepresentation of Qianlong as an incompetent connoisseur and also argue that the rudiments of his connoisseurship were in fact largely based on textual philology. His authentication of paintings often relied heavily on the methodological vigor of kaozheng (evidential research) studies. Furthermore, his connoisseurship was part of his extensive yet thorough inquiries into the meaning of history, inquiries that were deeply related to the self-fashioning and strengthening of his emperorship. A fine example is Qianlongs political judgment of Herding Goats attributed to Li Di (ca. 1100after 1197) that mirrored the court politics of the 1780s, a time when he created discourses of absolute loyalty to Manchu rule. Through investigations of various cases of the kind, this paper will explore how Qianlongs philological erudition and historical sensibility in connoisseurship served to enhance his imperial power and authority.
Session 36: Making a Better State: Improving Governance in Contemporary China
Organizer: Kenneth W. Foster, University of British Columbia
Chair and Discussant: Margaret M. Pearson, University of Maryland
Keywords: China, state, bureaucracy, governance, reform.
Often lost amidst reports of corruption, political decay, and the alleged retreat of the Party-State in the face of advancing marketization is the fact that, over the past two decades, in some important ways the Chinese Party-State has actually become better able to govern economic and social affairs. This should not be surprising, for over the years Chinese reformers have engaged in a multi-pronged effort to re-make the government administration and develop new and improved governance structures and mechanisms. This is a vast area that is ripe for new research.
The papers that form this panel consider several key issues regarding the attempt by Chinese leaders to craft a revitalized system of governmental administration that can undergird the countrys continuing transition away from state socialism. Lance Guos is broadest in scope. He examines the role and fate of party organizations in the effort to improve and strengthen the organs of government, asking if we might be witnessing the decline of party organizations as reformers focus on strengthening the government administration. Kun-Chin Lin looks at the central-local dimension of governance, tracing how the central government has sought to improve its ability to ensure that local officials faithfully implement centrally-financed investment projects. Lastly, Ken Foster explores an initiative in the city of Yantai in which city leaders developed and implemented a new program aimed at improving the quality of services offered by government agencies to the public. By highlighting three key relationshipsbetween party and government, central and local authorities, and government and the publicthe panel sheds new light on Chinas transformation.
Please note: We have designed a panel with three paper presentations and one discussant with the aim of leaving more time for audience participation and discussion than is normally the case. The authors will end their presentations with some larger implications and some provocative questions intended to stimulate audience participation. In addition, each author will read the panels other papers ahead of time and be prepared to comment on them.
Vanguard or Rearguard? Party Organizations and Chinas New Governance System
Lance Guo, Bowdoin College
In discussing "governance" in the context of China, one cannot escape the pervasive party organizations both within and outside of the government. This situation poses a challenge to the task of fostering improved forms of governance in the state administration. For while improving governance entails restructuring the government bureaucracy and promoting modern methods of public administration, these efforts do not involve party organizations. So although reformers have sought to re-shape the government so as to make it more technocratic and better suited for the task of managing a marketizing economy, the thorny question of what role party organizations should play has remained unresolved.
This paper will focus on two questions. First, precisely what is the role of party organizations in the effort to craft a new and improved system of governance? Are they a drag on reform or are they in the "vanguard," as the CCP might claim? Second, are the efforts to improve the functioning of the government leaving party organizations in a marginalized position? In other words, as the old system of governance is being gradually transformed, are party organizations succeeding in digging out a niche for themselves that is consistent with the larger reform program? The paper will examine these questions by looking at several different cases. The tentative argument is that market-oriented reforms are inevitably transforming the party from a "vanguard" position to a rearguard onefocusing more on providing support to the government. And while party organizations indeed pose limits to rationalization of state bureaucracy in the short run, there is at least a hint of an emerging synthesis between the government and the party.
With Strings Attached: Improving the Administration of State-Financed Investment Projects in the PRC
Kun-Chin Lin, University of California, Berkeley
Since the mid-1990s, the central government in China has gained increasing shares of total tax revenue and control over banks and the stock markets. In contrast, local governments have suffered fiscal impoverishment and have become more dependent on central state redistribution to accomplish their basic public administrative tasks. Given this opportunity, elite reformers in Beijing have sought to implement radical changes in the ways central outlays are being spent on the ground level, with an eye toward improved monitoring, transparency, and accountability of state agents. If successful, these changes could redefine the fiscal basis of regional economic development as well as the general quality of administration across Chinese localities.
Drawing from recent interviews of top officials in Beijing and previously classified publications, I identify emergent patterns in the authority relations and procedures for state-financed investment projects. At the national level, the State Council, Ministry of Finance and the National Peoples Congress have formulated an agenda to overhaul the categorization and oversight mechanisms for revenue streams to local states. Successive bureaucratic streamlining has also reduced access points for localities to lobby for large-scale fixed-capital investments. Major fiscal responsibilities have received further delineation and centralization, including the transfer of the provision of education, medical services, and social welfare to higher level governments. Finally, the central state has limited the alternatives for local states to fundraise independently. It continues to prohibit local state bond issuance, and recently passed a centrally administered fuel tax that will undermine the local states prerogative to charge fees and levies on highways.
A New Call to Serve the People: Improving the Provision of Government Services at the Local Level
Kenneth W. Foster, University of British Columbia
Relatively overlooked by outside observers, over the past decade or so local governments in China have engaged in various efforts to improve the quality of the services offered by government agencies. Whether the issue is the processing of business licenses, the collection of garbage, or the investigation of citizen complaints, there has arisen a new focus on the idea that government should actually serve the people, providing useful services efficiently and fairly. A string of initiatives along these lines has emerged from the policymaking core of the Party-State, all loosely under the rubric of creating a modern system of public administration. And various local governments have both implemented such programs and experimented with initiatives of their own. This is an intriguing strand of the Chinese reforms that deserves attention, for the effort to transform the behavior of government agencies towards the public is at the heart of the struggle to transform Chinas system of governance.
This paper will explore this effort. It will first assess the initiatives that have emerged from the central Party-State. This will provide the background for the second part of the paper: an in-depth investigation of a path-breaking program to improve government services in the city of Yantai in Shandong Province. In the mid-1990s, the Yantai government borrowed from the United Kingdoms Citizen Charter initiative to build its own "Service Promise System." The model that was developed eventually drew praise from and was more broadly promoted by the central government. However, it generally failed to catch on elsewhere. The experience of the Service Promise System illustrates both the possibilities for and constraints on the development of a more service-oriented public administration in China.
Session 37: Principled Succession: Changing Perceptions of the Sage King in Early China
Organizer: Kenneth W. Holloway, University of Pennsylvania
Chair: John S. Major, Independent Scholar
Discussant: Sarah Allan, Dartmouth College
Keywords: sage kings, government, religion, philosophy, succession.
Government debates in early China often cited sage kings when discussing important ideals. From the early Zhou through the Han, the lessons drawn from these ancient figures underwent a continuous evolution. Recently discovered bronze and bamboo texts have added to our understanding of this phenomenon. Examining this requires an interdisciplinary approach that includes religion, material culture, political history, philosophy, and hermeneutics. Our panel begins with the religious and political contexts of the traditional Zhou rites of succession, and the evolving role of Yu in cultic practices. Next, in the Guodian texts, the Yao-Shun myth was used to argue for the harmonization of meritocratic and aristocratic methods of government. This will be followed by a discussion in the Mencius of family-anti-family aspects of the legend of Yaos abdication to Shun. Finally, in the Han, the Yao-Shun myth becomes an active part of succession debates, ultimately resulting in Wang Mang claiming descent from Shun to support his claim of legitimacy over the Han royal house, which had come to be associated with Yao.
Sage King Yu, a Sacred Vessel, and the Way of the Former Kings: Zhou Period Sacrilege or Just Another Ancestor?
Constance A. Cook, Lehigh University
Followers of the cult of Confucius, caught up in a world of budding states with competing lineages and different founder deities, designed a "Way of the Former Kings" out of a traditional Zhou rite of succession centered around the worship of cult-founders, Kings Wen and Wu and their act of "creating a nation" (zuobang). This "Way" (dao) was a blatant attempt to harness the power of the Zhou ancestors through ritual performance while claiming to be keepers of the political standard. The identity of the "Former Kings" and the exact nature of the "Way" became rhetorical weapons in a battle for cultural, political, and moral authority among cult groups, such as the Confucians and the Mohists. By the third century BCE, Xunzi attempted to resolve the ensuing confusion by dividing various numbers of "Former Kings" or "Sages" into two groups: the Former Kings (all pre-Zhou kings) and the Latter Kings (the Zhou kings). This paper focuses on the pre-Zhou Sage-king Yu, the mythic king who channeled the rivers and created the Nine Continents. Until recently, no evidence in the thousands of Western Zhou period inscriptions suggested that Yu was the focus of any cult practice. Last year, a private museum in Beijing discovered an inscription where Yu takes the place of Kings Wen and Wu. This paper defines the religious and political context of the inscription within the evolving role of Yu in cultic practices up through Xunzis time.
The Guodian Aristocracy-Meritocracy Hybrid
Kenneth W. Holloway, University of Pennsylvania
"Tang Yu Zhidao," a recently excavated text from Guodian advocates a system of government that combines the advantages of an aristocracy and a meritocracy to form a hybrid. Yao and Shun are seen as harmonizing aristocratic and meritocratic priorities since they chose their successors based on merit, but remained faithful to their lineages by being filial and humane.
The most important difference between meritocracy and aristocracy in the Guodian is scale. The aristocratic system emphasizes the cultivation of virtues based on the family, which is a smaller unit, while meritocracy is concerned with a very large scale. Being national in scope, the priority of a meritocracy is finding capable individuals and not emphasizing ways in which these individuals become capable.
This paper will show that the theme of an aristocracy/meritocracy hybrid is prevalent in Guodian texts. It is central to "Tang Yu Zhidao" and "Wuxing," but also present in "Yu Cong Yi," "Zun De Yi," and "Liu De."
Mencius Treatment of the Yao Shun Legend
Moss Roberts, New York University
Mencius strives to reconcile the archetypal legend of sage-king Yaos transmission of the throne to a stranger outside the family (Shun) with the family values that constitute the foundation of his moral-political doctrine. Accordingly, Mencius begins his treatment of Yao and Shun by providing these thinly sketched men of myth with heart (and family), transforming them into actors in a morality play (in Book V, part 1). For Mencius the heart, representing pathos, is the core concept, the origin of all social values and institutional structures. Shuns humanization, his acquisition of feeling (qing) is signaled by weeping. Mencius proceeds to endow the two sage-kings with the virtues of filial piety and fraternal devotion in order to counteract the challenging questions of his disciple Wan Zhang, who tries to probe the heterodox anti-family aspects of the legend. This presentation will address the degree of Mencius success in overcoming the family-anti-family contradictions in the legends and imposing his own interpretation on the mythic figures. The radical nature of Wan Zhangs critical questions and Mencius responses are also considered.
The Myth of Yao and Shun in the Evolution of Han Political Ideology
Gopal Sukhu, City University of New York, Queens College
Late Zhou thinkers used the myth of Yao and Shun to make licit their yearning for a sage king to replace the decadent royal house, even if he emerged from amongst the commoners.
After the fall of the Qin dynasty, the Chinese empire did indeed go to a commoner, the founder of the Han dynasty, during the first half of which the myth was used to call for the abdication of the royal house in favor of one of another (usually a distaff family) surname deemed more qualified to rule. The reasoning went: the Han emperor is to this other as Yao was to Shun; therefore Han should cede the throne to him. Soon analogy was conflated with genealogy and some declared the Han royal house the actual descendants of Yao. The usurper Wang Mang exploited the same logic to convince the world that he was the legitimate successor of the Hanhe claiming descent from Shun.
Textual proof for such claims eventually arrived in the form of forced interpretations of the Spring and Autumn Annals. After the Restoration, these interpretations became orthodoxy, but the image of Yao was now central to a new ideology, wherein the right to rule was unquestionably tied to lineage regardless of merit.
My paper will examine the evolution of this use of the Yao/Shun myth and the hermeneutical interventions that supported it.
Session 38: ROUNDTABLE: Reconceptualizations: Late Qing China
Organizer: Peter Zarrow, Academia Sinica
Discussants: Joan Judge, University of California, Santa Barbara; Xiaoqing Diana Lin, Indiana University, Northwest; Young-Tsu Wong, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University; Theodore D. Huters, University of California, Los Angeles; Peter Zarrow, Academia Sinica
Keywords: late Qing, politics, gender, religion, learning, society, culture.
The late Qing period (c.18801912) saw Chinese engaged in a fundamental reappraisal of their world, arguably on a scale comparable to that of the Warring States and Song periods much earlier.
This roundtable assembles scholars of the period from a variety of backgrounds to engage in and provoke discussion of the lexical and conceptual changes taking place during this period. We will examine how late Qing intellectuals, gentry, and urban populations generally rethought existing cultural constructs and created new concepts. We will begin with overviews of the fields of "politics" (Zarrow), "gender" (Judge), "learning" (Lin), "society" (Wong), and "culture" (Huters).
Each speaker will be given no more than ten minutes. Opening remarks will be followed by discussion among the speakers and then the audience. Discussion will not be limited to these keywords, which will simply serve to map its contours.
The objective of this roundtable is to explore different ways that Chinese of the period organized knowledge, perceived the world, and represented power and values in the context of often bewildering transformations. We will not only discuss issues of terminology and translation, but also use keywords as entry points into a range of topics touching on changing social relations, new modes of narrative and performance, modernity, identity, and memory.
While the participants in the roundtable are actively engaged in research on the topics they will present, the roundtable aims to provocatively rethink some of the basic issues in late Qing studies rather than present detailed new scholarship.
Session 39: INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Economics, Information, and Culture in Contemporary China
Organizer and Chair: Barrett L. McCormick, Marquette University
Che Guevara: Dramatizing Chinas Divided Intelligentsia at the Turn of the Century
Yinghong Cheng, Delaware State University
"Che Guevara" is the name of an experimental play put on stage by a group of Chinese New Left intellectuals and artists in 2000 and 2001 to challenge Chinas post-Mao social transformation by evoking Guevaras spirit. By using montage, the scenes of the play flash back and forth between two historical contexts. One is the 1960s, focusing on the Cuban revolution and Guevarist discourse with other revolutionary movements and decolonization in the Third World in the background. The other is todays China within a setting of post-communism and globalization. The play attributed Chinas social problems to abandonment of Maoism and embracing of market-oriented reforms and integration into world economy. Filled with sarcasm and even black humor, the play displayed strong sentiments of anti-liberalism (liberalism in Chinas context refers to the endorsement of free economy, property and human rights, and constitutional government), anti-globalization and anti-Americanism. The play was put on stage in many Chinese cities, including Hong Kong, and has generated polar reactions from, and intense debate between, the liberals and New Leftist intellectuals.
The paper seeks to reveal the details of the phenomenonthe play, the producers, and the responsesand attempts to contextualize it in a larger socio-political discourse about Chinas current condition. It also connects this phenomenon with responses of the international left to globalization and neo-liberalism. Based on these introductions and analyses, the paper attempts to draw a picture of the contemporary Chinese intellectuals who have been torn apart by ideological divergence and the socio-political implications of such a split to China at the turn of the century.
Appropriating Tradition: Classical Chinese Novels and Their TV Adaptations
Jing Shen, Eckerd College
My paper examines TV adaptations of classical Chinese novels and their criticism to investigate the use of tradition in pop culture. TV drama seriesa major form of entertainment in Chinais one of the best ways to adapt traditional Chinese novels of 100120 chapters to the screen. It took a huge amount of investment from CCTV to adapt four masterpieces of the genreThe Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, and Water Margin from the Ming Dynasty, and The Story of the Stone from the Qing Dynastyinto TV drama series. This project, which has successfully connected those literary classics to mass culture, has evoked much critical attention. I will analyze various responses to the adaptations in reference to the original works and demonstrate how literati literature is modernized, commodified, and politicized in the contemporary context. To popularize literati literature through contemporary mass media reveals a dilemma between creativity and faithfulness. While the adaptations exploit the visual and musical potential of the novels to reach audiences of different levels, they often have to discard the original narrative frames as superstitions, which are, however, essential to the sophisticated expression of authorial subjectivity and nuanced irony that are intended to shape readers interpretations of the main stories. This need to reinscribe the novels using modern consciousness is also seen in characterization, including male heroism and gender construction. The heroes who have absorbed the literati values embody conflicts between personal and public loyalty, a complicated issue in traditional culture. Contemporary audiences tend to feel puzzled by the apparent inconsistency of these characters. Considering audience perception, the screenwriters and directors expand the scenes involving women characters in the novels that foreground brotherhood, and try to portray loose women as victims of circumstance and sexual frustration. This visual representation also reveals commercial appeal, and audiences who have read the text well criticize this kind of characterization for commodifying sexuality. This paper seeks to cross the boundaries of premodern and modern literature, elite and popular cultures, and texts and media, to show the attachment to and transformability of tradition in contemporary China. The details that are not transformable make readers become more aware of the complexity of the original texts. Slides will be used to facilitate the presentation.
Everyday is Water Splashing Festival: Han Appropriation of Dai Culture in Ethnic Tourism
Monica Cable, Tulane University
After decades of acculturation pressure imposed by the Chinese Communist Party government on ethnic minorities in China, the majority Han are taking commercial interest in these various cultures. This paper explores Han appropriation of the identity of ethnic minorities by focusing on ethnic tourism in the Dai Park located in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, China. I will show how a Han management company maintains strict control over the five Dai villages within the borders of the Dai Park, manipulating the visual expression of Dai culture. Within the Park, the Han are both the major sellers and consumers of Dai culture. Park employees are mostly Han, and thousands of Han tourists daily overwhelm the small villages. Ethnic markers are highlighted and negotiated in interactions between the Dai and other ethnic groups, primarily the Han. In the construction of Dai identity, traits such as language, dress, and architectural styles are often claimed or denied by the Dai. Dai identity is subsequently defined through an inclusion or lack of these traits, frequently in opposition to an ethnic "other." Most drastically, by appropriating and governing traditional Dai festivals and rituals, the Park management has turned the annual Dai Water Splashing Festival into a daily tourist attraction, greatly undermining the religious and social significance of the festival. I argue that despite freedoms afforded by their own autonomous region, the Dai continue to be subject to Han hegemony, to the point that representations of their own cultural traits are dominated by Han entrepreneurs.
Nationalism on the Market: Hybridization in Chinese Economic Reform
Dimitri Kessler, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Dualism is rampant throughout the literature on transitioning economies. The political vagaries of communist five-year planning are posed against the rationality of modern industrialization. Marketization, the diminished authority of government, and the growth of private activities are contrasted with the ideological and authoritarian past. Caught in dualistic abstraction, analysts argue whether or not reforms are having their anticipated effect, often failing to capture the hybridization that exists on the ground.
I conducted qualitative interviews about technological upgrading with entrepreneurs, engineers, and government officials in the information industries in the greater China area. I discovered that ideological motivations have important effects on the market behavior of entrepreneurs and engineers. Nationalism motivates entrepreneurs and engineers to participate in projects that promote technology transfer to China although that requires forgoing a variety of economic incentives and, at times, a fair amount of self sacrifice. This paper attempts to demonstrate that people who are relatively free of political indoctrination and have a great deal of experience with the economic norms of modernization, at universities abroad and in foreign enterprises, are not acting like the entrepreneurs that theorists of modernization imagined. I argue that the assumptions of theories that are not able to capture this behavior make it fundamentally impossible to judge the evolution of economic reform in China and that theorists need to conceptualize hybridization to understand the path that transitioning economies will travel towards industrial modernization.
A Harbinger of the New(s)? The Chinese Internet and the Media
Nicolai Volland, University of Heidelberg
This paper explores the Chinese Internet from the perspective of the traditional media. The Internet has been treated primarily as a harbinger of change: studies on the Internets impact in China have suggested radical changes in the way communication functions in Chinese society, in the structure of information, and in the central states ability to maintain control. These predictions are contradicted by frequent reports of the governments aggressive and successful moves to defend its hegemony over a public sphere codeterminous with the Chinese national space, attesting to both the authorities will and their ability to keep a tight grip on the new media. In this paper, I propose an alternative perspective on the "Chinese" Internet: I will analyze the Net by comparing it to the traditional media and their role in the Chinese political and social landscape. My investigation will cover three areas: the regulatory regime for web-based news providers; the official guidelines for web journalism; and high school textbooks for Internet journalism used in Chinas journalism schools. I will argue that the Chinese government has tried to treat the Internet in a way analogous to its handling of the non-digital media. While pluralism in form and content has steadily increased, a small number of issues, issues of crucial-importance to the regime, have been defined as off limits. In these areas, the state mobilizes all resources necessary to secure ultimate control. In the background of these efforts still looms the Partys decades-old normative concept of the press as a tool for the education and enlightenment of the people. In conjunction with the desire to ensure system stability, this conception of the mediaboth old and newproduces the governments determination to control the Internet.
Session 40: INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Poetry, Politics, and Intellectual Transitions in Imperial China
Organizer and Chair: Katherine Carlitz, University of Pittsburgh
Yuefu and Tonal Prosody? A Question in the Study of Wang Rongs Poetry
Meow Hui Goh, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Whether the evolution of Chinese tonal prosody was related to yuefu poetry is a question that has not been posed before, let alone answered. In the discussion of Chinese poetic genres, tonal prosody is customarily treated as a major formal characteristic of "recent style poetry," and never that of yuefu. In fact, discussions on the formal features of yuefu poems usually do not involve tonal patterns at all. While this is a concept that has never been challenged, studies on the formation of Chinese tonal prosody have more often than not included examples of poems with yuefu titles and style. Such contradictory treatment of the relationship between yuefu and tonal prosody constitutes a problem that requires our attention.
Using the fifty surviving yuefu poems in pentasyllabic meter from Wang Rong (467493) as its subject, this paper focuses on the earliest phase in the evolution of Chinese tonal prosody. By analyzing the tonal arrangements in these pieces based on his and his peers prosodic theory, and comparing them to those in his shi poems, it will formulate the question of the relationship between yuefu and tonal prosody from a new perspective, and suggest some answers from a generic approach. The ultimate purpose of the paper is to raise further questions: Is tonal prosody a cross genre poetic technique? Does it embody generic differences?
The Xuanji tu: A Compass of Literary Textures in Commentary
Lei Chen, Princeton University
The word "text" in both Chinese (the jing) and Western languages is etymologically bound up with the "texture," though ironically this cognate link has been buried by the layers the text gained in its evolutionary history in both languages. In this paper, I would like to explore how this nexus has been preserved in a piece of brocaded textile (xuanji tu) woven by a literate lady of China in the fourth century. It is a textile woven with 841 characters that can yield innumerable poetic textures, depending on how one reads it, either vertically or horizontally, either backward or forward, which constitutes the huiwen, a minor genre in Chinese literature reserved for women. However, I will focus on how this textile was read and interpreted in traditional commentary, in which the poetic textures of the textile were recognized. Some commentators applied the five-colored technique, as the classic and eight-legged prose commentators often practiced, to mark out its textures. Other commentators assumed a form of colophon to write poetic remarks on it; in this case, the tension or interplay of text and commentary is emphasized. Still others conceived of a cosmic texture from this self-contained textual space on this textile, but even in this allegorical reading, the texture envisioned was never separated from its textile material in its literal sense. Thus this piece of brocaded text, often treated pejoratively as mere woman craftsmanship, tells almost all secret stories about how the mechanism of texts, including canonized texts, works in their history.
The Social Production of Sanqu in Literary Circles in Sixteenth-Century North China
Tian Yuan Tan, Harvard University
To explore how sanqu writing was perceived and carried out by the Chinese literati in the Ming dynasty, in this paper I focus on the social context surrounding one particular set of a hundred sanqu songs written by Li Kaixian in 1544.
Tracing the mode of transmission of Lis sanqu songs, I look at how these sanqu were circulated among a group of literati readers, thereby attracting overwhelming responses in the process. Over eighty literati wrote colophons to these pieces. Many also came up with matching pieces, which not only followed the same rhymes as Lis one-hundred sanqu songs, but also attempted to match the original in size.
How does such a case study inform us about the textual production and reception of sanqu writing in the Ming dynasty? How did the Ming literati perceive and "use" sanqu as a literary genre? I suggest that one important aspect in understanding sanqu writing in the Ming dynasty is that it was often embedded in the company of friends and acquaintances. I characterize this mode of writing as the "social production" of sanqu in literary circles. The reading, circulation, matching, and printing of Lis hundred sanqu songs created a common textual space for a group of literati. I explore whether this created a qu community in the mid-Ming which shared and upheld a common aesthetic standard or stylistic preference.
The Use of Wang Tung (584617) in the Tang-Sung Intellectual Transition
Kwok-yiu Wong, University of Arizona
The Sui (581618) Confucian master Wang Tung (584617) has been a controversial figure in the intellectual history of China. Noted specifically for his effort to continue the Six Classics and the highly idiosyncratic act of mimicking the life of Confucius in the work Chung shuo, Wang won both admiration and ridicule from later literati. From the second half of the seventh century till the end of the eighth, he was largely a forgotten figure. However, he resurfaced in the ninth centurys intellectual scene and gained great popularity through the Northern Sung (9601127). This suggests his relevance to the intellectual scene in Tang-Sung China. While many have written about his life, very little is being said about his role in the intellectual unfolding during this critical period in the intellectual history of China. By examining the use of Wang to the intellectual unfolding during the late-Tang and Northern Sung periods, this study not only explores the nature of the renewed interest in Wang but also provides hints to certain characteristics of the Tang-Sung intellectual transition. This study shows that Wang played largely a symbolic function that helped fuel the causes of various intellectual trends such as the Tang Confucian revival current, the Sung ku-wen and tao-hüeh movements, and the anti-Buddhist discourse. Furthermore, Wangs attractiveness to the literati was predicated largely on a combination of pragmatism and idealism that characterize the different intellectual orientations of Sung literati who endeavored to re-assert the centrality of Confucianism in Chinese politics and culture.
The Political Thought of Tang Binyin in the Late Ming Dynasty
Harry Miller, University of South Alabama
Studies of late Ming dynasty political factions have often been limited to the Donglin Party or Restoration Society groups and have tended to take their political and philosophical programs at face value. Our understanding of the age thus differs only slightly from the Donglins or Restoration Societys own version of eventsa regrettable transcription of propaganda into history. After over a generation of fascination with the Donglin and Restoration Society, it is time to disenthrall ourselves from these groups and to devote some attention to their opponents.
Tang Binyin (born 1569) was a leading figure among the factions arrayed against the Donglin Party in the early years of the seventeenth century. The Dictionary of Ming Biography describes him as a chief strategist of the anti-Donglin cause, yet little else is written about him in English. His collected work, the various versions of the Shui An Gao, survives in some libraries. In it, Tang addressed many controversial topics, such as Zhang Juzheng, the Wanli emperors use of eunuch-led mine tax commissioners, and faction itself, giving the impression that he was simply not a joiner and could never have cooperated with the Donglin group, which he regarded as opportunistic. The writings of Tang Binyin may thus give us a more balanced and less moralistic comprehension of late Ming politics.
Session 55: State, Elite, and Populace in Modern China
Organizer: Zhongping Chen, University of Victoria
Chair: Joseph W. Esherick, University of California, San Diego
Discussant: Xin Zhang, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
Keywords: modern China; state and society; officials, elite and populace; coalmine in Pingxiang; associations of Shanghai; teahouses of Chengdu; peasant movements.
This panel aims to deepen the discussion of the state-society relationship in modern China by examining the complicated relations among officials, elites, and masses from their different perspectives during the late Qing and the Republican periods. It covers changes in the triangular relations within the contexts of a coalmine in central China, urban associations in eastern China, teahouse businesses in western China, and peasant movements in southern and northern China. Especially, its four papers share a new approach to the populace in state-society interaction.
Jeff Hornibrooks paper demonstrates that imperial state-initiated modernization of a coalmine led officials to penetrate and reorganize local power and socioeconomic systems, actions that in turn fostered conflicts with local leaders and commoners. Zhongping Chens paper instead examines the development of associations alongside elite networks in late Qing Shanghai and their facilitation in the elites pursuits of control over urban populace and public representation, as well as their cooperation and confrontation with Qing officials in political reforms and nationalist movements. Di Wangs paper further discusses the roles played by the teahouse guild and its elite leaders in Republican Chengdu, focusing on its negotiations with local government officials for teahouses over taxes and prices and on their dilemmas to represent the interests of small businesses and maintain workable relations with officials. Xiaorong Hans paper provides a comprehensive examination of elites roles in the peasant movement in southern China and the rural reconstruction movement in northern China, comparing and contrasting their divergence into national and local leaders.
An Activist State and Changing Elite: Social and Political Change in a Mechanized Coalmining Enterprise in Qing China
Jeff Hornibrook, State University of New York, Plattsburgh
This paper examines the founding of a state-run mechanized coalmine in Pingxiang County, Jiangxi, as late Qing government executives worked with and against local elites and formal and informal government officials. While the early Qing throne banned official entanglements in mining operations to reduce corruption and local unrest, after the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion self-strengtheners founded modern factories that they hoped would hold off western penetration. These officials reorganized local power systems and incorporated western production, communication, and transportation methods. In 1896, the Huguang Governor-General Zhang Zhidong called upon the imperial railroad administrator Sheng Xuanhuai to upgrade gentry-owned and peasant-worked coalmines in Pingxiang County in order to fuel the modern ironworks in Hanyang. Sheng commanded the county magistrate to purchase crop and cemetery lands for a railroad line and hired resident lineage leaders to reorganize the countys centuries-old production scheme and westernize its purification procedures. More importantly, he subsequently appointed outsider merchants with purchased degrees to break up local power systems and contracted German engineers to incorporate western technology using capital from foreign loans. These actions, in turn, led to local opposition by elites and commoners alike that further threatened the dominance of the state. This study, based on letters between Sheng and his subordinates, examines the consequences of industrialization in late imperial China in a time of social and political flux.
Elite Networks, Associations, and Activism in Late Qing Shanghai, 18951905
Zhongping Chen, University of Victoria
This paper examines how social elites in late Qing Shanghai used their personal relations to form and link up new associations along and across professional lines, and how these organizations in turn affected the elites interactions with the urban populace and with Chinese and foreign authorities in this treaty port. Political associations in modern China started from the short-lived Reform Club (Qiangxue hui) under Kang Youwei in Beijing and Shanghai in 18951896. Professional associations like the chambers of commerce also sprang up and spread from Shanghai to its hinterland after 1901 as the Qing government launched new reforms. Other associations for self-government, social reforms, and nationalist mobilization mushroomed in this city by 1905 when the Chinese boycott against American immigration policy began. These associations were mostly elite organizations with governmental sponsorship or official tolerance. They not only developed with clear purposes and formal structures, but also expanded through personal influences and relationships between their elite leaders and members. These organizations and their networks enabled elites to pursue collective control over the urban populace and claim public representation of the Chinese community in this treaty port. At the same time they also became new sources of power struggles among elites and between them and the populace. In particular, such associational forces and their interrelations brought elites into joint actions along or against the Qing government in late Qing political reforms and nationalist movements, including the 1898 Reform, the New Policy Reform from 1901, and the Anti-American Boycott in 1905.
Teahouses, Price Control, and Taxes: Relationships among Small Businesses, the Guild, and Local Government in Republican Chengdu
Di Wang, Texas A&M University
This paper studies relationships between teahouses, teahouse guild leaders, and the state by examining the role of the guild in dealing with issues of government control over prices and taxes of teahouses in Republican Chengdu. In traditional China, guilds played a very important role in the organization of urban economic life and social life. All teahouses were members of the guild and, in fact, no teahouse could exist without joining the guild under the economic structure in Chengdu. This paper argues that the guild represented the interests of teahouses in negotiations with the government calling for an increase in prices and a decrease in taxes. In this way, the guild essentially became an agent between teahouses and the state. Any new policy made by the government had to be passed through the guild to teahouses and any request from teahouses had to be reported by the guild to the government. Under this system the guild struggled for the interests of teahouses on the one hand; but on other hand, it tried to maintain a good relationship with the government in order to gain its support for such important matters as raising prices and reducing taxes. However, the guild found it difficult to maintain a good balance between them. Although this study deals primarily with issues of prices and taxes, it provides a window to observe Republican Chinas small businesses, their organizations, and their operation in general, and can help understand complex relations between small businesses, their guilds, and local government.
National Leaders and Local Leaders of the Chinese Peasant Movements, 19201937
Xiaorong Han, Butler University
The important peasant movements in China between 1900 and 1937 were all led by intellectuals. Some of these intellectuals, such as Peng Pai, Fang Zhimin, Mao Zedong, Liang Shuming, and Yan Yangchu (James Yen), attained national fame and became national leaders of the various peasant movements, whereas most others remained local leaders of such movements. The national leaders and local leaders contributed to the peasant movements in different ways. Based on a comparative historical survey of the Communist peasant movement in southern China and the rural reconstruction movement in the north between 1920 and 1927, this paper will explore the respective roles of the national leaders and the local leaders in the rise of these two movements and the relations between the national leaders and the local leaders of the two movements. More specifically, this paper will try to answer the following questions: What differentiated the national leaders from the local leaders? What were the roles of the state and the populace (peasantry) in the interactions between the national leaders and the local leaders? How can the study of the interactions between the national leaders and the local leaders contribute to our understanding of the respective roles of the intellectuals and the peasants in the peasant movements?
Session 56: The Appropriation and Representation of Confucianism in Modern China
Organizer: Grace Ai-Ling Chou, Lingnan University
Chair and Discussant: On-cho Ng, Pennsylvania State University
Keywords: Chinese modernity, Confucian tradition, cultural capital.
The changing meaning and role of the Confucian tradition has been one of the most contested issues in modern China. While many have denounced it wholesale as being no longer relevant and even a cultural impediment to change, others have sought to re-define and transform it so as to serve the needs of the modern nation, polity, and culture. This panel presents three cases in which Confucian ideas and institutions were purposefully appropriated and transmuted to fulfill ideological, political, and educational functions.
Ivan Hon examines the discourse amongst turn-of-the-century intellectuals on the philosophical and political roles of Confucianism relative to Western concepts of religion and the state, and reveals how this discourse both reacted to and shaped the matrix of late Qing reform and Republican revolution. Wai-Keung Chan analyzes textbooks published during the Sino-Japanese War, 193745, in order to tease out the ways in which different regimes appropriated and manipulated Confucian myths in an effort to capture the popular imagination and win support for their own political aims. Grace Ai-Ling Chou depicts an attempt to revive the Confucian academy in post-1949 Hong Kong and demonstrates how and why the resulting contestation over cultural symbolism both expanded and diminished the effectiveness of that symbolism, together with the meaning of its attending assumptions.
In each of these cases, the conceptual apparatus and symbolic capital of Confucianism were regarded as essential to the creation of a modern China and, as such, the revival and reinterpretation of the Confucian tradition involved a complex negotiation between tradition and modernity. Moreover, such cultural reworking inevitably engendered internecine strife, with different camps rejecting or reinterpreting the versions of Confucianism presented to them in light of their own perceptions and interests. By analyzing these three different cases of Confucian reinterpretation and representation, our panel highlights the common predicament of modern Chinese thinkers and statesmen and the fluid and unstable meanings of modernity they both reacted to and created.
Contending Memories of Confucian Myths: History Education in Wartime China, 19371945
Wai-Keung Chan, University of London
The Sino-Japanese War was in some ways a battle to control the memories of Confucian myths through education. Different statesthe Guomindang, the Communist force, and the pro-Japanese Wang Jingwei regimeused differing versions of the myths of the Three Dynasties sage-kings in order to construct notions of Chinese national identity that would best legitimize their respective political goals. As one state sought to impose collective amnesia about certain legendary and symbolic figures and events, its rivals endeavored to resurrect the memory of them in order to disqualify or invalidate their opponents. Such contestation caused historical symbols to assume multiple meanings in a matrix of competing national identities and political entities. Moreover, the fundamental clash between the states, professional historians and the general public over the representations of the myths further complicated the competition for the control of historical narrative.
This paper explores the diverse ways that Confucian myths were appropriated and reconstructed in textbooks to identify the competing sides in the War and to create new contending meanings of the Chinese nation. In analyzing how the memories presented in textbooks were received and appropriated by both teachers and students, this paper concludes that the common people, despite official imposition, not only rejected but also competed with most of the Guomindang as well as the pro-Japanese official interpretations of Confucian legends. Popular aversion to these official narratives led, to a certain extent, to the rise and final victory of the Communist memory of the nation in the mid- and late-1940s.
Confucian Cultural Education: Content and Form at Hong Kongs New Asia College
Grace Ai-Ling Chou, Lingnan University
In 1949, a group of anti-communist Confucian intellectuals left mainland China and established a new educational institution in Hong Kong. This school, named New Asia College, was to represent a re-creation of the traditional Chinese academy, the shuyuan of Sung and Ming times. The founders believed that, by setting up a school and community in Hong Kong that actualized the curricular content, structural form, and educational principles of the Confucian shuyuan, the core of Chinese culture could be most effectively promoted and preserved. Such preservation was of paramount importance, for they believed that the eventual revival of Chinese culture on the Chinese mainland depended upon their keeping it alive in the Hong Kong periphery during the tenure of communist control in China.
The purity of the Confucian shuyuan vision, however, proved difficult to maintain, for the requirements of the British colonial governments educational policies, the anti-communist orientation of American funding organizations, and the market needs of the industrializing port of Hong Kong combined to make the Confucian character of New Asia ever more complex and ambiguous. This matrix of contending interests meant that increasingly New Asia, which was itself established as a living cultural symbol, became a site of contesting symbolic representations and interpretations of the meaning of Confucian educational values for modern Chinese people. In the face of such contestation, New Asias determined fidelity to its image of the shuyuan ended in an ironic competition over cultural and national conceptions of China which would transform the New Asia dream into both much more and much less than its founders had originally envisioned.
The Discourse on Confucianism, Religion, and the State in Turn-of-the-Century China
Ivan Hon, SOAS, University of London
In the political upheaval of the late Qing and Republican periods, many leading Chinese intellectuals debated over how and whether Confucianism could support the creation of a modern China. Particularly influenced by the spread of Christianity and the intrusion of Western notions of religion and its relationship to the state, Chinese intellectuals reassessed the Confucian tradition in terms of its possible religious nature and use value as a state religion for China. This paper analyzes the ideas of three leading Chinese intellectuals, Kang Youwei, Liang Qichao, and Zhang Taiyan, and compares their attempts to reinterpret Confucianism so as to serve the interests of reform and revolution at the turn of the century. These three thinkers, though representing rather divergent educational backgrounds, personal experiences, and political standpoints, were all influenced by Western and Japanese thinking and reinterpreted Confucianism in light of their reactions to these foreign ideas. At the same time, all three were focused on meeting the changing political and social needs of Chinese, and wished to apply their reformulations of Confucianism in order to serve the interests of wealth and power for a modern China. This debate over the political use value of Confucianism and how it might be reconfigured to buttress the new Chinese state led in turn to a fundamental questioning of the nature of Confucianism relative to other philosophies and religions of the world. Such questioning would not only reveal the underlying assumptions of these intellectuals discourse on Confucianism but would have a profound effect on the changing sense of the meaning of history and culture in modern China.
Session 57: Monastic Codes and the Construction of Religious Identity in Tang and Song China
Organizer and Chair: Mario Poceski, University of Florida
Discussant: T. Griffith Foulk, Sarah Lawrence College
Keywords: China, Chinese Buddhism, Daoism, Chinese religions, Tang dynasty.
The panel explores the evolution of Buddhist and Daoist monasticism and the construction of religious identity in China during the Tang and Song periods, as revealed in the compilation of monastic codes. The Buddhist and Daoist monastic codes are among the most valuable (even if often neglected) sources of information about Chinese religious practices and institutions. The panels papers make important contributions to our knowledge of Chinese religious history by exploring key monastic codes that so far have received little scholarly attention. In addition to providing analysis of important texts and relating their creation to larger historical and religious contexts, the panel will contribute to the advancement of Chinese scholarship by exploring avenues for overcoming prevalent tendencies to treat Buddhism and Daoism independently of each other. By jointly presenting papers on Buddhist and Daoist monastic codes, the panel highlights the complex patterns of interaction between the two traditions, and points to ways of exploring parallel developments within both religions as historically conditioned responses to shared socio-religious predicaments. Each paper addresses central issues in the creation of monastic regulations that accompanied the establishment of new religious traditions or the restoration of existing ones, and shows how the codification of monastic life was a central part of efforts to establish distinct religious identity. In each case, the (re)emerging tradition (Tang Daoism and Chan, and Song Tiantai) paid attention to established precedents and absorbed elements of earlier monastic traditions, even as it produced new sets of regulations in response to specific historical predicaments and in accord with newly emerging beliefs and practices.
Medieval Daoist Monastic Codes
Livia Kohn, Boston University
The paper deals with the emergence of Daoist monastic life as revealed in the earliest monastic codes. Daoist monasticism developed in the sixth century under Buddhist influence and in continuation of the organization of the Celestial Masters. Its codes are accordingly a mixture of the precepts and Vinaya rules of Buddhism and the priestly regulations of traditional Daoist groups. A set of texts specifying monastic behavior has survived from the Sui and early Tang dynasties. The tone and style of each code are different and they focus on a particular dimension of the monastic endeavor, presenting overall descriptions, highly specific directions on bodily discipline, and details on ritual performance. The most important among them, Fengdao kejie (Rules and Precepts for Worshiping the Dao), specifies the concrete details of monastic life and places emphasis on the equality between male and female practitioners.
The Daoist rules closely coincide with Buddhist Vinaya rules and with imperial codes on the behavior of monks and nuns, specifying proper interaction with the world as well as correct conduct within the monastic community. It was considered essential in Tang China that monks and nuns behave properly, not only because they were seen as models for the common people but also because their behavior had a heightened ritual and cosmic impact on the stability and prosperity of the empire. Taken jointly, the codes provide a rather comprehensive picture of monastic life and show how the medieval Daoist monastic organization grew as the successful amalgamation and integration of various traditions.
Xuefengs Rules and the Emergence of Chan Monastic Codes
Mario Poceski, University of Florida
This paper examines the emergence of Chan monastic regulations and the character of Chans participation in the ongoing evolution of Chinese Buddhist monasticism. It focuses on a text entitled "Teachers regulations" (Shi guizhi), the earliest extant Chan monastic code, whose author Xuefeng Yicun (822908) was a leading Chan teacher during the final decades of the Tang dynasty. Xuefengs rules addressed select issues that were important for creating conditions conducive to the successful functioning of his monastery. Their function was primarily to supplement other monastic regulations by providing concise guidelines on a narrow range of issues and there is no indication that they were written for a distinct "Chan monastery."
Chan is typically characterized as an iconoclastic tradition that rejected traditional monastic mores and regulations. In the course of its alleged drive for institutional independence, Chan is said to have replaced the Vinaya with its own system of monastic rules and practices that reflected its new religious ethos. The emergence of putative "Chan monasticism," according to such interpretations, was among the culminating events in the protracted Sinification of Buddhism. Xuefengs rules and other Tang documents counter normative views about Chans establishment of an independent monastic system. They indicate that during the late Tang period Chan was an integral part of the Buddhist mainstream rather than a rebellious movement that rejected established institutions and subverted conventional norms of religious life. The ongoing transformation of monasticism was a gradual process and Chan monks participated in it from within rather than from outside of the established monastic traditions.
Study of a Tiantai Monastic Code: Jiaoyuan Qinggui
Yifa, University of California, Berkeley
This paper focuses on the creation of Jiaoyuan qinggui, the most comprehensive monastic code compiled by the Tiantai school during the Song-Yuan period. This text was one of the three major monastic codes that were created to represent the main Buddhist traditionsChan, Tiantai, and Lu (Vinaya school). Examining the contents of Jiaoyuan qinggui, we find that much of it is simply copied from earlier monastic codes, in particular from the model Chan code, the Chanyuan qinggui. However, the Jiaoyuan qinggui contains several elements that are characteristically Tiantai. In particular, it focuses on the study of Tiantai doctrine during retreats, as opposed to the monastic codes of the Chan school, which emphasize the practice of meditation.
The paper examines the Jiaoyuan qingguis description of the so-called sanke xidu ("three ways of learning and studying") and suoshi ("locked examination"), two methods which were used to educate monastics and to select those who would be authorized to propagate the doctrines of the Tiantai school. Sanke xidu is modeled on the system of sanke qushi ("three ways of selecting gentry"), a method employed by the government to recruit civil officers. These systems were heavily influenced by the Chinese governmental examination system. The study of the Tiantai monastic code reveals that this school established its religious identity and distinguished itself from other Buddhist schools by stressing the study of its own particular doctrines. At the same time, the techniques used in the selection of talented individuals for religious succession show conspicuous adaptation of imperial practice.
Session 58: Long-Term Perspectives on Chinas Economy: Achievements, Capabilities, Risks
Organizer and Chair: Thomas G. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh
Discussant: Siddharth Chandra, University of Pittsburgh
Keywords: China, economy, trends, statistics, banking, finance, industry, technology, agriculture.
Chinas protracted economic boom is a major episode in world economic history. Beginning in the late 1970s, the PRC has experienced twenty-five years of extraordinary growth and transformation that have raised every indicator of material welfare, lifted several hundred million from absolute poverty, and rocketed China from near autarchy into unprecedented global prominence. Loren Brandt (University of Toronto) and I have assembled a large interdisciplinary group that has begun a searching investigation of the underpinnings, dynamics, consequences, and implications of Chinas remarkable economic performance.
This paneltogether with its companion session "Long-Term Perspectives on Chinas Economy: Chinese People and Chinese Lives" (Session 78)will provide an initial report on the projects activities and aspirations. This panel will evaluate Chinese statisticsa topic that the recent SARS crisis has pushed into global prominence, and then consider long-term accomplishments, challenges, and prospects in three major sectors of Chinas economy: banking and finance, industry and technology, and agriculture. The contributorsseveral of whom are presenting a paper at the AAS annual meeting for the first timeare accomplished specialists from the United States and Hong Kong whose work stands at the forefront of China-related economic studies. The panel will build on their expertise to address issues surrounding long-term achievements and prospects for Chinas economy, a subject which should attract a substantial audience among convention participants.
Measuring Chinas Economic Achievements
Carsten Holz, Stanford University
Research on Chinas economy makes frequent use of official Chinese statistics. Yet the data used are often poorly understood, or of poor quality to begin with. The recent uproar over the number of SARS cases, combined with claims by some researchers that Chinas official economic data for recent years are more reflective of political demands than economic realities adds urgency to the task of evaluating Chinese economic data. The overarching theme of this paper is to better understand the quality of official Chinese data. It traces the challenges economic reforms posed for the development of Chinas statistical system, establishes a typology of the resulting data problems in official Chinese statistics today, and examines how these data problems are being addressed. While numerous examples are provided along the way to illustrate the challenges to Chinas statistical system arising from economic reforms and the current data problems, special attention is given to GDP data as the aggregate measure of production activities in China.
Achievements, Problems, and Prospects for Chinas Financial Sector
Guonan Ma, Bank for International Settlements, Hong Kong
Chinas role in the global financial system points to two broad long-term prospects. China must deal with past mistakes, which have left a legacy of massive non-performing assets and allocational distortions that represent a potential source of instability for China and for the global financial system. At the same time, Chinas rising role in global trade and investment and the opening of its banking and financial services sectors inject strong positive momentum into Chinas economy and global finance. How might these two circumstances interact to shape Chinas role in global finance?
One key channel for such interactions has been Chinas evolving exchange rate regime and capital account liberalization, as evidenced in the intense appreciation pressures on the Chinese renminbi since the second half of 2001. We see strong capital inflows as the primary source underlying this appreciation pressure, and therefore consider the main reasons behind the growing scale and dynamism of recent capital inflows.
Implications are clear. Given increased cross-border capital mobility, Chinas tight exchange rate regime forces its central bank to be the dollar seller or buyer of last resort. This in turn limits Chinas capacity to pursue efficient domestic monetary management. Moreover, with rising capital inflows in the short term and rising energy imports contributing to expectations that the current account may dip into deficit over the medium term, Chinas policymakers face a dilemma. Externally, this may shape the eventual adjustments to global imbalance and in some views, the risks of global deflation.
Achievements, Problems, and Prospects in Industry and Technology
Thomas G. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh
Two different views of Chinese industry compete for public attention. China is a nascent manufacturing colossus, the "workshop of the world," a rising export giant, and killer of overseas manufacturing employment. But many difficulties remain unresolved. Repeated efforts to "enliven" state industry have made little headway despite millions of layoffs. World Bank researchers view episodes of "exceptional success in several new industries . . . [as] small active islands in the immense, decaying sea of Chinese industry," a perception reinforced by evidence of poor investment choice, slow job growth, vast unrepayable debt and widespread problems of inadequate quality and excess capacity.
In essence, there are two industrial sectors: one dynamic, successful, globalizing; the other stagnant and obsolescent. The technology story is similar: areas of vibrant advance coexist with persistent reports of stagnation, misdirected effort, and waste.
My presentation will focus on the substantial strengths and considerable weaknesses of Chinas industry and national technology system as a prelude to appraising the dynamics of future development. One might assume that market pressures will cause productive and profitable firms and sectors to gradually supplant obsolete loss-makers. But this approach overlooks the governments commitment to industry promotion policies that delivered good results for Japan and Korea in the past but now appear cumbersome, ineffective, and laden with risk. Nor does it encompass the governments insistence on controlling vast asset stocks and directing massive flows of fresh capital toward officially-sponsored projects that may take on the weaknesses that have bedeviled older state firms.
Long-Term Perspectives on Chinas Farm Economy
Scott Rozelle, University of California, Davis
In 1978, most Chinese villagers went to bed hungry. Twenty-five years later, following an astonishing transformation, Chinese villagers enjoy higher living standards, new market opportunities for their products and labor, expanded mobility, greater access to information, and a substantially different style of living. With these benefits come new challenges: exposure to impersonal and unforeseen market shifts, competition from distant producers, increased inequality, reductions in publicly-funded social programs, a rising burden of taxation. Essentially Chinese villagers have experienced general increases in both opportunity and uncertainty.
My presentation will examine the impact of these developments on multiple dimensions of village life, beginning with strictly economic matters like marketing, specialization, access to farm equipment and supplies, availability of agro-technical information, off-farm employment, private business opportunities, education, income, wealth, poverty alleviation, education, transport, communication, and employment, and then continuing into allied spheres such as gender differences, environmental conditions, healthcare, income inequality, village governance, rule of law, and the impact of official policy decisions on village life. The objective is to develop a realistic and sharply delineated appraisal of future prospects for Chinese rural life that can narrow the gap between the extreme views of universal prosperity (xiaokang) and universal disaster (poverty, even famine, exploitation, health catastrophe) that have gained wide circulation in recent years.
Session 59: Visualizing Cultural Intersectionality: Arts in Post-Mao-Deng China
Organizer and Chair: Hsingyuan Tsao, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Discussant: Jerome Silbergeld, Princeton University
Keywords: digital art, visual art, architecture, theatric performance.
By means of multidisciplinary case studies, this panel attempts to address the controversy over "Chinese postmodernism." As Chinas economy has been transforming in the past decade, the art and culture of this period have been labeled "post-modern" by some, and "post-socialism" by others. A multidisciplinary approach toward politics, literature, theatrical culture and their interlinked social coherence allow us to picture a locale specified process of a post-socialist, market-rational culture. Video, digital, and other forms of visual art, theatrical art, and the architecture of this period cannot be readily identified as post-modern phenomena. It is, however, a Chinese version of culture that shares some resemblances to Euro-American paradigms of post-modernity with fundamental socio-political differences.
For this panel, we will revisit the visual culture of the last decade by engaging Chinese intellectual investigations in appropriating and/or critiquing those paradigms that might be labeled Post-Mao-Deng/post-socialist visual culture from the viewpoint of the major disciplines of visual culture. Each scholar of this panel will examine a particular field of study to illuminate how in different sociopolitical locales and historical contexts the process and constitution of post-modernity varied. The multidisciplinary approaches and perspectives will serve as a basis for comparative discussion and cross-fertilization in theory-building.
Architecture in Motion: Visualizing Urban Landscapes in Contemporary China
Robin Visser, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
In his 1930s essays, Walter Benjamin compares architecture to cinema, with its astonishing displacement of time and space, in that both address what Benjamin termed "simultaneous collective reception." Paul Virilio notes that Benjamins analysis of the destruction of the aura (the ritual value of distinctive objects) implicitly recognizes the historical transition from the representational priority of "surface" to that of "interface." Postmodern media culture further impacts modes of perception through global strategies of what Anne Friedberg terms a "mobilized virtual gaze" in constructing individual and collective identities. As Chinese cities attempt to validate their modern identities on the international stage, they transform urban structures into the visage of the global city. Yet how can unique cultural practices in everyday life be reconciled with this homogenizing image? One response is the rise of kitsch in Chinese architecture, theorized as either an indicator of the modern or as signifying psychological trauma.
This paper considers innovative designs as alternatives both to kitsch, with its stock emotions and instantly identifiable themes, and to a global architecture devoid of local characteristics. It analyzes structures that demonstrate a consciousness of architecture as "perpetually in motion." In hastily transforming cities where architectural images are rapidly reproduced and circulated, experimental Chinese architects focus more on the spatial and temporal effects than the monumentality of the architectural edifice. Such architecture, while no longer retaining an aura in a ritualistic sense, emancipates the impasse of the global aesthetic by allowing neither the local nor the global to subsume the other.
Cityscapes in Virtual Space: Urban Change and Recent Digital Art
Yomi Braester, University of Washington, Seattle
Chinese films have consistently portrayed urban development by documenting concrete spaces of construction and demolition. Yet with the growing use of digital video, the Internet, and computer-generated art, alternative cityscapes have appeared in these media. Cyberspace and virtual reality have become new vehicles for reflection on how space shapes collective ideology, and individual memory in post-Mao China. Surveying changes in film and digital art from 1989 to the present, I argue that memory is no longer contained in real time representation but rather in the construction of virtual reality. I will focus in particular on Zhao Liangs works of the late 1990s and Feng Mengbos video art Q3 (1999). Zhaos art defamiliarizes urban landmarks to strip them of well-known associations. Q3, based on the video game Quake III, spoofs real-time reportage to question the historical role of the witness and his spatial position. In as much as Zhao and Feng represent a trend in post-Mao art, they trace a shift from a culture insistent on collective commemoration to a society willing to suspend its consciousness outside historical memory, from a fetishization of concrete locations to a celebration of virtual space.
Narrating the Revolution in Post-Revolution Chinese Popular Entertainment
Jin Jiang, Vassar College
In 1965, the famous Chinese film director Xie Jin produced the film Stage Sisters, a story based on the lives of Yue Opera (Yueju) actresses and framed in a melodramatic narrative structure of the communist revolution. In 1998, however, the Yueju artists produced a Yueju play by the same title. While following the basic story line of the film, the play drastically changed the narrative focus from class struggle and communist liberation to sisterly love. Having occurred during the long post-revolution era, this change represents a self-reflection of the Yueju artists, in response to the challenge of a highly competitive domestic and globalized cultural market, about the genres historical legacy in an attempt to redefine the genres artistic characters. Yuejus attempt to write off the revolution from the center of its history, however, reflects a more general trend of de-politicization in contemporary popular entertainment. This trend, viewed along with a parallel development of the so-called "main melody" productions that continued to produce communist melodramas, reveals much of the status of the revolution in an era of post revolution and globalization. Focusing on the two Stage Sisters and drawing on a number of recent productions, this paper discusses the meanings of revolution and globalization in contemporary Chinese popular entertainment.
Art for the World Market: Art in Post-Mao-Deng China
Hsingyuan Tsao, University of Hawaii, Manoa
The increasingly open dialogue between the local/ Chinese and global/Euro-American worlds brought Chinas new art a peerless height with many years of participation in Venice Biannual, Shanghai Biennale, Guandong Triennial and other exhibitions, sales, and auctions. These exhibitions and sales brought Chinese art into the world market and affected the path of contemporary Chinese art. Works in these exhibitions often speak the artists fragmented memories of the traumas of Communist China, appropriate visual hybridism and relativism, and play to the way in which people in developed countries now view China. This paper attempts to examine the articulation and subject matter of some of the works of the exhibition to illuminate this issue: What are the Chinese experiences of the post-Mao-Deng period that are now sold on the world market?
Session 60: INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Society and Science in Republican China
Organizer and Chair: Kristin Stapleton, University of Kentucky
The Nature of Chinese Science: May Fourth Idealizations and Scientific Practice in the Field
Grace Shen, Harvard University
The prominence of scientism in early Republican Chinese intellectual circles often obscures the cultural significance of science itself. Rather than exploring the transformative nature of actual scientific practices, historians of Chinese modernization have focused on the rhetorical and symbolic uses of "Science" to attack traditional culture. This paper examines the methods and values of geology, Republican Chinas earliest and most internationally recognized science, in order to put the abstract theories of May Fourth cultural reformers within the context of working scientists and their practical concerns.
I begin with Chinese geological training and the ways that mastery of field techniques steered geologists understanding of scientific methods away from the stylized neatness of an idealized laboratory, towards the messiness of systematizing phenomena in situ. Next I look at how basic field activities, including manual labor and artistic renderings, altered ideas about the kinds of work proper to the intellectual and challenged existing social expectations. Finally, I consider the way experiences of difficulty and privation in the field cultivated values of stamina and self-sacrifice that brought geologists demanding new methodological commitments back into the traditional discourse of the Chinese scholars responsibility to state and society.
While science did have the potential to critique traditional Chinese culture, its historical role was not limited to the polemics of theorists removed from scientific production. The process of doing science in the field necessitated a constant renegotiation of nature and society, which gave Chinese geologists a perspective from which to re-evaluate both traditional norms and reformist iconoclasm.
Chinafication: The Deployment of a Discursive Stratagem in the Guomindangs Baojia Discourses, 19271949
Lane J. Harris, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Following the relativization of the Confucian universalist worldview came a whole host of tactics designed to modernize China while retaining an essential Chineseness. When the Guomindang came to power in 1927, they deployed a new stratagem I call "Chinafication" using Chineseness to aid the people in counteracting and easing the social turmoil, alienation, and displacement attendant with modernity. The techniques of Chinafication, deployed in baojia discourses, is the application of a nominal Chinese signifier (baojia) to a signified transnational political functionality. Guomindang writers thus discursively deployed only a signifier of Chineseness to help the people cope with transnational ideas of modernity and nationalism.
After discussing the process of Chinafication, the baojias historicization and its integration with Sun Zhongshans philosophy, the remainder of the presentation will address how the Chinafied baojia was discursively used for the transnational political functionality of state-making and nation-building. As a vehicle for state-making the baojia served to bureaucratize the relationship between the center and periphery, encourage mass mobilization, and provide a structure for local self-government. Discourses on the baojia and nation-building primarily pertain to imparting Guomindang conceptions of citizenship and identity through bao school education.
While all previous discussions of the baojia under the Guomindang have focused on its failures as a political institution, this study demonstrates that a cultural and discursive reading of the baojia enhances our understanding of how the Guomindang mediated transnational ideas of modernity and political functionality through the deployment of a signified Chineseness.
Ling Long Women and the New Life Movement: Modernity and National Salvation
Hsiao-pei Yen, University of Oregon
The implementation of the New Life Movement in 1934 was both an effort for the Nationalist governments nation building project and an attempt to integrate the society from mass participation. The New Life Movement, as a national crusade, aimed at the revival of traditional virtues to save China from material and spiritual degeneration. The state set up rules to regulate its peoples everyday lives in the arenas of food, clothing, residence, and action. Special bans prevented and penalized women who engaged in the "negative" and "evil" endeavors of modernity, such as wearing Western style clothes, or exposing parts of their bodies in public. These bans triggered a reaction of anger and resistance from urban, middle-class, educated "modern girls." What those women resisted was less about the conservative revival of traditional virtues; rather, they expressed their discontent at the states deprivation of personal pleasure, especially with regard to aspects concerning the female body.
My paper is a historical study of such resistance by analyzing a contemporary popular womens magazine Ling Long, published in Shanghai from 1931 to 1937. Discourse of modernity and how it led to conflicts between nationalism and personal pleasure constitute the major theme of my paper. At the same time, this paper also attempts to delineate the Chinese Modern Girl, who came into existence as a symbol of modern decadence in the 1930s, as a tangible historical actor, instead of a docile, discursive cultural phenomenon.
Crimes against Civility in Public Space: Littering, Street-Corner Urinating, and Misdemeanors in Republican Beijing
Yamin Xu, Le Moyne College
From the Qing to the Republic, Beijing local society experienced a series of fundamental structural changesold particularistic social institutions and networks, such as the banner system or even big families, either were broken down or became dysfunctional, and their members were made freer commoner citizens; closed neighborhoods were opened up, and parks and other public spaces emerged; headmen or masters of all these closed communities gradually lost power and were replaced by a municipal government.
Against this background, new crimes, such as littering, street-corner urinating, and other types of misdemeanors, were increasingly committed in public places. These were crimes charged and punished by Beijing municipal officials for harming the public health and disgracing a new concept of civility. The perpetrators were all commoner citizens who had yet to understand and accept new Republican standards for civil conduct and learn how to live as citizens with "public morality" (gongde). Another major challenge faced by municipal officials came from the so-called "night-soil lords" (fenba) who controlled most of the citys poorly maintained public toilets and turned the night-soil collection work into a monopolized private business which refused to be regulated by a public authority.
The battle against these enemies of civility was a hard one, for state officials had to define not only a public order, public space and public morality, but also a public authority for a people who used to be confined to various archaic and closed social institutions and communities while recognizing only authorities within their own groups.
Establishing the Chinese Communist Team System of Farming in Northern China: A Case Study, 19441945
Minh-Hoang Ngo, School of Advanced Studies
Using unpublished archives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), I investigate the rise of the CCPs new structure of power within the rural society of Northern China.
This case study scrutinizes Dongfengnian village in Xiyang county, Shanxi province, during the years 19441945. I examine how a CCP system of team farming was created and interwoven within the customary and market economies, and how the creation of this system was influenced by the interactions between the rural population and the sub-county CCP cadres.
What new institutions were created by the CCP and how did they evolve over time? By institutions I mean formal as well as informal norms and rules that were to regulate one groups behavior, way of thinking and relationships. Subsistence household-based farming prevailed for centuries in China. Therefore, which cooperative aspects of household farming were drawn on within this institutional process to elicit participation in mutual-aid teams?
Finally I compare the case of Dongfengnian village with other areas in Shanxi and China in order to understand why a compelling system of mutual-aid teams was established in certain villages and not in others.
Session 76: War and Modernity: Remapping Chinese Resistance Aesthetics and Politics, 19371945
Organizer: Weihong Bao, University of Chicago
Chair: Steven P. Day, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussant: Poshek Fu, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Keywords: modern China; wartime history, literature, cinema, and politics.
Recent scholarship has largely neglected Chinese wartime (19371945) resistance literature, society, and culture, lavishing attention instead on civilizational encounters and the primarily Shanghai-based international modernism of the 1920s and early 1930s. Whereas existing research in the field has often harbored suspicions of a regressive "over politicization and nationalization" of wartime culture, this panel approaches the issue of "resistance" with a revised understanding of modernity, calling into question the standard view of the war as simply a crisis of national sovereignty. Our papers envision the war as a radical departure for Chinese conceptions of modernity that impacted cultural perceptions and aesthetic choices as well as ideological and socio-political practices. This is a modernity in which a devastated national landscape, mass dislocation of people and institutions, and constant assault on bodily senses and boundaries posed by technologies of destruction gave rise both to traumatic experiences and utopian impulses. In other words, the experience of war brought forth alternative visions of state and society, stimulating reconfigurations of corresponding social, geographical, and cultural imaginaries. To better understand how political and aesthetic practices constituted themselves in such a reconfiguration, our panel explores wartime modernity through historical, literary, and cinematic perspectives.
To these ends, Edna Tow focuses attention on the wartime capital of Chongqing to explore the legitimating practices of the Nationalist state as it sought to consolidate the body politic around a new conception of nation and citizen. Weihong Bao introduces wartime Chongqing cinema as a transformative moment for cinematic aesthetics and spectatorship that remains highly relevant to post-1949 "New Chinese Cinema." John Crespi examines a new "soundscape" of modern Chinese literature by pursuing the theoretical issues of voice and sound in wartime poetry recitation. And Steven Day returns to the "national forms" debates as a rethinking of nationhood and modernity in wartime, examining the tensions inherent in the choices of literary forms that could represent a mobilized and "modern China."
Baptism by Fire: Chinese Cinema from Shanghai to Chongqing, 19381945
Weihong Bao, University of Chicago
This paper focuses critical attention on wartime Chinese cinema, an important but neglected area in Chinese film studies, by shifting the recent emphasis on 1920s and early 1930s Shanghai films to films made in Chongqing during the War of Resistance. Correspondingly, I reinvent conceptual questions paralleling this departure from Shanghai-based "vernacular modernist" films to "Resistance Films" (kangzhan dianying). How were films shot, distributed, and received differently during wartime? What new audience-film relationship was imagined, advocated, and practiced? How were documentary and theatrical aesthetics incorporated into feature films, and what was the receptive horizon beyond "Resistance Film" that informs, contests, and competes with the latter? How were such complex relationships registered, re-presented, and negotiated in "resistance films?"
To answer these questions, I analyze the transformation of the trope of fire in director Sun Yus "Baptism by Fire" (Huo de xili, 1941). The fire trope figured prominently in the popular genre of "firey films" (huoshao pian) during the silent period (1920s and 30s), only to re-emerge quite differently in Chongqing films during the War of Resistance. Based on the distinct geography, physicality, and psychology of wartime modernity, I argue that wartime Chongqing filmmaking necessitated an "aesthetics of fire" that generated a cultural imaginary of defense and collectivity, but at the same time reconstituted femininity, individuality, and interiority. This aesthetic, I further argue, had a strong bearing on both wartime cinema and the "New Chinese Cinema" from 1949 to the 1980s.
In Formation: Re-Imagining a Modern Chinese Literature and the National Forms Debate, 19381942
Steven P. Day, University of California, Los Angeles
This paper examines the implications of the "national forms debates" for rethinking Chinese cultural modernity during the Sino-Japanese War (19371945). As an aestheticized marker of cultural identities and sign of what was imagined to represent the "modern" and "traditional," or the "national" and the "cosmopolitan," various possibilities for different literary forms were naturally at the heart of an intense debate over what precisely constituted "national forms" (minzu xingshi) in wartime China. In one of the most sustained and prodigious polemics over culture in the past century, three major camps formed around the following positions: a small minority who advocated folk and traditional forms as the "central source" of national forms; opposing this group, May Fourth stalwarts who rejected in toto any traditional literary heritage as inimical to modernity; and, a vast majority who accepted the use of traditional heritage in the creation of national forms, with the caveat that it be applied critically. Given the rigid configuration of extant "Chinese" forms as "traditional," and exogenous forms as "modern," the challenge for the debaters was to imagine a literary form that could be both "authentically Chinese" and "modern" at once. This tension between the purported universalism of the "modern" and the particularity of national "Chinese" formsthe core problematic of cultural modernitynecessitated a re-imagination of this configuration in ways that could accommodate both the nationalistic exigencies of wartime (popular forms closer to traditional sensibilities for mobilizing rural "masses") and the desire to create a veritable modern Chinese literature that could take its rightful place in the canon of world literature.
Sound, Silence, and Nationalist Modernity in Chinas Wartime Poetry Recitation
John A. Crespi, Colgate University
An important but rarely remarked upon element of Chinas engagement with nationalist modernity in the twentieth Century has been a re-imagination of sound and silence. As tropes central to nationalist ideology, sound and silence have in the modern Chinese context accrued distinct clusters of associations. Sound, and in particular, voice, became linked to notions of awakening, externality, agency, and intersubjective resonance. Silence, on the other hand, tended to take on negative associations of passivity, interiority, stagnation, and detachment. During the high tide of patriotic literary activism during the Sino-Japanese War (19371945), recitation poets mobilized these tropes in print and performance. While many of the poems of recitation place sound/voice and silence in the expected opposition, others introduce levels of auditory ambiguity that undermine the conventionalized structuration of the modern nationalist imagination of sound.
After discussing how theoretical ideas of sound and voice relate to nationalist discourse, this paper explores the construction of a modern Chinese literary "soundscape," especially as relates to modern poetry, war, and what can be called the "weaponization" of poetry in the practice of recitation. The paper concludes with background and analysis of specific works by two of the more prominent wartime poets of recitation, Gao Lan and Guang Weiran.
Capital Management: Redefining Nationalist Ideology in Chongqing during the War of Resistance
Edna Tow, University of California, Berkeley
How did wartime contingencies recast state-society relations within the new urban geography of southwest China? This question as it pertains to the Nationalist regime and its management of the embattled homefront during Chinas War of Resistance, 19371945, forms the starting point of this paper. Focusing on a cross-section of the Guomindang governments social and political initiatives after its relocation to the inland city of Chongqing, this paper examines the regimes efforts at municipal administration as well as its social welfare policies in order to illuminate heretofore unspoken claims in Nationalist ideology and political discourse at the time. As the most visible symbol of this new ideological and political front, the reconstituted capital in Chongqing served as a rallying point for mobilizing the Chinese people around a radically reshaped national polity, which not only enabled an alternative legitimizing basis for the regimes authority, but also necessitated the creation of a new type of citizenry that could showcase the changed imperatives of the Guomindang government in the face of national crisis and trauma. These state-sponsored initiatives, along with the GMDs sustained attempts at state making and nation-buildingwhich dated back to the regimes inception in 1927 and continued through the warlend additional insight into the Nationalist regimes modernizing capabilities as well as a Republican vision of Chinese modernity forged through the crucible of war.
Session 77: Chinese Television
Organizer and Chair: Chris Berry, University of California, Berkeley
Keywords: China, television.
If radio and film were the emblematic media of the Maoist era, television has rapidly established itself as the medium of the "marketized" (shichanghua) China. Yet, it remains drastically understudied and ignored. This panel puts a focus on Chinese television to draw attention to this lack. Twenty years ago, television sets were few and far between and mostly installed in public places. Now almost every Chinese household has a television set, and television is the main source of news and entertainment for most Chinese. Furthermore, television has pioneered the "marketization" of the media that has occurred over the last decade as part of the "marketization" of society as a whole. Although television stations are still government-owned, they generate more revenue in taxes for central government than they receive from it and they also dominate national spending on advertising. To date, research on Chinese television has focused on the infrastructural, economic, and policy issues, and programming has received little sustained attention since the publication of James Lulls book, China Turned On. The papers on this panel focus on the content of Chinese television in order to begin filling this gap in research and ask how television is participating in the transformation of Chinese society and culture.
Between "Fallen Angels" and Corruption: Anti-Corruption and Its Representations in Chinese Television Drama
Xueping Zhong, Tufts University
This paper examines the anti-crime and anti-corruption genre in Chinese television drama. More specifically, it focuses on the notion of "corruption" and "fallen" individuals as they are represented in some of the most popular TV drama texts. Through exploring the dynamics between the narrative, character portrayal, and visual and verbal representations of the "villains" who are both corrupting and corrupted, this paper examines the cultural and ideological underpinnings in relation to the social changes and cultural practices in todays China, explores their implications, and speculates on the ways in which these works are also an embodiment of various conflicts and contradictions that characterize the uncertainties within the transformation rapidly taking place in contemporary China.
Entertaining the Nation: Historical TV Dramas in Contemporary China
Rong Cai, Emory University
The popular imagination in contemporary China is fascinated with the nations past. Since the 1990s we have witnessed a proliferation of cultural products that purported to narrate the nations history. TV dramas set in the Qing dynasty, in particular, have played a prominent role in the collective turn to the past. This paper dissects the craze for the Qing TV dramas (Qing gong xi) in the current cultural market. By looking into the production and distribution of the Qing gong xi, I provide some insight into how the TV industry and the entertainment market participate in shaping popular imaginations of the nation. I also explore the politics in the consumption of the Qing gong xi, focusing on official, intellectual, and popular receptions. Sketching the topography of the Qing drama and analyzing the ideological and economic factors behind its popularity, I examine how the Qing gong xi produces divergent meanings from within the societys power structure. I argue that while it echoes official nationalist concerns for a strong nation and a centralized state, Qing gong xi is a voice of discontent in the radically reorganized society. Entertaining through imagined collective memories, the Qing drama becomes a mirror of the nation where popular desire and popular pleasures are reflected and refracted.
Yongzheng Dynasty and Chinese Primetime Costume Drama
Ying Zhu, City University of New York, College of Staten Island
The early to mid 1990s witnessed the ascendance of mainland Chinese primetime television dramas, especially costume dramas featuring historical or legendary figures and events of the Qing Dynasty, what the Chinese termed "Qing drama." Under the veil of historical events, the Qing dramas have tackled pressing political and cultural issues such as government corruption, power struggles among different political factions, moral cynicism, political apathy, etc., themes that would otherwise invite censorship if addressed in dramas of contemporary setting. The 44-episode primetime blockbuster Yongzheng Dynasty, for one, covered the political struggles in the Qing Dynasty from the period of Kangxi to Yongzheng, (c)overtly insinuating the power relations of contemporary Chinese society.
The public welcomed such dramas, delighting in recognizing their references to current affairs. Costume dramas are also enormously popular among the Chinese diaspora, which makes the genre one of the most profitable Chinese television exports. The impact of costume dramas in shaping the national dialogue during the period has yet to be addressed. Equally significant is the role of costume dramas in defining a set of narrative and economic protocols for Chinese primetime television. My paper will explore the factors conducive to the ascendance of costume drama. It will examine the narrative and programming strategies of Chinese primetime television drama, and compare them to the strategies of the U.S. primetime hour-long drama, as Chinese television practitioners consciously turn to the U.S. broadcasting system for a economically viable institutional model. Yongzheng Dynasty will serve as a case in point to illustrate how Chinese television is mining history and exploiting costume drama for political, cultural, and economic ends.
Chinese Television Documentary and Rethinking the Public Sphere
Chris Berry, University of California, Berkeley
Documentary-style programming, including full-length documentaries and news magazine segments, has been at the center of the transformation of Chinese television during the 1990s. This paper asks how the appearance of this new programming format changes the nature of the public constructed through television production and reception and how it challenges us to rethink the concept of the public sphere. Under the impact of "marketization" (shichanghua), Chinese television has become more responsive to audience taste. Furthermore, the national news magazine program Oriental Horizon (Dongfang Shikong) and its successors have been so popular that they pioneered the generation of advertising revenue that is at the center of this transformation. Commentators have noted that these programs are more open and critical than their predecessors, responding to suggestions from their audiences, and seen by government leaders as important sources of information about what really concerns the public. At the same time, television remains government-controlled and the combination of internalized and institutional censorship still structures this programming. While it is clear that the public it constitutes is not a public sphere or counter-sphere in the Habermasian and Negt and Kluge modes, should we abandon the idea of the public sphere entirely to consider these phenomena, or reshape them?
Session 78: Long-Term Perspectives on Chinas Economy: Chinas People and Chinese Lives
Organizer and Chair: Loren Brandt, University of Toronto
Discussants: Terry Sicular, University of Western Ontario; Andrew G. Walder, Stanford University
Keywords: China, economy, trends, demography, labor, employment, education, human capital, distribution, inequality.
Chinas protracted economic boom is a major episode in world economic history. Beginning in the late 1970s, the PRC has experienced twenty-five years of extraordinary growth and transformation that have raised every indicator of material welfare, lifted several hundred million from absolute poverty, and rocketed China from near autarchy into unprecedented global prominence. Thomas Rawski (University of Pittsburgh) and I have assembled a large interdisciplinary group that has begun a searching investigation of the underpinnings, dynamics, consequences, and implications of Chinas remarkable economic performance.
This paneltogether with its companion session "Long-Term Perspectives on Chinas Economy: Achievements, Capabilities, and Risks" (Session 58)will provide an initial report on the projects activities and aspirations. This panel is designed to explore the impact of socioeconomic transformation on the lives of Chinas enormous citizenry. Of the many dimensions in which reform has affected the life chances of Chinese citizens, we focus on three: demography and employment, education and human capital, and distributional equity. The contributors, several of whom are new contributors to the AAS convention, represent three countries and two disciplines. Their work stands at the forefront of China-related economic research. The panel will build on this expertise to address issues surrounding long-term achievements and prospects for Chinas economy, a subject which should attract a substantial audience among convention participants.
Demography, Employment, Unemployment
Fang Cai, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Chinas huge national population and workforce have attracted global attention for centuries. Rapid growth of Chinese exports, along with vast overseas investments in Chinas high-growth economy, have intensified this tendency, and for good reason: demographic and employment trends in China exert growing influence over economic conditions and outcomes in many nations.
Chinas demographic scene is filled with seeming contradictions. The one-child family policy contributed to a sharp reduction in birthrates, but has simultaneously accelerated the ageing of Chinas population and created an increasingly skewed sex ratio, with young men outnumbering young women. The erosion of barriers to internal migration has created new opportunities for millions of Chinese villagers, but also expanded the income and opportunity gap separating urban and rural regions. Chinese reform has vastly expanded employment opportunities, but the dismissal of millions from redundant posts has spawned a massive spike in unemployment. Chinas recent entry into the WTO promises new opportunities, but also new challenges in the labor market.
My presentation will address these issues by laying out major trends in population, employment, and unemployment, considering the likely future paths for these crucial variables, and examining the implications of likely trends for broader socio-economic outcomes in the recent past and in coming decades.
Education and Human Capital
Albert Park, University of Michigan
Despite Chinas long history of respecting education and intellectual achievement, the early decades of the Peoples Republic witnessed an extraordinary policy regime that often devalued education and expertise. In many instances, higher educational attainment went hand-in-hand with lower incomes, a rare phenomenon in recent economic experience. This discrimination was especially pronounced during the Cultural Revolution, during which time institutions of higher learning were shut down. At the same time, China mounted a strong campaign to expand primary education and reduce adult illiteracy.
Since the start of reform, trends in human capital acquisition have changed dramatically. We see full restoration of the traditional respect for educated elites, steep increases in the financial rewards to education at all levels, massive expansion of higher education, new opportunities for international study, accompanied by the extensive migration of talented persons across Chinas international boundaries. At the same time, this new focus on higher education appears to have weakened the resource base for rural schools and widened the gap between life chances for urban and rural youths.
My presentation will map out the broad impact of these changes on the past and future distribution of educational achievement, career opportunities, and earnings. I will then consider the consequences of these developments for important socio-economic outcomes, including the quality of education, life changes for men and women and for urban and rural youths, and the possible impact of a "brain drain" on China as a whole and on its interior provinces and rural regions.
Distribution and Inequality
Loren Brandt, University of Toronto
Any serious evaluation of Chinas success since the onset of economic reform must include a careful assessment of the distributive implications of the reform. Prior to economic reform, income inequality was low in China compared to most other countries. Differences among households and individuals within both the urban and rural sector were relatively modest, although a sizable gap likely existed in living standards between urban and rural residents.
Over the last two-and-a-half decades, the general presumption is that economic transition and development have been accompanied by widening income differences within both the urban and rural sectors, as well as between the urban and rural sectors. Moreover, these differences have likely increased since the mid-1990s, a product of state enterprise restructuring in the urban sector, and sharply falling farm-gate prices in the rural sector. Compounding these difficulties are reportedly growing regional differences. These differences have potentially important economic, social and political implications.
Our purpose in this paper is to provide summary results from an ongoing assessment of inequality trends in China since the late 1970s. Although there has been considerable work on inequality in China since reform, there are serious shortcomings in much of this work arising from a combination of data and methodological issues. Such an assessment is inherently difficult because of changes in the economic system, and lags in the survey instruments designed to capture these changes. We will provide estimates of the changes in inequality levels, as well as decomposition exercises that help identify the sources of the growing inequality.
In our empirical work, we will draw on a host of urban and rural household surveys undertaken over the period. These include surveys done by the National Statistical Bureau in both rural and urban areas; rural surveys by the Research Center for Rural Economy; the China Health and Nutrition Survey that has been carried out in 5 waves, as well as our own survey work. The use of multiple surveys helps us overcome limitations of any one survey, and increases our confidence in our final assessment.
Session 79: "One Country, Two Systems" in Crisis: The Hong Kong-Macau Experience and Implications for Taiwan
Organizer: Shiu-hing Lo, University of Hong Kong
Chair: Ming K. Chan, Stanford University
Discussant: Alvin Yiu-Cheong So, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Keywords: Chinese reunification, PRC/Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan, politics, 1980s2003.
Hong Kong and Macaus retrocession to Chinese sovereignty ushered in their reintegration with Mainland China under Beijings "one country, two systems" model, which was designed also for Taiwans reunification. This model transforms the reunited domain into an autonomous "Special Administrative Region" (SAR) of the PRC with a 50-year continuation of its existing economic, legal and social systems that are different from the Communist mainland. Since the late 1990s the HK/Macau SARs have been crucial "one country, two systems" showcases to Taiwan. The central government-HKSAR interactions also reflect the PRC leaderships engagement with new socio-economic forces from their reforms toward global marketization that Hong Kong has epitomized.
This panel will illuminate the "one country, two systems" crisis (as the July 2003 demonstrations revealed) in the HK/Macau SARs with implications for Taiwan-PRC relations. Specifically, Cheungs paper focuses on Hong Kongs recent protests against the Basic Law Article 23 anti-subversion bill and analyze the tensions between "one country" articulation and democratization. Los paper examines the factors underlining Hong Kongs national security law debatethe clash of identities, notions of patriotism, and political systems. Adopting a legalistic perspective, Berry Hsu examines the development of the HKSARs constitutional crisis and discusses the legality of judicial decisions. Yus paper amplifies Taiwan public evaluations of the HK/Macau SAR "one country, two systems" performance as relevant to their mainland reunification prospecting. Together, these papers will advance our understanding of the dynamics and new problems in Hong Kong and Macaus "one country, two systems" experience with reference to the Mainland-Taiwan reunification issues.
The Hong Kong System under One Country being Tested: Article 23 and The Quest for Constitutional Reforms
Anthony B. L. Cheung, City University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is in great political turmoil. The protests by half a million people on 1 July 2003, the sixth anniversary of the PRCs Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) have unleashed the most serious governance crisis since its establishment. The protests were triggered by the HKSAR governments attempt to codify Basic Law Article 23 into a national security bill, which has created widespread opposition across all sectors.
Article 23 becomes not simply a question of whether laws should be enacted to protect national security, but rather a perceived threat to political freedoms and civil rights presently enjoyed by Hong Kong residents who regard them as a core of the "one country, two systems" arrangement. These protests have exposed the wide regime-people gap and the vulnerability of a government lacking political legitimacy and popular acceptance due to its dismal performance in managing the economy and preserving social stability.
While Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa still has the PRC central governments backing, his domestic support base is fast narrowing. Growing democratization demands have made constitutional reforms a pressing issue, not only to meet the rising expectations of a restless public, but also to find a new and firmer basis for reconstituting an effective system of governance.
This paper traces the background to the current crisis, examines the political problems and institutional pitfalls as well as their "one country, two systems" implications, and finally explores a range of strategic options available to Hong Kong to remain a vibrant polity with a distinct identity.
"Two Systems" in Conflict: Hong Kongs Debate on the Chinese National Security Law
Shiu-hing Lo, University of Hong Kong
The still ongoing debate on Chinese national security law in the HKSAR has highlighted the clash of two sets of identities, notions of patriotism and political cultures under the PRCs "one country, two systems" model which is inherently conflict-ridden. Hence, its direct application to Taiwan would be problematic, given the islands historical experience, local identities, partisan/patriotic sentiments, and legal-political processes as distinct from the mainland
Arguing for national security needs, the laws supporters hail the HKSAR regimes concessions on the laws provisions to satisfy public demands and regard the laws opposition as an instigation by "unpatriotic" and "hostile" elements. Insistent on a fine balance between national security and civil rights, the laws critics blast the supporters for being blindly shepherded by the pro-Beijing front, and unknowledgeable of the laws threat to press freedoms and other liberties.
This debate can be articulated as a clash between the supporters Chinese national identity vs. the critics Hong Kong local identity. Their notions of patriotism diverge sharply, with the supporters intertwining patriotism with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) allegiance, whereas the critics distinguishing their patriotism toward China from CCP loyalty. Underlying such differences are their political culture and systemic gaps. The supporters display elements of PRC political culture in contrast to the critics more liberal social and political value orientation as the debate illustrates the systemic clash between the PRCs highly authoritarian regime and the HKSARs more pluralistic polity. As such, the collision of these two systems triggered the recent HKSAR political earthquake with fallout effects on Taiwan.
Constitutional Crisis in the HKSAR: Are Judicial Decisions Legal under the Basic Law?
Berry Hsu, University of Hong Kong
The constitutional documents of former Hong Kong did not entrench the doctrine of separation of powers. The functions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government are often blurred. However, the Basic Law has embodied the doctrine of separation of powers by vesting specific powers in the Executive Government, Legislative Council, and judiciary respectively. In ensuring judicial independence, the Basic Law requires that judges shall be appointed by the Chief Executive on the recommendation of an independent commission, and that only the judiciary may exercise the judiciary power of the HKSAR. These and other provisions in securing tenure for the judiciary ensure that only judges may exercise judiciary power free from interference.
A number of tribunals exercising judicial powersthe Board of Review, for examplehave continued to function outside the judicial system since 30 June 1997. The Chief Justice appoints deputy magistrates and deputy district judges. The Chief Executive appoints temporary high court judges as recorders. Under the Basic Law, only courts may exercise judicial power and neither the Chief Justice, nor the Chief Executive without the recommendation of an independent judicial appointment commission, may appoint judicial officers. Judges must have tenure to ensure their independence. These practices violate the Basic Law and may lead to constitutional crisis. This paper will address the legal issues of judicial power, who should exercise them, and the consequences of exercising judicial power by improperly appointed persons.
Can the Hong Kong-Macau "One Country, Two Systems" Model Facilitate Taiwans Reunification with Mainland China?
Wing-yat Yu, University of Macau
Designed to reunite with Taiwan, the PRCs "one country, two systems" model is being tested in Hong Kong and Macau. Theoretically, this model possesses a high capacity for the coexistence of two legal-political and socio-economic systems within a nation-state. As survey results indicate, the Hong Kong-Macau experience has failed to win the hearts and minds of Taiwans populace on two critical issues.
First, the "two systems" power relationship is asymmetric and lacks a firm bilateral institutional foundation. The HK/Macau SARs autonomy is derived from an undemocratic central government that must exercise self-restrain to empower the "other system." Taiwan is a democratic polity enjoying full autonomy without hierarchical linkage with the PRC. Taipei rejects any subordination under Beijing, as this model would transform Taiwan into a regional "second system" of the PRCs "one country" with national sovereignty and diplomatic-defense prerogatives remaining in Communist hands.
Second, Beijings intervention in HK/Macau SAR affairs is only a matter of degree, as it had been the case during the 1980s90s transition. While it tries to avoid overt interference to enhance the SAR-autonomy façade, local maladministration has forced Beijing to repeatedly support the beleaguered Tung regime in Hong Kong, whose increasing dependency on the mainlands economy also alarms Taipei in a similar dilemma.
As the HK/Macau SAR "one country, two systems" model does not offer proof of local autonomy against Beijings interference, it fails to appeal to Taiwans people, who increasingly identify themselves as "Taiwanese" rather than Chinese and do not want "Taiwan to become a second Hong Kong."
Session 80: Theory and Practice in Tang Government
Organizer and Chair: Anthony DeBlasi, State University of New York, Albany
Discussant: Ari Daniel Levine, University of Georgia
Keywords: Tang China, political theory, local administration, historiography.
Clichés about the "flourishing Tang dynasty" are ubiquitous in scholarly and popular works. Descriptions of the ambitious scope of Tang imperial institutions create an image of a sophisticated government, but the casual assumption of Tang political success masks a surprising gap in scholarship on the Tang. Much attention has been lavished on political theory during the Song Dynasty, yet how Tang rulers and officials understood government has been relatively neglected.
This panel includes four approaches to Tang political theory. Andrew Meyers paper begins the discussion with Tang commentarial approaches to the Five Classics. By examining the structure and organization of the Wujing zhengyi, he is able to show how reconciling conflicting classical commentaries implied particular views of the problems of governance.
Anthony DeBlasi looks at a different kind of text to illuminate the assumptions made by Tang political theorists. His discussion of Zhao Ruis early eighth century Changduanjing emphasizes the coherence of its political vision and the way it addresses the central concerns of the Tang ruling elite.
Ta-Ko Chen tales a different approach. Rather than starting from a theoretical text, she instead uncovers the political and bureaucratic significance of two particular offices, the Registrar and the Recorder. She is thereby able to reconstruct the rationality of the Tang bureaucratic system.
Finally, Chia-Fu Sung examines the scholarly treatment of official documents to reconstruct how scholars organized their knowledge of precedents. Focusing on such compendia as the Tang Huiyao, he illuminates the political significance of document classification during the Tang.
From Wu to You: Tang (618907 C.E.) Political Theory in the Organization of the Correct Meaning of the Five Classics
Andrew Meyer, City University of New York, Brooklyn College
Compiled by a committee of scholars under the initial direction of the scholar Kong Yingda (574648 CE), the Wujing zhengyi (or Correct Meaning of the Five Classics) was meant to create a comprehensive and authoritative interpretation of the classical canon for a new era of universal rule. Despite many layers of constraint and commitments to comprehensiveness, the Correct Meaning manifests an original and creative interpretive perspective. This is particularly evident in the overarching organization of the series, as this was one realm in which the compilers were free to exercise their own judgment and assert their own interpretive insights.
The Zhengyis layout (as can be deduced from a close reading of Kong Yingdas prefaces to the individual texts) asserts the committees intention to reconcile two of the most influential and vehemently opposed tendencies in medieval classical exegesis: the Han commentarial tradition exemplified by Zheng Xuan (127200 CE) and the xuan xue (or "Mysterious Learning") tradition engendered by Wang Bi (22649 CE). According to the Zhengyi committee, the particular sequence of the Five Classics is, in fact, a journey from ultimate Nonactuality (Wu) through increasingly Actual (You) and substantial realms. This is what the sages achieved through the creation of the classical canon and what Tang-era readers must replicate in their application of the classics to current-day problems. I will attempt to demonstrate how these assertions are manifest in the structure of the Wujing zhengyi, and point, in conclusion, to some examples from Tang history that demonstrate the application of these ideas.
The Changduanjing and Tang Political Thought
Anthony DeBlasi, State University of New York, Albany
On first glance, Zhao Ruis treatise on political theory, his Changduanjing, comes from an unlikely source. Zhaos refusal to answer the summons to serve in government is a fixture of most biographical notices concerning him. His isolation, however, seems to have afforded him the opportunity to survey the needs of government in the early years of the eighth century. His work grapples with the central issues confronting Tang government as they were perceived by the elite, yet does so from the outside. The text, which was completed in the first years of Tang Xuanzongs reign, anticipates many of the theoretical debates that would grip the bureaucracy later in the century. For example, his preface raises the thorny problem of the relationship between moral absolutes and expediency. At the same time, Zhao signals his readers that he will also address what he sees as an excessive narrow-mindedness among those he describes as ru.
This paper attempts to accomplish three goals. First, it undertakes an explication of the logic of the text, thereby revealing the coherent political theory behind it. Second, it locates the Changduanjing in the broader context of Tang political thought by comparing its ideas with other recognized works of political theory, such as the Zhenguan xhengyao. Finally, it offers a discussion of how the text illuminates the particular direction that political disputes took once the crisis of the late eighth century began.
Check and Seal: Procedural Control and Local Administration in the Tang
Ta-Ko Chen, Independent Scholar
This essay examines two humble offices in the Tang governmentthe Registrar and the Recorderknown as the documenting and checking offices in Tang bureaucratic parlance. While the statutory description of these offices is brief and sketchy, their ubiquity in the government betrays an importance that has not been reflected in current scholarship. This presentation consists of three sections. First, it explains the critical function of the documenting and checking officers in the context of an operating government, otherwise obscured by the meager attention these two offices received in the sources. Next, it analyzes the role of the Registrar in local government, illustrating how this role facilitated the maintenance of a balance between the administrative needs of the Tang state and the political demands of its ruling elite. Finally, it shows how the issue of control for a centralized polity, as much a political as an administrative challenge, manifests itself in a variety of ways. If the much-studied institutions of censors and eunuchs in the Tang represent an extra bureaucratic expression of this anxiety of control, the design of documenting and checking officers reflects a different approach: attaining control through an insistence on procedural compliance, demonstrating a rationality that is seldom noticed by scholars. An analysis of these two offices not only informs us of the operating intricacy of the Tang bureaucracy, but also lends a prism by which a different refraction of the underlying Tang society may be produced.
Is Tanghuiyao a Historiographical Text? Political Performance and Historical Representation in a Tang-Song Textual Formation
Chia-Fu Sung, Harvard University
As the title indicates, the question I am asking and trying to answer in this paper is a straightforward one: Is Tanghuiyao a historiographical text? An equally straightforward and always safe answer is, of course, yes and no, depending on how we define the historiographical. For modern historians who are more or less in the so-called "archive fever," an extant collection of highly primary, first-hand, and archival documents like the Tanghuiyao is certainly a useful representation of, or at least could be used by modern historians to represent, the distanced Tang past. Insofar as it is representational in nature, it is certifiably "historiographical," if not historiography per se. It is probably in this line of thinking that Denis Twitchett affirmatively characterizes it as "truly professional history" in his most meticulous The Writing of Official History under the Tang. But a further look into Tanghuiyaos identity as it is situated in the classification systems of major Song bibliographies may reveal a significantly different perception of the text among its contemporaries. Frequently it was categorized as leishu (topically arranged data book) in the zi (Philosophies) section. Even at a few occasions where it was indeed listed under the shi (history) section, the subdivisions that signified more specifically the texts nature were constantly in flux from one bibliographer to another: Taking this bifurcation within the medieval Chinese discourse as a point of departure from Twitchetts modernist position, I propose to confront the Tanghuiyao as a textual formation from the following three angles: (1) how it was originally perceived by the progenitors Su brothers; (2) what kind of yao (essentials) was implied in its taxonomical framework as compared to other leishu; (3) how its fragments were actually used to do things, politically or otherwise, from Tang to Song. By highlighting its performativity, it is my hope to not only shed light on our appreciation of Tanghuiyao in particular but also bring to question our approach to pre-modern Chinese historiography in general.
Session 81: New Insights from Old Tombs: How Archaeological Discoveries Are Transforming Our Understanding of Early Chinese Intellectual Life
Organizer and Chair: Lothar von Falkenhausen, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussants: Mark Edward Lewis, Stanford University; Edward L. Davis, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Recent archaeological work in China has produced tremendous quantities of new evidence on the period from Warring States to Eastern Han, which, in spite of several dynastic changes, has been emerging ever more clearly as a single contiguous epoch in Chinese history. This panel will look at excavated artifacts and newly discovered manuscripts to explore how these new finds are forcing us to reconsider central issues in the intellectual developments during that seminal period, generating a new and improved understanding of individuals conceptions of themselves and their position in the universe. Aside from providing concrete instances of such reinterpretation, the three papers also pioneer diverse methodological approaches that exemplify how the new materials can be put to use in different disciplinesarchaeology (Lai), musical theory (Brindley), and literary studies (Brashier). Key in this effort is the need to link written and non-written evidence and to consider their archaeological context. The consequence is a welcome interdisciplinary orientation in each of the papers.
One major issue in need of being addressed now is how the intellectual facets newly revealed by this research link up with phenomena during later periods, and the assessment of their overall importance in the broad sweep of Chinese history. The discussants, two eminent historians familiar with the broad intellectual and religious currents during as well as beyond the period under discussion, are well equipped to initiate such a broader contextualization.
Death and Spirit Journeys in Early China as Seen through Road Rituals and Travel Paraphernalia
Guolong Lai, Columbia University
Spirit journeys are an important theme in early Chinese literature. Scholars have attributed its emergence in the third century BCE either to the textualization of an earlier southern shamanism, or to new self-divinization movements. I argue instead that the fascination with spirit journeys arose from a new conception of the afterlife that developed during the Late Warring States (480221 BCE) and Early Western Han (206 BCE9 CE) periods. In this new conception, the soul of the deceased took an imaginary journey through a dangerous underworld, which started from the tomba liminal point of departureand eventually arrived at a final cosmic destination. Images, texts, and objects excavated from Warring States and Han tombs should be interpreted, first and foremost, as travel paraphernalia outfitting the dead for the journey. From both the ritual canons and excavated manuscripts, it is evident that funerary rites incorporated road rituals, the purpose of which was to ward off evil influences on this post-mortem journey.
Such data force us to reconsider conventional wisdom about the tomb as the "happy home" of the dead. Instead, the tomb in part defines the nature of the spirit journey: its accumulated chariots and other travel paraphernalia will orient the soul in time and space as it undertakes its journey; and the tomb texts are provided as travel documents so as to orient the deceased within a social, political, and cosmic order.
A "Psychology of Sound" in Recently Excavated Manuscripts from China
Erica Brindley, University of California, Santa Barbara
Music plays an important role in the development of discourses on the body, and, in particular, on psychology. New evidence from excavated texts demonstrates that starting from the late 4th century BCE authors begin to develop what might be called a "psychology of sound"a detailed explanation of the relationship between sound and emotionwhich provides a rationale for the beneficial effects of good music on the human psyche. This paper looks closely at two related and altogether new manuscripts from the recent Guodian and Shanghai Museum finds so as to argue for a late 4th century BCE interest in phenomenological formulations on the human psyche.
The Sweetpear Tree: Preserving the Historical Image of Historical Preservation
K. E. Brashier, Reed College
A handsome tree adorns dozens of Eastern Han tomb and shrine reliefs. Usually depicted beside an homage scene, it spreads its intertwining branches over an unharnessed carriage or a tethered horse. Modern scholarship identifies this image as the mythical Fusang tree from which the sun daily arises, but I argue that this interpretation is wrong; that it is the sweetpear tree (gantang) from the poem by that name in the Songs Canon.
The poem advocates preserving this tree because the Duke of Shao once rested below it. From standard histories to ritual handbooks, it is cited by at least a dozen received texts as well as numerous stele inscriptions and even the Shanghai Museum bamboo-strip manuscripts. Typical of these citations, one court memorial states, "the tree under which the Duke of Shao rested is still not felled; how much the more our ancestral shrines!" That is, the tree symbolizes the proper preservation of remembrance objects, especially shrines. The unharnessed carriage represents the Dukes resting, and the homage scene is the ancestral shrine. Even the intertwined branches originate from the poem. Describing his own family cemetery, Cai Yong writes, "In the garden there is a sweetpear tree with parted trunk and shared heart," his preface explaining that this "pattern of the interlaced tree" (mulian li) symbolizes propriety. Thus by merging received literature and excavated images, we can recover early Chinas most important symbol of historical preservation.
Session 94: Books, Bodies, and Business: Cultural Consumption and Production in Contemporary China in Interdisciplinary Perspective
Organizer: Daria Berg, University of Durham
Chair and Discussant: Beverly Hooper, University of Sheffield
Keywords: consumer culture, publishing, internet, literature, contemporary China.
Consumption has been recognized as a crucial site of contemporary society in Tiananmen (1989) China, with a renewed and expanding political, cultural, economic, and technological significance. An explosion of recent research work has focused on consumer culture related to western modernity (Trentmann 2001). The aesthetics and sensibilities of consumption such as advertising, publishing, and political censorship also represent important issues in modern-day China (Wang Jing, 2003). As the notion of consumption lends itself to a variety of methodological approaches, this panel seeks a dialogue between the social sciences and humanities, aiming to investigate the changing nature and dynamics of cultural consumption and the related issue of cultural production in contemporary China. Berg examines bestsellers and banned books, in particular new urban fiction, underground authors and the cultural discourse. Gamble analyzes interviews at multinational invested firms in China to explore notions of the Chinese consumer, the roles of teachers, friends, trust and consumer rights. Klinkner examines the popular and commercial FLASH video format in Chinese websites, focusing on videos occasioned by the SARS outbreak. Edmond studies the interplay of market forces, political pressure, and literary value by tracing the publishing history of the poet Yang Lian.
This panel takes an innovative approach to presentation by publishing key issues on Durham Universitys Contemporary China Centre website www.dur.ac.uk/EastAsianStudies/cccs.htm before the meeting, inviting questions and discussion. The presentations will then elaborate on these themes. The panel thus aims to create a forum for the multidisciplinary debate of consumer culture in contemporary China.
Bestsellers, Banned Books, and the Cultural Discourse in China Post-1989
Daria Berg, University of Durham
In the post-Tiananmen period, the discourse of cultural and literary criticism heralded an era of cultural pluralism in the Peoples Republic of China. The commercial publishing industry expanded rapidly during the 1990s as newspapers, magazines, journals and books flourished, catering to the interests and desires of investors and consumers. Many intellectuals branched out into business ventures, including publishing and the electronic mediaproviding a new vehicle for the new cultural discourse. From the early 1990s magazines, journals and literary websites on the internet have been emerging as a major forum for divergent opinions. While official censorship and state control still limit the freedom to create and to disseminate, however, the market assumes a greater role in cultural and political issues due to the impact of the economic reforms and the development of the commercial publishing industry. Works by women writers provide case studies for the forces of the market, literary production and political intolerance. Lin Bai, Xu Xiaobin, Zhang Xin and other neon-light fiction writers churn out bestsellers by peddling urban dreams and nightmares. A younger generation of underground authors of banned books such as Wei Hui, Mian Mian and Jiu Dan reach celebrity and cult status by breaking the silence on the darker sides of modern city life and inscribing taboo topics into the cultural discourse. Analysis will explore how rhetoric and the literary discourse are being traded as non-fiscal currencies that can buy power, influence, and opportunity.
Notions of Chinese Consumers: Teachers, Friends, and Trust in Multinational Retail Stores
Jocelyn Gamble, University of London
This paper sets out to explore the interrelated worlds of work and consumption in contemporary China; the intention is to record and investigate contextualized notions of Chinese consumers. The paper is based upon research conducted at U.K. and Japanese invested retail firms in China during 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2003. Interviews were conducted with both British and Japanese expatriate managers and Chinese employees who engaged directly with customers. The longitudinal basis of the research helps to identify emerging and developing trends. The paper explores a number of topics: To what extent do Chinese consumers match models of consumers constructed in Western contexts where, for instance, consumers are variously portrayed as shrewd rational maximisers or as gullible and easily manipulated (Gabriel and Lang 1995)? Given that notions of customer service are said to differ between Japan and the U.K., are there systematic differences in notions of consumers in China between those employed in U.K. invested stores and those in Japanese invested stores? How do customer assistants in China seek to encourage customers to buy products? Is it possible to discern any wider impacts of multinational retailers on Chinese society? The paper indicates some of the specific ways in which consumers are socially embedded and culturally constructed in China. Elements highlighted include the stress upon a need to create a basis of trust among strangers and the emphasis upon student-teacher roles. The paper also indicates the significant role that multinational retailers are playing in fostering notions of consumer rights in China.
Flash from China!!! SARS Videos on the Net
Kenneth Klinkner, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
For newcomers to Chinas internet, the liveliness of the visual display is a dazzling feast. Not only do the eyes gorge on the chock-a-block lines of texts slotted into topical columns and sidebars, but they are also treated to a host of dancing images on the screen. Information and entertainment are competing here. Most of the latter comes in the form of those familiar pop-up windows, come-on ads and hot deals that litter and irritate folks online around the world with doubtless the same effect in China. Nevertheless there is a format in which entertainment is packaged in a way that provides information on how things today in China are done. The format is FLASH videos and this paper will explore and analyze the import of this new medium for entertainment and information. FLASH videos epitomize how information is communicated in todays hi-tech world: messages are short, simple and visual. This study will look at how these logos have been capitalized on in China. First, the commercial-business nexus will be discussed followed by a look at the plastic and freeform nature of this new medium. Lastly an in-depth look will be given on how the SARS crisis was packaged and dealt with via a host of short online videos, showcasing a curious mix of feeling and waggery. The paper will conclude with a measured analysis of what can be learned about todays China from these flashing images.
Political Dissidence and Accommodation: The Publishing History of Yang Lian from "Today" to Today
Jacob B. P. Edmond, Harvard University
This paper sets out to examine the relationship of dissident intellectuals to official cultural organs and market forces in China and the way in which writers like Yang Lian have participated in and subverted official culture and the market through their publications. The focus of this paper will be a case study of the official and unofficial Mainland publications of Yang, who first came to prominence through the Today magazine, from the late 1970s onwards. The publishing history of Yangs poetry provides significant and contrasting examples of the way in which the political and economic realities of the publishing industry have molded Chinese cultural discourse. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Yang published in samizdat alongside his official publications. The relationship of these unofficial publications to Yangs officially published works provides significant insights into the changing nature of publishing and public discourse in China in the 1980s. Since 1989, Yang Lians record of publications reflects the increasing role of the market and private patrons, along with the ongoing presence of political influence, in publishing. At one extreme, Yangs collection Huang was destroyed in the aftermath of June 4th, 1989. At the other, in the late 1990s a prominent Shanghai publisher published collections of his essays and poetry that are unrivalled by collections of any other contemporary Chinese poet. The dubious economic rationale for these latter publications and the political problems surrounding their republication demonstrate the complex interplay of market forces, political pressure and literary value in contemporary Chinese literary publishing.
Session 95: Non-Governmental Organizations in China: Challenges in the Context of Political Transition and Diminishing State Capacity
Organizer and Chair: André Laliberté, University of Quebec, Montreal
Discussant: Linda Wong, City University of Hong Kong
Keywords: NGOs, China, political science and history, 19582002.
This panel looks at an exciting dimension of contemporary Chinese politics: the role of NGOs in the implementation of various policies in areas ranging form social welfare to environmental protection. The presenters pay particular attention to the claim that NGOs can represent the building blocks of a civil society in the context of a rapidly changing Chinese society. This panel should generate interest for social scientists in general who look at other societies undergoing processes of political transition, and where the retreat of the State from social policies often coincides with the emergence of NGOs. Such a trend in China is generating multifaceted and often contradictory consequences. On the one hand, NGOs can respond to the governments needs in the provision of social services. On the other hand, they can raise concern about the States ability to remain in control. The four papers of this panel debate this issue with an exploration of the diverse dimensions of NGOs involvement in specific policy areas. These papers explore how far the Chinese State can tap into NGOs social capital. Providing perspectives from political science and history, the papers raise important questions about continuity in China since 1958. More generally, they examine to what extent the modern State can mobilize the resources of NGOs to develop a sound social policy in a context of resource scarcity, rapid economic change, and social and political uncertainty.
The Impact of External Shocks on the Rise of Chinese Civil Society: SARS and Chinese Environmental NGOs
Jonathan Schwartz, State University of New York, New Paltz
The initial failure of the Chinese leadership to effectively address SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) related challenges to public health resulted in a rising tide of doubts regarding the effectiveness of the new Chinese leadership and the role of the state. In many cases, these doubts found reflection in questions over the ability of the leadership to retain control over both the Party and the state. Even as these questions continue to be raised, and to some extent, in response to them, the Chinese leadership has taken a number of initiatives, including the move to draw on civil society organizations for assistance in combating SARS. Does this turn to civil society organizations augur a shift in Chinas existing state-led civil society model (Frolic, 1997)? Can external shocks, as find expression in the SARS epidemic, contribute to shifting this relationship towards one in which NGOs are more easily established and less constrained in setting their own agendas? To address these questions, I explore the nature of current state-civil society relations in China. I then consider the role of external shocks in political change. Focusing on the most developed expression of civil society in Chinaenvironmental non-governmental organizations I evaluate the impact of SARS on the status and role of the NGO movement. The paper concludes by suggesting that external shocks such as SARS will not result in a quantum shift in state-society relations, but will increase the velocity towards greater NGO independence as the state is forced to recognize its own limitations.
Disorder in the Dining Halls: The Gendered Politics of Remembering the Great Leap Forward
Kimberley Manning, Stanford University
During Chinas Great Leap Forward (195860), the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the greatest political mobilization of women in history. Despite high hopes that the mobilization would at last realize sexual equality in rural China, women living in six Henan and Jiangsu villages remember this period with remarkable indifference. This paper offers three explanations for this finding, and then contextualizes these explanations in a broader discussion of state-society relations during and following the Great Leap Forward. Specifically, I argue that disregard for womens reproductive health by village leaders, a more specific abuse of power and privilege by women leaders, and a continuing tendency to devalue womens labor both within and outside of the home by the CCP and All China Womens Federation (ACWF) led many women to either disregard or resent the mobilization. I then explore some of the conflicts over the dining halls in these villages to raise questions about the influence of post-Great Leap Forward political discourses on memories of this period. I argue that the Anti-Five Winds Movement and the contemporary logic of the economic reforms have shaped grassroots explanations for the famine (195961) and may have de-legitimized some collective solutions to social welfare measures. This paper is based upon interviews with 114 individuals including state, provincial, county, commune, and village leaders, as well as women and men villagers in Henan and Jiangsu. The paper also draws on documentation collected from three county archives as well as recently made available documents from the ACWF.
State Control of Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations in China
Jiang Ru, Stanford University
Since the late 1980s, China scholars have studied associations using one of two theoretical frameworkscivil society and corporatism. However, neither approach is able to characterize accurately state-society relationships. We approach the subject empirically by analyzing how the State controls environmental NGOs and how environmental NGOs react to the States controls. Our study examines the States control of a sample of eleven national and eleven Beijing municipal environmental NGOs. Control measures involve registration procedures, routine supervision activities, and repressive actions, and those controls are exerted by different sets of organizations: civil affairs offices, supervisory organizations designated by the state to oversee activities of NGOs they sponsor, and affiliated organizations endorsed by supervisory organizations to host NGOs. In practice, civil affairs offices exert their principal control during the NGO registration process. In deciding whether and how to control NGOs they sponsor, supervisory and affiliated organizations balance the costs and risks of supervising NGOs with potential gains. Interestingly, many of the States control measures did not affect NGO operations and some rules governing NGOs were not enforced. By avoiding political confrontations and financial wrongdoings through self-censorship, NGOs have been able to violate some state controls without drawing negative attention, and this allowed them to evade repressive responses from the State. Constrained by its resources, the State concentrates on repressing political threats to the regime, but tolerates and even encourages organized NGO participation in environmental protection efforts.
Social Policy Marketization and Decline of State Capacity: What Role for NGOs?
André Laliberté, University of Quebec, Montreal
In response to the increasing inability of the Chinese State to provide adequate social welfare to its population, a growing number of Chinese social scientists in organizations such as Tsinghua Universitys NGO Research Center have responded by advocating a greater role for NGOs in the provision of social services. This paper questions the feasibility of such proposals for rural areas on two grounds: NGOs lack adequate resources to act in the countryside, and in relation to this, institutional obstacles prevent them from fulfilling their potential. This paper argues that even transnational NGOs with privileged access to resources may be unable to respond to calls for help by local governments because they find it difficult to meet the criteria established by the central government. In a first section, the paper presents an overview of the social welfare needs faced by the rural population. Then, it presents aggregate data on the activities of NGOs involved in China since 1991. In a third section, the paper presents the major legal and political obstacles faced by NGOs involved in social welfare. Articles, reports, and studies done by Chinese scholars represent the main source of data used for the first section of this paper; the second section summarizes reports from international and Chinese NGOs; and the third section of the paper presents and analyzes pieces of legislation relevant to NGOs. The paper cautions that while legal reform could encourage more NGOs to get involved, the latters efforts may remain insufficient to build a comprehensive welfare policy.
Session 96: By Will or By Way: Social Positioning and Global Context in Contemporary Chinese Poetry
Organizer and Chair: Paul Manfredi, Pacific Lutheran University
Discussant: Michelle Yeh, University of California, Davis
This panel, broadly speaking, will address the impact of socio-economic change on poetry in contemporary China and its long-term implications for the enterprise of writing poetry. With traditional notions of Chinese poethood in mind, we will consider recent reorientations of the role of poets as played out in an often dizzying pace of stylistic invention and evolution, combined with not always synchronized critical discourse concerning the poetry itself. Central to the discussion will be the role of exile poets, the role of the market, and the role of the audience (in various sectors and locations) over the past 20 years in China.
Bei Daos Paradox
Dian Li, University of Arizona
Bei Daos hermitic style of poetry has been baffling his critics ever since he started writing. While his earlier "Misty" poetry met with strong resistance from official Chinese critics, which in itself brought him fame and success, his continuing insistence on fragment syntax and disjunctive imagery while writing in exile has earned him a few Western detractors. For example, Michael Duke, an esteemed scholar of contemporary Chinese literature, has declared that Bei Daos poems "as a whole did not make any sense." We can reasonably estimate that Dukes "sense" is contingent on finite interpretive possibilities, certainty of knowledge and mastery of the world, all of which, the paper will argue, are contrary to the intention of Bei Daos poetry. With a careful reading of his selected poems, I will try to show how Bei Dao privileges ambiguity and uncertainty by forcing seemingly unrelated or opposing things or ideas together and thus creating abundant eye-catching paradoxical images. These unending paradoxes, whose power comes from an imaginative reordering of things and events, form a key aspect of Bei Daos poetics of social defiance and artistic autonomy.
Why Poetry, Or: Why Social Concern?
Maghiel Van Crevel, Leiden University
In the 1990s, literary critics in the Peoples Republic of China used various binary pairs to structure a complex poetic landscape. These may be summed up as an opposition of spirituality (poets such as Xi Chuan and Wang Jiaxin) vs. earthliness, the latter associated with money and consumerism among other things. Simultaneously, several prominent authors (Yi Sha, Yu Ran, Yang Li) explicitly rejected spirituality and embraced earthliness, both in their poetry and in all sorts of commentary. In recent years, members of a generation of poets known as post-70 (70 hou) have displayed both tongue-in-cheek spirituality (Yan Jun) and earthliness taken to extremes (Lower Body poets). Interestingly, their common ground lies in an ambivalent, rough-edged but keen social awareness expressed in poetry, at a time of rapid, often brutal change. Different from poets social concern in the Republican and Maoist periods, these authors forgo claims to poethood as a means of speaking for others, and something conferring traditional high status. Yet, they pursue personal publicity, or at least do not eschew it. Their glamour may be that of being "Hip & Disenfranchised," but still making a difference. That takes us back to essential featuressummed up as a degree of textual autonomywhich distinguish literature from other types of text. Wouldnt social concern be better served by political pamphlets, newspaper editorials, or social science reports? Why poetry? Conversely, with an eye to the ever-changing collective poetics of a given community: Why social concern?
Global Cities of Chinese Poetry
Paul Manfredi, Pacific Lutheran University
In this paper I will be testing the hypothesis of a shared global city (Sassen), or nation-transcending space, by examining Chinese poetry within that context. By looking at some prominent "city" poets (Yan Li, Mo Mo, Meng Lang, Zang Di and others) from Chinese and North American urban contexts (Shanghai, Beijing, New York), I will be attempting to reveal common mechanisms at work in their work. The paper will begin with the time and placespecific Chinese poetry (post-Obscure poetry, Third Generation poetry of the 198090s), of which Yan Li and Mo Mo in particular were highly important participants, and move gradually with the rise of the Global City into the potential for shared global experience that increasingly de-emphasizes time and place. I anticipate mixed results in the findings, as the increasingly common features of global culture, e.g., market forces directing if not determining artistic expression, have the often ironic effect of accentuating the particularities of the local production, even (or especially) as those particulars disappear.
Irrelevance of Poetry in the New World: Gu Cheng as a Case
Yibing Huang, Connecticut College
This paper challenges the notion that the post-1989 change in Chinese poetry is a simplistically positive one, particularly in terms of the "liberation from the expectations of history," or a "return to poetry" itself. What such a return often entails, I will argue, is poetrys being reduced to irrelevance, a predicament Chinese poets share with their contemporaries in the West. I will analyze some representative pieces of Gu Chengs post-exilic poetry as well as the posthumous reception of Gu Chengs poetry in both China and the West. Gu Chengs poetry, central to the Obscure poetry movement and variously interpreted following his tragic and internationally publicized death, is a particularly resonant case for exploring this irrelevance of poetry and many other related issues. Our next step will be to discuss why poetry or even the study of poetry is still legitimate and necessary in our "post-historical" brave new world.
Session 97: The Notions of "New" in Late Qing China: Newspapers, Magazines, and Novels
Organizer: Feng-ying Ming, California State University, Long Beach
Chair: Hon-Ming Yip, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Discussant: Ying Hu, University of California, Irvine
Keywords: New, newspaper, new terminology, New Novel, New China.
This panel studies the production, dissemination, and discussion of the notion of "xin" (new) in China at the turn of the last century. We ask: How did the notion of "xin" come into being in Late Qing dynasty times? How was the notion appropriated by different groups of Late Qing people under different circumstances? Using newspaper, magazines, and literary works as specific examples, the panelists discuss the multiple levels of interpretation and representation evolving around the notion of "xin." By doing so, the panelists continue their effort in exploring new ways to explore neglected aspects of Late Qing culture.
Ying-ho Chiangs paper examines the use of "new" terms in many of the leading Late Qing periodicals. Focusing on Liang Qichaos novel Xin Zhongguo weilai ji (The Future of New China, 1902), Chiangs paper analyzes how the literary representation of "new" marks the reform thinkers effort in embracing the "new" and the departure from the past.
Natasha Vittinghoff-Gentzs paper studies the roles that the earliest generation of Chinese newspaper journalists played in the making, transformation, and expansion of the "new." Using job announcements and the journalists autobiographical accounts as primary materials, Gentzs paper analyzes the difference between the notions of "new" and the "newsworthy" in a social milieu susceptible to foreign influence.
Feng-ying Mings paper studies the ambivalence of the theory and practice of Late Qing New Novels. Analyzing the many different definitions of "xin" in Late Qing times, such as "xinmin" (New People), "xinxue" (New Learning), "xinzheng" (New Policy), and "xin xiaoshuo" (New Novel), Mings paper locates two contrasting definitions of "xin" and their ramifications in Late Qing society.
New Terms in Xin Zhongguo weilai ji
Ying-ho Chiang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Liang Qichaos Xin Zhongguo weilai ji (The Future of New China), a "political novel," is characterized by its massive use of new terms. The novel was written for the specific purpose of delivering the reformists ideals, especially that of the notion of xinmin (new citizen) and its function in transforming the quality of the Chinese people. As they flooded China at the turn of the last century, these new terms, sometimes called "loan words," were vehicles for the transmission of concepts and ideas newly imported from the west, usually via Japan. These new terms also appeared massively in the leading periodicals published by Liang at that time, such as Shiwu bao (Chinese Progress, 18961898), Qingyi bao (Journal of Disinterested Criticism, 18981901), and Xin min cong bao (New Citizen Journal, 19021907).
Xin Zhongguo weilai ji was the featured novel of the initial issue of Xin xiaoshuo magazine (The New Novel, 19021906), the first and most influential novel magazine in late imperial China. In fact it was for the publication of this novel that the magazine was initiated. The overloading of new terms in the novel was used deliberately to mark its departure from novels of the past and its embrace of a brave new world. This paper will discuss the influence of the use of these new terms from various perspectives, and review the function and significance of the novel in historical perspective.
The New in Early Chinese Newspapers: Actors, Texts, and Strategies
Natascha Vittinghoff-Gentz, JWG University of Frankfurt
The modern newspaper is per definitionem the main forum to produce, disseminate, and discuss the "New." Newspaper journalists tend to monopolize the responsibility to inform the public about everything "new," and newspapers were, in China as elsewhere, quickly accepted as a major reference source by government officials as well as the public in general.
The contested site remained what was "new" and what was newsworthy, and interpretations differed widely. The transnational dimension of news production moreover added to conflicts about the correct orientation for searching the new. In this paper I will analyse the job announcements and self-presentations of the journalists in these earliest Chinese newspapers as well as the biographical backgrounds of the (still completely unknown) first generation of Chinese journalists, in order to reconstruct the requirements, actual performance and cultural negotiations about the new role of these news-producers in public and their specific ideas about the "new." This allows us to observe their oscillation between a self-defined new and old, the leeway and limits of this new public role and the potential danger inherent in this still undefined field of news-production.
In the middle of the 19th century the "new" was not yet settled in ideological dichotomies of "backward vs. progressive," "feudal vs. modern," as it came to be interpreted in the early 20th century. I will therefore argue that there was a fundamental transformation in the perception, understanding, and representation of the "new" within this period.
The Problem of Two Contrasting Definitions of the "New" in Late Qing New Novels
Feng-ying Ming, California State University, Long Beach
Late Qing China was paradoxical in many ways. Despite the longing for "the new" and the shared vision to re-build a better and stronger China, many reform intellectuals, literati, and the common people more often than not worked from their own versions of "new," which often failed to live up to the ideological and intellectual agenda that they set for themselves. One of the most important and as-yet unstudied aspects of the Late Qing paradox lies in the contrasting interpretations and representations of the notion of "xin" (new). The notion of "new" was also attached to the discourse on the novel in the final decade of the Qing, but the ambiguities of the term as it crops up there have rarely been explored.
My analysis will begin by discussing the two different practical definitions of "xin." On the one hand, there was an elite notion based on the ideas of Yan Fu and Liang Qichao and ultimately stemming from the Neo-Confucian notion of "xin" in The Great Learning. On the other hand, there was a more vernacular understanding, which took "xin" as the manifestation of urban novelty as represented primarily by Shanghai material culture. Both understandings, however, existed at the same time in late Qing society, and both viewed the "new" as overwhelmingly positive, but led to very different results in the New Novel.
Session 98: ROUNDTABLE: Standardization, Orthopraxy, and the Construction of Chinese Culture: A Critical Reappraisal
Organizer and Chair: Donald S. Sutton, Carnegie Mellon University
Discussants: Melissa J. Brown, Stanford University; Hill Gates, Western Michigan University; Kenneth Pomeranz, University of California, Irvine; Michael Szonyi, University of Western Ontario; Paul Katz, Academia Sinica
Keywords: Chinese culture; standardization of; unity and diversity of; orthodoxy and orthopraxy; religion and ritual; death practices.
Two edited works published over a decade ago, Popular Culture in Late Imperial China (1985) and Death Rituals in Late Imperial China (1988), introduced a new way of thinking about Chinese culture that has been extraordinarily influential in subsequent scholarship, especially concerning religion and ritual. Though the authors did not take identical stances, they assumed that Chinese culture should be regarded as relatively standardized from at least the late Ming on. They argued that cultural standardization arrived through state sponsorship and the agency of local elites, and that it tended to be selective: focusing on practice (orthopraxy) rather than belief (orthodoxy), or else stressing a certain sequence of ritual acts. This process was seen to be ongoing during the Qing period, both among the less educated and among non-Han in the border regions undergoing assimilation. The expression of individual, group, and regional variations permitted diversity, but within standardized Chinese cultural forms that tended to unite Chinese societies.
All of the roundtable participants have made use of these historical-cum-anthropological theories in their research, proposing refinements, pointing to shortcomings or challenging their validity in particular cases. We believe the time is ripe to take stock of them systematically. We shall offer a critical assessment in the light of their application in such areas as the following: ethnic assimilation, economic behavior, certain popular and official religious cults, and regional death practices.
Session 99: Material Culture and Sensibility in China: The Cultural Life of Things
Organizer: Richard von Glahn, University of California, Los Angeles
Chair: Stephen H. West, University of California, Berkeley
Discussant: Francesca Bray, University of California, Santa Barbara
This set of papers derives from a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project, organized under the auspices of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, focused on the study of Chinese material culture. The project, which has involved a dozen scholars from the disciplines of history, literature, and anthropology, has begun with the premise that the social significance of material culture is generated by the interaction of people with the tangible objects of the world around them. Objects that have an existence independent of the culture that appropriates them provide especially illuminating cases of how the processes of appropriation and domestication produce new cultural signs and values. Thus, each of these papers begins with an "alien" objectwild insects, foreign money, imported antiquesand shows how the particular physical characteristics of the object acquired cultural meaning through its incorporation into the humdrum routines of everyday social life. These papers also demonstrate that while material culture remains imbedded in contingent historical experience, the authenticating processes of culture and memory generate traditions of using "things" that acquire lives of their own.
From a Singing Bird to a Fighting Bug: A Cultural Study of the Cricket in the Chinese Zoological Lexicon
Ping-chen Hsiung, Academia Sinica
This paper examines the cultural history of the cricket in the zoological lexicon of imperial China. Through a review of classical references to crickets ranging from the Book of Odes to philological studies in the medieval period, it will show first of all that for the first millennium of Chinese imperial history people identified and appreciated the cricket in its capacity as a singing and flying object, in the category of "bird," as evinced by the epithet "chicken in the grass" (saji). In the Southern Song, however, the geographical shift of the empire, urbanization, and the prosperity of the south dictated a more crowded physical environment as well as an increasing interest in indoor and introspective (and therefore less bloody) forms of popular entertainment. The combative spirit and exciting sport that some cricket-like insects manifested fostered the development of a popular type of gambling competition, cricket-fighting, that would take China by storm during the latter half of the imperial era. From the Ming onward, the cricket was identified as a ferocious, dueling gladiator. This paper will demonstrate how this metamorphosis in the social and cultural life of the people engendered gradual but unmistakable changes in the Chinese zoological lexicon.
Foreign Silver Coins and Market Culture in Nineteenth-Century China
Richard von Glahn, University of California, Los Angeles
Both the physical qualities of different types of money and the cultural values assigned to them contributed to the determination of their economic value. European silver coins had begun to circulate in China as early as the sixteenth century, but it was around 1800 that a foreign coin, the 8-real coin issued by the Spanish king Carlos IV, became the basis of a new monetary standard in China, the yuan. In the nineteenth century, the Carlos IV "dollar" and other European coins served as the principal means of exchange, and the yuan as the standard means of account, in the markets of South China. Consequently Chinese commercial publishers began to issue manuals to help merchants identify and authenticate these foreign coins. In this paper I will utilize these manuals to examine how the physical properties of foreign silver coins influenced their market value, regional variations in money use, and the ways in which merchant knowledge was circulated and reproduced. These manuals demonstrate significant differences in coin usage between Jiangnan and Guangdong, the major commercial centers of the empire. While Guangdong reverted to a commodity money standard that allowed the use of a wide range of different types of physical monies, including "chopped" (luyin) and broken (lanban) foreign coins, in Jiangnan the Carlos IV dollar became a unified, "sovereign" monetary standard. This regional variation attests to the distinctive regional characteristics of market culture in late imperial China.
Jiangnan Domestic Furniture in Taiwan: Sense, Memory, and the Construction of the Past
Shuenn-Der Yu, Academia Sinica
This paper discusses how historical consciousness is experienced and formed on the level of everyday life by analyzing the consumption of Chinese antique furniture in Taiwan. In the late 1980s, Chinas traditional vernacular furniture began to pour into Taiwans antique market and created a new fad in the 1990s, as Taiwanese families have largely discarded their old furniture during the last three decades. These relatively inexpensive, solid-wood furniture pieces have become one of the most popular decorations in store windows, restaurants, teahouses, real-estate advertisements, as well as in large numbers of Taiwans middle-class homes. By examining how Taiwanese consumers learn to appreciate and appropriate "things of the past," this paper argues that the object is one of the most important agents through which people experience changes of time and history. Our experiences with objects, through senses of touch and vision or bodily experience of comfort, are often the basis by which we discern present and past, or modernity and tradition. Historical consciousness comes in many forms other than written or oral histories; this example of antique furniture consumption shows how ideas about the past are grounded in our senses and bodily experiences.
Session 113: Rethinking Cultural Revolution Culture
Organizer: Lei Ouyang Bryant, University of Pittsburgh
Chair and Discussant: Bell Yung, University of Pittsburgh
Keywords: China, Cultural Revolution, classic text, theater, arts.
This panel reconsiders Cultural Revolution Culture through examples of classic text, theater, and music prevalent during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (196676). The individual papers provide new approaches for understanding and analyzing these cultural forms.
We argue that analyses of Cultural Revolution Culture should not be limited to absolute xenophobia and iconoclasm: this culture was not strictly iconoclastic because it included many important elements from Chinas traditional heritage. Nor was it strictly xenophobic because it used foreign forms and foreign models and relied heavily on international art exchange.
Similarly, Cultural Revolution Culture should not be deemed as a culture with no roots in the past and no repercussions in the present: it perpetuates many earlier ideas and cultural products (such as the Neo-Confucian Three-Character-Classic); it continues many of the reform projects dating back to the late Qing and early Republic (such as theater reform), and it is reflected on and played with in much of Chinese (and foreign) cultural production up to the present day (as the nostalgic use of revolutionary songs and the international response to the model works illustrate).
As we reexamine prominent cultural forms from this historic period, we offer a discussion that extends beyond the borders of the Peoples Republic of China and beyond the ten-year period as which the Cultural Revolution is now perceived. We assert that contradictions between political goals and cultural forms must be reexamined carefully in order to illustrate both the intentional and unintentional effects of political campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution.
Where Did the Model Theater Start? Tian Hans Operatic Reform in the Republican Period
Xiaomei Chen, University of California, Davis
Tian Han ranks as one of the three founding fathers of modern spoken drama with 20 volumes of works to his name, including film, modern drama, traditional opera, poetry, film, music, translation, and literary criticism. This paper attempts to begin to map Tian Hans position in twentieth-century literary history by examining his pioneering effort at operatic theater reform in the 1910s and 1920s.
Taking issue with the CCP claim that Tian was a free-spirited artist who only turned left in 1930 after encountering Communist ideology, I argue that Tian Han had already helped construct a leftist discourse well before his turn left. Indeed, Tians "contemporary opera" can be seen as the earliest success story, before the 1940s Yanan theater reform efforts, long before theater reform in the PRC in the 1950s, and certainly long before model theaters "operatic revolution," which reached its peak during the Cultural Revolution. In his reformed traditional operas in the 1910s and 1920s, one can perceive almost all the thematic concerns as well as formalistic innovations, later claimed as the product of Maoist Model Theater. The most extreme form of Maoist art and literature, therefore, indeed has its deepest roots in the Republican period and traditional drama.
This paper attempts to present a more complex and coherent story of an important writer and to trace the historical contingencies and continuities of modern and contemporary Chinese literary and cultural history without confining our efforts to seemingly separate periodizations such as the Republican, the Maoist, and the post-Maoist.
Flower Girl Encounters White Haired Girl: Intercultural Dynamics of the PRC and the DPRK during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (196676)
Suk-Young Kim, Northwestern University
Despite the close relationship that the Peoples Republic of China and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea enjoyed since the Korean War (195053), the decade of the Chinese Cultural Revolution was an exceptional period when both states often found each other on unfriendly terms. Nevertheless, it will be misleading to examine the cultural contours of the PRC and the DPRK from a limited perspective of only considering the conspicuous political rift during those years. The affinities exhibited by one of the most popular cultural formsnamely the theatre performances and filmsproduced in the PRC and the DPRK during the Cultural Revolution need to be unearthed, the process of which will illuminate the network of cultural influence in the East Asian socialist block.
This paper attempts to engage in the comparative analysis of the filmed theatre performances and unveil the similarities and disparities of yangbanxi (model theatre works of the PRC) and hukmyunggaguk (revolutionary opera of the DPRK). By comparing two popular productions of White Haired Girl of the PRC and Flower Girl of the DPRK I will specifically focus on how both productions showcase an undeniable relation between the PRC and the DPRK in terms of designating women as effective agents for promoting revolutionary spirit in the pre-revolutionary feudal society. Simultaneously, I will also point to the differences in the two productions in terms of how femininity and family structure are expressed, revealing the gap between the various policies the PRC and the DPRK were pursuing at the time.
Destroying the Old and Teaching Black Material: The Three-Character-Classic and the Cultural Revolution
Barbara Mittler, University of Heidelberg
Many myths about Cultural Revolution Culture have been perpetuated both in the West and in China. One of them is the idea that the Cultural Revolution destroyed Chinese traditional culture. Yet it is possible to show that far from demolishing Chinese cultural heritage, the Cultural Revolution actually helped perpetuate and popularize important parts of that heritage.
The Three-Character-Classic (Sanzijing), a primary school textbook that had been used to teach Chinese writing, historiography, as well as (Neo-)Confucian morality since the 13th century was considered part of Chinas "feudal" tradition and therefore was not used during the Cultural Revolution. Indeed, it was openly criticized in a political campaign against Lin Biao and Confucius in the early 1970s. In the course of this campaign, factory workers and peasants, students and soldiers, men and women all read the Sanzijing. Commentaries and critical editions on the Sanzijing were even published in their name.
It is the purpose of this paper to show that a campaign such as this did more than a good service to the perpetuation of Chinese traditional heritage in spite of its contrary goal: it confronted a much greater part of the Chinese population with this heritage than would ever have been reached even if teaching had been continued regularly and without political bias during the Cultural Revolution years. What was lost and what was found in terms of traditional cultural heritage for different social groups and different generations during the Cultural Revolution thus needs to be reconsidered.
Music, Memory, and Nostalgia: Multiple Meanings in the Contemporary Legacy of Chinese Cultural Revolution Songs
Lei Ouyang Bryant, University of Pittsburgh
Despite fervent efforts to educate and mobilize the masses in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the individual reception of revolutionary music often strayed greatly from its original political intentions. At times, music and dance provided an outlet from traumatic times as well as a tool for group participation and defining ones identity. The Cultural Revolution was a time of heightened and spirited political activity, particularly for the generation that came of age during this tumultuous period; this intensity may help to explain why today the songs evoke such powerful and emotional memories.
Based on interviews, public opinion surveys, and additional fieldwork conducted in China and the United States, I will analyze the variety of meanings developed through a set of revolutionary songs known as Zhandi Xinge. Through an examination of how the songs trigger specific moments and emotions in an individuals memory, I will analyze the collective memories of different generations. Contradicting their intended goal, I contend that the songs are fondly remembered by the youth of the Cultural Revolution above all for their musical content as their lyrics have long since become outdated.
Studies in the social sciences have argued that the political events of ones youth are most significant in our memories and our identities. In this paper, I will demonstrate how and why such politically motivated songs trigger such a compelling sense of nostalgia in the memories of the youth of the Cultural Revolution. Additionally, I will analyze the alternate meanings as remembered by older and younger generations.
Session 114: Cultural Interactions in Neolithic/Bronze Age China
Organizer and Chair: TzeHuey Chiou-Peng, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Keywords: Chinese archaeological finds, cultural interactions, regional centers, bronze age.
Archaeological discoveries in China during the last two decades have added new dimensions to studying the formation of Chinese civilization. Contrary to what was previously believedthat Chinese culture was conceived and developed exclusively within the Chinese Central Plainscientific data have now testified that the early cultures in the heartland of China had exchanged ideas with regional centers in peripheral areas once regarded as cultural backwater. Moreover, studies of Chinese archaeological finds also suggest that these regional cultures played active roles in the evolution of Chinese civilization. The authors in this panel will analyze the finds from sites in both Shang/Zhou domain and regional centers, and discuss interactions among/between these sites or cultural areas. Through examining technical, artistic, and ideological traits reflected on the artifacts from early Chinese sites, the authors will interpret the factors and mechanism that have led to cultural communications in China during the Bronze Age.
Stone Working as Cultural Interaction in Neolithic China
Gwen P. Bennett, Washington University, St. Louis
Lacking the texts that are one of the sources of primary evidence for the study of cultural interaction in Bronze Age China, cultural interaction in the Neolithic period has been approached primarily through ceramic studies. Pottery, due to its rapid response rate to cultural change, has been used to build regional chronologies, as well as to identify different cultural groups and their interaction. Because of its ubiquity and quantity on Neolithic sites, its traditional and continuing utility for dating, and its easy accessibility for the application of low-tech analytical techniques, pottery has received overwhelming amounts of research. However, this concentrated focus on one class of material culture can introduce bias to our interpretations of the past, and archaeological accounts built on analyses of other materials, in addition to pottery, can provide more comprehensive understandings. Lithics are another abundant and easily accessible data source for these studies that should be used to advantage. This paper will first look at the issue of lithics and cultural interaction, and then specifically examine stone tool and ornament data from the Yangtze River corridor to make some preliminary conclusions about Neolithic period cultural interaction within this large region.
The Carved Bones Art as an Independent Tradition in Anyang
Ying Wang, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
The carved bone spatulas uncovered at the Shang royal tombs at Anyang are extraordinary objects produced exclusively during the Anyang period (circa 13001046 BCE). The carved patterns of animistic and geometric motifs, seen on both sides of these bone objects, find close parallels on bronzes from the same site. Such resemblance has led a number of scholars to conclude that these decorative motifs, as well as the artistic styles used to decorate these bone artifacts, are mere transliterations of contemporaneous bronze vocabulary in a different medium. However, a close examination of these bone artifacts reveals that the Anyang bone carving tradition evolved from a rather complex background. A comparison of the carved bone patterns with pottery and bronze designs of pre-Anyang periods indicates that the Anyang bone art was inspired by both pre-Anyang artistic traditions and others originated from cultures outside the Shang domain. These bone artifacts encompassed ideas that resulted from cultural exchanges between Anyang and its neighbors.
Ancient China circa 1200 BC: Anyang, Sanxingdui, and Xingan
Jay Xu, Art Institute of Chicago
This paper attempts to utilize current data from field archaeology to address issues regarding the cultural geography of China around 1200 BC. Major archaeological discoveries dating from this time period have been conducted in three separate regions: Fu Haos tomb at Anyang in the Central Plain; two sacrificial pits at Sanxingdui, Sichuan in the upper Yangzi region; and a find of unknown nature at Xingan, Jiangxi in the middle Yangzi region. These archaeological data attest to the existence of material cultures belonging to social elites from their respective societies. These artifacts, when viewed collectively, exhibit different characteristics as well as commonly shared features. A comparative study of these finds therefore provides an opportunity for understanding the interregional communications among/between these elite cultures and for reconstructing cultural geography of that time. As the Yangzi regions were once regarded as cultural backwaters, the new finds at Sanxingdui and Xingan are particularly important for reassessing the Shang culture at Anyang in historical context.
Art, Identity, and Cultural Interactions in North China during the Early Western Zhou Period
Yan Sun, Gettysburg College
The Yan was a major state established by the Zhou court in North China during late 11th century BCE. Its political existence symbolized the colonization of dynastic power in North China. Culturally, the Yan represented a unique entity at which dynastic cultures, namely the Shang and Zhou from the Central Plain, and frontier groups converged. Archaeological excavations at the Yan capital at Liulihe (near Beijing) and its surrounding areas have revealed material remains suggesting fusion and/or conflicts between dynastic and regional cultures.
Through studying the artistic features and inscriptions on the bronzes from the Liulihe site and the mortuary context of these artifacts, this paper will research into the interactions between the Yan and its neighboring groups. The process through which the Yan established its colonization in North China, and the dynamics of interactions between the dynastic and local cultures will be the focuses of this study.
The Artistic Styles on the Dian Bronzes from Yunnan
TzeHuey Chiou-Peng, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
The bronze artifacts uncovered from the Dian sites (circa 400 BCE to 100 CE) in Yunnan consist of idiosyncratic items that find no parallel in early Asiatic cultures. In addition to unique typological characteristics, the Dian bronzes also are noted for remarkable surface embellishments that encompass at least two distinctive styles, which frequently appear in juxtaposition on a single bronze item. An iconographic analysis of the Dian bronze decorations indicates that the Dian decorative styles were based on ideas originated from different cultures outside of the Dian region. The distinct Dian bronze art suggests cultural interactions among indigenous Dian, pastoral, and sedentary groups in and around the Dian region. They also delineate the evolution of Yunnan bronze technology during the first millennium BCE.
Session 115: Chinese Workers under and after State Socialism: Proletarian Masters or Dislocated Losers?
Organizer: William Hurst, University of California, Berkeley
Chair and Discussant: Dorothy J. Solinger, University of California, Irvine
Throughout its history, and recently at the 16th Party Congress, the Chinese Communist Party has maintained that it is the "vanguard of the proletariat." Despite this, workers have frequently been forced to bear the brunt of harsh state policies and reform initiatives. Previous studies have mostly focused on shop floor relationships between workers and cadres, but have generally placed less emphasis on more macro-level relations between workers and the polity. Based on extensive fieldwork in a number of sites throughout China, the papers on this panel offer a range of viewpoints and analytical perspectives on important and previously under-researched aspects of the multifaceted and changing relationship between the worlds largest Communist Party and the Chinese working class, refining our understanding of how the Chinese state deals with one of its core constituencies.
Based on archival research, Guangs paper traces the turbulent and unyielding relationship between the state and "temporary" rural workers in cities across different periods. Fraziers paper, based principally on interviews in several cities, examines how the state has tried to salvage a failing pension system in a bid to secure the livelihood of yesterdays revolutionaries and socialist heroes. Hursts paper, also based primarily on interviews across several cities, explores how state sector workers have been systematically ejected from the Chinese polity in the most recent stage of reforms. Blechers paper, based on survey research in Tianjin, explains how, despite this apparent social dislocation, Chinese workers usually refrain from collective action due to their hegemonic acceptance of the market.
The Politics of Keeping Peasants Away from the Cities: Urban Workforce Reduction and Peasant Workers in China
Lei Guang, San Diego State University
Since 1949, the Chinese state has periodically returned large numbers of peasant workers (nongmin gong) in cities to the countryside under economic uncertainties. Major repatriation (qian fan) campaigns took place in 196063, 197374 and 199699, with smaller-scale episodes scattered in other years. Such campaigns were usually carried out by urban employers as mandated by the party committee, the labor bureaus, or undertaken jointly by various government agencies, including the public security bureau. They used a variety of tactics ranging from dissuading peasants from cities to physically rounding them up and sending them back to their native villages. In this paper I examine the Chinese states justifications for repatriating peasant workers and its practices over three distinct historical periods in terms of Chinas political economy. The objective is to analyze both changes and continuities in the Chinese states successive campaigns to forcibly return peasant workers to the countryside. Through such an analysis, I also aim to understand the states role in the creation and maintenance of rural-urban divisions in China.
Coming Out of Retirement: Ideas and Institutions in Chinas Pension Policy Reform
Mark W. Frazier, Lawrence University
Existing studies of pension reform in China tend to emphasize material and structural constraints in accounting for policy choices and results. This paper, by contrast, examines pension reform from the perspective of competing beliefs and orientations toward pension reform held by state elites, enterprise managers, workers, and retirees. The paper draws upon interviews, policy papers from official sources, and news reports. This paper asks to what extent institutional changes in the pension system reflect underlying beliefs about the obligations of the state, employers, and workers to provide financial support for retirees.
Chinese Laid-off Workers: A Class Remade, Divided, or Forgotten?
William Hurst, University of California, Berkeley
Since 1993, over 50 million state and urban collective sector jobs have been lost, at least 30 million of them to involuntary lay-offs. In July of 2001, Jiang Zemin reversed 80 years of CCP orthodoxy and called for capitalists to be admitted to the Party. Rumors have surfaced that at the 16th Party Congress, the new leadership, and Hu Jintao in particular, pressed the Party to return to a focus on workers and peasants. What has all of this amounted to for Chinas urban workersthe labor aristocrats of the planned economy? Has the working class been fully pushed out of the Partys coalition (assuming it was ever fully in)? Drawing on over two-hundred interviews in nine Chinese cities, as well as numerous documents and published reports, this paper seeks to offer an explanation of how the recent massive wave of industrial lay-offs has caused not just the social and economic, but also the political, dislocation of the Chinese working class; while at the same time dividing workers in different regions, of different ages, and with different skill levels against each other much more sharply than they have been before.
What Are Chinese Workers Thinking?
Marc Blecher, Oberlin College
Workers protests in recent decades, numerous and widely distributed though they may be, remain spasmodic, spontaneous, and uncoordinated. While the reasons are numerous, this paper focuses on the role of workers hegemonic acceptance of the core values of the market and the state. Data from a Q-analysis survey in Tianjin from 199599 are used to explicate workers worldviews, all of which reflect this hegemony, albeit in different forms. The findings are situated within recent scholarship on labor politics in China, and the prospects are discussed.
Session 116: Sound, Music, Voice: Listening to the Chinese Late-Imperial Text: Sponsored by CHINOPERL
Organizer: Paize Keulemans, University of Chicago
Chair: David Rolston, University of Michigan
Discussant: Sophie Volpp, University of California, Berkeley
Keywords: Chinese late imperial vernacular literature, sound, gender, print-culture.
While the issue of visuality has received much attention in the study of late-imperial literature, the appreciation of sound in vernacular texts has largely been ignored. Did readers appreciate texts silently or aloud? What role did they ascribe to the voice of the storyteller, actor, or courtesan when reading a novel, libretto, or poetry collection? Outside the China field, scholars such as Paula Blank and Florence Dupont have theorized the importance of sound in literary texts by examining the relationship between dialect and national identity, banquet song and elite sociability. This panel aims to introduce this larger theoretical discussion to the China field.
To do so, Kathryn Lowry shows how copious notes on sound and verbal play in Feng Menglongs collection of Wu-dialect songs, Mountain Songs, manufactured a localism grounded in the courtesans voice rather than one place. Ling Hon Lam investigates the relationship between public performance and private reading and their effect on the interiorization of emotion in the Honglou meng. I-Hsien Wu discusses the importance of music in the Honglou meng, arguing that music is strongly correlated to the level of success of Jia Baoyus quest to gain "enlightenment through feeling." Paize Keulemans shows how late-nineteenth-century martial-arts novels employed a range of sound effects to bring the physical spectacle of martial arts alive on an acoustic level. Sophie Volpp, a scholar of Ming-dynasty late-imperial theater, will be discussant. David Rolston, a scholar and connoisseur of Beijing opera, will function as chair.
Texts that Sound, Beauties that Sing: The Showing of Dialect in Seventeenth-Century Courtesan Literature
Kathryn Lowry, University of California, Santa Barbara
This paper argues that the attention to sound and oral structures in collections of Wu-dialect songs printed in early-seventeenth century Jiangnan contributed to a new and peculiar brand of localism. These songs were grounded in the voice and body of the Jiangnan courtesan and the Suzhou peasant. I examine the variety of formats in which these dialect songs circulated and show ways in which books aided readers in visualizing courtesans, paradoxically, by writing on sound and singing style.
The best known collection of these songs is Mountain Songs (Shange) of around 161820, to which Feng Menglong (15741646) added copious notes on the sound of vulgar speech and verbal play on homophones of a kind associated with the pleasure quarters. Wu-dialect songs also featured prominently in three earlier books dedicated to Jiangnan courtesans: the undated Casual Reader, the 1617 expansion of that work as Beauties of Suzhou (Wuji baimei), and the 1618 Beauties of Nanjing (Jinling baimei) for which Feng contributed commentary. The rapid succession of these publications between 1610 and 1620 attests to considerable reader interest and printer-editors fascination with the feminine and marginal figures. The effort given to writing about singing style and other aural features, along with their instructions for reading dialect materials, can be seen as part of an effort to theorize expression and redefine the dynamics of local culture and actors vis-à-vis centrally disseminated laws and orthodox literary practice.
The Matriarchs Private Ear: Performance, Reading, and the Question of Censorship in the Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)
Ling Hon Lam, University of Chicago
In the Honglou meng, censorship of romantic literature such as the plays Xixiang ji (The Western Chamber) and Mudan ting (The Peony Pavilion) seems ubiquitous. Most readers are convinced that romantic love here suffers repression and containment, but they overlook the fact that in the Jia household it is acceptable to enjoy the performance of a love scene along with others, whereas it is reading a playbook on ones own that is problematic. At issue is not the content but the media of actualization: oral performance vs. silent reading and their different effects on the interiorization of emotion. That sentimental interiority is not a given but is constructed largely by the technology of silent, private reading is attested by Lin Daiyus "initiation" to romantic plays: despite her unsurpassed sensitivity she never lent ear to their performance until she read the Xixiang ji. Between orality and literacy, however, it is not a one-way street: Daiyus initiation also demonstrates the importance of her aural exposure to the rehearsal of Mudan ting, only the very nature of her auditory reception has been markedtextualized and privatizedby her preceding experience of silent reading. I will examine how episodes of "overhearing" or private listening can be reread in light of the intermingling between reading and hearing, and, finally, how the matriarch Grandmother Jias censure of oral storytelling functions to open up rather than suppress the private space for listening to love tales, thus unsettling our narrow understanding of censorship as repression only.
Music Hath Charms: Musical Activities and Enlightenment in the Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)
I-Hsien Wu, Columbia University
In nearly three centuries of Honglou meng scholarship the musical aspects of the novel have been rarely discussed. This is striking because music plays such an important role, not only in the Jia family, but also in the literati culture of imperial China overall. Details in the novel reveal Cao Xueqins surprisingly modern sensibility to the functions and psychology of music. This paper focuses on the relation between musical events and Jia Baoyus journey of awakening. Drawing on modern ethnomusicology as well as traditional Chinese musicology, I argue that music, as a form of emotional expression, communication, and symbolic representation, is often used in the novel to chart Baoyus progress toward enlightenment.
Specifically, Cao Xueqin continually refers to the aural immediacy of music as the most compelling agent for awakening. Early in the novel, two musical events, The Faerie Disenchantments "Honglou meng Suite" and Baochais introduction to the song "Jisheng cao," represent two calls to enlightenment, though neither fully succeeds in inspiring awareness. It is only later in the novel that the intensive acoustic impact of The Peony Pavilion (Mudan ting) does completely change Daiyus life and initiate Baoyus eventual awareness to his own fate, even if for Baoyu it is precisely the denial of access to the music of the Peony that enlightens him. In these moments, I argue, the narrative simultaneously internalizes and questions the musical ideals transmitted since Chinas antiquity. It is this unique vision that distinguishes the musical moments in Honglou meng from other late-imperial novels.
The Spectacular Sound of the Martial-Arts Scene: Printing the Storytellers Voice in Martial-Arts Novels of the Late-Nineteenth Century
Paize Keulemans, University of Chicago
In this paper, I explore the acoustic dimension of late-Qing popular fiction by discussing one especially popular series of martial-arts novels that began with the publication in 1879 of The Three Knights and the Five Gallants (San xia wu yi). I argue that these martial-arts novels self-consciously foreground an oral and auditory experience of literature through one of the most central rhetorical figures of late-imperial vernacular fiction, the storyteller. Just as the storyteller captured the exciting co-mingling of noises of the streets through his vocal skills of mimicry, so too did the imagined sounds printed on the pages of the novel recreate the auditory excitement of the storytellers art.
To demonstrate the importance of acoustics in martial-arts fiction, I focus on the moments we would expect to be the most visual, the copious action scenes. I argue that grunts, curses, shouts, as well as a host of onomatopoeia all turn the martial-arts scene into a full-fledged acoustic spectacle by suggesting the speed or destruction of the human body through the materiality of sound itself. The effect reminds us of Roland Barthes "reality effect." However, in contrast to French nineteenth-century realist novels, the "reality" produced in martial-arts fiction constructs a reading experience that is marked not by contemplative observation or possessive gaze, but rather by a sensory immersion that dazzles the readers aural perception, an exciting experience best captured in the often used word renao.
Session 117: ROUNDTABLE: Intellectual Cross-Fertilization: Dialogues in Womens Studies in China
Organizer and Chair: Danke Li, Fairfield University
Discussants: Jie Tao, Peking University; Xiaojing Li, Dalian University; Claire G. Moses, University of Maryland; Florence Howe, City University of New York Graduate Center; Shirley Mow, City University of New York Graduate Center; Danke Li, Fairfield University
Womens studies is a relatively new academic field in China. Its establishment in the middle to late 1980s on Chinese campuses and its subsequent fast development into an interdisciplinary discourse have been influenced by Western feminist and gender theories and scholarly works. However, since the 1990s, especially after the 4th World Womens Conference in Beijing in 1995, womens studies not only has bloomed, but also has matured in China. Moving beyond the initial stage of absorbing Western theories and structure as models for womens studies in China, Chinese scholars are now developing their own perspectives and theories on women in China and believe that their studies can enrich or cross-fertilize the field in and outside China.
In 1995 Western scholarsfor example, Gilmartin, Hershatter, Rofel, and Whitehad advocated the creation of "a dialogue that would challenge the dichotomy between Europeans and Americans as theory makers and Chinese women as objects of theory." Many efforts, including joint conferences, publications, and foundation-sponsored projects have been developed to promote such creation. However, while Western scholarship on womens studies has continued to inspire the field in China, Chinese scholarship has not enjoyed the same status in the West. In general, Western scholars and Chinese scholars work and publish in their respective worlds and have not had much active intellectual cross-fertilization between them. In addition to the fact that China is an emerging country in comparison to the more powerful U.S., Chinas political, cultural, and language differences make it more difficult for Chinese scholarship in the field to gain the same prestige enjoyed by Western scholarship. Most of the scholarly works published by Chinese scholars in Chinese remain in China and have little impact on the field in the U.S. and elsewhere. Therefore there is an increasing need for intellectual cross-fertilization between Chinese and Western scholars and scholarships. A serious effort has to be made to recognize that Chinese scholarship can enrich the field in and outside China. First, many Chinese womens studies scholars are not only interested in writing about women in China, but also in pushing for changes in womens status in government policies and society. They are scholars and practitioners. Their insight on womens studies and womens movements in China will enhance intellectual understanding for scholars outside of China. Secondly, it is also important for U.S. scholars in the field to assess the usefulness of Chinese scholarship and Chinese scholars analysis as an integrated part of the field.
This roundtable invites two prominent Mainland Chinese scholars who participated in the Ford Foundation and Feminist Press supported project of women writing about women in ChinaHalf the Sky: Chinese Women Past, Present, and Future to share their scholarship and to reflect on intellectual cross-fertilization between Chinese and Western scholars. It also invites a China-born scholar who is teaching in the U.S., U.S. scholars, and faculty and graduate students in the audience to engage in a dialogue with the Chinese scholars. The cross-fertilization will be focused on the areas of directions and challenges that Chinese women and womens studies in China are facing today, education, economic reform and Chinese women, media, modernization and women, womens movements, and globalization of Chinese womens studies. It hopes to open up new possibilities such as to identify new areas and approaches to womens studies in China, to facilitate further intellectual cross-fertilization, to promote innovative scholarly work in the field as well as actual changes in Chinese womens lives in China.
Tao Jie will share her insight on the impact of fiction and mass media on Chinese women. Li Xiaojiang will present her centers experience on how to develop a sustainable and comprehensive interdisciplinary work for womens/gender studies in China and on its collaboration with the Womens Institute Network in Asia and the ISS of the Netherlands. She will also share her thoughts on the barriers and challenges of the cross-fertilization. Claire Moses will discuss enrichment of womens studies in China in two-way directions of cross-fertilizationwhere we are going. Danke Li will explore cross-fertilization in education, economic reform, and Chinese women. Shirley Mow and Florence Howe will discuss efforts to bring Chinese feminist perspectives to the U.S. and the role of the press in the internationalization of womens studies.
Session 118: Incorporation, Immigration, Provincialization, and Radicalization: Eastern Tibets Five Turbulent Decades, 1900s1950s
Organizer: Xiuyu Wang, Carnegie Mellon University
Chair and Discussant: Elliot Sperling, Indiana University
How was Eastern Tibet, a powerful frontier region straddling Qing China and Lhasa, turned into a special administrative region, a province, then part of Sichuan? This historical trajectory is to be examined afresh in this panel from various angles with one unifying theme, addressing social, cultural, and political transformations in Khams in the early 20th century. Starting from the late 19th century, Qing officials responded to Han immigrations and inter-tusi (local officials) rivalries by initiating modern reforms, destroying tusi rule and incorporating the region under regular administration. These regularization practices departed dramatically from early "loose rein" policies and paved the way for the creation of the Xikang province in 1939, permanently altering Khams sociocultural landscapes. Political upheavals, missionary influences, and taxation squeeze radicalized some Batang youth into communist activists, who after the 1950s assumed important positions in China-Tibet politics. Concomitant with these went Khampa self-rule movements, provincial warlordism, and clashes between renegade Chinese soldiers and local Tibetan bands. The Khams eventual incorporation into Sichuan, therefore, took a tortuous path, involving multiple social actors, including Chinese ethnographers whose mapping of Khams geography, culture and history contributed to ideological and administrative practices of Republican China. Using Chinese, Tibetan and Western sources, the panelists go beyond the simple center-local, Chinese-Tibetan dichotomies to examine the multiplicity of forces and factors in Khams modernizing discourses. Deriving empirical findings from case studies, the papers explore, heretofore, the largely unknown histories of Sino-Tibetan relations from interdisciplinary perspectives.
Qings "Modern" Reforms in Eastern Tibet in the 1900s
Xiuyu Wang, Carnegie Mellon University
Qings "new systems" reforms (xinzheng) in its last decade along Sichuans Eastern Tibet (Khams and Amdo) border zones demonstrated unusual devices and desires to bring the Tibetans into the states extending reach. Interior-style administration (liuguan), intensive farming complemented by handicraft and small mechanized industries, and Han modes of life were imposed upon local groups who were previously under local officials (tusi) nominally supervised by Sichuan and loosely connected with each other. Interestingly, though plagued by central weakness and financial crisis, metropolitan and Sichuan officials approaches to Khams resistance to xinzheng, culminating in the 1905 killing of Assistant Amban Fengquan at Batang, oscillated toward armed suppression, departing from the usual method of "benevolently soothing" (en fu) unruly, but stronger, ethnic groups. Inducing these departures were the significant 19031904 Younghusband invasion of Lhasa and the more consequential, internal, and traditional statecraft strategies like agricultural colonization, Confucian schooling and militia-maintained order. A heightened militarism, financed by the Court but controlled by provincials like Xiliang, Zhao Erfeng and Ma Weiqi, initiated the reforms, followed by Han bureaucrats. Both responding to outside pressures and initiating new turns in their internal power relations, Khams tusi and monasteries tailored their strategies to changes in the balance of power and their own interests, ranging from fighting Sichuan forces within fortresses, ambushing, alliance-making to running away and cooperating. This high tide of violent change, this study finds, enmeshed clashing perspectives and interests into an unstable mix, setting the pattern for the later relationship breakdown between the Central Plain and Khams.
Educated Youths: The Rise of a New Social Class in Late Republican Bathang
William M. Coleman, IV, Columbia University
This paper traces the rise of a new class of educated youth in Bathang, a Tibetan principality in southwest Khams, in the first half of the twentieth century. Three primary factors contributed to the development of Bathangs new elite. One, the demise of Bathangs indigenous leaders and the struggle by various Chinese factions to establish control over the region in the early Republican period created in local residents a sense of political uncertainty. In search of new resources to bring stability to their homeland, Ba bas began sojourning in central Tibet and inland China. The knowledge they brought back to Bathang permanently altered local society. Two, the establishment of American missionary and Republican state schools fostered the growth of locally-educated youth who were soon mobilized by returning sojourners to achieve broader goals. Three, decades of local fighting with Qing, Republican, and central Tibetan armies brought economic collapse to Bathang, and new state extractions following the consolidation of Republican rule in 1939 further destabilized local society. This combination of political, social, and economic circumstances stimulated the unprecedented rise to power of a new educated elite in Tibetan society under the leadership of Phuntsog Wangyal, who founded the Communist Bathang Underground Party and the Eastern Tibet Democratic Youth League in 1949. Significantly, many of Bathangs educated youths went on to hold important leadership positions in Chinas administration of Tibet after 1950. Tracing their rise to power will shed light on the unique status of Bathang in the Republican and early Communist eras.
Han Chinese Immigration to Eastern Khams during the Qing Dynasty and the Period of the Republic of China
Yudru Tsomu, Harvard University
Lying between the two great power centers of China and Central Tibet, Eastern Khams (Dkar mdze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province) was not only a territory where cultures intersected, but also a stage where Tibetans, Han Chinese and other ethnic groups have clashed throughout history. Its special geographical position and rugged topography have played a role in the unfolding of its history. The issue of non-Tibetan immigration into the region through most of its history is an important aspect, and its study provides a window onto the complexity of this regions unique culture while deepening our understanding of the rationale behind the frontier policies of the Qing and its successors. Because this region was not subjected to extensive military colonies or planned immigration, the archival documentation and official accounts of immigration to this region are sparse and irregular. This paper explores scattered information about Han Chinese immigrant groups in gazetteers of the counties in Eastern Khams, official Chinese dynastic records, and accounts of local conditions written by Chinese military officials and scholars. This paper will mainly focus on the late Qing and Republican Period when much of the immigration occurred. I argue that the Qing court would have developed Eastern Khams, as it did other borderlands, had it been important economically, politically or militarily. I conclude by summarizing major characteristics shared by the Han immigrant groups and their special features.
Ethnographic Practices and Aesthetics of Politics in Modern Khams
Wenbin Peng, University of Washington
The establishment of Khams and its adjacent areas as Xikang (Sikang) province in 1939 inherited in part late Qing reform agendas in Khams to consolidate Sino-Tibetan frontiers. Its creation during the Anti-Japanese War, however, involved a more complex scenario than late Qing frontier officials (e.g., Zhao Erfeng and Fu Songmu) would have imaginedthis provincial project had been enmeshed in multiple politics, ranging from Khampa self-rule movements, to provincial warlordism, and to Central Nationalists unification planning. The making of Xikang also ushered in modern ethnographic practices which were distinct from late Qing cultural (and primarily military) maneuvers in Khams, and which continued well into the Anti-Japanese War period when southwest China served as a wartime base. This paper explores constructions of order and knowledge in relation to ethnographic processes and the building of Xikang province. It examines the scholarly mapping of Khams in its myriad forms (geographical, ethnological, and historical) from the late 1920s onward and their contributions to ideological and administrative practices of the Province in the Republican era. My paper partakes in recent efforts in the field of China studies to push research of ethnicity beyond the PRC era to that of Republican China. Departing from previous studies working on a crude center-local dichotomy in China, I intend to pay a closer attention to intersections of the province-building and ethnographic constructions in Khams within a framework of nation, region, locality and ethnic identity.
Session 119: New Wine in Old Bottles: Alternative Chinese Lyric Modernities
Organizer: Shengqing Wu, University of California, Los Angeles
Chair and Discussant: Daniel Bryant, University of Victoria
Keywords: classical-style poetry, vernacular prose, Western literary paradigm, alternative modernities, translated modernity.
In order to challenge the May Fourth view of the death of classical language and call attention to scholarly neglect of the various ways in which Chinese writers confronted their own tradition, this panel will examine the transformation of classical-style poetry in twentieth-century China and its complex relationship with modern and contemporary culture. Jon von Kowallis, Nanxiu Qian and Shengqing Wus papers will reveal the innovative practice of shi and ci genres by leading poets Chen Sanli, Xue Shaohui and Lü Bicheng, arguing that classical forms, capable of articulating modern consciousness, were notably adaptable to drastically changing circumstances. Filling old bottles with new wine, as it were, Chen, Xue and Lüs composing the lyric with traditional poetic forms represented an alternative path to the excesses of the vernacular movement during the early stages of Chinas literary modernization. Both Haoming Liu and Joseph Allens papers will consider the issue of how vernacular writers Fei Ming and Gu Cheng re-appropriated the classical poetic tradition and engaged in dynamic experiments with different forms. Their papers suggest that classical lyricism has exerted a significant influence, or "cast a long shadow" in Allens term, on modern and contemporary literature by offering cultural identity and continuity as well as a source of anxiety.
The legacy of the Chinese lyric tradition compels us to re-evaluate the role of traditionitself constantly redefinedin a modern context and its imbricated relationship with "translated modernity," which valorized Westernized, vernacular prose forms. We hope that these papers will stimulate debates about the marginalized discourse of classical-style poetry in modern timesdebates that, we believe, will fundamentally challenge the supposed universal development of literary modernity according to the strictures of Western literary paradigms.
The Paradox of the Xiushou Ren: Chen Sanli and Modernity in Late-Qing/Early-Republican Era Poetry
Jon von Kowallis, University of New South Wales
Chen Sanli (18521937) was considered by the most prominent critics and literary historians of his day, including such diverse voices as Liang Qichao, Chen Yan, Qian Jibo, and Hu Xiansu, to have been Chinas leading poet during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Despite his "abstruse and recondite" (shengse aoyan) style, Qian Jibo, the father of Qian Zhongshu, wrote in his literary history of the modern period that "the entire nation vied to be the first to read and declaim Chen Sanlis verses." Both as a practitioner and a mentor of classical-style poets writing in the old forms, he continued to exert a major literary influence well into the 1930s.
As the leader of the Tong-Guang stylists, Chen Sanlis poetry articulated, well in advance of Lu Xun (18811936), an entire generations reaction to the suppression of the 1898 Reforms and the failure of the 1911 Revolution. Even more remarkably, when examined through close reading and the study of his contemporaries critical response, it becomes apparent how Chens verse gave voice for the readers of his own day to a sophisticated modern consciousness, and did so entirely within the conventions of old-style poetry written in the classical language. Nevertheless, Chen Sanli styled himself the "Shenzhou Xiushou Ren" (man in China who just put his hands in his sleeves), adopting the stance of an onlooker. This paper will point to specific examples of modernity in Chens works and question the premise that Chinese writers who first articulated a modern consciousness had to do so in the vernacular, or under the influence of Western forms. It will also explore the question of to what extent writers who are best able to articulate modernity must be active participants in social movements and to what extent they are better off as observers.
Fermenting Western Wine with Chinese Words: The Late Qing Woman Poet Xue Shaohui (18661911) and Foreign Knowledge
Nanxiu Qian, Rice University
Well before the New Culture activists (c. 19151925) engaged in vernacular language movement as a statement of making "new," the 1898 reformers, both men and women, had already started their transformation of Chinese poetics and linguistics. Their intentions in this experimental effort were to express fresh ideas and sentiments arising from the reform movement. The late Qing woman poet Xue Shaohui was a pioneer of this effort.
Few Chinese women writers before Xue had tried as many literary forms and covered as broad thematic territories as Xue. Xues works included traditional Chinese poetry (which literally chronicled the reform era) and parallel prose (pianwen) to translations of Western history, culture, and science. This paper will explore and analyze Xues imaginative invention and revision of words, metaphors, allusions, and syntactic structures in translating Western knowledge, ideology, and aesthetics into acceptable forms for the Chinese audience. The texts examined will include primarily her poetry (the title comes from one of her ci-lyrics describing her experiment of fermenting Western wine), but also her pianwen prefaces to her husbands translations of Western sciences. I will also examine her co-translations with her husband of a Western science fiction work, Jules Vernes Around the World in Eighty Days that, with her knowledgeable notes, becomes a geographical textbook, as well as a romantic novel by an English woman writer, through which Xue advocated her ideal for marriage of free will.
The study will be conducted in comparison with similar efforts of Xues fellow women reformers and of male poets and translators such as Huang Zunxian and Lin Shu. Through this study, I hope to understand how Chinese women writers of the reform era transformed Chinese poetics and linguistics as an indispensable component of their self-transformation.
Translating European Landscapes into Ci Poetry: The Case of Lü Bicheng
Shengqing Wu, University of California, Los Angeles
This paper examines the problem of how to represent foreign landscapes in classical-style poetry, a problem that confronted many Chinese intellectuals in the early twentieth century. This long list includes such influential figures as Kang Youwei, Wang Jingwei, Chen Yinke, Qian Zhongshu and Wu Mi. Lü Bicheng (18831943), a distinguished ci lyric poet and feminist activist in her time, achieved the peak of her poetic creativity during her long sojourn in Switzerland roughly from 1926 to 1933. Her marvelous and extensive descriptions of European landscapes, of the Alps in particular, constituted an entirely new topology in Chinese poetic history. This paper argues that, through the very act of translation, the Alps, the ruins of Rome, and the cultural sites of Parisall of which derived greatly from their originswere creatively deployed in Lüs ci poetry to highlight her border-crossing experiences and to map out cross-cultural spaces. This paper will also probe the role that gender played during a translation process that demands vital imagination and considerable poetic creativity.
Lüs writing intertwined the politics of space, gender, and language of her time. Through innovative and significant participation in the formation of modern literary practice that expanded aesthetic space and female consciousness, Lüs poetry persuasively demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of old forms in the face of new, modern realities.
How to Write a Tang Quatrain in Baihua Prose: Fei Mings Use of Tradition
Haoming Liu, Vassar College
During the May Fourth era and the era following it, the question of how the New Literature as part of the New Culture relates to Chinas long literary tradition became a vital question. From Hu Shis ahistorical reassessment of this tradition to Zhou Zuorens theory of cyclic development and selective identification, the major May Fourth authors offered a range of ways of rewriting Chinas literary history. Though belonging to the generation after that of Hu and Zhous, Fei Ming continued to be obsessed with the problem of tradition in the New Literature. Unlike Hu and Zhou, however, who were mainly theorists, as an aspiring author Fei Ming (19011967) had his own creative work at stake in the search for a viable reinterpretation and re-appropriation of the tradition. Thanks to his penetrating understanding of some of the most basic issues in Western literature and its similarity with and difference from Chinas literary tradition, in his discursive and creative writings Fei Ming presented some ingenious solutions to the problem of how to dynamically appropriate and make relevant tradition in a modern context. With no ambition of rewriting Chinese literary history, Fei Mings solutions were aesthetic not historical. What is theoretically fascinating is that he often achieved more profound historicity than many of the avowed literary historians precisely through this aesthetic approach. This paper examines his solutions to the problem of tradition in the New Literature as are manifested both in his critical and creative writings. Particular attention is given to the role of Western aesthetics and theories in the shaping of Fei Mings view of Chinas own tradition. The hermeneutic significance of achieving historicity through aesthetic concepts such as time and space, lyricism, allusions, and symbolism will be discussed.
Battling the Shadows: Classical Chinese Poetry in Contemporary Culture
Joseph R. Allen, University of Minnesota
Upon entering the "The Shanghai Story," an upscale restaurant on Taipeis eastside, one is greeted not only with the standard 1930 photo murals of the bund and tuxedoed jazz bands (standard fare in any "Shanghai fever" phenomenon), but also by waitresses sporting "qipao" tunics with the requisite knotted buttons and high-necked collars (representing, one assumes, the displaced taxi-dancers from the surrounding murals). In a self-orientalizing gesture (the woman bears the tradition), the brocade of their tunics is decorated with the calligraphy of Li Pos "Jingye si" quatrain, wrapping them in horizontal lines of standard "kaishu" script. This Tang poem, which has become the classical Chinese poem everyone knows, from Chinese kids in LA to taxi cab drivers in Taipei (sort of a "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" writ large), is emblematic of the ubiquity of classical poetics in the Chinese contemporary culture: not merely the quotation of such poems, but also the adoption of the "five syllable couplet" for every imaginable promotional use, from moon cakes to personal hygiene.
This paper argues that classical poetics still define what contemporary Chinese culture/s mean by "poetry," casting a long shadow over all attempts to write in a new poetic style, whether that is romantic, high modern, or post-modern. That shadow is in part a vision of perspicuity and the personal lyric, and in part that of the Tang poetic language. One contemporary way to engage these shadows is to write poems that employ the classical poetics in a highly ironical waya re-appropriation of traditional poetry from the language of the commercial/cultural advertisement. This is, for example, how Gu Chengs prose poem sequence, "Waiheke Island, Eighteen Poems on Paintings," attempts to negotiate the problem: a nearly Borgesian/ Zhuangsian tongue-in-cheek response.
Session 134: Collective Violence in Modern China: Representation and Reality
Organizer: Robert J. Antony, Western Kentucky University
Chair: R. Keith Schoppa, Loyola College in Maryland
Discussant: Mary E. Berry, University of California, Berkeley
Keywords: violence, feuds, banditry, rebellion, revolution, war, survival strategies.
Violence always has been a central feature of Chinese culture and society, but it has meant different things to different people. The purpose of this panel is to look at these differences by critically examining the representations and realities of collective violence in modern China. The four papers analyze the persistence of rural conflictfeuds, banditry, rebellion, and revolutionin north and south China spanning a period of nearly three hundred years from the early Qing dynasty to the early Republican era. The focus of this panel is on violence, not only as a subject of study in itself but also as a window onto larger social and political issues confronting China during a time of rapid and profound change. Violence pervaded every aspect of life, affecting state-society relations, local economies, organized crime, lineage solidarity, and social organization.
Delving below the surface of previous interpretations, which often echoed simplistic Confucian or Marxist rhetoric, the panelists argue that the reality of collective violence was much more nuanced and grounded in complex local political, social, and cultural conditions. Much of the writing on Chinese violence, whether by officials, scholar elites, or Communist propagandists, inform us more about their own motives and agendas than they do about those of ordinary participants. Nevertheless, the rhetoric and conceptualization of violence are important historical constructs, which also inform us about social cleavages, popular culture, and political interests. This panel aims to shed new light on the nature of violence by examining the interplay between representation and reality in order to learn more about the dynamics, tensions, and values that have shaped modern Chinese society.
Dongshan Rebellion: The Romance of Rural Violence
William T. Rowe, Johns Hopkins University
William Rowes paper on the Dongshan Rebellion in Hubei province in 1674 explores the cultural factors that worked to foster especially savage responses to social disorder. As part of a larger research project on the long-term history of violence in Macheng county between the 1350s and 1930s, Rowe explains that this incident in 1674 was a pivotal event, setting the dimensions of state-local power sharing that would apply down through the mid-twentieth century. Involving as it did the various issues of dynastic loyalism, localist resistance to state authority, agrarian class tensions, and intra-elite lineage feuding, the experience of 1674 neatly encapsulated the mix of severe social tensions that gripped the county throughout most of its history. Specifically, Rowe focuses on the way the events of that year were portrayed by contemporary reporters, as well as how they were conceived by the actors involved, in terms of heroic/romantic narratives drawn from the larger literati and popular culture. He also shows where the application of these narrative structures broke downat the point when genteel intra-elite conflict gave way to genocidal class warfare.
Banditry and the Culture of Violence in Late Imperial South China
Robert J. Antony, Western Kentucky University
In his paper on banditry in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century south China, Robert Antony takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine violence both as cultural construct and social reality. Based on archival research and fieldwork in Guangdong, Fujian, and Taiwan, he explores the socio-cultural roots of banditry by placing it in the larger context of the "culture of violence" among south Chinas laboring poor. Banditry was but one formalbeit an extreme formof violence that played an integral role in the lives of poor marginalized workers. Although over the previous centuries Chinas educated elites came to increasingly identify themselves in part by their rejection of violence, Antony shows that, among the laboring poor, real and symbolic violence remained an intrinsic and ubiquitous part of their daily lives and mentality. Indeed, hardship, poverty, and prejudice made violence an overwhelmingly accepted, even necessary, part of life for ordinary Chinese. Violence was unavoidable; it permeated their lives in street fights, bloody sports, operatic and ritual performances, folklore, public floggings and executions, and so forth. What may have seemed senseless and irrational to Chinas elites was perhaps perfectly reasonable and deliberate to the poor and marginalized in society. Violence was rooted in a working-class culture where fighting and aggression were appropriate behavior and often served as a means to acquire status and prestige. As Antony concludes, this culture of violence had a logic of its own, distinct from and in opposition to the socio-cultural norms of dominant society.
From Xiedou to Jiaoan: Explaining Intragroup Violence and Anti-Christian Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Chaozhou, South China
Joseph Tse-hei Lee, Pace University
Joseph Lee re-examines the perception and reality of community conflict in his case study of intragroup violence in several Christian villages in Chaozhou prefecture in Guangdong province throughout the nineteenth century. Drawing on several incidents of collective violence from archival sources, stone inscriptions, and ethnographic data, his paper contributes to a better understanding of the significance of intragroup fighting in Chinese society. The region had long been a hotbed of rural violence and armed affrays (xiedou) in which resource conflicts within villages and lineages were deeply rooted in complex local circumstances rather than being simply events in the cycle of dynastic decline. These traditional patterns of collective violence were further complicated by demographic pressure, commercial development, post-Taiping social dislocation, Western imperialism and Christian expansion. The challenges and responses to Christianity actually involved combinations of exogenous and endogenous factors. Most of the so-called "missionary cases" (jiaoan), Lee explains, should be seen as part of existing intragroup violence that predated the arrival of Christianity, and, in fact, conversion was a survival strategy employed by the rival factions in the competitive arena of rural politics. Lee examines the temporal and spatial variations of intragroup conflict, the social and religious cleavages generated by the spread of Christianity, and the hidden agendas behind mass conversion and rural violence.
Social Cleavages and Sectarian Violence: Xinyang Red Spears during the Northern Expedition
Odoric Y. K. Wou, Rutgers University
During the Northern Expedition, tens of thousands of Red Spears actively participated in the Nationalist Revolution. Odoric Wou analyzes the sudden upsurge of Red Spears sectarians in Xinyang, a railroad county in southern Henan in northern China, where forty chapters of Red Spears rallied together in a loose-knit regional coalition called the Federation of Armed Forces. Communist propaganda and subsequent western interpretations influenced by these propaganda materials have depicted the Red Spears in eastern Henan as fundamentally an anti-warlord, "protective"/ "defensive" movement. Accordingly, sectarian violence represented a form of "reactive" survival strategy, employed by the masses in response to the threat of the predatory military and local banditry. Wou, however, shows that the movement was a much more complex and different historical event. Instead of looking at it simply as a mass response to military threat, this paper seeks a better understanding of the underlying causes and political dynamics of the movement. It examines the geopolitical factors, social cleavages, political and class tensions generated by war on the community level, and the motivations behind these violent actions. Although military abuse of power was real in the countryside, Wou shows that our perception of the movement has been dominated by representation of the incident in Communist literature. The hidden motivating force driving the Xinyang Red Spears violence in reality was multiple-level aggressive elite politics.
Session 135: The Northern Qi Dynasty (550577): A Reassessment
Organizer: Katherine Tsiang Mino, University of Chicago
Chair: Albert E. Dien, Stanford University
Discussant: Victor Cunrui Xiong, Western Michigan University
Keywords: art, social history, politics, military, ethnicity, Buddhism, tombs.
The Northern Qi Dynasty was a period of marked change from the Northern Wei that preceded it. Though short-lived, only twenty eight years, its impact on the arts, religion, and cultural history of China is large. In part because of the traditional Chinese recognition of the historical succession of Northern Zhou to Sui and Tang, in which the Northern Qi is overlooked, it has not received the attention it deserves as a formative period to which important precedents of later periods can be traced. Astonishing finds of recent yearsof tombs containing mural paintings, funerary sculptures, and epitaphs such as those of Lou Rui, the Ruru Princess, Cui Fen and Gao Yang; of Buddhist images and dedicatory inscriptions at caves and temple sites, such as at the Shuiyusi, Handan, and at the Longxingsi, Qingzhoureveal the innovative and hybrid qualities of the art and the multi-ethnic nature of the society. They provide evidence of new ideas in various cultural arenas and call for a reassessment of the period in light of these new archeological materials. This panel encourages interdisciplinary reexaminations of the social and political history, burial customs, Buddhist beliefs, and image-making of the period based on both received histories and archeological evidence. It invites new perspectives and methodologies for understanding the Northern Qi within broad historical and cultural contexts that include society and government, ritual and religious practice, and visual production.
Changing Buddhist Aspirations and Imagery in the Northern Qi
Katherine Tsiang Mino, University of Chicago
Buddhist sculptures of the Northern Qi period show marked differences from that of the Northern and Eastern Wei period that preceded it. Characteristics of Northern Qi sculptures appear to set precedents for later developments in the Sui and Tang periods. The explanation for this has in the past been sought largely in artistic terms of stylistic development and possible outside influence. This study seeks to link the new types of Buddhist sculptures produced to trends in Buddhist popular belief in sixth-century China. It looks for patterns of change in the dedicatory inscriptions of Buddhist devotees and image donors which accompanied Buddhist sculptures. These inscriptions, recording the purposes for which sculptures were made, express beliefs regarding Buddhist cosmology, ideas of Buddha nature and the presence of the Buddha, and various kinds of ultimate reward. They provide evidence of perceptions of the relative positions of Buddhist practitioners and divinity in temporal and spatial schemes. Important recent finds and publications of sculptures in China have greatly increased the body of material available for study. While many sculptures have no inscriptions preserved, and some inscriptions are fragmentary or preserved without their images, a broad overview reveals tendencies that can serve to track changes in ways of thinking and their correspondence with the prevalence of certain types of images in the middle to late sixth century.
Envisioning Death: Ascent and Expansion in Tombs of the Northern Qi
Bonnie Cheng, Oberlin College
To consider the Northern Qi as an independent political entity belies the complexity of the cultural strands that traversed geographic and temporal boundaries in Northern China during the sixth century. Yet archaeological evidence from Central Plains tombs constructed during the short-lived dynasty demonstrates that significant shifts in artistic practices occurred in its brief three-decade period.
My paper will utilize both old and recently uncovered tombs to articulate two points of transformation during the Northern Qi. One occurred early on at the capital at Ye (Ci county, Hebei) as the Gao family legitimated their rise to power; the other at Jinyang (Taiyuan, Shanxi) towards the latter half of the dynasty. At Ye, the tomb of the Ruru Princess and the imperial mausoleum at Wanzhang village launched a heightened emphasis on the passageway through the active appropriation and rearrangement of pre-existing Southern pictorial traditions. At Taiyuan, murals from tombs of the 570s portray a debt to previous pictorial conventions (iconographic tropes and their positioning) but also allude to the growing influx of foreign trends from Central Asia (styles of dress, musical instruments) that have been found on stone sarcophagi uncovered over the past several years. Both trends sustained greater elaboration in imperial tombs of the following century.
While the iconography of Northern Qi murals and its impact on later traditions has been well studied by Yang Hong and more recently by other Chinese scholars, my paper will consider additional burial features, specifically the relationship of murals and figurines within the spatial framework of the tomb.
Buddhist Patronage and Social Life during the Northern Qi Dynasty: Zhang Yuanfei at Shuiyusi
Kate A. Lingley, University of Chicago
Traditional patronage studies of the Chinese Buddhist art of the Northern Dynasties have tended to focus on famous patrons from the official and aristocratic classes, providing a broad sense of the political implications of religious patronage during the period. A more historically specific investigation requires a close study of individual donors, whose names are not always found in the rolls of the great and powerful. In order to understand the implications of Buddhist art patronage in the Northern Qi dynasty, we must paint a portrait of a Northern Qi donor. Zhang Yuanfei was one of the lay leaders of the group of Buddhist devotees who sponsored the construction of a cave temple at Shuiyusi around 570. She also caused her husband to be buried in a funerary cave on the hillside nearby when he died in 573, and then sponsored a standing figure of the Buddha Dipamkara in both their names in 574. A second funerary cave opposite the first may be her own tomb. Her presence in multiple contexts at Shuiyusi provides us with a portrait of a Buddhist art patron whose active involvement in the life of her religious community was an important part of her social life, and may also have served to support her husbands political career. Through her, we get a sense of the intersection of the devotional and the social in the practice of Northern Qi Buddhism.
Ethno-Political Factors Related to the Military Collapse of the Northern Qi
Andrew Eisenberg, Northeastern Illinois University.
The Northern Qi collapsed suddenly in 576577 in the face of a Northern Zhou offensive directed at the political-military center of the dynasty at Jinyang (south of modern Taiyuan, Shanxi Province). A number of factors are known to have contributed to this collapse: the ability of the Northern Zhou to increase its military manpower by recruiting and conscripting Chinese from the Wei River valley into their formerly all Xianbei armies; the effective and aggressive nature of the Northern Zhou imperial leadership; and on the Northern Qi side, problems created in the officer corps by the personnel purges conducted by the throne after 572, particularly in regard to the disruption of the previously semi-hereditary nature of the Turkish Hulu family dominance at the highest levels of the military. The ethno-political implications of the Hulu family position and the purge conducted against it in 572 by the Northern Qi emperor Houzhu will be considered in relation to the unusual circumstances surrounding the ascension of this emperor to the throne in 565 and the centralizing political goals which he was attempting to realize.
Session 136: The Rise of Chinas Regulatory State: Administrative Discretion, Courts, and the Rule of Law: Sponsored by the China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC)
Organizer and Chair: Jean C. Oi, Stanford University
Discussant: Joseph Fewsmith, Boston University
With the transition from a planned to a market economy, the Chinese Party State no longer can regulate thorough planning. Saddled with outdated and ill-suited regulations framed during the Mao period, the regime has struggled to create a regulatory state capable of keeping abreast with Chinas fast-paced market reforms. Corruption, lawlessness, and disorder have been used to describe the lack of regulation of fake goods, some of which have caused pain and even death from food poisoning. Courts are discounted as effective mechanisms for justice and the protection of rights. While problems continue to rise with the market transition, recent research shows that regulation in China has scored some success, but problems remain in others. What explains the variation? Who regulates? What role do courts play?
This panel will attempt to shed light on these complex topics by examining the effectiveness of implementation across a number of issue and product areas and examine the avenues through which redress may be sought. It will examine regulation in the food and drug administration (FDA), intellectual property rights, including trademarks and copyright, and shareholders rights. The panel will also examine when courts are used effectively and when administrative agencies provide effective regulation. Based on new research, the picture that emerges will reveal effective regulation in some areas but corruption and lack of regulation in others. Some issue areas have multiple agencies responsible for regulation that may or may not result in effective implementation and monitoring, while other areas have few agencies but predictable procedures for ensuring rights. Some areas are protected by effective use of courts, while others are not. Together these papers highlight the difficult process involved in establishing the rule of law and effective state regulation.
Beyond Developmental State: Food and Drug Safety and the Rise of the Regulatory State in China
Xiaobo Lu, Columbia University
In China, the state that once primarily served the mobilization and redistribution functions has, in the first two decades of reform, moved to focus more on promoting economic growth and markets, in essence becoming a developmental state. However, this emphasis on the developmental role of the state has also created some serious problems. One of them is that the government was ill prepared for social and economic regulations in an increasingly market-based economy. The newly emerged market economy that often spawns lawlessness, corruption, and disorder also called for more government regulation and greater regulatory capacity in order to promote and maintain order in the fledgling markets, a role the socialist states had not played well prior to the transition. Operating under a new set of rules of the game, the Chinese state, like many post-Communist states and the state in East Asian newly industrializing economies, faces a formidable task: how to transform the state from a fused role of both "player" and "referee" to a sole referee role in a completely new game in which all are bound by rules. The implications are both economic and political. Indeed, in its next phase, the success of the reform will likely hinge on the success of the transformation of the role of the state and government bureaucracy beyond being an active economic actor.
This paper will examine the reshaping of Chinese bureaucracy to deal more effectively with a market-based economy by focusing on the case of the regulation of the health product market, one of the most rapidly growing and fraud-ridden in China. Cases of food poisoning, pesticide misuse, blood contamination, and poor-quality drugs have been commonplace. Measures taken include establishing an independent food and drug regulatory agency (State Food and Drug Administration, SFDA) in 1998 and 2003 and tightening up regulations of health product advertising. Based on interviews with officials at the national bureau and local bureaus of SFDA, the paper will analyze the changes in rules and organization, enforcement capability, patterns of bureaucratic self-interest, government-business relations, and ideological underpinnings related to health product regulation. Through this case study, I hope to generate some broader arguments about the rise of the regulatory state in China.
From Administrative Discretion to the Rule of Law: The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in China
Martin Dimitrov, Stanford University
Two avenues exist for rightsholders seeking redress for the infringement of their intellectual property rights (IPR) in China: they can lodge a complaint at an administrative agency or initiate a civil case in a court of law. In contrast to previous studies of the judicial protection of IPR, I argue that the specialized IPR tribunals in China provide high quality justice, which comes close to the predictability and impartiality associated with the rule of law. The only drawback of the judicial system is that, similar to the West, it is relatively slow and expensive. By contrast, specialized IPR administrative agencies provide quick, yet often arbitrary and corrupt enforcement to rightsholders seeking redress for IPR infringement. The puzzle, then, is why courts have come to be the preferred means of dispute resolution only for some subtypes of IPR (copyrights and patents), while corrupt administrative agencies remain the primary enforcer for another subtype of IPR (trademarks). In other words, why has the rule of law emerged in some issue areas but not in others?
I argue that the emergence of the rule of law in the area of copyrights and trademarks is largely an unintended consequence of institutional design. Since both copyright and patent infringement benefit consumers (who get cheap and safe pirated goods), the Chinese government has not invested significant resources in creating a strong administrative apparatus for their protection. By contrast, in the area of trademarks, counterfeit goods may pose a threat to human health, which has led to the proliferation of powerful administrative agencies charged with trademark protection. As a result, in the area of trademarks as many as eight government agencies coexist alongside the courts; however, in the area of copyrights and patents, rightsholders have the choice of either using a single administrative agency (the National Copyright Administration and the State Intellectual Property Office respectively) or going to court. Thus, the limited provision of administrative enforcement in the area of copyrights and patents has, over time, produced more demand for the services of the courts. Conversely, the proliferation of corrupt administrative agencies ready to provide quick and relatively cheap enforcement in the area of trademarks has held back the rise of the courts as the chief enforcer, and, by extension, has impeded the progress of the rule of law.
The Shareholders Private Right of Action in China: Considering the Courts and a New Regulatory Mechanism?
Nicholas Howson, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Whaton, and Garrison, LLP
Since the 1980s, China has pursued a comprehensive program of corporatization of commercial enterprises, the establishment of domestic stock markets, and the creation of a large class of shareholders. As in more mature capital markets jurisdictions, the systems established have been subject to abuse by participants, including still-empowered state and Party actors which continue to control most companies listing a portion of their stock on the domestic markets. The creation of stock exchanges in China and a non-state/Party class of shareholders/ property rights holders has been accompanied by a vigorous and articulate debate as to how this activity can be regulated and, critically, how individual shareholders may achieve remediesor at least the expectation of a remedyfor these abuses. This debate (and resulting legislation and institutional reform) has led to a re-appraisal of the role of civil courts in China, and how truly private actors working through notionally independent judicial institutions may regulate the very important activity of capital raising and capital allocation necessary for reform and development. The debate, and the resulting systems, have been thought of explicitly in opposition to the traditional administrative regulatory system, and as a complement to the equally traditional criminal law system.
This paper will examine the popular and academic debate that has been underway for almost a decade regarding this choice of regulatory strategies, with a special focus on the justifications and stated goals of the contrasting theories, in each case as described by Chinas own regulators and government officials, academics, shareholder activists (lawyers) and share-holders and with reference to actual cases underway. The paper will seek to demonstrate how the introduction of property rights in such a diffuse and all-encompassing manner, the desire to effect the appropriate allocation of enforcement resources, and the idea that many aspects of the "government" are somehow deeply implicated in the abuses, haswith a distinct "bottom up" pressure, required that the courts be understood anew in China.
Session 137: The Cultural Politics of Class in Reform-Era China
Organizer: Eileen M. Otis, Harvard University
Chair: Li Zhang, University of California, Davis
Discussant: Emily Honig, University of California, Santa Cruz
Keywords: contemporary China, social science, class, market restructuring, ethnography.
Although post-Mao economic reforms have brought unprecedented wealth and remarkable economic growth to China, social and economic polarization has soared in this increasingly commercialized and globalized society. This panel seeks to examine the everyday cultural politics of class in the reform era from an interdisciplinary perspective by analyzing how socioeconomic differences are reshaped in and articulated with multiple domains such as spatial restructuring of capital and labor, the emerging service sector, housing privatization, and the remaking of urban neighborhoods. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in several different sites in China, the panelists pay special attention to how new class dynamics are actually experienced by different social actors. Otis examines the distinctive forms of femininity that women service workers develop in response to the different organizationally and regionally structured inequalities they face. Pan explores the extent to which the historical memory of Shanghais various imagined communities is reconstructed and new social spaces are (re)produced by an emerging class of social and economic elites in this metropolis. Finally, Zhang examines the everyday cultural processes of class-making among Chinas emergent middle-class in new urban residential communities as a result of the privatization and commercialization of housing. The panel will offer a multi-faceted view of the shifting fields of production, consumption, entrepreneurship, and community as actors negotiate new social and economic terrain created by market restructuring.
Serving the People: Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in Chinas Emergent Service Sector
Eileen M. Otis, Harvard University
With the advent of global restructuring in China, the service sector has become a central site for also restructuring gender. This paper analyzes the gender structure of Chinas new global service sector through ethnographic examination of two international hotels, which are linked to a U.S.-based transnational corporation. I ask: Why did these hotels produce different gender identities in response to similar gendered work protocols? My first case, which I call "the Beijing Transluxury Hotel," illustrates how the importation of new luxury practices by a U.S. corporation are embedded in socialist institutions. This embedding produces what I call an "appropriative femininity." A brief discussion of my second case study, the "Kunming Transluxury Hotel," reveals that managers reproduced only a thin veneer of socialist organizational legacies and women are engulfed by markets. I explain how a defensive femininity is produced in response. The creation of feminized workers grounds global restructuring in womens bodies and identities with different consequences for women in contrasting locales and organizations. By examining workplaces central to Chinas new global service sector we can better understand not only how globalization structures gender processes but also the gender processes that structure globalization. The femininities produced in Chinas Transluxury Hotels help to bridge cultural differences between businessmen from around the globe, who gather in these sites for conferences and business entertainment.
Privatizing Housing and the Making of Chinas New Middle-Class: An Ethnographic Inquiry
Li Zhang, University of California, Davis
With the rise of private home ownership and the proliferation of non-danwei controlled, commercially constructed new neighborhoods, Chinese cities have become increasingly stratified based on residents income status. As a new middle-class is in the process of formation, it is becoming an increasingly important social group in shaping the urban economy, sociality, and politics. Based on recent ethnographic fieldwork in Kunming, southwest China, this paper examines the everyday cultural processes of class-making in Chinas new residential communities (xin xiaoqu) as a result of the privatization and commercialization of housing. It argues that a better understanding of the making of the Chinese middle-class today requires us to look beyond the site of production by taking into account the politics of consumption and its transformative possibilities in shaping class-specific subjects. Focusing on two closely related social domainsthe commercial housing advertisement and the consumption practices among residents in two private residential communitiesI analyze how the ideal images, values, and identities of the new middle-class are produced, consumed, and transformed by Chinese citizens in the process of reconstituting their community, property relations, social relationship, and private life.
Historical Memory, Community-Building, and Place-Making in Neighborhood Shanghai
Tianshu Pan, Georgetown University
This paper is an ethnographic examination of the dialectic processes of community-building and place-making in neighborhood Shanghai. Based on field research conducted between 1998 and 2002, I explore the extent to which the historical memory of the citys various imagined communities is reconstructed and new social spaces are (re)produced by an emerging class of social and economic elites in post-Deng Shanghai. Specifically, I explore how "Shanghai nostalgia" has been reified and spatially manifested in dichotomized "upper and lower quarters" (known in local dialect as shangzh jiao and xiazhijiao) as a consequence of the conscious efforts by local residents, municipal officials, and real estate agents.
From the colonial past to the late socialist present, both the lower quarters and upper quarters were among the most meaningful categories for the people of Shanghai to articulate ones status and position in society. The lower/upper quarter dichotomy remained a linguistic device strategically appropriated by the local people to map out neighborhood Shanghai in their mental universe and their perception of the cultural and economic reality of where they belonged. The spatially dichotomized communities displayed an acute sense of place that differed significantly from the landscape characterized by modern high-rises that seem rather "placeless." The persistence of such an age-old dichotomy points to the limits of the community development schemes aimed at eliminating inequality and disparity within and between residential quarters in arguably the most cosmopolitan city of China.
Session 138: Constructing Paradigms of Female Pathology in Medieval and Late Imperial China
Organizer: Sabine Wilms, University of Arizona
Chair: Charlotte Furth, University of Southern California
Discussants: Bridie J. Andrews, Harvard University; Charlotte Furth, University of Southern California
How are women different from or similar to men? This question, so central to studies of gender in China, also animated the historical development of traditional Chinese gynecology. As learned male physicians confronted the issue of what constituted a uniquely female disease, they employed various strategies to reconcile classical models of bodily androgyny with the empirical observation that only women got pregnant and gave birth. This panel illuminates these complex dynamics by investigating three key issues around which physicians of different eras constructed female illness. Vijaya J. Deshpande employs cross-cultural analysis to plumb Sui and Tang dynasty views of difficult childbirth. Imperial physicians incorporated therapies and illness categories similar to (and sometimes borrowed from) Greece and India. At the same time, however, dominant Chinese socio-medical perspectives precluded the adoption of foreign surgical methods in obstetrics. Sabine Wilms examines the increasing significance that medieval doctors placed on menstruation as a marker of female difference. From the Tang to the Song, the discourse of noxious female "girdle discharges" was increasingly subordinated to concern with irregular menses. This, she argues, was a catalyst in the development of a systematic theory of gynecology. Finally, Yi-Li Wu analyzes the relation between structure and function in Ming and Qing gynecology. Although Chinese gynecology focused on the function of Blood, an androgynous vitality, doctors also recognized the "female womb" (nüzi bao) as an organ found only in women. This in turn shaped their understandings of how Blood flowed through the body to enable menstruation, conception, pregnancy, and childbirth.
The Role of Foreign Medicine in Shaping Sui and Tang Gynecology
Vijaya J. Deshpande, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
The Sui and Tang dynasties witnessed the rapid development of all branches of Chinese medicine. Scholars have attributed these changes to factors such as economic growth and prosperity, political stability, and increased foreign contacts. This paper will assess the influence of Greek and Indian medicine on the development of Chinese gynecology and obstetrics by analyzing three major Chinese medical compilations of this period: A Complete Discussion of the Origins and Symptoms of All Diseases, Emergency Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold, and Medical Secrets of an Official. Using the problem of difficult childbirth as a case study, this paper will examine how Chinese etiological, nosological, and therapeutic perspectives on childbirth developed in relation to foreign medical ideas.
The main similarities between Chinese and foreign medicine lie in the types of illnesses classified under the rubric of difficult childbirth, such as "Breech presentation" and "Retention of placenta," as well as in the specific treatments used to treat them (use of fumigation, sternutator or diuretics for the treatment of retained placenta). Sun Simiaos Emergency Prescriptions also introduced the use of suppositories for cleansing the uterus as a treatment for infertility. Such suppositories are found in both Indian and Greek medicine, and the Chinese term used to generally refer to enemas and suppositories appears to be a transliteration of the Sanskrit word for the same. Finally, although Chinese medical scholars and writers knew about foreign obstetrical surgery, such techniques did not take root but remained on a low plane along with all other kinds of surgery.
From Leaking Discharge to Irregular Menstruation: The Reconceptualization of Female Pathology in Medieval China
Sabine Wilms, Pima Community College
During the Song dynasty, gynecology became a respected field of medical specialization for male elite doctors in China. My paper argues that the advances in gynecology apparent in Song medical literature were facilitated by a shift from a definition of female pathology centered on the vague category of daixia ("below the girdle," referring specifically to the condition of vaginal discharge, but also including menstrual problems and abdominal lumps), towards one focused on blood as the underlying root of all female pathologies. A review of the gynecological literature from the seventh to the thirteenth centuries reveals a gradual refinement and standardization of etiological reasoning and therapeutic approaches. In the seventh century, medical texts for the first time contain specific gynecological chapters which attempt to categorize womens conditions. But the confusion and overlaps, the redundancies and contradictions between and within the sections illustrate the absence of a theoretical foundation from which to organize the etiologies or treatments. During the following centuries, physicians identified female Bloodwhich could manifest itself as menses, breast milk, or even abdominal lumpsas the key to understanding female health and illness. By focusing on menstruation as the outward expression of deeper internal processes in the female body, they were able to classify the complex diversity of symptoms and signs into underlying diagnostic patterns of blood circulation which could then be treated in a systematic and consistent way.
A Vessel of Blood, a Gate of Life: Metaphors of Uterine Function and the Construction of Female Illness in Ming-Qing Gynecology
Yi-Li Wu, Albion College
This paper investigates how late imperial doctors envisioned the "female womb" (nüzi bao) and argues that their awareness of its physical location and structure shaped their understandings of gynecological illnesses. In so doing, the paper modifies the historiographical assumption that the womb was irrelevant to Chinese views of female reproductive function. Certainly, the womb never served as a focus of gender ideology or as a marker of female difference, and classical medicine taught that sexual function in both men and women was governed by the Kidney. Furthermore, many doctors argued that both men and women had a "womb." As this paper shows, however, the classical model of bodily androgyny was continuously challenged by the recognition of an internal organ unique to women. In particular, medical discussions of female illnesses are punctuated by regular references to the female womb. Envisioned alternately as a vessel and a gate, the womb constituted a key node in the network of channels along which womens Blood flowed to enable menstruation, conception, pregnancy, and birth. Great concern was paid to the "mouth of the womb" (baomen), depicted as an aperture through which external pathogens could invade the body as well as a juncture where sluggish Blood was prone to accumulate. In short, the condition of the womb was directly implicated in the distinctively female pattern of blood health and dysfunction that Chinese "medicine for women" evolved to address.
Session 139: An Age of the Poet, An Age of the Executioner: Revisiting the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Organizer and Chair: Weili Ye, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Discussants: Gail Hershatter, University of California, Santa Cruz; Rae Yang, Dickinson College
Keywords: Cultural Revolution.
This panel looks at the Cultural Revolution from different perspectives that involve the study of political culture, violence and mass movement, and collective memory. Carma Hinton discusses her new film Morning Sun, which provides a multi-perspective view of the Cultural Revolution as seen mainly through the eyes of the generation that came of age in the 1960s, and addresses the advantages and limitations of the medium of film in presenting Cultural Revolution history. Weili Yes paper revisits the brutal death of Bian Zhongyun, the deputy principal of an elite girls secondary school in Beijing. Beaten to death by her own students in early August, 1966, Bians death marked the beginning of a vicious wave of "students-beating-teachers" that characterized the early stage of the Cultural Revolution. Based on interviews of nine former students from the school, Ye addresses the issues of violence in the Cultural Revolution, how it impacted people, and the "Cultural Revolution memory" in general. Hari Venkatesan looks at the controversy surrounding the idea of the building of a Cultural Revolution museum and through it examines the issue of "collective memory vs. collective amnesia" in post Cultural Revolution China. Liang Xiaoyan discusses the procedures through which the Chinese government continues to stifle public debate of the Cultural Revolution and the reasons behind its actions.
Remembering the Death of Bian Zhongyun
Weili Ye, University of Massachusetts, Boston
One major feature in the early stage of the Cultural Revolution was youth violence, manifested in particular by students-beating-teachers. The brutal death of Bian Zhongyun (on August 5, 1966), the party secretary and deputy principal of the Girls Secondary School attached to Beijing Normal University, was a notorious case in point and one of the most consequential deaths in the Cultural Revolution. Based on interviews of nine former students of the school who were present at the scene of the violence and the authors personal recollection (also as a former student), this paper addresses the following issues: (1): What do the people remember about the incident? (2): What thoughts and emotions were provoked as they witnessed the event unfolding? (3):What was the relationship between the reaction of each individual and her political status as well as general situation in life? (4): How do the people reflect upon the incident 36 years later? (5): What does it tell us about the individual remembering and forgetting of the Cultural Revolution? What does it say about "Cultural Revolution memory" in general?
Morning Sun: The Culture of the Cultural Revolution
Carma Hinton, Long Bow Group, Inc.
The film Morning Sun (co-directed by Carma Hinton) provides a multiperspective view of the Cultural Revolution, as seen mainly through the eyes of the generation that came of age in the 1960s. One of the films major themes is how the political culture in which this generation grew up, a culture that elevated the idea of revolution to a secular form of the sublime, prepared it for the Cultural Revolution. The film attempts a cinematic account of experiences and emotions as recalled and reflected on by historical actors who themselves were profoundly aware of their own role in re-enacting revolutionary history.
This paper, with the use of short excerpts from Morning Sun, explores the complex and diverse motivations of the Cultural Revolutions young participants, and addresses the advantages and limitations of the medium of film in presenting history.
Collective Memory vs. Collective Amnesia: Issues around the Building of a Cultural Revolution Museum
Hari Venkatesan, National University of Singapore
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (CR) was a turning point in the history of the Peoples Republic. In the post-CR era, the Communist Party of China (CPC) moved from tacit discontinuation of CR policies to explicit and wholesale negation of the CR and all that it came to represent. The CPC however remains wary of exhortations such as that by eminent writer/novelist Ba Jin for building a CR museum, and put the issue into permanent freeze. This paper shall endeavor to understand the meaning and significance of a CR museum for its victims, reasons for the seemingly contradictory stance of the CPC and finally how the absence of a CR museum actually acts as a counter-monument perpetuating the memory of the CR. The paper shall employ concepts such as trauma, discourse, and collective memory to study the issues involved.
Censorship on the Discussion of the Cultural Revolution in the PRC
Liang Xiaoyan, Independent Scholar
On the 30th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, the magazine Dongfang (Orient) had planned to publish an issue looking at this period of history, with a wide range of contributors. The issue was never published; indeed, the very conception of this issue contributed to the governments suppression of the magazine itself. This paper will examine this incident and other examples of censorship, and what they reveal about the meaning of the Chinese governments "negation" of the Cultural Revolution.
Session 154: The Practice of Theory among Contemporary Chinese Intellectuals
Organizer: Timothy C. Cheek, University of British Columbia
Chair and Discussant: Wen-hsin Yeh, University of California, Berkeley
Keywords: China, intellectuals, history, literature, critical theory, ideology.
Theory continues to be important in Chinese public life in a manner that contrasts with other Asian societies, including Chinese societies in Taiwan and Hong Kong. This panel documents and explores the practice of theory in the Peoples Republic of China today by engaging sinophone intellectual debate in universities, in major print publications, and on the internet. The key focus is on the discourse generated by and directed to Chinese intellectuals in China, but the expanding role of both Chinese language publications in Hong Kong and Taiwan that have links with and are distributed (by print or web) in the PRC breaks open the identity of "Chinese intellectuals" in challenging ways. Similarly, the participation in sinophone debates by academics of PRC heritage in the U.S. and other Western societies further complicates Chinese discourse.
This panel includes literary theorists and historians of these intellectual debates. We seek to bring these separate academic disciplines into focused conversation in order to illuminate the practice of theory in the PRC today. Davies paper explores the catalytic function of theory in Chinese intellectual discourse as a key difference between Chinese and Western modes of theorizing. Cheeks paper seeks to illuminate the "normalization" of international theory in China today by contrast to earlier "sinifications." Jiangs paper shows the theoretical role of the "past" as an ideational construct in intellectual discourse today. Together we hope to show the range and vitality of the practice of theory in China today.
Theory and Its Catalytic Function in Chinese Discourse
Gloria Davies, Monash University
One of the striking differences between Euro-American and Chinese theoretical approaches is the overall disinterest of the latter in deconstructive self-reflexive thinking about language. Yet, the notion of deconstructionwhich is inseparable from this self reflexivityhas been circulating in Chinese intellectual discourse since the 1980s, through the use of translated terms like jiegou ("to deconstruct") and jiegouzhuyi ("deconstructionism"). Within the Chinese context, jiegou or jiegouzhuyi often means little more than to criticize or to "dismantle" an existing knowledge paradigm: issues of linguistic contingency and indeterminacy are rarely considered. A minority of contemporary Chinese thinkers and writers like Wang Hui and Han Shaogong have sought to address the evolution of words and concepts in the Chinese language and have produced in this context, a mode of critical inquiry that reflects on received ideas about Chinas history. But language remains primarily a tool of communication in their accounts. Notions like the Lacanian "void" or the Derridean "aporia" have no place in a discourse that remains unproblematically centered on the thinking subject.
Theory, then, serves a different purpose and a different set of aims in Chinese intellectual discourse. It could be described as having a catalytic function insofar as any number of accounts drawn from Euro-American scholarship could be used to augment what remains, primarily, ways of knowing the past and the present that can be marked out as Chinese. The politics of difference can be productively explored through this catalytic function of theory, which is often at odds with open-ended problematization.
Where Do Correct Ideas Come From? On the Search for a Theory of Practice among Contemporary Chinese Intellectuals
Timothy C. Cheek, University of British Columbia
Chinese academics and public intellectualssuch as Wang Hui, Liu Dong, Qin Hui, and Xu Jilinmake extensive use of theory, and particularly foreign theory (from Weber to Habermas to Hayek or Hanah Arendt), in their analysis of Chinese history and culture and their prescriptions for contemporary China. These writings reflect a major aspect of intellectual discourse in China today: the naturalization of foreign theory with its attendant demonstration of the continuing concern for correct thought (sixiang) in reform Chinas pluralized intellectual world. The question remains, even for many advocates of liberalism in China today, where do correct ideas come from?
This can be seen as part of the inheritance of Chinese socialist thoughtvia a process of ideological "dismemberment" and reconstitution and recombination in which liberal or post-modern foreign theory is fit into the ideological imperatives of a now-defunct Marxist-Leninist ideological framework for correct ideas. It also reflects a "cultural continuity" between Chinese intellectual writers in the early 20th century and today with their instrumental use of foreign theory to address domestic concerns that local theory cannot. This adaptation of foreign theory has been an enduring characteristic of what it has meant to be Chinese and modern over the past century, but leaves unanswered what an effective Chinese theory will look like and whether Western theory is, nonetheless, being privileged because it is associated with successful Western societies.
The Theoretical and Literary Configuration of the "Past"
Hong Jiang, Colorado College
One of the most obvious characteristics of post-Mao intellectual and literary discourse is its insistent reconceptualizing of the past. Images of yellow earth, yellow river, the village and the country people conjure up not only a cultural consciousness and a national spirit China needs at a particular time and place but also a timeless collective imagined memory. Gan Yang once used Gadamers theory to analyze this cultural phenomenon and points out that the past here is not something that exists independent from the present, by contrast, the present is always the integral part of the past. It is this collective memory of the past or rural imaginations that provide root-searching intellectuals and writers with an alternative to what was officially sanctioned by the nation-state. When the spatial embodiment of Chinas identity shifted from countryside to city, from desolate yellow earth to congested alleys, the urban naturally provides an imagined space for the past or present/past. History in Wang Anyi and some other writers recent writing was structured as a visual cultural phenomenon of peoples "own interior daily life," with unique tastes and smells of trivial urban life, and suggests there is a way of time experienced subjectively and personally. This paper thus attempts to discuss how contemporary intellectuals and writers have dealt with the concept of the "past" and why this concept has become a significant topic in intellectual and literary discourse through close reading of several literary writings.
Session 155: Printing, Profit, and Kinship: Travel and Merchant Culture in Late-Imperial China
Organizer: Kai-wing Chow, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Chair: Daniel W. Y. Kwok, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Discussants: Julian Ward, University of Edinburgh; Anne Burkus-Chasson, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
This panel proposes to explore the multiple meanings and functions of travel to merchants in late imperial China. From different perspectives, the panelists raise a central question concerning merchants travel. Did travel play an important role in the making of a merchant cultureliterary and otherwisein this period? Did merchants travel require a different type of geography not provided in official maps? How did publishers fulfill this need? What did travel mean to merchants in terms of profit and kinship tie? Kai-wing Chows paper explores the role of printing in the production of a specific knowledge for the traveling merchants (shang) and literati-officials (shi). He argues that a new type of geographical knowledge was produced as commercial publishers bundled travel guides and other types of information under one cover to target these two groups of travelers. Yongtao Dus paper examines a new spatial organization produced by the merchants in the late Ming. He contrasts what he calls "merchant geography" of the Chinese empire with other modes of spatial representation. That travel was essential to merchants is echoed in Tina Lus paper. Reviewing literary works of the late Ming, Lu analyzes the relationship between travel and profit for merchants, arguing for a correlation between the length and hardships of journey and the level of profit. Qitao Guo focuses on the role of Huizhou merchants in producing a "mercantile lineage culture." He argues that the travel of "people, money, culture, and status" was instrumental to the making of a "commercialized kinship tradition."
The Merging of Shi and Shang in Sojourning: The Production of Knowledge for Travel in Late Ming Books
Kai-wing Chow, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Spaces and their boundariesgeographical and otherwiseare socially constructed. Travel is a major means for the engendering of geographical spaces. Humans travel for a great variety of reasons, producing different types of spaces and corresponding knowledges. Specific spatial organization embodies the specific reasons for and the manner in which the sojourners undertake travel. This paper examines the role of long distance travel in the production of specific knowledge of the Chinese empire for two different status groups in late Ming periodthe shi (literati-official) and the shang (merchants). I argue that the very need and act of travel brought the two groups closer as it was reflected in the merging of publications for merchants and literati. The shi in late Ming China traveled great distances for three major reasons: to take examinations, to assume official duties, and to take up teaching or writing jobs. The merchants traveled for business reasonsto acquire materials and products, to sell goods, to negotiate contracts, and to operate shops. But increasingly, these two groups crossed paths with greater intensity and frequency. The travel they undertook brought them closer together. The knowledges they needed converged so much so that commercial publishers found it "logical" to publish travel guides for the two different groups under one cover. The increase in the use of the term shishang in book titles that included travel guides and other types of knowledges attested to the subtle shift in the production of geographical knowledge, which was no longer organized primarily by imperial interests.
Contesting Spatial Order: Merchant Geography in Late-Ming China
Yongtao Du, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Late Ming China witnessed a dynamic scenario of contested spatial representations wherein diverse modes of geographic writings by the state, the Confucian literati, the merchants, and the Jesuits co-existed, with each group articulating its distinctive spatial imagination of China. In this situation merchant geography stood out as a conspicuous deviation from official geography. It took the form of merchant route book, an integral part of the then-growing genre of merchant manuals. By appropriating some conventions of official geographic writing, this "merchant geography" re-organized the geographic information according to the practical needs of the traveling merchants. Merchants produced an alternative type of geographic knowledge about the Chinese empire and its locales. One of its most impressive features is that, in contrast with the official geography that represented a homogenous and homologous imperial space, made up of discrete locales each one of which linked to the administrative center in a hierarchical way, merchant geography conceived the different locales of the empire as horizontally interconnected through concrete links of commerce. This paper investigates the formation and circulation of merchant geography in the late Ming, and compares it with official geography and Confucian literatis geography, suggesting that merchant geography might have played a crucial role in re-shaping the Chinese geographic imagination and in fostering a fresh mode of local consciousness.
Travel, Exchange, and Circulation in Late-Ming Huaben
Tina Lu, University of Pennsylvania
Many of the huaben from Feng Menglongs Sanyan collections feature traveling merchants, a focus scholars and readers have tended to regard as simply a reflection of the stories readership. Traveling merchants, as this paper explores, denote much more than a demographic shift; instead, I suggest, traveling seems to generate a specific Weltanschauung. In examining the place of travel in a few canonical short stories from the late Ming dynasty, my paper treats the journeys of these merchants first as a way of thinking about economics, but also as a way in which to conceive of the empire itself. For merchants, distance becomes a kind of shorthand for profit; more distance and a longer and more arduous journey implies more profit. In some texts, the distances, and accordingly the profits, are fantastical. Other times, modest, real-life profits are correlated to modest, real-life distances. Finally, in the stories I focus on, this straightforward version of economic profit mixes with other scales of value and other forms of exchange, all dependent on travel. In Gujin xiaoshuo (The Pearl-Sewn Shirt), for example, men move about in a quest for profit; women switch hands from one man to another; and commodities, most particularly, pearls, seem to circulate according to different principles altogether. How are we to make sense of these movements? How does each of these three different sorts of travel make sense of imperial space differently?
Sojourning Merchants and Mercantile Lineage Culture in Late-Imperial Huizhou
Qitao Guo, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Huizhou prefecture was famed for its gentrified lineage institution and far-reaching mercantile influence throughout late imperial China. This paper considers how these two phenomena interacted over the course of the sixteenth century to create a distinctive Huizhou "mercantile lineage culture." Travel was critical to this interaction, involving movements of people, money, culture, and status, which circulated outward, inward (and upward). Huizhou commercialized kinship tradition was gentry-guided and merchant-based, integrating elite and popular cultures. One key factor leading to Huizhou merchants success in the outside world had to do with their strong home kinship base and ideology, which were renewed by virtue of their constant travel. Lineage gentry helped fashion a Confucianized merchant code. This code ironically also incorporated a cautionary diatribe against "money fever," as embodied in ritual opera performance and local cult symbols. Pressure from both elite and popular cultures helped keep sojourning merchants in line. Gentrified tradesmen in turn channeled commercial wealth back home to consolidate lineage infrastructure and culture. But the most important manifestation of merchant gentrification was their "status travel" strategy whereby, via investing their wealth into civil service examination training for their sons, they secured gentry standing. My concept of "mercantile lineage culture" throws new light on merchant mentality, gentry-merchant relations, lineage-building processes, and the circulation between high and lower cultures; and by weaving the study of these various facets of Huizhou society and the various manifestations of merchant "travel" into a coherent whole, we gain new insights into the key mechanisms for social and cultural integration in late imperial China.
Session 156: Beyond Market and Hierarchy: Cartels and Network Capitalism in Republican China: Sponsored by the Chinese Business History Study Group
Organizer: Man Bun Kwan, University of Cincinnati
Chair: Andrea McElderry, University of Louisville
Discussant: Madeleine Zelin, Columbia University
In the age of worldwide cartels, a time when price-fixing and market-sharing was seen as "rationalizations" of an otherwise lawless market, how did Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs manage their businesses and address the problems of raising capital, investment, technological change, production, sales, and economic nationalism? How did they manage the rhetoric of competition, the public good, patriotism, and personal gain while negotiating the economic reality and political institutions of Republican China? Based on research using company papers and archives uncovered only recently, each of the four papers in this panel investigates a different industry, providing yet more perspectives on a Republican economy hitherto conceived as "a paradigm of failure," "stagnant," "dualistic," "a golden age," or "highly competitive." By focusing on egg products, banking, flour, and soda ash, whether formal or informal, regional or national, among Chinese, or between Chinese and foreigners, these case studies illuminate the myths, realities, economic rationale, as well as the cultural embeddedness of cartels and network capitalism lowering transactional and information costs, and the creation of opportunities based upon trust bred of kinship, marriage, classmates, schoolmates, native place ties, work association, and club membership. Moving beyond the market/hierarchy dyad, the papers also lay the groundwork for comparative business history by focusing on cartel and network capitalism as an alternative business organization.
Cartel as a Means of Survival: The Case of the Refrigerated Egg Packers Association of China, 19301950
Jennifer Ning Chang, Academia Sinica
When the British meat giant, Union Cold Storage Co. (UCS) came to China in 1907, they were looking for meat for export to Britain. In the end, frozen eggs became the leading article. Compared with the seasonal supply of fresh eggs in Europe and America, Chinese egg products enjoyed advantages such as cheapness, reliability in quality, ability to keep, and economy in handling during the manufacturing process. They were therefore used extensively in the confectionery trade and also for industrial purposes, especially during the inter-war period. After UCS, many companies followed suit. In the 1920s, there were six to eight British, American, and Chinese enterprises in the industry. They competed with one another fiercely, not only in the purchasing of eggs in China, but also in the distribution market in Britain. When the Depression hit the European markets and demand shrank, China fell into the straits of overproduction. For survival, these companies were forced to shift from competition to cooperation. The Refrigerated Egg Packers Association of China was formed in Shanghai in 1930 and the Weal Trust Co., Ltd. in London in 1934. Through these price-fixing organizations, the refrigerating companies managed to monopolize the export of eggs and egg products from China to Europe up until 1950. By focusing on the operation of these two organizations, this paper intends to examine the origins of the cartel, its operational practice and its negotiations with the British and Chinese governments. It argued that in a time when the market was so depressed, the cartel was devised as a means for survival. It was only when the good times returned that the cartel became a useful tool for price manipulation and tight market control.
Growing an Industry: The Role of Cartels in Shanghai Flour Milling
Daniel James Meissner, Marquette University
By the turn of the twentieth century, American west coast millers and exporters were shipping well over a million barrels of flour annually to China, where it found a ready market among foreigners and native urban elites. Responding to this commercial challenge, one Chinese entrepreneur imported modern milling systems from the United States, replacing traditional millstone technology with cutting-edge roller machines, which enhanced both productivity and product quality. Capable of producing flour equal in quality but lower in price than American imports, this mill was soon running night and day to meet demand. Its success attracted other entrepreneurs to the industry, and by 1910, the Shanghai modern milling industry was putting over a million barrels of flour into the markets of China. This paper focuses on the concerted efforts of these Shanghai mill owners to develop and protect their industry, particularly during the critical first decade, when competition with American flour, rapid founding of new mills, and devastation of wheat producing regions in Jiangsu threatened its viability. In response to these exigencies, mill owners petitioned the Bureau of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce to impose a ten-year moratorium on mill construction. When this petition failed, they came together for their own defense. This paper examines the cartel they formed which was comprised of the six native Shanghai mills and Mao Xin in Wuxi and their efforts to protect their industry through the nearly monopolistic regulation and control of Jiangsu wheat purchases.
Cliques, Collusion, and Cooperation: Myth and Reality in Republican Period Banking
Brett G. Sheehan, University of Wisconsin, Madison
It stands as received wisdom that a small group of Jiangsu and Zhejiang financiers dominated Chinas modern banking industry in the Republican period. Referred to as a financial clique (Jiang-Zhe Caifa) the activities of these bankers remain controversial. During the Republican period, Chiang Kai-shek, other nationalist officials, and some intellectuals portrayed bankers as enemies of either state or economic development. New research (Cheng Linsun, Banking in Modern China) disputes the widely-held image of bankers who used their resources to speculate in bonds rather than for economic or social development. The image of a fairly unified clique, however, remains (see Marie-Claire Bergères classic work on solidarity among banking professionals in the early period of bank development). In spite of this important work, structural ties among banks, and the development of those ties over time are largely unexplored. In addition, most of the research focuses on Shanghai, ignoring banks in other parts of China. Using new archival evidence, this paper will explore myth and reality in the existence of a banking clique by examining interlocking directorships of banks throughout China at key periods in the 1920s, in 1936 after nationalization of much of the banking industry, and during the Japanese occupation.
Patriots Game: Imperial Chemical Industries, PLC and the Yongli Chemical Co., Ltd., 19171937
Man Bun Kwan, University of Cincinnati
The Yongli Chemical Co., Ltd., founded by Fan Xudong and his associates in 1917, has been lauded as a "model" enterprise of economic nationalism. Based on archival sources scattered in China and abroad, this paper analyses the companys establishment and embeddedness in the complex of relationships with leading politicians, the Salt Administration as a "synarchy" dominated by foreign interests, its rivalry and collaboration with the British conglomerate Imperial Chemical Industries as well as other national bourgeois enterprises such as Wu Yunchus Tianyuan Electro-chemical Works. Republican China is not a time when entrepreneurs would find success by being "patriotic" or scrupulous adherence to the principles of "modern" management, accounting, science, and technology. In the age of worldwide cartels, Yongli survived by drawing on the support of political networks, interlocking directorates, insider-lending and other much maligned practices of network capitalism. Instead of a free market, competition was "regulated" through price-fixing, market-sharing, and production quota agreements with foreign and domestic producers. Survival of the company under the exploitative yet supportive industrial policy of the Nationalist state required consummate lobbying and diplomacy.
Session 157: Hunlei: The Manipulation and Reconfiguration of Genre in Ming-Qing Fiction
Organizer: Stephen Roddy, University of San Francisco
Chair: Hua Laura Wu, Huron University
Discussant: Robert E. Hegel, Washington University, St. Louis
This panel addresses questions of genre within the field of vernacular fiction during several periods important to its development: the Ming-Qing transition, the mid-18th century, and the mid- to late-19th century. In each of these eras, we find multiple examples of zhanghui xiaoshuo that belie the oft-perceived thematic or structural unity commentators and publishers proposed as characteristic of the sida qishu and other Ming exemplars of the form. Just as notions of generic boundaries were first tentatively articulated by 17th-century commentators, in fact, they were just as quickly transgressed by writers and publishers seeking to accommodate the multiple tastes of their readerships. By the nineteenth century, the practice of mining multiple and disparate literary antecedents, fictional and other, had achieved a maturity and self-consciousness that verge on the parodic. While fiction of the declining years of the Ming and Qing imperia, respectively, tend toward the violation or modification of both historical and fictional idées reçues, they only reinforced a hybridity that was already implicit in the earliest examples of Ming fiction.
Each of the panelists explores the formal and ideological ramifications of such developments. In fiction devoted to Wei Zhongxian, where an ill-fitting literary schema is superimposed on the cause célèbre of late-Ming politics, in the multiple and conflicting voices of high-Qing literati fiction, and in the nineteenth-century melding of romance, court case, and adventure into single narratives, we seek to explain both how and why these authors were moved to create such hybrid literary structures.
An Improbable Lover: Rewriting the Wei Zhongxian Story in Taowu Xianping
Hua Laura Wu, Huron University
Immediately after the death of the much-hated nefarious eunuch Wei Zhongxian in 1628, three novelettes treating the sensational events of the Donglin debacle appeared in print. Each of these texts gives a slightly different version of Weis life story, and all have been read as fictionalized biography, a much-loved sub-genre in the jiangshi tradition. About two decades later, another Wei Zhongxian text came into circulation. This version, the novel Taowu xianping, appropriated the content of the existing Wei Zhongxian stories, combined conventions of fictionalized biography and romance, and succeeded in recasting both historical accounts of and popular hearsay about Wei Zhongxian into the mold of the scholar-beauty romance. Consequently, the illiterate, malevolent, and Machiavellian eunuch made infamous by historical as well as previous fictional writings was transformed into a romantic hero.
This paper proposes to offer a reading of Taowu xianping vis-à-vis two of the earlier texts, Wei Zhongxian xiaoshuo chiqianshu and Jingshi yinyangmeng. I will demonstrate that while in its creative rendering of Wei Zhongxians story, Taowu xianping borrows heavily from the historical novelette Chiqianshu, artistically it is indebted more to the emerging literary trend of mixing generic norms and conventions (hunlei) detected in Yinyangmeng, itself a jiangshi-shenmo hybrid. I will argue that by skillfully manipulating the techniques of hunlei, the anonymous author of Taowu xianping was able to expose and reinterpret the partisan politics of the late Ming from a new perspective. Hence artistic innovation is intertwined with and contributes to generating a political critique.
The Secularization of Honglou Meng: Amalgamation of Chivalric and Scholar- Beauty Novels in Ernü yingxiong zhuan
Ying Wang, Mount Holyoke College
Ernü yingxiong zhuan, a derivative writing of Honglou meng, was published in 1878. Attempting to "make up the regrets" left by the original, Wen Kangs (17981865) novel undertakes a remaking that secularizes the ideological and artistic make-up of the latter. Not only are Confucian concepts of "loyalty" and "filial piety" reaffirmed in Wens work, its characterization and narrative plot also become more dramatic with sensational scenes and shocking surprises. Furthermore, its narrator poses as a professional storyteller performing on stage. If Honglou meng impresses us with its ideological unconformity and sophisticated rhetorical devices of "literati novel," Ernü yingxiong zhuan celebrates conventional, this-worldly glories, while consummately imitating the rhetorical features of popular narrative art.
In this study, I argue that Wens secularization of Honglou meng is mainly accomplished through incorporating the elements of chivalric fiction into a frame of scholar-beauty novel, or in other words, a new narrative format of "romance" and "heroism." First, I will examine how, by borrowing from chivalric fiction, a genre noted for ideological conservatism and sensational narrative depiction, Wen realizes his purposes for correcting and secularizing Honglou meng. Secondly, I will further argue that, in adopting the model of "romance" and "heroism," Wen not only renovates the narrative format of vernacular fiction, but also improves upon other rewritings of Honglou meng, by turning from conventional rhetoric of inversion to an approach of "complementary bipolarity."
Blurring the Boundaries: Authentics and Counterfeits in Rulin waishi
Maram Epstein, University of Oregon
Even though concerns about generic and thematic purity are more a conceit of xiaoshuo criticism than a compositional imperative, looking at the boundaries that were thought to distinguish one (sub)genre from another is crucial to understanding evolving aesthetic tastes and commercial practices. My paper argues that hybridity was implicit in the aesthetics of the late-imperial literati novel, particularly in the value placed on conveying the totality of experience and vision (no matter how conventional the range of categories). This textual expansiveness was achieved through the device of complementarity and the desire to incorporate multiple textual and experiential paradigms into the fluid xiaoshuo form.
Even while Rulin waishi ignores many of the larger structural conventions well established by the time Wu Jingzi wrote, it foregrounds a complementarity of sub-genres long established in drama. It achieves this through balancing military and civil scenes, pairing romantic and righteous characters, and counterposing multiple depictions of counterfeits against a core of ritual authenticity. The novel references a variety of textual discourses, such as wuxia and gongan fiction, bagu criticism, and ritual handbooks. Of particular interest is the way the integrity of each mode eventually disintegrates, so that, in contrast to the other novels discussed in this panel, discursive hybridity in Rulin waishi reinforces a larger anxiety about loss of control and the erasure of proper ritual/textual boundaries rather than contribute to a vision of an expanded and vibrant whole.
The Early History of Hybrid gongan-wuxia Fiction
Stephen Roddy, University of San Francisco
The work Sanxia wuyi and its rewritings and sequels such as Qixia wuyi, Xiaowuyi, and Xuxiaowuyi, published from 1879 to about 1895, were influential in laying the groundwork for the critical and commercial success of the modern wuxia xiaoshuo tradition. They also typify the late-Qing marriage (or uneasy alliance) of the court/detective story to the military/chivalric adventure tale, and the accompanying glorification of exemplary officials such as Bao Zheng, Di Renjie, Shi Shilun, and others. This paper examines several antecedents to the full-fledged convergence of these sub-genres, including works such as Lü mudan (1800) and Shi Gongan (1820), as well as other relevant examples from the period ca. 17801850. In particular, it revisits the question of whether the thematic and structural hybridity of late-Qing fiction should be viewed as symptomatic of both an incipient modernity, and of a corresponding unraveling of earlier narrative conventions. While persuasive arguments have been made along these lines, the typological miscegenation exhibited by works like Sanxia wuyi should also be understood as deeply rooted in several trends of mid-Qing fiction. Ultimately, the paper will attempt to demonstrate in concrete terms how this late-Qing confluence between previously discrete genres of traditional fiction can be situated within the continuum of Qing literary history. Moreover, I will also discuss the significance of the late-Qing bibliophile Yu Yues involvement in the production of Qixia wuyi, as an example of how elite scholarly discourses influenced ostensibly lowbrow fictional works such as these.
Session 158: Exploring the Relationship between the Great Leap Forward and the Formation of Protest in the Cultural Revolution, with Special Reference to Patterns of Resistance and Rebellion in the Countryside
Organizer: Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr., Brandeis University
Chair: Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, University of Vienna
Discussants: Patricia M. Thornton, Trinity College; Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, University of Vienna
There is very little written on the relationship between the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution in China. Many scholars have studied the two events as discrete and separate episodes of Maoist politics. Only a few scholars have attempted to explore the relationship between the protest that welled up in the Cultural Revolution and the living, experienced history of the Great Leap Forward and its famine. This panel represents an attempt to come to grips with this relationship. We seek to shed new light on the place of the Great Leap disaster in the protest, resistance, and rebellions of the Cultural Revolution, paying special attention to the unfolding of the Cultural Revolution in the countryside and the ways in which agents and victims of the Great Leap Forward Famine interacted during specific episodes of the Cultural Revolution in well-defined rural localities.
This panel has been designed to meet two of the AAS "suggested formats" for panels. On the one hand, it presents contending perspectives and competing perspectives on the Cultural Revolution, but it does so in a way that integrates the lost context of the Great Leap Forward and its famine.
Our discussants, Professor Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik of the University of Vienna, Institute for East Asian Studies, and Professor Patricia Thornton of the Trinity College, Department of Political Science, are experts on this period of contemporary Chinese history, and each is working on a book that is relevant to our panel.
The Cultural Revolution as Retaliatory Protest: What Happened to a Perpetrator of the Great Leap Forward Famine in a Henan Village and Its Irony
Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr., Brandeis University
Professor Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr.s paper will help us grasp a hidden, second Cultural Revolution in the countryside, one that was driven by retaliation against the Communist party leaders who imposed the Great Leap Forward and perpetrated its injustices. This paper will focus on the unfolding of the Cultural Revolution in a Henan village, and it will pay special attention to why and how villagers attempted to seize on the political moment of the CR to settle scores with one key perpetrator of the Great Leap Forward Famine. What were the major grievances of the protestors? How did this process of resistance and revenge play out locally? What forms of protest did it take? To what extent did it alter local politics? Why and how did the targets of this protest survive and recover power, and what were the long-term consequences of this Cultural Revolution from below in the minds of the power holders and the memories of the villagers who participated in the protest?
Differentiating Motivations for "Peasant Rebellion" against Local Cadres in the Cultural Revolution: A Comparison of Two Anhui Villages, with Special Reference to Their Great Leap Histories
Yixin Chen, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Professor Yixin Chens paper will focus on the different motivations for "peasant rebellion" against local cadres in the Cultural Revolution, comparing these motivations in two different Anhui villages. Chen compares one village (Lao Qu in Dingyuan county) in which rebellion was inspired by the cadres who were forced to step down in the Four Clean Ups, arguing that these deposed cadres viewed the Cultural Revolution as an opportunity to regain power. In a second village, Dong Shanxia in Qi Men county, rebellion was inspired by an outside force of sent down students. One can only begin to grasp the motivations for villagers joining in or reluctantly going along with these differently inspired rebellions by placing them in the context of their Great Leap Forward Famine and immediate post-famine histories and complexities. Chen looks at how villagers struck out against local cadres in each place, and how the "true Maoists" did or did not take over and/or survive these rebellions.
Justifying Rebellion in the Cultural Revolution: Competing Conceptions of "Social Justice" in the Transcripts of Great Leap Forward Victims and the Transcript of Maoist Cadres
Dongping Han, Warren Wilson College
Professor Dongping Hans paper focuses on how village-level rebellion was justified in the Cultural Revolution. Using original unpublished oral history interviews and local records from several villages in different rural Shandong counties, Han establishes that there were competing conceptions of "social justice" in the transcripts of the Great Leap Forward victims who took up various forms of protest against their enemies in the Cultural Revolution and in the transcripts of the Maoist cadres who had become enemies of the country people in the Great Leap Forward Famine. Han looks at the reasoning, forms, and specific targets of the social justice-driven rebellion, and at the role of individuals in carrying out these acts of social justice and at community support for such. His study focuses on how village people remember this unknown side of the Cultural Revolution, and the extent to which the rebellion by villagers did or did not fully satisfy popular desires to settle scores with enemies. Han also takes up the issue on how memory of this Cultural Revolution episode of social justice-driven rebellion has influenced the predispositions of villagers to take up resistance and protest in the post-Mao era.
Session 159: The Reporter, the Plaintiff, and the Defendant: Women and Law in Republican China
Organizer: Lisa Tran, Loyola Marymount University
Chair: Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota
Discussant: Matthew H. Sommer, Stanford University
Keywords: women, law, Republican China, Qing code.
To their framers, the Republican legal codes represented everything the Qing code was not. Patterned after European models, the civil and criminal codes created a "modern" legal system based on Western ideals and practice. But how different was Republican law from its late imperial predecessor? In what ways did they diverge? To what extent did Qing legal conceptions and practices persist? Finally, how did this influence and reshape the "modern" nature of Republican law?
In answering these questions, the three papers in this panel look to the media and the courtroom. Analyzing the publications of female reporters and editors, Yuxin Mas paper discusses the nature and impact of the public discourse on womens newfound rights in property and inheritance as guaranteed by the civil code. Shifting from the press room to the courtroom, the next two papers scrutinize local case records to illustrate the law in action. Looking at bigamy cases, Lisa Tran makes the case for the plaintiff, who was in most instances a concubine seeking to take advantage of the new laws to open doors previously closed to her in the Qing. Analyzing homicide cases, Jennifer Neighbors presents the case for the female defendant accused of killing her husband; as these alleged murderesses discovered, the procedural changes accompanying the legal codes more often than not drowned out their cries of innocence. All three papers highlight the tension between persisting Qing views on women and law and the "modern" vision offered by the Republican legal codes.
The Ceremony Requirement in the Republican Civil Code: Adjudicating Concubinage as Bigamy
Lisa Tran, Loyola Marymount University
Beginning in the early Republic, concubinage came under heavy fire from those who considered it a form of male bigamy. Republican lawmakers, however, adamantly refused to recognize concubinage as bigamy. Yet as local case records from the Beijing and Shanghai Municipal Archives reveal, a number of plaintiffs in bigamy suits that resulted in conviction were concubines.
At the center of this apparent contradiction between legal thinking, which distinguished between concubinage and bigamy, and courtroom practice, which occasionally conflated the two, was the ceremony requirement, codified as Article 982 in the Republican civil code. As the litmus test for determining whether a union constituted a marriage, the ceremony requirement enabled a woman socially recognized as a concubine to be legally granted status as a wife, and thus, for concubinage to be convicted as bigamy.
How did the ceremony requirement end up as the legal rationale for adjudicating cases involving concubines as bigamy? Records of bigamy cases suggest that Republican lawmakers efforts to deny marital status to concubinage by legal fiat clashed with popular perceptions of concubinage, inherited from the Qing, as a form of marriage. For by the Qing, concubines were considered by both law and society as minor wives. It was precisely at this disjuncture between the new legal conception of the concubine as "not a wife" and persisting social perceptions of the concubine as a "minor wife" that a legally savvy concubine found the loophole allowing her to make a legal claim to wife status and convict her husband of bigamy. What had been impossible in the Qing now became very possible in the Republic.
Neglected Murderesses: Gender and Testimony in Republican-Era Criminal Courts
Jennifer Neighbors, University of California, Los Angeles
In March of 1929, Cheng Funian took Cheng Zhangshi, 19 sui at the time, as his bride. Within months, following several torturous days of stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea he was dead. Cheng Zhangshi was arrested soon thereafter and accused of the poisoning death of her husband. For the next three years Cheng Zhangshis case wound its way through the Republican criminal courts. Accusations flew back and forth between the accused and her husbands family, and expert witnesses were called to testify time and again, before eventually Cheng Funians death was ruled a natural one and Cheng Zhangshi was exonerated.
Cheng Zhangshis story was far from unique as Republican-era lawmakers instituted changes in the methods of procedure for criminal trials. In the most notable break with Qing procedure, Republican courts did not require a confession to obtain a conviction. This meant that in the eyes of the court, the testimony of the many could outweigh the persistent and consistent denials of young, female defendants. In a second break, also related to testimony, the procurators office began to rely on a new arsenal of prosecutorial weapons, especially the use of expert medical testimony. This, too, was not necessarily good news for the defendants as the testimony of this new group of expert witnesses often became the deciding factor in a case. As a result, the methods of criminal procedure in the Republican courtspromoted as more rational and objective than the techniques of the pastwere used to re-assert continuing norms of suspicion against young female defendants accused of murder.
Womens Property and Inheritance Rights in Womens Discourse
Yuxin Ma, Armstrong Atlantic State University
In the transition from the late Qing to the Republic, Chinese women employed journalism as a new venue to expound and propagate womens property and inheritance rights in the Republican Civil Code, and to denounce persisting Qing views and practices towards women and the law. The civil code granted daughters equal inheritance; but in reality, their inheritance rights were often affected by their marital status, and infringed upon by their male relatives and their parents heirs. Republican law appointed a husband as the manager of the common property owned by a couple, which left a wife at a disadvantage in daily life and divorce.
Republican women journalists introduced to their audiences the specific legal regulations concerning womens property and inheritance, and elaborated on the importance of womens property and inheritance rights in enabling women to pursue educational and career goals. Female journalists analyzed tragic stories involving female victims whose property and inheritance rights were deprived, and edited regular columns providing readers with legal advice on property and inheritance matters. They invoked the twin principles of Republican lawgender equality and individual propertyand proposed to eliminate gender discrimination in property and inheritance rights in the Republican Civil Code.
By applying their legal knowledge in discourse, women journalists reshaped practices that violated womens legal rights. By openly discussing women and law in their journals, women writers legitimized womens discursive power in legislative and judicial matters, and ventured into a public previously dominated by men. The discussions on women and law empowered womens journals, enhanced the reputation of womens societies, and advanced women journalists feminist aspirations.
Session 173: Field Research on Christian Communities in China Today: Insights and Implications
Organizer and Chair: Daniel H. Bays, Calvin College
Discussant: Richard P. Madsen, University of California, San Diego
Keywords: Christianity, Protestantism, Catholics, Chinese Christianity.
Christianity has grown rapidly in China in the past two decades. This has intrigued increasing numbers of social scientists, who have questions about the key characteristics of Chinese Christianity, e.g. whether it potentially constitutes a framework for nascent civil society, how it has (or has not) managed to shed the image of being Western, how it relates to socioeconomic modernization, how unique it is in comparative terms, etc. Until recently it has been difficult for scholars directly to observe Chinese Christian communities and begin to answer such questions. However, all six of the participants in this panel have done that, from varying disciplinary points of reference. Among the six are three sociologists, one political scientist, one in a religion program, and one historian. Of the four presenters, all draw on fresh research experiences; three are PhD. students; two are native speakers, and the other two have excellent language skills. Three of the four presenters deal with Protestants, but Richard Madsen, the discussant, is an established authority on Chinese Catholics. The last presentation draws upon the authors familiarity with churches in Latin America and a "world Christianity" perspective to put the Chinese scene, with which she is also intimately familiar, into broader perspective. We anticipate a lively discussion, both among the panelists and with the audience, which, reflecting the multidisciplinary makeup of the panel, will include interested scholars from a variety of disciplines.
Catholicism and Local Culture in a North China Village
Xiao-qing Wang, University of Notre Dame
This paper investigates relationships between local culture and the inculturation of Catholicism in a northern Chinese village. The Christian revival in China since the early 1980s has aroused great interest among social scientists. Previous studies have focused to some extent on political, social, economic, geographical, and religious factors. This paper stresses local culture. I chose an entirely Catholic village, which converted to Catholicism in the early 17th century and which has remained Catholic until today. Even the local cadres are all Catholic. Based on culture-religion mutual influence theories and my personal ethnographic and historical research both in this Catholic village and in a neighboring non-Catholic village, I find that local culture is the underlying factor in the continuation of Catholicism in the Catholic village. Local life-cycle rituals, several centuries legends of fengshui and of protection by local gods, and certain local cultural symbols have become effective means of passing on Catholicism in this village. My findings are consistent with theories that culture and religion influence each other, and illustrate that local culture can be the carrier of a western religion, in effect turning it into a Chinese religion. Since northern China has hundreds of largely Catholic villages, this case study reflects certain characteristics of the inculturation of Catholicism in that region, but generalization of the findings requires more and diverse cases.
"Many Sheep, Few Shepherds": Organizational Problems of Aboveground and Underground Chinese Protestant Churches
Carsten T. Vala, University of California, Berkeley
The official Protestant churchthe Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM)is one of the most dynamic organizations in China, with church membership in many areas doubling or more in less than 15 years. Despite the surge in believers, leadership of the official church has not expanded at the same pace. Barriers to increasing the pool of trained church leaders are creating a crisis of sorts as rank-and-file members continue to join far faster than leaders can emerge. This paper, which is based on several months observation and interviewing, analyzes the recruitment, training, and appointment of TSPM church leaders. The paper also contrasts this pattern with the less restrictive and in many ways more flexible and effective training of leadership in the unregistered (underground) churches.
Taking the Northeast of China as its primary focus, the paper also draws lessons from the many sheep, few shepherds phenomenon of the TSPM for larger organizational issues. Moving beyond causes and consequences of the TSPM leadership dearth and comparisons with unregistered Protestants, the paper also seeks to elucidate the implications of such a fast-growing but bottom-heavy organization for leadership issues in other social organizations in China.
The Protestant Ethic and Market Morality in China Today: From Coastal to Inland Cities
Fenggang Yang, Purdue University
The resurgence of religious activity in China, especially Protestant Christianity, juxtaposed against the phenomenon of rapid economic change, naturally brings to mind Max Weber. Is the Chinese Protestant ethic conducive to the development of a market economy? We seek to answer this question with empirical data. Between summer 2000 and early 2003, we conducted fieldwork research in eight cities throughout China, four on the coast from the Southeast to the Northeast, and four in inland provinces including one in the Southwest and one in the Northwest.
The focus of this study is on Christian ethics during the market transition and social transformation. We engaged in participant observation at churches and interviewed many Protestant Christians on several aspects of their lives as individuals and as members of their religious communities. One of our points of focus was their business or job activities and attitudes. The data was collected under conditions of good access to informants, and very little interference or monitoring by local authorities. This presentation is one of the first attempts to analyze these data, which we hope will undergird a wider study.
Identity and Belief in Chinese and Latin American Protestantism: Comparative Perspectives in World Christianity
Candi K. Cann, Harvard University
This paper is based on extended past residence in China, as well as on fieldwork as a participant observer in Latin American churches; the author is returning to China for a year of field work in 20042005. The paper will consider Chinese and Latin American Protestantism against the larger backdrop of currents in World Christianity, especially Pentecostalism, with its potent combination of the supernatural and of practical personal empowerment, which is such a prominent theme among Third World Protestants. The study will examine similarities and differences in patterns of religious identity and practice. Regional and local identification (language, custom, culture, etc.) plays a major role in shaping the identity of Protestant communities in both China and Latin America, pointing to the need for diversification of our interpretations. In considering the remarkable growth of Protestantism/Pentecostalism in the Third World, and the regional/local multiplicity of its refracted message, the paper posits that regional identification and localized interpretation constitute not only a trend but the likely future of Christianity. It may be that some of the future worldwide patterns of Protestantism can be seen in China today. The paper will endeavor to identify both insights and pitfalls of looking at Chinese patterns within this wider context of World Christianity.
Session 174: Political, Legal, and Pedagogical Conflicts in Late Imperial Examination Culture
Organizer: Hilde De Weerdt, University of Tennessee
Chair: Peter Bol, Harvard University
Discussant: John W. Chaffee, State University of New York, Binghamton
The year 2004 marks the 100th anniversary of the abolition of the imperial Chinese civil service examinations. Partly because of the convenience of the moment, and mostly because of the historical significance of the examinations and their abolition, this panel will re-examine political and cultural tensions characterizing imperial examination culture. The central questions occupying the panelists are: What types of criticisms of the examinations existed in late imperial China? What channels were used to voice criticism? What kinds of justifications and measures were devised in defense of the examinations?
Takatsu Takashi describes the problem of the fixation of values that emerged soon after the examinations became the primary channel of recruitment in Song China. In his analysis, the publication of examination manuals such as rhyme books, literary anthologies and comprehensive histories in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries effected a suppression of cultural diversity. Iona Man-Cheong and Hilde De Weerdt discuss the formation of practices that examination candidates and literati used to challenge regulations, curricula, and examination results. Man-Cheong addresses the performative aspects of eighteenth-century examination critiques while De Weerdt focuses on the meaning and the later reception of a twelfth-century written manifesto for examination reform. Carsey Yee links the defense of examination procedures to the protection of imperial rule. His discussion of the 1858 Shuntian examination case highlights the political and legal challenges faced by nineteenth-century sponsors of the examinations.
The Civil Service Examinations and Chinese Culture: Suppression of Cultural Diversity
Takatsu Takashi, Kagoshima University
Civil service examinations have a tendency to suppress cultural diversity. This paper examines how the imperial Chinese civil service examinations have influenced Chinese culture, directly or indirectly.
The civil service examination occasionally fixed cultural values, and consequently obstructed the diversity of Chinese culture. The examinations fixed reference texts, bringing about an Alexandrian effect in Chinese literature. A tendency appeared to attach greater importance to knowledge of the past than to the actual experience. The work of the Southern Song Jiangxi Poetry Group illustrates this tendency.
The fixation of cultural values through the civil service examinations is strongly suggested in examination publications from the Southern Song period. Rhyme books, literary anthologies, comprehensive histories and collections of examination essays each contributed in their own way to the standardization of speech and writing patterns, and modes of analysis, and the exclusion of alternatives. When a society sets up an examination system, the system itself influences the culture of the society, prescribes it to some extent, and suppresses the cultural basis on which that society had been established. This paper examines this problem.
The Twelfth-Century Context and the Later Reception of Zhu Xis Testament of Examination Reform
Hilde De Weerdt, University of Tennessee
In 1195 Zhu Xi wrote "Private Opinion on Schools and Selection," a text that has inspired imperial courts and officials as well as critics of the examinations until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Zhu Xi wrote the text in the format of a "private opinion," a document that read like a memorial but that was not submitted to the court. "Private opinion making" connoted partisanship and factionalism in twelfth-century political discourse. Zhu Xi was well aware of the explosive potential of his pseudo-official manifesto on educational reform. He talked about it with friends and disciples but was unwilling to let them borrow or copy the written text. In this paper, I discuss the challenges that this text and the imitations it inspired posed to the civil service examinations.
In the first part of my paper I investigate the implications of Zhu Xis proposals in the political and intellectual context of the late twelfth century. The paper discusses both the institutional and the curricular aspects of Zhu Xis reform proposal. In contrast to earlier scholarship on this text which uniformly stresses the comprehensive and liberal nature of Zhu Xis proposed curriculum, I argue that, in the twelfth century, Zhu Xis proposal was an attempt to downplay the significance of written examinations and narrow the scope of the examination curriculum.
In the second part of my paper I discuss the reception of Zhu Xis proposal between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Using a set of essays written in imitation of Zhu Xis "Private Opinion on Schools and Selection," I question both the re-reading of the original proposal in these texts and the reasons behind its use as a model for writing critiques of the examinations.
Acting Out: Critiquing the Examination System in 18th-Century China
Iona Man-Cheong, State University of New York, Stony Brook
The constellation of techniques used in eighteenth-century Chinese examination practice ensured that subjects were tested in both their cultural knowledge and in their fortitudemoral and otherwiseto stand the many years of test taking. Examiners applied a scrutiny as diagnostic as any associated with medical practice. The most crucial effect of this system was thus the training of loyal, obedient subjects inculcated with the behaviors, values, and principles of government deemed appropriate for servants of the state. It would, however, be a mistake to assume that this disciplinary process was unilateral in scope. Imperial examinations occurred within and between sets of vibrant state-society relations. Interacting with the more contingent elements of court politics, intellectual fashions, and social ambitions, examinations become a site of collaboration, contestation, and conflict. This paper elaborates some of the ways the candidates, the subjects of the disciplinary process, found to maneuver through the very process that constructed their subjectification. In so doing they performatively indicted the system without articulating a formal critique.
The Shuntian Examination Scandal of 1858: The Legal Defense of Imperial Institutions
Carsey Yee, Harvard University
The Shuntian provincial examination scandal of 1858 was a complicated legal case involving multiple irregularities, which took a specially appointed investigating commission of high government officials almost a year to resolve. In the final count, two witnesses died in custody, five men (including the principal examiner) were executed, eight were sentenced to military exile, and over ninety others suffered various administrative punishments for neglect of official and household duties. With the Tongzhi restoration (186162), the case was reopened and partially reassessed. Although the final outcome was clearly influenced by the political turmoil and factional struggles of the day, this case nevertheless established an important legal precedent regarding the proper interpretation of the sub statute of the Qing legal code dealing with examination corruption. This paper is a legal history case study. The 1858 Shuntian examination scandal will be placed into its historical context (political, social, institutional), but my primary focus will be a close analysis of the legal significance of this case. What do the various aspects of this case tell us about the mechanics and the underlying values of the Qing legal system? I shall discuss two legal principles in particular, namely the application of law by analogy and the principle of collective responsibility. Finally, I consider the relationship between law and politics and the extent to which the Qing legal system served to legitimate imperial rule and reinforce Confucian family values.
Session 175: Changing the Paradigm: Moving beyond Center and Periphery in Regional Studies of Buddhist Art
Organizer and Chair: Karil J. Kucera, St. Olaf College
Discussant: Stephen F. Teiser, Princeton University
Keywords: Buddhist art, religious studies, Sichuan.
This panel is composed of four very different papers all unified by the single factor of being studies of medieval Buddhist art in Sichuan province, China. Scholarship of Buddhist art historically placed great importance on imperially-sanctioned sites in imperially-controlled areas of China, relegating art produced in more peripheral areas such as Sichuan to a lower status. Over the past decade, new research has emerged focusing on these peripheral areas, with particular attention given to the wealth of Buddhist imagery still extant in Sichuan. The point of this panel is to look at new ways in which to formulate studies of Buddhist art production in order to best move forward from where the field is now. Having moved beyond the nexus of center and periphery, do we continue to divide and subdivide into regional and local discourses? Do we need to start rethinking the spatial and temporal framing of our studies, moving away from strict interpretations of either region or dynastic chronologies? Should we be considering other methodologies, perhaps following trends in scholarship seen in other disciplines? Covering everything from colossal imagery to inscribed texts to Buddhist/Daoist syncretism, these papers will demonstrate the varied approaches now being utilized within regional studies of Buddhist art. It is hoped that their breadth will bring focus and clarity to defining new avenues of research within the overall field of Buddhist art studies. In the interest of creating a dialogue, all papers will be posted to the web prior to the March meeting.
Is There a Pathway of Great Buddhas in Sichuan?
Sonya Lee, University of Chicago
Colossal buddha statues are a common sight at Buddhist cave complexes in Sichuan. Characterized by their enormous size, limited quantity, and physical integration into the surrounding environment, these monumental figures constitute the primary visual foci at their respective sites. Their dominating presence is emblematic of a design logic that defines what the beholders see at a sacred site, and how they proceed with certain courses of viewing within it. The pervasiveness of this model in Sichuan amounts to a tradition of its own, readily inviting comparison to Matsubara Saburos "pathway of great buddhas" along the Hexi Corridor in Gansu. This study considers Sichuans colossal buddhas by focusing on the genesis of a long-standing practice. Some of the earliest extant examples were initiated in the 8th century, a period during which two different trends in making monumental sculpture seemed to be in currency. Specimens in Sichuan largely exemplify one in which a colossal buddha was conceived from inception to be the thematic anchor for a new site. Those in Gansu, by contrast, point to another trend in which colossal buddhas were carved at a later time, as if to realign visual interests at already flourishing complexes. This paper attempts to map out how these two distinct modes of production evolved. The underlying purpose is twofold: first, to analyze one type of sacred space in medieval China that centered on colossal buddhas; and second, to develop a more integrated method of assessing image-making practices involving complex, localized adaptations.
Celestial Ascensions through Stone: Meaning and Visual Properties in Medieval Sichuan
Yudong Wang, University of Chicago
Since the pre-Qin period, one of Chinas central notions in conceptualizations of postmortem destiny was celestial ascension. While the formation of institutional Daoism and the introduction of Buddhism further enhanced the cultural complex surrounding celestial ascension, the nature of these changes remains little understood. This paper argues that two groups of half-length anthropomorphic sculptures represent two interconnected instances of materialization of this ideal state in Sichuan during the Former Shu and the Southern Song dynasties. The cases in point are the half-length statues in the tomb of Wang Jian, and the sculptures around a nirvana scene at Baodingshan. Examples of Daoist and Buddhist art respectively, these statues are described in current art historical writing as emerging from the earth below. Nevertheless, this paper argues that the visual properties of representation should be understood rather as local strategies to express an upward ascending movement, utilizing a plastic language that incorporates the ground surface of the image to ultimately negate it in order to convey the idea of movement through empty space. A departure is made from previous painted depictions or bas-reliefs of related themes: these formal transformations represent an expression of temporality through the relationship of three-dimensional form and its location in space. The instantiation of ascension in these sculptures was tied to the particular cultural locale of Sichuan of the 10th and 13th centuries, when significant new strategies for dealing with dying arose as local religious movements rendered new means of sacred and regulated death both urgent and possible.
Shimenshan: A Study of Religious Mutuality and Syncretism in the Cliff Sculpture of Dazu during the Song Dynasty
Tom Suchan, Eastern Michigan University
The cliff sculpture of Dazu is often taken to be synonymous with the large-scale site of Baodingshan. Yet, not to be overlooked, are several less grand, but no less important, Buddhist and Daoist cliff sculpture sites in Dazu that are roughly contemporary or earlier than Baodingshan, which was carved in the late Song Dynasty. One site of particular interest is Shimenshan (Stone-Gate Mountain), which is located on a hilltop about twenty kilometers east of the city of Dazu. Shimenshan is named after a distinctive sandstone rock formation on the hilltop with a large gate-like natural passageway between two large boulders. The site consists of imagery in ten niches and two small, excavated caves, which were carved during the Song Dynasty from the late eleventh to late twelfth centuries. The imagery at the site is comprised of both Buddhist and Daoist subject matter indicating that the site was utilized for both Daoist and Buddhist devotional purposes. Song Dynasty cliff sculpture sites in Dazu with predominantly Buddhist imagery far outnumber those that contain Daoist imagery, and only a few sites such as Shimenshan feature an almost equal proportion of Daoist and Buddhist imagery. This paper investigates the imagery of Shimenshan in relation to syncretic religious trends during the Song Dynasty. It examines how the imagery at the site relates to other imagery in Dazu, and what they inform about the mutual worship of Buddhist and Daoist deities in Dazu during the Song Dynasty and the syncretic aspects of the art of Dazu.
Text as Relic: Another "Reading" of the Carved Stone Inscriptions at Baodingshan
Karil J. Kucera, St. Olaf College
Buddhist relics bring to mind bits of bone placed deep within the bowels of stupas and pagodas throughout Asia. Yet over time and across place, relic worship evolved, and with that the very concept of the nature of a Buddhist relic also changed. Texts as sacred words of the historical Buddha came to be valued as much as his very bones, becoming objects of veneration prostrated before, placed within the "bodies" of Buddhist statuary, or buried where bones once held pride of place, underneath pagodas. Earlier studies of the Song dynasty Buddhist site of Baodingshan, Sichuan, define the inscribed Buddhist texts as functioning on multiple levelsas scripturally-based explanatory notes carved to accompany sculpted vignettes, as visual cues for ritualistic chanting, or as representations of yet one more form of Buddhist reality. This paper presents yet another level of "reading" the Baodingshan inscriptions, arguing that their unique qualities create textual relics akin to the corporeal remains of the historical Buddha. From inscriptions found at the site in which the supernatural appearance and veneration of relics elsewhere in China are described, it is clear that the creators of Baodingshan placed considerable importance on relics and relic worship. Such knowledge further suggests that the site was meant to function not so much as a center of Buddhist learning during the final days of the Song dynasty, but rather as a repository for all forms of the dharma for posterity.
Session 176: Institutional Legitimacy in Contemporary China
Organizer: Rudra Sil, University of Pennsylvania
Chair: Avery Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania
Discussants: Calvin Chen, Mount Holyoke College; Rudra Sil, University of Pennsylvania
Keywords: China, legitimacy, institution.
The excessive attention being paid to the prospects for democratization and marketization has resulted in the marginalization of more fundamental questions concerning the extent and sources of legitimacy across Chinas political and economic institutions. Following Weber, we view legitimacy as a relational concept: one does not possess it unless others acknowledge it. Thus, an investigation into institutional legitimacy is essentially an exploration of how the values and expectations held by societal actors shape their normative evaluations of the structure, rules, and functioning of official institutions. Such an exercise is likely to generate insights into how state-society relations have evolved in the course of Chinas reforms. The papers on this panel investigate the extent and sources of legitimacy for three different institutions, attempting to gauge the significance of rising or declining legitimacy within a wider comparative framework. Focusing on the Chinese state, Chen and Sil present evidence of declining legitimacy, but note that this decline is neither fuelled by frustrations over inadequate democratization nor characterized by the level of distrust for official institutions seen in post-communist Europe. Bickford argues that the Peoples Liberation Army has found it difficult to maintain the institutional legitimacy it once possessed in light of social transformations that obviate some of its non-military roles. Wright considers what the activities of the China Labor Bulletin suggest for the legitimacy of the official system of industrial relations which has depended heavily on the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) for the preservation of labor peace in the course of reform.
Institutional Legitimacy of an Authoritarian State: China in the Mirror of Eastern Europe
Cheng Chen, State University of New York, Albany; Rudra Sil, University of Pennsylvania
Debates over the prospects for democratization in China are likely to become stale and repetitive unless embedded in larger discussions of the sources and extent of state legitimacy. Although low levels of state legitimacy can be the result of inadequate democratization in some settings, in order for the concept to have independent significance, legitimacy cannot be automatically equated with democracy. In China, the limited evidence suggests that while state legitimacy has declined over the 1990s, the decline has more to do with uncertainties over the socioeconomic consequences of Chinas market reforms than with mass frustration over the extent of political participation. Moreover, the Chinese state is doing relatively well compared to post-Communist democracies where there has been an especially steep decline in the level of trust in state institutions. Although more research is needed before definitive judgments can be offered, the paper suggests two reasons why Chinas authoritarian state may be doing better than the democratizing states of post-communist Europe. First, unlike the Communist parties of the USSR and Eastern Europe, the CCPs syncretized Leninist ideology and organization with familiar "Chinese characteristics" makes the communist Chinese state less socially and psychologically distant from the masses and thus producing less of the legacy of distrust for official institutions evident across Eastern Europe. Second, the more incremental transition from a socialist command economy shielded the Chinese state from the frustrated expectations triggered by the simultaneous and radical transformation of politician and economic institutions across post-communist Europe.
Institutional Legitimacy in Chinese Industrial Relations: The China Labor Bulletin (CLB) and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU)
Teresa Wright, California State University, Long Beach
Labor unrest has been endemic in China since the mid-1990s. Clearly, many Chinese workers are dissatisfied with the results of economic reform. Yet to what extent do worker protests indicate a decline in the legitimacy of party-state institutions, such at the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU)? This paper explores the answer through an analysis of the China Labor Bulletin (CLB). Founded in 1994 by well-known labor activist Han Dongfang, the CLB is devoted to the establishment of independent trade unions in China. From its base in Hong Kong, the CLB disseminates its ideas and invites the input of mainland workers through electronic bulletins and call-in radio broadcasts. In this fashion, the CLB contacts some 50 million mainlanders on a regular basis. In its communications, the CLB instructs mainland workers to press for their legal rights through orderly and law-abiding actions. At the same time, the CLB gathers the opinions and experiences of dissatisfied mainland workers. The goals and activities of the CLB overtly challenge the legitimacy of the ACFTU, and by implication, the CCP; moreover, the findings of the CLB suggest that some large sectors of the Chinese labor force not only share the CLBs views, but are also acting on its advice. How well the CCP responds and adapts to this crisis of legitimacy may largely determine its ability to maintain its current hegemony.
Institutional Legitimacy in the Chinese Military: The Peoples Liberation Army in a Changing Society
Thomas J. Bickford, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
The Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has been a key institution ever since the founding of the Peoples Republic in 1949. As a "party-army," it has many important non-military roles and has served as a crucial link between state and society, providing a sense of continuity between the revolutionary past and the present era of reform. This paper examines how the PLA has maintained, and in some key aspects failed to maintain, its institutional legitimacy in the face of enormous social and political change over the past two decades. The paper will argue that recent social changes have reduced the PLAs legitimacy in the eyes of the population, and that this is indicative of a weakening of the channels linking state and society. Specifically, there is pressure both within and outside the PLA to redefine its role as a "party-army," leading to shifts in the recruitment of officers and the likely character of the future military elite. The extent to which the PLA manages to maintain institutional coherence and legitimacy under these conditions, in turn, will influence the extent to which the military can help the regime as a whole maintain coherence and stability. While the focus of the paper is on the PLA, the general argument will be comparative in its scope and will have broader implications for other institutions within and beyond China.
Session 177: Working the System: The Qing State and the Making of Status, Money, and Love
Organizer: Janet M. Theiss, University of Utah
Chair and Discussant: Philip A. Kuhn, Harvard University
Keywords: Qing history, Chinese state, social mobility.
Throughout Chinese history, the state was the most important venue for pursuing social mobility and status. During the Qing Dynasty several factors converged to diversify opportunities for access to the clout, money, and prestige the state conferred. Savvy management of the exam, canonization, and judicial systems was critical for the consolidation and legitimation of Manchu rule. Meanwhile, intensified social and economic competition spurred elites and commoners to use these systems creatively to access state resources and authority. This panel examines the implications of the states diverse roles in status creation.
John Williams explores the political significance of the most familiar status creating institutionthe examination systemin one of its less familiar incarnations. Analyzing the system at the regional level, he illustrates the integrating role of the provincial examination as it mediated the dispensation of status to examiner and candidate alike, in the process legitimating the Manchu state that sponsored them.
Mark McNicholas focuses on the illicit use of symbols of state power through forgery and impersonation. Shaped in part by competition for scarce status resources and money, the shadowy realm of petty frauds threatened the integrity of a state determined to prevent misappropriation of its authority.
Finally, Janet Theiss presents an accusation of adultery that reveals how the politicization of chastity and its institutionalized promotion by the Qing state enhanced the potency of female virtue as a component of elite status and a weapon that empowered women through the judicial system to challenge elite male authority and destroy reputation.
Gentlemen at the Gate: The Role of the Provincial Examination in the Early Qing
John Williams, University of California, Berkeley
One word for the examination hall in late imperial China originally signified a side entrance to the imperial palace. Intentionally or not, the trope is revealing. Much as the palace entry of civilian bureaucrats was restricted to a side gate, ordinary Chinese could only enter the civilian bureaucracy through examination success. The perceived nature of the exam gateway varied according to the direction through which one peered. From the outside, it stood astride the avenue to political office and social status. From the standpoint of the Qing state, proper examination administration not only secured the allegiance and talent of Han elites, but also confirmed the legitimacy of Manchu rule.
The systems function in the Qing therefore represented a continuing transaction between state and society, one which regulated the socio-political order of the empire. Patterns of administration and success in the provincial examination afford a unique view of how this transaction took place at the regional level.
This paper considers mobility and social status in the early Qing via an analysis of provincial examination administration. Arguing that the role of provincial examiner served to politically integrate the empire by conferring patronage and prestige on the men chosen to undertake it, the paper analyzes such appointments to draw conclusions about bureaucratic qualification, ethnicity, and regional representation in the early Qing examination system. Expanding upon these themes, it then shows how such exams were enmeshed in local politics due to a staffing procedure that had implications for corruption and bureaucratic culture.
Seals, Buttons, and Power: Borrowing State Authority in the Middle Qing
Mark McNicholas, University of California, Berkeley
This paper uses fraud as a lens on state-society relations in the middle Qing. In everyday administration, official functionaries confirmed their status and legitimized their activities with documents, seals, and official wardrobe and other accouterments. Backed by laws and procedures designed to monopolize their use, these tools and symbols marked the boundaries between state and populace. Criminal case records from the Qing archives, however, reveal that small-time frauds often borrowed them for their own purposes.
The dynamics are evident in three sample cases. In one, seven friends formed a bogus "street patrol," seizing a moneychanger on false charges and threatening to take him to the district magistrate unless he paid them a fee. In another, an unsuccessful merchant forged and sold certificates of rank-by-purchase. In the third case, a vagabond scholar combined calligraphic skill with a simple propthe official hat buttonto travel through five provinces in the guise of an expectant official separated from his baggage.
These episodes describe a triangular relationship involving perpetrators, their would-be dupes, and the state. Exploring where the attempts were made, and where they succeeded and failed, offers insight into the states ability to monopolize the tools of its own authority. It also reveals popular knowledge and ignorance of how officialdom worked. In an age of increasingly strained resources and intensifying social competition, such knowledge beckoned to somefrom day laborers to frustrated scholarsas a path to private gain.
A Slandered Womans Revenge: The Intimate Role of the State in a Familys Rise and Fall
Janet M. Theiss, University of Utah
Historians have long noted the importance of female virtue for family reputation and elite male identity in late imperial China. The expansion of the state chastity cult during the Qing Dynasty and the increased emphasis on chastity in law and social policy enhanced the political potency of chastity and its usefulness as a form of social leverage and a marker of familial status. This paper will present a mid-Qing slander case within an elite Hangzhou family, which illuminates the relationship between female virtue, reified by state awards and law, and male literati reputation, and demonstrates their interaction in the creation and destruction of family status.
The case begins as a lawsuit brought by a woman against her husbands elder brother, the family head, for wrongfully accusing her of adultery, divorcing her without her husbands consent, and confiscating her property. Despite the prominence of the family, boasting several generations of high level officials, she wins her suit, with the result that several senior men in the family lose their degrees and positions, initiating the familys decline. The state chastity cult created the moral legitimacy of this womans claim, while the judicial system offered a venue for her unorthodox battle against her in-laws. Examining the familys rise and fall over the first century of Qing rule, the paper will demonstrate the ironically unpredictable effects of the political apotheosis of chastity which sometimes worked to enhance male reputation and further family interests, but could also be used to destroy them.
Session 178: Diverse Visions: The Role of Mass Education in Twentieth-Century Chinas Modernization
Organizer: Elizabeth VanderVen, University of California, Los Angeles
Chair: Charles W. Hayford, Northwestern University
Discussant: Peter J. Seybolt, University of Vermont
Keywords: China, modernization, education, mass education, twentieth-century, minorities, rural-reconstruction, warlords.
Has there been mass education for all in China? During the twentieth century, reformers and government agents have looked to mass education for all, including the underprivileged, women, and minorities, to play a key role in Chinas modernization process and have implemented a variety of approaches to achieve their goal. This panel examines the continuities and divergences of different mass-educational modernization programs that were implemented in a variety of heretofore understudied contexts, including the Republican Northeast, Republican-era villages, and a minority university in late-twentieth century Beijing. In addition, this panel questions the degree to which mass education has actually been achieved.
Important actors in mass education programs have been American-educated radical reformers, regional warlords, and state agents. Elizabeth VanderVen conducts a regional study of Chinas Northeast where, during the Republican period, reform-minded leaders implemented a surprisingly successful and wide-reaching education program that extended all the way down to the regions villages. Yusheng Yao examines the little-explored efforts of the rural reconstructionist Tao Xingzhi to merge different strategies, including farming, industrialization, and schooling into a mass education program in the 1930s. Rebecca Clothey takes a close-up look at one facet of contemporary mass education. She provides a case study of Central University for Nationalities in Beijing to examine efforts made by the Chinese Communist government to reach out to minority students by providing them with special opportunities for educational and social advancement.
These diverse efforts to implement mass education across China will shed light on problems, successes, and failures common to modernization efforts across the 1949 divide.
From Military Regionalism to Civil Nationalism: Zhang Zuolin and Zhang Xueliangs Mass Education Movement in Northeast China, 19161931
Elizabeth VanderVen, University of California, Los Angeles
In December 1922, Zhang Zuolin, the military leader of Northeast China, invited the famous American educator, Paul Monroe, to visit him and discuss educational reform. Monroe was extremely impressed with Zhangs interest in education as well as with his wide-reaching educational reform program extending all the way down to the regions villages. After Zhangs son, Zhang Xueliang, succeeded his father as the regional leader in 1927, he continued to develop and build upon what his father had started.
Challenging scholarly preconceptions that the two Zhangs were mere military opportunists, this paper examines their role in implementing mass educational reform in Northeast China from 19161931. It traces the evolution of their ideas on mass education, examines their concrete implementation, and highlights the shifts that occurred when the younger Zhang took over leadership from his father. When Zhang Zuolin rose to power, he viewed educational reform as a means to cement regional power; his activities, namely establishing schools to inculcate young men with Confucian values and military training, reflected this interest. However, as national events unfolded, the elder Zhang gradually shifted his orientation towards a civil-based mass education program inspired by Western education theories and nationalist sentiment. Zhang Xueliang inherited his fathers interest in educational reform and built upon his ideas to develop his own highly nationalist-based mass educational philosophy. He was inspired to set up "modern" schools at all levels, from university down to village elementary schools. When the Japanese invaded the Northeast in 1931, thousands of schools had been set up across the region.
Reorganization and Empowerment of Rural China: Tao Xingzhis Work-Study Union Movement (19321936)
Yusheng Yao, Rollins College
American scholarship on Tao Xingzhi focuses on his Xiaozhuang School (19271930), one of the most famous projects of rural reconstruction in the Republican period. This paper studies his hitherto little explored "work-study union" movement (19321936). This movement, I believe, is both a continuation and deepening of Taos ideas and practices of rural reconstruction beginning with his Xiaozhuang experiment. The focus of this movement shifted from Taos strategy to train a new breed of rural schoolteachers as leaders of rural reconstruction to reorganization and empowerment of Chinese villages. Through a literary piece and then the movement itself, Tao searched for such a model that can be reproduced nationwide. The progressive intellectuals were called upon to work with the progressive farmers in the village for "self-government, self-reliance, and self-protection." Taos ultimate vision for this experiment was to reorganize and to empower the whole nation by turning every social unitbe it a family, a school, a village or a factoryinto a community of production, learning, and mutual help. In this movement Tao continued to search for strategies to implement mass education in a poor and populous country like China, which resulted in his famous "little teachers system." In addition, he was engaged in theoretical explorations for ways of rural industrialization and non-capitalist development. This study will enrich our understanding of not only Taos ideas and practices of mass education and rural reconstruction but also the movement of popular education and rural reconstruction in the Republican period in general.
Preferential Policies: Expanding Educational Opportunities for Chinese Minorities
Rebecca Clothey, University of Pittsburgh
This paper addresses an important facet of the Chinese governments efforts to include minorities in its mass education program. China is an ethnically diverse nation comprised of 55 different minority nationalities, representing approximately 110 million people and up to 100 different mother tongues. The educational attainments of many of these groups are lower than the majority Han Chinese, and their illiteracy rates are generally higher. To address this issue, the government has implemented a variety of preferential policies designed to expand educational opportunities for ethnic minorities. This paper discusses the application of Chinas higher educational policies for minority nationalities in one academic setting, the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing (CUN). It examines how these policies shape and create social and economic opportunities for minority nationality students, and how minority students negotiate their ethnic identity within that educational environment.
Minority nationality students at CUN may enter the university by taking the college placement examination in Mandarin Chinese or in one of six minority languages. Generally, those minority nationalities who test in their minority language (min kao min) will be tracked into a minority languages and literatures major, while minority students who test in Mandarin Chinese (min kao han) may enter a wider variety of possible majors. This paper discusses the dichotomous academic situations and post-graduation opportunities that are created for the two groups, as well as how ethnic self-perceptions of students from each group differ. Finally it reveals how the state employs different strategies and extends different privileges to different groups in its attempt to achieve mass education.
Session 179: Chinas Cultural Revolution Revisited: The Politics of Memory and Nostalgia
Organizer and Chair: Ming-Bao Yue, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Keywords: Cultural Revolution industry, Mao theme restaurants, Red Guard generation, transnational memory making, nostalgia, post-socialism, global capitalism.
Beginning with the "wounded literature" shangheng wenxue in the late 1970s, the trope of victimization has been central in Chinese public and private narratives of the post-Cultural Revolution period. Noticeably, in the past two decades this has taken an unexpected turn. With the PRCs opening to market-economy in the late 1980s, the Chinese public has seen the rapid emergence of a prolific Cultural Revolution industry, in particular Mao memorabilia, village theme restaurants, and zhiqing literature, to mention just a few. Significantly, however, starting in the mid 1990s, Red Guard reunions, independent documentary and filmmaking, as well as transnational fiction writing, for instance, have begun to tell another story of the Cultural Revolution experienceone that is peculiarly nostalgic in tone. Focusing on a variety of contemporary Chinese cultural configurations, trajectories, and practices, this panel will examine the relationship between the emergence of these nostalgic memories of the Cultural Revolution and Chinas concomitant insertion into global capitalism. Of particular critical interest here is the discourse of "post-socialism" which has surfaced as a dominant theme in scholarly explanations of the experience of transformation and dislocation the PRC and many Eastern European countries are currently undergoing. Keeping in mind the many conceptual dilemmas in theorizing globalization, the four papers in this panel are guided by the following questions: What do the collective and individual remembrances of the Cultural Revolution in the 1990s tell us about Chinese peoples structure of feeling? Does the emergence of a Cultural Revolution nostalgia support or subvert the notion of "post-socialist" China? And how do memory and nostalgia complicate or challenge concepts such as "transnational" and "global"?
Freedom Fries and Dead Fish: Cultural Revolution Restaurants in Contemporary China
Jennifer Hubbert, Lewis and Clark College
The Cultural Revolution occupies a discomfited space in post-Mao Chinas collective memory. Simultaneously a source of castigation and inspiration, recollections of this decade remain fraught with ambiguity. Ironically, some of the more intriguing attempts to remember and memorialize the era have appeared during recent years in distinctively commercial ventures. In a variety of Chinese cities, Cultural Revolution theme restaurants deliver hungry patrons an opportunity to recapture the experience of the late Mao era, serving fare that reflects the "bitter, sweet and sour" of Chinas "ten years of chaos." At once places of dining pleasure, memorials to a rejected past, and fiscally lucrative endeavors, these restaurants transgress many borders: those of official and private memory, political and economic revolution, and nature and culture. The food served at the restaurants, as both requisite sustenance and semiotic device, mediates these categories. While the food nurtures and sustains the physical body, its significance expands beyond its caloric composition, evoking a whole range of nostalgic memories and moral dilemmas. This paper examines these border transgressions, exploring how consumption decisions are reconfigured as political acts. While the restaurants are places of culinary "pleasure," the pleasure ironically has the potential to embody the pain of the epochal event, metonymically representing the experience of sent-down youth. However, these establishments also act as mini-museums that refuse to accommodate an amnesiac nation, providing networking grounds for those who shouldered the burden of misguided national policy on their adolescent bodies.
"Tempering Ourselves for Reform": Nostalgia and the Spirit of the Cultural Revolution
David J. Davies, Hamline University
Participants in the Chinese Cultural Revolution were encouraged to endure hardships, difficulties and bitterness (ku) as a means to forge a durable revolutionary spirit, metaphorically linking themselves to an earlier generation of Chinese revolutionaries. Enduring these hardships were extolled as opportunities to duanlianto strengthen, train, or temper ones self to be more effective in the struggle for the future of the Chinese nation. In a contemporary China being radically transformed by its integration into the global market, duanlian has made a nostalgic return, this time as the means by which members of the Cultural Revolution generation speak about, rehearse, and critique the different levels of success they have had negotiating the new economy. This paper examines a number of contemporary "nostalgic" projectsphotographic retrospectives and public exhibitionsorganized and financed by former Cultural Revolution participants. The projects, which featured collections of objects, black and white photographs, and reconstructed scenes of rural life, were intended to communicate what organizers often referred to as the "spirit" (jingshen) of the Cultural Revolution that must be "kept alive" in the present. Examining the process by which the various projects were organized, executed, and received by consumers, this paper illustrates how nostalgia provides an advantageous form to negotiate the many conflicting memories of the Cultural Revolution as well as critique economic inequity, social class distinctions, and differential opportunity for "success" in contemporary China. At the same time, nostalgia also provides a context for emerging middle-class subjects to imagine new relationships to the Cultural Revolution that affirm its value as an opportunity to temper themselves for the hardships or successes of the Reform Era.
Memory and Diaspora: Cultural Revolution Nostalgia in Three Transnational Chinese Novels
Ming-Bao Yue, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Much has been written about the rise of a Cultural Revolution nostalgia in the PRC of the 90s. Assuming that this fascinating as well as disturbing trend is largely a national phenomenon, very little attention has been devoted to the role of the Chinese diaspora in this process of CR memory re-making. This paper takes a closer look at three trans/national Chinese novels by recent PRC immigrant writers residing in the U.S.: Chaos and All That (1991) by Liu Suola, Red Azalea (1995) by Anchee Min, and Waiting (1999) by Ha Jin, in order to argue for the importance of recognizing a trans/national dimension in Chinese cultural politics and intellectual concerns that can be traced back to Liang Qichao and Sun Yatsen. All three novels, originally written in English (Chaos and All That was first published abroad in its English translation) are peculiarly nostalgic in tone and center on the authors semi-autobiographical memories of their experiences during the Cultural Revolution. Placed within the larger context of Chinas rapid insertion into global capitalism and the concurrent debate on Chinas "post-socialist" stage of development, these three novels shed important new light on a trans/national trajectory of memory making that simultaneously constructs and disrupts that narrative. The paper concludes with some comparative comments on the emergence of socialist nostalgia in many former Eastern European countries.
Naming a Generation: Memory, Discourse, and Power in the Making of Chinas Cultural Revolution Generations
Guobin Yang, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Red Guard generation, lost generation, educated youth generation, thinking generation, nostalgic generationthere are numerous ways of calling that generation, a generation both real and nebulous. Why is a generation called so many different names? Why does one name gain salience while another recedes from public memory? Who has the power of naming? What political effects does a name produce? This paper explores the making of Cultural Revolution generations as a process of symbolic politics and mnemonic practices. By analyzing the various ingredients of this symbolic politics and how these ingredients are mixed to create and re-create the Cultural Revolution generations in different periods of recent Chinese history, this paper probes into the diverse meanings and memories of the historical experiences of the Cultural Revolution, the struggles over meanings and memories, and the ways in which they have helped to generate Chinas political generations. The paper ends by discussing how Cultural Revolution discourses and generations are mobilized for present struggles.
Session 192: Space, Text, and Ritual: New Approaches to Chinese Buddhist Painting
Organizer: Lara I. Ingeman, Indiana University
Chair: Susan E. Nelson, Indiana University
Discussant: Richard K. Kent, Franklin & Marshall College
Keywords: China, Buddhism, painting, Dunhuang, Chan, Lohan.
This panel explores later Chinese Buddhist painting from a number of fresh perspectives by means of individual case studies. Beginning with a tenth-century mural of Mount Wutai at Dunhuang, Hao Shengs paper examines the interplay of real and imagined spaces. As an example of topographic transference, the depiction of an actual pilgrimage site for the worship of Manjusri located hundreds of miles away served as an aid to the quest for divine visions among the Buddhist faithful of the Dunhuang locality. Lara Ingeman readdresses familiar Chan paintings with inscriptions by Chan abbots dating to the thirteenth century from a literary perspective. Her paper analyzes inscriptions on Chan paintings as representative of the literary genre of the "zan" or portrait eulogy. While considering these poems as part of a pan-cultural practice, the paper also identifies aspects of these poems that are unique to the Chan school. Wen-chien Chengs paper moves ahead to the late Ming and is a close study of Wu Bins "Sixteen Lohans." Her paper reconsiders elements of Wu Bins painting in light of Buddhist beliefs and ritual practices of the late Ming.
Staging Mount Wutai: A Case of Topographic Transfer in 10th-Century Dunhuang
Hao Sheng, Harvard University
The tenth-century mural of Mount Wutai is exceptional among Dunhuang wall paintings in depicting an actual site of Buddhist pilgrimage located hundreds of miles away in Chinas central plain. The mural has received a wide range of scholarly attention; however, it has often been studied in isolation, severed from its immediate spatial and ritual contexts. By offering a reconstruction of the cave temples original state, complete with an iconic sculpture of Manjusri directly linked to its Mount Wutai prototype and a new reading of the mural closely engaged with the sculpture, this paper proposes that the cave was designed to construct a "topographic transfer." Not merely a distant allusion to the pilgrimage site in its original location, the cave, and specifically its mural, was intended to recreate Mount Wutai locally in Dunhuang.
The "topographic transfer" answers to the "vision quest" nature of the Mount Wutai pilgrimage. This interaction between religious expectations and their visualization can be vividly witnessed in the interplay between the contemporary Dunhuang text of a eulogy on Mount Wutai and the mural. The text, heard in sutra lectures, helped to forge a shared mental image of Mount Wutai among the local worshipers. The mural, in response, visualized the mountain and, ultimately, enabled the worshipers to obtain the very vision of Manjusri only granted through pilgrimage. By bringing together presentation and reception, the tangible and the imaginative, this paper examines the leap of faith necessary in all successful religious artthat is, the negotiation between seeing and believing.
What is a Zan? Rethinking Inscriptions on Chan Paintings
Lara I. Ingeman, Indiana University
A brief poem centered above an iconic image of a Buddha, Bodhisattva, or, Patriarch is a characteristic feature of surviving Chan paintings considered Song and Yuan period works. Such poems were inscribed and signed by abbots of major Chan monasteries, while the artist of the painting beneath was often unidentified. Despite the significance of the inscription to the monks who penned them and the faithful who read and received them, these poems have generally been treated in scholarship on Chan painting as tools for understanding the often cryptic iconography of the visual images beneath them. Such an approach, while a valuable exercise in analyzing the interaction of text and image, overlooks the indeterminate relationship these poems had with the paintings upon which they were inscribed and the fact that they were works of literature participating in a specialized literary lexicon shared by Chan adherents of period.
The inscriptions on these paintings were identified by Chan monks of the period as zan, often translated as "eulogy" or "encomium." The practice of inscribing zan on portraits and figural images stretched back to at least the end of the Han dynasty and continued as late as the Qing dynasty. This paper will first consider inscriptions on Chan paintings as part of an ancient and widespread literary tradition not unique to the Chan school. While the practice of inscribing paintings with zan was not a Chan invention, the language of the poems was uniquely Chan and was culled from Chan literary sources. A comparison of poems on the same subjects by Chan masters active in roughly the same time period yields evidence of a shared literary culture beyond the mainstream.
Visualizing Late Ming Buddhist Ideas: A New Look at Wu Bins (ca. 15831626) Sixteen Lohans
Wen-chien Cheng, University of Michigan
The writing of the history of Buddhist painting is necessarily informed by the study of pictorial, stylistic, and iconographic developments. Yet, in considering the devotional aspect of Buddhist painting, the research of actual Buddhist beliefs and practices in the social context of different periods is also important. This approach can provide an ideological interpretation of paintings especially when a new element or formation is introduced.
The subject of this paper, Wu Bins (ca. 15831626) painting of Sixteen Lohans, is of particular interest for several reasons. Wu Bins Sixteen Lohans shows a strong sense of originality in regard to style and content, deviating in several ways from earlier depictions of the subject. In addition, Wu considered himself to be a devoted believer of Buddhism in the late Ming period, a time when Buddhism received larger support from commoners and more thoroughly penetrated into the public sphere.
Unlike other themes of Buddhist painting, the Lohan was a relatively open subject matter because the nature of its original scriptural source, A Record of the Abiding of the Dharma Spoken by the Great Arhat Nandimitra (Fazhu ji), allowed artists more freedom to explore the subject iconographically. By means of a newly invented pictorial transformation of Lohan images, Wu Bin depicted an amalgam of Buddhist beliefs popularized during the late Ming period in general along with his own personal Buddhist devotions in particular. Elements of the painting derive from practices associated with Pure Land Buddhism, Char Buddhism, and lay Buddhism, as will be shown.
Session 193: State Activism from a Cultural Perspective: Qianlong and Jiangnan Society in 18th-Century China
Organizer: Seunghyun Han, Harvard University
Chair and Discussant: Susan Naquin, Princeton University
Keywords: cultural policies, Qianlong, Jiangnan, Suzhou, Imperial power, state activism, central-local relations, local elites, elite collaboration.
"State activism," an analytical concept employed in recent scholarship to describe state efforts to reach deeper into society, has generally referred to social and economic institutions such as lineages, granaries, philanthropic institutions, markets, etc. This panel will instead examine the impact and dynamics of "state activism" within the cultural realm, and do so during the Qianlong period. More specifically, each of the panelists will explore cultural policies toward Jiangnan, where the power and the cultural pride of local elites were perhaps the strongest, and the motivations behind this elite collaboration.
First, Erica Yao details the Qianlong emperors use of monument building as a means of creating imperial power, a process that involved the mobilization of Jiangnan craftsmen. Ya-Chen Ma then compares differing representations of Suzhou as seen in an imperially-commissioned painting and a more private one, in order to show how the portrayal of local scenes were tailored in accord with imperial interests. In his paper, Michael Chang investigates some of the cultural strategies and social discourses used by the Qianlong court in order to encompass Jiangnan elites during his Southern Tours. Finally, Seunghyun Han analyzes publication patterns of both official and private local histories and examines the states vision of localism and its measures to control local materials. All of these papers, while elucidating the various ways in which the emperor or the central government attempted to appropriate elite culture, will also show the extent to which local elites could in turn negotiate the engagement with the state to their own cause.
Image Making: The Production and Presentation of the Jade Mountain, Great Yu Regulating the Waters (1787)
Erica Yao, Stanford University
Over seven feet tall (2.24 m) and weighing nearly twelve thousand pounds (5,330 kg), a monumental carved jade mountain depicting the legend of Great Yu Regulating the Waters stands as the worlds largest polished jade. The Qianlong emperor selected an ancient painting from the imperial collection from which to model the carved illustration, and the carving was completed in southern China in 1787a production that lasted over eight years. In addition to the sheer physical scale of this carved jade, the labors required to transport the jade boulder through completion are in themselves considerable feats of craft production. In this paper, I will discuss how the production and presentation of Great Yu Regulating the Waters reflects the efforts by the Qianlong emperor to commemorate broad-ranging achievements in political and cultural arenas during his reign, all within a single monument.
The production of this jade mountain first necessitated quarrying the raw boulder from the far reaches of the newly-acquired Western territories. By obtaining rare material from so far away and successfully managing his administration to traverse the empire to transport such a colossal boulder initially to the capital, then to the famed artistic center of Jiangnan for carving, and finally back again to be erected for display in his retirement villa of the imperial palace in Beijing, involved Qianlong in an act of both acquisition and transformation symbolizing broader political ambitions. Embedding in the jades display, therefore, are not only the efforts mounted to produce this jade carving but also the richness of cultural capitalincluding material, workmanship, and historical subjectduring the Qianlong reign.
Xu Yang, Cityscapes, and the Relationship between the Court and Suzhou in the Eighteenth Century
Ya-Chen Ma, Stanford University
Current research on images from the eighteenth century has been essentially focused on either propagandistic pictures produced by a politically-charged court academy and those by a commercially-sponsored group of Yangzhou painters. Meanwhile, the relationship between the court and southeastern Jiangnan remains one of the neglected aspects of Qing dynasty art history. This paper will examine how the Qianlong court recruited painters from Jiangnan and sponsored provincial images of Suzhou in order to illustrate imperial power, while at the same time, local artists seem to have been thus co-opted into a court-centered mechanism to represent imperial ideology.
I will use the painter Xu Yang and his cityscapes of SuzhouThe Scenes of Burgeoning Life in a Resplendent Age (1759) and the Suzhou section of the Qianlong Southern Tour painting (176469) to investigate three aspects of the pictorial exchange between Suzhou and the court: how pictorial practices of Suzhou were transformed for imperial needs; how cityscapes were involved in the pictorial exchange; and what kinds of channels linked Suzhou painters to the court. If the 1759 hand scroll submitted to the Qianlong emperor demonstrates Xus first attempt to balance local traditions and an imperial perspective, then the Qianlong Southern Tour painting commissioned by the emperor shows how he finally conformed completely to imperial needs. By analyzing how these cityscapes were transformed and tailored for the court, this paper will provide a case study for the strategies the Qing empire employed in its interactions with regional centers and how Han-Chinese were actively involved in propagandistic imperial projects.
The Southern Tours and the Courting of Jiangnan Elites in 18th-Century China
Michael G. Chang, George Mason University
This paper focuses upon the Qianlong emperors attempt to encompass Jiangnan elites during his Southern Tours to the cities of central China. I begin by analyzing the Qianlong emperors engagement with Suzhous scholar-officials and then turn to his relations with Yangzhous salt merchants. Viewed in isolation, the "vertical" interactions between the court and each of these critical constituencies were characterized by an accommodation in which both the emperor and local elites effectively enhanced their own power and prestige. A closer examination of the cultural practices and social discourses through which such accommodations were brokered, however, also reveals a balancing of elite interests against each other, to the ultimate advantage of the court.
Although the Qianlong emperor promoted the interests of both commercial and scholarly elites during his Southern Tours, he also valorized a specific set of cultural competencies (poetry writing and classical scholarship) while denigrating certain material displays of wealth that were invariably attributed to merchant nouveaux riches. To the degree that this aggravated any latent intra-elite tensions in an era of intensifying commercialization and social fluidity, the Southern Tours allowed the Qianlong court to establish itself as an imperial mechanism of cultural legitimation through which anxious and aspiring elitesregardless of their social originsmight seek to distinguish themselves as both genuine "men of culture and learning" (shidaifu) and respectable pillars of society. Qing rule in Jiangnan during the mid-eighteenth century, then, was premised not only upon the courts simultaneous accommodation of literati and merchant prerogatives but also upon the intra-elite antagonisms that such accommodations exacerbated.
Production of Local Histories in Suzhou during the Mid-Qing Period
Seunghyun Han, Harvard University
In this paper, I argue that the Qing state, which was at the height of its power in the 18th century, attempted to "reorder local traditions," because "local histories," that is, official and private writings regarding histories, worthies and customs of specific localities were expressions of private interests of local magnets, a greatly exaggerated sense of local pride, and the prioritization of local interests often at the cost of national ones. More specifically, the Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors tried to bring the compilation of unofficial histories and local gazetteers under stricter government control, which resulted in reducing the number of these writings, especially in Jiangnan, a region historically renowned for its rich cultural traditions and a large number of "local histories."
By the early 19th century, Suzhou literati reinvigorated their publishing efforts and produced various books on local history; literature on local traditions and customs, market town gazetteers, and books that supplemented the official local gazetteers. During this period there was an upward swing in the compilation of official local gazetteers. Together with the efflorescence of private "local histories," this trend stands in marked contrast to those in contemporary northern China. Underlying the re-emergence of unofficial histories and the re-vitalization of gazetteer compilation in the early 19th century Jiangnan, I argue, was a receding state activism and a renewed emphasis on local culture.
Session 194: ROUNDTABLE: Teaching Literature as Performed Culture: Strengthening the Links between Research and Our Students Use of Chinese Literature
Organizer and Chair: Minru Li, Ohio State University
Discussants: Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania; Galal Walker, Ohio State University; Yanfang Tang, College of William & Mary; Di Bai, Drew University; Li Yu, Emory University
Keywords: Chinese literature, cultural perspective, goals of teaching, methodology of teaching, performance, performed culture, teaching of literature.
This roundtable will address issues concerning goals and methodology in the teaching of Chinese literature, including literature in electronic media, at the tertiary level. We attempt to redefine teaching literature as "performed culture," by which we mean presenting literature as a lived cultural experience.
This redefinition will help teachers re-examine the goal(s) of the teaching of Chinese literature and the effects of students acquisition and use of Chinese literature. It will also help strengthen the links between research and teaching, and encourage scholars to produce more teaching materials that stem from their research. In terms of teaching methodology, it will help teachers shift from lecture-based/teacher-centered approaches to performance-based/student-centered approaches.
The issues being discussed at the roundtable include, but are not limited to, the following: What does "performed culture" mean to the teaching of Chinese literature? What are the goals of teaching Chinese literature in terms of "performed culture"? What are the differences between interpretation and performance in the teaching of Chinese literature in view of "performed culture"? What are students roles in understanding Chinese cultural perspectives through their performances based on reading Chinese literary works or watching Chinese movies? What are the teachers roles? What teaching materials should/could be produced to meet the needs of students performance in literature classes? How do we conduct classroom teaching and other teaching activities in light of "performed culture"? What changes in curriculum and administration are needed to improve our teaching of Chinese literature as "performed culture"?
Session 195: One Nation, Divided Loyalties: Family, Gender, and Politics in Wartime China
Organizer: Charles Musgrove, University of Arkansas
Chair and Discussant: Stephen R. MacKinnon, Arizona State University
Keywords: China, history, gender, family, war.
This panel focuses on contradictory experiences in wartime China during the 1940s, and how war both brought people together and divided them in unexpected ways. How did war create a unity of purpose throughout China even as numerous individuals struggled to resolve conflicting loyalties? For example, should, or could, one serve the nation while abandoning the family? How much individual agency should women be allowed in support of national resistance? If one helped improve life in occupied areas without resisting Japan, was that patriotic? Panelists will discuss the broad issue of how war simultaneously simplified perceptions of life into a national struggle and intensified feelings of confusion as people had to choose which responsibilities were most important. Individual papers address these questions from key vantage points, beginning with the Nationalist Partys re-imagination of the family and gendered responsibilities during the New Life Movement in the 1940s. Another paper describes the transformative effects of massive wartime migration on families who joined the resistance in the interior. In particular, the accepted roles of women expanded well beyond earlier prescriptions. The last two papers discuss views of those who stayed behind. In the post-war "traitor trial" of Liang Hongzhi, he argued that his actions manifested the same singular loyalty to nation though it was expressed through an alternative form of paternal responsibility, which complemented notions of Nationalist resistance. Finally, in her trial, Chen Bijun utilized ambiguous ideals of being a "good wife" and "nurturing woman" to win public sympathy and legal leniency.
"The Mother of China": Song Meiling and Patriotic Women in Wartime Service
Helen Schneider, University of Washington
During the Sino-Japanese War, patriotic middle class women fanned out across Nationalist-held territory to lead their Chinese sisters in combat against dirt, superstition, immorality, and ignorance. Chiang Kaisheks wife, Song Meiling, spearheaded the patriotic womens movement to resist the Japanese, and in the iconography of the day she was often portrayed as the moral and active mother of the nation through her highly visible social work activities. As the matriarch of several womens organizations, such as the New Life Movements Womens Advisory Council, she had a role in directing appropriate wartime activities for Chinese women. The "womens work teams" of this movement were organized hierarchically and militarily, but the activities that they carried out were based on assumptions about womens proper social roles as mothers and housekeepers. Many of the moral and hygienic battles women were asked to wage started earlier in the Republican period, but during the war they took on an added urgency. Under the direction of the enlightened mother-leader, Song Meiling, women were encouraged to perfect specifically gendered kinds of productive activities such as sewing, weaving, and childrearing in a more scientific and progressive manner. Drawing on archival reports and drawings, published articles, and photographs, this paper will examine these normative expectations for women during the Sino-Japanese War.
The Effects of Migration and Mobilization on the Family in Wartime China, 19371945
Lu Liu, University of Tennessee
With the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War (19371945), millions of Chinese refugees followed the withdrawal of the Nationalist government and retreated to the western interior. This paper deals with the social and cultural impacts of this wartime resettlement on women and the family. Like their male counterparts, women migrants declared mass allegiance to the Chinese nation to legitimize their relocation beyond personal concerns. Wartime society, in desperate need of peoples support, compensated their loyalty by setting up various accommodations to facilitate their resettlement, including factories and workshops designed for women migrants. Thus women could now turn to the welfare state and new professions for help beyond such traditional links as kinship, friends, and native-place. As a result, the wartime evacuation furthered the breakdown of traditional kinship structures and helped the spread of nuclear families. This paper also examines the literary and cinematic representation of women migrants. The common perception of wartime migrants in general earned women social appreciation for their sacrifice in leaving behind the advanced coastal cities. Women widened their participation in the public sphere in unprecedented ways by joining the army, working in the factories, volunteering their services both in the front and at home, and performing such public roles as politicians, social activists, and street propagandists. Womens contribution became so indispensable to war efforts that the gender role of women experienced dramatic change. The cultural construction of women as fighters gradually overpowered the traditional discourse of domesticity.
A Case of Divided Loyalties: The Trial of Liang Hongzhi
Timothy Brook, University of Toronto
Wartime collaboration produces a situation of divided loyalties: a state in resistance, and a state in collaboration, and between them, if they are not the same thing, vast overlap. Many who found themselves under the Japanese occupation divided their loyalties between these two states. As head of occupied central China from 1938 to 1940, Liang Hongzhi commanded one of these states, but he did so, he claimed at his postwar trial, while remaining loyal to the other. For this, he argued, he should be found not guilty of the dozen charges brought against him. Was this a reasonable defense? Was it a foregone conclusion that the verdict would go completely against him? Was justice done, or seen to be done, or not even in need of doing? Was a courtroom the place to evaluate the choices that collaborators made?
Puppets Pulling Strings: The Post-War Trial of Chen Bijun, April 1946
Charles Musgrove, University of Arkansas
To the Nationalist Party there could not have been a clearer case of traitorous conduct. Chen Bijun, the wife of Wang Jingwei, had served as a high-level official of the puppet government in Nanjing under Japanese occupation. After the war, the GMD put her on trial for weakening the resistance and betraying her nation. The trial was not meant to determine her guilt but instead to punish her in front of the national public. Yet Mme. Wang turned this "show trial" on its head, dramatically defending her role in the occupation government and virulently attacking the returning GMD leadership as the "true traitors," who had abandoned those who could not afford to leave. Furthermore, she adroitly played upon the ambiguities of popular notions of wartime womanhood, which called for women to be active, but also placed the loyal woman at her husbands side and encouraged her to take on nurturing roles in the resistance. Thus she effectively argued that she was indeed a good wife and nurturing woman, putting herself and family at great risk to succor those who were "left behind" to face Japanese abuses. Surprisingly, the audience erupted in raucous applause during her defense, to the great embarrassment of the judges. This paper utilizes newspaper accounts and published archival materials to explore the sources of this unusual sympathy in the context of a post-war China that was quickly entering into another civil war.
Session 196: Gender, Generation, and Modes of Memory in China
Organizer and Discussant: Lynn Struve, Indiana University
Chair: Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania
Keywords: history, memory, family.
As references to "collective memory" have increasingly permeated cultural studies, especially in the disciplines of history and literature, dissatisfaction, too, has increased over the unclarity of this concept, particularly the tendency to reify memory as a function of groups, societies, or nations, detached from the minds of individuals. Precisely, how is "personal" memory related to the "collective"? Among scholars who have attempted to address this question is Jan Assmann, who has posited a structural affinity between "communicative" or "everyday" memory and wider "cultural" memory.
The rich corpus of Chinese memoirs that focus on family members and family experiencesstretching back several centuriesis ideal for exploring the validity of Assmanns approach, since memories of close relatives are most personal and intimate, yet they interact vigorously with some of the most powerful, ubiquitously shared values and ideologies that affect the Chinese peoples collective understanding of their past.
Using Assmanns conception for a common framework, the papers of this panel examine memoirs about family members from the early seventeenth to the late twentieth century, written in different genres that connect to different zones of literate culturenovellas, apocrypha, local/lineage history, and national history. They seek to both critique ideas about and illuminate the interfaces between "personal/ communicative" and "collective/cultural" memory.
Time, Narrative, and Self in Memoirs of the Cultural Revolution
Klaus Mühlhahn, Free University, Berlin
This paper will explore the themes of memory, confession, and self in narratives, memoirs, and testimonies concerning the Cultural Revolution. The focus is on how the memoirs depict changes in private lives and familial relations due to increasing social pressure and political repression. The recently published memoirs not only portray political injustices, but also tell about how familial relations, family memories, and private lives were interrupted and displaced by the enormous pressures exerted on the individual and on privacy. Since the Cultural Revolution intended the creation of a new person through the internalization of a new consciousness, the self and its memories were continuously attacked in an attempt to radically alter and transform the contents of remembrance.
While the memoirs touch upon painful issues such as how to take responsibility for ones actions and words, in general, they share a widespread belief in the therapeutic role of narrative and in remembering as a healing and conciliating act for the traumatized self. Memoirs of the Cultural Revolution, therefore, provide an ideal starting point to discuss the topics of memory and self in contemporary China and to address the complicated relationship between different realms and modes of remembering. With Jan Assmann, I will argue that communicative memory (short-term daily life memories) and cultural memory (textual memory that transmits values and knowledge) interpenetrate, producing a "thick," ambiguous, and polyvalent tissue of recollections, symbols, and texts that is open to a wide range of interpretations.
In Praise of Female Kin: Hong Liangjis Remembrances of My Mothers Family
Grace S. Fong, McGill University
Returning in 1801 from exile in Ili, Xinjiang, the renowned scholar, official, and poet Hong Liangji (17461809) wrote Waijia jiwen, a short recollection of events and persons in his childhood and early life spent at his mothers natal home. After his fathers death, his mother (née Jiang) was forced by poverty to take her children back to live with her mother and brothers in a large extended lineage in Changzhou, a center of kaozheng scholarship (evidential research). There he grew up in a nurturing social and intellectual environment, developing a sense of self, family, community, and belonging.
This paper explores a remarkable aspect of the Waijia jiwen: the attention and detail devoted to memories of exceptional female kin, which appear to surpass that given to male kin members. Hongs grandmother and mother figure prominently in vivid recollections of specific events while concise accounts of the strong character and talents of various great aunts, aunts, and female cousins are interspersed throughout the memoir.
In analyzing the representation of memory in this text, I address the significance of Hongs commemoration of female kin: Why did he emphasize female kin in family recollections? Are memories of female kin more bound up with particular aspects of self-formation? To what extent is the valorization of female literary and moral accomplishments in personal memory a unique consequence of Hong Liangjis individual experience and how is it inscribed by the particular cultural framework and scholarly tradition of Changzhou in the High Qing?
The Zhuang History Inquisition in Chinese Memory
Allan Barr, Pomona College
This paper surveys the extensive body of writings that has accumulated over the centuries in China, dedicated to the task of remembering and/or reconstructing the literary inquisition of 166263 commonly known as the "Zhuang History Case."
In the contemporary Chinese world, the most widely read account of the inquisition is surely that found in the opening chapter of Jin Yongs novel Lu ding ji (1972). Jin Yongs narrative both perpetuates and popularizes a version of events that views the incident in terms of a clear-cut struggle between right and wrong, innocence and corruption, heroic individuals and repressive authority. The origins of this dominant memory are traced back through influential writings by Quan Zuwang and Gu Yanwu. We also consider variations found in an account by Weng Guangping (17601842).
If these texts are vessels of cultural memory, two individual memoirs, written by survivors of the persecution some forty years after the event, offer us an opportunity to explore personal forms of remembrance often overlooked by the prevailing narrative. The account by Lu Xinxing, who was a child when the inquisition took place, subsumes her own recollections within the collective experience of her family. Fan Han, a young man at the time, offers a graphic account of his own role in the affair. A comparison of these two early eighteenth-century memoirs opens new perspectives on the inquisition and draws attention to the role of age and gender in the construction of memory.
Grief, Memory, and the Strange: Qian Xiyans Ting lan zhi
Rania Huntington, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Qian Xiyans Ting lan zhi (Record of Listening to Nonsense, 1614) is a memoir, written partially in the genre of zhiguai (records of the strange), about his late son who died in early childhood. Qian grapples with the sober reality of high childhood mortality in a society which values having descendents as the highest ideal. Seeking some explanation for his loss, he both uses and calls into question a variety of received ideas about karmic retribution, dreams, fate, and reincarnation. In so doing, he plays the double role of a grieving father and a scholarly recorder of strange events, who critically compares his own experience with both earlier textual examples and the popular religious beliefs of those around him, both his peers and his servants.
Writing about the strange, which seems so distant from the personal, allows exposure of aspects of the personal which otherwise would be hidden. Particular details of his sons short life appear as marvels. The strange thus becomes a point where personal and communicative, or cultural, memory coincide. Consideration of fate, death, and debts from other lives forms the bridge between shared ideas about the cosmos and the painful details of personal experience. Memories of incidents in the life of a lost child are thereby linked by interpretationnot without tensionto wider cultural significances in the past and present.
Session 197: New Directions in Tao Yuanming Studies
Organizer: Wendy Swartz, Columbia University
Chair: Pauline Yu, American Council of Learned Societies
Discussant: Kang-I Sun Chang, Yale University
Keywords: Tao Yuanming, Tao Qian, Six Dynasties, poetry, China.
Tao Yuanming (365?427) studies are developing into an important field in American academia, with a number of scholars currently researching Tao and his works from a variety of angles. This panel brings together papers that represent new research on Taos philosophy, reception, as well as his texts. These papers address cultural, philosophical and aesthetic issues that extend beyond the case of a single poet and touch on wider questions of reading and rereading.
Xiaofei Tian analyzes how the selection among variants by Song editors of Tao Yuanmings works was influenced by their conception of the man himself, and finds in the excluded variants a different image of Tao that does not conform to the Song editors expectations. Zong-qi Cai delineates four notions of ming (demands, destiny, etc.) already developed by Taos time and discusses Taos uses of them in various periods of his life. Robert Ashmore examines how Tao Yuanming recasts traditional tropes of eremitic literature in terms of a fellowship that exists in the dimension of the experience of reading. Wendy Swartz problematizes the quality of naturalness (ziran) long ascribed to Tao Yuanmings works by historicizing the term and its changing uses.
Rewriting a Poet: Tao Yuanming and Problems of Manuscript Culture
Xiaofei Tian, Harvard University
Earlier work on Tao Yuanming has tended to accept both the Song image of the poet and the received texts, interpreting poems to confirm the image. Drawing on work in European medieval literature, this paper hopes to demonstrate the fluidity of the Chinese medieval textual world and how its materials were historically reconfigured for later purposes. Central to our argument are the problems of manuscript culture, the proliferation of variant texts that survived into the Song Dynasty. Here, in the early Song variorum editions and in scholars notes on editorial practices, we can clearly see how the desire for a particular fixed image of the poet transformed a potentially more various and complex figure into a cultural icon, as Taos texts were edited and shaped to confirm the Song intuition of the person. In the detritus of contested and excluded variants we can see traces of a less serene and timeless Tao Yuanming, who directly addressed the intellectual issues of his own day.
Multiple Vistas of Ming and Changing Visions of Life in the Works of Tao Qian
Zong-qi Cai, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Throughout his life Tao Qian (ca. 365427) sought to contemplate the meaning of his life through the multiple vistas of ming. By Taos time, early notions of ming had already evolved into four full-fledged theories: (1) the "lifespan-obsessed" hedonist theory; (2) "demands"-centered Confucian theories; (3) "destiny"-centered Confucian theories; and (4) "natural course"-centered theories of ming espoused by Daoists and the Wei-Jin practitioners of xuanxue (Abstruse Learning). Examining his personal experiences within the conceptual horizons opened up by these theories, he constantly affirmed and negated his various convictions about the meaning of his life and human life in general. With the aid of poetic imagination, he transformed such reflective experiences into touching visions of life.
Tao Qian and the Rhetoric of Social Exchange
Robert Ashmore, University of California, Berkeley
It has been a commonplace of Tao Qian criticism from the beginning that seemingly "every piece contains wine." This observation served as an entry-point for debate about the poets ethical stature; for the purpose of understanding both the conventionality and the distinctiveness of Tao Qians mode of poetry in its period, however, we might better consider wine in Tao Qian through its associations with banqueting and excursions, and more generally with the problem, central to the literary rhetoric of eremitism, of renunciation versus convivial sociality. The rhetoric of the eremitic as a literary mode relies on tropes of substitution, whereby sequences of contrasting pairs of terms serve to articulate the differences between the central or cosmopolitan space of "worldly" affairs versus the peripheral rustic space occupied by the hermit-scholar, concentrated populations versus empty wilderness, finery of clothing or food versus crudity and deprivation, and so on. Tao Qian, not surprisingly, draws rather extensively on this tradition in articulating the rusticity of his own poetic persona; yet, along with the more routine functioning of the basic structuring device of the substitution trope, we see in Tao Qians recurrent use of the solitary banquet an application of this rhetoric which has fundamentally different implications, in which the text of the poem, rather than being "voiced" as a summons into a realm alternatively of rustic or of cosmopolitan fellowship, becomes itself both the deferment and the potential site of recovery of a form of fellowship which exists from the outset solely in the dimension of the experience of reading.
The Changing Nature of Literary Naturalness: Tao Yuanming as a "Natural" Writer
Wendy Swartz, Columbia University
Among the qualities for which Tao Yuanmings (365?427) poetry is most widely appreciated today is naturalness (ziran). Indeed the simplicity, directness and lyrical nature of his farmstead poetry seem to render this quality self-evident. Yet this defining attribute of his works was only articulated about five hundred years into his reception history, during the Song dynasty. Naturalness was hardly unknown as an aesthetic term during his time, since, for example, it was applied by Six Dynasties writers to Xie Lingyuns (385433) poetry, which has since come to represent the high craft and artifice for which the period is known. The questions that this paper addresses are the changes in the conception of "naturalness" and how they may reflect changes in the perception of how "nature" works. By tracing the changing uses of this category, this paper draws out the historical nature of Tao Yuanmings "naturalness."
Session 198: The Body in Imperial China: Contestation, Dispute, and Synthesis
Organizer: Aihe Wang, University of Hong Kong
Chair: Michael Puett, Harvard University
Keywords: the body, cosmos, state, embodiment, social contestation, debates, humanity, "cultural manifolds," medicine.
For over two thousand years, the views of the body, state, and cosmos that formed together with Chinas imperial order have served as a major resource for political authority. This discourse has mainly been studied by historians of medicine, while intellectual and political historians have focused on schools of philosophy and political institutions. This panel considers the discourse of the body as central in Chinese thought. Challenging the conventional view of a consistent and homogeneous Chinese view of it, we argue that in imperial China it was highly contested, disputed, and multifaceted in nature.
Four intersecting papers develop this argument. Mark Csikszentmihalyi investigates how, from the Warring States period to early Han, the concept of "qi of the virtues" linked ethics with medicine. Tracing this link, Aihe Wang argues that the human body was a site of social contestation during the early Han, and reveals such contestation in medical, ritual, and theoretical writings. Michael Puett shows how this theoretical debate over the body continued into the Eastern Han, becoming the focus of a larger debate over the relationship between humanity and cosmos. Nathan Sivin concludes the panel by examining views of the human body throughout imperial China, taking account of every dimension of the topicauthors political commitments, social relations, moral values, and technical hypotheses. Since we wish to draw maximally on the expertise of the audience, we will move directly from the papers to open discussion.
The Embodied Virtues from Warring States through Han China
Mark A. Csikszentmihalyi, University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Taipingjing (j. 114) argues that filial and benevolent actions will lead to a healthy and glossy complexion, establishing a connection between morality, physical appearance, and cosmic reward that reappears in later Daoist texts. A prehistory to this connection may be found in a set of texts concerned with the efficacy of ritual/ethical self-cultivation in the Warring States through Western Han. These precursor texts explain individual virtues by the presence of qi, and then, in the Han texts, further situate kinds of qi in specific locations in the body. In many cases, the texts make an explicit claim that morality shows in physical appearance. This paper first traces the specialized vocabulary used in the discussion of embodied virtues, and then looks at the way its development was linked to contested issues such as the exceptional nature of the sage, alternative methods of moral training, and the legitimacy of hereditary succession. In the end, it argues that explanations of embodied virtues do not herald a melding of ethical and medical discourses, but are rather characteristic of a single discourse in which both concerns were part of a continuum, something that has specific implications for the understanding of some strands of early Chinese thought.
The Body and Empire: Social Contestation in Han China
Aihe Wang, University of Hong Kong
This paper studies the use of the human body for negotiating social norms and political order during the formation of the Han Empire. I argue that the body was the site of social contestation, and will examine three dimensions of the early Chinese discourse of the bodythe medical, ritual, and theoreticalas sites of this contestation. First, medical canons and a corpus of excavated medical manuals manifest great divergences. I investigate such divergences to reveal the contest over the normality of the body, and over the political messages and moral values inscribed into the human body. Second, ritual canons take a great concern over the body. By testing the rules prescribed in ritual canons against the actual practice of imperial rituals, I explore the tensions between the ideals and practice within ritual discourse. Finally, the theoretical dispute most openly articulated the social contest over the body. My analysis will show how competing theorists in early Han heatedly debated the boundaries between Heaven and Man and the positioning of the human body in the cosmos; such boundaries and positioning were crucial to the very definition of imperial sovereignty. In conclusion, I will comment on Mark Csikszentmihalyis concept of "qi of the virtues" and its development in early Han medical discourse, and on how the early Han theoretical dispute that I discuss leads to Michael Puetts topic: the theoretical debate over the humanity and cosmos during the Eastern Han.
The Body and the Cosmos in the Eastern Han
Michael Puett, Harvard University
Over the course of the Eastern Han, a flourishing set of debates developed over how to define the relationship between humanity and the larger cosmos. A significant part of these debates came to focus on the nature of the human body and the proper ways that the human body should be used. This paper will be an attempt to sort through several texts of the period in order to see what some of the major arguments were, what was at stake in the positions taken, and how the debates developed historically. My particular concern will be to trace how some of the debates I analyzed for earlier periods in To Become a God played out over the course of the later Han.
The Body Seen Whole
Nathan Sivin, University of Pennsylvania
A main theme in The Way and the Word is the integral view of state, body, and cosmos that formed in Warring States and Han China, and contrasts with the Greek world of the same period. The book aimed to demonstrate the usefulness of what it called "cultural manifolds," which take up every dimension of a topic, and proceed on the hypothesis that ancient authors political commitments, social relations, moral values, and technical hypotheses are part of a single whole that is a useful object of study. The point is to overcome as far as possible the one-sidedness that scholarly specialization encourages. "The Body Seen Whole" will examine views of the human body over the two thousand years of imperial China as they appear in various sources from political theory to medical therapy. This is one of a series of studies now underway using cultural manifolds to investigate innovation in mathematical astronomy, differences in Chinese and Japanese responses to Western medicine and astronomy, and other topics.
Session 199: Media and Technology Literacy in Contemporary China
Organizer and Chair: Jianqi Wang, Ohio State University
Keywords: media, technology, communication, literacy.
Telephones, fax machines, cell phones, televisions, computers, and the Internet have all been changing the way people communicate as well as the functional definition of literacy. Being able to read and write in ones native language on paper can hardly be regarded as fully literate if this individual is illiterate in using a computer and the Internet to gather and disseminate information. When the majority of a population spends more time each day watching television than reading printed matter, the new medium actually creates a new object and new dimension of literacy.
The importance of communication gained unprecedented ground in ordinary Chinese lives after the telephone was transformed from a token of luxury life or high social status to a daily life necessity. Information control and information hunger weave into some unusual uses of modern technology in China, which at times even becomes crucial for survival. Fax machines broke governmental information control over radio, television, and newspapers during the Tiananmen Incident in 1989. Cell phone text messaging did the same in the spring of 2003 with regard to the SARS outbreaks.
The form, content, and structure of language used in the new media and technology, such as in Internet chat-rooms, are becoming increasingly different from those conventional canonicals represented by textbooks and grammar guides. It is high time for us to reinvestigate the answer to a long-standing question: "Are you literate in Chinese"?
New Media, New Possibilities, and New Challenges: Being Literate in Internet Discussion Forums in Contemporary China
Xiaobin Jian, College of William & Mary
This paper examines the structure and workings of Chinese Internet discussion forums and explores the dynamic relationship between this new media and the new ways of expressing and exchanging ideas. It pays special attention to the so-called Internet language and culture and argues that being literate in Chinese Internet language and culture is crucial for us to understand and be able to communicate to a large portion of the population and the majority of the educated youth in contemporary China.
In todays China, whether or not one is Internet literate can mean the difference in whether or not one is able to exchange unorthodox ideas and less censored information that are not available through the easily controlled paper and video media. More importantly, it also means the difference in whether or not one is able to interact and communicate on new subjects and new dimensions of life through new public forums only available online. In short, it means the difference in whether or not one can access a culture and way of life shared by those who may determine Chinas future. The distinctive language and communicative culture as well as the relatively more democratic and more interactive ways of exercising the power of discourse in Chinese Internet discussion forums are changing the practice of written communication and redefining the concept of literacy in China.
Video Literacy in Modern Chinese Media: A Must-Have Competency
Jianqi Wang, Ohio State University
It is a general claim that people currently spend more time watching videos than reading books, magazines, and newspapers. Conventional literacy however, has no interest in embracing video literacy. A child who fails in reading or understanding a print story immediately attracts attention, but is often disregarded if he couldnt figure out a television show. The illusion that everyone can comprehend what they see is a veiled common mistake. This is especially true in a one-party community like China where information cover-ups are anything but rare.
Foreigners get bored in a minute when watching typical Chinese newscasts showing national leaders appearing at conferences and meeting with visitors. Chinese politicians at various levels however, closely follow these reports to take the pulses of internal fights and disputes at the upper levels and the trends of future political moves and policy changesmany of which start with not-so-obvious hints in the media, especially television.
This paper elucidates how television, the major propaganda tool in China, has formed its own rituals and patterns of information flow, and argues that the rapid increment in Internet-based information freedom and wireless communication mobility did not push television out of the central stage of Chinese media. Instead, it forces television to shoulder demands from both political and commercial clientsa state in which more sophisticated video literacy is required on the viewer side.
Text-Messaging on Cell Phones: A Semi-Hidden Information Flow in Modern China
Patrick McAloon, Ohio State University
When SARS was tearing through Asia, the disease was kept out of the Chinese media out of fear that knowledge of it would cause a panic and hurt spending during the traditional long Spring Festival holiday. Within weeks, however, millions of Mainland Chinese already knew about the disease and the ease with which it seemed to spread. Word of mouth has long been one of the fastest ways for unsanctioned news to travel in China, but now the hottest word of mouth in the Mainland is not oral at allit is text messaging, which is changing the nature of popular written Chinese communication.
At a fraction of the cost of cell phone calls and Internet access, text messaging has grown to become part of young urban Chinese peoples daily lives. According to the Ministry of Information Industry, 90 billion text messages were sent last year. The most common type of text message, person-to-person, is changing the standard for written communication. Text messages are often short and composed of humorous homophones, images, and terminology understood only by other text-messagers. "MM" for example, has become the standard abbreviation for meimei, or pretty girl, in text messaging.
This paper describes how the demographics of Chinese text messagers, the mechanics of text input on cell phones, the technological capabilities of text messaging and the nature of the Chinese language are changing what is acceptable visual communication in Chinese and changing what it means to be literate in modern China.
Old Media, New Discourses: Technological Advances and Chinese Radio Call-In Shows
Eric Shepherd, Ohio State University
With the changes in Chinas economic landscape have come concurrent technological advances that have altered Chinas social and communicative landscapes. New found affluence among Chinas growing middle class has provided large numbers of Chinese with both the time and financial means to explore new technologies such as personal computers, wide screen televisions, and cellular phones. Technological advances have also altered more traditional media forms such as radio and print media.
Large numbers of Chinese now have scores of radio stations and programs to choose from. Whether they are cab drivers and urban yuppies tuning in on their car radios to find out the traffic situation in large cities, are elderly dialing up to catch traditional performance genres such as Peking Opera or Suzhou tanci, are middle-class citizens participating in the new discourse world created by radio call-in shows, or are urban youth accessing international news and music via internet radio, Chinese are listening in new ways.
This paper explores how technological advances have created new freer expression forums and more varied sources of information, which has in turn fostered new modes of information exchange as well as never before seen information discourses and cultures in the realm of radio. Specifically, the new knowledge domains emerging in radio call-in shows are beginning to radically alter what it means to be literate in Chinese.
Session 213: New Directions in Comparative Studies of Ancient Greece and China
Organizer: Wiebke Denecke, Harvard University
Chair: Alexander J. Beecroft, Yale University
Discussant: Lisa Ann Raphals, University of California, Riverside
The comparative study of Ancient Greece and Early China has an intuitive value for the study of either cultural system on its own. Much of the extant work on this comparison has sought explanations for a perceived opposition in mentality between Greece and China, the one transcendent, metaphorical and metaphysical, the other immanent, correlative and ethical. This model can account for the obvious differences between "Greek thought" and "Chinese thought," viewed as synchronic systems. Our panel, however, proposes another model for understanding the Greece-China comparison, one that acknowledges that these systemic differences are reinforced (if not constructed) by the historical enshrinement of certain authors and texts (and, crucially, of certain readings of those texts) as canonical to their respective traditions. Only such a model can provide a comparative account of Greece and China strengthened, rather than weakened, by the recognition of the diversity of ideas circulating in both cultures. Our model requires that early philosophical "texts" in both traditions be read as synchronic captures of the diachronic, dialogic, processes by which ideas and teachings were transmitted. Our panel, then, crosses borders in several respects. Most obviously, we propose to re-imagine the "border" between Greece and China, not as a barrier to interpretation, but as a matrix for it. In addition, our panelists cross disciplinary boundaries, working in literature and philosophy, and taking historical developments into account in their work. Finally, we hope that our papers will provoke discussion across disciplines, providing a common ground from which others can situate their own work.
Moral Charisma in Early Confucianism and Plato
Eric Hutton, University of Utah
When comparing early Confucian writings with the Platonic textual corpus, one feature is very striking. While both sides stress the importance of social order, they tend to emphasize different factors as key to achieving it. In particular, while Plato focuses on law (nomos), the classical Confucians emphasize the transformative moral charisma possessed by a person with "virtue" (de). Now the Confucians generally treat this moral charisma as a universal phenomenonin their view, any truly good person should have such power to some degree (perhaps the exact degree determined by how closely the person conforms to the particular standards of goodness advocated by the Confucians). If they are right about this, then we should see examples of this phenomenon in other cultures, and indeed it is possible to find such cases. It is even possible to find instances of it in Platos texts, especially in his depiction of Socrates. Yet, although Plato is apparently familiar with this phenomenon, in presenting his vision of the ideal social order, he seems to rely on this power of the virtuous person very little or not at all, and that raises the question: why does he value it so little? My paper will discuss the phenomenon of moral charisma as it appears in Platos works, consider his reservations about it, and then reflect on what this difference between him and the Confucians might have to teach us both about the Confucian notion of de and the Platonic conception of the ideal society.
Han and Hellenistic Didactic Writings on Women
Yiqun Zhou, University of Chicago
This is a comparative study of two bodies of didactic writings on womenLiu Xiangs (ca. 798 BCE) Biographies of Women and Ban Zhaos (d. 116 CE) Precepts for Women in Han China and the Virtues of Women, Advice to the Bride and Groom, and Consolation to His Wife by Plutarch (ca. 50120 CE) in Hellenistic Greece. Whereas the two Chinese texts represented the earliest systematic formulation of the "Confucian" position on womens roles, Plutarch was a crucial link between Western classical and Christian views on sex identity. I shall examine how the three moral teachers made use of the classical historical and philosophical traditions as they sought to define and categorize female virtues and establish exemplars of female conduct in their changed times. Tendentious selection and consolidation of earlier materials and nostalgic idealization of the past characterized the two nearly contemporaneous moral enterprises and served to mold later perceptions of classical womanhood. Besides illustrating the shared dynamics of two transitional periods in the making of two cultures, my discussion of the relations between the three thinkers and their sources also aims to bring out some fundamental differences between the conceptions of women and gender relations in China and the West.
Visions of Beginnings: Confucius, Thales, and the Imagination of Philosophical Tradition in Han China and Hellenistic Greece
Wiebke Denecke, Harvard University
This paper explores how the postclassical age of China and Greece imagined the founding figures of their respective philosophical traditions and traced their intellectual legacy. It will analyze the vision of Confucius and subsequent "Masters" in Sima Qians Shiji and depictions of the so-called "Pre-Socratics" in Diogenes Laertius Lives of Eminent Philosophers. It will show what was at stake in their portrayal in Han China and Hellenistic Greece, periods which relied heavily on genealogy as a powerful means to sort out the classical past.
Recently, classicists have questioned the hermeneutical innocence with which the fragments of the "Pre-Socratics" have been read at face value, and have instead called for an "embedded reading" that takes into account their context of transmission in Hellenistic doxographies and biographies. Similarly, China scholars are reassessing the application of Sima Tans "Six Philosophical Schools," which have dominated generations of histories of philosophy, to the pre-Qin world.
In building on the revisionist scholarship in both fields, I will argue for a new paradigm that turns anachronism from a hermeneutical vice into a theoretical virtue, valuing it precisely because it does not give an accurate picture of "how it was," but allows us to observe the active construction of a validated identity of "cultural beginnings."
As a contribution to comparative studies, the paper intends to offer alternatives to dichotomizing comparisons of "Western" versus "Eastern" cultural essentials. Instead, it undertakes a comparison of anachronistic imagination by showing the function of Greek "philosophers" and Chinese "Masters" in their respective canonical landscapes.
The Accidental Canon: The Hostile Anecdote and the Centrality of Socrates and Confucius
Alexander J. Beecroft, Yale University
In the comparative study of Ancient Greece and Early China, the figures of Socrates and Confucius loom large, seeming, at times, to function as the metonymic embodiment of their respective cultures viewed as systems of thought or as mentalities. Such a reading, I believe, demands a critical reevaluation. The enshrinements of these two men at the core of their respective cultural traditions are, we must remember, historical processes, processes barely begun at the death of either man. This paper will use hostile anecdotes concerning Socrates and Confucius (found primarily, but not exclusively, in Diogenes Laertius and the Zhuangzi, respectively) as a means of understanding those historical processes. These anecdotes, usually involving Socrates or Confucius being worsted in a debate or confrontation with a rival philosopher, are at best historically dubious and are often blatantly anachronistic. They do not shed light on the historical Socrates, or the historical Confucius, but they do provide crucial evidence of another kind: their very proliferation serves as an index of the increasing prominence ascribed to Socrates and Confucius within their respective philosophical traditions. Both men, it becomes apparent, became canonical as much through the actions of rivals anxious to defend against them as through the words of their loyal followers. Rather than playing "other" to the others "self," then, the figures of Confucius and Socrates must be understood historically, and as men who began as "others" within their own cultures, before they could come to define the philosophic "self."
Session 214: Politics of Cultural Symbolism in Modern Schooling: Three Cases in Early-20th-Century China
Organizer: Fabio Lanza, Columbia University
Chair: Robert M. Culp, Bard College
Discussant: Mark E. Lincicome, College of the Holy Cross
Keywords: 20th-century China, history, education, ritual, nation-building, intellectuals.
While school rituals are not a development of modernity, they have gained a renewed significance when deployed to create a nation-state and modern citizenry. As China strove for its own vision of modernity in the first half of the twentieth century, forms and meanings of school rituals also changed in reflection of the recreated cultural imagery of China. This panel analyzes three moments in the transformation of school rituals in late Qing and Republican China and discusses their changing designs and functions. Kuo studies how imperial rituals were adopted into the modern school system to symbolize the "national" culture during the late-Qing Xinzheng reforms. Lanzas paper treats the lack of school rituals at Beijing University during the May Fourth period as a sign of new culture intellectuals search for a new identity. Culp, focusing on secondary schools during the Nanjing decade, examines the pivotal role that school rituals played in the pursuit of civic and cultural unity in modern China. By comparing and contrasting school rituals roles across historical periods and kinds of schools, we explore tensions and convergences between different forms of state-formation, nation-building, and subject-formation. We will also analyze diverse and competing ideological and political forces as filtered through the dialogues between policy makers, school leaders, and local educators about school rituals. Commentary of an expert on modern Japanese education, Mark Lincicome, will add a comparative perspective to the discussion and encourage the participants to consider cultural politics in modern schooling beyond the China context.
Orthopraxy, State Formation, and Cultural Citizenship: Civic Ritual in Chinas Nanjing Decade Secondary Schools
Robert M. Culp, Bard College
During any given week, students in Chinese secondary schools during the Nanjing decade (19271937) might take part in the weekly memorial meeting for Sun Yat-sen (zongli jinian zhou), flag-raising and lowering ceremonies, military training reviews, the swearing in of new Scouts, and a host of other rites and ceremonies. This paper asks why these forms of civic ritual were such a ubiquitous part of school life in Nationalist China and what role they played in this time of social, cultural, and political change.
Drawing on rich and diverse materials from local secondary schools in the lower Yangzi region, I argue that school-based rituals transmitted many different cultural and political messages simultaneously, providing flexible media for political engagement that contributed to the production of a new culture of Chinese citizenship. First, state sanctioned school rituals served as new modes of orthopraxy that promoted national cultural unity in ways structurally parallel to those James Watson has described for the late imperial period. Second, civic rituals in schools and elsewhere provided a symbolic arena in which the Nationalist Party represented itself as a legitimate ruling authority. Third, through ritual practice, students rehearsed the norms of dress, etiquette, physical bearing, and collective action that they used to claim the position of exemplars of modern cultural citizenship during the 1920s and 1930s. Party leaders, students, and educators performed these new civic rites together, contributing to the creation of a common public culture for modern China, while using them for individuated forms of self-expression and cultural production.
Imperial Rituals, National Education, and Citizen Formation in the Xinzheng Reforms, 19011911
Ya-pei Kuo, University of Wisconsin, Madison
It has been a general consensus that the late Qing Xinzheng revolution created the institutional structures for Chinas national polity. The new style school system implemented during the Xinzheng reforms was a particularly drastic departure from the previous educational model. However, in the design of school rituals and ceremonies, imperial etiquettes and symbols were noticeably prominent.
How should we understand this continuous accentuation of imperial rituals? Did they signify the Qing states reassertion of its cosmological underpinnings? Were they the reformers strife for preserving cultural heritage? Or, were they cultural fragments appropriated to serve a new political agenda?
This paper treats the Xinzheng policies as the Qing governments nation building project and the new style school system, with its emphasis on national education, a site of citizen formation. As such, the praxis of dynastic rituals, such as kowtow to the longevity tablet of the emperor, was placed into a new milieu of meaning and acquired different semiotic functions. First, imperial rituals were to symbolize Chineseness and to evidence the Chinese value base of the Western style institution.
Second, as symbols of Chineseness, they were mobilized to mold the citizens cultural identity. Third, at the same time, their adoption was premised on the imperial rules new claim of legitimacy as the embodiment of national culture. Stripped of their religious connotations, imperial rituals in the schools of national education attested how the Confucian tradition of ritualism was mediated through the new style school system to shape the civic culture of twentieth-century China.
No Ceremonials: School Rituals and the Anti-Communitarian Spirit at Beijing University (19171922)
Fabio Lanza, Columbia University
Browsing through the recollections of May Fourths Beijing University (19171921), one cannot but be stricken by how Beida students, compared to their colleagues at Qinghua or Nankai, showed a marked disdain for school rituals: there was no daily flag-raising, no morning exercises, ceremonies such as the convocation at the start of the school year or graduation played a minimal role. There was a general neglect for those disciplining rites which are supposed to build a close-knit community, and mark the passage between the condition of students and that of citizens. The paper analyzes this attitude and traces its meaning in the relationship with knowledge, state, and nation that the particular space of May Fourths Beida embodied.
I argue that the disdain for school rituals was first and foremost the outside manifestation of a distancing from the state: the abdication of any state-related function was one of the cardinal tenets on which the reforms that Cai Yuanpei introduced at Beida after 1917 was based. Secondly, the reorganization of disciplines in Beidas May Fourth curriculum was founded on the need to treat "China" as any other place, that is, to eliminate the possibility of considering nation, culture, and "Chineseness" as criterion for truth and knowledge. The disdain for school ritual, then, far from prefiguring a case of apolitical individualism, embodied the efforts and the contradictions that May Fourth activists faced in inventing or re-inventing their role and their politics as "modern" students and intellectuals.
Session 215: Making Headlines: News Reporting, Media Sensation, and Society in Chinas Republican-Era Journalism
Organizer and Chair: Eugenia Y. Lean, Columbia University
Discussants: Bryna Goodman, University of Oregon; Catherine V. Yeh, University of Heidelberg
Keywords: newspapers, mass media, journalism, print culture, Republican-era history, modern Chinese literature, gender.
This interdisciplinary panel will address the question of what was considered newsworthy, and why, in Republican era journalism. For too long, scholars have tended to treat newspapers as transparent texts or unproblematic primary sources. Historians have long complained that early twentieth-century journalism was too didactic and not objective enough to serve as reliable documents and literature scholars have dismissed Republican-era serialized fiction and news reporting as too trivial or sensational to merit scholarly inquiry. As a result, little thought has been given to how media sensation, didacticism, and "trivial" news items might have played constitutive roles in shaping not just the understanding of "news," but also the modern urban experience and new forms of subjectivity. This panel takes sensation, trivia, and didacticism seriously to argue that these aspects of Republican journalism were critical in defining what was "newsworthy" for modern Chinese society. To this end, Eileen Chow explores the genre of tabloid reporting associated with the rubric "News of Social Life" (shehui xinwen) to identify how generic conventions from "serialized fiction" informed and shaped news about everyday social life. Eugenia Lean conducts an historical investigation of media controversy surrounding crimes of female passion to examine how a news item became a sensation, and how this sensation generated broader social anxiety. Timothy Weston sheds light on intellectual debates over the place of moral didacticism and propaganda in the practice of modern journalism. Historian Bryna Goodman and scholar of modern Chinese literature Catherine Yeh will serve as the panels discussants.
Shehui Xinwen and the Novelization of News in Republican-Era Newspapers
Eileen Chow, Harvard University
How do newspapers read cities? And how do readers read the news? In early-twentieth-century China, the politically and socially volatile environment of its cities seemed to demand elucidation and captioningand daily newspapers provided the link between the city as geographical space and the city as narrated form. Furthermore, the figure of the newspaper reporter (the neologistic xinwen jizhe)an expert guide who not only masters the language of the streets but masters the streets like a languagebecomes central to the experience of urban life.
This paper looks at a particular kind of reporting of contemporary events found in the daily newspapers of the Republican era under the rubric of shehui xinwen, or "News of Social Life." Much like the nineteenth-century Parisian faits divers, news stories grouped under shehui xinwen consisted of the reporting of exceptional events that happened to ordinary people, implying that the everyday could, at any moment, be transformed into news. Not coincidentally, much of the fiction serialized in the newspapers were also concerned with legibility in the city, and were often themselves thinly veiled reworkings of current news events, further complicating the relationship between the news above the line and the fiction below it. This paper investigates the shared generic conventions of novels and news in Republican China, and looks at the narrative mechanisms by which urban noise could be turned into significance, and the manner in which social news and serialized fiction helped to construct a shared culture of everyday life.
Read All About Her! Passionate Women and Social Ambivalence in Republican-Era Newspapers
Eugenia Y. Lean, Columbia University
In 19351936, three passionate women splashed across the pages of the Republican-era press. Liu Jinggui murdered her rival in a love triangle, Shi Jianqiao assassinated warlord Sun Chuanfang to avenge the murder of her father, and movie star Ruan Lingyu killed herself because of public scrutiny into her failed marriage. The controversy surrounding these cases focused primarily on whether the female perpetrators motive of passion (qing) was excessively destructive and represented a sign of moral decay, or, conversely, represented a form of authentic feeling in a period of deceit and moral treachery. In this paper, I argue that these debates over qing were fueled by broader social anxiety over the deceitfulness of the new media-saturated age.
Scholars have long recognized that forms of mass communication burgeoned to unprecedented heights during the Republican period and often contended that these new forms of media fundamentally changed how news was disseminated, communities were imagined, and leisure was consumed. Yet, what has not been examined systematically is how the news reading public itself felt about the influence of the media. Did anxiety arise regarding the sensational nature of the urban press? Did the fickleness of public sympathy and opinion generated in the realm of mass media cause unease? How did such ambivalence, in turn, become worthy of examination in the media itself? Was this anxiety gendered? In this paper, I contend that controversy surrounding highly public New Women, often media products themselves, became a lightening rod for debate regarding the power of mass communication.
Seeking Truth from Facts versus Seeking Facts from Truth: Tensions in the Theory and Practice of Newspaper Journalism in 1920s China
Timothy B. Weston, University of Colorado, Boulder
During the May Fourth era intellectuals made a concerted effort to professionalize the field of newspaper journalism in China. Their efforts included the publication of a spate of textbooks on the theory and practice of journalism and the founding of Chinas first schools of journalism. Significantly, these developments were underwritten by the belief that to become democratic and modern China needed to embrace "Western" ideas about freedom of the press and responsible, objective news reporting. At the same time, however, there were deep tensions between those concepts and the longstanding Chinese view that didacticism and propaganda (xuanchuan) produced by morally enlightened elites has a proper place in and healthy influence on society.
My paper will explore those tensions as they played out in China during the first half of the 1920s. In particular, I will consider how a multi-year campaign led by intellectuals to block passage of the Law on Publications (chubanfa), the rise of revolutionary political parties, and the exigencies of the nationalistic May 30th Movement revealed the extent to which Chinese intellectuals endorsement of the cardinal principles undergirding Western journalistic ethics were at variance with their own competing instincts and interests. I will conclude by arguing that the uncomfortable blending of Western journalistic norms with enduring Chinese beliefs about didacticism and propaganda that had emerged by the mid-1920s throws considerable light on the theory and practice of Chinese newspaper journalism throughout the remainder of the Republican period.
Session 216: ROUNDTABLE: The Cultural "State" of Contemporary Taiwan
Organizer and Chair: Christopher Lupke, Washington State University
Discussants: Yvonne Sung-Sheng Chang, University of Texas, Austin; A-chin Hsiau, Academia Sinica; Henning Kloter, Ruhr University Bochum; Shelly Rigger, Davidson College; Kuo-Ching Tu, University of California, Santa Barbara; Ban Wang, Rutgers University
Keywords: Taiwan, Taiwanese, ethnicity, national identity, legitimacy, culture and politics, State, China.
The political environment in Taiwan has evolved in the past half century from a colonized region to a society under the control of one party to a democracy under the shadow of Post-Mao China. Though increasingly pluralistic and egalitarian, social progress in Taiwan has not afforded it any more political security now than sixty years ago, nor has this progress resolved questions about Taiwans national identity or ethnic cohesion.
Speakers from a variety of disciplines and political viewpoints will debate the issue of Taiwans identity and explore the nexus of culture, politics, and society. Scholars have been invited from Taiwan and the United States, scholars whose "subethnicities" include bensheng (whose ancestry on Taiwan dates in the centuries), waisheng (whose parents sought refuge on Taiwan during the 1940s civil war), dalu (whose heritage is mainland China), and American non-Chinese, non-Taiwanese. Our goal is not to settle the issue of Taiwans political or cultural destiny, but rather to convene a forum of dialogue and inquiry. What is the future of Taiwan vis-à-vis the PRC? Does the PRC have a legitimate cultural claim over Taiwan? Who speaks for Taiwan? How has ethnicity informed the dynamic between the major political parties in Taiwan? What are the stakes in granting legitimacy to the notion of a "Taiwanese State"?
The six speakers will be given a brief amount of time to advance a position, after which the audience will be encouraged to address questions either to the roundtable or to specific members of it.
Session 217: Chinas Responses to Decentralization: Structure, Process, and Policy Change
Organizer: Andrew C. Mertha, Washington University, St. Louis
Chair and Discussant: Bruce James Dickson, George Washington University
The papers in this panel explore Chinas recent attempts to alter its governmental and Party structure in key areas in order to rein in the economic excesses and political non-accountability that are the by-products of two decades of increased decentralization. By the mid-1990s, informal networks between provincial and municipal leaders, local manipulation of tax policy, and the increasing market barriers from local protectionism made it difficult for Beijing to manage local officials, extract revenue, and establish important economies of scale. Yet, in recent years, the Center appears to have overcome these difficulties. The papers in this panel explore Beijings reassertion of control over the localities through the manipulation of cadre promotion patterns, reform of fiscal policy, and centralization of reporting relationships for several commercial and regulatory bureaucracies. The papers discuss the preexisting conditions that led to these reforms, analyze the processes by which these changes were enacted, identify the winners and the losers in these cases, and examine the degree to which these policies have succeeded. These papers, taken together, contribute to our understanding of Chinas state capacity, Center-local relations, fiscal policy, and the prospects for market-preserving federalism to take root in the current Chinese context.
Do Decentralization and Informal Networks Subvert Formal Institutions?
Pierre Francois Landry, Yale University
This paper explores how informal political networks interact with and alter formal institutions in the context of Chinas increasingly decentralized political system. In the past twenty-five years, the Chinese leadership has placed considerable emphasis on (re)building formal mechanisms in order to strengthen the Communist Partys control over the recruitment, deployment, promotion, and dismissal of Party and government cadres. The CCPs Organization Departments and Discipline Inspection Commissions are expected to enforce the Centers personnel policy, particularly the promotion of younger, better educated, well-trained, and politically reliable officials. On the other hand, the high degree of decentralization in the Chinese localities implies that local rather than central Party Organizations exercise primary political control over most cadres. Decentralization has facilitated the development of political networks that can mitigateand sometimes subvertformal institutions of political control. My analysis of the promotion patterns of mayors in all prefecture-level municipalities since the 1980s shows informal ties linking provincial and municipal officials hinder policy implementation. In return, the central government has responded strategically by informally reducing the length of tenure of municipal officials and accelerating elite turnover at the local level.
Gauging the Impact of the 1994 Fiscal Centralization on County-Level Budgetary Status
Victor Shih, Northwestern University; Mingxing Liu, Beijing University
The 1994 fiscal centralization ended local bargaining with the Center for a share of the revenue. The central government established its own tax collection system and seized a majority share in the tax base. While the central government gained enormously, recent research suggests that the local governments below the provincial level have suffered from multiplying mandates and a shrinking tax base. Almost a decade after fiscal centralization, the picture at the local level remains incomplete, despite several excellent case studies about local finances. This study uses previously unavailable county level budgetary data for the entire country in 1996 and in 2000 to comprehensively examine the impact of the fiscal centralization on county level finances. Using both descriptive and inferential statistics, this study first examines whether the national tax system has indeed intensified local deficit and tax burden in the five-year period. Perhaps more importantly for Chinas long-term stability, this study also investigates the policy areas in which county governments are making the steepest cuts in response to the shrinking tax base. Because this data encompass all the counties in China, we can investigate these two issues both across the country and within specific regions. This research on the formal tax base of the county government augments the existing research on informal fees collection to provide a comprehensive picture of local tax burden, deficit, and public goods provision.
Reining in Local Protectionism through "Soft Centralization"
Andrew C. Mertha, Washington University, St. Louis
An important yet overlooked dynamic of political and economic reform in China has been the recent centralization of four key bureaucracies governing Chinas economy with the goal of regulating and disciplining local governments and eliminating local protectionism. Centralization has shifted authority relationships within these bureaucracies so that units at any given administrative level below the province are no longer beholden to their local government hosts. They are now directly controlled by their functional administrative superiors and share only a consultative relationship with their former bosses. Centralization thus establishes new economic and political incentives that guide officials behavior, creates new winners and provides them with benefits they are unlikely to relinquish voluntarily, and forges new institutional arrangements that are likely to endure far into the future. However, this centralization is distinctive in that it only extends to the provincial levelwhat I term "soft centralization." This paper addresses several questions: Why has China undertaken structural changes to increase state intervention in local economic decision making by centralizing four key commercial and fiscal bureaucracies when its economy is firmly embracing market principles? How have government institutions charged with personnel and budgetary outlays as well as Party mechanisms responsible for the recruitment of leaders changed as a result of this centralization? Finally, what are some of the implications of soft centralization on the future evolution of the Chinese state? The answers to these questions can help us reevaluate the fit between market-preserving federalism and the Chinese case.
Session 218: Distance and Separation: Its Impact on Chinese Families
Organizer: Hong Zhang, Colby College
Chair: Laurel Bossen, McGill University
Discussant: Feng Wang, Yale University
Keywords: rural migration, family relations, contemporary China.
Chinese families are known for their strong ties and attachments. Yet economic and political pressures have often forced families to separate for lengthy periods of time. While there have been studies of rural migrants flooding into the cities and of Chinese overseas diaspora, there has been relatively little attention paid to the families and communities that remain behind. When key members such as parents, spouses, or adult children must live at a distance from their rural families, how are family ties and mutual obligations maintained? Does migration redefine family dynamics and power relations among family members living apart? Are concepts of mutual aid, filial obligation, and gender relationships within the family changing?
This panel examines the impact of long-distance separation on rural families in different areas of China and from different perspectives. By examining migrants and their families in diverse rural communities, the papers show how distance and separation affect rural family relationships. They explore the effects of migration on the distribution of power between husbands and wives, and between parents and adult children. In addition, they explore the different ways that rural families and communities receive migrants who arrive from distant places. Overseas return migrants with ties to wealthy regions and long-distance marriage migrants with ties to poor regions present different challenges to family and village integration.
Village to Distant Village: The Opportunities and Risks of Long-Distance Marriage Migration in the PRC
Laurel Bossen, McGill University
Recently much attention has focused on the rising tide of rural-to-urban migration in China. Some of this migration is interprovincial, and some is merely a shift to the nearest big town or city. Much less is known about the effects of long-distance marriage between rural areas. This type of migration does not entail a shift to urban household registration, nor does it involve adaptation to city living. Distant rural migration is a phenomenon that often includes risk-taking women who marry into distant regions seeking a better life, or better opportunities, compared to their natal village. Yet these migrants typically remain farmers. Based on fieldwork in rural Henan and Yunnan I discuss cases of village women and men who had married at great distance from their natal kin. I observe some of the effects of family separation and social strategies adopted, by migrants in rural settings. Much as urban migrants often face a world of uncertainties, those who migrate long-distance to other rural communities face a world of strangers with little legal or social protection.
Marital Construction of Family Decision-Making Power among Male Outmigrant Couples in Rural China
Jiping Zuo, St. Cloud State University
A massive male outmigration since the Chinese market transition has generated much concern about a possible decline in female farmers family decision-making power, caused by increasing income gaps between them and their husbands. This study examines the marital construction of family decision-making power among male outmigrant couples in rural China. Data come from in-depth interviews with nineteen male outmigrant couples from one village in Guangxi Province, followed by a survey of one-hundred-and-fourteen couples that came from both male outmigrant and farming families from three different townships of the same region.
Both qualitative and quantitative, the data show that, among male outmigrant couples, joint decision-making was the most common pattern, and there was little evidence that wives decision-making power went down because of their lower economic status. On the contrary, some of them earned greater power than before due to the "absence effect" of their husbands. Compared with farmers wives, wives of male outmigrants held slightly greater decision-making power. The strengthening of the power of male outmigrants wives may be attributed to the relational exchange (versus market exchange) mode that emphasizes cooperation, efficiency, and relational harmony. The implications regarding a wifes greater decision-making power on a womens well-being will also be discussed.
Migration, and New Configurations of Intergenerational Relations in Rural China
Hong Zhang, Colby College
In the past two decades, rural-urban migration has been a driving force in China leading to phenomenal economic growth and redefining the urban workforce and social landscape. At present, most studies on rural-urban migration have focused on the macro level push and pull factors of the migratory trends or the institutional obstacles and societal biases confronting rural migrants in their new life experience in the cities. Yet, there are relatively few studies on whether rural-urban migration has impacted family dynamics and inter-generational relations in rural communities. Drawing on my ethnographic data from a Hubei village in 2002, I examine how massive outmigration by the rural young, men and women alike, is leading to new shifts in family relations, the family economy, intergenerational bonds, and filial duties. I argue that migration, as a new path of social and economic mobility for the rural young, has caused parents to re-evaluate the relative value of sons and daughters, and is fostering a new orientation of family relations that emphasizes intergenerational independence and conjugal ties, and has given rise to a more balanced parental interest in cultivating a reciprocal relationship with children of both sexes.
Chinese Villagers and the Moral Dilemmas of Return Visits
Ellen Oxfeld, Middlebury College
Since the late 1970s, and the easing of Chinese governmental restrictions on visits from overseas Chinese to their mainland kin, there has been a major revitalization in such links. This paper examines the implications of renewed visits by overseas kin to a Hakka village in southeast China. Village residents welcome the renewed connections, as well as the ability of these kin to make both private and public donations to the village. But these visits also expose a whole set of moral and social conflicts and contradictions among the villagers. Divisions between those with and without overseas kin become socially and economically significant, and moral doubts about the proper role of disparities in wealth are prompted by these returns to the ancestral home.
Session 219: The Political Economy of Central-Local Relations in Post-Reform China
Organizer: Tingting Zhang, University of California, Los Angeles
Chair: Richard Baum, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussant: Andrew H. Wedeman, University of Nebraska
Keywords: political science, China, central-local relations, political economy.
The shifting dynamics of central-local relations has been a highly controversial topic since the advent of Chinas post-Mao reforms. At the center of the controversy lies the following question: Has reform-induced fiscal and administrative decentralization eroded the central governments effective control over provincial and local governments? This panel brings together a group of scholars who have used different methodologies to examine key aspects of central-local relations under the reforms. Dali Yang uses the restructuring of the banking system as a critical lens through which to examine the evolution of central-local relations. This study will provide insight into the viability and prospects of Chinas banking system, which remain the Achilles heels of the Chinese economy. It will also illuminate broader issues of institutional reforms in China. Tingting Zhang evaluates central-local relations from the perspective of the centers criteria for appointing and dismissing provincial cadres. She tests empirically a number of putative criteria governing promotion/demotion of provincial officials: local economic growth; tax collection; social stability; and personal connections to veteran party leaders. Vivian Zhan constructs a formal model that treats both the central and local governments as strategic players to explain their interactions and to account for the shifting dynamics of fiscal reform. The model suggests that the central government, as the agenda-setter, applies a rational calculus when deciding whether tactically to relinquish or recapture fiscal authority, while local governments take advantage of fiscal reforms to maximize their own benefits. The chair, Richard Baum, and discussant, Andrew Wedeman, have both written extensively on the political economy of central-local relations in post-reform China.
Rethinking Central-Provincial Relations in China
Dali Yang, University of Chicago
A major concern of Chinas leaders at the turn of the 1990s was the growing economic autonomy of Chinas provinces. Since then China has witnessed a series of major initiatives to restructure the relationship between the Central and provincial governments. In my new book, I analyze these initiatives as part of Chinas evolving landscape of governance. While Chinas leaders have been able to reconfigure and rebalance central-provincial relationships, the reforms also raise troubling questions about the stability of these relationships. In this paper, I propose to use the latest restructuring of the banking system, particularly of banking industry regulation, as a critical lens to examine the evolution of central-local relations and shed light on the structure of such relations. This study will provide insight into the viability and prospects of Chinas banking system, which remains the Achilles heel of the Chinese economy. It will also illuminate broader issues of institutional reforms in China.
Strategic Interaction between Central and Local Governments: A Formal Analysis of Chinas Fiscal Reforms
J. Vivian Zhan, University of California, Los Angeles
A series of fiscal reforms have taken place in China since the early 1980s. In the distribution of fiscal revenues, the Chinese central government seems to be giving away an increasing share to local governments, which indicates a weakening state fiscal capacity that many people regard as dangerous. However, it is the central government that has initiated the reforms and has been the vital decision maker in formulating fiscal policies. So why does it allow the diffusion of its fiscal power to lower level governments, and how are local governments able to gain more power in sharing fiscal revenues? This paper constructs a formal model that treats both the central and local governments as strategic players to explain their interaction and to account for what has happened in the fiscal reforms. The model suggests that the central government, as the agenda-setter in the fiscal reforms, takes control of the fiscal power. It gives up or recaptures its power only out of rational calculations. At the same time, the local government also takes advantage of the fiscal system to maximize its own benefits.
Clientalism or Developmentalism? The Political Economy of Promotion/Demotion of Provincial Officials in China
Tingting Zhang, University of California, Los Angeles
In my paper, I choose to study central-provincial relations through the centers incentive design reflected in cadre promotion criteria. In my paper, I will attempt to determine whether the promotion and demotion of provincial officials since the reform is based on their local economic performance, tax collection effort, local social stability, or political loyalty to the center through empirical studies. In the regression analysis, the dependent variable is a three-point discrete variable measuring promotion, lateral transfer, and demotion of a provincial official. The unit of analysis is person year. The time span is from 1982 to 2002. Provincial officials local economic performance is measured by the local annual GDP per capita growth rate. The tax effort is measured by the local annual per capita tax revenue. Social stability is measured by urban employment rate and consumer price index. Political loyalty is measured by several dummy variables: the political patronage variable indicates whether a provincial official is a central leaders protégé, and the political faction variable measures whether a provincial official belongs to a particular faction in the center. A provinces economic growth is often affected by its geographical location, while a provinces income level and its degree of urbanization often affect its taxable capacity. These variables are carefully controlled in the regression. Other control variables include the national GDP per capita growth rate and the education level and age of provincial officials.