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Session 14: Underground Ritual: Archaeological Perspectives on Ritual Action in Early China

Organizer and Chair: Mark Csikszentmihalyi, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Discussant: William G. Boltz, University of Washington, Seattle

Keywords: archaeology, ritual, music, sacrifice, divination.

Scholars such as Ge Zhaoguang have recently argued that excavated archaeological materials challenge us to significantly reconfigure traditional historical approaches to early China. The materials that have been unearthed in the last thirty years not only add new texts to the corpus, but fill in gaps that had been created by the selection processes of continuous transmission. As a result, areas of traditional life about which little was known, especially technical areas such as law, burial and divination, are now accessible in great detail. It remains to integrate this information into the models that remain in use.

One of the areas in which this integration is most crucial is in the discussion of ritual. Classical discussions of funeral and sacrificial rites and the promotion of the virtue of ritual propriety (li) by early writers like Xunzi have created a picture of Chinese ritual that is weighted toward court culture and moral self-cultivation. Yet there are clear continuities between these discussions and those of divination and sacrifice; they share important vocabulary, structures, and rely on a similar cast of semi-mythical characters.

This panel will examine the elements that inform both the received tradition and the recently excavated materials. Is there a thread that binds daily prohibitions and the diviner’s compass to the received tradition’s emphasis on ritual and ethics? Do they share underlying notions of contingency and cosmology, and is there a common understanding of the efficacy of ritual action? The papers in this panel will both examine particular Warring States and Early Imperial texts that deal with practices such as divination, musical performance, and sacrifice, and relate them to the Chinese term li and the English "ritual." The resulting description of early Chinese ideas about the efficacy of ritual action will be broad enough to cover both received texts and the practices revealed in newly excavated texts.

The creative aspect of this panel will follow the individual presentations. A brief "theoretical excursion" will be an open discussion of the applicability (or lack thereof) of several prominent theories of ritual action. Each participant will summarize and offer opening remarks on a particular theory. The discussant will follow the excursion.

Musical Offerings and Emotional Rhythm in the Ritual Practices of Early China

Scott Cook, Grinnell College

Warring States texts are full of references confirming the status of music and its regulated expression as a privileged part of the ritual system. The entire purpose of ritual itself is sometimes characterized in these texts as one essentially musical in nature: to "bring rhythm and pattern to human emotions" (Liji, "Fangji"). And music itself, as part of the ritual system, must in turn be regulated by these same rhythms of emotional expression: playing the proper music at the proper time, or, in some cases, simply keeping silent—doing otherwise was thought to signal dire consequences for those who commissioned such untimely performances. Indeed, recently excavated textual materials from pre-Han China reveal that the issue of timeliness in action was a continual and ubiquitous source of concern, resulting in the codification of a kind of liturgy of auspicious behavior based on Heavenly cycles of fortune. And while the received philosophical texts place their focus more on ethical concerns and inner emotional rhythms in the determination of behavioral consequences, their similar emphasis on rhythm and timeliness resonates quite closely with the concerns reflected in these divinatory calendars. Focusing on the musical aspects of ritual and the ritualized use of music as revealed in both the received and archaeological materials, this paper will address the issue of emotional rhythm both in terms of the performative aspects of ritual and music, as well as in the broader cultural context of early Chinese thought.

Divination, Omens, and in Between: Ritual and Contingency from Wangjiatai to Wang Chong

Mark Csikszentmihalyi, University of Wisconsin, Madison

This paper attempts to survey the numerous and diverse prediction methods found in recently excavated Qin and Han dynasty tomb texts, and match them against the received record. Speaking of these methods as forms of "divination" reduces the complexity of the cosmological assumptions behind these methods, and obscures very real differences between the way that different methods were seen to work.

Different prediction methods are found in tombs from roughly the same period, and sometimes in the same tomb. Predictions from the Hubei Baoshan bamboo slips were addressed to particular spirits, and results were never generalized into a result covering a class of occurrences. They show that multiple divinations could be carried out about the same matter over time, indicating actions could mitigate negative outcomes. By contrast, the Hubei Wangjiatai bamboo slips include day books (rishu) and interpretations of disasters as omens. Both are methods that epitomize the practice of predicting outcomes for a class of occurrences, and neither rely on the authority of particular spirits. A similar type of generalization is in the Guizang hexagram divination system rediscovered there.

Different ideas about the malleability of predictions and their applicability to like situations are also found in the received tradition. Ideas about the ability of ritual action to affect change in other spheres break down along similar lines. These explanations and criticisms of rituals of prediction provide evidence for a more accurate and robust view of early Chinese religion.

Placing the Spirits: The Art of Sacrifice in Early China

Michael Puett, Harvard University

The issue of sacrifice in early China has been a topic of lengthy discussion in both anthropological and Sinological studies. However, paleographic materials discovered over the past several decades have greatly expanded our understanding of both the competing forms of sacrificial practice employed in early China and the complex contexts within which these practices were formulated and debated. We are now in a position to re-evaluate our understanding of these issues, and to develop a more nuanced historical interpretation of them.

In this paper, I will attempt to re-examine the debates that emerged in early China concerning the nature, efficacy, and significance of sacrifice by analyzing some of these competing practices and exploring the concerns that underlay them. Using both paleographic materials and received texts, I will analyze why sacrifice became a prominent topic of debate during this period, discuss some of the differing ways that sacrifice was defined and employed, and explicate how this debate was connected to the larger arguments of the time concerning the relationship between humans and spirits.


Session 15: The Public Realm in Early-Twentieth-Century Beijing

Organizer: Alison J. Dray-Novey, College of Notre Dame of Maryland

Chair and Discussant: Beatrice S. Bartlett, Yale University

Keywords: Beijing, China, history, 1900–1925

Beijing in the first quarter of the twentieth century was a city of two-wheeled country carts, rickshaws, and motorcars—a mixture of old, new, and even newer. During this period, the imperial gendarmerie, which existed until 1924, was being supplanted by a modernized city police force. Especially after the 1911 fall of the Qing dynasty, which always had given Beijing special treatment and resources, authorities in the city saw the need for municipal taxation to support public services such as police. Whereas the gendarmerie traditionally had dealt mainly with males, and with different ethnic groups in distinct city territories, the new police and taxation measures focused on the urban population of about 800,000 as a whole, male and female, Chinese and Manchu. Women had rarely taken part in the street crowd before the twentieth century. Now they began to be more visible and active in the streets, adding a new dimension to police problems of social reform, charity, and control of public space. This panel explores the emerging Beijing public realm ca. 1900–1925 from the perspectives of police, municipal taxation, and gender.

Women on the Street: Gender, Class, and Female Expansion in the Public Space in Early-Twentieth-Century Beijing

Weikun Cheng, California State University, Chico

The urban public space in China is becoming a new dimension of scholarly inquiry, but little attention has been so far devoted to women in the public space. This article thus examines women’s use of urban public space through analyzing their street activities. The street is accessible for everyone, but it is a gendered place where women are restricted, discriminated, and harassed by men. The street is also a place for women’s living, working, celebration, and entertainment. The ideological separation of public sphere and private sphere is not entirely correspondent to the spatial division between sexes, and women have many opportunities to present themselves on the street. How do women use the street and why? What kinds of activities do women sponsor on the street? Do upper-class and lower-class women use the street distinctively? What is the attitude of the state toward women’s public freedom?

Based on archives, newspapers, magazines, memos, legal documents, guidebooks, and many other primary sources, this paper reveals the linkage between the street and women’s lives. The paper is divided into five sections: using streets for festivals, working on the street, seeking street harmony and justice, ordering the street, and female expansion in the public space. In the conclusion, I argue that women’s use of public space is diversified by class, transformed by modern trends, and politicized by the feminist movement.

The Twilight of the Beijing Gendarmerie, 1900–1924

Alison J. Dray-Novey, College of Notre Dame of Maryland

The modernized city police founded in Beijing in the aftermath of the Boxer uprising did not occupy the urban stage alone. The imperial gendarmerie had institutional roots as old as the Ming dynasty and had carried on systematic police activity with a force of over 33,000 men during the nineteenth century. Beijing under the Qing had been characterized by a multiple-police structure in which the large gendarmerie acted in competitive balance with other authorities such as the Censorate and the two districts (xian) of which Beijing was composed. In the decade between the Boxer uprising and the fall of the Qing dynasty, and even afterward until 1924, a smaller gendarmerie continued functioning in a multiple structure that now included a separate, modernized city police organization.

Although records of the new Beijing police generally do not mention the gendarmerie, the reverse is not the case. Documents ca. 1900–1910 in the First Historical Archives in Beijing show the gendarmerie leadership communicating with the new police and sharing personnel with them. They also describe gendarmerie operations continuous with the Qing past, for example, guarding avenues, walls and gates; tracking provincial shipments of silver ingots into the city; repairing roads and watchposts; protecting the imperial family and high officials when outside the Forbidden City; arresting criminals and gangs; and closely watching arrivals and departures at the new railway stations. As late as 1921 the gendarmerie was providing soup kitchens for the poor and still occupying the headquarters in the northern part of the Inner City where it had been since the eighteenth century. It is probable that when the gendarmerie was extinguished in 1924, some of its members were absorbed by the new police.

The record of the almost quarter century of co-existence of modernized city police and the older gendarmerie reveals how new organizations were built up partly from the debris of the old, how not only foreign but also indigenous models underlay the rapid rise of a distinctive modern Chinese institution, the urban police.

Municipal Taxation in Early-Twentieth-Century Beijing

Mingzheng Shi, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Urban residents in late imperial China paid no taxes. The lack of a municipal tax structure in the late imperial period can be attributed to the lack of independent status of Chinese municipalities. In the Qing dynasty, most Chinese cities were governed by county seats. Daxing and Wanping, two counties in the prefecture of Shuntian, jointly administered Beijing. Partly due to this lack of status, residents of cities paid no direct taxes into what might be called municipal treasuries. All public improvements, measures for sanitation, police administration, and the like, either came out of the rural land tax and the special federal taxes on the stamp tax, the lijin, salt, wine, and tobacco, or were financed by public subscription. For the most part the countryside bore the expenses of the city, and the residents of cities paid nothing unless they owned arable land outside their city walls.

In the early twentieth century, however, inspired by Western urban experience, modern municipal institutions were established throughout Chinese cities. Both the modern police force and the Municipal Council in Beijing had tax collecting agencies that relentlessly pursued tax revenues from the urban society. During the first three decades of the twentieth century, more than thirty new local taxes were levied, ranging from taxes on property to taxes on prostitution. However, the tax revenue could hardly meet the overwhelming demand for public works, social services, and a large city police force. Occasionally the central government helped defray certain costs, but its subsidies were erratic and unpredictable. To make matters worse, the municipal government was not aggressive in seeking other means of funding. Municipal debt was not considered a viable option, nor were municipal bonds issued to support the various capital projects. The only borrowed funds were foreign loans received by the central government, which occasionally trickled down to finance municipal projects, as in the case of the streetcar loans.

The city government was not entirely to blame, however. Beijing has never been the kind of laissez-faire and market-driven capitalist city that some American and European cities became. Essentially, the city did not have the modern industrial sector, powerful market mechanism, and large middle class that would constitute a significant tax base. Despite increased taxation, the modernist government was still hamstrung by a lack of financial resources to transform Chinese cities spatially and socially.


Session 16: Exemplary Women in Late Imperial Texts and Contexts: The Lienü Zhuan Tradition from Yuan to Late Qing

Organizer: Joan Judge, University of California, Santa Barbara

Chair and Discussant: Lisa Ann Raphals, University of California, Riverside

Keywords: late Imperial China, women’s history, exemplary biography.

Liu Xiang’s Lienü zhuan (Biographies of exemplary women), published in the first century BCE, served as the template for a myriad of forms of female biography over the succeeding centuries. These later works formed a textual tradition which both upheld fundamental conceptual continuities and reflected shifting historical contexts, cultural priorities, and gender norms. This panel examines several aspects of this textual tradition in the late imperial period. It specifically questions how the Lienü zhuan tradition was transformed over time and what these transformations reveal about cultural change in the particular periods under consideration.

Paying close attention to both texts and contexts, these papers focus on questions of genre, content, and audience. They reveal that tales of notable women took various forms in the late imperial period: from poems modeled on the Book of Songs in the Yuan dynasty; to illustrated expansions of Liu Xiang’s text in the Ming; to a popular pictorial series in the late Qing; to short biographies accompanied by photographs in the early twentieth-century press. These various genres presented shifting repertoires of notable women: from actual acquaintances of the author (Yuan); to a combination of stock Lienü zhuan figures with real local heroines (Ming); to celebrated examplars from the Qing dynasty (late Qing); to foreign women in the short biographies (also late Qing). Finally, each of these papers probes the questions of the intended and real audience for these texts: was their purpose, for example, to uplift the benighted (Yuan); to promote a particular lineage (Ming); to convey a high-minded message on female virtue at time of social change (late Qing); or to encourage that social change by presenting models of "New Men and Women"?

Echoes of the "Songs": Exemplar Poetry in Yuan China

Beverly Bossler, University of California, Davis

Writing about exemplary figures began to proliferate in the late Song, as the state increased its awards to "righteous men, faithful women, filial children, and obedient grandchildren" and local elites worked to enshrine exemplars from their towns. It was only in the Yuan, however, that exemplary texts became a standard feature in the "collected works" of literati. Moreover, where biographies constituted the main type of exemplar writing in the Song, in the Yuan exemplar writing increasingly took the form of poems, and prefaces to collections of poems, in praise of faithful wives, filial sons, and heroic girls. Often such poems celebrated and publicized the virtue of a friend’s widowed mother, and both author and subject were able to share in the social capital thus generated; other poems were acts of creative imagination, often written in the voice of the female subject. Still other poems were written by men devoted to the cause of "transforming customs." Taking the "Book of Songs" as their model, such men composed simple, easily memorizable ditties, in the apparent hope that their compositions would be popularly adopted and help improve public morality. This paper will examine all of these types of poetry and poetry prefaces, and analyze their diverse implications for social practice and gender values in Yuan society.

Mixed Messages in the Zhi buzu zhai Lienü zhuan

Katherine Carlitz, University of Pittsburgh

In this paper, I will examine a widely reprinted Lienü zhuan expansion that was compiled in She county, Anhui. The Beijing Library possesses an extended fragment of the original 1620s edition, and the work in its entirety was reprinted in 1779 by the Zhi buzu zhai and other printing houses as well. Like other collections in its genre, this Lienü zhuan uses the cases of the Han dynasty classic to begin a survey of female virtue down to the compiler’s own era. The collection concludes with a juan of sixteenth-century cases concentrated in the Wang lineage of She county.

What is the actual aim of this book? The Lienü zhuan genre is conventionally considered exemplary literature for women, but prefaces and commentary often read as though the male compilers intended the books for an audience of men. The women eulogized in the Zhi buzu zhai Lienü zhuan range from martyrs to mothers to singing girls. Was this really considered appropriate reading for young women? I will put this collection in context by comparing it to contemporary household encyclopedias that women are likely to have read. Such encyclopedias tended to mix tales of exemplary virtue with erotic anecdotes. My working assumption is that girls did indeed read this book, but if that is the case, the diversity of its contents may have sent readers messages that ranged well beyond ru virtue.

Exemplary Women of the Qing Dynasty: Lienü in an Early-Twentieth-Century Popular Pictorial

Joan Judge, University of California, Santa Barbara

One of the last texts in the Lienü zhuan tradition to appear in the imperial period was the series entitled "Zhongwai Xin Lienü Zhuan" (Biographies of new Sino-foreign exemplary women) published in the popular journal the Tuhua ribao (Daily pictorial) in 1907. This series departed from the standard repertoire of notable women featured in late Qing texts in two significant ways. Despite its title, it does not include one foreign exemplar, and rather than celebrate Chinese women from the distant past, it was composed of the tales of notable women of the Qing dynasty. Most of these women were associated with famous men: the wife of the renowned scholar-official Ruan Yuan (1764–1849), for example, or the mother of the celebrated poet and man of letters Hong Liangji (1746–1809). A few were noted for their own heroic deeds, however, such as Shen Yunying (1624–61) who was awarded military rank for her struggle against bandit forces.

The paper places this series in its historical context in order to ask larger questions concerning both the transformation of the Lienü zhuan tradition over time, and the relationship between late Qing cultural norms and the past. It traces the lineage of the Tuhua ribao text by examining other Qing compilations of exemplary female biographies and by comparing the pictorial’s illustrations to those found in earlier editions of the Lienü zhuan. It further analyzes how the series functioned in the Tuhua ribao itself—a journal which highlighted and satirized all aspects of contemporary urban culture—in order to probe the role these heroines so reminiscent of ancient models of womanhood played in the newly emerging popular consciousness of this period.

Modeling Lives of/for Women: Late Qing Biographies

Ying Hu, University of California, Irvine

The short biographies, or xiaozhuan, became a hot genre in the newly popular print media in the late Qing, often accompanied with photographic portraits, xiaozhao. Writers were urged to produce them and readers avidly read them, perhaps giving themselves rapid makeovers, as New Men and New Women.

The central question this paper addresses is the role of women’s biography in the late Qing cultural scene. More specifically, how did the biographies construct gendered roles, at a time when traditional models of behavior were being questioned and imported icons from the West began to gain currency? The biographies I examine include both famous and not well known ones. Some of the biographies appear quite traditional, yet the familiar virtues they celebrate may be attached to unlikely figures such as Madame Roland. Others proclaim to be radically different, with photographs to illustrate the unconventional lives. Yet we find normative features in the biographies often domesticate the apparently deviant behavior.

This paper investigates the generic features of these late Qing biographies, especially their didactic elements, to try to tease out the different senses of what counted as normative in terms of gendered behavior. I compare selected examples from earlier Lienü zhuan with the late Qing biographies and attempt to answer in what ways the new gender roles differ from or remain similar to traditional roles. I study the biographies alongside the photographic portraits and ask how the late Qing interest in biography and fascination with photography came together in producing new gender roles.


Session 17: Mass-Elite Interactions in Post-Deng China

Organizer: Pierre Landry, University of Mississippi

Chair and Discussant: Melanie Manion, University of Wisconsin, Madison

This panel explores the changing dynamics of mass-elite interactions in post-Deng China based on quantitative analyses of survey data. Each paper addresses a key dynamic linking economic development and political change in post-Deng China. Specifically: (1) attitudinal differences between the masses and the elites with respect to democratic values; (2) the ability of news elite types (private entrepreneurs) to act as a vehicle for political change; and (3) the shifting bases of party membership in an increasingly diverse social landscape.

Elite and Mass Attitudes toward Democracy and Democratization in Urban China

Jie Chen, Old Dominion University

Comparison of elite and mass attitudes toward democracy and democratization in China is critical for understanding elite-mass interaction and hence political development in this rapidly changing society. Yet such studies are very scarce. This paper is intended to explore the differences and commonalities between elite and mass orientations, in terms of their conceptual constraints (or consistencies), socioeconomic sources and behavioral effects. This study is based on the responses to identical questions on democratic values and changes asked of both mass and elite in two surveys conducted in Beijing in 1995 and 1997. The potential findings from this study will have important implications on both the strength/weakness of the CCP’s rule and the general trends of political development in China.

Private Entrepreneurs and the Party in China: Agents or Obstacles to Political Change?

Bruce Dickson, George Washington University

It has become a truism that continued economic reform in China, and privatization in particular, will contribute to political change. Policy makers as well as many scholars expect that formation of a private sector will lead—directly or indirectly through the emergence of a civil society—to political change and ultimately democratization. The rapidly growing numbers of private entrepreneurs, the formation of business associations, and the cooperative relationships between entrepreneurs and local officials are seen as initial indicators of a transition from China’s still nominally communist political system. This paper focuses on two fundamental theoretical issues. The first is whether economic change leads to political change, and whether economic privatization leads to democratization. In particular, it asks whether China’s entrepreneurs can be a vehicle for political change. The second theoretical question concerns the CCP’s willingness and ability to adapt to the needs of economic development by replacing its traditional techniques of mobilization, with a new strategy of inclusion: the co-optation of new elites and the creation of links with new non-party organizations, namely business associations. This paper uses survey project targeting private entrepreneurs and local communist party and government officials in China to address these questions. These data reveal both the personal and institutional relationships that are developing between these two key groups in the course of reform and the degree of similarity in their political beliefs and behaviors.

Explaining Party Membership in Urban China

Pierre Landry, University of Mississippi

As we assess the long-term political impact of economic reforms, it is important to understand whether the CCP has been able to adapt to a rapidly changing social landscape in China. This paper explores the correlates of party membership based on surveys conducted in several urban areas in recent years. It explores whether party membership is still more prevalent among traditional strongholds of the CCP (the state sector and bureaucratic agencies) or whether the CCP has instead successfully shifted its recruitment efforts to the more dynamic segments of urban society. In addition, the analysis of survey data allows us to test whether the party’s official pronouncements favoring the educated has a measurable effect in its current recruitment policy.


Session 18: Roundtable: Conducting Research on Japanese-Occupied China, 1937–1945

Organizer and Chair: Sophia Lee, California State University

Discussants: David Barrett, McMaster University; Parks M. Coble, University of Nebraska; Tokushi Kasahara, Tsuru University; Sophia Lee, California State University, Jiu-jung Lo, Academia Sinica; R. Keith Schoppa, Loyola College, Maryland

Keywords: Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), occupied China, collaboration, wartime atrocities.

Since the early 1990s, English-language works about Japanese-occupied China during the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) have begun to appear in print with some frequency, mostly as articles. More numerous are Chinese- and Japanese-language publications, principally, from conferences commemorating anniversaries of the start and the end of the war. This welcome growth has also made it increasingly difficult, even for specialists, to exchange up-to-date information about research projects and archival sources, and to engage in ongoing debates about conceptual issues.

This roundtable will provide a forum for six specialists from North America and East Asia, plus the audience, to exchange information and ideas. All six have done extensive research in archives and libraries in China, Taiwan, Japan, the US, and the UK: Barrett (Wang Jingwei regime); Coble (Chinese capitalists in Shanghai); Kasahara (North China villages and the Japanese Army’s Three-All Policy); Lee (social and cultural conditions in Beijing); Lo (the discourse of collaboration); and Schoppa (collaboration in Hangzhou). Several have also conducted interviews and on-site investigations.

In a brief statement, each discussant will: (1) explain approaches and methodologies regarding his/her project; (2) assess archival and other sources, plus strategies to overcome their limitations; (3) analyze conceptual and theoretical issues in current scholarship, and offer alternatives to prevalent theories and paradigms; (4) place his/her findings in the broader context of modern Chinese history; and (5) suggest future directions in the study of occupied China. Following these short presentations, the audience will be included in a question-and-answer discussion.


Session 19: The Interface of Chinese Legal History and Contemporary Legal Institutions in Greater China

Organizer: Scott J. Palmer, Indiana University

Chair and Discussant: David C. Buxbaum, Brand, Farrar, Buxbaum LLP

Keywords: China, legal history, legal institutions.

A common theme in recent comparative legal scholarship is the notion of "legal culture," and the apparent incommensurability of Chinese and Anglo-American legal regimes, particularly with respect to the role that legal institutions play in the maintenance of social relations within the state. But many of these studies present Chinese legal culture as a relatively monolithic and uncontested phenomenon, and fail to account for institutional variations and developments within Greater China.

This panel will bring together specialists in Chinese Legal Studies from law firms and universities in the United States, Canada, Mainland China, and Taiwan, to present papers and discuss the interface of Chinese legal history and culture on contemporary law in Greater China, and the possibilities of institutional convergence among seemingly dissimilar legal systems within the region. The panel specifically seeks to develop a dialogue on the social and cultural contexts that inform the evolution of historical and contemporary legal institutions in Greater China, and to investigate theoretical and practical approaches to issues of immediate concern.

Institutional Compatibility and the Possibilities for Convergence of Legal and Political Culture in China-Taiwan Relations

Pitman B. Potter, University of British Columbia

China-Taiwan relations have been a source of considerable legal and policy debate since the founding of the PRC, and have been particularly problematic in recent years. A key element in understanding and resolving conflict between China and Taiwan is the issue of institutional compatibility and the prospectus for convergence in legal and political culture. The political and legal systems of China and Taiwan have many common antecedents, which provide a basis for institutional compatibility and accommodation. However, there is increased divergence in political and legal culture in China and Taiwan, reflecting in part contrasts in institutional performance driven by different degrees of commitment to legal and political reform.

This paper will examine the interplay between institutional compatibility and attitudinal divergence in China-Taiwan relations, through an interpretive analysis drawing on primary data as well as existing legal and social science discourses. With particular attention to administrative and constitutional law, the paper will suggest approaches to strengthening institutional compatibility as a basis for building convergence of political and legal culture.

The Transformation of Traditional Institutions of Power and Law in Mainland China and the Rule of Law

Jinfan Zhang, China University of Political Science and Law

This paper assesses the historical interface of power and law in China, and the evolution of the idea of Rule of Law. It will also discuss the effect that the changing dynamic of power and law has had on the recent development of legal institutions in Mainland China, and the work that is yet to be done.

Rule of Law is the goal toward which China is currently struggling, a goal that necessitates the establishment of the authority of law, and institutions that ensure an efficient and effective judicial system. In Mainland China, Rule of Law entails on ongoing process of strengthening legal institutions that militate against entrenched ideas of the supremacy of power over law.

Administrative Governance in China: Imperial Antecedents and Contemporary Correlatives

Donald J. Lewis, University of Hong Kong

It is postulated that the dominant system of political and economic governance in contemporary China may be characterized as an "administrative system" as juxtaposed against other forms of governance, such as legal systems in the West. In this regard, the current administrative system operating in China would appear to be the most recent incarnation of that original and highly developed Chinese conception—the Chinese imperial bureaucracy.

In recent decades, the socialist leadership in China has sought to create a potentially competing system of governance—the Chinese legal system, largely along Western lines. At present, the developing Chinese legal system would appear to occupy a subordinated position to the indigenous administrative system. Given this systemic duality, questions arise as to the complementarity and prospective convergence of these different traditions of governance.

This initial inquiry undertakes to explore the historical sources of contemporary Chinese administrative governance, principally by reference to the bureaucratic institutions and practices of the Qing dynasty. Comparisons and contrasts will be drawn between traditional imperial structures and processes and contemporary socialist counterparts. The role of law in Qing administrative practices and procedures will be assessed and weighed against other modalities or instruments of governance employed by the Qing bureaucracy. The question of the continuing utility and relevance of imperial models and processes in modern Chinese circumstances, and the potentially dynamic rate of Western administrative law as a modernizing force, will also be considered.

The Interface of Traditional Legal Culture and Contemporary Legal Institutions in Taiwan

Jingjia Huang, Huang and Partners, Taiwan

The contemporary legal system of Taiwan has been influenced by competing socio-cultural factors, and since 1949, has diverged greatly from the legal system of Mainland China, despite common cultural and historical roots. In light of changing conceptions of rule of law in Mainland China, these common cultural and historical roots have been heralded as both an apparent restriction on the development of rule of law, and a common ground for negotiating the differences in "legal culture" between Taiwan and Mainland China.

This paper will trace the development of Taiwan’s unique legal culture, and the influences of traditional Chinese jurisprudence, Japanese Law and the Law of Nationalist China. It will also trace the divergence of legal institutions in Mainland China and Taiwan, and the role that traditional culture and new points of common concern will play in the future of relations between China and Taiwan.


Session 20: The Ming Myth: Rituals and Institutions of the Founder across Three Centuries

Organizer: Sarah Schneewind, Southern Methodist University

Chair: Edward L. Farmer, University of Minnesota

Discussant: Martin J. Heijdra, Princeton University

Keywords: China, Ming, ritual, state, society.

The Ming founder, Zhu Yuanzhang (r. 1368–1398), developed ritual and institutional policies to regulate society. Historiography maintains a myth that developed in the Ming: that Zhu was able to implement those policies and create, for a time, a stable society. This panel examines both the truth of that myth and its development in mid- and late Ming. Martin Heijdra, the discussant, has himself proposed an interpretation of Zhu’s impact on rural China in his dissertation. Edward Farmer, major American scholar of the founder, will chair.

The community libation ceremony illustrates the seven stages of Zhu’s social policies. Sarah Schneewind shows that each stage reversed, revised or augmented earlier, failed policies. Later officals chose among the various rituals and institutions. In the 1400s, Anne Gerritsen shows, some early Ming policies were reversed, others ignored, and still others selected by individual policymakers, who at the same time frequently invoked Zhu’s legacy. Edicts and memorials on clergy illustrate the evolving myth that Zhu’s policies were coherent and had been effective. Sixteenth-century social critics invoked and extended the myth. Jaret Weisfogel shows how Guan Zhidao selectively reinterpreted Zhu’s regulations on status distinctions.

The founder frequently changed his policies as he attempted to control society. The records of those regulations gave later emperors, administrators and thinkers a diverse repertoire of institutions and rituals whose legitimacy was heightened by the idealization of the early Ming.

Revising the Vision: Early Ming Social Policies and the Community Libation Ceremony

Sarah Schneewind, Southern Methodist University

The Ming founder, Zhu Yuanzhang, pursuing a vision of an ideal social order, created a new state through which to shape society. But he faced resistance that forced him to repeatedly revise and even reverse many of his local social institutional policies. His policies on population control, worship, community rituals, taxation, dispute resolution, commendation and primary education fall into seven stages. Within each stage, all policies constitute a coherent approach to local society. From one stage to the next, whole systems were created and dismantled. For instance, the community elder (lilaoren) system replaced the senior (qisi) system for settling disputes; the lijia system replaced rural assemblies; brand-new community schools were abolished. Far from binding Zhu’s successors, these contradictory policies constituted part of the repertoire from which later emperors, administrators, and thinkers picked and chose, as Weisfogel and Gerritsen show.

This paper traces Zhu’s revisions of the village-level community libation ceremony (xang yinjiu li) to illustrate the seven stages, and discusses a fifteenth-century implementation of the ceremony. Normally, the ceremony is described as confirming social hierarchies of rank, age and virtue. Zhu also used it to promulgate the laws of the dynasty, commenting on or prescribing it in each stage. The increasingly negative cast of the ceremony shows Zhu’s frustration with his inability to control society, even as he tried to insert the state more firmly into the ceremony.

The Founder’s Legacy: Fifteenth-Century Views on Zhu Yuanzhang’s Ritual Policies

Anne T. Gerritsen, Harvard University

The social policies instituted during the reign of the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, were intended to bring about an ideal social order. As the paper by Sarah Schneewind suggests, Zhu’s policies formed a far from coherent set of injunctions. In this paper, I will analyze the fifteenth-century reception of the Ming founder’s policies. In the decades that followed Zhu Yuanzhang’s death, some of his policies were quickly reversed, and many of the systems he intended to bring about far-reaching social control simply fell into disuse.

At the same time, both central government officials and local thinkers constantly harked back to the social institutions of Zhu’s reign. An analysis of a number of edicts and memorials concerning the treatment of monks and nuns in local society will illustrate the idealistic representation of early Ming institutions. While Zhu’s policies took on an increasingly mythological status as a coherent and effective system, their disjointed nature is illustrated by their highly selective adoption. Fifteenth-century emperors, court officials and local policymakers alike chose only those elements in the early Ming regulations that suited their personal preferences and the changing social and economic circumstances.

Zhu Yuanzhang’s Ritual and Institutional Legacy: A Sixteenth-Century Idealization

Jaret Weisfogel, Columbia University

Late in the sixteenth century, the social critic Guan Zhidao (1536–1608) wrote a set of proposals for reviving the ritual models and social institutions of the dynastic founder, Zhu Yuanzhang. In his Proposals, Guan devotes close attention to certain early Ming edicts establishing status distinctions in local society. The edicts regulate matters ranging from the etiquette that members of local society must use when they meet to the construction of ancestral halls and the keeping of bondservants. Guan focuses especially on the edicts’ distinction between retired officials and the rest of the population, which he further justifies on the basis of the Record of Rites, in the canonical terms of rank, age and virtue. In reasoning thus, he not only privileges certain strands of the early ritual tradition, but also similarly interprets the founder’s edicts in a rather specific light. He picks and chooses among the founder’s regulations and, further, often construes the wording of a given regulation to allow for exceptions and qualifications. Guan’s selective and ambivalent application of Zhu’s edicts reflects his own mixed social ideals and tensions in the traditions on which he draws more than anything about the early Ming, though of course he reads his ideals back into that period. Guan’s statist and authoritarian leanings are indeed reminiscent of the founder’s rule; but beyond these general tendencies, Guan’s vision largely reflects his particular place within the society and intellectual culture of his own time.


Session 21: Narrative Ethics in Contemporary China

Organizer: Robin Visser, Valparaiso University

Chair and Discussant: Charles A. Laughlin, Yale University

Keywords: China, ethics, contemporary, literature, film.

Despite narrative’s long tradition of ethical engagement, ethics has fallen from favor in recent literary theorizing. The emergent field of narrative ethics works against this trend by re-addressing the nexus of plot, philosophy, and lived experience. Ethical categories have particular salience for contemporary Chinese narrative, as the past decade has seen China’s strong tradition of literature as moral discourse threatened by a market-driven popular culture often unmindful of moral mission. By exploring intersections of the narrative and the normative in literature and cinema, this panel interrogates the shifting relations among text, ethics, and everyday life in late 1990s China.

We begin by examining issues of bioethics in Zhang Yuan’s Erzi (Sons, 1996) and Zhou Xiaowen’s Guanyu ai de gushi (The Common People, 1998), two docu-dramas whose conceptualization of health and illness has energizing potential for social movements challenging discrimination, and whose renegotiation of the divide between biology and culture suggests a mode of ethical reasoning able to inform quality of life issues. We continue with a discussion of urban fiction by Zhu Wen, Qiu Huadong, and He Dun. Here we consider the ethical conundrum presented by a marketplace logic that brands altruism, the aspiration to a "higher" ideal than pure self-interest, as irrational behavior. We conclude with recent "alternative" (linglei) fiction of woman writers Mianmian and Wei Hui, noting in particular how Wei converts this emergent genre into a form of self-promoting postmodernism that compromises available critical categories for reading contemporary narrative.

Questions of Bioethics in Recent Chinese Cinema

Deirdre Sabina Knight, Smith College

Responding to recent research in the medical humanities, this paper analyzes works of contemporary Chinese cinema to emphasize their vital contribution to bioethics, medical ethics, and the emerging field of narrative ethics therein. Specifically, I examine Zhang Yuan’s docu-drama Erzi (Sons, 1996) and Zhou Xiaowen’s docu-drama Guanyu ai de gushi (English title: The Common People, 1998) to show how these films frame concepts of health and illness and present possibilities for social movements challenging discrimination. Treating cerebral palsy, mental illness, alcoholism, domestic abuse, and new biotechnologies and medical practices, these films grapple with fundamental public policy issues pertaining to the allocation of resources, conceptions of risk, and conflicts between autonomy and paternalism. I argue that these films portray pain and suffering and comment on the value and quality of life in ways that challenge the plausibility of clearly differentiating biology from culture or the etiology of disease from the experience of illness. They also reveal how power relations in hospitals and medicine more generally can lead characters to accept a medicalized sense of self and binary oppositions between health and illness that may exclude other terms and experiences. The paper ends by inquiring into the relation between narratives and norms to underscore the importance of cross-cultural explorations into narrative’s role as a complement to moral principles in ethical reasoning.

Urban Ethics: Modernity and the Morality of Everyday Life

Robin Visser, Valparaiso University

Twentieth-century debates over effects of the urban space on the cultural imagination of China converge in their focus on ethical issues. Questions posed in relation to national identity shift to individual constructions of meaning at century’s end, as the city becomes interrogated in relation to subjectivity and the public sphere rather than serving as a foil for national authenticity. This presentation examines ethical questions explored in controversial urban fiction by Qiu Huadong, Zhu Wen, and He Dun. In particular, it investigates how these narratives interrogate the ethical conundrum presented by the logic of the marketplace, where altruism, or the aspiration to a "higher" ideal than pure self-interest, is irrational behavior.

Debates about 1990s urban literature divide along lines reminiscent of Hume’s ethical legacy from the Enlightenment, in that they fail to provide a determinant relation between the proposition of ought and is. Discussions about the crisis of renwen jingshen (humanist spirit) are rife with a sense that Chinese writers have "lost" their moral sensibilities and no longer adhere to zhongji guanhuai (ultimate concerns). Other critics celebrate the "unreflective, post-modern sensibilities" exhibited by embrace of what is rather than prescribing what ought to be. I disagree with both evaluations of 1990s urban fiction, demonstrating that one of its defining characteristics is inquiry into the greater good. While these open-ended narratives express moral ambiguity, they are governed by a movement toward the eventual identity of is and ought, probing universal ethical issues which arise in conjunction with modern commercial life.

Shanghai Babe and the Impasse of Post-Modern Self-Promotion

John A. Crespi, University of Chicago

The 1990s in China have been a decade in which an intensively commodified popular culture has eroded to near disappearing high literary culture’s ability to set or even suggest a distinct moral mission or critical social agenda. Into the breach have come a new generation of writers, many born during the 1970s, who have set about reworking fiction in the absent presence of the overarching narrative and allegorical schema that have guided and lent meaning to modern Chinese literature, and the modern Chinese writer, since the 1910s. Two of these recent arrivals, Mianmian and Wei Hui, present an interesting case for the potential degree-zero dispersal of a critical position for contemporary writing in China.

Where Mianmian’s semi-autobiographical La La La (1997) opened up to fictional representation an unexplored and taboo subcultural realm of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Wei Hui has brought this emergent cultural alternative flamboyantly yet insidiously "to market." Most notable in this respect are Wei’s recent Shanghai Babe (Shanghai Baobei) and Crazy Like Wei Hui (Xiang Wei Hui nayang fengkuang), two semi-autobiographical texts rife with the facile and utterly non-ironic conversion of critical categories—such as post-revolutionary desire, inscription of feminine subjectivity, post-colonialism, and national allegory—into a contentless and eminently marketable "attitude" for China’s New Rich. Be it fin de siècle vanishing point or dialectic rallying point for critical literary consciousness, this self-promoting post-modernism confronts China’s modern project of social engagement through literature with a vision of its own demise.


Session 35: New Studies of Spirit-Mediumship in Chinese Popular Religion (Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions)

Organizer: Philip Clart, University of Missouri, Columbia

Chair: Terry F. Kleeman, University of Colorado, Boulder

Discussant: Jean E. Debernardi, University of Alberta

Spirit-mediums have played a central role as intermediaries between the human and the spirit worlds throughout the history of Chinese civilization. While proponents of modernization on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have long demanded and predicted the demise of "superstitious" practices such as spirit-mediumship, mediums continue to fulfill important functions within local society. In addition, they are taking on new roles within the emerging social structures of modernizing Chinese societies, serving as religious foci in urban contexts and in new religious movements. The study of spirit-mediumship is therefore central to the understanding of both traditional and modern Chinese religious life. All of the papers in the session are ethnographically based and address functions and perceptions of spirit-mediumship in modern contexts. In her study of a medium-led temple in Taipei, Shin-yi Chao addresses its structural adaptation to urban conditions by combining elements of traditional neighborhood temples with those of modern voluntary religious associations. The focus of Scott Davis’ paper dealing with another Taipei spirit shrine is the negotiation of illness and healing within a shared religious universe between medium and client. Brigitte Baptandier switches the perspective from the functions of mediumship for others to its role for the medium herself, focusing on the construction of identity through the trance process mastered during the medium’s period of "apprenticeship." Finally, Philip Clart examines the popular perceptions of two different types of spirit-mediums and the underlying cultural rationale for their separate role expectations.

City Mediums: Spirit-Mediumship in Urban Taiwan

Shin-yi Chao, University of British Columbia

Based on fieldwork conducted in 1997 and 1998, this paper seeks to shed light on contemporary religious life in urban Taiwan through the examination of a Taipei temple led by a spirit-medium. The Zhendong Gong is one of many small temples that have flourished in urban Taiwan by combining techniques of neighborhood-based temples with those of voluntary religious sectarianism. They reflect a new style of religious community that not only withstands the challenges of city life, but actually benefits from the urbanization of Taiwanese society.

The paper first examines the social background and geographic distribution of the temple’s members, finding that under urban conditions of high horizontal mobility the cult extends its geographic boundaries of membership far beyond its immediate neighborhood. Next I analyze the temple’s liturgical schedule, the two main types of rituals being the séance typical for spirit-medium cults, and the annual jiao or offering rite more characteristic of local community temples. These activities draw financial resources and devotees to the temple while they provide believers with occasions to spend evenings (for the séances) and long weekends (for the annual jiao ritual) together. In this way urban dwellers who live far apart can find a community to be involved in, and transcend the limits of traditional neighborhood-based communities. Religious communities such as the Zhendong Gong provide illuminating examples of how traditional religious groups evolve, adapt and perpetuate themselves amidst the conditions of the modern world.

Levels of Reality at the Hall of Bright Virtue

Scott Davis, Miyazaki International College

The study provides descriptive analysis of religious activities observed in an urban shen-tan (spirit shrine) under the supervision of a Taiwanese ki-tong (tang-ki, jitong, spirit-medium or shaman). Based on observations made during several years of fieldwork, its primary interest is the spirit shrine as a site for healing. So the explication is basically affiliated to medical anthropological research into folk or community based health care delivery.

These data prove susceptible of layered presentation, going step-by-step from the social context, to the diagnostic system and its nosology, to the logic of attribution and of the self, enacted in this context. These factors work within the linguistic frame of possession treatment in Taiwan. Finally, the spirit shrine’s religious practices are based on the overall symbolic realm established in Chinese culture and in contemporary Taiwan.

Histories of religion usually study textual traditions to accomplish their analyses. Studies in shentan religion suffer from lack of texts establishing this form of cultural activity as an integrated tradition. To allay this, this investigation attempts to provide an analytic description of religious activities conducted at the shrine under study, specifying frameworks conditioning the shrine’s clients’ experience. It seeks to define the levels of implication between these structures. It attempts to convey the quality and gradations of experience available to devotees. It suggests that trance phenomena observed in Taiwanese possession religion can be understood as linguistically based and embedded in a complexly layered symbolic field. The shaman negotiates these levels of symbols while effecting treatment for her clients.

Fashioning the Deity within Oneself: In Search of a Locus of Articulation

Brigitte Baptandier, CNRS, Paris

In Fujian province, female mediums of the Daoist Lüshan tradition are endowed with unusual abilities said to be beyond explanation. In this paper, I look for an explanation of the supposedly unexplainable by investigating their mediumship from three different angles: from their "apprenticeship," which is actually more of an exercise in ascetic practice; from the idea of a specific "destiny" which traditional cosmological notions ascribe to them; and from the deity that seems to possess them, but that actually needs to be fashioned by the medium herself. Focusing my analysis on the period of ascetic practice during which the deity is fashioned and the trance process establishes itself, I pose the following questions: In this particular process, who is that speaks and from where? Who is that deity present within oneself? In this period of ascesis and articulation of destiny, how is the speaker constituted narratively as she spells out episodes from her life and step by step reveals what has been called her "secret focus"?

The transition from ascesis to trance is a negotiation of the tenuous borderline between the medium’s own person (benshen), widely held religious ideas concerning the deity in question (shen), and madness (sanjieshen), that is to say the sort of uncontrolled behavior that is qualified as illness rather than trance. From this perspective, trance may be considered as a kind of extreme metonymic discourse in which tradition expresses itself directly through the person engaged in constructing her own identity.

The Moral Economy of Chinese Spirit-Mediumship

Philip Clart, University of Missouri, Columbia

Students of Chinese popular religion have long been aware of status differences between speaking and writing spirit-mediums, with the latter enjoying greater prestige than the former. Often this is vaguely ascribed to the greater prestige of written over spoken language in Chinese culture, or of the "civil" (wen) over the "martial" (wu). Based on field research conducted among spirit-writing cults in central Taiwan from 1993 to 1994, the present paper takes a closer analytical look at this issue and argues that the true root of the distinction lies in popular views of moral agency. The ideal typical speaking medium is chosen for reasons of karmic affinity and defective destiny, while the (again ideal typical) spirit-writer is selected by the gods for his or her high moral standing. While the former is called for reasons beyond his or her control, the latter actively earns an appointment through personal efforts at moral cultivation. The different selection criteria shape the relative prestige the two types of mediums enjoy, their ongoing relationship with their patron deities, their trance behavior, their functional differentiation, the public’s perception of their supernatural power (ling), and the nature of the messages they transmit. The paper examines each of these areas and concludes by suggesting that issues of moral agency play an important role in the field of role expectations in which each actual medium has to define his or her place.


Session 36: Canonical Texts and Contemporary Theories: A Chinese Connection

Organizer: Ming Dong Gu, Rhodes College, Memphis

Chair: Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania

Discussant: Anthony C. Yu, University of Chicago

Keywords: Chinese literature, canonical texts, contemporary theories, creative integration, new and interesting readings.

In the study of canonical texts in traditional Chinese literature, scholars in the field are often confronted by what Harold Bloom calls the "anxiety of influence." The anxiety can be boiled down to a question: how can one generate new and interesting readings out of the canonical texts that have been examined and reexamined by scholars from generations to generations? The time-honored perspectives, which focus on historical context, author’s biographical data, philological exegeses, sociological inquiries, etc., and frequently used methodologies, which explore the genesis, authorship, composition, editions, transmission, and thematic concerns of a text, have been utilized again and over again before us. In reusing these paradigms and methodologies, we the latecomers cannot help but cook huiguo rou (twice cooked meat): restatements or variations of old scholarship. How can we avoid this? We need to create new paradigms and methodologies. For this purpose, we may integrate contemporary theories into the study of traditional literature. In the process of integration, we may reap creative inspirations to construct new paradigms and methodologies that are appropriate for the study of canonical texts. In the postmodern era, the explosion of new theories may be dazzling to the eye, but some theories that have stood the test of time are no longer totally alien to us. They can supply us with inspirations for constructing new paradigms and methodologies as well as producing new readings.

People may ask: since contemporary theories are derived from the study of Western literature and culture, are they appropriate for Chinese literature, which has been produced in entirely different cultural conditions? This doubt has been debated by scholars in the field. A notable debate was carried out on a roundtable panel at the 1990 AAS Annual Conference (see CLEAR 1991). The debate ended inconclusively. Now ten years after the debate, the situation has not changed much in the field of traditional Chinese literature. By contrast, impressive achievements have been made in the field of modern Chinese literature. The introduction of postmodern theories into that field has drastically enlarged the horizons of modern Chinese literary studies. A series of innovative and fascinating studies have proved that the introduction of contemporary theories works. We believe that it may work equally well in traditional Chinese literature. Ten years after the debate, the question now is no longer one of whether we should introduce contemporary theories but one of how we can do a good job of integration. We recognize the huge gap between traditional literature and contemporary theories, but the gap is by no means unbridgeable.

Our panel represents a modest attempt to construct a bridge across the gap. It is concerned with how to integrate contemporary theories into traditional approaches, how to go beyond existent scholarship, and how to enlarge the hermeneutic space of canonical texts. Simply stated, our main objective will be focused on how to generate new and interesting readings of canonical texts using contemporary literary theories. Each of the panelists has chosen a canonical text and set to read it with the aid of one or multiple facets of contemporary theories. By so doing we hope to demonstrate that the integration of contemporary theories will not only facilitate dialogues between Chinese and Western literatures but also open up new vistas for traditional Chinese literary studies.

Deconstructing Life and Death: Variations on a Theme in the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi

Shuen-fu Lin, University of Michigan

One of the distinctive features of the early Daoist classic Zhuangzi is the persistent critique of such binary oppositions as large and small, this and other, beauty and ugliness, right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, useful and useless, success and failure, nature and culture, dream and wakefulness, and life and death, that have structured Chinese thought. The purpose of this paper is to perform a close reading of this persistent attempt to deconstruct traditional values by focusing on the important theme of life and death as it is treated in the Inner Chapters which constitute the core, earliest, as well as most brilliant portion of this masterpiece in ancient Chinese philosophy and literature. I hope to demonstrate that Zhuangzi (who is traditionally believed to be the author of the Inner Chapters) uses all resources of language and the literary art available to him—resources such as metaphor, paradox, irony, mask, fable, and parable—to carry out his deconstructive endeavor. Further, I hope to demonstrate that in "constructing" his own treatment of the theme throughout the Inner Chapters, Zhuangzi resorts to a strategy that resembles the "variations on a theme" in music. Finally, I hope to show that in "constructing" the Inner Chapters that ultimately "self-deconstruct," the Daoist author also points toward a world that exists outside of language and thought, a world that seems to have been denied by the deconstructionist Jacques Derrida who asserts that "there is nothing outside of text."

Intertextual Dissemination: Re-reading "The Great Preface" to the Book of Songs

Ming Dong Gu, Rhodes College, Memphis

The "Great Preface" to the Shijing (Book of Songs) is a foundational text in Chinese literary thought. Although it consists of only a few hundred words, it touches upon a number of central issues in Chinese literary theory. Its significance has been emphasized again and again throughout Chinese history. In the past two millennia, however, scholarly appraisal has been confined to two related aspects. One aspect deals with its function as a piece of literary criticism. In this respect, it has been viewed as a synthesis of the transmitted interpretations about the Book of Songs. The other aspect centers on its significance as a piece of literary theory. On this theoretical level, it has been regarded as the first sustained statement on the nature and function of poetry in early China. Both aspects are concerned with the content of the discourse. So far, practically no one has paid any attention to the implied significance of its formal presentation. Due to an undervaluation of its formal presentation, the Preface has been misunderstood and even charged with a number of faults. One common fault attributed to it is its alleged loose structure. Because of this fault, scholars have rearranged the sections of the Preface according to their understanding and reassigned the divisions to different places of the Book of Songs. In Chinese history, the most drastic rearrangement was carried out by Zhu Xi (1130–1200), who practically dismantled the whole piece.

I suggest that the Great Preface is a well conceived and coherently argued text on the nature and function of poetry. Moreover, its way of presentation in relation to its content contains an implicit statement on a paradigm of reading and writing, which may perhaps be appropriately called "disseminative exegesis." This paradigm of reading not only set the pattern for reading the Book of Songs but also influenced the hermeneutic development of the Chinese tradition. In this essay, I do not attempt to tackle the complex issue of how the paradigm of reading influenced exegesis of other canonical works. I will limit my essay to an exploration of how the Preface is constructed on an overarching structure and how it implicitly advances a paradigm of rending and writing, which anticipated significant aspects of contemporary theories such as textuality, intertextuality, and dissemination. The Preface is not just a random treatise in Chinese literary thought; it is the first milestone in the development of Chinese literary theory. Since it attaches great importance to the signifying mechanisms of discourse, it may also be considered an embryonic form of a poetics, the underlying principle of which is intertextual dissemination.

Sequence and Significance in Sikong Tu’s Twenty-four Varieties of Poetic Experience

Dore Levy, Brown University

The subject, and object, of Sikong Tu’s (837–908) Twenty-four Varieties of Poetic Experience (Erhshi si shipin) is to define ultimate categories of aesthetic experience, for the poet and for the reader. Twenty-four Varieties of Poetic Experience embraces multiple influences in the history of literary theory, yet is profoundly innovative. To begin with, it takes its title from Zhong Rong’s Classification of Poets (Shipin), yet Sikong Tu classifies no poetry, ranks no poets; indeed, names no names. Nor can the twenty-four verses of Twenty-four Varieties of Poetic Experience be considered just a list of styles. The expectations of classification are blocked, for the work far more closely evokes, both in its use of poetry for its exposition and its subject matter, the "Rhymeprose on Literature" (Wen fu) of Lu Ji. The mode of exposition may be linked to Liu Xie’s Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons (Wenxin diaolong), although the link is to Liu’s enigmatic verse summations of his chapters rather than to his expositions. Sikong Tu’s vocabulary and his use of the tetrasyllabic line link the work to a completely different mode of discourse, the "abstruse utterances" (xuanyan) of Eastern Jin (Dong Jin, 317–420) Taoist philosophical poetry. All of these links are tantalizing, and the poet was certainly aware of them. None are sufficient, for Twenty-four Varieties of Poetic Experience is unique, idiosyncratic, and perhaps purposely impenetrable.

The objective of this paper is to explore Twenty-four Varieties of Poetic Experience as a work in the genre of poem sequences, with a view to explore its meaning not as 24 different problems, but as an integrated whole. The poem sequence is a distinctive structure in Chinese poetry, and analyzing its mode of discourse depends on new understanding of the nature of narrative in a primarily lyric tradition. Sikong Tu’s intention is not to explain poetry, which after all is only a partial reflection of the patterns of the universe, but to remind his readers of the scope of the patterns of the universe even beyond the edges of imagination. To attempt a piecemeal reading of the nature of poetic experience is futile. Twenty-four Varieties of Poetic Experience attempts nothing less than to give the discourse of literary theory the mental and emotional resonance of lyric poetry. As one reads about the principles of poetry, one re-creates within oneself the experience of poetry in its totality. The process of passing through the twenty-four "experiences" leads the reader to an epiphany of the nature and scope of poetry itself.

Understanding History and Historical Understanding: Jin Shengtan’s Prefaces to Xixiang Ji

Liangyan Ge, University of Notre Dame

This paper discusses what can be called a critical schizophrenia in Jin Shengtan’s two prefaces (xu) to his edition of Xixiang ji, or The Sixth Book of Genius. The two prefaces are permeated by a strong historical consciousness, as suggested by their titles, "To Grieve over the Ancients" ("Tongku guren") and "To Be Bestowed on Later Generations" ("Liuzeng houren"). The author places himself in the middle of the rapid passage of history, where he as a critic relays the literary heritage from the past to the futurity. Yet, in an interesting twist, Jin Shengtan questions his own ontological status as writer, who is never a "true" and absolute self but a subjectivity molded by its historical and linguistic existence. As writer, he is, therefore, a "non-I" that functions in "I" (Yi fei-wo zhe wei wo), as he finds himself following the conventions in language that inevitably precede him. Since a writer is himself a product of language, as Jin Shengtan suggests, what he can leave to the posterity is a linguistic reconstruction of his historical existence but never that existence itself. As Jin Shengtan takes pains to remind us, even though he writes about a bee and an ant in his study, that particular moment itself when that bee and that ant accompanied him in his study will never be known to his reader. This emphasis on the indeterminacy between the signifier and the historical signified opens the door for interpretational multiplicity, as Jin declares that what he offers in his commentary on Xixiang ji is just one more interpretation which may or may not conform to the playwright’s "original intent" (chuxin). While Jin Shengtan seems to claim to be an agent of history linking the past and future, he undercuts that claim by suggesting that any understanding of history has to be determined by its own historical and linguistic situatedness.


Session 37: Visions of Modernity: Re-examining New History and New Culture of Early-Twentieth-Century China

Organizer: Tze-Ki Hin, State University of New York, Geneseo

Chair: Arik Dirlik, Duke University

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

Focusing on the first two decades of the twentieth century, this panel examines the debates over modernity during the 1911 Revolution and the May Fourth Movement. Despite many studies of these two events, few attempts have been made to study those participants deemed traditional or ambiguous in the discourse on modernity. In viewing these "conservatives" as part of the debate over the meaning of modernity, we show that the picture of the intellectual scene in early-twentieth-century China was more complex than that presently held.

The three papers of this panel separately address different aspects of early-twentieth-century China. In historiography, Chiu-chun Lee re-evaluates the role that late Qing thinkers played in the rise of "national history." He argues that in addition to Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao, Zhang Taiyan was instrumental in making history a vehicle for expressing collective consciousness. Considering literature written in the period, Hung-yok Ip questions whether the May Fourth Movement was entirely a rupture from the past. Focusing on Su Manshu, she shows that despite the stress on rationality and individualism in the 1910s and 1920s, romances remained a popular genre in literary writing. In respect to the cultural debate, Tze-ki Hon compares the images of the West in two rival journals—the Critical Review (Xueheng) and New Youth (Xin Qingnian). In contrasting Wu Mi’s interpretation of the American philosopher, Babbit, with Hu Shi’s Dewey, he shows how the domesticated new humanism and pragmatism represented two different approaches to the contested issue of modernizing China.

The Origins of Modern Chinese Historiography: A Study of Zhang Taiyan’s Historical Thinking

Chiu-chun Lee, Chinese Culture University, Taipei

In the current scholarship, much has been said about the importance of Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao in the rise of modern Chinese historiography, or the "new history movement." While Kang’s re-interpretation of Confucian classics in the 1890s is linked to the historical skepticism of the 1920s, Liang’s call for a new historiography in 1902 is considered to be the beginning of the writing of national history. But is this the full picture of modern Chinese historiography? Were there other historical figures, besides Kang and Liang, who helped to shape the modern Chinese historical consciousness?

To examine the complex origins of modern Chinese historiography, this paper focuses on Zhang Taiyan (1869–1936) as a possible source of the new history movement. A revolutionary leader and a master of the Old Text School of Han Confucianism, Zhang has been studied for his political thought and classical scholarship. But little attention has been paid to his talents in history, especially his contribution to the rise of national history. Based upon a close study of Qiushu (Book of Raillery, 1900) and Guogu lunheng (Critical Essays on Antiquity, 1910), this paper will trace the process in which Zhang created a new historical genre to define modern Chinese national boundary. This paper argues that by combining philology with cultural studies, Zhang created a linguistic approach to history that has a lingering effect on modern Chinese historians.

Imagining Love: Reinterpreting Su Manshu’s Romances

Hung-yok Ip, Oregon State University

Monk and writer, Su Manshu (1884–1918) has captivated many people with his romances. While some hail him as a rebellious romantic who heralded the May Fourth rejection of the "feudal" family system, some heed his celebrated literary theme of tension between love and monkhood. But to understand Su Manshu’s romances, we should analyze his imagination of love.

In dissecting Su’s romances such as The Lone Swan and The Broken Pin, I shall focus on the following questions: How did he define romantic love as an important kind of qing? How did he design the social settings where love emerged and persisted? How did he represent ill-fated love as the conflict between the individual and society? And how did he envision such a conflict to be resolved?

I plan to compare and contrast Su’s discourse on love as qing and what scholars usually regard as the May Fourth perspective on love. While Su’s similarity with the May Fourth writers presses us to think about how pre-May Fourth context set the stage of the May Fourth quest for "individualism," his differences with them are equally revealing. As his romances continued to fascinate young readers who were exposed to "New Culture," and as he both won admiration and encountered criticisms from the May Fourth luminaries, Su Manshu’s controversial popularity prompts us to explore the co-existence, complicity and even clashes between the non-May Fourth and May Fourth intellectual-emotional currents in the making of modern Chinese subjectivity.

Babbit versus Dewey: Differing Images of the West in Critical Review and New Youth

Tze-ki Hon, State University of New York, Geneseo

Much attention has been paid to the New Youth (Xin Qingnian) as the mouthpiece of the May Fourth radicals and the Critical Review (Xueheng) as the stronghold of the opponents to the New Culture Movement. The two journals are often presented as a pair of opposites, encapsulating the fierce battle between the modernists and the traditionalists, and the progressive and the conservatives. Notwithstanding that this is a valid way to understand the cultural debate in early-twentieth-century China, this hero-villain picture of the two journals neglects significant common ground that they share, i.e., their quest to define the role of the Chinese in the modern age. With returned students from Europe and America as their major contributors, both journals competed to present a particular image of the West that lent authority to their differing perspectives.

Drawing upon current scholarship on the May Fourth as well as recently published firsthand materials (e.g., the multi-volume diary of Wu Mi), this paper examines the competing images of the West in the New Youth and Critical Review. With a comparison of the construction of Irving Babbit and John Dewey as cultural icons, this paper will consider what the new humanism and pragmatism meant to the Chinese in the 1910s and 1920s. The goal of this comparison is not to ascertain how accurate the Chinese interpreters were in presenting the two American schools of thought, but to identify the distinctive social and political visions embedded in the Chinese imagination of the West.


Session 38: Narrative in the Second Degree: Xushu (Sequel) and Chinese Fiction

Organizer: Martin W. Huang, University of California, Irvine

Chair: David Rolston, University of Michigan

Discussant: Robert E. Hegel, Washington University, St. Louis

It is estimated that approximately more than ten percent of the vernacular xiaoshuo (fiction) produced before the Republican period were xushu or sequels. This panel is designed to examine this prevalent and yet little-studied literary phenomenon. One reason for the neglect of xushu by literary historians is its reputation as "unimaginative imitation." However, the panelists will argue that without taking xushu into serious consideration, our understanding of Chinese xiaoshuo will remain vastly inadequate. If xushu is blamed for its advertised "derivativeness," then derivation is a quality shared by almost all major works of the traditional Chinese xiaoshuo, many of which were the products of repeated rewritings by multiple authors based on pre-existing sources. Xushu only highlights such second-degree nature shared by almost all literary works in the sense that each has to deal with its own literary precedents. Xushu as a discursive practice reinforces the paradox that innovation is impossible without "imitation."

Xushu is literature in the second degree also in the sense that it is deliberate responses to, or "commentaries" on, a previous work. Xushu is a "readerly" project with its author self-consciously playing the dual role of reader/writer. As some of the panelists will demonstrate, xushu can be a "corrective" or an "affirmative" "reading" of the original work. A topic to be explored by some panelists is how gender relationship is re/formulated differently as xushu tries to "rewrite" its parent text, while other panelists will show how xushu "continues" or "affirms" the themes of the original work by "rebuilding" the latter’s story.

What Is Not Xushu? The Boundaries of the Sequel in Chinese Xiaoshuo

Martin W. Huang, University of California, Irvine

In 1905 Zeng Pu published his novel Niehai hua (in 20 chapters). Zeng published a "sequel" (in 5 chapters) in 1907. Two decades later he published another much revised and expanded version of the novel (with 10 extra chapters). However, well before the appearance of this expanded version, another writer, Lu Shi’e, following the plot plan forecasted in the first chapter of the 1905 version, published his sequel (Niehai hua xubian; beginning from chapter 21) in 1912. Consequently, while ignoring the "original" author’s own first sequel, Lu produced a sequel many years before that author’s second "sequel" could even see print. Furthermore, prior to this "faithful" sequel, Lu had already published another much less "faithful" sequel titled Xin Niehai hua in 1910. Yet in 1943 a "new" sequel titled Xu Niehai hua was produced by Zhang Hong with the claim that it had been authorized by the "original" author, Zeng, although the latter had died in 1935. To complicate the matter further, Zeng’s "original" novel was in fact based on a text written by another writer and a portion of it already published in 1903. Zeng’s initial 20 chapters were, therefore, already a "sequel" to start with. The "history" of Niehai hua is a process of constant rewriting and sequeling. By focusing on the textual evolution of several novels (including Shuihu zhuan, Honglou meng and Sanxia wuyi) and their "continuations," I’ll explore the implications of xushu in terms of the derivative nature of the xiaoshuo discourse in general.

Daiyu as Zhiji or Principal Consort in Honglou meng Sequels up to 1850

Keith McMahon, University of Kansas

Honglou meng sequels take as their main problem the issue of the failed love affair of Baoyu and Daiyu. Solutions revolve around the dialectical contradiction between monogamy in the form of knower-of-each-other scholar-and-beauty and polygamy in the form of one man, Baoyu, successfully married to one main woman, Daiyu, and to all others who were formerly assigned worse marriages. A predominant tendency among sequels is to infuse the rebuilt Honglou meng story with compulsive eroticism which directs Baoyu in sagely and masterful intimacy with his consorts until all bad fates have been turned into happy endings.

The set of sequels is best regarded not only in contrast to Honglou meng but also to other later works which are not direct sequels but take after Honglou meng in numerous essential ways. Along with the sequels, these works bring out the central theme of qing which Honglou meng inherits from the late Ming and which focuses most strongly on the same problem of the contradiction between monogamy of Baoyu and Daiyu and the polygamy of Baoyu and his numerous consorts. The Problem can be summarized as that of either the feminine position of monogamy, which is best realized in sublime love-death (Huayuehen), and the masculine position which is that of polygamy with the man at the center directed by the alliance of his numerous wives (e.g., Ernü yingxiong zhuan). The seeming contradiction of a polygamist directed by the alliance of his wives is framed by the fact that the women take up a fundamentally masculine position in their approval and direction of polygamy.

Regulating Sexuality, Rectifying Patriarchy, and Reestablishing Order: Chen Tianchi’s Ruyijun zhuan as a Xushu

Hua Laura Wu, Huron University College, London, Ontario

As a xushu, Chen Tianchi’s Ruyijun zhuan (1833) is highly unconventional because it lacks the usual generic markers. It doesn’t rewrite its mother text’s denouement by dishing out new fate for the original stock of characters, as the sequels to the Honglou meng do. It doesn’t create a new set of heroes and heroines, depicting this younger generation’s exploits and adventures, as Xiao Wuyi does. It doesn’t transplant the original cast of characters into a dramatically changed new environ to have it react to new or old situations in the new setting, as Xin Xiyou does. The only sign that tenuously relates Chen’s Ruyijun zhuan to the Ming novella is the common title. However, my paper will show that despite the apparent lack of connections, Chen’s novel shares numerous parallels with the Ming Ruyijun zhuan, especially in the intertwining of the sexual and sociopolitical orders. My paper will analyze these thematic parallels and their often diametrically different depictions and demonstrate that they are more than mere intertexual borrowings but form a fictional critique. Thus I will argue that Chen Tianchi, by celebrating his protagonist’s perfect satisfaction and complete dominance in the harem, intends his novel as a comment on the chaotic sexual and sociopolitical orders paraded in the earlier text. I will also situate Chen’s Ruyijun zhuan in the overall xushu phenomenon and contemplate on the raison d’état of a xushu.

The World of "Male Women": The Anti-Feminism and Polemical Stance of the Xu Jinghua yuan

Ying Wang, Mount Holyoke College

This paper will first look at the relationship between Li Ruzhen’s Jinghua yuan and its sequel-the Xu Jinghua yuan (1910) by Hua Qinshan and argue that the connection between the two takes the form of contestation. Extending the story of women’s kingdom of the Jinghua yuan, but betraying its expectation of an idealized female rule, the sequel actually creates a fictional world dominated by "male women." A mixture of female appearance and male body, the "male women" is a literary construct that embodies the male-oriented concepts of gender, sexuality, and social roles. As the concerns and activities of these "male women" become the single most important unifying element in the plot, the narrative inevitably proceeds in a polemical direction, subverting the criticism of patriarchy and idea of women’s superiority underscored in Li Ruzhen’s novel.

This paper will then analyze why and how the sequel takes such a stance towards the primary work. The author’s anti-feminist agenda, repeatedly revealed in the narrative on the issues of foot binding and women’s education, is identified as the driving force of such a critical rewriting. The reverting of the gender role reversal found in the earlier novel and manipulation of staples employed in both the military romance and "the scholars and beauties" novel are considered the literary devices to achieve such a goal.


Session 39: On the Reconstructed Memories of the Cultural Revolution

Organizer and Chair: Nicole Huang, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Discussant: Edward Friedman, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Keywords: Cultural Revolution, memories, literary underground, contemporary Chinese poetry, contemporary Chinese cinema, visual propaganda.

The panel constructs a changing narrative of the Cultural Revolution with a focus on how words and images from the time are preserved, reconfigured, and disseminated in the post-Cultural Revolution era. Collectively we address the following issues: How exactly do poetry, memoir, film, posters, and other visual representations make their meaningful connections to past experiences? And to what extent are the memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution kept alive in personal, national, as well as global politics of today?

Yibing Huang studies how an underground poet and his lines of protest have been written back into the collective memories of the Cultural Revolution and further asserts that the politics of contemporary Chinese poetry is anchored upon a shared effort to reshape a literary past. Also addressing the rediscovery of a literary underground, Nicole Huang chooses to focus on the physical construction of this seemingly gloomy and obscure space. She argues that the experience of writing in the underground has to be addressed in the context of a history of everyday life and material cultures of the time. Yomi Braester examines how the experience of the past is visualized in early 1980s Chinese cinema, that is, how the film medium renders national and personal catastrophe at the same time when contemporary fiction has presented various accounts of the "wounded." And finally, Megan Ferry’s work adds a global perspective to the panel by looking at how the Maoist visual propaganda, which had previously entered into a global circulation of messages of revolution and continued revolution, took on new meanings in 1980s Latin America.

Why "Believe in the Future"? The Rediscovery of Guo Lusheng and a Case of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Memory

Yibing Huang, Connecticut College

Guo Lusheng (Shi Zhi) has long been recognized by his peers (Bei Dao, Duoduo, Lin Mang, Ah Cheng) as one of the most important forerunners of the "underground poetry" during the Cultural Revolution as well as the "obscure poetry" that emerged in the post-Cultural Revolution era. He is the author of some of the most hand-copied, circulated, and memorized poems for the "Red Guard" and "educated youth" generation. However, throughout the entire 1980s, Guo never won much public fame and was gradually forgotten. It was not until the 1990s that he was rediscovered and redefined as a living martyr and witness of a bygone era.

My paper studies Guo’s poetry as well as a history of the reception of him in China over a span of three decades (1967–1997). Through a close reading of one of his most famous poems, "Believe in the Future," I will explore the historical connections and cultural mechanisms at work behind Guo Lusheng’s underground popularity among the "educated youth" generation during the Cultural Revolution and the public rediscovery of him in the midst of a sense of cultural nostalgia shared by that generation in the 1990s. I will also examine the further implications of this renewed interest in Guo Lusheng by placing his fate as a poet against a hotly contested cultural field—the contemporary Chinese poetry.

Courtyard after the Dark: Picturing the Literary Underground

Nicole Huang, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Was there a literary underground during the Cultural Revolution? If so, what were the physical features of this marginalized space and how was it positioned in relation to the larger social realm? Memoirs of underground literary writing are usually permeated with a telling dilemma: the writer’s reluctance to be played into the post-Cultural Revolution politics, and yet an urge to shape the memories of the immediate past. As a result, there is a sense of mystique surrounding the notion.

Through a reading of poetry by Huang Xiang and Guo Lusheng and an analysis of memoirs of the underground published in the 1990s, I examine the dynamics between literary writing and an individual’s sense of daily routines and the actual living space. My essay pictures how, where, and under what conditions a highly personalized style of poetry was constructed during a period of time generally considered as one of the darkest moments in modern Chinese history. I detail the notion of a literary underground in the context of everyday life and material cultures of the Cultural Revolution era. I further suggest that the post-Cultural Revolution fascination of the space of the underground points to a cultural nostalgia for a gloomy and yet highly personalized physical space which is rapidly disappearing in the midst of a drastic reorganization of urban spaces taking place in major Chinese cities in the last decades of the twentieth century.

A Blinding Red Light: The Displacement of Rhetoric in Post-Cultural Revolution Cinema

Yomi Braester, University of Georgia

Relatively little attention has been paid to Chinese cinema of the early 1980s, although it made the first steps of departing from Maoist rhetoric and reintroduced filmic and narrative techniques unpracticed during the Cultural Revolution. The present paper examines several films produced by the Shanghai Film Studio, including Lushan lian (Love in Lushan, 1980), Bashan yeyu (Night Rain at Bashan, 1980), Tianyunshan chuanqi (The Romance of Tianyunshan, 1980), and Xiao jie (The Alley, 1981). The films address their function as a medium for reflecting on the Cultural Revolution and generating public debate. They invent a cinematic vocabulary for dealing with the trauma and negotiate the narrator’s position as a witness. Rather than simply bearing testimony to the events, however, the films struggle with the aftermath of the literary tropes and dramatic aesthetics of the Cultural Revolution. They do not celebrate the direct communication between the work of art and its audience but find the response to Maoist rhetoric in characters’ inner thoughts. Especially telling is the repeated call to "think for a while," an expression earlier used to invoke submission to the Party line. In the productions of the early 80s, the phrase signals a plea for revising the experience of the Cultural Revolution through a literature that stimulates the audience to think for themselves and supports an artistic realm of free thought.

"Mao Zedong Thought Lights the Whole World": Keeping the Cultural Revolution Alive in 1980s Peru

Megan Ferry, Union College

In the last month of 1980, the guerrilla Maoist group, the Shining Path, announced that their revolution had spread from the countryside to the cities by bombing the Chinese embassy with molotov cocktails. Severed wolves heads with handwritten signs saying "Deng Xiaoping, son of a bitch" were hung on lampposts and traffic lights throughout Lima. For these Maoists, Deng’s economic reforms signified a shift away from the policies and revolutionary legacy of Mao Zedong. Disappointed with the course China was now taking, it was up to the Peruvian left extremists to preserve the memory of Mao and his calls for prolonged revolutionary struggle. This paper examines the impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution on local revolutions in Latin America, with a specific focus on Peru. I argue that Chinese visual propaganda that circulated throughout Latin America (as well as around the globe) projected a unified, global revolutionary struggle. This created the impression of a universal Maoist struggle by which all oppressed peoples shared a common experience and a common goal. The visual propaganda showed the Cultural Revolution to be successful and claimed that China’s today was the world’s tomorrow. All one needed to do to succeed at revolution was to follow Mao’s model. Therefore, the leader of the Shining Path set up conditions for his country’s revolution by re-constructing Peru’s past to fit China’s feudal agrarian model. He himself was depicted in emulation of Mao as Mao’s logical successor. China’s revolutionary "family" was thus expanded beyond China’s borders. This paper examines how a guerrilla group from a different continent and a different time claims to be the legitimate inheritor and preserver of the Cultural Revolution.


Session 40: Constructing the Exemplary Woman: Sources and Later Developments of the Lienu zhuan

Organizer and Chair: Anne Behnke Kinney, University of Virginia

Discussant: Wei-yee Li, Harvard University

Keywords: women, early China, biography.

Despite the vast array of studies now available about women in mid- to late-imperial China, little has been written about women in the early phases of China’s cultural tradition. The proposed panel should begin to fill this void with three studies of gender in early China. In the first paper, "The Three Uglies of Qi," Eric Henry discusses the shifting significance of feminine beauty and ugliness and how these themes relate to larger biographical motifs.

In the second paper, "Rethinking Women in the Han Dynasty," Grant Hardy explores how Sima Qian and Liu Xiang both drew on the Zuo zhuan as a source for their biographical portraits of women but that they differed significantly in how they saw women fitting into their conceptions of the world. A close examination of the ways in which they edited passages from the Zuo zhuan shows that Sima Qian was able to grant women more individuality, perhaps because they were so often peripheral to his main interests, while Liu was anxious to categorize women into prescribed types.

In the third paper, "Filial Suicide, Mutilation, and Infanticide: Representations of Dutiful Daughters from the Han to the Ming," Keith Knapp, examines the various works such as the Lives of Outstanding Women and their illustrations in art to explore the changing parameters of female filial piety. He discusses how superlative filial women had to outdo their male counterparts and despite the dramatic potential of these narratives, female filial devotion always played second fiddle to male filial piety.

The Three Uglies of Qi: A Narrative Subgenre in Lie Nü Zhuan

Eric P. Henry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

In Book Six of Lie Nü Zhuan, devoted to accounts of women who were skilled in argument, three adjacent items occur in which each of three successive kings of Qi has an interview with an ugly woman whose counsel contributes decisively to the strength and prestige of Qi.

In this paper I discuss the relationship of the pattern exemplified by these three items to other narrative patterns in early Chinese historical legend. In one sense the "three uglies" stories are femme fatale stories in reverse: the opposite of a beautiful woman who brings trouble or destruction to a dynasty or state is an ugly woman who brings strength or salvation to a dynasty or state. Beauty and ugliness have the same symbolic significance in the "three uglies" tales as they do in the tales of such glamorous but dangerous women as Bao Si, Xia Ji, and others: beauty stands for flattery, disloyalty, and extravagance; ugliness stands for honesty, loyalty, and frugality. In another sense the "three uglies" stories are lightly disguised embodiments of the sage-seeking motif an unusually perceptive or sincere ruler finds valuable counsel in a highly unlikely source such as a cook, a cattle driver, or a fisherman, etc. Viewed in this sense, the ugliness of the three women is structurally equivalent to the social obscurity of Yi Yin, Fu Yue and others.

Later, the symbolic function of beauty and ugliness is nearly reversed: beauty stands for loyalty and wisdom; ugliness stands for selfishness and stupidity. The appearance of the new pattern did not result in the disappearance of the older pattern, however; the two kinds of narrative coexist throughout the subsequent development of historical legend in China.

Rethinking Women in the Han Dynasty

Grant R. Hardy, University of North Carolina, Asheville

Both Sima Qian and Liu Hsiang drew on the Zuo zhuan as a historical source. In doing so they used incidents from the lives of exemplary women, but they were working from very different objectives. While both hoped that the history of China would reveal the moral and political principles necessary for appropriate action, they differed in how they saw women fitting into their respective conceptions of the world. A close examination of the ways in which they edited passages from the Zuo zhuan shows that Sima Qian was able to grant women more individuality, perhaps because they were so often peripheral to his main interests, while Liu was anxious to categorize women into prescribed types. The construction of women’s roles, by Han writers rethinking their tradition, shows what possibilities were available within the social constraints of the early Han.

Filial Suicide, Mutilation, and Infanticide: Representations of Dutiful Daughters from the Han to the Ming

Keith Knapp, The Citadel

Through examining the various works known as the Lives of Outstanding Women, Lives of Filial Offspring, the Twenty-four Filial Exemplars, and their illustrations in art, this paper explores the changing parameters of female filial piety. What it finds is that the lot of an exemplary filial daughter was not a happy one. That is because to express superlative filial piety, women had to outdo their male counterparts. Consequently, tales of filial daughters overwhelmingly feature women who commit suicide, mutilate themselves to either feed their flesh to parents or prevent remarriage, or who directly or indirectly kill their own children. Despite the dramatic potential of these narratives, though, female filial devotion always played second fiddle to male filial piety. Many tales of the Song version of the Twenty-four Filial Exemplars sympathetically underline the enormous cost of female filial devotion. Significantly though, Guo Jujing’s canonical version of this work drops these narratives.


Session 41: Defining Modern Tibetan Literature in the PRC: Tradition, Modernity and the Identity Debate

Organizer: Patricia Schiaffini, University of Pennsylvania

Chair: Pema Bhum, Himalayan and Inner Asian Resources

Discussant: Matthew Kapstein, University of Chicago

This panel examines the debates on modern Tibetan literature in the PRC from the early 1980s on, as Tibetan writers, under the inspiration of modern Chinese and Western literature, have produced new literary approaches and styles. Our four papers show that the borrowing of outside theories, styles, and language has provoked heated debate within the Tibetan literary circles and that these debates often go beyond purely artistic issues. Hartley focuses on the debates about traditional elements that appear in the modern literature written in Tibetan language and about the shift in Tibetan literary criticism from a concern with form to issues more directly related to content and readership. Maconi addresses the passionate debates over whether or not literature written by Tibetan authors in Chinese should be considered Tibetan literature. Upton analyzes the causes and implications of the paradox of a Tibetan poem whose original Chinese version became far more popular inside the Tibetan intellectual community than its Tibetan translation was. Schiaffini’s paper deals with the appearance of a so-called "Tibetan Magical Realistic" style, which raised the question of how literature written in Chinese, using techniques borrowed from the West, could speak for "Tibet."

These four papers, products of extensive research including interviews with Tibetan writers, critics, publishers and scholars in the PRC, highlight issues that have yet to be studied in the West: the debates among Tibetan intellectuals over whether the borrowing of foreign literary styles or Chinese language in the creation of a modern Tibetan literature jeopardizes traditional Tibetan culture or, on the contrary, allows Tibetan writers more freedom to express their concerns and even the possibility, as one of our panelists suggests, of "taking up the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house."

Ventures in Clearing the Mirror of Tibetan Literary Theory (1980–2000)

Lauran R. Hartley, Indiana University

A commonly heard lament these days among Tibetan intellectuals in the PRC regards the lack of modern literary theory and criticism. Scholars unanimously agree that it pales in comparison to the large volume of Tibetan poems and short stories published since the early 1980s. Not surprisingly, a growing number of American and European Tibetologists have begun to look at current developments in Tibetan literature. However, little research has been done on theoretical trends.

It is my aim in this paper to provide an overview of debates that have occurred since the early 1980s regarding the role of traditional elements in contemporary literature and the paths and models prescribed for its development. In particular, I am interested in what can be identified as a general shift in literary criticism from a concern with form to issues more directly related with content and readership. As a heuristic device, I will contrast writings by the same critics over this period, as well as the approaches taken in related studies by scholars of different generations. I will also draw on interviews with Tibetan writers and literary scholars conducted during my year of fieldwork in Amdo and Lhasa from 1999–2000.

This study will offer insight on the literary encounters of critics and writers as they negotiate new positions in the wake of several centuries predominated by the theories of Sakya Pandita and Snyan-ngag me-long. In conclusion, I will discuss the significance of these exchanges for understanding how and why "tradition versus modernity" discussions are reaching a critical point in contemporary Tibetan society.

Tibetan Authors, Chinese Texts: "Post-Liberation" Literature in the Diglossic Context of China’s Tibet: The Language Debate

Lara Maconi, Langues’O Inalco

When the Chinese PLA marched into Lhasa in 1950, led by ‘Ba’-ba Phun-tshogs dByang-rgyal, epoch-making historical, political, social, and cultural changes were to radically affect the Tibetan traditional settlement in a way Tibet had hardly experienced before.

Regarding literature, previously unheard of Socialist theories spread in the Land of Snow. The new literary policy was to completely upset the Tibetan traditional literary outlooks both at the level of content as well as of language. Socialist Realism and Revolutionary Romanticism became the established guidelines for literary content. As for language, literary composition in Tibetan was not abandoned, even after the official interdiction during the Cultural Revolution. Moreover, in the 1950s, new generations of Tibetans educated in Chinese started to write in the Chinese language. Thus, in Tibet, since the 1950s, a Tibetan language literature and a sinophone literature written by Tibetans have developed in parallel. Within these two, we find expression of some "continuity’’ with tradition, cohabiting with the expression of a major "disjunction."

Faced with this new diglossic context, the crucial question early raised by Tibetan intellectuals is: Should the literature written by Tibetan authors in Chinese be considered as a part of Tibetan literature? And, by extension: Is a language a mere channel of communication? Or, is it the very core of the expression of a national culture? Does the main use of a language lie in its sheer capacity to connect with the greatest number of people? Or, is it that only native languages; although spoken by a small number of people, can thoroughly express important specific aspects of a national culture?

Markedly disparate viewpoints in the different Tibetan intellectual milieux have hindered any satisfying definition of "Tibetan literature" in Tibet so far.

In this paper, on the basis of interviews with Tibetan writers and publishers carried out during fieldwork, as well as from a body of critical articles and literary works, I will clarify the various positions taken in this debate by the different generations of intellectuals, at the official and unofficial levels, according to different literary views. I will show that the language debate in Tibet, far from being a purely speculative activity of intellectuals, is the expression of an effective reality concerning literary composition, book and magazine publications and readership.

Today Tibet is a diglossic society where the "imported" language (Chinese) controls the official means of communication, and where the discussion of questions of language is never a neutral matter for the Tibetan writer.

The "Condor" Flies Over Tibet: The Emergence of a "Tibetan" Magical Realism and Its Significance in Debates about Identity and Nation

Patricia Schiaffini, University of Pennsylvania

The end of the Cultural Revolution witnessed a major translation effort of foreign literary works into Chinese, which made possible the arrival of Latin American Magical Realism to the Tibetan Autonomous Region. In the late 1970s a small group of writers in Lhasa, leaded by the Sino-Tibetan writer Tashi Dawa, enthusiastically embraced this literary style and produced "magical realistic" short stories in Chinese which had traditional Tibetan culture and way of life as their background.

In a culturally effervescent period when Chinese intellectuals were trying to analyze the deep cultural roots of the Maoist catastrophe, the refreshing mix of magic, authenticity and primitivism within these stories fascinated China’s young cultural elite. In Chinese eyes Tashi Dawa became the most famous Tibetan writer, and his style a synonym for modern Tibetan literature. Tashi Dawa’s popularity brought attention also to what other Tibetan writers were writing at the time, and encouraged young Tibetans to engage in literary creation. But the popularity also led to controversy. Tashi Dawa’s Tibetan identity has been questioned; his "Tibetan magical realistic" style has been criticized as an imitation of Western literary styles and as the perpetuation of stereotypical views of Tibet.

This paper, the result of two periods of fieldwork in Tibet in 1994 and 1999, explores the reasons behind the adoption of a "magical realistic" style by authors like Tashi Dawa, the possibilities for freer ways of expression it offered to young writers, and the fascination such writing caused among young Chinese and Tibetan readers. It also explores controversies about the Tibetan identity of these stories and writers as well as the deep problems of identity and nation that underlie the ardent literary debate.

Shuddering on the Dim and Winding Path or Falling into a Deep, Dark Gorge: Translating "Snow Mountain Tears"

Janet Upton, Trace Foundation

This paper aims to examine the politics, poetics and pragmatics of contemporary Tibetan literature through an ethnographically grounded comparative analysis of the Tibetan and Chinese incarnations of a single poem: Dpa’ dar’s "Snow Mountain Tears" (Chin. Xueshanlei, Tib. Gangs ri’i spyan chab). With the lifting of restrictions on cultural production in minority areas of the PRC, the mid- to late-1980s witnessed an explosion of literary production in Tibet. Free verse, with its liberating abandonment of the strict rules of traditional Tibetan poetics, became one of the most popular genres for reform-minded Tibetan authors. Yet even as they pushed the boundaries of literary and cultural expression, many of these authors faced a dilemma: having been educated in an era when the teaching of Tibetan in the classroom was discouraged, if not forbidden, Chinese—not Tibetan—was often the language they found more comfortable. As a result, many contemporary Tibetan authors write frequently or even exclusively in Chinese, even though their works are directed primarily at a Tibetan audience. And in some cases, even when bi-lingual versions of a work are available, the Chinese edition is preferred by the Tibetan audience.

Such is the case with "Snow Mountain Tears," a poem in free verse that has been wildly popular among young Tibetans in Amdo in the 1990s. Originally written and published in Chinese, it was later translated into Tibetan and published in the literary journal Moonlight (Zla zer). The Tibetan version is not well known, however. Instead, it is the Chinese version of the poem that circulates widely in the informal channels of literary distribution, where poems, song lyrics and short stories are inscribed from one notebook to another, passing through schools and work units in an extremely intimate form of transmission.

In this paper, I examine the two versions of "Snow Mountain Tears" from an ethnographic perspective, looking at the numerous cultural factors that can make a contemporary Tibetan poem more accessible and powerful in its Chinese incarnation. I consider such factors as: (1) the rule-breaking nature of free verse, which poses particular threats to Tibetan literary traditions and may therefore be less palatable to both authors and audiences; (2) the relative economy of Chinese poetic language, which does not necessarily translate easily or well into Tibetan poetry’s more ornate forms; and (3) the risky appeal of "speaking truth to power," and the attractive possibility of taking up the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house. In conclusion, I consider what the two incarnations of "Snow Mountain Tears" and their reception in the Tibetan literary community can tell us about the nature of literary production, transmission and reception in the Tibetan community in the PRC today.


Session 42: Narratives of Power: Rhetorical Strategies in Republican China

Organizer: Margherita Zanasi, University of Texas, Austin

Chair and Discussant: Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, University of Heidelberg

In the wake of the Revolution of 1911, various regimes and interest groups, aiming at establishing a new legitimate political order, sought to anchor their claims to power in new narratives of political legitimacy. These narratives highlighted their own role in the history of the republic and of its identity—and also in stories of justice, historical necessity, and alternate modernity. This panel examines how a number of reconstruction efforts went beyond Western-centered ideas of nationhood to build a new body politic out of the shards of the old imperial discourse and a variety of cosmopolitan sources.

Peter Zarrow attributes Yuan Shikai’s ultimate failure to legitimize his rule partly to contradictory messages, whether of heroic modernity (republican revolution), or imperial charisma; nonetheless, Yuan’s discursive techniques shaped later political narratives. Louise Edwards examines racializing narratives in the women’s suffrage movement as a cosmopolitan anti-colonial discourse; in the context of China this involved the creation of a new "outgroup" based on "race" rather than gender. Margherita Zanasi examines how the imperial trope of "founding the country on agriculture" continued to be influential in the Nationalist modernization effort and the on-going discourse on Chinese identity. And Steve Phillips links Nationalist authoritarianism on Taiwan to a historical narrative that essentialized "Chineseness" while politically marginalizing all actual Chinese who had been tainted by communism, feudalism—or, like the people of Taiwan, the Japanese. Together, these papers illuminate the different ways the new China was being defined through discourses that reached beyond the nation to transcendental or universal concerns.

Yuan Shikai’s Rhetorical Strategies at the Birth of the Republic

Peter Zarrow, Academia Sinica

Yuan Shikai attained the presidency in 1912 as the nearly universal choice of politically active Chinese and interested foreigners alike. Yet he had obvious problems in legitimating his government: he was not a leader of the revolution that had toppled the Qing, nor could he exemplify traditional political loyalty. Yuan had no place in either a narrative of heroic modernity (revolution) or a narrative of Confucian virtue. Nonetheless, as a proponent of what is now called bureaucratic or conservative modernization, Yuan attempted to fit his presidency into several distinct narrative lines which would appeal to separate constituencies.

This paper traces discursive techniques seen in the early Republic in terms of propaganda and symbolism. Yuan attempted simultaneously to legitimate his government as the revolutionary successor to the Qing dynasty, as an anti-revolutionary bulwark of moderate reformism and centralization, as a representative of traditional conservative values, and as a source of charismatic power. If these techniques sound self-contradictory, they were—especially given the impossibility of avoiding mixed messages in the vibrant public space that had formed in urban China. Nationalism was a key motif in Yuan’s rhetoric, as in Chinese political discourse more broadly, but themes of cosmopolitan modernity, cosmic sources of power and virtue, and national essence were also important. Yuan sought to appeal to urban public opinion by connecting to larger themes found in the general discourse that had emerged since the 1890s, but he failed for reasons largely beyond his control or understanding.

Racializing Narratives in the Service of the Chinese Women’s Suffrage Campaign

Louise Edwards, Australian Catholic University, Queensland

This paper will explore the manner in which Chinese women’s suffrage activists employed racializing narratives during their campaigns to win equal political rights with men in the early part of the twentieth century. Internationally, racializing narratives have been fundamental to the women’s suffrage cause. As women sought to be included as "voters" they challenged more than just gender distinctions. The suffrage activists challenged traditional notions of class relations and also brought into sharp relief the racial boundaries implicit in governance. The use of racializing narratives was particularly evident in the suffrage movement in nation-states formed through colonization such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA (see, for example, the studies by Patricia Grimshaw and Ellen Carol Du Bois).

In China, the women’s suffrage movement deployed racializing narratives in the campaign for gender equality in the late Qing and early Republican periods. Although China did not experience colonization or large-scale immigration, the women’s suffrage activists were still able to invoke effectively narratives of race that enhanced their campaign for voting rights in the eyes of the governing male elite. By identifying an alternative group for exclusion from citizenship—one that was defined by "race" rather than "gender"—the women’s suffrage activists presented Han women as legitimate candidates for inclusion in the enfranchised segment of the population. That is, women could become the "ingroup" by the manipulation of narratives that established a more threatening "outgroup"—non-Han peoples. This paper will argue that narratives of race were potent ideological weapons for mobilizing public opinion around the issue of voting rights for women by discussing the manner in which China’s women’s suffrage activists used narratives of race to further their cause.

Retrocession and Sinification: The Nationalists and Taiwan, 1941–1945

Steven Phillips, Towson University

Taiwan’s relationship with the mainland offers scholars an opportunity to examine the process of state and nation building in late Republican China. It especially illustrates how rhetorical images of "Chinesness" and nationhood came to play a crucial role. To the Nationalist Government led by Chiang Kai-shek, the island was tabula rasa, a place where they could establish an administration able to effectively carry out a process of Sinification (Zhongguohua).

As soon as 1941, the Nationalist Government prepared for the restoration of Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. While it was adamant about Taiwan’s Retrocession (Guangfu), it appeared ambivalent toward the Taiwanese. State and nation combined as Nationalist propaganda and policies sought to build an authoritarian state that would oversee the construction of a Chinese national consciousness among islanders. Because the Nationalists strongly doubted the Chineseness and loyalty of the Taiwanese, the island was more tightly controlled by the central government than any mainland province. The rhetoric of Chiang and his supporters made clear that it was the GMD’s struggle against the Qing, warlords, Communists, and Japan that defined the orthodox political genealogy of the Chinese nation. The Taiwanese required a thorough regimen of Sinification (Zhongguohua)—defined primarily obedience to the Nationalist state and acceptance of the ideology of Sun Yat-sen as interpreted by Chiang—to remove Japanese influence. The Nationalist image of Taiwan as a place eternally Chinese with a people whose national loyalty is suspect laid the groundwork for a conflict that would climax in the February 28 Incident of 1947.

Legitimizing Modernity: The Rhetoric of Yi Nong Li Guo in Republican China

Margherita Zanasi, University of Texas, Austin

This paper focuses on the production of new rhetorical images of political legitimization in the Chinese discourse on reconstruction (jianshe) in the Republican period (1920s–1930s). By focusing on the writings of prominent economists, business personalities, and Nationalist leaders—such as Fang Xianting, He Lian (Franklin He), Chen Guangfu, and Chen Gongbo—it specifically explores how the imperial trope of yi nong li guo (founding the country on agriculture) influenced the Nationalist modernization effort.

During the republican period the yi nong li guo idea came to be invested with new meanings related to modernization, development, and anti-imperialism transforming its original Confucian discourse on domestic stability. This imperial notion of China’s foundation became thus instrumental in creating an image of "rural modernity" in direct opposition to the idea of a cosmopolitan modernity developing out of the treaty-ports/urban areas. Going beyond the nation-building paradigm and the much-propagandized question of the negative or positive value of the application of Communism and class struggle in China, the image of a "Chinese rural modernity" became part of a wider discourse on China’s new identity shared by intellectuals and political leaders of different creeds, from Nationalists to Communists. Far from being relegated to the realm of imagination and rhetorical representation, the notion of "rural modernity" deeply influenced strategies for economic development from the 1930s to the late 1950s.


Session 57: Pygmalion Revisited: Female Image as Male Self-Representation

Organizer: Pauline Chen, Oberlin College

Chair and Discussant: Alexander Des Forges, Harvard University

Keywords: China, gender, literature, film, painting.

Throughout Chinese history, the male writers and artists who have dominated literary and pictorial production have disproportionately adopted female personae and foregrounded the experiences of female characters. This panel, probing the fraught relationship between male subject and female image, argues that a central and enduring dynamic is the deployment of representations of women as masks through which male writers and artists explore aspects of the self taboo or suppressed in mainstream male discourse.

In its inquiry this panel casts a wide net, spanning a time period from the Six Dynasties to the May Fourth era, and crossing boundaries of genre and media to encompass film, poetry, painting, and popular fiction. However, the panel is unified by certain persistent questions: What concerns are suppressed in male discourse that must be negotiated behind a feminine mask? What mechanisms are deployed to signal the presence of male concerns behind the foregrounded female image? In addition, we will also consider whether the strategies for representing women differ between written and visual media, and between pre-modern and modern times.

Pauline Chen argues that the portrayals of isolated and forgotten women pining for their faithless lovers in Southern Dynasties palace-style poetry represent male poets’ exploration of literature and emotion as independent from their publicly defined identities. Also addressing the tendency of male literati to disavow erotic love while projecting it on women, Lara Blanchard shows how Song paintings of pining women are subtly encoded with the male artists’ longing and ideals of female fidelity. Moving to the late Qing, Roland Altenburger argues that examples of female heroism and martyrdom in knight-errantry stories intimate a sense of male helplessness at a time of national crisis. Finally, Shuqin Cui, comparing May Fourth literary texts with progressive films of the 1930s, shows how the female image in May Fourth writing functions as the male’s imagined self for inner exploration of psychological desire or loss, whereas the cinematic female image remains a problematic and stereotypical image of national crisis and social problems.

Through a Glass Darkly: The Hidden Male in Palace-Style Poetry

Pauline Chen, Oberlin College

Late Southern Dynasty palace-style poetry’s images of elegantly dressed abandoned women mourning for their absent lovers in opulent boudoirs have been read by many critics as male poets’ "voyeuristic" or "scopophilic" enactments of symbolic sexual possession of female bodies. This paper will argue that such readings, strongly shaped by western feminist paradigms foregrounding male desire and the male gaze, account for neither the political and social context of the poems’ composition, nor many of their formal features. This paper will argue that palace-style poetry is less concerned with sexual possession and desire, than with the projection of an imaginative space marked as feminine within which male poets could safely negotiate issues taboo or suppressed in male discourse.

Palace-style poetry’s "feminine space" was defined by its opposition to the "masculine" spaces delineated in mainstream poetry foregrounding male personae. Where male personae were typically depicted moving in natural landscapes during daylight and engaged in a web of social and moral obligations, palace-style heroines were depicted at nighttime in enclosed man-made spaces, isolated from all human contact and marginalized from legitimating and defining social structures. The palace-style heroine’s self-sustained emotional life within this self-contained feminine space posits the possibility of private feeling, art, and identity independent of public construction and social demands.

This attempt to delineate a private emotional sphere closely paralleled late Southern Dynasties poets’ advocacy of writing for personal expression and aesthetic exploration, rather than pragmatic and political ends. Likewise, the feminine space reflected poets’ interest in the power of human artifice and invention, and their growing sense of the insufficiency of publicly constructed identity and desire for private self-definition.

The Traveling Man’s Longing for One Left Behind: An Alternate Reading of the Lonely Woman in Song Dynasty Paintings

Lara C. W. Blanchard, University of Michigan

Song dynasty paintings of lonely women—paintings primarily of male authorship and patronage—reveal much about constructions of gender in the context of intimate relationships. I argue that these works can be understood as sublimated expressions of men’s longing for their lovers. They are not merely transparent depictions of women’s feelings: they can also be read as tacit representations of a male traveler’s attachment to the woman he left behind.

Both court and literati paintings of the period suggest that it may have been considered more appropriate for men to be viewed as the object of women’s desire than for them to express their own attachment to women. The problem was not that it was considered unseemly for a man to express emotion. The tradition of literature celebrating male friendship has a clear pictorial counterpart in literati paintings that depict men enjoying each other’s company or commemorate their parting. Furthermore, male poets separated from their female lovers did write of their desire to return to them. Yet pictures dealing with the unhappy separation of a couple seem to focus exclusively on feminine yearnings for departed men, in scenes of women tuning lutes, preparing cloth or reflecting on their fading beauty. I propose that the representation of men pining for women, however, was necessarily much more subtle, as constructions of masculinity generally precluded an explicit display of men’s longing. That longing was projected onto the figure of the lonely woman herself, who represents the man’s hope that she will wait for him.

Saviors of the Nation? Pioneers of Women’s Liberation? Early Republican Anthologies of Female Knight Stories

Roland Altenburger, University of Zurich

The modern vernacular martial arts (wuxia) novel that emerged in the course of the 1920s was preceded and paralleled by a major wave of literary language stories about knight errantry (xia). Numerous anthologies of xia tales were compiled in the 1910s and early 1920s. The stories were selected from magazines such as Libailiu as well as from newspapers. Some anthologies of xia tales specialized in accounts of female knight errantry. They were produced and promoted by a small circle of men in the publishing business. This paper studies several such compilations and explores the significance of the female knight theme in the socio-historical context of the late Qing and early Republic.

The female knight was a well established fictional topic since the late Ming, when the first specialized anthologies of female knight stories appeared. In the late Qing and early Republican reversion the female xia category was extended to comprise a great variety of types of women and deeds considered exemplary and heroic. A new aspect the anthologies also included stories about foreign heroines. Notably these anthologies sought to cover contemporary story material, whereas they rarely included any of the famous earlier stories any more, although there are frequent references to them, emphasizing the existence of a distinct tradition of female xia.

The comments and prefaces included in the compilations offer interpretive propositions for these stories of female heroism. The commentators repeatedly link the female knight theme to contemporary concerns such as the struggle against traditional gender ideology and the women’s rights movement. However, in the actual stories, the salvation of the nation and particularly female martyrdom for the sake of the nation emerge as the predominant themes. The paper will probe the hypothesis that examples of female heroism are appealed to particularly in times when men perceive themselves and the empire or nation to be endangered. Thus, there seems to be a link between the advertisement of female heroism and male helplessness vis-à-vis the forces of history.

Woman on the Page and on the Screen in Early Modern Chinese Fiction and Film

Shuqin Cui, Southern Methodist University

This presentation explores the concept of self-representation by examining the functions of representations of woman in early modern fiction and film. With a primary question of why the historiography of May Fourth discourse shows little evidence of writing for and about cinema in mind, I explore two issues: how the writing subject, by inscribing the self into texts in conjunction with representations of women, generates the master canon of May Fourth literature; and how the filming subject of the 1930s, unable to position itself in the texts, uses the representation of women to express confusion.

In May Fourth literature, one often sees the revelation of a problematic writing self in the representation of a female protagonist, as in Lu Xun’s "New Year’s Sacrifice" and "Regret for the Past." The writing subject uses women to engender a self-examination while ostensibly advancing the cause of national salvation. Inscription of oneself into the text as both writing subject and societal savior allows the male individual to use woman to either signify his elite position or project his psychological confusion. The female figure has a dual function: she is man’s signifying other for his construction of social-national discourse, and she is man’s imagined self for his inner exploration of psychological desire or loss.

Such self-exploration seems invisible in progressive filmmaking, however. The filming subject, under the pressure of visualizing social-national issues, finds it difficult to indulge in an individual view in the artwork; and the female image, either modern or oppressed, is screened to demonstrate national crises and social problems. Such images, originating neither from the directorial self nor from a female perspective, remain problematic or stereotypical. For instance, Cai Chusheng’s New Woman is unable to define who the new woman is. Wu Yonggang’s Goddess blurs the lines between an immoral whore and a virtuous mother.

The assertion of the self in literary writings engenders a modern literature unfolded from perspective of a problematic intellectual self. The absence of the self in filmmaking, by contrast, initiates a progressive cinema dominated by social-political ideologies. The female image, in fiction or film, is designed accordingly as either an other to reflect external realities or a self to express male insights.


Session 58: Spiritual Organizations and Benevolent Activities on Modern Taiwan: Religiously Organized Charitable Activities, Social Welfare, and Relief Operations in a Changing Republic of China from Retrocession to the Aftermath of the 9/21/99 Earthquake

Organizer and Chair: Andre Laliberte, University of Ottawa

Discussants: Ping-Chen Hsiung, Academia Sinica; Robert P. Gardella, US Merchant Marine Academy

Taiwan provides an interesting case study for the role of religious organizations in societies undergoing political change that stands in stark contrast with the dialectics of religious extremism and state persecution seen elsewhere. The papers presented at this panel look at history of the benevolent activities of various Taiwanese religious organizations in the years since Retrocession and then focus upon role that these religious bodies had in providing of material support and psychological healing after the tragic earthquake of September 21, 1999. Such well organized and highly successful relief efforts stood in a marked contrast to the disjoined efforts of the secular authorities, who looked then incompetent and aloof. With the context of this benevolent activity defined, the panelists will attempt to determine whether the delayed response by the government was indicative of a fundamental flaw, or whether it represented the inevitable result of previous policies that have empowered religious associations to perform that kind of activity. It will also try to bring out whether there are specific factors accounting for the enthusiasm with which Taiwanese Buddhists, Christians and adherents of other faiths rushed to help their compatriots in distress. The organizers of this panel hope that by underlining the respective rationale and modes of intervention for each religious organization involved, the panelists could help us determine whether there exists a "specifically" Taiwanese mode of social welfare and eventually relate this to broader issues of public policy across cultures. In exploring these questions, the participants to this panel will focus their presentations on the three organizations that have been most active during and after the earthquake and provide an historical background to the charitable activities of religious organizations in Taiwan.

Evangelism or Charity? Charity or Evangelism? The "Damning Dilemma" of Protestant Development in Taiwan, 1945–2000

Murray A. Rubinstein, Baruch College, CUNY

The evangelistic messages of the various Protestant denominational missions have been heard, seen and experienced in all parts of Taiwan from the "retrocession" until today. Protestant churches and missions have also involved themselves in works of charity and in institution building. They set up hospitals and clinics. They organized multi-tiered school systems. They created a network of privately run social welfare agencies and self-help groups. Over the course of the first fifteen years of this forty-five year span, their multi-leveled, multi-faceted efforts proved their worth: Souls were harvested, churches grew, and Protestant communities developed throughout the island among its Taiwanese, Hakka, Yuantzumin, and Waishengren populations. Underlying the process of Protestant expansion lies a deadly paradox that provides the more sensitive members of the Western missionary and indigenous evangelistic community with a dilemma they must ponder. It is this: is the task of this missionary/evangelizing elite simply to convert damned souls to the "One true faith," gather in a flock or a number of different denominational and sectarian flocks? Or is it to also save bodies and minds, even if the people thus helped do not convert and remain tied to their older and more traditional faith systems or to the modern forms of atheism/agnosticism so prominent in the highly westernized middle class that dominates Taiwanese life? These two questions provide a powerful leitmotiv in the development of Protestantism on Taiwan and highlight the various types of benevolent activities that arms often the engines of Christian growth even as they are the handmaidens of the ongoing evangelizing campaigns.

The Relief Work of the Tzu Chi Society in Taiwan: Welfare Orientalism in Action?

Andre Laliberte, University of Ottawa

The paper questions the view that the relief work provided by the Tzu Chi charity organization is indicative of the limitations of social welfare policies developed by successive governments in Taiwan. According to Taiwanese and foreign media, the activities undertaken by Tzu Chi after the September 21 earthquake, and in particular its ability to mobilize resources for the provision of relief to the population, contrasted with the inadequacies of state-sponsored relief. This perception, however, obscured the fact that this situation represented the natural outcome of a policy purposely pursued by governments in Taiwan since the late 1960s, wherein religious organizations are called upon to complement state-sponsored social welfare. My argument departs from the point made by Gordon White and Roger Goldman (1998) about the ways in which East Asian governments sponsor ideologies that aim to thwart demands for welfare support from the state and therefore rely on private organizations for the provision of social welfare. Although sources from the Ministry of Interior clearly indicate that the state in Taiwan has encouraged over the years the provision of social welfare by religious organizations, figures from the Health Department point out that the activities of religious organizations represent a fraction of state-sponsored welfare spending. The finding leads to the surprising conclusion that in some vital aspects, the Taiwanese social welfare model is closer to the model of Western industrialized states than is generally assumed.

The Catholic Church and Social Work in Taiwan

Elise DeVido, National Chengchi University

In contrast to high political profile of the Presbyterian Church and the high media profile of prominent Buddhist organizations in Taiwan, the Catholic Church here has quietly but consistently carried out its numerous and wide-ranging social and educational missions, adapting its foci over fifty years of rapid economic and social change. Although Catholics number only 300,000 out of Taiwan’s total population of over 2l million, the Church has made a deep structural and attitudinal impact upon Taiwan society not only in the education sector, but particularly in the areas of traditional charity, medical care, and modern social work. The well-known Buddhist nun Ven. Zheng Yan has repeatedly cited the Catholic tradition of charity as the direct inspiration for her own Ciji Foundation’s missions of charity and medical care. The guiding principle which inspired the Catholic Church’s September 21 earthquake relief efforts: "to concentrate on those relief projects which the government and Ciji are not doing, or, those which they are not emphasizing," can also apply to the role and direction that Catholic social work in Taiwan takes today, and is the focus of this paper. Many mountain villages and aboriginal regions which were especially hard hit by the earthquake have long been Catholic communities, so the Catholic Church and its affiliated charity organizations both on Taiwan and internationally responded immediately, not only providing immediate disaster relief and long-term psychological and community reconstruction but also funds to provide for physical reconstruction of the many churches damaged and destroyed by the quake.


Session 59: New Scholarship on Five Dynasties and Northern Song Painting

Organizer: Kenneth Eric Rasmussen, Yale University

Chair: Richard M. Barnhart, Yale University

Discussant: Robert E. Harrist, Jr., Columbia University

Keywords: China, art, painting, Five Dynasties, Song.

Chinese landscape paintings before the Five Dynasties functioned largely as elements of interior design in the form of murals, furniture panels, and screens. By the end of the Northern Song, landscape images had come to be appreciated in new ways: old pictures were remounted and collected as hanging scrolls and handscrolls, and landscape painting began to be thought of as a means of self-expression by the educated elite.

This panel explores diverse aspects of landscape (and bird-and-flower) painting in these two centuries of transition and innovation. Minna Törmä presents a case study of how the practice of remounting small panels and screens as handscrolls has affected our perceptions of these works. Ping Foong focuses on the social, artistic, and political dynamics of the intimate landscape mode in the late eleventh century. Eric Rasmussen examines structural and stylistic elements in two paintings by an imperial family member. Cheeyun Kwon looks at Northern Song images preserved as pictures within pictures in a long-misunderstood set of Korean Buddhist paintings.

These papers intersect and diverge in ways that will lead to discussion. Törmä’s reconstruction of the original formats of paintings has important implications for works examined by Foong and Rasmussen, both of whom consider aspects of landscape painting’s rise as an expressive medium, with different conclusions. Kwon’s paper is based on a new attribution and dating that will be debated among art historians in the audience.

Format, Experience, and Narrative Structure in Early Northern Song Landscape Paintings

Minna Törmä, University of Helsinki

The handscroll attributed to Li Cheng (919–967) titled Luxuriant Forests and Distant Peaks, in the Liaoning Provincial Museum, includes a colophon stating that the painting was originally mounted as a small folding screen. This paper explores two related issues raised by this fact in order to achieve a better understanding of the history of the landscape handscroll in the Northern Song period.

First, what are the implications of such a change in format for our structural analysis of landscape paintings? It has been argued that we must recognize that handscrolls were intended to be viewed section by section, but in landscape screens the artist clearly intended for the entire composition be on view. Second, what do we learn from recovering the original formats of paintings? A small folding screen could be either a screen framing a bed or a pillow screen. Both kind of screens were used in private quarters when resting or sleeping, the original spatial context for woyou, "mind-travel," which means literally "travel while lying down." The paper concludes by considering this relationship between sleep and dreams and the function of landscape paintings as environments for mind-travel. Analysis of the narrative structure of the Liaoning picture in comparison with other Northern Song scrolls shows that in order for a composition to function well in this context, it should be structured so that it absorbs the viewer’s attention and recalls impressions of experienced wanderings.

Intimate Landscape in the Northern Song

Ping Foong, Princeton University

The key to the historical context of the handscroll titled Old Trees, Level Distance by Guo Xi (b. after 1000, d. ca. 1090) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art lies in a group of poems written on Guo’s paintings by his contemporaries. The authors of these poems considered his intimate, level distance landscapes in the handscroll format to be rare and original works, since Guo, the leading painter at Emperor Shenzong’s (r. 1067–1085) court, was primarily known for large-scale imperial commissions that decorated the interiors of palaces, government offices, and temples. Guo, however, also painted for private patrons. These works were shared among friends and were viewed on private, social occasions. The recognition of this intimate facet to Guo’s production, largely overlooked in earlier studies, changes our understanding of his career and the function of landscape painting in Northern Song society.

Focusing on the "intimate scene" (xiaojing), my paper will show that during the late eleventh century, even as landscape paintings sponsored by the imperial court continued to express concepts of cohesive nationhood, works in this intimate mode became commodities that strengthened ties among patrons from various social groups. I will also attempt to account for this phenomenon in connection with institutional reform and political change in the Northern Song bureaucracy.

Two Landscape Paintings by Wang Shen and Their Titles

Kenneth Eric Rasmussen, Yale University

Wang Shen (b. ca. 1048–d. after 1104) married the younger sister of Emperor Shenzong (r. 1067–1085) in 1069. He played a leading role in the development of a Song-dynasty Imperial family tradition of painting. Two landscape handscrolls survive with reliable early documentation attributing them to Wang Shen: Misty River, Layered Peaks (Shanghai Museum) and Small Snow in a Fishing Village (Palace Museum, Beijing). The original titles of most extant Northern Song works are lost, but it appears that Wang Shen himself chose these titles. Both the paintings and their titles are radically different in composition and style.

Misty River, Layered Peaks, done in ink and colors, was probably a gift from Wang Shen to Wang Gong (1048–1112). It is a traditional archetypal landscape image, but with an allusive, poetic title. Su Shi (1037–1101) and Wang Shen wrote matching poems about it, poems referencing all three men’s earlier experiences in exile. Small Snow in a Fishing Village, rendered in ink, has a strong narrative structure depicting a figure in a landscape that has been associated with Wang Shen’s experience of exile: a specific time and place. Moreover, its title is unmistakably that of a painting. The words "Small Snow" (Xiaoxue) in the title probably refer to one of the traditional twenty-four solar terms in China, from late November to early December. The paper concludes with an analysis of surviving titles of lost Northern Song and earlier landscape paintings, in an effort to shed further light on Wang Shen’s choices in creating and labeling these two distinct works.

New Evidence for Five Dynasties and Northern Song Painting Styles and Sino-Korean Artistic Exchange

Cheeyun Lilian Kwon, Korea University

A set of Ten Kings of Hell paintings now in the Seikado Library, Japan, recently attributed to the twelfth-century Korean royal workshops, contain a striking repository of Northern Song painting traditions. Preserved as representations of large standing screens within the pictures, there are five bird-and-flower paintings, four landscape compositions, and one image of a dragon descending among clouds. These provide rare glimpses of Northern Song stylistic traditions transmitted to Korea.

The monumental bird-and-flower screens depicted in the Seikado set follow the practice of academy painters in the Five Dynasties, notably Huang Quan (903–965) and Xu Xi (died before 975). Subtle distinctions in style are particularly evident in the peony paintings, suggesting prototypical differences that can be traced to these two rival bird-and-flower schools in the Northern Song. Thus, we may have in the Seikado set a unique demonstration of the difference between the styles of Huang and Xu, a distinction drawn in contemporary literary sources for which little other visual evidence survives.

The landscape screens also reflect schools of Northern Song painting, including that of Guo Xi (b. after 1000–d. ca. 1090), whose works are known to have been presented to Korean envoys. Traces of landscape styles associated with Li Cheng (919–967), Yan Wengui (active ca. 980–1010), Gao Keming (active ca. 1008–1053), and possibly Dong Yu (active late tenth century), also detectable in the screens, not only amplify our understanding of landscape art but also illuminate the phenomenon of cultural exchange between China and Korea during this period.


Session 60: Memory, History, and Power in the Aftermath of the Great Leap Famine: New Research Directions

Organizer: Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr., Brandeis University

Chair: Edward Friedman, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Discussants: Ramon H. Myers, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Dali Yang, University of Chicago

This panel focuses on the Great Leap Famine in China, with special reference to how rural people remember the famine, and to the active and dynamic political consequences of this memory. All of the panel presenters are engaged in oral history research and village interviewing on how the famine unfolded, how it structured life chances, and how its politics shaped popular memory and on how this memory has structured mass political behavior in the so-called "post famine" period, including the present. Yixin Chen relies on memory to understand strategies of popular survival in Dingyuan county, Anhui, and informs us how villagers remember these strategies today. Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr. and Shuabai Wang explore the relationship between power and entitlement in the life chances of rural dwellers in Anhui’s Wu Wei and Shucheng counties, paying attention to the remembered structural and institutional factors that significantly impacted the life chances of rural villagers during the famine. Some new reflections on the role of the public dining halls in causing mass starvation are offered. Yixin Chen, Dongping Han, and Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr., reveal a much neglected link between the way in which memory of suffering and loss in the Great Leap Famine shaped protest and rebellion in the Cultural Revolution. Drawing on village interviews, and oral history research into popular memory, they shed new light on the origins of retaliatory protest against the local party-state perpetrators of the Great Leap excesses during the Cultural Revolution. They also comment on the relevance of the persistence of this memory for political stability vs. instability in present day China.

Memories of Surviving the Great Leap Famine in Anhui: Evidence from Dingyuan County

Yixin Chen, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

This paper is an overview of peasant strategies of survival in Dingyuan county, Anhui province, during the famine of the Great Leap Forward. Oral history interviews were conducted in the summer of 2000. Special attention is given to the strategies which rural people deployed and the comparative effectiveness of some vs. other strategies. How people remember the strategies, and the political obstacles to sustaining the strategies, and why some people and places were advantaged in the pursuit of such is one of the concerns of this paper. The memory of power holders interfering with the pursuit of these strategies is another.

Power, Entitlement, and Life Chances in the Great Leap Famine: Memory and Other Data on Two Anhui Counties

Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr., Brandeis University; Shuobai Wang, Anhui University

This paper explores how power and entitlement may have impacted the life chances of villagers in two different Anhui counties—Shucheng and Wu Wei, which had the second highest death toll and the second highest death rate of all counties in Anhui, the province hit the hardest by the famine of the Great Leap. We focus on how villagers remember the institutional and power factors contributing to the social catastrophe of the Great Leap, particularly on the relationship between power, entitlement and the institutions of collectivization in the making of hunger and starvation. Some new reflections on the role of the public dining halls in causing mass starvation are offered. We are especially interested in why people in some places had greater chances of surviving the famine than did those in other places.

Memory, Great Leap Suffering, and the Agency of Popular Rebellion and Retaliation in the Cultural Revolution: What the Oral History Interviews from Anhui, Shandong, and Henan Tell Us

Dongping Han, Warren Wilson College

Dongping Han, Yixin Chen, and Ralph A. Thaxton, Jr., address the issue of what drove popular protest and rebellion at the village level during the Cultural Revolution, paying close attention to how memory of suffering and loss in the Great Leap Famine structured and mobilized retaliatory protest in the post-famine period. The sequenced unfolding of this type of protest is traced from the late 1950s into the Cultural Revolution, and the political complexities surrounding it and shaping it are analyzed. Vivid examples of how memory triggered popular explosions against the local official perpetrators of the famine and its inhumanities during the Cultural Revolution are discussed, so that we get a feeling for how memory actually worked to help define some of the forms of protest uncommonly associated with the Cultural Revolution. We also discuss, and invite the discussants and audience to participate with us, in thinking about the relevance of this memory-driven protest for political stability vs. instability in present-day China.


Session 61: Old Models for New Women: Evolving Female Exemplars in Qing and Modern China

Organizer: Janet M. Theiss, University of Utah

Chair: Christina Gilmartin, Northeastern University

Discussants: Christina Gilmartin, Northeastern University; Helen Funghar Siu, Yale University

Keywords: China, women, political legitimacy, moral models.

Model emulation has often been seen as one of the defining elements of Chinese culture, with deep roots in Confucian moral and political philosophy and obvious legacies in modern Chinese societies up to the present day. Yet the seeming continuity of the practice of identifying, rewarding and promoting exemplary individuals masks significant differences over time arising from the shifting historical particularities of state-society relations, economic and political conditions, and cultural priorities. This panel will explore the changing political meanings and uses of female exemplars, model women, in Qing, Republican and post-1949 China. While identifying some striking similarities in the model woman phenomenon across these periods, the three papers on this panel will also suggest fundamental shifts in not only the content of idealized women’s virtues, but also the intent of political authorities in creating such models and their significance for their national and local communities.

Widely propagandized, female exemplars linked popular cultural values to state ideology, personalizing the virtues the state found useful, while embedding state legitimacy in localized political, social and cultural priorities. Yet in all three periods, construction of "the model woman" involved the creation of a fixed ideal of womanhood in the midst of considerable instability in gender norms as rapid, dramatic changes in women’s lives and changing political contexts challenged assumed notions of women’s roles. Thus the reproduction of the phenomenon of modeling by Qing, Nationalist or communist political authorities always involved an interplay between "traditional" cultural legacies and "modern," or contemporary political agendas.

From Model Subjects to Model Victims: Chastity Awards in the Rise and Fall of the Qing

Janet M. Theiss, University of Utah

Sponsoring the most sophisticated chastity cult in Chinese history, the Qing Dynasty raised the promotion of model women to new levels of political significance. Yet the rationale for canonizing models, the virtues they embodied, and their function in national and local communities varied in response to changing political contexts and shifting priorities among rulers and policy-making officials. This paper will examine the evolving politics of female modeling from the early eighteenth century, when state’s chastity award system was developed, through the nineteenth century.

It will argue that during the prosperous period of dynastic glory in the mid-Qing, strategically chosen chastity models served as tools of imperial expansion and state-building, embodying ideals of dutiful subjecthood. As the dynasty faced increasing rebellions, banditry, economic and social breakdown over its last century, the number of requests for chastity awards surged, leading to a loosening of standards and consequent explosion in the numbers of canonized "models," many of whom represented not so much extraordinary virtue as increasingly ordinary suffering. In this context of crisis, mass creation of "models" in response to widespread hardship proclaimed the dynasty’s benevolence as its legitimacy waned. While the chastity model as ideal subject of the dynasty at its height embodied for her local community the prestige associated with state-supported gender norms, the charitably canonized model of the late Qing implicated these norms in the failures of the declining dynasty, contributing ultimately to widespread rejection of both the Qing gender and political systems.

"Anyone Can Be Good in the Country" Chaste Widows and the Nationalist Mandate

Susan Glosser, Lewis and Clark College

On May 31, 1930, the Nationalists promulgated their new Family Law with much fanfare, promising that the code would modernize the Chinese family by removing heavy obligations to the extended family and affirming the equality of men and women. Two days later, the Nationalist government bestowed its first chaste widow award, the first of dozens to be handed out over the next seventeen years. Rewards for chastity models appeared to fly in the face of all that the New Family Code represented. After all, the ideal of chaste widowhood rested on the assumption of a sexual double-standard—one that the GMD’s new family law repudiated.

Using the biographies and petitions for awards submitted to the Nationalist government, this paper addresses two questions: How did the chaste widows commended by the Nationalists compare with those recognized by the Qing? Why did the Nationalists revive what should have been, according to their own gloss of the new civil code, a moribund practice? The answers to these questions shed light on several important issues: the continuing use of female virtue as a key element in establishing the moral legitimacy of China’s governments, Nationalist strategies of governance, and the nature of the political and cultural continuities between imperial and Republican China.

The Political Evolution of a Twentieth-Century Martyr: Mao Liying in History and Memory

Allison Rottmann, University of California, Berkeley

When the Japanese invaded Shanghai in 1937, Mao Liying was a staff worker in the customs office who joined the national salvation movement. She joined the Communist Party the following year, and when the Shanghai Vocational Women’s Club was founded, she became its president. In the fall of 1938, she accepted the underground party’s assignment to lead the women’s club in sponsoring large-scale charity work in the still-unoccupied international concessions to collect money and goods for refugees and the Communists’ New Fourth Army. To put an end to the patriotic work she led, the Japanese collaborator intelligence service, known as Number 76, assassinated Mao in December 1939. She immediately obtained martyr status in Shanghai.

This paper examines portrayals of Mao Liying as a martyr and the role of gender in her status as a revolutionary model. It analyzes accounts of Mao following her death in 1939; on the tenth anniversary of her death in 1949, after the founding of the People’s Republic of China; and on the fiftieth anniversary of her death in 1989, when groups in Shanghai were actively engaged in reshaping the city’s place in the nation’s revolutionary history. It argues that Mao holds a particular place in the city’s pantheon of martyrs because of her gender. It also explores how the content of her heroic image has been used and resurrected to serve political interests that have changed over time.


Session 62: Critical Theory, Popular Religion, and Asian Inventions/ Traditions of "Civil Society"

Organizer and Chair: Mayfair Yang, Princeton University

This interdisciplinary panel introduces theoretical critiques of the classical Western Enlightenment notion of "Civil Society" which Partha Chatterjee suggested is a "narrative of Capital." The papers seek to retrieve the notion of civil society for subaltern "narratives of community," based on the historical vicissitudes of popular religions and postcoloniality in Asian societies engaging with modernity. Asia in the 20th century has witnessed the rapid expansion of the modern state apparatus, drawing from ancient state traditions and hybridizing with modern and colonial forms of governmentality and techno-rational state violence. In the relegation of religious forms to the category of "backward" tradition, many Asian communities have lost their traditional resources for self-government, local autonomy, social cohesion, and connectedness to nature and the spiritual world. At the same time, popular religions have also displayed a remarkable persistence and a capacity for self-renewal. In modernity, popular religions may, on the one hand, develop into extensions of state hegemonic power or establish fundamentalist enclaves. On the other hand, popular religions may also become a means towards reconstructing a more just society, invent new transnational religious forms, launch social movements tackling the problems of modernity, and provide alternative life-worlds to state-capitalism and state nationalism. This panel will not restrict itself to one country or culture area, but will encourage theoretical reflection on problems of Asian state modernity, postcolonialism, and civil society reconstruction and critique through the examination of popular religions.

Narratives of Community in Twentieth-Century Chinese Popular Religion

David Ownby, University of Montreal

This paper examines subaltern narratives of community as developed by two twentieth-century popular religious groups: The Way of the Temple of the Heavenly Immortals, a Henan tradition, which flourished in the Republican period and has survived persistent attempts by PRC authorities to suppress it; and Li Hongzhi’s Falun Dafa, the best-known offshoot of China’s qigong boom of the 1980s and 1990s. Both groups belong to the North China sectarian tradition, loosely defined, and have produced scriptures, which are the primary focus of analysis. The contrasts between the two groups are important to our efforts to understand the discourse of "civil society" in twentieth-century China. The Heavenly Immortals were rural, parochial, expressed themselves in the language of traditional popular religion, and arose in response both to the vacuum created by the decline of the imperial state and the sporadic modernizing incursions of "Christian warlord" Feng Yuxiang. The Falungong is urban, its scriptures are cast in the language of modern science, even as they revive traditional popular religious themes, and the movement has of necessity become international, sustained by well-educated, cosmopolitan members of the Chinese diaspora through the medium of the Internet. Falun Dafa, like the larger qigong movement, may be seen as a response to the hypertrophic development of the Chinese state. Despite these contrasts, scriptures from both movements reveal a community vision based on morality and supernatural powers obtained through moral practice. This vision stands in apparent opposition to the rights-driven, instrumentalist discourse of civil society in the West.

The State, Local Governance, and Leadership: Collective Ritual as a Form of Power in Southern Taiwan

Fiorella Allio, Academia Sinica

Taiwan is a rather late integrated geo-political entity and is coping with the collision or merging of different modernities, identities, and polities. The study of popular religion and temple communities on the island reveals that Taiwanese society still retains innumerable collective bodies and networks which challenge the univocal authority of the state. This paper focuses on the study of local ritual systems embodied in processional rituals that delineate vast territories in the Tainan region. The current administrative system crosses these territories at different levels but does not incorporate the relevant aspects of social life from the inhabitants’ point of view. Not only is this kind of organization beyond the control of the State, it also competes with some of its organs. The internal logic of this ritual-spatial system impedes both national unity and cultural uniformization. The fact that this situational power and social force are embodied in a ritual is of primary interest for the study of both popular religion and local governance in Chinese society. Here, religious activities not only provide a framework and a language of politics, but are part of its very substance. The internal vision of politics and its essential symbolic components appear clearly in this process where an efficient power is supposed to maintain Life in all its dimensions and to take responsibility for warding off threats conceived as supernatural noxious elements. This study raises the issue of power as either hidden, subaltern, or omnipresent, and emphasizes the relevance of inner views and local discourses.

Modernity and Popular Religion in Contemporary Rural Fujian

Kenneth Dean, McGill University

This paper explores the negotiation of modernity in ritual events celebrated in villages of Southeast China. The paper introduces a summary of ritual activity and maps the distribution of lineages and popular religious cults in 600 villages of the irrigated Putian plains of Fujian Province, China. Traditional cultural resources are mobilized in the rituals of this region to provide alternative modernities, drawing on distinctive modes of organization and embodiment. Unique temporalities and spatialities, developed in Daoist, Buddhist and local religious traditions, provide responses to capitalism in both indigenous and transnational forms.

Spatial Struggles: the Re-appropriation of Sites for Ritual, Museum, State, and Industry in Rural Wenzhou

Mayfair Yang, Princeton University

Why does the revival of popular religion in post-socialist rural Wenzhou start with intense negotiations over space? This suggests that the confrontation between emerging popular forces and the centralized and local-level state cannot be addressed solely in terms of differences in "belief" or "worldview," nor merely in institutional and social organizational terms, but also as antagonisms over the use and interpretation of space, of local sites, public buildings and open grounds. This paper will critically evaluate the relevance of such theorists as Henri Lefebvre, Michel Foucault, Edward Soja, and Michel de Certeau who have examined the spatial deployments of modernity and power, for an understanding of spatial struggles and transformations in rural towns and villages of southeastern China. The spatialization strategies of the modern state in China must be seen as a movement in two phases: the state expropriation and ownership of space and the dismantling of what Lefevbre called archaic "absolute space" of sacred and ritual sites in the Maoist era, and the flattening and homogenization of capitalist abstract space in the post-Mao era with the building of industrial and commercial sites and districts. Thus, there is in China an important movement of the space of a non-capitalist state which interrupted the capitalist processes started at the beginning of the 20th century.

In line with the agency-oriented works of Bourdieu and de Certeau, the paper will also explore the interconnections between space and subjectivity in an emerging rural civil order engaged in detaching itself from the state. Through enlarging the civil and sacred places of temples, ancestor halls, churches, grave sites, and public places for ritual gatherings and processions, local agents encounter state attempts to re-appropriate and re-interpret these sites as museum, tourist theme-park, and cultural events center. At the same time, the commodification of land makes it all the more difficult to resist the incursions of capitalist industrial and commercial space, as whole mountains are turned into quarries, fields are turned into factories, paths into shopping streets, and hotels into brothels.


Session 63: Individual Papers: Pre-Twentieth-Century China

Organizer: Pamela Crossley, Dartmouth College

Chair: Kandice J. Hauf, Babson College

The Death of Qin Keqing: Psychological Voices in The Red Chamber Dream

Halvor Eifring, University of Oslo

This paper investigates self-expressive and psychological elements in The Red Chamber Dream: emotion and desire, power and greed, fear and punishment, guilt and shame. It focuses on the illness and death of Qin Keqing, who plays a significant role from her first appearance in chapter 5 to her funeral in chapters 13–15 (and who returns as a ghost in chapters 101 and 111). It has long been known that the author chose to rewrite the original version of this story after admonitions from one of its first readers, a close friend or relative writing commentaries to early manuscripts of the novel. Much research has been devoted to reconstructing the original plot on the basis of these commentaries and hints remaining in the extant version, usually concluding that Qin Keqing (and a real person on whom she was modeled) hanged herself after her sexual relation with her father-in-law had been exposed. The extant story is far less sexually explicit, but the many references to pregnancy-like symptoms indicate that Qin Keqing’s illness is indeed linked to sexuality. Her relationships to the main protagonists Jia Baoyu and Wang Xifeng are mysterious and highly symbolic, as is her connection to the downfall of the entire family. By employing a psychological perspective, this paper attempts to reveal aspects of the story (and the novel as a whole) that are usually overlooked.

The Taipingjing: Transcripts of a Missionary Pursuit

Barbara Hendrischke, Australian National University

The linguistic, stylistic and philosophical uniqueness of the major sections ("layer A") of the Daoist Scripture on Great Peace has hitherto remained a riddle. This paper argues that they must be read as transcripts (or their imitation) of meetings between a so-called heavenly master and a group of disciples. In the frequent use of three character combinations, clusters of functional words and directional verbal complements this material deviates from standard wenyan and moves in the direction of the vernacular. Repetitiveness and artlessness of expression also point in the direction of oral communication. Numerous times the text reports how the Master demands that students take notes and how they give varied responses, some answering for instance "yes" wei wei, others "yes" nuo. All this has been transmitted in its original form because the editing practices of Tao Hongjing and his followers, on whose work the received text of the Taiping jing relies, were in general faithful to the original they found.

The historical environment of these meetings were the religious movements of the outgoing Han dynasty. Their aim was to convert the world to a belief in "heaven’s will" and thus save it from imminent disaster. When we read the scripture as the transcripts of this novel missionary pursuit, its conceptual innovativeness and philosophical radicality are the natural outcome of new intellectual questions being asked.

Tracing the "Section and Sentence Commentaries" (zhangju) of the Han Dynasty

Michael Schimmelpfennig, University of Heidelberg

Under Emperor Xuan (r. 73–49 B.C.) the Chang’an court began to promote an entirely new form of exegesis called the "Section and Sentence Commentaries" (SSC). Contrary to previous modes of interpretation, erudites now provided glosses and paraphrases for every line of the text, using citations and additional explanations in support of particular interpretations. The SSCs soon became the standard form of commentary to the Classics and the normative teaching material for princes and future officials.

Unfortunately, apart from tiny fragments all these early texts seem to be lost. Modern scholars do not consider the remaining commentaries by Heshang Gong (Daodejing Heshang Gong zhangju), Zhao Qi (Mengzi zhangju) and Wang Yi (Chuci zhangju) as genuine SSCs for several reasons: (1) They were written decades after the high tide of SSC production; (2) Their amount of text is not in agreement with sources telling of their enormous length; (3) Due to radical abridgements by imperial order that already began under Wang Mang (r. 9–23 A.D.) these so-called SSCs represent a later stage modification.

Contrary to this common conviction the present study will demonstrate the close relationship between the remaining SSCs and the old fragments. Comparisons of commentarial components, their use and of the exegetical strategies involved will serve as proof. While different sorts of texts required different exegetical operations, correspondences point at a relationship far closer than has formerly been acknowledged. Thus the remaining SSCs can very well serve as examples of the most widely used form of commentary during the Han Dynasty.

The Nü Lun Yü and Its Place in the Nü Ssu Shu

Terry Woo, University of Toronto

Fu Sinian (1896–1950) understood the An Lu Shan Rebellion (756) to be a defining moment in history; this paper will further reinforce Fu’s thesis. The Nü Lun Yü, written during the mid-Tang (ca. 800), firmly places author Sung Jo-hsin in the company of Tang Neo-Confucians like Han Yü and the ku-wen movement by its advocacy and reinforcement of characteristics true to a "good" Confucian woman.

Following Fu and many other historians like E. G. Pulleybank, David McMullen, and Denis Twitchett, this paper will argue that writers like Han Yu and Sung Jo-hsin were cultural loyalists; that they bore in their minds, while writing, what they saw as the deleterious effects of a foreign Buddhism and a debased and superstitious Religious Taoism. The Nü Lun Yü is just one example of this cultural tendency. In an effort to establish cultural superiority and to offer a viable alternative to an emasculated and effete society, the Confucians reached back historically in order to reinstate a "pure" Confucianism in place of the badly "syncretized" and ineffectual one they inherited from the Han.

The Sung Neo-Confucians put this fundamentalist movement to good use. For example, Ssu-ma Kuang (1019–1086) when writing about the education of women cited, in his Jia Fan, four books he deemed essential: Liu Hsiang, Lieh Nü Chuan or Biographies of Women; Pan Chao, Nü Chieh or Admonitions to Women; Lady Cheng, Nü Hsiao Ching or The Classic on Filial Piety for Women; and Sung Jo-hsin’s Nü Lun Yü or The Woman’s Analects. These writings eventually became an unofficial Woman’s Canon known as the "Four Books for Women," thus marking the importance of the Nü Lun Yü, which was possibly the last of these books to be written.

This paper will therefore examine the Nü Lun Yü as an essay intended to be a corrective to "wrongheaded" behavior brought about by the lack of model Confucian discipline and cultivation which on the state level resulted in the An Lu Shan Rebellion. Finally it will also analyze the characteristics it promotes in a good Confucian woman and the relationship of these to the features advocated by the three other books considered indispensable in the education of women.


Session 78: Roundtable: China’s Sixties Generation in the Post-Mao Era

Organizer and Chair: John W. Israel, University of Virginia

Discussant: Zuoya Cao, Lincoln University; Thomas B. Gold, University of California, Berkeley; Carol Lee Hamrin, George Mason University; David J. Davies, University of Washington; Nora Sausmik, Duisburg University; Rae Yang, Dickinson College

Between 1968 and 1976 an estimated 17 million young Chinese left the cities to work in the countryside. They became known as zhiqing (educated youth) because their schooling, though interrupted and incomplete, was vastly superior to that of the rural population. They sought to serve the people and to recast themselves in a revolutionary mold.

By the early 1980s most had returned to the cities frustrated and bitter. Some gave vent to these feelings in the "literature of the wounded," others in the Democracy Wall movement. Over the course of years, zhiqing tried to make up for lost opportunities, struggling to gain a foothold in China’s urban middle class.

Now in their late forties and early fifties, zhiqing have retained a sense of collective identity. There have been zhiqing reunions, pilgrimages, novels, reminiscences, and histories. Middle-aged zhiqing bring spouses and children to theme restaurants. Strangers establish rapport through discovery of zhiqing bonds.

Even if we can agree that China’s zhiqing cohort shares a consciousness based upon a shared youthful experience, does this translate into definable political and social roles? What characteristics set zhiqing apart from their parents and children? Is there a modal zhiqing personality? To what extent does zhiqing identity supersede differences of family background, place of origin, education, occupation, gender, and factional differences stemming from the Cultural Revolution? What has been the zhiqing impact upon the China of Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin and what mark are zhiqing likely to leave on China in the twenty-first century?


Session 79: Conflict and Cooperation across State-Society Frontiers in Contemporary China

Organizer: Benjamin Read, Harvard University

Chair: Kellee Tsai, Johns Hopkins University

Discussant: Dorothy J. Solinger, University of California, Irvine

Keywords: China, state-society relations, associations, social networks, political science, anthropology, neighborhoods, community, social welfare, public services, urban studies, rural studies.

Drawing on freshly completed dissertation fieldwork, this panel explores ways in which government agencies and state projects interact with individual citizens and their social networks in today’s China. The much-debated state-society divide—usually blurry, and generally overlaid with personal ties of affect and interest—appears in a different light in each of three distinct contexts. Evidence from Yantai reveals a strongly governmental cast to the proliferating array of associations there, while newly created village institutions in rural China are found to bring officials and citizens together in more balanced and mutually beneficial ways. Two papers discuss the practices and micropolitics of municipal government-sponsored Residents’ Committees in Shanghai, Beijing and elsewhere, a topic gaining in salience as the "work unit" embodied in state enterprises weakens. These organizations experience tension between administrative goals and constituent pressures, yet also foster and depend upon forms of neighborly contact and cooperation that conform to official "community development" programs. Beleaguered but far from moribund, the branches of the state considered in this panel appear to be innovating actively in attempts to cope with social and economic change, although with consequences that do not always fit the original intentions. The research presented here considers implications for welfare and public service provision, social control, and associational life as well as theories of state-society interaction and interpenetration.

The Emergence and Development of Urban Associations in Reform Era China: The Role of Individual Government Agencies

Kenneth W. Foster, University of California, Berkeley

Over the past two decades, the type of organization generically referred to as the "association" has re-emerged to occupy a place within the organizational milieu of urban China. One of the striking characteristics of the associational sphere in China is the important role played by the individual government and party organizations that formally sponsor associations. The central government requires that all associations have such a sponsor before they can register and thus become legal. While previous discussions of Chinese associations have mentioned this aspect of the associational sphere, no comprehensive analysis exists. This paper aims to fill this gap by examining how local state organizations influence the character of both particular associations and the associational sphere in general. A major contention of the paper is that, at least up until now, the development of associations has been driven as much by administrative or bureaucratic factors as by state-society interaction. Most associations are in fact created by government agencies; understanding why they are created and what happens in subsequent years sheds light not only on the associations, but also on the administrative system of which they are essentially a part. After a discussion of the origins of and rationale behind the requirement that associations have a sponsoring agency, empirical data drawn from an in-depth investigation of the associational sphere in the city of Yantai form the basis for an analysis of how various government agencies and their officials respond to being given authority over associational development in their particular sphere of responsibility.

Professionalizing the Neighborhood Associations in "Luwan’s Siberia" (Five-Mile Bridge)

Tianshu Pan, Harvard University

This paper discusses an important aspect of community building in neighborhood Shanghai: the drive to professionalize the lowest levels of the municipal bureaucracy. I explore three themes related to this experiment, which aims at restructuring the system of local governance. First, the rapid social stratification of urban China in its transition toward a post-Deng welfare state, together with widespread lay-offs, has weakened the capacity of its traditional neighborhood organizations to provide adequate community service. Second, the urban development strategy designed by Shanghai political elites bidding for an internationally oriented millennium. This was a strategy based on late socialist scientism (ideas and concepts appropriated by city officials to measure progress in absolute economic terms). Its effect on local life was manifested in a series of beautification campaigns and model community contests showcasing cultural citizenship and promoting grassroots democracy. Third, the difficulties faced by Street Office staff and Residents Committee cadres in assuming the dual role of both civilizers and servants of the public, especially in neighborhoods previously regarded as the city’s problem areas, such as Five-Mile Bridge in Luwan District. Based on ethnographic data obtained during my fieldwork (1998–99), I attempt to address the following two questions: Will a young generation of professional social workers be capable of dealing with all kinds of social crises in the neighborhood? What can the discrepancy between the rise of scientism embedded in the principles for community development and the lack of voluntarism tell us about everyday life under existing socialism?

Neighbors and Comrades: Residents’ Committees in Urban Chinese Communities

Benjamin Read, Harvard University

In response to rising migration, unemployment and unrest, Chinese urban governments have taken steps to strengthen the grass-roots administrative network centered around the Residents’ Committee (jumin weiyuanhui). The full-time staff of these committees, assisted by volunteers, play a bewildering range of different roles, serving as social workers and counselors to their constituents, landlords to local entrepreneurs, and informants and case workers for police and government bureaus. How well does this institution reconcile and fulfill its multiple tasks? Does it draw upon community social ties, or conflict with them? Employing evidence from survey data as well as 18 months of fieldwork in Beijing and other cities, this paper argues that these organizations serve the state effectively while maintaining close relations with certain kinds of residents. At the same time, they face challenges in the form of residents’ self-organization and the increased privacy, mobility and anonymity of newly built neighborhoods.

Social Networks and the Provision of Public Services in Rural China

Lily Tsai, University of California, Berkeley

This paper suggests that denser networks of social and economic cooperation among citizens in rural China make it more likely that their local governments will provide public goods such as health and sanitation services. Chinese village governments are responsible for financing and providing local public services and have a great deal of discretion in what fees to collect from villagers in order to pay far local public projects, villagers, however, are not always willing to pay these fees. Dense social networks facilitate the development of trust, reputation, and social sanctions, all of which encourage members to contribute money and labor to community projects. Such networks are created and sustained by participation in gift exchange, cooperative irrigation and economic arrangements, clans, and traditional rituals. Recent political reforms have also resulted in a variety of new village institutions that create opportunities for forging ties of trust and reciprocity between officials and villagers. Institutions such as villagers’ representative assemblies and villagers’ financial transparency small groups may be important, less for their limited monitoring of officials and more for the new ties of communication and reciprocity they foster between citizens and officials. This paper examines the relationship between the design of new village institutions, the creation of social networks between officials and villagers, and village governmental performance.


Session 80: Shifting Boundaries of Mongol Identity: Sponsored by the Mongolia Society

Organizer: Johan Elverskog, Southern Methodist University

Chair: Christopher Atwood, Indiana University

In the popular imagination the Mongols, ever since the time of Chinggis Khan, have been perceived as a unified whole throughout history: a group of people who stormed out of Asia and conquered most of the known world only to just as quickly retreat back to a primordial existence of nomadic herding on the Mongolian plateau. A lifestyle that indeed still continues today, yet, since the elevation of Chinggis Khan as ruler of the Mongols until the most recent election of the formerly communist Mongolian People’s Party to lead Mongolia, the representation of Mongol identity has changed. In particular, the groups that comprised the Mongols at the time of Chinggis Khan have through the centuries broken apart, re-formed and coalesced into new groups, some of which maintained or re-claimed their independence, though the majority have been incorporated into diverse geo-political entities. While people have argued that throughout these tumultuous changes Mongol identity has persisted within this continually shifting narrative, the goal of this panel is to explore how through these transformations the Mongols appropriated different elements in shaping their self-representation. By focusing on four different times and spaces, the late Qing, Chinese Republic, Mongolian People’s Republic and contemporary Mongolia, this panel aims to offer a more critical and coherent picture of how Mongol identity has been formed and continually renegotiated in accord with the changing boundaries of national identification.

Conflicting—and Reinforcing—Loyalties in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, 1900–1915

Christopher Atwood, Indiana University

Under the Qing empire, institutions of aimags ("tribes" or sub-ethnic groups), leagues and banners, as well as lines of class and legal status all divided the Mongols. Yet the Mongols also shared a distinct legal identity under the Qing and had a common status, together with Chinese, Manchus, and Tibetans, as subjects of the emperor. To what degree did social life reinforce these different statuses? Did a conscious sense of identity on the part of their members strengthen any, some, or all of these social groups and categories? Such questions have been treated as virtually unanswerable due to the paucity of written records and the domination of those that exist by the monologue of official ideology. Yet examination of a body of documents from Ordos—touching on legal, historical, religious and other topics—allow a relatively detailed picture of how social performance and narration reproduced identities (local, sub-ethnic, ethnic, religious, imperial, and more), illustrating the different contexts in which they functioned. The documents also show how these differing loyalties functioned sometimes in an adversarial manner and sometimes not and how they could or could not be mobilized for political action. Thus these documents, dating mostly from 1900 to 1915, gives a nuanced picture of the types of identities found in southwest Inner Mongolia before the influx of Mongol nationalist ideologies. Fleshed out by careful comparison with analogous themes elsewhere in Mongolia, the data on identity here can supply vital information for the discussion of political identity at a crucial juncture in Mongolian history.

Muslim Warlords, Christian Missionaries, and Buddhist Warriors in Nineteenth-Century Inner Mongolia

Johan Elverskog, Southern Methodist University

The last century of Qing rule has conventionally been held up as an example of imperial and social degradation. Externally, the European political powers along with their merchants and missionaries challenged the authority of the Qing, and internally it faced both Christian and Muslim uprisings. These forces are understood as reflecting the weakness of the Qing empire and presaging its collapse. While this may be true from our end of history, another question is how did members of the Qing perceive these events? One case in point is the Mongols, who were in the vanguard of supporting the Qing in fighting the Taiping and local Muslim warlords, and later, avid supporters of the Boxer Rebellion against Christian missionaries. This loyalty, especially in nationalist histories, has often been seen as a result of passivity and social degeneration, but can also be seen as an active response to threats directed towards the Buddhist Qing ecumene. It is therefore the goal of this paper to explore how the concept of the trans-ethnic Buddhist Qing developed and was incorporated in the new narratives and ritualizations of Mongol identity during the tumultuous second half of the 19th century. In addition, by exploring these representations defining religious, local and national identities it is hoped a clearer picture emerges of the late Qing, particularly the relations between the Mongols and Qing rule.

False Victims and True Purges: The Instrumentality of Victimhood in Mongolia

Christopher Kaplonski, Cambridge University

Through the examples of "Dorj" and "Dulmaa," two political repression activists in Mongolia, this paper examines the way in which the concept of "victim" is employed in post-socialist Mongolia. Although both Dorj and Dulmaa consider themselves victims of political repression, they both employ different conceptions of the label, and this paper uncovers some of the implications of these differing usages. It was only with the democratic revolution of 1990 that the political repressions of the socialist period became a permissible topic for public discussion. It quickly developed not only into a topic of discussion and investigation, but a political tool as well, wielded by both individuals and groups. This paper, part of a larger project on the legacy of the repressions, focuses in particular on the use of the label "victim" at the individual level. In doing so, it also addresses issues of the instrumentality of identity. I argue that certain (if not all) identities do not and cannot exist devoid of specific contexts and connotations. Identities are developed and employed in relation to other identities and for specific purposes. This paper examines one particular set of Mongolian identities, those centered around the concept of victimhood. In examining the use of the identity of "victim" in Mongolia, I look at the relation of Mongolians to the state under both the socialist regime and after. I also highlight the disjuncture between social and legal definitions of the concept, and the implications for our understanding of political violence and repression more generally.

An Illegitimate Solution to a Legitimate Problem: Nationalism as a Movement for National Independence and Female Dependence

Undarya Tumursukh, Rutgers University

It is common for students of nationalism and democratization/democratic theory to regard the former as a negative phenomenon that is dead set on oppressing cultural minorities and women. Moreover, though many scholars have written about nationalism as a Western invention that was gradually exported into non-Western countries, few have explored the role Western military, economic, and cultural domination has played in triggering non-Western nationalist resistance movements. Nationalism in post-socialist Mongolia, as in other so-called Third World countries, expresses legitimate concerns of people in underprivileged economies about their ability to maintain their national independence and cultural integrity vis-à-vis Western economic, political, military, and cultural domination. Nationalism can be understood as a claim to human dignity, status and recognition—items that seem to be the privilege of the White and Western even in the territories of non-White and non-Western states such as Mongolia. Conservative xenophobic nationalist discourse is the only force in contemporary Mongolia that challenges the imperialist and racist practices of various foreign institutions and persons operating in Mongolia and the relegation of Mongolian citizens to a second-class status on their own territory. The primary goal of conservative nationalists is a de facto independence of Mongolia—economic, political and cultural—and the elevation of Mongolians to a dignified status of equality with all other people of the world. However, the dignity and respect that conservative nationalists talk about are intended mainly, if not solely, for Mongolian men. On account of the conservative nationalist solution to the problem of dependence and inequality of Mongolian people vis-à-vis foreigners/Westerners is promoting and maintaining a dependent and unequal status of Mongolian women in relation to Mongolian men.

Mongols and Buddhism: Notes on Rebuilding Mongol Identity in Contemporary Mongolia

Agata Bareja-Starzynska, Warsaw University

This paper is based on research carried out by Polish and Norwegian scholars focusing on the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia after the democratic revolution of 1990. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the introduction of a democratic political system in Mongolia in early 1990s, the Mongols started to reformulate their national identity. This study examines whether and how Buddhism became an important element in the rebuilding of Mongol identity in Mongolia. It also relates these developments to how Buddhism also serves as a national marker for the Mongols in Siberia (Buryats) and in the Volga region (Kalmyks) under, new and different political circumstances. In this regard the relationship between the state and Buddhist institutions in Mongolia and these other areas are investigated, particularly in relation to the cult of Chinggis Khan, which had been previously incorporated into Buddhist practice and has recently been revived by the Mongols.


Session 81: The Transformation and Creation of New Religions: Early Beginnings of Buddhism, Christianity, and Luo-ism

Organizer: Valerie Hansen, Yale University

Chair and Discussant: Erik Zürcher, Leiden University

Keywords: Buddhism, Christianity, Luo Qing, White Lotus, Chinese religion.

This panel brings together scholars who analyze the history of three different religious traditions that are rarely studied together: Buddhism, Christianity, and Luo-ism (named for its founder, Luo Qing). The work of Erik Zürcher, who is our panel chair and commentator, has inspired us to use new sources to examine the early history of these different religions.

The panel has two possible audiences: a narrower group of specialists and a larger group who are curious about the new understandings of Chinese religious history that have been taking shape over the last decade. The three presenters attended the conference on Chinese religion and society held at CUHK in the summer of 2000; there we realized how much the study of Chinese religion has come to focus on the role of lay people, the importance of locality, and the different religious experiences of varying social groups.

We are explicitly challenging the traditional approach that posits a pure origin, whether Buddhist or Christian, and then traces the distortion of the tradition in China. The case of Luo-ism is more confused, for many have assumed that Luo-ism—often labeled together with other religious phenomena as White Lotus Teachings—is a sectarian belief, which in turn is often seen as a distortion of Buddhism.

Because in each case we can follow the role of local missionaries and local audiences in shaping religious cultures, Buddhism, Christianity, and Luo-ism become comparable and relevant to each other.

Early Buddhism in China: The View from Niya

Valerie Hansen, Yale University

Ten years ago Erik Zürcher challenged the prevailing view that Buddhism entered China via Central Asia and that Central Asian Buddhists were the agents who transmitted Buddhism to Central China. For one, as Professor Zürcher pointed out, the earliest mentions of Buddhism in the Han dynasty capitals of Luoyang and Changan date to the first and second centuries A.D., while the earliest dates for Buddhism in Central Asia go back to only the third century A.D.

The documents from Niya, an important site in southwestern Xinjiang along the southern Silk Road, present another objection to the received wisdom. Starting in 1901, Aurel Stein and succeeding generations of archeologists have uncovered over one thousand documents in Gandhari (a vernacular Prakrit spoken in the Gandharan region that straddles present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan). These documents provide a vivid picture of a local Buddhist community that consisted almost entirely of lay Buddhists who married, owned property, and raised children. They wore Buddhist vestments only occasionally when they met to perform certain rituals, and they probably lived in their own homes and not in monasteries.

Who then were the Buddhists active as interpreters in the two Han capitals? My paper will conclude by analyzing the genuine differences between the Buddhists of Niya and the Buddhists of the capital and suggesting how we might best understand these differences.

Christianity as a Chinese Religion

Nicolas Standaert, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The study of Christianity in China is a field that has been in substantial transformation for the last decades. One can identify at least three major developments. First, there has been a paradigm shift which consists in a change from a mainly missiological and Eurocentric to a Sinological and Sinocentric approach, characterized, among other things, by the use of Chinese texts as primary sources for research and thus taking the Chinese actors as primary subjects. Second, there has been an important shift downward: attention is moving from the converts belonging to the Chinese elite or the missionaries who worked at the court, to the common Christians in the provinces and the itinerant missionaries who were occupied with pastoral work. Third, because of the intercultural and interdisciplinary character of this field of research, there is a growing interest in questioning basic notions, such as "religion," "Christianity," "China," etc. which are at the very foundation of these studies. In this paper, I will search for the implications of these changes for studying the manner of "The Transformation and Creation of New Religions in China." I will try to show that, on the one hand, foreign religions coming to China tend to reproduce characteristics originating from their place of origin, while on the other hand, they quickly adopt characteristics that seem to be typical for "Chinese religions." This analysis will be put in the broader context of the panel, i.e., the comparison with Buddhism or the reaction of the Chinese state towards new religions.

The Importance of Studying Luo-ism

Barend ter Haar, Leiden University

The term Luo-ism here refers to the teachings of Luo Qing, or rather those later tradition(s) that traced themselves back to his teachings from the sixteenth century onwards. First I take a brief look at modern historiography, specifically the still too current assumption that these teachings are part of a single line of descent or at least a typologically coherent set of religious groups and transmissions (referred to as sects, White Lotus Teachings or otherwise) that came into being from the sixteenth century onwards. I will propose that we should look at Luo-ism as a phenomenon in its own right on the same level as other major religious traditions, such as Buddhism or Christianity, rather than as part of a unified phenomenon by the name of "new religious groups" that can be understood in its own right and independently of Buddhism or Daoism.

Secondly, I will raise the issue of beginnings and later claims of tracibility (claims of descent with various degrees of thickness) as a basis for considering (a) particular group(s) of people with (a) particular set (sets) of beliefs and practices to be considered a single -ism in analytical terms. Here I specifically discuss the impact of Luo Qing as a figure (being claimed as a non-kin patriarch/teacher or even as an ancestor of later teachers with the same family name) and the influence of his writings (teachings) as a body of beliefs and practices open to (re)interpretation. We will find that there are many ways in which (a) Luo-ism(s) can be defined (much as in the case of Buddhism and Christianity).

Thirdly, I will briefly analyze one major source on the origins and spread of one possible way of defining Luo-ism as a self-conscious religious tradition, namely the Non-Action Teachings, to wit the Precious Scroll telling of the circumstances under which the three patriarchs spread the teachings (sanzu xingjiao yinyou baojuan, first published in 1683). It deals specifically with such issues as origin and correct teachings, allowing us to obtain a relatively clear view of how these issues certainly mattered. This document is also major evidence why Luo-ism should be treated as a religious tradition on the same level as Buddhism and Christianity, whereas many other traditions often studied with Luo-ism as part of the same supposedly unified phenomenon should maybe not treated in that way. Luo-ism reflected on itself in a major way, or at least some of its founders and earlier audience did, but is this limitation not true of all "major" religious traditions.

Fourthly, and only extremely briefly, I will reflect on the difference between religious traditions that can be meaningfully distinguished as autonomous and self-conscious entities and religious cultures which are entirely the result of outside and distancing analysis.


Session 82: Poetry, Parties, and Publishing: Social Gatherings and Cultural Production in Late Imperial China

Organizer and Chair: Ellen Widmer, Wesleyan University

Discussants: Kang-i Sun Chang, Yale University; Tobie Meyer-Fong, George Mason University

Keywords: Oki: poetry, party, peony, Zheng Yuanxun, Qian Qianyi, Li Suiqiu, "Peony Li."

The poetry party is an important feature of political and artistic life in late imperial China. Contrary to the currently prevailing stereotype of the solitary poet, in Ming-Qing China poetry was more often written in the company of other poets or at parties. These parties could be quite lavish and well-publicized, and many sought to be invited. By the late Ming, the poems produced at such gatherings were circulated by publishers and so had currency well beyond those who actually attended.

Yasushi Oki’s paper introduces a single gathering, the Yellow Peony Party (actually a poetry contest), revolving around a single flower that bloomed in 1640. This gathering took on Ming loyalist associations retroactively, because of the participation of Qian Qianyi as judge of the event, and the inclusion of many who later became loyalists. In consequence, the full published record of its poems soon became very hard to find.

After the fall of the Ming, prominent figures such as Wang Shimin and Wu Weiye developed friendship in the context of poetry parties. Dietrich Tschanz’s paper probes the surviving records of parties held at Wang’s Western Fields estate. These took place partly for social reasons, yet they also became an important focus of the poetic and artistic output of two leading figures of the time.

Poetry contests and parties also can be found outside the most elite intellectual circles. Ellen Widmer’s paper gives evidence of the way they might be used to promote a business and of how they entered the lives of women poets. Even on these less elite levels, publishing extended the readership of the poems beyond the immediate participants and put forth the model of the party as a stylish and important cultural form.

Comments will be offered by literary scholar Kang-i Sun Chang of Yale and historian Tobie Meyer-Fong of Johns Hopkins University.

The Yellow Peony Party

Yasushi Oki, Tokyo University

One day in 1640 a most unusual flower, a yellow peony, blossomed in the private Yingyuan Garden of the late Ming dynasty literatus Zheng Yuanxun of Yangzhou. Many literati visited Zheng’s Yingyuan Garden and composed poems, numbering over one hundred, on this marvelous yellow peony. Zhang Yuanxun held a poetry contest and asked Qian Qianyi, the most prominent literary figure in Jiangnan, to judge the merit of the poems. Qian awarded Li Suiqiu of Guangdong first prize with the result that he was known as "Peony Li."

Li Suiqiu composed his poems in the style of the late Tang poet Li Shangyin. Qian Qianyi had established himself within literary circles as an iconoclastic critic of archaist poets who demanded that poetry be limited to the models of high Tang poetry. It was natural that Qian gave the highest praise to the late Tang style of Li’s poems.

Soon after the party, Zheng Yuanxun had the full collection of poems on the yellow peony published. Likewise a collection of "Yellow Peony" poems was published in Guangdong to commemorate the success of Li Suiqiu. The rapid publication of these poetry collections indicates the extent to which publishing had developed during the late Ming dynasty.

Yet only four years after the Poetry Party of the Yellow Peony the Ming dynasty collapsed. Zheng and Li died in the disturbances resulting from the Manchu conquest. After one hundred years, Qian’s writings were banned so strictly that Qian Qianyi’s name was often deleted from accounts of the Poetry Party.

Poetic Exchanges and the Question of Meaning in Early Qing Poetry: An Anlaysis of Wu Weiye’s Poems on the Western Fields

Dietrich Tschanz, Princeton University

Between 1647 and 1650 Wu Weiye (1609–1672) wrote a series of poems on the Western Fields estate, which was owned by the literatus and painter Wang Shimin (1592–1680). While Wu and Wang were both Taicang residents, it was only after the fall of the Ming that they developed a close friendship. Wu was frequently invited to Wang’s residences and participated in numerous literati gatherings. From a few of these gatherings poems by Wu Weiye and others have survived which give us a glimpse of these parties. While these poems do not allow a detailed reconstruction of any single party, together they allow us to reconstruct a composite picture of such an event. Questions I will ask are: Who participated in these gatherings? When and where were such parties held? When did the actual writing of the extent poems take place? What were the models for such poems, and how did Wu and Wang relate their poems to those traditions? What position do poems on parties occupy in the writings of Wu Weiye and Wang Shimin? What did they and their contemporaries value these poems for? Were these poems circulated during or after these parties? To whom were they accessible? How private or public were these poems? Did the political situation of the early Qing affect the way these poems were written and made accessible? Is there a special way we have to read these poems because of the time during which they were written? And if there is, how is this reading embedded within the poetic text?

Beyond the A-List: Parties of Merchants and Women during the Qing

Ellen Widmer, Wesleyan University

Publishing allows us to gain insight into poetry parties outside of elite circles. The publisher Wang Qi (fl. mid-seventeenth century), for example, left a partial record of a party in which he introduced Ming loyalist Huang Zhouxing (1610–80), to his friends for business reasons. A few of the poems from this party are preserved.

Poetry parties were also a vital part of the literary life of talented women. These assumed a variety of purposes and forms. Very early in the Qing, literatus Wang Ruqian took the poet Huang Yuangjie by boat from Jiaxing to Shaoxing so that she could meet and exchange poems with another famous woman, Shang Jinglan. Over the course of a rather long visit, several other women presented poems, most notably the anthologist Wang Duanshu. The results of these encounters were published at the time. Later in the dynasty, the woman poet Lo Qilan turned the poetry party to another use. Besieged by those who believed her own poems were plagiarized, she sought to prove her competence by being included in poetry parties organized by Yuan Mei and others. Some of her poems to Yuan survive. A third example involving women concerns a Cantonese merchant, who sponsored a lavish poetry contest on the theme of Honglou meng. To everyone’s surprise, a woman won the contest, but she was not allowed to claim the prize. I do not know whether the poems from this contest were published, but the contest itself, and its surprising result, were publicized far and wide.

These far-flung examples help establish the broad relevance of the poetry party as an important cultural form.


Session 83: Social and Cultural Explorations of Work in Late Imperial and Republican China

Organizer: Anne Reinhardt, Princeton University

Chair and Discussant: Christopher A. Reed, Ohio State University

Keywords: work (workers), China, history, Late Imperial China, Republican China.

The goal of this panel is to explore the study of work as a valuable method for illuminating economic, social, and cultural life in Late Imperial and Republican China. A guiding principle of the panel is that the experience of work is not only formed by socioeconomic and cultural conditions, but is also constitutive of the two. Based on this approach, the panel will address two major sets of questions: forms of work organization and the relationship between work and identity.

The paper presenters will consider the history of work in a variety of historical contexts and geographical locations. Grant Alger’s paper will examine skilled work in a pre-industrial context by analyzing the role of expertise, native place, kinship associations, and ritual practice in defining the work regime of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Fujian river boat operators. Anne Reinhardt’s paper will investigate transport work in a "semi-colonial" context, addressing hierarchies of skill, racial divisions of labor, and recruitment of workers by foreign and Chinese steamship companies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Di Wang’s paper considers the relationship between Chengdu teahouse workers and the city’s active public life in the Republican period. Ling Xiao’s paper provides a discursive analysis of perceptions of work and class in the 1930s and 40s by studying the dashed expectations and employment anxieties found among middle school graduates during that time. Discussant Christopher Reed will offer comparisons from his research on the printing workers of Shanghai and Beijing.

Skill, Silence, and Speed: Boat Workers on the Rapids in Qing Dynasty Fujian

Grant Alger, Johns Hopkins University

This paper presents insights into a ubiquitous yet still understudied regime of work in imperial China: the activities of boat workers engaged in localized river transport trade. Previous studies of river transport during the Qing have mostly focused on the boatmen engaged in shipping tribute grain on the Grand Canal. While significant, this focus overlooks the vast numbers of workers, both male and female, who provided the background toil for the common, quotidian experience of the local river boat ride often represented in late imperial poems and travel accounts.

Focusing on the upper Min River in northwest Fujian province during the 18th and 19th centuries, this paper will provide a portrait of the river masters who specialized in negotiating the famously dangerous rapids on this waterway. The paper will address the hereditary organization of these river masters, their use of riverine technology, the status hierarchy of tasks maintained on the boat, the rituals boat workers performed to appeal for protection when crossing dangerous rapids, and the relationship between boat operators and their passengers. These elements together, I argue, structured the regime of work found on China’s rivers before the age of steam. By emphasizing technological expertise, the transmission of skills, and ritual practice as defining components of the river transport trade, this type of analysis will help correct the more commonplace view of boatmen as simply a dangerous class of marginal, vagrant males.

Captain, Comprador, and Crew: Work aboard a Yangzi Steamship, 1860–1937

Anne Reinhardt, Princeton University

This paper examines the semi-colonial conditions that shaped the experiences of Chinese workers on Yangzi River steamships. Through investigating work relations, the paper addresses the social and cultural impact of imperialism in China. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the dominance of foreign-owned companies on the Yangzi determined the principal characteristics of steamship work. A few Chinese companies appeared on the river in the nineteenth century, yet these companies adopted the foreign companies’ practices of procuring and organizing "native" labor. By the 1920s, these very practices became the target of anti-imperialist criticism by emerging Chinese shipping entrepreneurs and seamen’s unions as part of the broader nationalist movement in China.

Racial hierarchy was a significant determinant of the organization of work aboard steamships. The belief that a "safe ship" employed a Western captain and engineer excluded Chinese workers from the better-paying, skilled jobs. This paper will analyze the business practices that reinforced this hierarchy as well as methods of recruitment and control of Chinese crew members that offer insight into the structure of existing Chinese labor pools and the transformation of these communities by the steam shipping industry. It will also examine the problems of work discipline among the separate staffs attending to foreign and Chinese passengers. Although the comprador’s staff, charged with overseeing Chinese passengers, was relatively free from company control, under-compensation forced these workers to "squeeze" passengers in order to make a living aboard ship. In addition to providing a close study of these work relations aboard Yangzi steamships, the paper will examine the criticisms of steamship work from the 1920s and 1930s and the alternative organizations they proposed.

"Doctor Tea" and Public Life: Teahouse Workers in Republican Chengdu

Di Wang, Texas A&M University

This paper will analyze teahouse workers and their role in public life in the city of Chengdu during the Republican period. Teahouses were arguably the most important public space in Chengdu, where friends and family gathered and merchants and officials conducted business. More significantly, teahouses provided an open and public space beyond the circle of one’s everyday associates where strangers could gather to exchange information and opinions on the issues of the day.

The teahouse workers were responsible for orchestrating the complex space of human interaction defined by the teahouse. Diverse groups of customers shared a special relationship with the teahouse workers who served them. Chengdu residents called teahouse workers "Doctor Tea" (Cha Boshi) because of their unique skills in the art of serving tea and their rich experience dealing with every level of society. Unlike coffeehouses and taverns in the West where proprietors oversaw the establishment’s activity from behind a counter, Chengdu teahouse workers circulated among their clientele, enjoying extensive opportunities to interact with customers. The teahouse environment forced these workers to develop unique skills to manage the myriad social situations that arose there. The paper will explore the development of these skills and reflect upon how the dramatic socio-economic, cultural and political changes in Republican Chengdu affected the teahouse work environment, and by extension, people’s public life.

Losing Your Innocence, Losing Your Job: Work and Chinese Youth in the Post-May Fourth Era

Ling Xiao, Brown University

During the May Fourth era, qingnian (youth) was a discursive sign of a modern, educated youth that was idealistic, uncorrupted by tradition, and ready to shoulder the responsibility of China’s ultimate salvation. A decade later, these youth were besieged by unemployment and social displacement. This dramatic change in youth identity raises questions of how qingnian perceived themselves in relation to work as they left their schools to enter the work force. Did their self-perceptions correspond to a rapidly changing job market as the country struggled to modernize? Were their personal anxieties about work transformed into political anxieties about the fate of their class and nation? Print discourses on qingnian during the 1930s and 40s show them to be angry and lost.

By examining the writings of middle school students and their intellectual mentors, this paper will explore the discursive reconstruction of the social and cultural identity of qingnian in relation to work. Although much scholarly attention has been paid to college students, this paper focuses on the middle school students who made up the majority of qingnian. Faced with problems such as a rapid increase in the middle-school-educated population, the saturation of the white-collar job market, and the bankruptcy of many of their landholding parents, these students rejected the idealistic May Fourth construction of a youth that transcended class, and expressed a new, albeit reluctant, identification with the declining petty bourgeoisie. The qingnian’s "loss of innocence" had profound implications in an age of rising revolutionary discourse and mobilization.


Session 84: Prisons and Punishment in Republican China

Organizer: Jan Kiely, University of California, Berkeley

Chair: Frank Dikötter, University of London

Discussant: Frederic Wakeman, University of California, Berkeley

Keywords: prison history, China, history, Republican period.

The study of punishment illuminates the evolving state mechanisms of control and discipline and the underlying moral boundaries defined by state and society through the fabric of culture. Until recently, little has been understood about the origins of modern prisons and punishments that emerged in the last years of the Qing and during the Republican era. With the opening of new archival collections in the PRC, it has become possible to undertake research in this field with a depth commensurate to the studies of prisons in Europe and America. This panel will bring together for the first time scholars at the forefront of this new field, several of whom are completing book-length research projects. The papers will concern penal reforms and new prisons that originated in the late Qing "New Policy" era replacement of the traditional beatings and banishments with an international penal philosophy centered on rehabilitative incarceration. Amidst the social, political, and cultural percolations of the Republican period, the adaptation of imported penal technologies and, particularly, the central principle of the reformation of the prisoner proved to be rich with interpretive potential. New penal discourses and practices produced an array of statements and teachings on socio-cultural norms and deviancies and state sponsored values and ideals of modernity, nationhood and citizenship. While sharing a similar general field of interest; each of the four papers take an distinct aspects of the subject, and use different methodologies, approaches and archival sources. The discussant, as the author of groundbreaking studies on modern policing in Shanghai, is particularly well suited to offer insights to the panel.

The Promise of Repentance: Prison Reform in Republican China

Frank Dikötter, University of London

Based on a wealth of hitherto undiscovered prison archives from a dozen provincial and municipal archives, this paper will present some aspects of my research on the social and cultural history of prisons in modern China. The paper will argue that prisons were imagined, built and run on the basis of the idea of reformation, or ganhua. The emergence of a model of imprisonment based on reformation in Republican China was part both of a global movement towards penal reform, drawing on an international repertoire of ideas and institutions, and a local reconfiguration of a more traditional faith in the transformative capacity of education. Based on a Mencian view of human nature as inherently good, the notion of ganhua further sustained the belief that even criminals could achieve individual self-improvement through proper institutional guidance. In search of wealth and power, modernizing elites viewed the reformation of criminals as only one aspect of a project of national reconstruction in which social stability, economic development and military strength could only be obtained by forging disciplined and productive citizens. As such, model prisons were not so much a foreign transplant as the microcosm of an exemplary society in which the emulation, if not imitation, of models—whether in the school, the factory or the army—was seen simultaneously as a project for social discipline and a strategy of development.

Making the Prison into a Temple: The Buddhist Influence in Republican Era Jiangsu and Zhejiang Prison Instruction

Jan Kiely, University of California, Berkeley

In Republican China, imported penal methods designed to reform criminals were envisioned by a wide variety of Chinese adherents as a means to transforming deviants into good citizens, and so, to realize a new, revitalized China. This paper demonstrates that these adopted foreign penal methods were by no means solely the hope of central government modernizers or, later, the cadres of the two armed Leninist parties. Rather, during the 1920s, Zhejiang and Jiangsu lay Buddhist devotee elites and some clergy successfully advanced modern rehabilitative penal education in county jails and provincial prisons, infusing it with distinctly Chinese Pure Land Buddhist content. For a time in the mid-1920s, Buddhist ethical teachings came to dominate Jiangsu and Zhejiang prison moral instruction and, in the process, promoted a larger ideal Buddhist transformation of China—an alternative national salvation that was neither Confucian nor Western. While Nationalist Party anti-superstition activists would soon diminish the dominance of the Buddhist presence in the prisons, they proved unable to remove it entirely. Part of a doctoral dissertation on the ideas and practices of reformation (ganhua) in the new prisons and penal institutions of Republican China that is based on extensive research in Chinese archives and libraries, this paper explores overlooked social. and cultural elements that shaped the history of rehabilitative incarceration and state inculcated thought in modern China.

Transforming the People: The Chinese Prison Regime in Historical Perspective

Michael Tsin, Columbia University

It has often been said that the singular defining feature of a modern prison is its role as an institution of reformation. This paper explores this issue by tracing the history of transformative practices in both the West and China, and by putting the emergence of the modern Chinese prison regime in the early twentieth century in a comparative context. Until recently the historiography on the modern prison has been shaped by two distinct though related narratives. The first is a narrative of reform. Its proponents emphasize that the rise of the modern prison, with its focus on individual inmates, represents the enactment of enlightened norms and rationality that humanized the carceral institutions. This was the argument, incidentally, of the late Qing and Republican Chinese reformers themselves, who saw their work as part of China’s passage to modernity. The second, dominant among the so-called revisionists in the last two decades, is a narrative of the exercise of power, particularly of the omnipresent power of the modern state. Its adherents, too, point to the recent incarnation of the prison. But instead of regarding individual reformation as a triumph of humanistic values, they consider the prison as part of a network of modern institutions that are instrumental in regulating and disciplining the body and mind of the people to ensure their compliance. This paper suggests, on the other hand, that neither the idea nor the practice of "transforming" the deviant were new in China or the West. What is worth noting, it seems, is not so much the notion of reformation or discipline. Rather, it was the processes through which those objectives were meant to be achieved that are most telling about the nature of the modern prison regime as well as the problems of its reinvention in China.

Making a Living of the Prison Reform: A Study of Prison Officers and Staff in Republican China

Xiaoqun Xu, Francis Marion University

This paper explores an important dimension of the prison reform in Republican China, namely, how the state tried to professionalize an expanding army of prison officers and staff as part of the reform and how the latter perceived and responded to the reform initiatives. The prison reform entailed a need for more prison officers and staff to be employed, along with building new prisons and repairing old prisons. The state intended to maintain a standard for hiring prison officers and staff and institutionalize a mechanism for monitoring and, if necessary, disciplining those who worked within the prison system. In reality, however, such intention did not always lead to anticipated results for a variety of reasons. One major reason was that those who were hired to run prisons did not always share the same concern as the state regarding prison reform and the nationalist goals that drove it. For many at the local scene the reform initiatives simply meant more job opportunities—opportunities for them to make a living, or better, a small fortune. At the same time the defects in the system itself often forced prison officers and staff to be "resourceful" to do things irregular. If prison officers and staff may be looked upon as a crop of the good, the bad, and the ugly, the good often struggled to carry on under difficult circumstances, the bad got away with what they were not supposed to do, and the really ugly sometimes got caught and punished. This paper will detail how all this was played out in the political, economic, and social-cultural contexts of Republican China.


Session 85: Individual Papers: Current Issues in Chinese Foreign Policy

Organizer and Chair: David L. Shambaugh, George Washington University

Domestic Factors and China’s Entry into the WTO

Zheya Gai, Washington and Jefferson College

After more than a decade’s negotiations China and the United States signed a historic trade agreement in November 1999 that paved way for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. The long process leading up to the agreement reflected, among other things, the significant influence of domestic political factors in both countries on this issue. This paper intends to describe these factors and discuss their influence.

Following a brief history of the major events leading up to the November 1999 agreement, the paper will explore the domestic factors in the two countries separately. Factors to be examined in the United States include trade politics (or business vs. labor), human rights issues, environmental concerns, the post-Cold War strategic calculations, partisan considerations, and the legislative-executive relations. Factors to be examined in China include the Chinese nationalism, the conflicts between the reformers and the conservatives within the Chinese leadership, and the leadership’s concern about the political and social stability in China. The description and discussion of these factors will be based on extensive research of the relevant academic works, newspaper and journal articles, and government documents. The paper will draw on sources both in English and in Chinese. (There may be some changes on the factors to be included in the paper as a result of the research.)

The paper will conclude by speculating on the implications of this particular study on our understanding of trade relations in this new era of globalization as well as on our understanding of US-China relations.

China’s Grand Strategy in the Post-Cold War Era

Dixia Yang, University of Cincinnati

From a geopolitical point of view, the eastward expansion of NATO and the westward move of the US-Japan security alliance encircled China and Russia, and the two become targets of the US-dominated security alliances. Contrary to common belief of a Sino-Russian alignment against the US, I argue that China is pursuing a strategy of equidistance from the great powers as a means to achieve equilibrium with maximum room for China to maneuver. Such a strategy enables China to take advantage of the current international system (some of these advantages include access to the world market, high technology from the West, and access to Russian weaponry) to build up its internal strength. Without the risks associated with external alignment, internal strengthening will make it possible for China to balance against the current dominance of US power, the potential threat of a destabilized Russia, and the potential threat of domestic instability.

China’s Changing "Normative" (and "Realist") Perceptions toward Territorial Disputes

Chien-peng Chung, Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies

Cultural and institutional norms shape states’ identity, which in turn, determine their national security definition and foreign policies. To understand the national security and foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), we must examine the perception of the Chinese people and elite regarding their country’s historical and contemporary roles in international affairs. Since the PRC has long-standing land boundary disputes with the former Soviet Union/Russia and India, and maritime territorial disputes with Japan and countries around the South China Sea, Chinese conceptions of what is right or natural in their political worldview and diplomatic discourse must be taken into account in assessing the PRC’s policy toward heightening, negotiating, or settling these territorial disputes with its neighbors.

Interestingly, we will discover that the "normative" worldview or discourse of the Chinese, on which their more "realist" territorial claims and sovereignty arguments are based, are themselves subjected to change. In essence, the speaker will argue that, depending on how the PRC leadership defined, and redefined, its national interest in according with the reordering of the state’s norms and identity, from being a revolutionary power promoting a world ideology, to an Asian power re-orientating toward regional interests, to a prospective world power tentatively participating in multilateral cooperation, different territorial disputes with different countries took on different saliency at different times. As such, while some disputes were settled or rendered irrelevant as ideological considerations, national identity and interest definitions changed, others appeared or were magnified.


Session 99: The Steppe People after the Mongol Conquest: Changes of Identity and Ethnicity

Organizer: Michal Biran, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Chair and Discussant: Peter B. Golden, Rutgers University

Keywords: identity, ethnicity, China and Inner Asia, Mongols, Yuan China, Ming China, history.

One aspect of the Mongol period that has received only slight attention in modern scholarship is the essential role of the Mongols in reshaping the ethnic configuration of Eurasia. The devastation that accompanied the initial Mongol conquest, the new taxonomies formed by the Mongol empire, the Mongol policy of ruling through foreigners and the imperial disintegration which forced many new collectivities to refashion their identities, all led to the dispersion of many long-established peoples and to the emergence of new collectivities, that make the basis for many of the modern Central Asian peoples (e.g., Uzbeks and Qazakhs).

This panel aims to trace the process through which the pre-Mongol steppe peoples lost their identity as ethnic groups and were either reduced to clan or tribal units in the new collectivities established in Mongol and post-Mongol Eurasia or assimilated into the sedentary civilizations surrounding them. By following the fate of several different peoples after the Mongol conquests, mainly near China, the panel will deal with questions such as what part of their former identity (if any) had those peoples preserved, and when, how, and for what they exchanged it.

The first three papers explore case studies of the Tanguts (Ruth Dunnell), the Uyghurs (Michael Brose), and the Khitans (Michal Biran) in Yuan China and beyond. David Robinson examines the somewhat similar process of identity change among the Mongols who remained in Ming China. The discussant, Peter Golden, adds a comparative West-Asian perspective. This is especially desirable, since the impact of the changes caused by the Mongols goes well beyond China and its Inner Asian frontiers.

"Like Leaves Scattering in the Storm": The 13th-Century Tangut Diaspora

Ruth W. Dunnell, Kenyon College

The Mongol conquests scattered the Tangut Xia peoples in all directions. Some stayed in Hexi, becoming residents of the Yuan province of Gansu. Others joined the conquest establishment, or entered Mongolian armies and ended up in western Asia, where they gave their ethnonym (Tanggut) to the pool of Turkic surnames. Many fled south into the Sino-Tibetan and Himalayan borderlands, founding new local dynasties. For Tanguts in China, the process of transformation in cultural affiliation and ethnic identity paralleled that of other Semu (Central Asian) peoples in the Yuan political establishment, who enjoyed political and legal superiority over native Chinese. How did becoming functional or effective in several cultural and linguistic environments affect ethnic identity? Did Semu, like early Manchus, become a transcendent ethnic category? Did service or resistance to the Yuan become an ethnic marker in the post-Yuan reorganization of China and the Steppe?

Like the Khitans, the Tanguts had already experienced cultural pluralism in their preconquest polity. By the 13th century, many Tanguts were adherents of Tibetan Buddhism; educated Xia elites were often also fluent in Chinese and acquainted with the classical literature of China. Many Yuan Tanguts pursued religious activities in alliance with Tibetans in the Yuan establishment. Probably the first Tangut language Tripitaka was produced no earlier than the Yuan. Other Yuan Tanguts cultivated closer ties with the Confucian literati, and thus their primary language of communication became (if it was not already) Chinese. What degree of overlap existed between these two groups? What implications for shifts in ethnic identity did the pursuit of such affiliations have?

This paper will begin to describe the process of ethnic change among post-conquest Tanguts, based on a survey of extant sources about or by Tanguts in the Yuan and early Ming periods.

Uyghur Elites in Mongol China: A Case of Preserved Identity?

Michael C. Brose, University of Wyoming

The Gaochang Uyghurs were among the first steppe peoples to submit to the Mongols, doing so voluntarily in 1209, and the Uyghur aristocrats inducted into Chinggis’s early administration formed a core of service personnel used in advisory and administrative positions throughout the empire. In China the Uyghur diaspora elites exercised enormous power as political elites in central, regional and local government, but they also became involved in China as social elites. They formed friendships with Chinese literati and settled in communities as local elites. This paper examines three such prominent Uyghur families as portrayed in Yuan and Ming sources written by and about them.

The Ma, Xie, and Lian families all descended from Gaochang aristocratic elites sent to China in service to the Mongols after 1209. All three families illustrate the complex issues of loss of culture and native place and the impact of that loss on identity faced by steppe peoples conquered by or who voluntarily submitted to the Mongols. In the Uyghurs’ case, while they were accorded a preeminent position in Chinggis’s early administration because of their voluntary submission, most of the elites at Gaochang were dispersed throughout the empire. How, then, were they able to reposition themselves as indispensable political elites under the Mongols? What role did ethnicity play in their identity and position under Chinggis? Does the fact that they eventually became prominent social elites in China mean they were assimilated into Chinese culture (with concomitant loss of identity assumed by the assimilationist model)?

Mongols, Chinese, or Muslims: The Khitans under Mongol Rule

Michal Biran, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Throughout their rule in north China as the Liao (907–1125), in Central Asia as the Qara Khitai (1124–1218) and during the century they lived in China under Jin rule (1115–1234), the Khitans retained a distinct Khitan identity, which they were quick to adapt to their changing circumstances. Yet although they were close allies of the Mongols and despite their crucial role in the shaping of the Mongol world empire, the Khitan ethnic identity did not survive the upheavals of the Mongol period.

Many nomadic Khitans joined the Mongol armies, where they "became Mongols" (to use Chinggis’s phrase), and were dispersed throughout Eurasia. Others remained in China, where they were eventually classified as Han ren, together with the northern Chinese. Their role in Yuan administration gradually declined, and many adopted Chinese family names and were assimilated into the Chinese. In Iran, the remnants of the Qara Khitai established a successor state in Kirman (1222–1306), that became a Mongol vassal. Unlike the "original" Qara Khitai, the Kirmanid dynasty adopted Islam, together with many elements of Muslim government. Yet only after their political framework was dissolved, were they fully assimilated in the local Turco-Iranian population.

Based on Chinese and Persian sources, this paper traces the fate of the Khitan elite under the Mongols and its different patterns of ethnic change: When and how they chose to adopt a certain new identity? What did each choice mean in terms of their former identity? What connections existed between the different groups? Was the declining number of the Khitans, their political and geographical dispersion or the affinities they shared with the Mongols the cause for the fading of the Khitan identity, in contrast to its former successful adaptation?

"Leopards in the Garden" or the Bureaucratic-Literary Construction of Mongol Identity during the Early and Middle Ming Period

David Robinson, Colgate University

Using the example of Mongols in the Northern Metropolitan Area of China, this paper examines the multi-faceted construction of ethnic identity during the early and middle Ming periods (ca. 1368–1550). The case of the Mongols serving in the Chinese military garrisons in and around Beijing during the Ming period demonstrates that the construction of "ethnic" identity was a composite of such varied factors as political allegiance, administrative demands, economic interests, and military considerations as well as language, dress, and territorial origins. Drawing on the Ming Veritable Records, funerary inscriptions, private literary collections, bureaucratic compilations, and works of administrative geography, this paper explores the relationship between Chinese literary-administrative traditions of representation and the lived experience of Mongols in the Ming empire.


Session 100: Power from the Dark Side: The Worship of "Illicit Gods" in Late Imperial and Modern China: Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions

Organizer: Xiaofei Kang, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Chair: David Johnson, University of California, Berkeley

Discussant: Michael Szonyi, University of Toronto

Keywords: popular religion, cultural history, anthropology, folklore, late imperial and modern China.

Despite intense official persecution, "illicit" deities thrived for centuries, in side altars of orthodox temples, in anecdotal writings, and oral transmission. Such deities and spirits represented a capricious and powerful side of the divine realm, and attracted worship from all social strata. One might expect that local elites, charged with maintaining orthodoxy and order, would seek to contain and control disruptive deities, while weaker social and ethnic groups would attempt to take refuge in the patronage of a divine counterpart. However, the relationship between questionable spirits and social groups was more than a symbolic demonstration of or bid for power. Such deities generated multiple interpretations within society, calling into question scholarly attempts to map social groups onto a divine hierarchy.

This panel addresses these issues from four standpoints. Qitao Guo examines the symbolic conflation of the Wutong cult and a local variant, Wuchang, in the lineage and mercantile culture of late imperial Huizhou. Xiaofei Kang uses anecdotal accounts from the Ming-Qing to discuss the worship of fox spirits by local officials and the symbolic tension between state and local society. Also focusing on fox spirits, Thomas DuBois draws on his fieldwork in Hebei to explore the role of spirit healers in village religious life and how understanding of fox spirits is reflected in customs that both supplicate and exorcise them. Sara Davis relies on fieldwork in Sipsongbanna, Yunnan, to examine minority worship of a female spirit found in Southeast Asia, and its role in the revival of minority Buddhism.

The Mythological Conflation of Pentad Spirits: The Case of Wuchang and Wutong in Late Imperial Jiangnan

Qitao Guo, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

This paper explores the convergence between Wutong and Wuchang—two pentad spirits (deities grouped in five—in the folklore of late imperial Jiangnan. The cult of Wutong first arose during the Song in Huizhou of western Jiangnan. By the late Ming, Wutong had emerged as a popular god of wealth. By the sixteenth century, while it still flourished in eastern Jiangnan, Wutong had been superseded by Wuchang in its location of origin. In Huizhou, a stronghold of gentry lineages and mercantile tradition, from the mid-Ming onwards, merchants began to worship Wuchang as their god of wealth. At the same time, they retained his identity as the "demon bailiff’ of local pantheons, which were often headed by tutelary deities of lineages or local proxies of the City-Earth gods. The replacement of Wutong by Wuchang as a god of wealth in Huizhou was reflected in the symbolic realm by the multiple ways in which their hagiographic myths came to be conflated. In one such myth, the deities are represented as five soldiers under the command of Zhu Yuanzhang, in another as a band of righteous bandits. The former mythological construction was a product of the transformation of local Ghost Altars, which were placed under the jurisdiction of the City-Earth gods in a ritual protocol institutionalized by the first Ming emperor. The latter reflected anxiety about the rising money economy. The symbolic conflation between the two deities both reflected and affected power negotiations between various social groupings in Huizhou. This case also reveals substantive cultural integration across regional and class lines in late imperial China.

The Thief Who Guards the Official Seal: Fox Spirits and Local Officials in Late Imperial China

Xiaofei Kang, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

In Ming-Qing literati anecdotal accounts, fox spirits appear not only as enchanting beauties, but also as itinerants, outlaws, and bullies who disrupt the normal order of local society in north China. Most notably, fox spirits were known to invade official yamens and claim certain yamen space their home. Yamen officials who violated this space were rewarded by the foxes with endless trouble: furniture caught fire, money disappeared, and most seriously, the official seal was stolen.

Anecdotal accounts of foxes’ frequent invasions of yamens echo real and imagined threats to official power. Although fox spirits were commonly characterized as "illicit," which would call for their suppression, officials were flexible in their response to these disruptive forces. Many officials, like their constituents in local society, worshipped fox spirits and entrusted to these spirits their careers and personal welfare. By conceding a certain portion of yamen space and paying due respect to the foxes, officials sought to maintain peace with the potentially dangerous spirits, and they might even gain certain rewards, such as divine insight into hidden crimes and problems in their jurisdictions. Toward the late Qing, toleration transformed into active worship, and shrines dedicated to foxes as the "Guardian of the Official Seal" were commonly erected in yamens in many parts of China. According to one source, such a shrine was erected even in the imperial palace. In featuring interactions between fox spirits and officials, Ming-Qing anecdotal accounts reveal the construction and changing perceptions of power at the local level.

Fox Spirits and Xiangtou: Religious Healing in the Local Culture of Village North China

Thomas DuBois, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper uses recent fieldwork conducted in the villages of Cangxian, Hebei, to discuss popular beliefs concerning the role of fox spirits in sickness and healing. Villagers recognize a difference between ordinary sickness (shi) which should be treated by a medical doctor, and those of supernatural origin (xu), which are the purview of xiangtou, specialists who act as media for the power of fox spirits. When diagnosing a xu illness, the xiangtou first determines what sort of spirit is afflicting the individual and why. Possible actors include animal spirits, who afflict humans out of spite, as punishment for a misdeed or to call the attention of the individual for a specific reason. This diagnosis dictates the cure; depending on their motivation for afflicting an individual, spirits can either be supplicated or exorcised. However, xiangtou are not masters of a body of arcane knowledge, but rather media chosen by fox spirits because of their innate ability to channel divine power. Thus, the diagnostic and healing arts themselves are well-known even to non-specialists, and a new xiangtou draws together his or her own eclectic mix of ritual arts from this body of common knowledge. Just as the ritual arts of xiangtou are part of local culture, so too is knowledge concerning the supernatural causes of sickness and sources of healing, and the motivations and character of fox spirits. Villagers learn about the complex morality of fox spirits not through texts, but through a constantly evolving and tangible culture of tales located in neighboring villages in the present day.

A Buddhist Goddess for the Tai? Folklore, Practice, and Cross-Border Exchange in Yunnan

Sara Davis, Yale University

Since 1989, the Tai minority have revived long-suppressed Buddhist traditions in ways that sometimes challenge the state. This revival draws on contacts with Southeast Asia and indigenous spirit-worship. In the heart of a three-day Buddhist ceremony in the minority region of Sipsongbanna, Yunnan, two performers chant an epic song that tells of the Buddha’s quest for enlightenment. In this epic, the Buddha seems almost secondary to such fabulous figures as flying horses, parades of deities, and a female spirit, Tholani. This minor female character in the Indian Buddhist epic is worshipped in Tai Buddhist temples in the form of a small statue kneeling by the Buddha. Her image models Buddhist piety while asserting a space for women within the male world of the monastery. Traveling over the border into Southeast Asia, one often meets Lady Tholani statues in public squares. Other marginal Southeast Asian Buddhist figures take enhanced roles in Tai temple art and dance. An examination of Tai statues, paintings and folk tales indicate the ways in which cross-border flows have long affected Yunnanese art, and the assertion of an indigenous strain of Buddhism. In the context of the Chinese nation-state, we often think of minorities as peripheral. In fact, they are nodes on an active network of cultural and economic exchange between multiple cultural systems. This presentation draws on fieldwork, and oral and written history, to explore the ways in which minority religious worship draws on multiple sources to strengthen their socio-political position.


Session 101: Welfare Matters: Chinese Society in Transition

Organizer: Catherine Keyser, Drew University

Chair: Susan Greenhalgh, University of California, Irvine

This multidisciplinary panel addresses one of the most fundamental social issues in China’s transition from communism: the provision of welfare benefits to newly vulnerable members of society. Twenty years of rapid economic change have radically transformed Chinese society, spawning new subgroups, many outside the framework of established state welfare programs. The panel explores both state and societal responses to this growing problem. Probing state reactions, the panel explores the creation of new categories—"social care," "fostering," "black persons, black households"—and new policies to resolve these unintended consequences of economic and social reform. Exploring popular strategizing, the papers investigate haw members of vulnerable groups maneuver within a changing policy and legal environment to obtain basic welfare benefits such as housing, food, medical care, and social support. The papers examine a variety of subgroups for whom rapid socieconomic change has made welfare problematic: women industrial workers uprooted from their rural places of origin; the rural elderly whose families refuse to provide old-age care; children at risk, particularly those rendered homeless as a result of economic hardship or abandonment; and the gigantic yet bureaucratically invisible "black population" of non-citizens who remain outside the household registration system and thus ineligible for any state benefits. How state and society mutually resolve these welfare-problems has important implications for the party, the economy, and the society of the 21st century. This panel maps out this analytic terrain and draws out the implication for the China of the future.

Making Up China’s "Black Population"

Susan Greenhalgh, University of California, Irvine

New work in the anthropology of modernity highlights the importance of state-created, bureaucratically elaborated social categories in the construction of social reality. Just as the practice of counting creates new ways for people to be, effectively "making up people," as Ian Hacking has put it, so too do the bureaucratic categories of state programs work to "make up" persons, who in turn come to fit their categories. A master of the arts of government, the Chinese state has made extensive use of the technique of social categorization for socioeconomic modernization and sociopolitical control. Despite the significance of China’s fertility control efforts—which, official estimates suggest, have "averted" aver 400 million births to date—the categories embedded in the population program have received little scholarly attention. This paper argues that the planned birth program, with its core construct "birth planning" and social category "planned/unplanned births," has inadvertently created a huge outcast group known as the "black population." Members of an illegitimate category, "black persons" are denied access to schooling, health care, and other state-supplied benefits of citizenship. This paper traces the historical, political, and bureaucratic process by which the state’s planned birth project, designed to create a modern, planned population, produced not only a large group of planned persons, but also a huge outcast group of unplanned, unmodern persons who riot only lack welfare benefits, but may well slow China’s modernization.

Protecting, Fostering, Adopting: The Search for Coherent Policies toward China’s Children

Catherine Keyser, Drew University

As China enters an ever deeper stage of transition, maintaining social order becomes both more important and more difficult. Of the many social issues to emerge in the last decade, the one concerning the most fragile part of the population—abandoned, homeless, and/or abused children—has received scant attention. How the party-state addresses welfare concerns is closely linked to the state’s goal of stability in the course of modernization and transition.

China, while having an informal tradition of fostering and an even more extensive tradition of informal adoption, is faced with new policy challenges for the growing population of abandoned, homeless, abused, or otherwise at risk children. Contradictory adoption law is contradictory, limited financial capacity, and the overarching birth planning policies all contribute to inhibiting coherent policy. Increasingly in the press and scholarly articles, there is reference to "substitute care" (or foster care—qiyang, fuyang) of children, both with regard to abandoned children, and the legal issues surrounding informal fostering and adoption. How is fostering conceptualized by the Chinese, and what are the obstacles to policy formation and implementation. This paper discusses the conceptualization of "fostering" as a policy option, the bureaucratic obstacles to the system, and how current laws and local level conditions challenge the search for drafting coherent policy toward China’s children.

Who Will Care for Our Parents? Changing Boundaries of Domestic and Public Roles in Providing for the Aged in Contemporary China

Hong Zhang, Colby College

Providing family care for the aged has always been the main and often only source of old age support for the Chinese family. It is a family system grounded by compelling moral values of filial piety and a traditional Chinese family structure that was often defined as multigenerational and with authority resting in the senior generation. However, rapid changes resulting from demographics, population mobility, family structure and relationships have now greatly affected, if not seriously eroded, the role of family care in providing old age support in contemporary Chinese society. Cases of aged parents abandoned or abused by their families members have been frequently reported in the media. Since the mid 1990s, "social care" (shehui yanglao), a new term that has come into being in order to address the role of extra-familial involvement in old age care, has been frequently mentioned and proposed as a supplementary to or even as a replacement for the traditional "family care" (jiating yanglao). In this paper, I will discuss how "social care" is defined. What are its implications for the traditional family care system? What is the government’s role in providing "social care"? How applicable is "social care" for different sectors of Chinese elderly population given the vast differences between the rural and urban areas in terms of access to state pension benefits and social insurance programs?

Strategizing for the Future: Women in Dalian’s Economic Zone

Nancy Riley, Bowdoin College

This paper will examine the formal and informal support of female workers in Dalian’s Economic Development Zone. Dalian’s Economic Zone represents an area with general assumptions and rules that differ in many ways from both other parts of China and from earlier work situations. In this Economic Zone, women are hired by both Chinese and multinational enterprises, usually for short-term (2–3 year) positions; most are rural women who come to the Economic Zone for work. Some women, however, remain in these jobs for much longer periods. Although certain individual and family support is provided by some of these enterprises, because a large percentage of the enterprises in Zone are foreign-managed, the expectations of workers and management differ from those in other Chinese enterprises. Looking at the kinds of support available through these enterprises, I will examine the impact on the family, and the decisions that family members make around these policies. For example, given a lack of job security at most enterprises, how do women and their families plan for the future? How does the availability or lack of available housing influence women’s decisions about jobs and living arrangements? Particularly important here is the fact that for many of the working women in the Economic Zone, a return to their rural origins is not a desirable alternative. I will discuss the strategies that women employ to take advantage of the available options and to avoid those least attractive to them and discuss how those strategies are related to the changed workplace in places like Dalian.


Session 102: The Changing Contours of Chinese Labor Relations: New Data in Comparative Perspectives

Organizer: Ching Kwan Lee, University of Michigan

Discussant: Marc Blecher, Oberlin College

Intensified marketization and globalization have brought about a sea change in Chinese labor relations in the past decade. As major sectors of the industrial economy undergo transformation in ownership, organization, and management strategies, Chinese workers are forging new relations with the state and management in different contexts of production. This panel seeks to identity the changing contours of labor relations, their underlying dynamics and patterns. We will address questions which have important theoretical bearings: Do ownership type, labor market organization, technological level, socialism, and working-class culture matter? How and why?

Each of the four papers focuses on one segment of China’s industrial economy. Because they are united by a common theme on labor relations, the diversity in empirical materials should allow us to generate comparative insights:

(1) Calvin Chen looks at township and village enterprises (TVEs), widely hailed as the engine of China’s spectacular industrial growth; (2) Mary Gallagher examines labor-management negotiations within "hybrid firms," firms which are formed when state-owned enterprises merge with or are leased or auctioned off to private and foreign firms; (3) Doug Guthrie analyzes labor situations in the hi-tech and Internet industries, especially in the context of new organizational forms; (4) Ching Kwan Lee discusses labor conflicts and mobilization of protests by unemployed and underemployed workers in the rust belt of Chinese state-owned industries.

All four papers report new first-hand data collected front different localities in China: Zhejiang, Shanghai, Beijing and Liaoning.

Manufacturing the TVE Miracle

Calvin Chen, University of Pennsylvania

Since Deng Xiaoping launched the "Four Modernizations" reform program over two decades ago, China’s township and village enterprises (TVEs) have unexpectedly become some of the most productive and profitable companies in the country, rivaling and sometimes surpassing their urban-based rivals. How and why did this happen?

While conventional scholarly accounts emphasize the role of market incentives and the local state in the rise of TVEs, current research reveals that TVEs are successful for another reason: they have effectively refashioned labor relations within their domains. The leaders of successful rural enterprises created a highly unusual organizational format, one which melded a collectively oriented, trust-based, social ethos with an individually oriented, profit-driven, industrial production structure. This particular combination of seemingly contradictory elements not only provided material incentives to enterprise members, but also generated a high degree of cohesion and stability within these firms. Because factory work conditions are often harsh and overwhelming, the utilization rather the rejection of existing social and institutional legacies has been instrumental in preventing social turmoil from totally engulfing and destroying these factories.

Today, as the pressures of market competition intensify, this formula will be sorely tested. Can rural enterprises contain the debilitating effects of social conflict emerging from the increasing diversity of their workforces and the volatility of the market? Despite the enormity of this task, peasants have previously demonstrated an uncanny ability to resolve the dilemmas of work, authority, and equity and certainly can do so again. Their solution will determine the immediate future of the Chinese countryside.

Grafted Capitalism: Ownership Change and Labor Relations in Chinese Firms

Mary E. Gallagher, University of Michigan

Since the Fifteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1997, Chinese industrial reform has entered a new stage: a stage of privatization and globalization. Chinese state-owned firms are now routinely auctioned off to, leased out to, merged with, and acquired by foreign and private investors. During the negotiation process, the settlement of redundant workers and retirees is a key issue. This paper examines this crucial period of negotiation, settlement, and compensation. Who participates in the negotiation process? Which workers tend to be re-hired and which tend to be "settled" into unemployment or early retirement? Are workers participating in the process through the traditional avenues of representation? Or are they finding new avenues of voice and protest? And finally, what do these changes signal for the labor relations of these new hybrid firms.

This paper addresses a new but growing sector of China’s industrial enterprises: enterprises that can no longer be classified neatly within the traditional ownership classifications. The Chinese Communist Party has traditionally drawn important distinctions between the management of workers under socialism and the management of workers in private or foreign-invested firths. This new development of hybrid firms challenges this distinction and increases pressure on the state to respond to demands for legitimate worker organizations and adequate legal representation.

Changing Labor Relations in China’s New Global Economy

Douglas Guthrie, New York University

As is the case throughout the world today, everyone in China talks about the New Economy; it is the new popular term that has captured the imagination of everyone from managers of state-owned factories to entrepreneurs to everyday Chinese citizens. While the concept of the New Economy is nebulous at best, in China it very clearly refers to the Internet and the various high-tech industries that support this system of "international person to person communication." Many industry experts believe that the Internet economy in China is on the verge of exploding. Indeed, with the recent successful initial public offerings of companies like Chinadotcom,, and and some 3,000 new "dotcom" companies in Beijing in 1999 alone, some see the explosion as already underway. This paper will examine the implications of the New Economy in China for changes occurring in labor relations throughout the economy; It will look at the ways that labor relations are shifting within the high-tech economy but also at the impact these new models of economic organization have for labor relations throughout the country.

The Revenge of History: Collective Memories, Unemployment, and Labor Protests in Northeastern China

Ching Kwan Lee, University of Michigan

In the rust belt of China, state workers have become restive as market reforms relentlessly assault their entrenched way of life. By comparing cases of worker protests in an industrial city in northeastern China, once the cradle of its planned economy, this paper analyses the configuration of conditions underlying these labor mobilizations. I have found that collective memories of Maoist socialism, enterprise residential communities and enterprise property helped overcome the crippling effects of demoralization and atomization in the wake of massive unemployment. At the same time, new identities based on citizens’ legal rights and political spaces in the realm of public policies are also forged in the reform process, mediating workers’ activism. Labor resistance in a period of system transition draws on resources and influences from both state and market socialisms.


Session 103: Martyrs and Monks: Literature and Loyalism in the Construction of Regional and "National" Identities in Seventeenth-Century China

Organizer: Steven B. Miles, College of William and Mary

Chair: Dian H. Murray, University of Notre Dame

Discussants: Dian H. Murray, University of Notre Dame; Lynn Struve, Indiana University

Keywords: Guangdong, seventeenth century, regionalism, Buddhism, poets.

This panel explores shifting cores and peripheries of Han elite culture during the seventeenth century. Miles examines two martyred Guangzhou poets: Li Suiqiu and Kuang Lu. Li developed intimate connections to the literary elite of Jiangnan through his involvement in the Restoration Society, while Kuang was more closely identified with Guangdong and Guangxi. Wheeler traces the activities of the chameleon-like Dashan, head monk at Guangzhou’s Changshou Temple, who at various times served as a patron to literati in Guangzhou and organized a flourishing trade with Annam. On his travels to Annam, Dashan represented himself as an ambassador of Chinese elite culture. Similarly, Yim focuses upon the Chan Buddhist master Hanke. Although he was originally a native of Boluo, Guangdong, after he was banished to Manchuria Hanke came to be seen by his admirers in the northeast as representative of Jiangnan cultural accomplishments.

All four of the figures examined in the papers were originally residents of Guangdong who gained literary reputations outside of the region. Their extensive travels, as well as the uncertainties of the Ming-Qing transition, allowed these residents of Guangdong to explore multiple layers of regional and "national" identity. While the martyred poet Li Suiqiu won a poetry competition in the heart of Jiangnan, the monks Dashan and Hanke came to represent Jiangnan culture in the northeastern and southern extremes of Han cultural influence.

The three presentations will be strictly limited to twenty minutes each. This will allow for one hour of discussion, led by two discussants.

Poets, Martyrs, and the Ming-Qing Transition in the Construction of Guangzhou Elite Identity

Steven B. Miles, College of William and Mary

In this paper, I focus upon a generation of Guangzhou poets born at the turn of the seventeenth century that was martyred in the fall of the Ming, paying particular attention to how they were interpreted locally in the Qing. Motivations for printing, imitating, and judging their lives and work varied over time. Nevertheless, in the figures examined here, two dominant tropes emerge in interpreting them: that of the poet (word) and that of the martyr (deed).

Two of the most famous Guangzhou poets martyred in the Ming-Qing transition were Li Suiqiu (1602–1646) and Kuang Lu (1604–1650). Both Li and Kuang traveled extensively and are said to have earned reputations outside of Guangzhou. Although the two were posthumously classified together as poets and as martyrs, they in fact represent radically different types. Li clearly identified himself as belonging to the "righteous circles" in the late Ming associated with the Restoration Society in Jiangnan. Kuang, in contrast, was an idiosyncratic social rebel tainted by his associations with a notorious member of the "eunuch clique."

The images of these two cultural icons became apotheosized over the course of the Qing. While accounts by their contemporaries tended to preserve the unique qualities of Li and Kuang, later descriptions of their poetry and martyrdom came to be more stereotypical, as their images were "whitewashed" by admirers. As a result, Li and Kuang, who in fact had little interaction with one another and whose interests were at odds, increasingly were paired together by later commentators.

The Problem of Multiple Identities in a Trans-Regional World: Linji Buddhism, Maritime Trade, and the Case of Da Shan

Charles Wheeler, Yale University

In the Spring of 1695, the Venerable Da Shan (or Thich Dai Son to the Vietnamese), the head abbot of a Zen monastery in Guangzhou, traveled to the southern Vietnamese kingdom of Dang Trong Viet Nam at the invitation of Nguyen Phuc Chau, its ruler. During his year-long stay, Da Shan engaged in a fruitful exchange of religious ideas, friendship, and goods with his patron. These deeds are detailed in the Vietnamese historical record, as well as his own travelogue, Haiwai jishi. In contrast, Chinese accounts suggest a "cunning character," who disguised himself in monastic robes in order to swindle. the wealthy and "pocket" Guangzhou’s officials, a man who used his temple at Changshou in order to develop a lucrative contraband trade between Guangzhou and Dang Trong. Juxtaposed against Vietnamese and Chinese accounts is an important Japanese source on Chinese junk trade, which tells of Da Shan’s great influence over the Guangzhou merchants at Nagasaki, who contributed to his monastery with the profits of their trade conducted between Guangzhou, Nagasaki and Hôi An.

Who is Da Shan? The answer, I think, can be found in the interaction of overlapping networks of Zen and maritime commerce, which formed the expansive world of Guangdong abroad. The inter-weaving of religious and mercantile networks overseas has much to say about the motives and role of Da Shan, and numerous other Linji monks like him in the transformation of southern Indochina into a Vietnamese society and state.

Political Exile, Chan Buddhism Master, Poetry Club Founder: A Cantonese Monk in Manchuria during the Ming-Qing Transition

Chi-Hung Yim, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Hanke (1611–59), monk and first victim of literary inquisition of the Qing dynasty, was native to Boluo, Guangdong. In 1647, Hanke was caught in Nanjing possessing several politically sensitive documents and was sentenced to exile for life in Shenyang, Liaodong. In Shenyang, Hanke became abbot at Longquan Monastery. His lectures attracted a huge audience, among who were lamaist monks and Manchu and Mongol princes. By the time of his death in Shenyang, Hanke had clearly become the most prominent master of Chan Buddhism in the entire Northeast. In Shenyang, Hanke also formed the Frosty Sky Poetry Club, which was certainly the most significant literary organization in the area during the Ming-Qing transition. Thirty-three people joined the club; most were not natives of Shenyang.

Against the backdrop of the Ming-Qing transition, I will examine Hanke’s unusual literary and religious activities in Liaodong. I want to understand what poetry and Chan Buddhism meant to the Chinese expatriates and the natives of Liaodong in the wake of the Manchu conquest of China. I will discuss Hanke’s doubly "Southern" identity—Lingnan and Jiangnan—and its poignancy in Hanke’s Liaodong experiences. I observe that Hanke and his followers were all plagued by an intense sense of cultural loss, and in consequence they forged a cultural and collective identity surrounding Hanke and his Chan Buddhism. I argue that the Chinese diaspora and Hanke’s Liaodong converts were largely awed by Hanke as an emblem of high culture and orthodox religion from China proper.


Session 104: State Coercion in China: Policing, Campaigns, and Rule by Law

Organizer: Murray Scot Tanner, Western Michigan University

Chair: Stanley Lubman, Stanford University

Discussant: Borge Bakken, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

The evolving legal-coercive capacity of the state and the prospects for building "rule by law" in China are major issues in China’s state-society relationship during the reform era. Recently, as new internal research sources on policing, social control, and law become available, these issues have become the focus of several major studies. The papers on this panel examine: (1) the impact of historical discourses of policing on prospects for police reform; (2) the decentralized structure of Chinese policing and its impact on social control and prospects for "rule by law"; and (3) recent debates and discourses on the death penalty and "deterrence" of crime. The paper writers, the chairperson (Dr. Stanley Lubman), and discussant (Dr. Borge Bakken) are all widely published scholars in the fields of Chinese law and politics, and Chinese and comparative policing, criminology, and human rights.

The first two papers examine the impact of historical and organization forces on the dilemmas of reforming law and coercion. Recently China’s public security system has begun publishing its own internal version of its history. Michael Dutton examines the historical narrative that is emerging—especially the police’s self-styled history as "Party" organs and their involvement in "campaign-style" policing-and examines its impact on the prospects for police reform. Scot Tanner, Shu Huai and Jianfeng Wang examine the powerful organizational legacy of decentralization and local Party control over public security, and attempt to expand the enormous literature on central-local relations in China to include policing and legal coercion. Drawing on extensive new internal materials on policing, this paper examines the challenges decentralized policing creates for China’s prospects of "professionalizing" the police, maintaining social control, and gradually building the rule by law.

The third paper examines the major contemporary policy issue of state coercion. Marina Svensson draws on the history of human rights discourse in China to examine recent internal debates over the death penalty and the "deterrence" of crime in China.

Campaigns: A "Police" Story?

Michael Dutton, University of Melbourne

Tracing the history of campaigns from the earliest "sufan" or elimination of counter-revolutionaries campaign through until the most recent "hard strike" this article examines the construction of the contemporary police narrative of socialist policing in China. As the Chinese police begin to write their own histories, they have begun to claim kinship with a range of organs that would normally be associated more with the Party than with organs of social control. As a result, their history becomes the tale of the Chinese Communist Party in miniature. In viewing this history through the prism of the public security forces, one not only gains a very different understanding of the Party’s past but also begins to appreciate the difficulty the police now face as they try to move from being a Party protection unit into an organ of law enforcement.

Central-Local Relations and State Legal-Coercive Power: Decentralized Policing, Social Control, and "Rule By Law" in China

Murray Scot Tanner, Western Michigan University; Shu Huai, Western Michigan University; Jianfeng Wang, Western Michigan University

Although a vast Western literature has debated the effects of reform-era decentralization on state power and policy implementation, to date nearly all of this literature has focused almost exclusively on central-local relations in the economic, financial and tax sectors. This article draws upon extensive new internal documentation to extend this analysis to the Weberian touchstone of state power: legal coercion. A detailed analysis of the Central/Provincial/Local balance of power over the public security system (its organization, personnel, budgets, and oversight) reveals a system that is far more decentralized than the popular image of "China’s KGB" would suggest. Chinese police officials and scholars have bluntly raised serious questions about the impact China’s decentralized policing system is having on its prospects for maintaining social order, fighting police corruption, and building the rule by law. This paper focuses particularly on the issue—raised both by Chinese police scholars and Western comparative politics specialists—of whether a relatively centralized, effective, and "professional" state legal-coercive system in an authoritarian state is actually more conducive to building the "rule by law"—a key aspect of democratization.

State Coercion, Deterrence, and the Death Penalty in China: Official Discourse and Legal Debates

Marina Svensson, Lund University

The death penalty is extensively used as a method of state coercion in China. The Chinese leadership sees it as an indispensable tool to maintain social stability and deter crime, especially at a time of rapid social changes and increasing crime. The Chinese political leadership, like many other regimes, feel that they have to reassure their citizens that they are being "tough on crime." A kind of populism, in other words, is at work here as it is often claimed that the "masses" demand the death penalty. In recent years, however, there has emerged a debate among Chinese legal scholars about the use and scope of the death penalty. Several scholars argue that the number of crimes carrying the death penalty should be limited with a view to an eventual abolition, as well as voice a concern about the lack of legal safeguards. They furthermore question the belief that the death penalty is effective as a means of deterrence, arguing that the anti-crime campaigns have not been effective in solving the problem of rising crime rates. The Chinese debate on the death penalty, although basically informed by domestic concerns, is also shaped by China’s increasing incorporation in the international human rights regime. In this paper I will trace the official discourse and the legal debates on the death penalty in China, describe its use as a tool of state coercion, as well as discuss its scope and implementation.


Session 105: From the Brushes of Ancient Scribes: Thousands of Covenant Tablets from Wenxian

Organizer: Crispin Williams, Dartmouth College

Chair: Susan Weld, Harvard University

Discussant: Sarah Allan, Dartmouth College

Keywords: China, Eastern Zhou period, palaeography, archaeology, law, history, excavated texts.

This panel will discuss a set of recently excavated Chinese texts, the as yet unpublished Wenxian covenant tablets. These ink-inscribed stone tablets, numbering in the thousands, were excavated between 1980 and 1982 in Wenxian, Henan, from sixteen pits; part of a complex of sacrificial pits located on a raised earthen terrace east of an ancient city site. They had lain here since their burial about two-and-a-half-thousand years ago; testimony to a series of ceremonies in which a great number of people joined to swear oaths of loyalty to their leaders. The covenants, individualized and highly formulaic in nature, call on spirits to sanction various stipulations concerned mainly with loyalty in serving those in authority and prohibitions on having dealings with various named and un-named enemies.

These covenants, along with those excavated at Houma, are coming to be recognized as having great significance for the understanding of many aspects of Early China, from script development to religious and popular legitimization of authority.

Professors Benxing Hao and Shigang Zhao, the primary excavators of the materials, will introduce the Wenxian finds, showing slides of the excavation and tablets. They will discuss the archaeological and historical context, the texts themselves, and the nature of covenant during the middle and end of the Eastern Zhou period. Crispin Williams will discuss the palaeographical and philological significance of these finds. Susan Weld will consider the covenants in the broader context of early Chinese law, politics and society, examining how this new evidence of the use of covenant in legitimating power challenges the traditional view of political process in early China.

A Discussion of the Institution of Covenant in Early China with Special Reference to the Wenxian Covenant Tablets

Benxing Hao, Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology

In 1980 I excavated a covenant site at Xizhangji in Wenxian. We unearthed more than 10,000 stone tablets from sixteen of the 124 pits; they were inscribed, in black ink, with covenants. We discovered the skeletons of sheep in another 35 pits; and jade objects were also found in some pits. This site is the location where covenants were conducted at the Han clan’s city of Zhou during the late Spring and Autumn period. After a comprehensive study of the materials we will be able to discuss the following questions: (1) The content and form of the institution of covenant in ancient China (including the covenant ceremony); (2) The relationship between the institution of covenant and the Zongfa system, moral concepts, and legal thought; (3) Characteristics of that period and region as reflected in the Wenxian covenant tablets; and (4) The manner in which covenant was replaced by the use of hostages in the Warring States period.

The Relationship between the Wenxian and Houma Covenant Tablets

Shigang Zhao, Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology

The Houma covenant tablets were excavated in 1965. More than 400 pits were discovered and more than 5,000 tablets unearthed. We excavated the Wenxian covenant tablets in 1980, finding 124 pits and more than 10,000 tablets. What is the relationship between these two sets of covenant tablets? We believe that they reflect major historical events which took place at the end of the Spring and Autumn period in which the Jin families of Han, Zhao, and Wei destroyed the Fan and Zhonghang clans. Our reasoning takes account of the following points: (1) Both sets of covenants were unearthed from the territory of the Jin state and both sites were located close to rivers, next to ancient cities; (2) The media in which the covenants are inscribed is the same; (3) The form and language of the covenant texts are similar; (4) The script used is identical in graphic form and style; (5) The dates of the two sets of covenants are close (Houma 496 BC, Wenxian 498 BC); (6) The covenant lords and their opponents, as named in the tablets, basically accord with records in the received texts; (7) The discovery of these two sets of covenant tablets has supplemented and corrected certain discrepancies in the early textual record.

The Palaeographic and Philological Significance of the Wenxian Covenant Tablets

Crispin Williams, Dartmouth College

The Wenxian covenant tablets, along with the similar finds from Houma, are the earliest large body of ink-inscribed texts yet found in China; the vast majority of earlier excavated palaeographic materials are incised (oracle bones) or cast on bronze objects. The covenant tablets, however, were produced using brush and ink, giving a much better picture of standard writing practices. Furthermore, due to their formulaic, highly repetitive nature, the tablets provide a large number of variations in graphic form, affording us great insight into the development of the Chinese script at that period.

The Wenxian and Houma texts give us an entirely new understanding of the nature of Eastern Zhou oath, covenant and curse. This was a genre of writing which received texts suggest was very common during that period and yet actual examples are generally limited to short quotes. The Houma and Wenxian discoveries provide many original, complete, covenant texts which should allow us to develop a much fuller description of this genre. I will demonstrate this with a brief discussion of the Wenxian texts and comparison with the examples we find in the received texts.

From the Brushes of Ancient Scribes

Susan Weld, Harvard University

The covenant tablets from Houma and Wenxian shed new light on the political process in the walled towns of Early China. They do not tend to confirm the top-down, unipolar structure often asserted as typical of the Chinese tradition. Instead, they suggest a world in which local lords mobilized crowds of city dwellers, as many as a thousand at a time, to pledge loyalty. The oaths, solemnized by blood sacrifice and executed one by one in each townsman’s name, offered powerful proof of the legitimacy of the lord’s authority.

The legitimacy gained in this way was so valuable to the princes that they were willing to accept the danger that the assembled crowds might turn against them. For this danger to be tolerable, the rulers would have had to work in advance to mobilize public opinion in their favor, to secure the broad consensus that would confirm their power. Thus, while the language and the promises of these instruments focused on the lord, the antecedent process had something in common with the much later idea of social contract.

The ritual context in which the tablets were found proves the importance of religious sanction in confirming the shifting configurations of power at the time: a time when the relative stability of the Spring and Autumn period was crumbling into the violent uncertainty of the Warring States. The texts written on the tablets record that each covenantor appealed to the spirits of former feudal lords—the most powerful in the local pantheon of ancestors—to enforce their promises, calling down upon themselves, in case of breach, the most-feared punishment of the time:

May the Glorious Dukes of Jin, in their Grand Tombs

Far-seeing, instantly detect me,

And may ruin befall me and my lineage.

Chu bamboo slips from the last half of the Warring States period show that covenant, here essentially a political device, was later routinely used in the judicial process: to guarantee the truth of testimony in court, demonstrate community support for the parties and bring closure to difficult cases. At that time, the Chu kingdom seems to have legitimated its control over huge territories and diverse peoples by offering its judicial process as a forum for the just resolution of disputes between powerful clans.

In the beautiful ancient characters on these tablets we can glimpse the role of transcendent authority in legitimating power and ensuring justice in the states of Early China.


Session 106: Individual Papers: Writing in and to the Margins: Patterns of Influence and Alienation among Chinese Writers

Organizer: David Strand, Dickinson College

Chair: Philip F. Williams, Arizona State University

Tradition and the Wandering Individual: Diaspora Literature in "Cultural China"

Feng Lan, Florida State University

My paper is concerned with the nature of Chinese diaspora literature in the context of "cultural China." The theory of cultural China is postulated mainly by Tu Wei-ming to conceptualize a unified Chinese civilization that otherwise would appear to have been fragmented by geopolitical and ideological conflicts in modern Chinese history. According to Tu, the continuity of modern Chinese culture is enabled by dynamic interactions between primarily two spaces: its cultural center, namely the geographical China, and its cultural periphery comprised of overseas Chinese communities. Tu makes the highly provocative claim that over the past several decades, the periphery, namely the Chinese diaspora, has replaced the center of cultural China as the driving force for the agenda of Chinese culture.

On the one hand, Tu’s theory sheds light on the significance of Chinese diaspora literature. The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed some of China’s most talented writers leave that country, either in forced exile or out of voluntary choice. Together with the foreign-born overseas Chinese writers (Chinese Americans, for instance), these émigré writers have produced an impressive body of literary writings, whose diverse orientations and yet shared concerns with Chinese history need to be examined from a coherent perspective. On the other hand, Tu’s theory is problematic. As the foremost thinker of contemporary neo-Confucianism, Tu envisions the emergence of cultural China as a testimony to the revival of Confucianism. Such a perspective, however, leaves some fundamental questions unanswered. For instances, what is the relationship of these diaspora writers with their Chinese precursors of the May Fourth New Culture Movement in the early twentieth century, writers whose radical anti-Confucianism has profoundly shaped the direction of twentieth-century Chinese literature? Furthermore, how do these writers negotiate their Chinese heritage from a largely Westernized perspective? How could the strongly liberal positions of many of them be reconciled with Confucian doctrines that are often seen as empowering an authoritarian tradition?

Seeking to position adequately Chinese diaspora literature in the larger tradition of Chinese culture, my paper will specifically focus on one of the central issues of modern Chinese literature, namely, the representation of the individual. In that regard, I will discuss Eileen Chang’s Naked Earth, M. H. Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, and Ha Jin’s Waiting, to make the following arguments. Chinese diaspora writers on the whole have continued the tradition of May Fourth literature through their persistent advocacy of liberal individualism and through their relentless attack on authoritarian social formations sustained by the feudal remnants of Chinese traditions. Their attack is often directed at the Confucian tradition, to which they tend to attribute China’s social problems. But unlike many May Fourth writers, contemporary Chinese diaspora writers no longer see the individual as a tool for redeeming the Chinese nationhood, but rather as a more self-contained human subject whose life is informed by the pursuit of the visions of an idealized universal humanism. In many cases, an ambivalent attitude towards the traditional values of Chinese culture and the desire for transcending conflicts prevent such an individual from effective social engagement and make him/her all the more a rootless wanderer.

Strategies of Self-Redemption in Su Xuelin’s Autobiographies

Jing Wang, Colgate University

Su Xuelin had been a marginalized woman writer in China until critics rediscovered her writings in the late 1980s. But even then, because of the neglect of autobiography as a genre in Chinese literary history and criticism, few have paid attention to her autobiographies, My Life (Wo de shenghuo, 1967) and Ninety-Four Years of a Floating Life (Fu sheng jiu si, 1991). In this paper, I situate these texts in the context of gender ideology and canonization in twentieth-century China and explore Su’s use of autobiography as a space for self-reinvention. I demonstrate that, in both texts, she constructs her identity as a writer through portraying other women in conventional Chinese gender roles, thus claiming writing as a new role for herself. I also investigate Su’s representation of her textual associations with established male writers, such as Lin Shu, Hu Shi, and Lu Xun, as a way of inserting her own name in the modern Chinese literary canon. Through modeling herself after Lin Shu, idolizing Hu Shi, and demonizing Lu Xun, she redeems her obliterated name in a forbidding literary canon.

Three Madmen on Alienation: A Literary Pathology of Cultural Change in 20th-Century China

Birgit Linder, Beijing University

Alienation has long been considered the essence of modern culture. It is especially useful as a concept and literary motif that highlights problematic issues of cultural change and social transition. Yet even though the social and cultural transformations of 20th-century China have been revolutionary, there has not been sufficient opportunity for a critical analysis and understanding of its effects.

The three pieces chosen for this presentation give a comprehensive and unique literary pathology of the problem of cultural change in 20th-century China: Lu Xun’s famous "Diary of a Madman" ("Kuangren riji," 1918) reflects estrangement from a whole national cultural tradition; Xue Yiwei’s previously banned diary-style novel Desertion (Yiqi, 1989, 1999) represents the shift from May Fourth cultural alienation to self-alienation, a more individual concern with subjectivity, loneliness, and the quest for truth; and the anonymous Internet article, "Diary of a Dissident Citizen" ("Diaomin riji," 2000), is a re-writing of Lu Xun’s story, which addresses the problem of nepotism in contemporary China.

All three pieces are written in the voice of a madman and use the image of childhood to represent hope and disillusion in a quest for identity that has shifted from the universe toward society and, more recently, from society toward the self. While Lu Xun still hoped to save the children from corruption, the Internet article is far less optimistic. Xue Yiwei’s young protagonist, moreover, supplies an analysis of hopelessness and alienation.

A Genealogy of Xungen Fiction

Andrew Stuckey, University of California, Los Angeles

In the 1980s, the Xungen (Searching for Roots) movement entered the literary scene in China. Xungen as a movement was trying to recover much of what was discarded by the reformers earlier in the century, but at the same time, they owe much of their own literary viewpoint to their recent precursors. This paper will explore the relationship between Xungun fiction such as Ah Cheng’s "Chess King," Mo Yan’s Red Sorghum as well as "First Visit to Shangzhou" by Jia Pingwa, "The Last Fisherman" by Li Hangyu and "Records of Danao" by Wang Zengqi with that of its predecessors’, especially Shen Congwen’s Border Town.

Specifically, I will theorize the relationship between two texts, a model text and a text which responds to it. There are, of course, several different varieties of "response" that a model text can generate, ranging from plagiarism to parody to a direct or indirect influence and finally to revision. Harold Bloom will provide a jumping off point. His book The Anxiety of Influence (Oxford, 1973) establishes six basic "revisionary ratios," or in other words, a spectrum of possible inter-textual relationships. These analytic categories will be used in examining the ways that these texts speak to and about each other.


Session 120: Legacies and Social Memory: Missionaries and Scholars in the Ethnic Southwest

Organizer and Chair: Eric S. Diehl, University of Washington, Seattle

Discussant: Stevan Harrell, University of Washington

This panel will explore the role of French and British missionaries and scholars in Southwest China prior to Liberation. While much recent research has focused on their links to colonialist projects, these papers strive toward a deeper understanding of their motivations and legacies in minority and Han areas. Swain’s paper describes the scholarship of French missionary Paul Vial and the various collusions in reviving his legacy among Yunnan Sani. Glover shows how botanical journeys by British plant gatherers were liminal pilgrimages kindred to romantic discoveries of the other and were shaped by themes of salvation, nationalism, and the Orient. Employing an ethno-historical approach, Gros uses French missionary documents to reveal the complex interweavings of spheres of power in Yunnan-Tibet border areas in the late 19th century. Autobiographical accounts by British physician/missionary A. J. Broomhall are compared with memories of local Nuosu and Han and official accounts of his activities in Sichuan in a paper by Ma and Diehl. Drawing on the themes of cataloging, romanticism, conversion, and social memory, these papers shed light not only on historical processes but also demonstrate the value of the records left behind by missionaries and scholars and their continuing impact on research in the Southwest.

Ritual and Politics: Missionary Encounters with Local Culture in Northwest Yunnan

Stephane Gros, University of Paris, Nanterre

What can ethnologists learn from missionaries’ documents on local cultures, aside from missionaries’ approaches and methods of conversion? Having worked on archives about the French Catholic "Tibet Mission," while at the same time collecting important data on the culture of local Tibeto-Burman populations, it appears that missionaries’ writings are of great help to reach a real understanding about inter-ethnic relations and power relations. By employing an ethno-historical approach, the analysis of the first steps of the settling of the French missionaries in northwest Yunnan, near the Tibetan border, reveals that by the end of the 19th century, this area showed a complex interweaving of spheres of power resulting from both Tibetan and Chinese colonization. For the local populations, gradually deprived of their land, allegiances became multi-layered.

This paper will underline several aspects of missionaries’ actions that are meaningful for understanding local social organization and political institutions. The paper will conclude by showing the role the debt system played in allowing authorities to impose their domination, and demonstrate that for local culture, ritual processes of political legitimization were a key aspect. Despite being focused on a specific geographical area, this study can shed light on the process of religious conversions for comparative research perspectives.

Resurrection and Redemption of Paul Vial in Yunnan’s Cultural Politics

Margaret Byrne Swain, University of California, Davis

Paul Vial, A French Catholic missionary working in Lunan, Yunnan from 1888 to 1917, left a scholarly legacy of translation, ethnography, and a French Sani Yi writing system dictionary. He also deeply marked the regions cultural politics with his conversion, education, and modernization programs, as well as his fierce pro-indigenous Sani stance against Han Chinese rule. After decades of vilification and denial of his legacies since Liberation, Vial is now making something of a local comeback. His resurrection and redemption in the public memory are being fostered by a confluence of contradictory factors. Global Catholicism, Chinese state religion policy, international researchers, Sani and Han intellectuals, and the Lunan/Stone Forest County History and Tourism Bureaus are all involved. Vial’s civilizing and proselytizing projects are enacted by the regional Catholic community, above and below ground. His scholarship, especially Vial’s cataloguing of Sani language and customs from a hundred years ago in texts and photographs, is deeply appreciated by academics and bureaucrats for their varied purposes of knowledge, heritage and commoditization. My modest role in this process, collecting and sharing Vial’s articles and photographs that had been preserved in Europe but lost within China, ultimately liked me to Catholics, academics and the Tourism Bureau. This paper describes various collusions in reviving Vial’s legacies. We are creating a cosmopolitan project that mirrors Vial’s, with multiple goals, levels of power, and unpredictable local results.

Imaginings: Romanticism and Nationalism of Early British Plant Hunters in Southwest China

Denise M. Glover, University of Washington, Seattle

Scholarship in the social sciences about foreign botanical research in nineteenth-century China has focused mainly on the collusion of botanists with colonialist projects of domination. It is argued that British plant hunters aided in the augmentation of the British Empire through both cultural and economic capital obtained in botanical expeditions.

This paper aims to discuss what motivated these botanists to become implicated with colonial technologies of power. What were the imaginings of these plant hunters as social and intellectual beings of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? Since domination is situated within a matrix of motivations, imaginings, and social conditions, a comprehensive analysis of any technology of power must examine as much of this matrix as possible.

The botanical journeys which these plant hunters undertook were liminal pilgrimages replete with experiences of alterity and romantic enchantment. In some cases, plants hunters would find a type of salvation in Nature (and sometimes in the inhabitants of Nature) found in the unfamiliar world of "the Orient." In this sense, the project of the British plant hunters is kindred to other romantic discoveries of the other. In addition, an analysis of nationalist sentiment in some of the writings of these plant hunters is a window into the world of early British nationalism in which the transition from empire to nation yielded an interesting hybrid of "official nationalism."

Healing Bodies to Save Souls: Dr. A. J. Broomhall in Independent Nuosuland

Linying Ma, Sichuan Province Minority Research Institute; Eric S. Diehl, University of Washington, Seattle

During the early and mid-20th century, Nuosu areas of Sichuan Province held a particular interest for missionaries. Often referred to as Independent Nuosuland, British Christians considered it an unexplored frontier of unsaved souls. The Nuosu were simultaneously lauded for their lack of many Chinese vices while considered fierce barbarians with a love for fighting and slave raiding. Several early explorers and missionaries made brief stints into the mountains of Nuosuland but none managed to stay longer than Dr. A. J. Broomhall. Along with his wife, daughters, and a handful of Chinese and Nuosu Christians, Dr. Broomhall established a base and medical facilities at Zhaojue, an area only nominally under Chinese control. Following Liberation and his departure from China, Broomhall published both fictional accounts of life among the "civilized" Nuosu and an autobiographical record of his experiences among the "wild" Nuosu in Liangshan.

This paper compares Broomhall’s writings with the memories of local Nuosu and Han Chinese accounts of his missionary work. We discuss differing narratives produced by Broomhall, local people and official reports, and demonstrate haw recent scholarship has become less critical of Broomhall’s work. Examining the impact of his writings in the West, we will probe the relationship between Broomhall’s legacy and the recent reentry of foreign philanthropic organizations into Nuosu areas of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture.


Session 121: Media, Market, and the Masses: Cultural Production in Contemporary China

Organizer: Shuyu Kong, University of Alberta

Chair: Bonnie McDougall, University of Edinburgh

Discussant: Kam Louie, Queensland University

Keywords: contemporary China, mass media, cultural production.

During the 1990s, with the market economy exerting more and more influence on cultural production and consumption, China has witnessed the dramatic blooming of a popular culture industry. New cultural forms have been created and major institutional changes have occurred to meet the needs of mass consumers. Mass media, such as film, TV, and the press, have reflected and embodied this trend of commercialization and consumerism most clearly. At the same time, still sponsored and owned by the state, mass media have also become contested fields where different ideological forces compete and collaborate.

What kinds of tangible changes have taken place in cultural production in China? How has the new cultural industry tailored its products to appeal to the consumer market, while keeping in step with shifting government policies? What is the relationship between state ideology and communal imaging in the new space of mass media? This panel examines these questions through the three different lenses of popular fiction, TV sitcoms and commercial movies. Shuyu Kong’s paper on the Cloth Tiger Series shows how commercial gimmicks and business strategies have been used to brand literary products; Donghui He’s paper reveals the reconstruction of a self-sufficient, apolitical "home" in TV sitcoms: a new public space built on private time and place; and Vivian Lee’s paper, on the changing images of the mainland "other" in Hong Kong commercial movies, discusses the dynamics between socio-political reality and cultural production. Together, these three diverse yet complementary papers highlight the complex and nuanced reality behind the glossy façade of contemporary Chinese culture.

The Making of Chinese Harlequins: The Cloth Tiger Series and Literary Publishing in the 1990s

Shuyu Kong, University of Alberta

How are commercialism and a consumer-oriented market recreating and modifying literary forms and institutions in China? How do newly-emerging entrepreneur publishers package and promote their most promising commodities? And how does the publishing industry create and nurture new literary consumers through shrewd awareness of class, gender, and age differences? Using Spring Wind Arts Press and its brand product, the Cloth Tiger Series, as a case study, this paper will investigate the above questions by examining both institutional and conceptual changes to literary writing, publishing and marketing in China at the turn of the new century.

Inaugurated in 1993, the Cloth Tiger Series was the first domestic brand to produce romantic fiction tailored to the Chinese market. By applying a series of commercial gimmicks and business strategies, such as contracting famous writers for record fees, registering its brand name, offering one million yuan to attract good manuscripts, and translating and marketing Harlequin Romances to familiarize Chinese readers with this new genre, Cloth Tiger has made itself into a successful brand name, producing bestsellers for middle-brow urban readers and promising them a new "Romantic Dream" in a rapidly changing society faced with decaying morals and ideals. Now, in order to accommodate the commercial demands and market forces, the mastermind of the Cloth Tiger series, An Boshun, is subsuming Spring Wind Arts Press within Cloth Tiger Publishing Enterprises, and introducing modern capitalist business management into what was previously a socialist public institution. However, the government’s most recent political campaign aimed at publishers, which led to the suspension of Spring Wind Art Press and a ban on its controversial book, Shanghai Babe, reveals the inner contradictions and complexities of cultural production in the Chinese "dual-track system" in which socialism and capitalism must walk hand in hand.

The Economy of Home: On TV Sitcoms in China in the 1990s

Donghui Helen He, University of British Columbia

My paper studies TV sitcoms produced by independent Chinese filmmakers in the late 1990s. While the production of Chinese movies decreased by 50 percent from the 1980s, the number of television dramas in China reached its historical high in the last decade of the twentieth century. TV sitcoms were favored by independent film producers for their relatively small production costs and adaptability to the market economy. They nonetheless took the lead in developing a "cinema for family viewing," which, I argue, accommodated post-Mao Chinese audience’s resistance to the official narrative of cinema.

Compared with Chinese movies of 1980s, whose largely rural and muscular landscapes are charged with a depth of history, the Chinese TV screen in the 1990s gives prominence to the city and domestic spaces associated with the immediacy of everyday experience. However, this domestic space is by no means settled. I will demonstrate through comparisons with a government-sponsored TV drama series One Year after Another (made for the fiftieth anniversary of the PRC in 1999) that TV sitcoms contest the official construct of the "home." In contrast with One Year After Another, which submerges family life in the political history of the PRC, TV sitcoms locate the "home" place with very little reference to the larger political context. Instead, independent filmmakers restrict their focus to relationships between individuals unveiled within the enclosure of home and private space. Moreover, the recruitment of a galaxy of popular stars (many playing only supporting roles) not only brightens the landscape of daily life in TV sitcoms but also contributes to its seclusion. I conclude that the maintenance of a seemingly self-sufficient "home" in TV sitcoms has created a space for Chinese audiences wishing to distance themselves from state politics in their private time and place.

The Mainland "Other" in the Hong Kong Commercial Mainstream: Political Change and Cultural Adaptation

Vivian Lee, University of British Columbia

This paper discusses the changing role and image of the mainland "other" in the mass media in Hong Kong, as a reflection of the complex and often contradictory responses to the change of sovereignty from Britain to China in the popular imagination of the ex-colony. In fact, the image of the mainlander in mainstream commercial movies undergoes a nuanced series of transformations from the subaltern (illegal immigrants, prostitutes, scoundrels, petty criminals) to figures of power (ringleaders, police/military officers, high officials and the "newly rich"), a pattern that reflects the political, social and cultural adaptation on the level of "low culture," yet nonetheless echoes similar concerns within "high culture" too.

The very use of the mainland "other" in the mass media, in addition, displays an intricate link to the consumer culture of Hong Kong as a whole, whose openness and continuous adaptation to the global market has prompted the transformation of the mainlander image into a valuable "product" for domestic (and international) consumption. Popular TV programs, films and other samples from the "entertainment industry" will be drawn upon to show the dynamics between new socio-political realities and cultural production, as well as the fluid interchange between "high" and "low" cultures that constitutes the unique situation of Hong Kong’s mass media.


Session 122: Painting Likeness: Identity and the Cultural Work of Ming Portraiture

Organizer and Chair: Jennifer Purtle, University of Chicago

Discussant: Evelyn S. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh

Keywords: China, Ming dynasty, social history, art history, painting, portraiture.

Although portraiture is acknowledged as a principal genre of painting in the West during the early modern period, portraiture in early modern China has been the subject of relatively little scholarship. In particular, existing scholarship of portraiture has focused on limited formal and social aspects of portraiture within literati circles. This panel seeks to expand understanding of the practice of portraiture during the Ming through broader art, cultural, and social historical investigation of its production and reception in a variety of contexts.

Contexts of production to be explored in this panel will range from those of professional artisans active at the Ming court to those of male and female literati-amateurs. Despite differences in such contexts, depictions of individuals enabled viewers to express, through ritual and inscriptive practices, their relationships to the portrayed. Clarification of such relationships was particularly useful in the articulation of different kinds of identity. Thus contexts of reception to be explored in this panel will include the use of portraiture in the construction of different identities, for example, that of polity, that of religious belief, that of familial lineage, and that of the self. Through presentation of a series of case studies, which will attend both to stylistic choices implicit in the manufacture of portraits and ritual and inscriptive practices explicit in their reception, this panel seeks to illuminate the cultural work performed by Ming portraiture in the construction of different kinds of identity.

Ming Imperial Portraits as Icons of Rulership

Dora C. Y. Ching, Princeton University

This paper examines a dramatic shift in the visual structure of Ming dynasty (1368–1644) imperial portraits. In the fifteenth century, a stiff, formal mode that transformed portraits of emperors into icons of rulership supplanted the naturalistic mode conventional since the Song dynasty (960–1279). More than a portrait of an emperor as an individual ancestor, the new imperial image conveyed state authority and legitimacy through a symbolic language inspired by Tibetan Buddhist icons and traditional symbols of Chinese rulership. Whereas imperial portraits prior to the Ming generally functioned as objects of private veneration in family temples far removed from the purview of state ritual, portraits of deceased Ming emperors began to be incorporated into state ceremonies. The portrait occasionally became part of a ritual that legitimized a reign by officially transforming the deceased emperor into a deified ancestor in the state religion and allowed the new emperor to demonstrate filial piety.

This paper discusses both the visual sources that led to the emergence of the Ming imperial portrait as an icon of rulership as well as the concurrent shifts in their ritual function. In addition, this paper will further argue that these visual and ritual transformations point to a new concept of emperorship which emphasized imperial office and ritual performance over the individuality of the emperor himself.

Picturing Tanyangzi: Text and Image in Yu Qiu’s Portrait

Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota

In 1581, Yu Qiu (fl. 1572–83) painted a portrait of Tanyangzi (1557–1580) a young woman religious teacher with literati disciples, who ascended heavenward and attained immortality, reportedly with an audience of 100,000 people, at the Double Ninth festival of 1580. Within months of Tanyangzi’s death, her most prominent disciple, Wang Shizhen (1526–1590), wrote an extensive biography of her, which circulated widely and aroused much controversy. Consequently, Tanyangzi’s father and Wang Shizhen were both impeached for heterodoxy, though nothing came of the charges. Tanyangzi’s disciples wrote extensively about her, discussing visual and verbal representations of her at length. This paper will examine the interplay of text and image in the Yu Qiu painting. This paper will argue that the text is not commentary on the painting, but rather informs the viewer of the life and story of Tanyangzi, to be read parallel to the painting, itself a commemoration of Tanyangzi contemporaneous with Wang Shizhen’s biography. Thus study of this painting will not only explore the way the story of Tanyangzi was told in the late Ming, but will also investigate ideas about image and representation in the late Ming. Although the image is clearly a religious icon, it is also reminiscent of an ancestral portrait. The paper will explore the dual nature of the portrait, and suggest ways in which the portrait reinforces the dual status of Tanyangzi as the daughter of a family and as a religious teacher who transcends family ties.

Models of Subjectivity in Ming Self-Encomia (Zizan)

Hajime Nakatani, University of Chicago

Ming literati frequently inscribed portraits of themselves. In addition to dabbling in moral and autobiographic meditations, the sitters took the opportunity that the self-encomia (zizan) offered to comment upon their painted public persona. Like the pictures themselves, inscribing one’s portrait was primarily the sitter’s culturally coded act of self-fashioning. Instead of unambiguously endorsing their painted persona (as was often done in the inscriptions on others’ portraits), the sitters more often than not enacted stylized, rhetorical gestures of dissociation from their likenesses. In its stylization of what were, at bottom, verbal twitches in the face of the archetypal disquiet of confronting one’s own likeness, the self-encomium shifted the focus of self-fashioning from the painted persona per se to the sitter’s relation to his corporeal being and social identity. Due to its reflexivity, the self-encomium implicitly articulated models of subjectivity that regulated the rhetorical play of identification and distancing in the negotiation between the imaged self and the inscribing self.

This paper will explore models of literati subjectivity implicit in the historical transfiguration of zizan during the Ming Dynasty. Early Ming zizan asserted the propensity of the mind to transcend the social and corporeal determinations invariably embodied by portrait images. This paper will argue that this tendency gradually gave way to more sentimental forms of subjectivity toward the latter half of the Ming Dynasty, when the anxious play of identity and difference between the sitter and the image came to be experienced as the proper articulation of the self.


Session 123: From Yamen to Danwei: Change and Continuity in Bureaucratic Management in China

Organizer: Patricia Thornton, Trinity College

Chair: R. Kent Guy, University of Washington

Discussant: Xiaobo Lu, Columbia University

Keywords: modern China, history, bureaucracy, yamen, danwei.

New institutionalist theory in history and the social sciences has refocused scholarly attention on the central role played by organizational factors in political life. Yet despite recent contributions, scholars have not come to terms with the origins and evolution of the danwei (work unit) system. Based on extensive research and covering a span of more than a century, this cross-disciplinary panel explores the historical trajectory from the yamen as a bureaucratic structure during the late imperial period, to its modern transformation into the danwei system during the first three quarters of the twentieth century, and explores the changing dynamics of the danwei structure during the post-Mao reform period. By mapping critical shifts in patterns of bureaucratic management from the late Qing to the present, this panel seeks to place the origins and evolution of the danwei system firmly within the Chinese tradition of bureaucratic institutions. Jennifer Rudolph’s paper focuses on the various mechanisms by which the Zongli Yamen attempted to supervise and control administrative personnel in the field during the late imperial period. Linan Bian’s paper examines the managerial and philological origins of the danwei system within state enterprise during the Republican period. Patricia Thornton describes how the range of coercive, mimetic and normative techniques used by state and Party officials immediately after 1949 to control state and state-owned enterprise work units (danwei) produced varying degrees of institutional isomorphism in the urban industrial sector. Zhanxin Zhang’s paper highlights the shifting dynamics within the danwei structure during the post-Mao reform period. By mapping critical shifts in patterns of bureaucratic management from the late Qing to the current reform period, this panel collectively demonstrates the range of exciting new research on the danwei system.

Creating a Personnel Base: Zongli Yamen Efforts to Penetrate the Qing Hierarchy

Jennifer Rudolph, SUNY, Albany

In the midst of the transitions and challenges that faced the Qing dynasty in the late nineteenth century stood the Zongli Yamen or Foreign Office. The complex nature of foreign affairs demanded that Zongli Yamen ministers tend to both central-level diplomatic matters as well as the numerous, yet important, interactions that occurred with non-governmental foreigners in coastal treaty ports and inland areas. However, the edict that established the Zongli Yamen in 1861 situated the new office within the central government, but it did not elaborate on how the Zongli Yamen ministers could accomplish their administrative multi-level and empire-wide tasks. This paper analyzes efforts by Zongli Yamen ministers to manage foreign affairs at the local level through establishing communication links down to the level of magistrate and through utilizing the new Customs administration to reorganize local level officials to bring them under the jurisdiction of the Zongli Yamen. It concludes that through the reorganization of the local official system, the utilization of reporting mechanisms, and the resulting penetration of parallel hierarchies, Zongli Yamen ministers organized a personnel base that allowed them to manage a functioning foreign affairs field administration. Moreover, Zongli Yamen efforts set the stage for the establishment in the early 20th century of the Foreign Ministry.

Establishing a System of Accountability: Managerial and Philological Origins of the Unit System in State-Owned Enterprise, 1938–1945

Linan Bian, Auburn University

Despite recent contributions, scholars have not come to terms with the origins of the unit system in China. Based on extensive archival research, this paper offers a compelling explanation of the managerial and philological origins of the unit system by focusing on Dadukou Iron and Steel Works (DISW)—the largest state enterprise during the Sino-Japanese War.

The paper begins with an analysis of the DISW as a bureaucratic organization. In response to calls by government leaders to improve administrative efficiency and to eliminate bureaucratic malpractice in its factory, the DISW undertook a major reform in management administration during the early 1940s. The paper examines three aspects of the reform: the creation of a "system of allocating responsibility according to the level of administrative units," the elaborate definition of management and work units and their responsibility, the attempt of factory leaders to implement the system of allocating responsibility, and the practical effect of implementation.

The paper demonstrates: (1) the need for administrative efficiency contributed to the making of the system of allocating responsibility; (2) the system served as a major mechanism in management administration; (3) the term "unit" was clearly defined and came into widespread use for the first time during the Sino-Japanese War. The reform codified and made permanent an existing practice and pinpoints for us the managerial and philological origins of the emerging unit system in modern China.

Manufacturing Comrades: The Imposition of Organizational and Behavioral Norms in Post-Revolution China

Patricia Thornton, Trinity College

Following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, state and Party officials asserted regulatory control over workplaces by defining new institutional norms with respect to the urban industrial sector. In the process, the new Party-state’s consolidation of urban control involved the homogenization and standardization of work units, a process that was achieved by the forced adaptation of organizational and behavioral norms in both governmental and industrial work units. In the early 1950s, one mechanism by which this process was effected was the simultaneous implementation of two anti-corruption campaigns, the so-called "Three Antis" Movement targeting the suspected malfeasance of urban cadres and state workers, and the "Five Antis" Movement, directed against the practices of industrial capitalists. The techniques developed during these campaigns enhanced urban control through a combination of coercive, mimetic and normative measures. This paper outlines the prescriptive means by which organizational and behavioral change in these work units was effected, as well as the means by which previously autonomous work units resisted the imposition of state control. Utilizing data drawn from case studies of state organizations and industrial enterprises during this period, I demonstrate that greater degrees of institutional isomorphism were realized in state and industrial organizations with greater extents of structuration, as well as those with more frequent transactions with central state officials.

The process of institutional isomorphism is also much in evidence in the recent transition from a centrally planned to a mixed market economy, but is now unfolding in reverse. Case studies of local state organizations demonstrate that the main impetus for mimetic and normative institutional isomorphic change is now originating in the newer industrial organizations appearing at the margins of the economic reform process, with the local state and Party structures now experiencing considerable pressure to adopt new entrepreneurial strategies in order to maintain political ascendancy. This paper traces the process of isomorphic change during these two critical transition periods through the articulation and adoption of new institutional norms.

The Transformation of Danwei from the 1960s to the 1990s

Zhanxin Zhang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This paper provides an institutional analysis of the dynamics of Chinese urban danwei from the 1960s to 1990s. The focus of analysis is on the changing labor institutions and the resulting incentive structure of income distribution. We will argue that danwei, within the confines of Mao’s government bureaucracy, was a state agent to help exercise comprehensive control over labor. Market-oriented economic reforms since 1978 have led to the weakening of such control, thus decreasing the role of danwei in state-worker relations. However, because of the legacies of bureaucratic labor institutions, state-owned danwei still substantively performs as a state agent in many ways. In addition, the decline of the danwei system has been an uneven process. State organizations with monopoly power in resource allocation are little affected and thus maintain strongly the features of Mao’s danwei. Other organizations, state or non-state alike, compete for resources and opportunities in the rising and expanding market system. This dynamics of danwei has fundamental implications for the re-stratification and inequality of income among regions and individual wage earners. Data from 1988 and 1995 national sample surveys of urban households are used to test hypotheses derived from this historical-institutional view.


Session 124: Wen or Ren: The Person of the Author in Modern Chinese Literary Criticism

Organizers: Maghiel van Crevel, Leiden University; Michel Hockx, SOAS, University of London

Chair and Discussant: Kirk Denton, Ohio State University

Keywords: China, Taiwan, literature, criticism, twentieth century.

In modern China, the personality of the literary author has retained considerable relevance in literary criticism, echoing the classical dictum wen ru qi ren: the text is like the person, i.e., its author. On the level of textual analysis, critical discourse reveals modes of interpretation and valuation that incorporate the author’s personality as perceived by the critic. On the level of historical analysis, author-oriented criticism provides indications about the critic’s position in the literary field. Examination, on both these levels, of different periods and localities (pre- and post-1949, Mainland China and Taiwan) will highlight one of the key characteristics of the modern Chinese understanding of literature, with reference to the Chinese classical tradition as well as imported foreign discourses.

The individual papers will proceed from various conceptual and historical vantage points. Michel Hockx will discuss the abusive style of criticism prevalent on the Republican-era literary scene. Lingzhen Wang will examine the role of gender in critical writings about the author Yu Luojin in the early 1980s. Maghiel van Crevel will examine the personality factor in a recent controversy in PRC poetry. Michelle Yeh will analyze the concept of "the poet" in twentieth-century critical discourses from Mainland China and Taiwan. The panel’s discussant will be Kirk Denton, whose work on the Self in modern Chinese literature has offered a comprehensive mode of understanding relationships between text and author in modern Chinese literature.

The Art of Abuse or the Abuse of Art? Critics’ Attacks on Authors in Republican China

Michel Hockx, SOAS, University of London

This paper studies the common phenomenon of ad hominem literary criticism on the pre-1949 Chinese literary scene. This type of criticism bases its judgments on personal characteristics of the author, rather than on aspects of the text. Ad hominem criticism need not be negative criticism, as I shall demonstrate in the beginning of the paper, with some examples of positive book reviews in which critics prominently displayed their knowledge of authors’ personal circumstances.

The main content of the paper, however, deals with negative criticism. I shall argue that the tendency of Republican critics to engage in abuse (ma) served two main purposes. Firstly, abusive criticism was employed to draw clear boundaries between competing literary groups, especially between the so-called New Literature and other forms of literature. Secondly, public name-calling was a popular tactic to attract attention or boost sales figures. Underlying both purposes was a view of literature which saw the text as a medium for establishing or affirming personal relationships between author and reader. Such relationships involved moral, aesthetic, political, and commercial dimensions.

All these dimensions are addressed in my reconstruction of a complicated debate that took place in Shanghai in the early 1930s. The debate featured, on the one hand, established writers with leftist tendencies (Lu Xun, Mao Dun) and, on the other hand, a group of mainly young, apolitical writers, most of them members of the first Chinese branch of the International P.E.N., and most of them forgotten nowadays, despite their popularity in their own time.

A Chinese Morality Gender Tale: Publication, Reception, and Criticism of Yu Luojin’s Autobiographical Fiction in the Early 1980s

Lingzhen Wang, Brown University

This paper will discuss the effects of gender on literary criticism in early post-Mao China by focusing on one woman writer, Yu Luojin.

Yu Luojin was a familiar name to Chinese people in the early 1980s for diverse reasons. She was first known as the sister of Yu Luoke, an educated youth executed during the Cultural Revolution, and rehabilitated as a national hero in the early post-Mao era. Her first autobiographical work, A Chinese Winter’s Tale, was widely read as the true story of the hero’s family during the Cultural Revolution. At the same time, Yu Luojin was also known to the public as a twice-divorced woman and her second divorce became a topic in popular discussions about moral issues of love, marriage and divorce. Moreover, her fame was raised through public gossip. She was attacked as a non-serious woman in the most important newspaper in Beijing and her second autobiographical work, Springtime Tale, was banned shortly after it was published.

In the early 1980s, the reception of literary texts was largely determined by the institutionalized relationship between text and author. According to both Chinese tradition and the conventions of socialist literary production, the official and social view of the author determines, to a large extent, the reception of his/her writing. This paper will show that gender, as a category of differentiating people’s lives, played a pertinent role within these conventions. Gender helped produce meanings of texts, not through textual activities but through the function of the author in society.

Did You Say Poem, or Poet? A Late 1990s Polemics

Maghiel van Crevel, Leiden University

In 1998–2000, prominent PRC poets and critics such as Cheng Guangwei, Yu Jian, Wang Jiaxin, Tang Xiaodu, and Han Dong locked horns in a widely publicized controversy summed up as an opposition of "Intellectuals’ Writing" (zhishi-fenzi xiezuo) and "People’s Writing" (minjian xiezuo). In fact, explicit poetics laid out in critical essays by the antagonists show remarkable similarity. And while it can reasonably be maintained that authors assigned to the "Intellectuals’" camp by and large write very different poetry from the "People’s" poets, examination of literary works per se played a decidedly minor role in the debate. The controversy, then, is fruitfully analyzed in terms of author personalities, divided along geographical and institutional lines: the latter were drawn by literary friendships and editorial cooperation going back to the early 1980s and beyond. It is particularly striking how the "People’s" poets turned the designation intellectual into a negative stereotype for labeling author personalities who had themselves proudly claimed it a decade earlier—all the more so if we bear in mind some of the less pleasant experiences of intellectuals during the Maoist years, and the "People’s" poets’ own uneasy relationship to a cultural orthodoxy still very much shaped by Maoist discourse.

The Mad Genius or Just Mad? The Poet in Modern China

Michelle Yeh, University of California, Davis

This paper studies the cultural import of "the poet" in modern China. I seek to explain why the label "the poet" seems to carry a special significance for Chinese audiences in the twentieth century. Compared to fiction writers and dramatists, the poet seems to enjoy much greater laxity and privilege, not just in his/her use of language (poetic license), but also as an individual.

There are several explanations for this phenomenon. The first involves the traditional status of poetry in Chinese culture. Anecdotes about famous poets have helped create an image of the poet as a living legend: unconventional, idiosyncratic, and fiercely individualistic.

Secondly, this perception has been reinforced by the influence of Western literary movements. In a wide range from romanticism and symbolism to all brands of modernism, the poet appears in various guises: the solitary genius, the bohemian, the alienated supreme craftsman, and so on.

The paper discusses modernist poets in Taiwan in the 1950s and avant-gardists in the PRC in the 1980s. In addition to how they behave and are received by the public, I will discuss literary influences on their behavior and its impact on the contemporary literary field.

The perception of the poet as the mad genius has significance for our understanding of modern Chinese culture and society. Despite modern poetry’s claim of a sharp break with tradition, this paper suggests an underlying continuity between traditional and modern China with regard to how society views the poet and how poets view themselves and each other.


Session 125: Representing "Western Medicine" in Qing and Republican China

Organizer: Yi-Li Wu, Albion College

Chair and Discussant: Benjamin Elman, University of California, Los Angeles

Keywords: medicine, missionaries, Western science, China.

The way in which Chinese elites perceived Western science and technology in the aftermath of the Opium War is an important historiographical issue. This panel examines the dissemination of Western medicine in late Qing and early Republican China and highlights the complex array of factors that shaped Chinese views of foreign medicine. The panel papers conclude that: 1) the "Western medicine" that circulated in China comprised diverse practices that were not self-evidently "superior" to indigenous healing; and 2) the experiences of Chinese elites who criticized Western medicine’s putative superiority require historians to revise the received truths about late imperial Chinese medical culture.

Yi-Li Wu argues that during the 1850s, missionary doctor Benjamin Hobson sought to impress Chinese doctors with Western anatomical knowledge. In the field of gynecology, however, Hobson’s focus on uterine pathology and surgical intervention fed Chinese criticisms that Western doctors could do little other than using "instruments" in obstetrical emergencies. Ruth Rogaski shows that the Western hygiene texts translated by John Fryer during the 1890s endorsed the American temperance movement’s claim that alcohol was a poison. While Western scientists denounced such claims, the specific concerns of social reformers nevertheless shaped the content of what was represented as "Western medicine" in China. Finally, Bridie Andrews demonstrates that the doctor Zhang Xichun marshaled his deep knowledge of Western medicine to argue against replacing Chinese medicine with Euro-American practices. In his influential Republican-era writings, Zhang instead contended that Western medicine should be incorporated into the existing Chinese medical epistemology.

Introducing the Uterus to China: Benjamin Hobson’s New Treatise on Women’s and Children’s Diseases (Fuying xinshuo), 1858

Yi-Li Wu, Albion College

European and American missionaries in late imperial China consciously used medical practice to further their religious cause. By demonstrating the "superiority" of Western medicine to potential Chinese converts, the missionaries hoped also to demonstrate the superiority of Western civilization and Christianity. These motivations inspired the British missionary doctor Benjamin Hobson to compile and publish five Chinese language works on Western medicine in the 1850s, including a work on gynecology and obstetrics in 1858.

Hobson’s texts focused on anatomical knowledge and surgery because he wanted to impress Chinese readers with Western medical science. In his gynecological treatise, Hobson emphasized the female reproductive organs—particularly the uterus—as the marker of female gender identity and the source of female pathology, and he proposed surgical intervention for a variety of women’s diseases. This paper argues that because Hobson represented "Western medicine" as synonymous with anatomy and surgery, he ironically rendered it irrelevant to the elite Chinese doctors that he was trying to reach. Not only did Chinese physicians see manual surgery as a lower-status practice, but in the case of gynecology, Hobson’s focus on uterine pathology meant he was unable to offer real alternatives to Chinese treatments for the multitude of "women’s diseases" identified by Chinese medical texts. Ultimately, Chinese, critics of Western medicine were able to charge that Euro-American obstetricians were ignorant of natural bodily functions and were only skilled in "using instruments" to wrest a tardy fetus from the maternal womb.

Sober Science: Representations of Western Hygiene in the Late Qing

Ruth Rogaski, Princeton University

Toward the end of his long career as a translator of scientific and technical literature, John Fryer rendered three American elementary school hygiene textbooks into Chinese. Published between 1893 and 1896, these basic books (Haitong weisheng bian, Chuxue weisheng bian, and Youtong weisheng bian) were widely employed in missionary schools in China. They even served such well-known reformers as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao as general reference works on "Western" views of anatomy, physiology, and health. In an era when Western medicine was increasingly associated with the germ theory of disease and anti-opium crusades, these texts present alcohol as the pathogen most dangerous to health.

This paper traces the eccentric content of these texts to its genesis in a specific American social phenomenon: the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and its educational lobby, the Scientific Temperance Instruction movement (STI). STI used modern science to convey the message that alcohol was a "poison." At the same time, American MDs and laboratory scientists attacked STI as scientifically unsound. Nevertheless the WCTU spread STI texts to China, where they contributed to representations of "Western" medicine and science. This case study illustrates how diverse elements of medical thought and practice entered China through highly contingent routes. These multiple strains reflected the vigorous contestation over medical and scientific legitimacy simultaneously taking place in Europe and the United States. What came to be known as "Western medicine" in the Qing was at no point a coherent entity, either in China or in "the West."

Judging Western Medicine by Chinese Values: Zhang Xichun and His Work

Bridie J. Andrews, Harvard University

Zhang Xichun (1860–1933) spent much of his life fighting against the uncritical replacement of Chinese learning with western ideologies. In 1918, the first print run of his book, The Assimilation of Western to Chinese in Medicine (published serially between 1918 and 1931) was financed by a study society devoted to the refutation of so-called western knowledge. Zhang educated himself in western medical knowledge through the writings of missionary translators and Japanese translations of medical textbooks. His work reveals an impressive grasp of the western medicine of the day, and is still in print in the PRC.

In his own writings, Zhang was consistent in viewing disease and therapy from a Chinese-medical point of view, and it was his aim to make western ideas comprehensible from within his Chinese-medical epistemology. This paper will explore the strategies Zhang used to assimilate western medical knowledge without allowing it to replace Chinese medicine, and to assess the influence of his work on Chinese medical reform throughout the twentieth century.


Session 126: Roundtable: Acquiring Competence: Chinese Language Study in the Asian Studies Curriculum (A Chinese Language Teachers Association Designated Panel)

Organizer and Chair: Jane Parish Yang, Laurence University

Discussants: Chuanren Ke, University of Iowa; Honggang Jin, Hamilton College; Galal Walker, Ohio State University; Joseph Fewsmith, Boston University; Yanfang Tang, College of William and Mary

Keywords: Chinese language, Asian studies.

The teaching of Chinese language has changed radically since the early 1960s when Asian studies and Chinese studies programs began to be more widely established in the United States and since the mid-1970s when study and longer term residence abroad in China was again possible. This panel, made up of faculty from various disciplines in Chinese studies, explores recent changes in the field, such as new rigorous study abroad programs, internships with Chinese, American, or joint venture companies in China, and advances in informational technology, and how area study faculty in the home institution can take advantage of students’ improved language and cultural competence to engage more deeply in disciplinary and interdisciplinary work.


Session 127: Individual Papers: Economic Reform and Public Policy in the P.R.C. and Taiwan

Organizer: David Strand, Dickinson College

Chair: Thomas P. Bernstein, Columbia University

In Search of Xiagang

William Hurst, University of California, Berkeley

The paper contains three main sections. The first section systematically discusses the issue of xiagang (layoffs from Chinese State-Owned Enterprises) and gives a brief history of the problem. The second section reviews the existing literature on xiagang and demonstrates the lack of any research that systematically addresses xiagang from a "middle range" (i.e., at a level neither of sweeping generalization nor of micro-level case studies) perspective. The third section makes use of published quantitative data to undertake a statistical analysis which suggests that most existing theories regarding xiagang are at best problematic.

The analysis goes on to demonstrate that regional variation, independent of other variables, exerts by far the strongest influence on both the rate of xiagang and the rate of participation in re-employment service centers (the state-promoted organizations established by danwei or local governments to handle the needs of xiagang workers) at the provincial level. The. fact that other seemingly important independent variables—such as GDP per capita, sector, and proportion of the labor force in either SOEs or the private sector—are not significant suggests that variations across regions in both the severity of and preferred remedies to xiagang are caused by hitherto unexamined political processes.

The paper concludes by suggesting a method by which systematic qualitative comparisons and interview research in several regions, combined with limited further quantitative analysis of available data, can produce more methodologically sound, fine-grained, and definitive conclusions regarding both the causes and possible future trajectories of the xiagang issue.

Between Maoism and the Market: Redefining the Role of the State in the Health Sector

Yanzhong Huang, Grand Valley State University, MI

In contrast to the gradualist yet determined market-oriented economic reforms which help China "growing out of plan" (Naughton’s words), the post-Mao rural public health system is now being rebuilt in ways that have much in common with the pre-reform Maoist health system, although the latter was shattered and abandoned during the initial years of rural economic reforms. Why did the Chinese leadership take a totally different (if not opposite) approach in reforming the rural public health sector? By tracing the health policy process in post-Mao era, the study finds that Maoist welfare institutions are particularly resilient in the face of important reformist challenges. This seemingly "frozen" social policy landscape, however, is embedded in a set of institutional dynamics. While previous health policy structure interacted with the Party’s political legitimacy concerns to maintain a state commitment in rural public health sector, "mass line" in a context of bureaucratic and fiscal decentralization helped bring back many of the components of the Maoist health system. Equally important, the post-Mao political institutions ushered in forces the literature on path dependence generally does not allow for. Indeed, many of the institutional innovations happened when the provincial and local governments took the lead in reinitiating the Maoist public health programs not favored by the Ministry of Health. Both contemporary political institutions and Maoist policy legacies are therefore important in explaining social policy changes in post-Mao China.

Competing Standards: The Emergence of Business Influence on Public Policy in China

Scott S. Kennedy, George Washington University

In late 1998 the Chinese government issued a technical standard for a new generation of video compact disc players (VCD), one of the most popular home electronics products in China in the past decade. The sense that a standard was needed, the alternatives considered, and the resultant choice were heavily determined by electronics companies.

The VCD standards story points to three broad trends in China’s political economy. First, business influence on public policy has increased in the last decade, but it comes primarily in the form of direct firm involvement, not through business associations. Second, to the extent that there is variation in firm participation, the key distinction is between firms of different sizes: only large firms have the chance to influence policy. By contrast, the differences between the way state-owned and private firms participate has declined. In addition, inter-firm alliances on policy issues cross ownership and nationality lines. And third, firm involvement is in tension with the pre-existing norms of government-business relations that stressed firms’ political passivity, government-business cooperation, and secrecy. The fight over technical standards was also a fight over the appropriate standard of influence.

This paper is based on field research for my dissertation, "In the Company of Markets: The Transformation of China’s Political Economy," which I plan to defend in late 2000. The project draws on primary written materials and extensive interviews in China between August 1998 and August 1999 with major Chinese and foreign company executives, association representatives, and government officials.

The One-Child Birth Policy and the Consumption of Education in Yangzhou

Ann Veeck, Western Michigan University

This paper presents the results of an intensive, multi-method study to determine the effects of China’s one-child birth policy on the consumption of education in Yangzhou. The first phase of the study was a qualitative inquiry involving three focus groups of parents of school age children and ten depth interviews in the homes of Yangzhou families. During this phase of study, mothers and fathers were asked a number of questions related to their educational and professional hopes and expectations for their sons and daughters. As would be logically expected in a city where the one-child policy is strictly adhered to, the parents of daughters professed equally high aspirations for their children as the parents of sons.

The next phase of the study involved the analysis of data. collected from 800 households with school age children in Yangzhou. Via a self-administered questionnaire, the parents were asked to respond to scales measuring their educational and career goals for their children. In addition, parents indicated how much they had spent on educational expenses for their children during the previous semester, including tuition, schoolbooks, private lessons, supplemental educational items, and other expenses. Statistical analysis found no significant differences in educational expenditures related to the gender of the child. Altogether, these findings seem to indicate that an important outcome of China’s strict birth policy may well be that, for the first time in Chinese history, urban male and female children are receiving equitable investments in their future.

Earnings Inequality in Taipei under a Worldwide Economy

Kanghu Hsu, West Chester University, PA

The global city hypothesis argues that the shift from manufacturing to tertiary industries, especially business and financial services, almost inevitably produces greater income inequality in so-called "global cities" as low- and high-paying service jobs take the place of manufacturing jobs. As I demonstrate, however, contrary to the hypothesis, earnings inequality has not increased in Taipei, which I demonstrate has many of the characteristics of global cities. My research question, therefore, is, "Why does the global city hypothesis of increasing income inequality fail in Taipei?" I analyze individual data for Taipei between 1981 and 1996 collected by the Taiwanese government annually. I take the B/A ratio, which is the ratio between the highest 20 percent and lowest 20 percent of earnings, as the measure of earnings inequality. I found that establishment size influenced earnings inequality, a circumstance which the global city hypothesis ignores entirely. Large establishments, defined as having 100 or more employees, had greater earnings inequality than small establishments, which employed fewer than 30 workers. More than 60 percent of the employees in Taipei worked at small establishments between 1981 and 1996. The fact that the majority of the labor force worked in smaller establishments restricted the growth of inequality. Moreover, my analysis shows that there is no difference in inequality between industries in large establishments. At the same time, large establishments always had greater inequality than small establishments regardless of industry. These facts suggest that the increasing income inequality, if any, of the global cities in the literature is due more to the increasing proportion of the labor force employed in large establishments than to industrial shift from manufacturing to tertiary industries. Additionally, my analysis shows that a low unemployment rate in Taipei lifted low wages beyond the minimum wage and decreased earnings inequality.


Session 142: How to Study the History of the Chinese Book: Practical Tips and Wishful Thinking

Organizer: Lucille Chia, University of California, Riverside

Chair and Discussant: Susan Naquin, Princeton University

The history of the Chinese book, so central to the study of Chinese society and culture, has been neglected, largely because of the disparate and recalcitrant nature of the sources. Recent scholarship, however, show that by using new and imaginative methods, much can be learned about the magnitude and character of print culture, the structure of the book trade, and the nature of reading in late imperial China from the Song to the Qing. The purpose of this panel is to introduce some of these methods. The three participants will explain how they found, chose (or were chosen by), and coaxed information from their sources. What, for example, can a counting and close examination of the extant imprints on a given topic tell us about how it engaged the intellectual energies of their original authors and readers, and about the works that did not survive? How do we reconstruct the social and economic history of a long-gone publishing industry? What do descriptions of readers and different reading practices tell us about the social relations of reading and the role of books among not only highly literate elites but also moderately literate or functionally literate readers? Through their presentations, the panelists hope to stimulate other scholars to devise more ways to explore the history of Chinese books and publishing.

Counting and Recounting Chinese Imprints

Lucille Chia, University of California, Riverside

Surely books as objects can tell us much about the social history of the book, but just how do we go about extracting this information? In this paper I will illustrate a number of methods by using specific examples. First, a quantitative approach is essential; but what and how do we count? For instance, does the wealth of surviving divination texts and almanacs from the late Ming compared to earlier times suggest an increasing interest in the subject and among whom? To answer such questions we should no only enumerate the imprints but also distinguish among them with respect to their approach to the subject; the kinds of commentaries, if any; the quality of their edition; and if possible, the readership intended by the publisher. It may be equally instructive to estimate the number of similar works that have not survived, not only from the Ming but from earlier times—a tricky though by no means impossible task, and one which may lead us to a deeper understanding of the power of print and its limits in different historical periods. Second, I will show how the paratext of a book—the printer’s colophon, the names of the editors, the blockcarvers’ names in the center strip, the prefaces and postfaces, the page layout, etc.—elements long confined to the domain of rare book connoisseurship, can yield valuable information unavailable anywhere else concerning the social history of the book trade in late imperial China.

Field Work on the Social and Economic History of the Chinese Book

Cynthia J. Brokaw, University of Oregon

Study of the social and economic organization of the woodblock publishing industries and the book trade is essential to any understanding of the history of the book in late imperial China. The conditions of production—whether in rural, household-based printshops operating within the confines of large lineages or in urban "private" shops run by aspiring literati, to name just two possibilities—shaped the types, numbers, and quality of books printed. The structure of the printshops and their location in relation to transport routes and access to book markets naturally also influenced the dissemination of print culture and the pattern of distribution of texts. Yet often it is very difficult to find sources that discuss the organization of printing industries or the nature of the book market in any detail. Drawing on field work conducted in a variety of different parts of south China—western Fujian, northern Jiangxi, Sichuan, Guangdong, and Guangxi—and in both rural and urban sites, I will describe the kinds of sources that have proven useful to research on the social and economic aspects of publishing and the book trade: genealogies of printing households, property-division documents, accountbooks, gazetteers, locally preserved imprints and woodblocks, and interview material. I will also treat some of the difficulties involved in both getting and interpreting this material and the ways in which the nature of these sources will affect our knowledge of woodblock print and book culture from the late Ming through the early twentieth century.

Popularization of Print Culture in Late Imperial China

Anne McLaren, University of Melbourne

The first serious attempt to produce books of a secular nature directed at broad readerships beyond the male elite began relatively late in the history of the Chinese printed book. Further, it appears that the social consequences of print, particularly vernacular print, were less far-reaching than those usually ascribed to Gutenberg’s printing press in the western experience. One could hypothesize that the impulse towards popularization was circumscribed by socio-cultural factors that require more examination. In this paper I will discuss how one can investigate the more qualitative aspects of the reception of printed texts in China, particularly texts with substantial vernacular content such as novels and plays. Did notions of authorship, readership and reading practices change with the considerable expansion of the commercial publishing industry in the late Ming period and beyond? At what time did it become common to consciously target readerships beyond the male elite? When were women included? What were the limits of popularization in this period? This paper will discuss relevant methodologies in investigating these issues, including the use of prefaces and para-textual features to determine changing target readerships, likely reading practices and notions of authorship. Attention will be paid to historical change in the lexicon of readerships and contention about the publication of "popular" (tongsu) works.


Session 143: Is Religion Dying in China?

Organizer: Eriberto P. Lozada, Jr., Butler University

Chair: Myron Cohen, Columbia University

Discussant: Li’an Li, University of Illinois

Recent ethnographic studies of religious life in China have documented in detail how religious traditions survived forty years of a socialist government suspicious of traditional and imported religious leaders and institutions, and how such revivals have defied the influence of state’s intervention and modernity on religious pursuits. Throughout the reform era, temples, mosques, and churches throughout China have been built and rebuilt as sites of renewed religious activity—or so many researchers have claimed. But are they? Who is engaging in religious activity, and for what ends? What is the role of these religious structures in modernizing China and Taiwan where the state encourages citizens to channel resources, both social and economic, into regimes of personal consumption and accumulations of material goods? What kinds of authority do religious institutions have on individuals and communities as the border of social life rendered porous by capitalism and consumption? How have cross-border popular religious activities drawn upon Chinese tradition and modernity differently in the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan? Based on ethnographic studies of a variety of Chinese religious traditions in different societies of Chinese culture, this panel seeks to address how religious practices are being redefined and defining new identity in Chinese contexts that emphasizes secular economic development.

Religion, Capitalism, and the "Institutional Forgetting" of Poverty in the Xi’an Muslim District

Maris Boyd Gilette, Haverford College

In the Xi’an Muslim district of the 1990s and early 21st century, mosques figured prominently in local economics as institutional recipients of donations, sites of conspicuous consumption in architecture, furnishings, rituals, and religious education, and conduits for poverty relief and religious rebuilding in other areas with Hui populations (primarily in Shaanxi and Gansu). Mosques were also capitalistic, in the sense that those in charge of managing mosque finances sought to earn profits by renting housing and parking spaces, providing pay-per-use bathing facilities, and selling Islamic paraphernalia (such as chinaware and other goods adorned with Arabic calligraphy). In Xi’an, mosques have benefited from the reform-era state emphasis on personal consumption and the "gloriousness" of getting rich, having managed both to garner private resources through donation, and to offer services that facilitate the new consumption regimes. In this paper I consider how the economic achievements of mosques and their congregations have affected religious observances. Looking at the abandoning of a holiday commemorating food-sharing in times of scarcity (’Afla) that occurred even as the celebration of other holidays grew ever more lavish, I explore how one Chinese Muslim community has engaged in "institutional forgetting" while seeking to turn wealth and consumerism into signs of religious commitment.

The Buddhist "New Life" Movement in Taiwan in the 1990s

Chien-yu Julia Huang, Boston University

In 1990, three years after the state lifted martial law and two years after Taiwan’s per capita annual income exceeded US $6,000, the membership of Ciji gongde hui (Buddhist Compassionate-Relief Merit Association) surpassed a million. It had doubled that by 1992, and doubled again by 1994. Ciji maintains the highest profile and most assets of any such organization in Taiwan over last decade. Why are Taiwanese so interested in this particular Buddhism during the period of market triumph and celebrated democracy? Founded in 1966, Ciji has been a lay Buddhist movement with monastic leadership. Its charismatic leading Buddhist nun pledges a purified human mind, harmonious society, and the relief of disaster suffering. To maintain her mission, followers contribute time and money to social welfare and international disaster relief. Moreover, devotees practice an ascetic lifestyle and abide by the ten Ciji precepts that combine Buddhist disciplines and such new civil manners and morality as no smoking, no gambling, no opportunist investment in stock market, and no political activism. Based on ethnography of southern Taiwan in the 1990s, this paper analyzes how and why people respond to Ciji’s engaged Buddhism and religiously formatted civil morality. Detailed narratives reveal that while local Ciji pioneers drew heavily on their emotional ties to its charismatic nun, latecomers spoke of Ciji’s concrete improvement in welfare and in social support mechanisms, and a new identity of civility and morality amid the estranged life brought about by market value and consumer culture.

Festival Site, Museum, and Tourist Attraction: A Rebuilt Tian Hou Temple in South China

Tik-Sang Liu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

In South China, temples are places where people worship their deities and seek the deities’ blessings. After 1949, the Chinese state identified popular religion as an obstacle to China’s modernization process, destroying or converting temples into storage or factory spaces. After China’s "reform and opening" in 1979, however, many temples were rebuilt and temple festivals are celebrated. Based on research conducted on a Tian Hou (Empress of Heaven) temple in south China, I argue that these revitalization movements are carried on within administrative loopholes that have transformed the local significance of temples. During the late imperial period, this Tian Hou temple drew numerous pilgrims from the Pearl River delta. After 1949, the temple was demolished, and the land was converted into a military base monitoring Hong Kong. In 1995, a new Tian Hou temple was rebuilt at the original site under the state’s "heritage protection" claims to attract pilgrims (who are also investors) from Hong Kong. Although the temple can generate considerable income from these pilgrims, no connections between pilgrims and the temple are maintained, and the temple has not become a means for organizing local or regional communities as it did in the past. This paper will explore how the rebuilt temple has become detached from the local political context through its official promotion as a museum. To the people who participate in pilgrimages, the temple has been transformed into a temporary time and space for their own religious activities.

Catholic and Modern in a Chinese Village: Young Adults "Keeping the Faith"

Eriberto P. Lozada, Jr., Butler University

In a rural Hakka village in northern Guangdong, Catholicism survived over thirty years of persecution during the Maoist period due to the leadership of Catholics who were raised when American Maryknoll missionaries and Catholic rituals were a part of everyday life. Catholicism remained underground during the Maoist period, but resurfaced in 1983 under the leadership of these "martyred" generations. Since then, new generations of Catholics who largely grew up in the reform era are beginning to assume leadership positions in the village and region, facing different challenges to their Catholicism than their elders—global capitalism, deterritorialization, and intensive consumption patterns. Based on fieldwork conducted in a Catholic village in Jiaoling County, Guangdong between 1993–2000, this paper will examine how young adults fit Catholicism and modernity together in their pursuit of the good life. As participants in the flow of labor from rural villages to the regional centers of global capitalism in southern China, these young men and women are developing a uniquely Chinese modernity as they work and play, while adhering to the faith of their fathers. How have young adults reconciled the different visions of the good life promoted by their church, their state, and the possibilities experienced through global media? How have their experiences growing up in post-Mao China shaped their attitude towards the local church, as they gradually assume more influential leadership roles? This paper will address how their different strategies reflect the redefinition of religious practices in a Chinese society that emphasizes economic development.


Session 144: Education, Incentives, and Market Rewards in Contemporary China

Organizer: Margaret Maurer-Fazio, Bates College

Chair: Thomas G. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh

Discussant: James W. Hughes, Bates College

Keywords: education, wages, incentives, returns to schooling, labor markets.

Among the most dramatic changes to affect China in the 1990s are the emergence of a market-driven system of labor allocation and remuneration and an upsurge in labor mobility. Each of the papers proposed here seeks to understand and characterize aspects of these changes as they relate to the nexus between education and employment rewards. Each of the papers is based on the analysis survey data.

Weili Ding and Steven Lehrer focus on the effects of performance incentives and evaluations on educators themselves. That is, they concentrate on the relationship between objective and subjective measures of teachers’ accomplishments and their pay. Those ranked more highly receive larger salary increases. They examine the interesting question of who receives the higher rankings.

Xiaojun Wang investigates how wages and employment vary across workers with low and high levels of schooling. They find, in comparison to a profit-maximizing standard, over-employment of production workers with low levels of education and underemployment and gross underemployment of workers with higher levels of education in skills. They find an astonishing divergence in the value of employing one more highly educated worker (social return of 50 percent) and the rewards to obtaining a college education (5 percent).

Margaret Maurer-Fazio explores the effects of investing in human capital accumulation (formal schooling and job training) on the relative labor market outcomes of three groups of workers in China’s urban labor markets—rural-to-urban migrants, laid-off urban workers, and still employed urban workers. She analyzes the effects of their educational investments on pay and the probability of being laid off and re-employed. She compares the labor-market behavior, attitudes, and strategies of the workers.

Using Performance Incentives to Reward the Value Added by Educators: Theory and Evidence from China

Weili Ding and Steven F. Lehrer, University of Pittsburgh

Over the last thirty years, education reform has been a constant topic of debate for both policy makers and social scientists. The majority of proposals for reform have been based on a combination of regulations and fixed definitions of school—the resources, organization, and structure of schools and classrooms. However, recently increased attention has been directed to the results of the school. Reform proposals have suggested policies that are built on what students actually accomplish and reward instructors who induce good performance by students—"accountability." In this paper we demonstrate that incentive contracts based on a combination of objective and subjective performance evaluations can mitigate incentive distortions caused by imperfect objective measure. Moreover, the combined incentives under such a contract are increasing with the variation of the objective performance measure. We then test the performance of our model using data from China. In China, administrators’ evaluation of teachers’ performance determines a significant component of teacher compensation. We find that increases in salary are greater for higher ranked instructors. Finally, we find that although education and gender do not affect salary they are significantly related to the probability of promotion. Instructors who are more educated, married, male, experienced and who encounter fewer students within a week are more likely to be higher ranked.

Wages, Human Capital, and Work Incentives in a Transition Economy: The Case of Mainland China

Xiaojun Wang, Ohio State University

I study the wage structure between production workers (workers with low schooling) and technical/administrative staff (workers with high levels of schooling) in both urban and rural Chinese nonagricultural enterprises and find that employment-wage patterns cannot be explained under the paradigms of the profit-maximizing firm nor a simple interpretation of implications of the labor-managed firm. We find evidence that both urban and rural enterprises achieve productivity-enhancement from paying higher wages than "necessary" to attract a given number of workers, but neither group of firms exploits the efficiency-enhancing potential of higher wages as much as they might. Our empirical results imply over-employment of production workers relative to a profit-maximizing standard (even though rural enterprises must consider that hiring more workers requires that they increase the wages they pay) and underemployment and gross underpayment of workers with higher levels of schooling and skills. The estimates suggest that maintaining high employment levels is relatively more important than maximizing profits for firms of all ownership classes. On the basis of these results, I believe that employment growth is limited by investable-funds constraints in the presence of evidently inflexible (downward) capital-labor ratios. Moreover, I estimate the social return to employing additional technical and administrative workers to be of the order of magnitude of 50 percent, while the private return to obtaining a college education is barely 5 percent.

The Effects of Education and Training on Labor Market Outcomes in China’s Urban Labor Markets

Margaret Maurer-Fazio, Bates College

The pace and scale of transformation in China’s labor force structure, system of labor allocation, and earnings determination are unprecedented. In 1996, 45 million migrants sought work in cities while in the same year large-scale layoffs of urban workers were reported for the first time. By 1997, 6 million urban residents were officially unemployed (3.2 percent of the urban labor force) with another 11.5 to 15 million urban workers (residents) suspended from their jobs. These mass layoffs smashed the iron rice bowl, the socialist guarantee of lifetime employment. The implementation of the reform policies that allowed state-owned enterprises to lay off redundant workers coincided with a marked downturn in Asian economies. The consequent reduction in labor demand and increase in unemployment has pitted the interests of urban worker against those of migrants.

To explore issues related to the experience, perceptions, and interactions of rural-to-urban migrants, and laid-off and still employed urbanites, in the fall of 1999 I conducted surveys, interviews, and case studies of 120 enterprises and 5,400 workers in six cities (Beijing, Nanjing, Wuhan, Xian, Tianjin and Changchun). In this paper I employ the survey results to explore the effects of investments in human capital accumulation (formal education and on- and off-the-job training) on wages and the probabilities of being laid off and re-employed. I also use the survey results to investigate similarities and differences (by educational attainment) in the labor supply behavior, attitudes, and strategies of these three categories of workers.

Strategic Labor Supply Decisions and Education Attainment in Periods of Boom and Bust in Rural China

Scott Rozelle, University of California, Davis; Linxiu Zhang, Jikun Huang, and Amelia Hughart

One of agricultural sector’s least explored roles in a rapidly industrializing economy is as a safety net for families of urban and rural non-farm workers who lose their jobs. Despite the potential importance of the linkage between the agricultural and nonagricultural labor markets in China, there still is relatively little research on the dynamics of the household’s and individual’s labor supply decision and the movement of labor between the agricultural and off-farm sectors during different phases of the business cycle. Even less is understood about how the education of the household’s members help individuals and the family cope during inflation.

The overall goal of our paper is to help increase our understanding of labor supply and impact of education on the labor supply decision in China during times of recession. To meet this goal, our paper describes labor shifts in response to China’s cycles of boom and bust, explores farmer’s and family’s decision to enter or exit the off-farm labor force at different points in the business cycle, and assesses the welfare implications of these shifts. In particular, we are interested in the role the education plays in helping farmers keep their jobs in times of recessions and finding jobs when boom periods come. Using a household data set, our paper presents evidence that China’s agricultural sector, at least that in the sample areas in Northern Jiangsu Province, has played an important stability-increasing role in the nation’s development in the reform era. Families and individuals in these areas are making strategic labor allocations, taking into account the decisions of other members. When layoffs increased and hiring slowed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, those who lost their jobs returned to the agricultural sector. Increased labor use in agriculture certainly has reduced the fluctuation of incomes that would have been suffered if there was no work on the farm. Although education does not matter much in the labor supply decision in the 1980s, by the 1990s, education is found to contribute both to the ability of the family and individual to keep their off-farm employment during recessions and getting jobs when the economy picks back up. The findings are consistent with the fad that labor markets are increasingly developed and rewarding labor market participants who have higher human capital.


Session 145: The Politics of Proprietorship and Piracy: Three Approaches to Understanding Intellectual Property Rights in China

Organizer: Andrew Mertha, University of Michigan

Chair: Donald C. Clarke, University of Washington

Discussants: Mark Frazier, University of Louisville; Donald C. Clarke, University of Washington

Keywords: China, intellectual property, law (or "legal"), trade, bureaucracy.

The intellectual property rights (IPR) issue in China is tremendously important for Chinese and foreign businesses, politicians, and legalists. Developing an effective IPR regime is a critical step in China’s transition from a manufacturer of low-end commodities to a producer of technology-intensive exports, as well as towards China’s goal of emerging as a mature player in the global informational economy. However, China’s substandard performance in IPR protection highlights many of the systemic problems facing the Chinese state in its attempts to move its political and legal bureaucracies as well as its economic and social systems away from the enduring structural and normative legacies of the pre-reform era. Moreover, in the 1990s, China’s ineffective IPR enforcement climate strained China’s trade relations with the United States to the point where the two countries came dangerously close to a trade war over the issue on three separate occasions.

The papers in this panel focus on three distinct but critical dimensions to understanding IPR in China. Dr. Sun’s paper looks at the current development of China’s legal intellectual property regime. Mr. Mertha looks at the evolution of China’s administrative enforcement bureaucracy for intellectual property and examines structural impediments to IPR enforcement in China. Dr. Zeng looks at IPR as a trade issue between the United States and China to illustrate the difficulties inherent in US attempts to impose a more effective IPR regime onto China.

Reform on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights: The Linchpin of a Rule-of-Law Society in China

Andy Y. Sun, Asia Pacific Legal Institute

The paper provides a comprehensive overview and an evaluation of China’s efforts to establish and improve its protection of intellectual property rights. It offers a critical review on the reality of a legal regime built with the combination of various Chinese ancient philosophies, European civil law, socialist ideology and modern international as well as domestic pressure. Emphasis is given on how the laws are actually operated and enforced, and how this reality may affect the overall legal reform towards the goal of a rule-of-law society in China.

Since China began its "open door" policy in 1978, the issue of intellectual property moved very quickly to the center stage of China’s increasingly complex relations with the international community, where it has remained for the past decade. This issue, ostensibly a trade-related dispute, in fact goes to the very core of China’s legal infrastructure and its future direction of economic development. Lessons drawn from China’s experiences indeed can be shared by many other nations and will be extremely valuable for the process and ultimate achievement of a harmonized global intellectual property and trade regime currently underway.

Explaining the Ineffectiveness of US Threat Tactics against China: The Case of Intellectual Property Rights

Ka Zeng, University of Arkansas

I explain the ineffectiveness of US aggressive negotiation tactics against China by examining US-China trade negotiations over intellectual property rights (IPR). I argue that in addition to the inherent difficulties of negotiating effective IPR deals, the US side suffered from internal political divisions resulting from the complementary trade relationship between the two countries. Since China produces commodities that are no longer produced efficiently in the United States, export-seeking and import-using interests in the United States hold divergent policy preferences. Although the IPR industries pushed for trade sanctions against China, their effectiveness was undermined by opposition from a large US constituency comprised of footwear, toy, and apparel manufacturers and distributors who relied on inexpensive labor-intensive products made in China. Opposition from other exporters seeking continued access to the China market such as aircraft and automobile manufacturers further eroded the strength of the IPR lobby. These divisions in US domestic politics not only reduced the credibility of American threats to the Chinese, but also constrained US negotiators from implementing the threatened sanctions.

Infringement, Institutions, and Immobilism: Structural Impediments and Administrative Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in China

Andrew Mertha, University of Michigan

This paper analyzes the basic structural problems faced by Chinese administrative enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the post-Mao era. I analyze China’s three administrative systems for managing patents, copyright, and trademarks, respectively. In comparing these three bureaucracies, this paper will explain why local trademark enforcement, while not ideal, is far more effective than is local enforcement of copyright or patents. Specifically, I argue that variation along three dimensions—the organizational structure, jurisdictional scope, and political "openness" of these three bureaucratic systems—account for these different enforcement outcomes. Finally, I document how foreign actors have been able to establish informal relationships with some of these enforcement agencies and the impact of this on the uneven development of China’s IPR administrative enforcement regime. This paper departs from traditional analyses on the subject by focusing on the administrative enforcement apparatus, as distinct from the legal regime, for managing intellectual property in China.


Session 146: Re-excavating Early China: Alternative Methodological Applications

Organizer and Chair: Laura A. Skosey, University of Chicago

Discussant: Deborah Porter, University of Utah

Keywords: early China, methodology, archaeology, texts, law.

The papers in this panel re-examine several aspects of early Chinese history using alterative methodologies, many of which are commonly used in non-China fields. As such, the panelists hope to draw specialists in early China as well as other Asianists interested in issues of methodology.

Much of the work in the field is aimed at the fundamental and essential task of deciphering materials. However, once "deciphered," examinations of many of these materials tend to be circumscribed to their own limited temporal and cultural contexts. The field of early China studies is relatively complacent in its reliance on traditional hermeneutical analyses and its acceptance of many of the conclusions drawn therefrom.

By subjecting the materials to alternative methodological and theoretical analyses (e.g., anthropology, sociology, jurisprudence, geneaological, and cross-cultural examinations) we hope to accomplish three things. First, we will call into question, if not debunk, some heretofore accepted truisms. The papers by Eno and Li figure most prominently in this regard. Second, the theoretical applications employed by Cook and Skosey will bring to light some of the universal aspects that lay behind the workings of human society and culture and which are shared by the ancient Chinese and people of other temporal and geographic locales. And third, through our manifold approaches to the various issues under discussion, we hope to bring the field of early China studies to a level more congenial to cross-temporal and cross-cultural comparative studies.

Defining Zhou: Image and Reality in Ancient China

Constance A. Cook, Lehigh University

The essay discusses the conflicting images of the Western Zhou period drawn from the "hard" (paleographic) versus the "soft" (transmitted) textual traditions—texts written during and after the rise and fall of the Zhou hegemony. We see, for example, that the "soft" textual image of a Zhou feudal empire founded by heroes finds only weak support in the "hard" texts. This paper focuses on the rhetoric of a Zhou national identity in the two types of texts, discusses their relative historical contexts, and outlines some of the contradictions and consistencies. While the paper will not attempt a picture of the "real" Zhou, it will attempt to assess the value of the two types of texts in the ultimate goal of sketching such a picture.

Some New Thoughts about Western Zhou "Feudalism"

Feng Li, Arkansas State University

The verity of the existence of feudalism in the Western Zhou period (ca. 1045–771 B.C.E.) has been accepted by many scholars in the field of early China studies. The nature of the land tenure system is a critical issue in understanding the nature and function of the early Chinese state prior to the Qin unification in 221 B.C.E.

Archaeological discoveries in recent years have shed some new light on the formation and workings of the Western Zhou state. Consequently, it is necessary to reconsider the validity of characterizing the Western Zhou state as feudal.

In this paper, the author utilizes recent archaeological discoveries and compares the Western Zhou institution of land tenure with feudalism in Medieval Europe. He pays special attention to the differences between these two unique systems and concludes that the Western Zhou institution is better termed by the Chinese fengjian and not "feudal."

The Social Background of the Kong Family of Lu and the Origins of Ruism

Robert Eno, Indiana University

The Shiji portrays Confucius’s family as refugees from Song, a Shang cultural region. Scholarship on Confucius’s cultural origins has frequently focused on how this Shang connection may have fostered Confucius’s broad vision of the institutional history of early society.

However, the evidence of Confucius’s connection to Song is not strong. Alternative evidence points to a connection with Zhulou, a state adjacent to Lu and occupied by a branch of the Yi-people of Eastern China. Historical sources suggest that Confucius’s male forebears were closely connected with a single great family of Lu, the Zang clan, which had produced Lu’s most eminent pre-Confucian thinker, and, which texts suggest had links with Zhulou culture. Also, Confucius’s maternal family, the Yan clan, may be traced to Zhulou.

The cultural and social forces that most immediately bore on Confucius may have involved sudden dislocations in the Zang clan that occurred at the time of Confucius’s father’s early death, leaving Confucius an orphaned member of a family descended from a denigrated cultural group. Confucius’s ritual fastidiousness may reflect the outsider’s attempt to repair a damaged social position through conspicuous devotion to orthodoxy.

By analyzing genealogical records and local geography, and by applying hermeneutical methods to historical and philosophical texts, this paper will suggest that the Shiji portrait of Confucius may reflect conscious efforts by members of the early Confucius cult to efface the record of Confucius’s intellectual predecessors, the Zangs, and to substitute for Confucius’s Yi origins a more culturally legitimate outsider connection with the Shang people.

Narrative Jurisprudence and Legal Reform: An Alternative Reading of the First of China’s "Treatises on Penal Law" (The Han Shu "Xingfazhi")

Laura A. Skosey, University of Chicago

In this paper I suggest that the "Xingfazhi" of the Han shu (written by Ban Gu around 75 C.E.) ought not be read simply as an historical narrative, but also as a piece of literary narrative, and more specifically, as a piece of narrative jurisprudence.

Narrative jurisprudence is one of the many facets of the Law and Literature movement, a hermeneutic branch of legal theory developed in the West nearly thirty years ago which focuses on the many relationships between law and literature. Narrative jurisprudence offers a "humanistic approach to law and legal criticism" (West 1993:11). It is argued that because law so strongly colors our sense of morality, it is impossible to criticize law on moral grounds. This is where literature comes into play: the narrative voice provides a means to convey subjective feeling and thus induce empathy in the target audience, thereby changing their moral beliefs and hence, their beliefs about the way law is and should be.

I suggest that although written two thousand years before the articulation of this theory, the Han shu’s "Xingfazhi" is an example of just such a "literary indictment of legal injustice" (Posner 1988). My paper incorporates a narrative jurisprudential reading of Samuel Clemens’ Puddn’Head Wilson by way of elucidation and comparison. I conclude that Ban Gu’s "Xingfazhi" stands alone among all "Xingfazhi" found in several subsequent dynastic histories not only in terms of its programmatic thrust, but also, and especially, in terms of its composition—which is grounded in what Ban Gu perceived of as justification for legal reform. Such a reading also alludes to Ban Gu’s own ideas of the nature, correct functioning and aims of law and punishment.


Session 147: Roundtable: Legacy: The Cultural Revolution and Contemporary China

Organizer and Chair: Yongyi Song, Dickinson College

Discussants: Andrew G. Walder, Stanford University; Jian Guo, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater; Judith Shapiro, American University; Youqin Wang, University of Chicago; Andrew Scobell, U.S. Army War College; C. X. George Wei, Susquehanna University

The Cultural Revolution (1966–76) is known as a pivotal historical event and a complex cultural phenomenon in the whole fifty-year history of the People’s Republic of China. Any study of China or Chinese Communism that does not include the Cultural Revolution will undoubtedly be considered incomplete. The Cultural Revolution has altered the Chinese political and social landscape so much that, twenty-five years later, its consequences are still apparent in China and its impact has affected nearly every facet of the Chinese society today. Analyzing the legacy of the Cultural Revolution will greatly facilitate the understanding of contemporary China and help forecast its future.

Each participant will introduce a new outlook on contemporary China. They will discuss principal aspects of China today that have some connection to the Cultural Revolution. The presentation topics include: The Red Guard Movement and the Fourth Generation of the CCP leaders, "The Big Democracy" in the Cultural Revolution and Democracy in China Today, The Confrontation between Forces to Cover Up and Uncover Historical Truth: Memories about the Red Terror, The PLA in the Cultural Revolution and its Current Strategy, and Mao’s War against Nature: the Contemporary Legacy. Discussing current affairs in China in the context of the Cultural Revolution will not only shed interesting light on events happening in China today, but also broaden the scope of research on the Cultural Revolution and deepen people’s understanding about this important period in Chinese history.


Session 148: Individual Papers

Organizer and Chair: Pamela Crossley, Dartmouth College

Tang Blue-and-White Wares: Uncovering the Origin and Their Significance in the History of China

Heekyung Lee, SOAS, University of London

In China, the technique of decorating ceramic with cobalt is thought to have originated during the Tang dynasty (617–906). The sudden use of underglaze blue and foreign style of decoration in the Tang dynasty, coupled with the belief that large scale production began only during the Yuan dynasty (1260–1367) have together constituted the most puzzling elements in Chinese ceramic history. In general, concerning blue-and-white wares in China, while one school of thought holds that the surface decoration was derived from similar vessels found in West Asia, the other locates its source in Chinese tradition.

This paper challenges the traditional stylistic approach and investigates the origin of blue-and-white wares in the context of religious institutional use of vessels in Buddhism. There have been few inquiries into the question of the institutional use of blue-and-white wares in Chinese history.

This paper will thoroughly explore the origin of this type of ware based upon textual evidence. Most significantly, it will further examine how the textual sources were interpreted and visualized in the actual art objects in the context of socio-cultural milieu of the Medieval period. Thus, this paper will highlight the birth of blue-and-white wares as emerging from complex interaction of the religious ideas and socio-cultural phenomena of the Tang dynasty.

Dying to Be Young: The Shift in Ritual Performers from Female to Child in Chinese Ecstatic Religion

Alison Marshall, Brandon University

Prior to the Han dynasty, Chinese religious ecstatics were commonly described as wu, with female religious ecstatics being known for the performance of ritual rain dancing, and sometimes self-sacrifice. In the Han dynasty, historical and polemical texts began to highlight the child as a significant religious performer and even a religious ecstatic who dances for rain. Guided by Anne Behnke Kinney’s studies on the importance of children in Chinese history and Richard Schechner’s theories of transformation and performance, this paper examines the emergence of the youthful ecstatic or tong in Han dynasty ritual performance and the belief that youthful ecstatics were more efficacious than the male or female wu. The paper offers new insights into why Chinese ecstatic religion began to value youth and posits a new way of understanding how contemporary religious ecstatics in southern China and Taiwan called divining youth (jitong) can claim that they belong to the wu tradition of ancient China.

The Mirror and the Casket: Representations of Identity and Status in Tang Princess Tombs

Jenny Chao-Hui Liu, SOAS, University of London

The identity and status of imperial women became increasingly ambiguous its the early/middle Tang period. Confucian scholars and princesses competed for the emperors acceptance of their version of the imperial daughter’s place at court. One of the most hotly contested areas was the building of princess tombs. This study explores complex issues of status, ritual, and art as such in the princess tombs.

I focus on three excavated Tang princess tombs from 643–706 A.D., analyzing the different representations of the princesses in tomb murals/tomb contents, above-ground commemorative structures, and epitaph texts. None are faithful depictions of princesses’ lives, but serve as visual and textual "constructions" in order to fulfill the ritual/rhetorical purposes of provision and of commemoration.

In the epitaphs, princesses are portrayed variously as paragons of virtue and metaphorically as flowers and mirrors. These portrayals, along with the ambiguous representations of princesses as "fake princes," and funerary rituals all offer insight into the iconographical program of Tang tombs.

Chinese Metaphysics in The Tribute Horse

Cliff McMahon, University of Texas, Permian Basin

One of the world’s most important paintings is the ancient Chinese masterpiece The Tribute Horse. Behind this work stands a carefully worked-out Chinese worldview, closely harmonized with a cluster of art signs which carry specific meanings. The function of these signs is chiefly rooted in Taoism and the Tao Tê Ching, but also fed by Confucian concepts, especially since there were strong efforts throughout Chinese history to harmonize Lao Tzu and Confucius. Many important meanings of this painting will be missed unless the interpreter has knowledge of the major sign and symbol conventions in the tradition of landscape painting. For instance, important revelations are carried by mountain and valley forms, by the spottings of the horses, by the fluttering of the ribbons, by the turning of human heads, by the tree and rock details, by the lines of sinuous twisting, by the sense of foundations in earth, by the dark and light Yin-Yang contrasts, by the sense of proper human activity, by the intimations of court authority, and by the metaphysical motifs of advance and retreat which mark the very idea of a journey. To read these hints properly, one must point to crucial passages in the Tao Tê Ching, and to major Confucian concepts, and to key doctrines in Neo-Confucianism, famous for amalgamating Taoist ideals with a new sense of philosophic sophistication about the logical principles behind the world structure. One of the unique properties of great paintings is the vivid way, the universally graspable way, in which the art works can keep alive and fresh in the present the metaphysical systems of past cultures.


Session 163: Cinema and the Politics of Culture in Early-Twentieth-Century China

Organizer and Chair: Kristine Harris, State University of New York, New Paltz

Discussant: Poshek Fu, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Keywords: modern, Shanghai, urban, history, film.

Current scholarship on Chinese cinema has been disproportionately concentrated on the post-Cultural Revolution period. This panel attempts to redress the imbalance by focusing on earlier decades of the twentieth century and situating film studies in historical context. Each of the four presentations examines newly available sources from the 1920s and 1930s, analyzing government archival records, film magazines, and popular movies subsequently marginalized by the dominant critical discourse on Chinese film. This fresh interdisciplinary look at the sources prompts us to revisit some of the most durably opposed categories in modern Chinese cultural history—cultural production versus the nation-state, leftists versus modernists, art versus commerce, stage versus screen. By reassessing the affinities and associations within these categories, the papers collectively challenge the common understanding of the aesthetic, social, and political forces embedded in the formative years of Chinese cinema. Audiovisual sources will be screened for illustrative purposes, and Poshek Fu’s perspective on the Shanghai-Hong Kong nexus of pre-1949 film history will open up the session for comments and further discussion.

New Perspectives on Film Censorship during the 1920s and 1930s

Zhiwei Xiao, California State University, San Marcos

This paper challenges the conventional view of film censorship in pre-1949 China, which tends to pit the progressive artists (filmmakers) against the oppressive nationalist state and more often than not presents GMD control over cultural expressions as an impediment to artistic creativity and freedom of speech. Such a view has been promoted by the CCP in an attempt to demonize the Nationalists. For understandable reasons, many filmmakers from that period encourage this representation and portray themselves as victims of the nationalists’ oppressive cultural policy. But such a simplistic view of the Nationalist film censorship totally ignores the real dynamics involved in the censorial practice. I focus on the complex role film censorship played during the two decades before the war, to offer a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between the film industry and the nationalist state.

Metamorphoses from Stage to Screen in Prewar Chinese Cinema

Kristine Harris, State University of New York, New Paltz

When early-twentieth-century filmmakers were carving out a space for cinema as a legitimate and profitable field of cultural production in China, one challenge they faced was to position their works strategically in relation to popular theater. This paper interrogates the ways screen productions negotiated their connections with the stage world, as each oscillated between mutual affinity and radical disavowal. I analyze these tensions as they emerged in film casting, publicity, and narratives, taking as an example the long-neglected film Huashen guniang. Appropriating stage talent for the screen, director Fang Peilin cast a popular new female opera star in the lead role, and publicized the film by depicting her in poses that recall the great male performers of female roles. The selection of an actress from an aesthetic form that often still employed cross-gender casting brought a compelling twist to the film’s narrative, for she played a girl who is persuaded by her parents to masquerade as a grandson and heir for the ailing family patriarch. Huashen guniang, and its publicity, pitched this gender-bending performance as a spectacular romantic comedy. As such, the film’s genre and subject matter left it outside the PRC canon for 1930s cinema and, until recently, marginalized from view. Yet Huashen guniang’s satirical take on the encounter between Confucian morality and new behaviors codified as modern make it one of a group of films prior to 1949 which offer us a fresh look at gender politics and the evolving relationship between stage and screen.

Art and Politics in Chinese Cinema of the 1930s

Vivian Shen, Davidson College, NC

Addressing the question of what constitutes a "left-wing" or a "right-wing" film in the 1930s by discussing Girl in Disguise (Huashen guniang) and a few other films, this paper argues that the Shanghai film industry would have continued its legacy as the "Hollywood of the Orient" if it were not for the political crisis into which China was constantly thrown. I discuss two major forces that politicized cinema in the 1930s. One was the long historical tradition in which writers and artists employed their works to serve politics. The other was the increasing anti-imperialist sentiment during the decade, which prioritized the nation over the art. As a result, Chinese cinema of this period should not be understood as mere popular entertainment.

Modern Screen, The Sports Queen, and Chinese National Culture of the Early 1930s

Zhen Zhang, New York University

The early 1930s witnessed the transformation of a thoroughly commercialized film industry into an increasingly politicized enterprise, especially in the aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and the attack of Shanghai. In this paper, I attempt a re-mapping of the landscape of film culture of this period and try to expose its aesthetic heterogeneity and political flexibility. I focus on the controversy over the so-called "soft film" through an examination of the modernist magazine Modern Screen and Sun Yu’s film The Sports Queen (1934). By investigating the ambiguities inherent in the divide between differing aesthetics and politics as well as in their articulation in film practice, we may reach a better understanding of the complex relationship between cinema and national culture at a critical moment in modern Chinese history.


Session 164: Metamorphosis of European Knowledge in Late Imperial China (1580–1800)

Organizer: Minghui Hu, University of California, Los Angeles

Chair: Catherine Jami, CNRS, Paris

Discussant: Lydia He Liu, University of California, Berkeley

When Catholic missionaries brought a unitary complex of Christianity and science to China, the Chinese elite and commoners appropriated aspects of this knowledge as they saw fit. Elites in court highlighted the utility and rationality of Jesuit sciences to serve the empire, while popular audiences in the provinces were attracted to the efficacy of rituals and the prospect of a new communal religiosity. We investigate how different regions and different levels of Chinese society adopted or rejected elements of European knowledge and practice. We also examine how this knowledge was gradually assimilated and accepted as "native."

Catherine Jami and Minghui Hu discuss how Jesuit science operated in Kangxi’s court. Jami examines how Kangxi manipulated new cultural resources to ensure the imperial monopoly of mathematics, astronomy, and geography. Hu describes how the Chinese elite assimilated Jesuit astronomy by claiming the Chinese origin of Western learning. Liam Brockey and Eugenio Menegon address Catholicism at the popular level and competition between different religious traditions. Brockey discusses how Jesuit missionaries adapted European styles of social organization to form provincial communities of believers. Menegon examines how the interaction between local religious and Christian traditions facilitated the emergence of new forms of corporate religiosity.

Our panel collectively shows how a range of manipulations, selections, and negotiations in Catholic science and ritual brought into being new forms of hybridized knowledge and practice in late imperial China. This panel will benefit from discussions by Lydia Liu. Her expertise on cultural exchange and circulation will bring a fresh perspective on our historical narratives.

Imperial Control and Western Learning: The Kangxi Emperor’s (r. 1662–1722) Performance

Catherine Jami, CNRS, Paris

In the context of the early Qing, "the Jesuits’ scientific contribution" in China is best understood as their providing tools to consolidate Manchu rule. Whereas the calendar, epitomizing control of heaven, was mainly a symbolic tool, Huangyu quanlan tu (1718), the atlas which resulted from a survey of China done by Jesuits and Chinese officials, was a substantial aid to controlling the territory.

This paper shows how, while commissioning scholars or professionals to carry out specialized work, the Kangxi Emperor ensured imperial monopoly in fields such as mathematics, astronomy, and geography. Chinese and Western sources reveal different ways in which, throughout his reign, he used self-display as a means of asserting his personal control not only of Heaven (the calendar) and Earth (cartography), but also of Man (scholars and officials, Chinese, Manchu or Western). Official records and private accounts, as well as Jesuits’ correspondence and diaries, vividly depict Kangxi’s study and teaching of Western learning, and his turning of knowledge into action.

Two interpretations are proposed. First, the emperor, rather than attempting to found in China a counterpart of European Ancien Régime state-sponsored scientific institutions, can be seen as performing founding acts for establishing the Qing dynasty. Secondly, in doing so he also comes to a tacit agreement with Chinese scholars: while leaving "efficiency" and "action" to him, they are granted some degree of autonomy as regards text and discourse. The way in which mathematics and astronomy developed in the following century was a result of this transaction.

Provenance in Contest: Searching for the Origins of Jesuit Astronomy (1664–1722)

Minghui Hu, University of California, Los Angeles

The appropriation of Jesuit astronomy and the reinvention of Chinese antiquity in eighteenth-century China were a single historical process. Historians have, however, considered each aspect in isolation. Many suggested that China failed to embrace Jesuit astronomy because it was bound by tradition. This implies that China remained to be the radically different other, or it was simply incapable of formulating a correct policy to plant the precious seeds of modern science in the Chinese soil. On the other hand, historians in China are reserved and negative toward the discourse on the reinvention of Chinese antiquity, dismissing it as Western learning originated from ancient China (xixue zhongyuan). In light of new materials I found in Paris and Rome, these two apparently conflicting dimensions can and should be integrated into a complex structure and process.

In this paper, I will examine the reciprocal negotiation among the Manchu imperial house, Jesuits, and literati in this structure and process and how they made it possible for both Jesuits and literati to filter the Jesuit cosmic and mathematical knowledge into ancient texts in China. This investigation concludes that the appropriation of Jesuit astronomy thereafter became a necessary condition for the intellectual reinvention of Chinese antiquity in eighteenth-century China.

Penance, Chastity, and Common Rituals in the Christian Community of Fuan in Late Imperial Fujian

Eugenio Menegon, University of California, Berkeley

As part of my larger project on Christianity in northeastern Fujian (1625–1785), this paper examines the socio-religious formations of the Fuan Christian community.

Employing rare Christian sources in Chinese and Western languages, and Ming-Qing government reports, I will first offer a reconstruction of the social profile of Fuan Christians. I will then concentrate on the workings of two religious institutions, the Third Order of Penance of St. Dominic, and the Beatas (Blessed Virgins). I will analyze the strategies adopted by converts in their ritual activities, and place them in the context of local socio-religious phenomena.

My aim is to show how Fuan Christian religious culture was structured around Spanish traditions of communal religiosity imported by the Dominican missionaries. However, I also argue that Fuan Christian culture was also influenced by a variety of Fujianese religious traditions, such as the cult of local goddesses, the religious communication through mediums, and the healing presence of holy men and women. While upholding strict prohibitions against ancestral rituals—this being a crucial difference with Jesuit communities—Fuan Christianity was molded by its Chinese environment.

Besides offering a picture of Chinese Christian life in a non-Jesuit community, I hope to detail how Christianity became part of the local religious landscape in Fuan by the mid-18th century. Thus, my work not only contributes to the debate concerning local forms of religious organization outside of Confucian orthodoxy, but also shows that the "Teachings of the Lord of Heaven" (Tianzhujiao) before 1800 should be fully considered a "Chinese religion."

Shengmu Hui and Tianshen Hui: Rural Communities and Jesuit Missionaries in Seventeenth-Century China

Liam Brockey, Brown University

In the past few years, the study of intercultural communication has produced particularly fascinating results in the analysis of the Jesuit mission to China between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. In this presentation I will explore the social aspects of this meeting, showing how European missionaries translated the popular dimensions of the Christian message for their Chinese audience.

Shifting away from the theme of Jesuit mandarins at the imperial court, I analyze the ways these missionaries attended to the missionization of the China in provincial towns and cities. Seeing the itinerant missionaries in Jiangnan as popular preachers and community leaders, I will address the ways in which they implanted European forms of social organization, spiritual practice, and social assistance among their converts. Relying on contemporary Jesuit correspondence, I explain the methodical process devised by the missionaries to structure groups of believers into devotional brotherhoods aimed to maintain converts in the spiritual and social practice of their new religion. Hybrids of popular Chinese groups and European assistential and devotional confraternities, these brotherhoods sought to provide the social components of European Christianity to Chinese society. Rooted in the Jesuits’ European experiences but inscribed onto the Chinese reality, these groups aimed to transform the Confucian philosophical underpinnings of tending to the poor and the infirm into expressions of Christian charity. Through this analysis, I will also show how the Jesuits attempted to provide pastoral care for their non-elite converts, confronted with the problems of maintaining large religious communities with few European missionaries.


Session 165: Between Developmentalism and Cronyism: The Janus Face of the State

Organizer: Tak-Wing Ngo, Leiden University

Chair and Discussant: Anthony J. Saich, Harvard University

The role of the state in China’s development has been ambiguous if not contradictory. In many localities the state has assumed a developmental role in promoting growth and coordinating economic activities. In other areas, it assumes an entrepreneurial function by engaging directly in profit-making activities. Yet instances of official corruption, rent seeking, and other predatory activities abound. This applies not only to mainland China, but also to Taiwan, where the state is often seen as an exemplar of the East Asian developmental state. This panel seeks to explore the relationship between these contradictory roles played by the Chinese state and to identify the institutional artifacts that give rise at the same time to developmentalism and cronyism. Based on recent fieldwork and archival research, the four papers in this panel aim to show that developmentalism and cronyism are not two separate terrains of state action, but derive from the same political and institutional legacies. By highlighting the changing boundary of the public and the private, the incentive structure created by the cadre management system, and the manipulation of distributive conflicts by selective rent giving, the papers will present new empirical evidence that offers theoretical reflection on our understanding of the role of the state in the development process.

Developmentalism and Entrepreneurialism in the Chinese Local State

Jane Duckett, University of Glasgow

Since the early 1990s, the local state in China has been described variously as developmental, entrepreneurial, and corrupt. The local developmental state model sees local governments coordinating development. The entrepreneurial state model depicts individual bureaus within local governments investing in profit-seeking activities that while increasing officials’ bonuses and helping them carry out their official functions, may also be beneficial to local economic development. The portrayal of the local state as essentially corrupt sees local officials profiting personally and illegally from local economic activity. This paper presents new empirical data on the evolution of state entrepreneurialism over the last decade. It then assesses the implications of evolving state entrepreneurialism for our understanding of the local Chinese state, comparing the different models of the local state and their institutional and behavioural foundations. The paper concludes by discussing what models of the Chinese local state best reveal the political processes behind market-oriented economic reform and growth.

Institutional Basis of Developmentalism and Cronyism in China

Maria Edin, Uppsala University

This paper focuses on the institutions which shape the incentives of state agents at the local level in the course of implementing economic reform in China. Based on recent fieldwork findings, the paper argues that political incentives, rather than economic incentives, drive cadre behavior in promoting development. The political incentives are created by the cadre responsibility system under which local cadres are held accountable both to higher levels of the party state and to the local community. Under such institutional arrangements, developmentalism and cronyism become mutually enforcing. In particular, local cadres who have successfully promoted growth are more daring in engaging in corrupt activities. In this way, political incentives not only forge a co-existence of developmentalism and cronyism but also keep cronyism in check. In other words, corruption is partly conditioned upon developmentalism. By highlighting the structural incentives to promote growth and to restrain predatory activities by state officials, the paper shows that not only is the developmental state theory applicable to China, but the China case can also contribute to the advancement of the theory itself.

The Rise of the Social and the Banalisation of the State in China

Jean-Louis Rocca, Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales, Paris

This paper aims to show that the Chinese state has been increasingly penetrated by social demands and thus coming close to the characteristics of the modern state. New power holders (such as entrepreneurs) have emerged while bureaucrats are concerned no longer solely about state interests but are also representatives of social networks and local interests. Consequently, far from being clearly demarcated, the boundary between public and private spheres is blurring. Recognizing such a process allows us to understand that the contradictory nature of the Chinese state (Weberian and patrimonial) is only apparent. The Chinese state is experiencing a process of "socialization" in which public policies are shaped by rising social expectations. Using new empirical data on the areas of corruption and re-employment projects, this paper analyses the context and highlights the difficulties in the formation of a social state in China.

State-Led Development and State-Sanctioned Rent Seeking in Taiwan

Tak-Wing Ngo, Leiden University

The state in Taiwan is often idealized as a classic example of the developmental state. State intervention in the economy is seen as contributing to the expansion of developmental horizons and the maintenance of national competitiveness. Yet notwithstanding the developmental drive, state intervention has also given rise to conspicuous rent seeking and predatory activities in a number of economic sectors and in the county- and township-level economies. These are not just sporadic irregularities in the course of state-led development but are in fact sanctioned and institutionalized by state actions. Based on archival and oral records, this paper examines the apparently contradictory roles of the state in Taiwan before and after the lifting of martial law. It sets to show that both developmental and predatory actions have been driven by the same political imperative. By selectively giving out rent, the state manipulated distributive conflicts so as to create political support for its developmental projects.


Session 166: The Tibet Question: Internal and International Dimensions

Organizer: Barry Sautman, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Chair and Discussant: A. Tom Grunfeld, SUNY, Empire State College.

Keywords: Tibet Question, China, political science, anthropology, contemporary era.

While popular interest in the Tibet Question has increased geometrically in recent years, academic research into its international and internal dimensions has just begun to bear fruit. The main international issues have been human rights and the status of Tibet. Concern about civil and cultural rights in Tibet has animated statements by parliaments and activism by NGOs in many countries. One paper examines how the controversial new central focus on human rights in the Tibet movement interacts with the larger role of human rights in international affairs generally. The issue of Tibet’s status involves not only the Chinese state and Tibetan exiles, but also scholars and journalists, who often address it from a Tibet-as-colony perspective. A second paper considers whether the main features of the ex-colonies of modern empires are found in the Tibet case and how adoption or rejection of the colonial perspective affects resolution of the Tibet Question.

An understanding of the internal dimension is enhanced by macro- and micro-level studies of Tibet’s economy and society. A third paper looks at how the economy has developed in the half century of integration with China and how development issues fit into the discourse of Tibet. A fourth paper analyzes a large-scale household-level survey of the impact of two decades of reform on the lives of Tibet’s rural majority. In doing so, it considers the way in which key sub-issues of the Tibet Question are shaped at the grass-roots level in Tibet itself. All of the papers will discuss the import of their findings for the settlement of the Tibet Question.

Waging Human Rights: Issues and Efficacy for the Tibetan Cause

Amy Mountcastle, SUNY, Plattsburgh

Since the late 1980s, Tibetan exiles have gained a measure of interest in their cause from the West by engaging in the discourse of human rights. Invoking human rights issues has enabled Tibetans a level of participation in global politics that they might otherwise be barred from. This strategy has been met with criticism from China, from Western scholars and from within the exile community. Tibetan critics argue that the focus on human rights deflects attention from the real issue of independence, while some Western scholars suggest that it obfuscates substantive issues and disagreements between the exiles and China. China views it as a tactic for internationalizing an internal matter. Each position relegates human rights to a tangential status with respect to real politics. This paper questions this assumed status by situating the Tibet Question within the broader context of the role of human rights in a changing global political landscape. While the idea of human rights is contested and its role in international politics is fraught with contradictions and uncertainties, there is evidence, particularly in the last decade, that the human rights issue is gaining new momentum and currency in international affairs.

Is Tibet China’s Colony?

Barry Sautman, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Since the internationalization of the Tibet Question began in the late 1980s, the notion that China has reduced Tibet to a colony has become a fixture of the expanding discourse of Tibet. The Tibetan exile administration and its supporters, scholars, and journalists often make use of this perspective to analyze the relationship between Tibet and the Tibetans on the one hand and China proper and the Han Chinese on the other. Although the idea is employed as a rhetorical device, it also has a dimension that impinges on efforts to settle the Tibet Question. International law clearly provides the right of self-determination only to colonized peoples; the Tibet-as-colony idea is linked to assertions of that right and, hence, to possible Tibet independence.

This essay first outlines the principal features of modern colonialism, as practiced in the European, Japanese, Manchu and other empires. It finds that the contours of colonialism have included the wholesale exclusion of colonized peoples from political participation, an ethnic hierarchy of rights that strongly disfavored the colonized, and economic exploitation that often amounted to "de-development" of the colony. Using statistical abstracts, interviews conducted in Tibet and Chinese and Western primary and secondary sources, the paper then examines contemporary Tibet’s political economy and society in light of these criteria of colonialism. It concludes that while Tibet is dependent on China proper and Tibetans face popular prejudice and discrimination, the designation of Tibet as China’s colony is inapposite.

Economic Development in Tibet, 1950–2000

June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami

Over the past half-century of Chinese Communist administration of Tibet, conflicting claims have come from party/government sources on the one hand and the exile community on the other. The latter point to massive improvements to the infrastructure, increases in livestock and agricultural products, and better manufacturing facilities resulting in rising standards of living for Tibetans. Exiles have argued that Chinese efforts have adversely impacted the environment, exploited the territory’s resources, and chiefly benefited the army and Han settlers in the TAR. This paper will attempt to assess the validity of these competing claims using both Chinese official statistics and exile data the author has collected over the last three decades. A tentative hypothesis is that, although party/government claims of rising living standards are correct, the exiles’ criticisms are valid as well. It is also likely that the development engendered by party/government policies has "colonialized" Tibet’s economy by making it dependent upon Han China for many goods and services.

The Post-Commune Era in Rural Tibet

Melvyn C. Goldstein, Case Western Reserve University

This paper analyzes the impact of China’s economic, social, and political reforms in the post-1978 period at the local level, i.e., in the villages of rural agricultural Tibet (the Tibet Autonomous Region). The data presented in the paper are based on a three year field study involving 780 households comprising 13 villages located in 3 townships (xiang) in 3 different counties (xian). The data were collected by surveys, in-depth interviews, participant observation, focus group interviews, and unpublished village, township and county records. The research examined both social and economic changes in the sample sites as well demographic information from a separate study group comprising 1,700 women over the age of 18 living in the three townships. The paper will present findings regarding the impact of the post-1978 reforms with respect to agriculture, local government, economics, migrant labor, education, religion, and fertility/contraceptive use, as well as a series of unresolved structural problems that the reforms have produced.


Session 167: Locating the Nation in the Province: Shanxi in the Twentieth Century

Organizer: Roger R. Thompson, Stanford University

Chair: Lucian W. Pye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Discussant: John Fitzgerald, La Trobe University

Keywords: China, nationalism, regionalism, Shanxi province.

The study of Chinese nationalism has been dominated for the most part by intellectual historians who have given us detailed studies of the writings of individuals like Yan Fu, Liang Qichao, and others, and to a lesser degree by social and political historians who have concentrated on anti-foreign movements, in various guises, from the 1890s onwards. In each of these approaches the focus is on a type of nationalism that claims to speak for all of China. This panel, by contrast, explores the development of Chinese nationalism in a provincial context. Rather than view provincial developments as simply echoes of larger processes of nation-building orchestrated at the center, we argue that the "nation" often becomes meaningful first in sub-national spaces. In fact, the language that describes this action might even be nominally "provincial" in orientation. It is a process of thinking nationally while acting provincially.

The province to be studied is Shanxi, whose history is particularly well-suited to illuminate these themes and points. Its location in the hinterland yields a history and significance that provides useful counterpoint to the better-known coastal provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shandong. Scholars from the United States, Sweden, and Australia will present papers covering Shanxi in the late-Qing, Republican, and PRC periods. Roger Thompson explores the successful multi-class rights-recovery movement of 1898–1908; Hakan Friberg looks at how rural elites in the 1930s used nationalistic arguments and new-style institutions to shove aside local competitors; and David Goodman examines the cultural construction of Shanxi’s provincialism during the 1990s and its impact on popular culture. With these three studies, which put the province at the center as place, administrative entity, and contender for power and privilege, we can better understand the process of transforming Shanxi’s people into citizens of a modern China.

Localism, Provincialism, and the National Project: The Rights-Recovery Movement in Shanxi, 1898–1908

Roger R. Thompson, Stanford University

Western rights to exploit Shanxi’s vast coal fields were formalized in 1898 after negotiations between the British-led Peking Syndicate and the Shanxi provincial government. Opposition by local and provincial elites, provincial and metropolitan officials, and peasant-miners, while initially ineffective in the pre-Boxer era, ultimately led to a successful recovery of mining rights for Shanxi natives in 1908. The final phase of this struggle involved officials, merchants, returned students, local elites, and peasants in a series of actions that gave voice to local and provincial demands that increasingly came to express, especially in the writings of some returned students, a nationalist vision created elsewhere. At the same time, however, one can discern an alternative vision of the nation that was taking form in Shanxi. Although in the Republican era Nationalist leaders sought to re-define Shanxi’s coal as China’s world-famous natural resource, the autarkist economic policies of Yan Xishan would continue the defense of Shanxi’s prerogatives that had begun in the late Qing.

Using the Nation Locally and Provincially: Territorial Communities, Modern Technologies, and Appeals to the (Sub)national Interest in Ante-bellum Shanxi

Hakan Friberg, Stockholm University

One of the main elements of continuity in the history of twentieth-century China has been the attempt by central, local, and peripheral actors to use the concept of the nation or the people to appropriate for themselves the right to define the true interest of all community members. Coupled with these attempts has often been an appeal to modern knowledge or modern scientific methods, and a set of hierarchically ordered territorial communities of greater or lesser scale. Members of the many different national and state projects of twentieth-century China’s militarists, political activists, administrators, modern-school students, teachers, bankers, and many others have sought to use these discursive resources in their attempts to gain the upper hand in conflicts with various rivals in national, provincial, or local arenas.

This paper will examine the use of such constructions of the national or sub-national interest, and of local, territorially defined institutions in Shanxi of the early 1930s. At this time the provincial administration in Taiyuan was launching campaign after campaign with the professed aim of saving the Chinese nation by making Shanxi rich and strong. Utilizing the momentum of these campaigns, local school teachers with degrees from provincial modern-style institutions argued that the success of the national/provincial project was dependent on the elimination of educators committed to classical scholarship, while financial elites with provincial connections argued that the fate of the nation depended on the resolution of the rural monetary crisis through the replacement of local banking practices with modern-type financial institutions under their own control. While the short term effects of these contestations were often undone in the turmoil of the war years, the long-term consequences of the introduction of nationalist discourses and statist technologies were much more far-reaching.

Structuring Local Identity: Nation, Province, and County

David S. G. Goodman, University of Technology, Sydney

Throughout the twentieth century Shanxi appears to have had a more readily defined and accessible provincial identity than many parts of China. In large part this resulted first from the establishment of effectively independent rule in the warlord era by Yan Xishan; and then later during and after the War of Resistance by Shanxi’s development as an area of considerable Communist involvement and support. Decentralization and reform in the 1980s and 1990s have been implemented by the provincial leadership through measures that explicitly build on Shanxi’s former strengths of identity. This paper examines the cultural construction of Shanxi’s provincialism during the 1990s, and also its impact on popular culture through a study of local media and interviews with a wide range of social categories across the different locations and sub-cultures of the province. Although some commentators have argued that decentralization and reform may result in an increased provincialism at the expense of national identification, in Shanxi there would appear to be two other visible trends. One is that despite the even greater emphasis in the 1990s on an all-Shanxi identity, China remains the privileged national point of reference. The second is the greater manifestation and awareness of even more local patterns of culture and identity. In particular these have come to focus on the county and regions within the province as the more fundamental cultural building blocks.


Session 168: Looking through Space: The Mutability of Place and Time in Chinese Literature

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

Chair: Pauline Yu, University of California, Los Angeles

Discussant: Wen-Hsin Yeh, University of California, Berkeley

Keywords: time, space, literature, Six Dynasties, Tang, Song, Li Sao, poetry, classical tale.

We are used to thinking of space in terms of place, a fixed ritual, geographical, or historical identity. But it is clear in literature that space is created figuratively by the "narrative," the story of any particular genre one wishes to name. We propose investigating the function of space in literature and its relationship to the genesis and structure of time. The papers will show, in four different forms—the sao style of poetic narrative, the tales of the supernatural and marvelous from the Six Dynasties, the poetry of the Tang, and the longer classical narratives of the Song—how space can narratively be created to upset or destabilize the normal order and progress of time, how it can be used to construct alternate levels of historicity, and how it can flow between and around fixed institutional and ritual sites to create shifting grounds of interpretation. By positing an area of action rather than substance identity, it also allows us to examine text as the linguistic imprint of the activities of any given space at any given time. The narrative creation of space also provides an entry point to understanding how a conceptual and linguistic world can be created to provide alternate and resistant levels of "reality" that that can at once accept the dominant narratives of the canonical texts of China as "real" but not necessarily truthful. It is in this moment of resistance that such texts, either peripheral to or part of the canon, challenge the creation and usefulness of history and ritual as keys to understanding the world.

Flights in Time: The Li Sao

Stephen Owen, Harvard University

Figural interpretation is a way to avoid some quite peculiar problems that arise in the Li Sao. In stanza 61 the speaker hopes to get the daughter of the You Song before Gao Xin. This speculative intervention in history (which, if successful, would break the royal lineages of Shang and Zhou at their beginning) comes from a self-proclaimed remote descendent of Gao Yang, another di (god-king, deified ancestor) of roughly the same era as Gao Xin. At this point "Qu Yuan" (as the speaker of the Li Sao, bracketing the question of his authorship of the Li Sao) is making his heavenly flight; and we can be no more sure "when" he is than "where" he is. This paper will address issues of lineage, linear time, and spirit journeys in the Li Sao, journeys that move in time as well as space. A very tentative conclusion is that the figure of "immortality" (thinking of the case of Qu Yuan’s encounter with Shun, among other things) is a way of rationalizing spirit encounters that cross time.

Memorials of a Lost Ark: Place and Transition in the Shiyi ji

Yuan-Ju Liu, Academia Sinica

In the Shiyi ji, Wang Jia has constructed a genealogy of monarchs that begins with the mythic figure Pao Xi and ends with the Latter Zhao dynasty. In his genealogy he was inclined to vaunt their cultural and material achievements over their martial prowess, presenting a picture quite different than that of standard history. He describes the Chinese kingdoms as a prosperous and glorious fairyland, one that entices ambassadors, necromancers, alchemists, and immortals to travel from distant places in order to bring tribute from their own exotic homelands. However, in distinction to the eternal fairylands of the immortals, these realms in China decayed during the historical passage of time. This paper will investigate how Wang Jia, a Taoist priest of the Louguan sect and consultant to an alien ruler, configured the space of the Central Plain as a site where the real and super-real met in the historicized world of alien rule and dynastic change.

Wei Yingwu and the Shifting Boundaries of Rustic Space

Robert Ashmore, University of California, Berkeley

Through the mid-eighth century, the persona of the recluse, and images of his rustic surroundings, were part of the common coin of polite literary exchange and self-representation; virtually the only denotative meaning of such figures in this period is that the person in question is not at the moment serving in an official post. Wei Yingwu, writing toward the end of the century, shows an unusual degree of fascination with the dissonances in this polite rhetoric of the rusticity, foregrounding rather than eliding the disjuncture between the projected rustic self and the historical office-holder writing the poems. These conflicting identities are contested through sites in and around Wei Yingwu’s official quarters during his various tenures as provincial governor. In his new rhetoric of an "accesorized" rusticity, localized sites such as tea gardens, flower-beds, and grassy paths become metonymic connections to the authentic identity of both place and its inhabitant. These fragmentary connections to the rustic, while seemingly lacking in comparison to the integral rusticity of remote mountains, demonstrate the capacity of activities such as landscaping, gardening, poetic composition, and the arts of appreciation corresponding to each, to render rustic space "portable."

Shifting Ground: Space, Place, and Doorways beyond in the Yi Jian zhi

Stephen H. West, University of California, Berkeley

In one of the tales of spirit possession found in the Yi Jian zhi, a corner of a room in a family compound becomes in turn a battlefield, a court, a sickroom, and a family ancestral altar as exorcists and family members battle the spirits that have taken possession of a child. It also becomes a point of passage between the human and spirit world. Demons take possession of the child by posing as family ancestors and similarly exercise control over the space in the room, expanding and contracting it at will (from a battlefield to a site of an intimate tête-à-tête). The ambiguity of that space and the inability to realize any fixed boundaries around it becomes a metaphor for human perception of the spirit world—something realized yet ultimately indescribable and unfixable. In good moral fashion, the usurpation of ancestral roles and the destabilization of the rituals of ancestor worship point to deeper problems within the family and to their relationship to their deceased. Narrative control of the space becomes equally ambiguous and difficult to fix, often leading the reader into insoluble corners. It self-consciously points to the fact that text is primarily a linguistic artifact of activity. By highlighting the contrast between something that should be fixed and describable (ancestor rites as stipulated in the codes of historical and ritual texts, for instance) and what it becomes as something unrealizable and unrecordable (the ambiguous representation of speakers and the space they control) it seems to suggest that the very inability to describe and order space poses great danger for the construction of text itself.


Session 169: Globalization and Social Transition: Views from China: Sponsored by the China and Inner Asia Council

Organizer and Chair: Yunxiang Yan, University of California, Los Angeles

Discussant: Ann S. Anagnost, University of Washington

Keywords: globalization, China.

How China responds to the challenge of economic globalization, and associated with it, the global social-cultural changes, is an extremely complicated issue, because the country itself is also undergoing an institutional transition toward a market-based, commercialized and more open society. Based on case studies and/or long-term empirical research, four panelists from China explore some important ramifications of the impact of globalization. Xiaoyan Liang examines the state’s strategies in controlling the mass media sector in the context of the WTO negotiations and raises serious doubts about the possible "liberating effect" of transnational media companies when they enter the Chinese market. Ngai Pun investigates the everyday consumption practices of female migrant workers and discusses the imperative and strategies of the global culture for producing a consumerized female body. Mingming Wang offers a critique of the linear history of globalization by studying the local history of the regional "world trade networks" in the southern city of Quanzhou. Naiqun Weng presents an ethnographic account about how the rapid development of international and domestic tourism in the Lijiang district has both revitalized and commercialized the indigenous Dongba religion of the Naxi people, an ethnic minority in Yunan province. Through their effort of examining the globalization process in relation to the on-going reforms and institutional transition of the society, the four Chinese scholars offer a critical review of both the practices and theoretical implications of globalization in China.

The Fate of the Chinese Media in the Context of Globalization

Xiaoyan Liang, University of Washington, Seattle

The mass media sector in China is facing a dramatic and institutional change, as the government has promised to open the cultural market to foreign companies once China enters the WTO. Where will the transition lead the media sector? How will the Chinese state, the media sector, and foreign investors interact with one another? I will examine the major strategies employed by the state, including new regulations in the cultural industry, the on-going reorganization of state-owned media resources, government-sponsored marketization of large media enterprises, and the policy of granting special permits to foreign companies. Through these strategies, the state hopes to minimize the ideological influences brought in by foreign companies and to maintain the current unbalanced development of the Chinese media sector: there will be more choice and freedom in personal consumption of media culture, but political risk and commercial interest will work together to prevent the media sector from playing an active role in promoting further social changes. However, a case study of the growing private enterprises in the media sector shows that the small/medium sized, non-state-controlled enterprises are likely to constitute the key element in developing media autonomy on the one hand and resisting the monopolizing power of transnational companies on the other hand.

Consumerizing Global Culture and Negotiating Local Identity: Dagongmei in Contemporary China

Ngai Pun, University of Hong Kong

The formation of a new social body—dagongmei, migrant women workers—coincided with transformation of the Chinese socialist regime in the light of globalization. As women, as peasants and as migrant workers, dagongmei working in foreign-invested factories are the pioneers to experience, to endure and to resist the hybrid mixture of state socialist and global capitalist relations. This article will discuss the imperatives and strategies of the global culture for producing a consumerized female body in a specific context in South China. I will look at the process of hegemonic construction of the body, intertwined with the dynamics of registering a feminine identity in relation to the production of a new social subject who is not only productive, but also consumptive. Dagongmei’s subjectivity, and their ways of accommodating and fissures of transgression will all be my focus. I will argue that extracting labor power from a female body through a microphysics of power in the workplace is not the only concern of capitalist economy. The making of a social body inscribed with a consumptive identity dictated by the global culture is equally compelling. I will also look at the tactics of transgression and everyday practices of female workers in responding to the global consumptive culture in the process of negotiating their identities.

Revitalizing "Ancient Global Networks": The Emergence, Decline, and Resurgence of Maritime Trade in the City of Quanzhou

Mingming Wang, Beijing University

In this paper, I will discuss the history of the southeastern Chinese seaport of Quanzhou, and will be particularly concerned with the twists and turns in the regional history and culture of maritime commerce. A cyclic perspective of regional "world trade" will be provided to shed light on the ways in which a world-class commercial harbor was closed and replaced by pirate trade in the late imperial dynasties and suffered from long-term degradation and resulting in overseas migration. The paper will also discuss post-reform resurgence of Quanzhou’s openness since the 1980s in terms of the city’s regional historical dynamics of maritime trade and transcultural reciprocation. The emphasis will be placed upon the issue that how "global networks" has not been a new thing in the city of Quanzhou. The cyclic perspective of history will then serve to critique the current linear-history of "globalization."

Tourism and the Recreation of Naxi Culture in Lijiang

Naiqun Weng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

International and domestic tourism has been booming since the early 1990s in Lijiang district, Yunan province, and the object of tourist consumption is mainly the recreated indigenous culture of the Naxi people in Lijiang. The Dongba religion, which is presented as the Naxi culture in recent years, was actually peripherized for more than one century during the cultural encounters between the Naxi and the Han people. The ritual practice of Dongba declined in the political and cultural center area, due to the penetrations of the state culture and the influence of Tibetan and Han Buddhism. The current development of tourism, however, has encouraged the revitalization of Dongba religion. Dongba rituals are performed in some new festivals to promote tourism, Dongba ritual dances are regularly shown on the stage, and the pictographic Dongba language has been transformed into symbols to be used in wood carvings and painting. Instead of serving for the ordinary Naxi in their daily need of religious practices, the newly trained Dongba monks mainly work for the local tourist market. By examining these recent developments, I will explore the impact of international and domestic tourism on the preservation and recreation of ethnic culture and the construction of local identity against the sweeping power of a globalized tourist industry.


Session 183: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Torture in China

Organizer: Jérôme Bourgon, University de Lyon

Chair and Discussant: Timothy Brook, University of Toronto

Torture has been long associated with Chinese culture. It was available to magistrates who needed to obtain confessions and punish the guilty; it was extensively used by Chinese regimes through the 20th century; and it continues to draw international attention. What place has torture had in Chinese culture? How has it been understood by Chinese, whose perspective on torture has changed over the past century? How has it been perceived by Europeans, who discursively linked China with torture in the 19th century?

This panel pursues new research on the question of torture from two angles: two of the papers examine shifts in ethical evaluations of torture in late-Qing China, and two explore the aesthetic appropriation of torture in the 19th-century West. The Chinese urge to abolish extreme torture was an important part of late-Qing reform, and tied to the new Western sentiment against it. The Western urge to condemn Chinese torture was also an urge to see it, a voyeurism that was less about China than about adjusting to the transformation of forms of corporal discipline in Europe, as Michel Foucault has shown. As Chinese painters responded to the taste for torture in their export watercolors, and Western photographers went about shooting scenes that would sell back home, torture began weaving a significant strand in the complex relationship between China and the West. The panel combines issues of ethics and aesthetics in order to explore how cultural practices meshed with other fields of power to produce judicial and conceptual shifts toward the end of the 19th century.

The Pragmatics and Ethics of Torture in Qing China

Nancy Park, College de France, Paris

Judicial torture was part of the standard repertoire available to the local magistrate to investigate cases that came before him and punish criminal activity. Prior to the late nineteenth century, Chinese legal texts and magistrate’s handbooks—the sources for this paper—reveal a surprising lack of debate concerning the morality of the practice. While there were numerous rules and regulations prohibiting the "improper" or "ineffective" use of torture during a judicial proceeding, there were virtually no calls for ending the practice altogether. Most Chinese criticisms of torture were purely functional, that is, they condemned the use of torture when it was seen to be excessive, unnecessary, misguided, or unfair. There was no strong sentiment that torture was, in and of itself, inappropriate or uncivilized. The ethics of torture had primarily to do with pragmatic rather than moral issues. It was only as legal reform got underway at the end of the Qing dynasty that the well accepted perspective sanctioning judicial violence was gradually invaded by the perspective of fascinated horror. Legal reformers began to share the prurient gaze of Westerners who criticized the judicial use of torture on moral grounds, and advocated its discontinuance as an essential component of legal modernization.

Torment with No Name: Lingchi as a Semantic and Normative Aberration

Jérôme Bourgon, University de Lyon

The harshest Chinese judicial torment was the infamous death by slicing, which involved the butchering of a human being one limb at a time. Colloquially called "death by a hundred cuts," it appeared in The Qing Code under the term lingchi. The word is enigmatic because it is meaningless in Chinese. Since the law was supposed ideally to function through the naming of penalties (xingming), a particular application of the idea of the "rectification of names" (zhengming), enlightened justice required that names and punishments be accurate and clear. Yet for ten centuries, Chinese jurists were troubled that the harshest penalty had no self-evident penal name and regarded this as an aberration of the legal system. From the lack of an accurate name, late-Qing legal scholarship could infer its barbarity and inhumanity. It used this characterization as a stepping stone from which to call for lingchi’s abolition. This paper will examine the philosophical and historical arguments brought to bear in the debates over its abolition, focusing on the process by which a new perception emerged that torture was "inhumane" and therefore "outside of the law."

Early Photographic Rendition of Justice and Punishment in China

Régine Thiriez, Institut d’Asie Orientale, Paris

The 19th-century China Treaty Ports photographic studios or amateur photographers produced quantities of portraits, topographic views and scenes of Chinese daily life. Most common in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the last genre started probably as early as the late 1850s. This was "exotic" photography, meant for foreigners in China and abroad, to stress differences between local and Western customs. Because they were created in answer to foreign demand, the images carried a preconceived image of China which is also reflected in the way they were used in the West.

As the Chinese judicial system had already made an impression with the Western literati, it naturally became a favored topic for photography. A visual image of Chinese courts, punishment and "torture" based on photographs was thus able to take shape in the 1860s–1870s. The fact that studios routinely re-constructed all kinds of scenes for the camera made it easy to focus any representation in the desired direction, while the captions added by the various users of these images often reflected more on their authors and their own culture than on reality. Justice and punishment actually belong to a specific "negative" category of photographic representation of China.

This paper will use examples of early photographic renditions of Chinese justice and punishment to define the image they carried to their Western public. It will also highlight he topics thus represented, as well as the changes they endured throughout the years.

"Supplices chinois": China as a Belle-Époque Sadistic Heterotopia

Claire Margat, Independent Scholar

This paper will examine "les supplices chinois" or "Chinese tortures"—not as Chinese practice but as a weirdly popular artistic phenomenon in France which reached its peak early in the twentieth century and became a leading element in the "aesthetics of horror" that emerged in the twentieth century. The gruesome images of penal practices that were disseminated outside China had considerable effects, for they fed the imagination of European philosophers and novelists. This interest produced the genre of aesthetic fantasy and sadistic fiction as diverse as Octave Mirbeau’s novel Le Jardin des supplices and Puccini’s Turandot. These fictions depicted a fantastic China in which a de Sade-like character was cast in the role of imperial "Mandarin." Such portrayals were widespread in various fields, from the scientistic depictions of Dr. Matignon to plays staged by the Grand-Guignol Gore Theatre. This obsessive reading of Chinese cultural practices constituted an important element in the European creation of China as a heterotopia: not a completely imaginary "elsewhere," but an alter ego for European civilization; a place imagined as fantasy yet situated in the real world, with real-world counterparts to the practices that European artists chose to depict.


Session 184: Pictures in Motion: Film, Border Crossing, and the Chinese Nation

Organizer: Tina Mai Chen, University of Manitoba

Chair: Stanley Rosen, University of Southern California

Discussant: Barrett L. McCormick, Marquette University

Keywords: film, post-1949 China, interdisciplinary.

Motion pictures move. They transcend boundaries of physical space, linguistic difference, and time. The production process fixes images and dialogue but the meaning of film changes with context. Movement of film across space and time mobilizes people and discourses within China and across national borders. This panel examines the relationship between film, borders, and post-1949 Chinese nation-building.

The papers address how spatio-temporal movement of film shapes modern China. Stanley Rosen analyses the impact on Sino-American relations of increased importation of foreign films. Using empirical data he compares American and Chinese understandings of Hollywood film. Chris Berry pursues the theme of Hollywood film in relation to "blockbuster" discourse in China. As a blend of Maoist era thinking on film and global capitalism, "blockbuster" discourse incorporates old and new, Chinese and non-Chinese elements in contemporary epic films. Tina Chen probes the syncretic nature of Maoist era film. Her study of Soviet film in 1950s China analyzes, one, the importance of Soviet film for the Chinese nation and, two, propaganda films’ location at the nexus of nationalism and internationalism. Esther Yau links Maoist and post-socialist periods by analyzing two rural films. She explores difference across time of revolutionary romanticism while questioning the utility of global discourse on Chinese cinema for analysis of nation-building and rural visuality.

Informed by film studies, political studies, history, and sociology this panel promotes cross-disciplinary exploration of issues raised for China and the motion picture industry as films, film images, and film criticism move across global space and time.

"What’s Big about the Big Film?" China’s Blockbuster Discourse

Christopher Allen Berry, University of California, Berkeley

"What’s Big about the Big Film?" This is the question critic and filmmaker Zheng Dongtian asks of veteran director Xie Jin’s 1997 epic celebrating the "return" of Hong Kong to the "motherland," The Opium War. In this paper, I examine and delineate the feature of the Chinese discourse around the "blockbuster" (daipian, jupian), which has emerged in the 1990s. I argue that this discourse should be understood as a "glocal" phenomemon, i.e., a local response to globalization, and in particular the presence of American capitalism in the developing Chinese "socialist market economy." Two main features will be attended to here. First, there is the Chinese response to American government and Hollywood pressure to open up its market. Instead of submitting to a free trade regime, the Chinese government has responded by permitting the import of a restricted number of foreign "blockbusters" every year. Second, there is the local blockbuster film. For the most part, these are big budget films made with government support on epic historical topics, ranging from revolutionary history to the Opium War, as in the Xie Jin example. On the basis of my analysis of these two features, I conclude that this is a hybrid or syncretic discourse negotiating the demands of both the old-style socialism-in-one-country discourse and the new-style discourses of liberal, global, and borderless capitalism.

Dubbing the Future: Soviet Film and Nation Building in 1950s China

Tina Mai Chen, University of Manitoba

A mood of optimism pervaded Chinese political culture in the early 1950s. Similar to the views of Lenin and Stalin on cinema, the Chinese Communist Party viewed the technology of film as a unique means to deliver visions of the new society to the masses. A combination of elements led the CCP to look beyond China’s borders for films that would define the nation: first, distrust of the veterans of the pre-revolutionary Shanghai film houses; second, economic conditions within the film industry; third, belief in proletarian internationalism. Soviet experience, expertise, plot lines, and images thus occupied an influential position in the new Chinese national film industry. Soviet hero(in)es inspired an entire generation of Chinese.

This paper examines the use of Soviet propaganda and educational films in 1950s China. Based on data concerning the selection, dubbing, and dissemination of Soviet film, I argue that the relationship between Soviet film and Chinese propaganda films participated in a complex association between Chinese nation building and international models and theories of socialism that both constrained and enabled new cultural developments. In addition to examining how Soviet films were deployed by the CCP, I analyze representation of these films in written texts and the ways in which these Soviet films influenced Chinese films produced for similar needs. This paper emphasizes two themes: one, border crossing in the film industry as an integral component of Maoist filmic discourse; two, Soviet and Chinese films as existing at the nexus of intertwined national and international political culture(s).

Same Bed, Different Dreams: Hollywood and American Film in the China Shop

Stanley Rosen, University of Southern California

This paper seeks to understand the changes that have occurred in China and the Sino-American relationship as a result of the decision to import foreign films into China. It will present an examination of Hollywood’s ongoing relationship with China, including the acquisition and distribution arrangements the Hollywood studios have with their Chinese counterparts and the Chinese government; the social, political, economic, and cultural impact of American films in China; and the differing strategies and goals Americans and Chinese bring to this relationship. The data to be presented include box office receipts of all American films shown publicly in China since agreement was reached in 1994 and survey research on audience response to domestic and imported films. The paper is based primarily on interviews and documentary materials gathered in China.

Almost a Well-Tempered Country

Esther Yau, Occidental College

The urban progressive film tradition in mainland China took up the burden of addressing the city/countryside divide historically. Such a divide in film had its beginnings in Shanghai in the 1920s with filmmakers of progressive leanings attending to the (melo)dramatic aspects of the countryside’s bankrupt state. The countryside continued to rise in radical discourse of the 1940s and it occupied an important symbolic and political position during the Maoist era. The countryside, however, was not a pure Chinese notion in Maoist cinema, and reaction against the Soviet influence led to conscious efforts to create a rural visuality that would be national in character. The return of the city to the popular imagination in the 1990s was accompanied by a sociologically informed reconstitution of the village’s general deprivation and its dependency on access to the city. This essay looks at two rural films, Zheng Junli’s A Withered Tree Meets Spring (1961) and Zhang Yimou’s Story of Qiu Ju (1993) to consider the issues of revolutionary romanticism in the Maoist era and its post-socialist iterations. The transcultural notions of "myth," "nostalgia," and "the primitive" were used to discuss the modernist imagination of Chinese film and literature of the 1980s. These notions have particular limitations when it comes to the analysis of the technologies of gender, nation-building, and governance that I have chosen to focus on in the discussion of these two films. This essay raises questions regarding the study of Maoist films in the global discourse on Chinese cinema.


Session 185: On the Other Hand: Reflections on the Writings of Benjamin Schwartz

Organizer and Chair: Joshua A. Fogel, University of California, Santa Barbara

Discussant: Rudolf Wagner, University of Heidelberg

Benjamin Schwartz passed away in late 1999 but not without leaving behind a remarkable corpus of writings about contemporary, modern, and ancient Chinese thought and politics. Even this achievement, though, hardly does justice to the breadth of his intellectual concerns and scope of vision. He was simply the great humanist in the Chinese studies field in the West.

This panel has not been assembled solely to sing the praises of a departed and soon to be sainted member of the profession. Indeed, not one of us ever studied with Schwartz, one of the criteria for a place on this panel. Schwartz would not have enjoyed a hagiographic session devoted to his greatness. This panel, then, will take a critical look at Schwartz’s main works, his three monographs and one of his essay collections, from a longer term perspective. What is their lasting import, and what flaws (systemic or otherwise) might we point to? In other words, what has been the Schwartz’s intellectual legacy?

In addition to the fact that none of us was ever a student at Harvard University, we all come from different disciplines, something necessary for an assessment of Schwartz’s oeuvres. We are men and women, from three countries, with backgrounds in five disciplines: Julia Ching, religion and philosophy; Ted Huters, Chinese literature; Brantly Womack, political science; Joshua Fogel, Chinese history; and Rudolf Wagner, Sinology. In fact, the only person with sufficient breadth of reading and knowledge to offer commentary on the range of books Schwartz left us with is Schwartz himself, but we are happy to have Rudolf Wagner to attempt to fill those shoes.

Benjamin Schwartz’s Work in Ancient Chinese Thought

Julia Ching, University of Toronto

Benjamin Schwartz’s The World of Thought in Ancient China, published in 1985, was his last major book, and it was very different from other books he published on modern Chinese politics or government. It is a masterful survey of the principal schools of thought in Chinese antiquity, and stands in witness to his later, even preoccupying interest in Chinese philosophies. It remains the only work of its kind in this field and is very useful to students of ancient Chinese thought. Whereas in his works on Mao Zedong and Chinese Communism, Schwartz was keenly analytical and sharply critical, he appears here to be extremely appreciative of the classical Chinese thinkers. The reader finds him comfortable in this world, rather than being troubled and foreboding. One might perhaps say that the ethos in this book and in the others is as different as that in traditional China and contemporary China.

I, for one, expected that he would have continued by publishing also on the development of later Chinese thought, in which he is known to have also had an interest. Although this was not to be, we all realize that his contributions to the China field have been truly outstanding.

In Search of Universal Ideas: Benjamin Schwartz and Yan Fu

Theodore Huters, University of California, Los Angeles

Benjamin Schwartz’s In Search of Wealth and Power: Yen Fu and the West remains a monument of American sinology. Written in the same period in which Joseph Levenson was engaged in a relentless psychologizing of the important figures in modern Chinese intellectual history, Schwartz insisted upon taking Yan Fu’s ideas seriously. He was determined to analyze how Yan’s writings represented legitimate and significant responses to the crushing advent of modernity that came upon China in the late 19th century. Schwartzs largely successful effort to treat Yan’s thought as part of a universal realm of discourse still stands out as a model for us all.

Schwartz’s supposition of the universality of important ideas, however, brings certain problems in its wake. For instance, his quite laudable assumption that the ideals of liberal pluralism are an unquestionable good leads to find fault with what he sees as Yan Fu’s utilitarian borrowing of the external manifestations of this ideology and failure to understand the spirit behind it. Schwartz thus appears to neglect the possibility that Yan was committed to a substratum of what he took to be indigenous political values, and that his only real motivation in looking West was a fundamentally utilitarian one. This tendency in Yan was, in fact, only furthered by a powerful utilitarian component in 19th-century European thought.

What can only be called Schwartz’s "disappointment" with Yan Fu must in the end be attributed to the former’s assumption that Yan saw as little basic difference between Western and Chinese ideas as did Schwartz himself This glosses over the titanic personal struggle on this very point that can be found throughout Yan Fu’s seminal writings of 1895. Thus, regardless of whether Schwartz was right or wrong about the fundamental identity of political theory, his too-easy supposition of commonality caused him to overlook one of the basic dynamics in Yan’s thought.

Chinese Communism and the Rise of Mao: Reflections on Ideology and History

Brantly Womack, University of Virginia

Nearly fifty years have now passed since the initial publication of Benjamin Schwartz’s Chinese Communism and the Rise of Mao. Not only has much happened in the People’s Republic of China during this half century to influence our understanding of Mao Zedong’s rise to power within the Chinese Communist movement, but for fully half of that time Mao has been dead. Yet, unlike the other early biographical studies of Mao, Schwartz’s book merits serious reconsideration from three perspectives. First, it was a heroic and successful scholarly project in its own ideological maelstrom of United States-China relations in the early 1950s. Second, it provides an important vantage-point on the interpretation of Mao and Maoism before the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Third, the utility of Schwartz’s insights despite the enormous advance in primary and secondary sources provides a measure of the meaning of progress in understanding history.

Benjamin Schwartz as an Essayist

Joshua A. Fogel, University of California, Santa Barbara

One of the most remarkable things one can say about anyone who wrote about contemporary China in the 1950s and 1960s is that there is any value whatsoever in reading their essays from that time now. So much of the writing from that not-so-bygone era has been either proven wrongheaded or outdated, or it has been vastly superseded by the new wealth of documentation.

And, yet, having said that, so much of Benjamin Schwartz’s Communism and China: Ideology in Flux reads with stunning contemporaneity. The essays in that volume do, of course, remain grounded in the inquiries distinct to that time, but the approaches taken and many of the answers given by Schwartz have a refreshing originality even today, something difficult to come by elsewhere. This presentation will ask what it was about those essays and their author that enables them to jump out of their own time and place and into our own with such seeming effortlessness. What was it about the essential values from which Schwartz started that grounded his work so forcefully? And, what inadequacies might we point to in them today?


Session 186: Textual Production and the Agency of Late Ming Subjects

Organizer and Chair: Grace S. Fong, McGill University

Discussant: Paul S. Ropp, Clark University

Keywords: agency, texts, China, history, literature, Ming.

This panel will explore the mutually constituting relationship between modes of textual production and the construction of agency in the late Ming by examining a diverse group of texts that inscribe particular visions of empowerment, whether collective or personal. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to the issue of agency, it argues that the production of texts became a significant means of reconfiguring the world for subjects living in and threatened by contemporary social and political tensions.

Robin Yates argues that late Ming military treatises operated within several distinct discourses as they advocated new technologies and new ways of disciplining the population. He analyzes a work by Lü Kun to demonstrate the ways in which local communities and marginally literate people could be empowered as readers of texts. Alison Bailey explores the multiple re-presentations generated by the fascination with the filial avenger Wang Shiming in a variety of genres. For her, performativity of socially constructed roles and ritual action is what produced agency in the historical subject and in the narrative retellings. Grace Fong examines the aggregate of self-recordings produced by one individual subject, Ye Shaoyuan. She reads these texts as attempts to constitute a sense of agency in the context of family decline and dynastic dissolution.

Moving from the collective to the individual, the three papers analyze texts in which socially marginalized, ritually displaced, and politically disempowered subjects attempted to transform themselves, or were transformed, into agents of action within the particular historical and cultural determinants of the late Ming.

Empowering the People: Lü Kun’s Strategies and Late Ming Military Discursive Practices

Robin D. S. Yates, McGill University

The Late Ming is often regarded as a period of moral decay, political ineptitude, and military incompetence, yet also a period of exceptional conspicuous consumption and cultural refinement. Rejecting the contention that late Ming literati were solely absorbed in aesthetic pursuits and unconcerned with military innovations, this paper will examine various discourses in the numerous military treatises written in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, paying special attention to the methods they proposed to organize and discipline both the army and the civilian population, and the ways in which they sought to train the population in the use of the latest technology.

It will be argued that these treatises, such as Mao Yuanyi’s massive Wubei zhi (first published 1621), were written not only to authorize their recommendations by positioning their ideas within a particular interpretation of the historical tradition, but also sought to address even marginalized members of society and to incorporate then into newly self-conscious local communities. Lü Kun’s (1536–1618) short treatise Shoucheng Jiuming shu (Saving Lives while Defending a City), written for his fellow citizens of Ningling to urge them to take measures to defend themselves against bandits, will be treated as a case study of such discursive practices. Lü frames his argument in simple literary language using, comprehensible everyday examples and itemizes the obligations of the populace and recommended strategies under various circumstances of attack, thus permitting even marginally literate readers to appreciate their potential contribution and encouraging the empowerment of the local community.

Choosing to Die: The Role of Filial Avenger and Individual Agency in the Late Ming

C. D. Alison Bailey, University of British Columbia

In the late sixteenth century, the case of Zhejiang native Wang Shiming (fl. ca. 1582), a filial avenger who waited six years to fulfill his self-appointed duty to kill his father’s murderer, was a minor cause célèbre. His story is documented in local gazetteers and was reworked in the "Filial and Righteous" biographies section of the Ming Shi. The pre-eminent vernacular fiction exponents Feng Menglong (1574–1646) and Ling Mengchu (1580–1644) also produced alternative versions emphasizing different aspects of this culturally resonant episode.

This paper will examine the ways in which different narrative accounts of Wang Shiming’s story, and that of his wife, treat questions of human agency and subjectivity against a background of ritual necessity, legal constraints, reflexive role-playing, and conformity to traditional precedent. In Ling Mengchu’s version, Wang tells his wife, "It is my allotted role to be a filial son even unto death." The fictional, and historical Wang Shiming is portrayed as unquestioningly accepting what Victor Turner calls the "root paradigm" of vengeance, a ritually inscribed and deeply-embedded cultural imperative that apparently allows no space for individual choice or voice. Yet it is precisely Wang Shiming’s determination to conform to an ancient archetype and his self-conscious orchestration of his act of vengeance and its aftermath that so fascinated later chroniclers of his story. Through an exploration of the various narratives depicting Wang Shiming, this paper will untangle an apparent paradox of extreme individual agency operating within a highly patterned framework of conformity to cultural and ritual norms.

Agency and Autobiography: Ye Shaoyuan’s (1589–1648) Journey through Loss

Grace S. Fong, McGill University

Ye Shaoyuan (1589–1648) is known in recent scholarship on women’s culture as the supportive husband of the poet Shen Yixiu and the loving father of three exceptionally talented daughters, Ye Wanwan, Ye Xiaowan, and Ye Xiaoluan. This paper argues that before the demise of the Ming, Ye’s self-identity and sense of agency were, unusually for a literatus, inextricably linked with the gender relations in his family. Certainly Ye’s wife and daughters’ literary fame is a direct effect of his efforts to publish their writings collectively in the Wumengtang ji in 1636 almost immediately after the death of his mother, wife, and two of the daughters.

But, for the last ten years of his life, impelled by an acute sense of personal loss and tragedy that was further intensified by the destruction of the Ming, he began a continuous production of self-recordings, writing an autobiographical memoir in nianpu form (biochronology by year) in 1638, a sequel to it in 1645, and segueing into a remarkable daily record of the last three years of his life. Ye turned his attention to producing texts that inscribed and reclaimed an identity by contextualizing it in a cosmological and meteorological rather than a political frame. This paper examines the varied textual forms Ye Shaoyuan employed to re-present autobiographical acts and to negotiate and construct a different sense of self-identity and agency in contexts of loss and dissolution, when normative boundaries, whether personal or public, that define subjecthood and identity became ambiguous and displaced.


Session 187: Bodies and Boundaries in Late Imperial Chinese Culture

Organizer and Chair: Sing-chen Lydia Francis, Tufts University

Discussant: Charlotte Furth, University of Southern California

Keywords: premodern, China, art, literature, law.

The body as corporeal embodiment and boundary of the self became a site of struggle for ideological control in Ming-Qing China. This interdisciplinary panel will investigate how the struggle was played out in the representations, regulations, and reinventions of the human body in late imperial Chinese arts and culture discourses. Katharine Burnett will explore how seventeenth-century Chinese luohan paintings, by taking the ideal of the strange and original to a new height, push the generic boundaries of not only the mainstream but also the "strange figure" painting traditions. Gang Xu will analyze the literary construction of the sexed body in a late Ming homoerotic story, where the constant shifting of sexual organs challenges the philosophical system of yin-yang bipolarity and cosmos-body correspondence, problematizes essentialized sexual norms, and rearticulates the concept of qing. Maram Epstein will discuss the representation and meaning of the sexed body in capital crime cases from the early to mid-Qing in the larger context of the state’s regulation of the body, and explore the implications of such regulation for issues of gender and identity construction in Qing culture discourses. Sing-chen Lydia Francis will examine the grotesque portrayals of the anomalous body in Yuan Mei’s zhiguai collection, where parodies of the wondrous body in the earlier chuanqi tradition not only reflect a cynical awareness of the narrowing of Qing cultural norms, but also concern the issues of self-identity and what it meant to be strange and marginal in eighteenth-century China.

Stranger than Strange: Figure Painting of Seventeenth-Century China

Katharine Burnett, University of California, Davis

Seventeenth-century Chinese literary and visual art criticism reveals strong interest in expressions of the strange. Several terms alert readers to this interest, namely qi, yi, and guai, the primary definition for each meaning "strange." Recent research has identified the manifestations of the ideal of the original and different in landscape painting and criticism. This paper will explore the manifestation of these values in figure painting, and discuss some current research issues related to the subject.

The values indicated by the term qi could not be successfully explored before because they first had to be identified in critical writings. In addition, most seventeenth-century visual arts criticism relates to paintings of landscapes, not figures. While a tradition of depicting strange Buddhist luohan figures existed since at least the Song period, this "strange-figure" tradition actually became the mainstream way to represent these special beings. Therefore, it would have been unworkable to investigate what was particularly strange, or stranger than strange, in seventeenth-century figure painting prior to this foundational research.

This paper will focus on the practice of representing the ideals of the original and strange. The essay will first discuss mainstream non-strange-figure painting with representations of contemporary seventeenth-century literati figures, and provide a brief survey of the strange-figure tradition for representations of luohans. It will then investigate what distinguishes the strange-figure tradition of luohan representations in the seventeenth century and the extension of this tradition to conventionally non-strange figure painting topics. It will conclude with an interpretive analysis of the material.

Qing Law and the Regulation of the Body

Maram Epstein, University of Oregon

Violent crime, similar to the anomalous or grotesque, destabilizes social boundaries. The anomalous events recorded in capital crime cases demand a response from the state to contain and normalize these interruptions to normative social rules. My presentation will focus on the representation and meaning of the body in sexual and domestic crime cases from the early to mid Qing. Detailed coroner’s reports, a central feature of murder cases, represent a state-endorsed science of how to read the body and reclaim it from often grotesque acts of violence. Illicit violence was countered by sanctioned violence in the mandated punishments of exiling, beating, or putting to death, all corporeal means to reinstate social order.

My project is to read a variety of court cases against the generic norms of fiction to see how legal discourse constructed gender and identity in the magistrates’ attempts to fix and stabilize meaning. I will attempt to show that the treatment and regulation of the gendered body by the state in criminal cases provides an important complement to the study of the construction of self and identity in other discursive fields.

What Confucius Wouldn’t Talk About: The Grotesque Body and Literati Identities in Yuan Mei’s Zibuyu

Sing-chen Lydia Francis, Tufts University

This paper examines the literary representations of the anomalous body in Yuan Mei’s zhiguai (records of anomalies) collection, Zibuyu (What Confucius Wouldn’t Talk About, 1788; sequel in 1796) and how they bear on the issues of normalcy, nature, self-identity, generic boundaries, and what it meant to be human in eighteenth-century China. In Chuangzi (the locus classicus of the term, zhiguai), death and physical deformities were accepted without pity, horror, or undue fascination, as part of the regenerative process of the universe (Graham 1981). However, beyond the Inner Chapters, the anomalous body in the zhiguai tradition was increasingly portrayed as grotesque. The shift in the reception of guai (anomaly)—from the original Daoist smile (Chuangzi VI.5) to the Wielandian "laughter, disgust, and astonishment" (Wieland 1775)—reflects the narrowing of cultural norms and the sharpening polarization between the normative and the anti-normative. Yuan Mei’s Zibuyu, whose title boldly calls attention to its own transgressions, betrays a cynical awareness of such polarization. Consciously parodying the romantic ethos of the earlier chuanqi (transmissions of wonders) tradition, Yuan Mei takes an unflinching look at what it really meant to be strange and marginal in eighteenth-century China. The ludicrous demons, walking corpses, and severed genitalia in Zibuyu are literary embodiments of deep-seated anxieties towards, and forbidden fantasies of, possible dissolution of the conventional boundaries of humanhood. Yuan Mei’s depictions of the anomalous body may be horrific, repulsive, or ridiculous, yet they are always fascinating and compellingly human.

Performing the Uncanny: Emergence of a Sexed Body in the Good-to-Be-Man Country

Gang Gary Xu, Bard College

This study provides a sexed rather than gendered reading of the Country of good-to-be-man story in the Yichun xiangchun, a late Ming collection of homoerotic stories. The collection was part of a late-Ming cultural trend in collecting strange stories of sexual anomalies found in remote areas. This cultural trend of familiarizing the strange nevertheless solidified the boundary of sexual norms under the heterosexual imperative which paradoxically functions by rendering the anomalous as its constitutive other. Inspired by Judith Butler’s idea about the materialization of sex, I argue that, in the constant shifting between sexes and changing of sex organs, the author of the Country of good-to-be-man story is able to move-beyond the closed system of bipolarity between yin and yang, or female and male, and the correspondence between the cosmos and the Chinese philosophy based on organic naturalism. The protagonist changes his/her sex so frequently that the very notion of an essential or nonconstructed sex, in contrast to the constructed gender, is problematized. This problematization nevertheless falls back to heterosexual logic due to the author’s explicit didacticism which reiterates sexual norms. On the other hand, by parodying the scholar and beauty motif and situating the ostensibly equal relationship of love in an economy of sexual dominance and violence, the narrative frame of the story performs the reiteration to the extent that it becomes possible to achieve a radical rearticulation of qing, the ambiguous concept encompassing the entire Chinese emotive life.


Session 188: Pigs, Tigers’ Dens, and Social Survey: Ding Xian (Ding County) Revisited

Chair and Organizer, Charles W. Hayford, Northwestern University

Discussants: Timothy C. Cheek, Colorado College; Charles W. Hayford, Northwestern University

Keywords: China, China (Republican), history, anthropology, sociology.

Dingxian (Ting Hsien) was famous before Mao’s Revolution as a rival to it. James Yen’s Mass Education Movement (MEM) used this North China county as a "laboratory" whose experience illuminates both rural "realities" and competing cultural and political constructions. Panelists vary in rank, background, and discipline, but share in the exploration of trans-49 China and the challenges of approaching it. Professor Chiang (historian) focuses analysis from his forthcoming Social Engineering and the Social Sciences in China (Cambridge UP) on the debate over Chinese agrarian society swirling around the Ting Hsien Experiment; some critics foreshadowed Mao’s radical approach, some supported liberal engineered development. Sigrid Schmalzer (graduate student), working in a history of science program, uses MEM introduction of new pig breeds to probe village social structure, political issues in seemingly apolitical scientific innovation, and liberal social change. Professor Jun Jing, a field anthropologist and author of Temple of Memories: History, Power, and Morality in a Chinese Village (Stanford, 1996), weighs two social differing surveys, one the 1930s MEM survey financed by Sidney Gamble and carried out by Li Jinghan, and the other by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in the 1980s.

Charles Hayford (historian) author of To the People: James Yen and Village China (Columbia 1990), will also briefly report recent interest in the MEM in China which reflects new appreciation for alternatives to the commune.

Into the Tiger’s Den—Only to Do Its Bidding: Anglo-American and Radical Critiques of the Dingxian Model during the 1930s

Yung-chen Chiang, DePauw University

As one of the most celebrated experiments of the Rural Reconstruction Movement in China during the 1930s, Dingxian was scrutinized by the radicals as well as the academics. While the academic critics came from all ideological stripes, this paper concentrates on those who subscribed to the Anglo-American, linear development model. Radical critics, though similarly diverse in their ideological commitments, were situated within a determinate range delineated by a common Marxian analytic framework they employed and thus constituted conveniently for this paper a fairly coherent block for analyses.

This paper focuses on two facets in the Anglo-American and radical critiques of Dingxian: ideology/development models and research paradigms. It argues that fundamentally irreconcilable differences in ideology or social visions shaped the conceptualization of power within the community and the latter’s relationship to the state, which in turn determined the research paradigm each of the three groups—Dingxian, Anglo-American academics, and the radicals—adopted for its analyses of the Chinese society.

Specifically this paper delineates the ideological perimeters within which Dingxian operated and underscores its tendency to succumb to the existing power structure and thus to work toward the preservation of the status quo. It furthermore illustrates how the ideological schism between Dingxian and its Anglo-American critics—Fei Xiaotung in particular—on the one hand and its radical critics—Chen Hansheng and his assistants and allies as well as Mao Zedong—on the other reflects in the distinctive research paradigm each of three camps embraced.

Breeding a Modern China: The Making of the Dingxian Pig, 1929–1937

Sigrid Schmalzer, University of California, San Diego

This paper explores the Mass Education Movement’s efforts to transform pigs and pig breeding in Dingxian, Hebei through the importation of an American breed of pig and its hybridization with local pigs. Led by Yan Yangchu, reformers were conscious that the wholesale importation and implementation of western scientific methods had failed China in the past and would fail again. Their chief concern was that the new pig should raise production levels but still "suit local conditions." Reformers thus constructed a notion of "local conditions" to which modern science was required to conform. But "conditions" and "methods" do not play equal roles in science, and reformers did not require the "scientific" methods of pig breeding to negotiate with local methods. Despite their attention to local conditions, the reformers thus reinforced the notion that modern, western science was universal in nature, and that it could and should be applied universally, replacing local knowledge and practices. Furthermore, in discussing "local conditions," reformers found a way of talking about the people of Dingxian that fit their liberal, humanist agenda. This paper examines what kind of society the reformers presented and contrasts it with alternative ways of viewing the same "local conditions." Finally, the paper explores the relationship between the new methods of pig breeding and the process of state building: the "scientific" methods compelled farmers to participate in state-regulated breeding cooperatives and created a new arena of state control in farmers’ everyday lives.

Achievements and Problems of Two Social Surveys of Dingxian

Jun Jing, City College of New York

This paper concerns two major social surveys of Dingxian, a rural county in North China. The first was conducted under the auspices of the Mass Education Movement by a group of Chinese and American scholars from 1927 to 1937. The second was completed in 1988 by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Both were large-scale and comprehensive surveys of rural life. Extensive information was gathered on population and family structure; on government and school education; on agriculture, finance, business, and handicraft industry; on performing arts; on religion and marriage practices, and on history and geography. Because of these surveys, Dingxian has been one of a handful of rural counties in China where one can trace social change on the basis of systematically collected social statistics. This paper focuses on the survey methods and findings related to religious life in Dingxian, and it offers an assessment of the relevant methods and findings from the point of a social anthropologist. A major issue to be discussed is the question of how social statistics and ethnographic information should be collected in innovative ways in order that sociologically oriented survey research and anthropologically based fieldwork will compliment one another.


Session 189: A Still Neglected Genre: The Fu (Rhapsody) in Classical Chinese Literature

Organizer: Martin Kern, Princeton University

Chair: Paul W. Kroll, University of Colorado, Boulder

Discussant: David R. Knechtges, University of Washington

Keywords: Han dynasty, Tang dynasty, fu, rhapsody, literature, history of literature.

Despite its prominence in Chinese literature, the fu (rhapsody) has long been a neglected genre: too difficult to deal with, too far from modern literary taste. Our panel takes a step towards recovering the genre and its proper place in Chinese literary history, and hence attempts to restore a more complete, and more fascinating vision of classical Chinese poetry than the one to which most Western scholars have confined themselves. Examining Western Han fu composition from historical, linguistic, and sociological perspectives, Martin Kern argues that the genre in its early heyday was primarily of a performative—as opposed to written—nature, which reveals some under-appreciated aspects of such works. In her paper on two prominent Eastern Han fu poets, Ding Xiang Warner reviews the tension between verbal ornateness and moral efficacy and offers a complex view of one of the defining conflicts in the Chinese literary tradition. Presenting rarely known fragments of second- and third-century fu, Mark Laurent Asselin demonstrates the value of the genre as a storehouse of cultural history, in this case, of information about the ancient board game tanqi (shooting chess) that was rooted in divination and military strategy. Paul W. Kroll calls attention to the treasures of late medieval fu poetry and furnishes ample evidence for the need to revise the history of Tang poetry, which heretofore has focused almost exclusively on shi, accordingly. The four papers will be discussed by David R. Knechtges, the leading Western authority on the genre.

"To Recite without Singing": The Western Han Fu as Text and Performance

Martin Kern, Princeton University

Since Eastern Han times, when it was still the major form of Chinese poetic writing, the fu was regarded as a genre of written literary texts meant to be read. Equally early, this idea was projected into Western Han times, implying that early and mid-Western Han authors composed and presented their works under comparable circumstances, with similar intentions, and in the same medium as their Eastern Han successors. Accounts of Sima Xiangru’s (179–117 BCE) literary practice point to his lexicographical credits and assign from there a particular significance to the written characters of his intricate literary compositions. The present paper will question such assumptions and instead propose that the performative (aural) qualities of Western Han fu were primary to—and overruled—the written form of the text. Towards this conclusion, historical, linguistic, and sociological issues will be examined: to which other literary practices and traditions should an author like Sima Xiangru be related? What was the status of fu writers at the imperial court, and how, accordingly, should we understand the nature and function of the fu? Under what circumstances were fu in Western Han times produced? What was their primary means of presentation and reception? How can we relate the linguistic characteristics as well as the textual history of Western Han fu to these issues? Finally, the broader implications of these considerations for the whole of Western Han textual culture will be raised, recognizing that the fu was its dominant form of literary practice.

The Debate over Style and Moral Efficacy in Han Epideictic Fu

Ding Xiang Warner, Pacific Lutheran University

This paper analyzes how two Eastern Han poets, Ban Gu and Zhang Heng, attempted to "restore" the fu’s moral efficacy in response to Yang Xiong’s criticism that the epideictic fu’s ornate language undermined its didactic, suasive function. In Ban Gu’s "Fu on Two Capitals," the grandiloquent style used to glorify the Western Han in the poem’s first half is contrasted in the second half with the spare, restrained style used to eulogize the moderation of the Eastern Han. Ban Gu thus seems to accept Yang Xiong’s criticism that extravagant language was complicit with the extravagance that undermined the Western Han court, yet by matching style to content as he does, he reasserts the fu’s didactic value. In contrast, Zhang Heng’s "Fu on Two Metropolises" is extravagant in language and content in its treatment of both the Western and Eastern Han. Hence, even as Zhang Heng praises the accomplishments of the current court, he celebrates its prosperity in the same elaborate manner as he condemned the Western Han’s corrupted values. On one level, as I argue, Zhang Heng is tempering his praise of the Eastern Han with satirical descriptions of policies and practices that indicate the court’s underlying ambition for the same heights of magnificence that brought down the Western Han. But on another level, Zhang Heng is also critiquing Ban Gu’s answer to Yang Xiong’s criticism, as well as denying Yang Xiong’s oversimplified link between eloquence and moral corruption, by using exceedingly ornate language to deliver his thoroughly moral message.

Fu on the Lost Game of Tanqi, or "Shooting Chess"

Mark Laurent Asselin, Independent Scholar

The board game tanqi ("shooting chess," commonly rendered "pellet chess") was a popular Chinese pastime in late antiquity and early medieval times. By the Song dynasty, the game and knowledge of how it was played disappeared. Scanty historical records suggest that tanqi arose during the reigns of Western Han Emperors Wu (r. 140–87 BCE) or Cheng (r. 32–7 BCE). A tradition has this game being invented by the emperor himself according to the rules of football, a sport that he loved but which was deemed too athletic for someone in such an exalted position. What the board and game implements looked like await such time as archaeology unearths some answers. The best information available today about tanqi is preserved in fragments of yongwu fu, or "fu in praise of objects." Fragments of fu on tanqi written by Cai Yong (132/133–192), Cao Pi (187–226), Ding Guang (fl. early 3rd c.), and Xiahou Chun (fl. 280) yield fascinating glimpses of the game. For instance, we learn that the game was similar in many respects to the other so-called chess games of the period, liubo and weiqi (Go): they probably share a provenance in divination techniques and had similar game implements. Relying on strategies that simulated battle, these diversions could be justified as mental exercises in tactics. One salient difference between tanqi and these other forms of chess is that a session of tanqi got underway with the casting or snapping of game pieces, like in tiddlywinks.

The Significance of the Fu in the History of Tang Poetry

Paul W. Kroll, University of Colorado, Boulder

Contrary to what simplistic faith in a sequence of generic "golden ages" in Chinese literary history would have us believe, the fu or rhapsody lost neither its vitality nor its importance with the fall of the Han dynasty. Yet, most scholars of Tang poetry persist in slighting the fu written during that era. Whatever the reasons for this may be (some understandable and perhaps defensible, others less so), attention to these works promptly shows that they not only furnish an essential complement to the Tang shi but also include many masterpieces of verbal art. We ignore them at great loss to a proper perspective on Tang verse. Indeed, one may argue that all modern histories of Tang "poetry," Asian or Western, are fundamentally flawed because of their virtually exclusive focus on shi, as though only that form of verse constitutes "poetry" in medieval China. The present communication will discuss some of the gains that accrue to our understanding of Tang poetry when we include the fu as well as the shi within our purview. This is true, whether we are examining the work of individual poets or are considering the poetry of the period as a whole.


Session 190: Visualizing Tradition: National and Regional Monuments in Twentieth-Century China

Organizer: Qiang Ning, University of Michigan

Chair: Richard J. Smith, Rice University

Discussant: Hung Wu, University of Chicago

China’s long history and ancient culture are used by contemporary Chinese artists to create national and regional monuments throughout China. How do these artists transform the ancient tradition into new visual symbols? What kind of cultural elements is chosen? Why do they select a certain group of old motifs and reject the others? What is the role of government in making public art? With these questions in mind, this panel intends to analyze the visual culture of twentieth-century China in the socio-political context of the past five decades.

Visual Symbolism in the Design and Decoration of Chairman Mao’s Memorial Hall

Dian Fan, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

The construction of Chairman Mao’s Memorial Hall, located at the center of Tiananmen Square, was a major political and cultural event in China in the late 1970s. Although it was built after the Cultural Revolution, it may be considered the last model for the political art which was dominant during the period of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. This memorial hall is unique in Chinese architectural history for combining the revolutionary theory (of Communist China) and the traditional concept (of ancient Chinese culture). This paper analyzes the origin and language of the visual symbols in the design and decoration of Chairman Mao’s Memorial Hall from the perspective of the relationship between Chinese art and politics.

Creating a National Symbol of Art: Dunhuang Motifs in Modern Chinese Art

Qiang Ning, University of Michigan

In an attempt to construct a new art for the newly-established People’s Republic of China, the communist government encouraged artists to "use the past to serve the present and use the foreign to serve the Chinese," a slogan created by Chairman Mao in his famous talk at Yanan before the founding of the P.R.C. What from the past should be used, however, was a puzzling question for most artists. The culture of the Qing Dynasty or of the Nationalist period was fiercely criticized by the communists during their campaign in establishing the new China and could not be conveniently taken as a legitimate symbol of tradition. The art of the Dunhuang caves, created in the medieval period when China was considered a great nation, became an ideal resource for artists to carry out the policy of using the past to serve the present. The motifs from the Dunhuang caves were used to decorate the front gate of the Ministry of Culture of the central government in Beijing, to create paintings for the People’s Hall, and to beautify teacups or matchboxes for ordinary people. This paper interprets the modern meaning of the Dunhuang motifs in contemporary Chinese art and examines the issue of tradition and modernity in the context of contemporary Chinese society.


Session 201: Mapping the PRC in Embodied Memory

Organizer: James Gao, University of Maryland

Chair: Philip West, University of Montana

Discussant: Kathleen Hartford, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Keywords: memory, China, history, twentieth century, communist politics, revolution.

An advantage of reconstructing PRC history is that personal and collective memories of its recent past are still alive. The three papers in this panel use the persuasive sources—a private diary, personal interviews, and "girls’ conversations"—to explore neglected stories, blind spots, and deceptions in the formal history of the PRC.

James Gao’s paper is a study of an unpublished diary of Yang Shiyi, an intellectual who joined Mao’s revolution in 1930. Yang’s diary describes the conflicts between his idealism and political reality, his efforts and frustration in merging with workers and peasants, revealing that a cultural gap between the CCP cadres of intellectual background and those of rural origin was one neglected factor evoking inner-party power struggles. Jin Qiu’s paper compares different expressions of the Lin Biao Incident between the government version and individual memories. It explores how communist politics silenced and repressed personal memories of the CCP No. 2 leader, and how the public memory was distorted and an official representation of history was established. Weili Ye’s oral history project is based on dialogues between two female members of the "Cultural Revolution generation." They recount and discuss their growing-up experiences during Mao’s era, including their education, off-school activities, "Red Guard" role, and life in the countryside, revealing their complicated relations with the Chinese revolution.

Mapping the PRC in embodied memory, this panel not only discusses how the Chinese people remember the past, but also how their memories have or have not transmitted into the formal history.

Tragedy of Idealism: A Reading of Yang Shiyi’s Diary

James Gao, University of Maryland

This paper is a case study of Yang Shiyi’s diary to explore the bitter experiences of Chinese intellectuals in Mao’s revolution.

Inspired by Marxist theory and Soviet literature, Yang Shiyi joined the CCP in 1930. He started his diary in 1943, and carried it on through 1957, without a single day’s interruption until his death. His diary is a personal memory of all political events he experienced: wars, mass campaigns, and inner-party power struggles. More importantly, it recorded his frustrations, disillusions, and self-criticism, revealing his ardent efforts to remold himself and to merge with workers and peasants. During the Anti-Japanese War and the subsequent Civil War, the CCP systematically recruited and trained peasant cadres, who eventually surpassed the revolutionary intellectuals both in number and in importance. Although Yang held some important positions in the army and the government such as Deputy Governor of the Province of Zhejiang, he had always been regarded as an "outsider" by the rural revolutionaries. Yang’s diary divulges that a few intellectuals were spared from being victimized in power struggles and that he himself was also purged in the "Anti-Rightist" campaign.

Yang’s unpublished diary is a rare source to comprehend the conflicts between his idealism and the political reality and to understand the psychological burden of the intellectuals in Mao’s revolution. It also reveals a cultural gap between the CCP cadres of intellectual background and those of rural origin, a subject that merits much attention in the study of Chinese revolution.

Lived Experience, Collective Memory, and Official History: Different Expressions of the Lin Biao Incident in the Cultural Revolution

Jin Qiu, Old Dominion University

In my paper I intend to deal with broader historiographical issues such as how the Chinese people remember their immediate past, and how differently their past is represented and interpreted in history.

This paper focuses on a detailed case study of the historiography over the Lin Biao Incident (1971), which still remains one of the biggest mysteries in the history of the People’s Republic of China. The official explanation states that Lin Biao masterminded plans for a coup d’état and assassination of Mao, and died on his way fleeing to the Soviet Union, but no convincing proof has been offered to substantiate these claims. While the Chinese government controls history writing, individual memories over their lived experiences are finding ways to express themselves. My intensive interviews of the witnesses and victims of the Lin Biao Incident provide a totally different interpretation, shedding light on this historic event. These voices, however, are hardly heard because of state censorship. As the time passes by, it seems to me that most people would readily accept the government version, which will become the standard history in China.

By comparing and contrasting different expressions of the Incident, the individual memory of the victims over their traumatic experiences, the public understanding of the event, and the official interpretation, I will illustrate how a lived experience is being transmitted into collective memory and what is the role of state in shaping both the collective memory and its historical representation.

Growing Up with the PRC: Memories of the "Cultural Revolution Generation"

Weili Ye, University of Massachusetts, Boston

This paper is an oral history project based on dialogues between two female Chinese scholars, the members of the so-called "Cultural Revolution generation." This generation was born in the 1950s, and, more than any other generation, has personified the promise, the flaw, and the contradictions of the People’s Republic of China. In the conversational memoir, they intend to bring out a fuller and more coherent picture covering Mao’s "socialist revolution" and Deng’s "open-door" reform. In the recent assessments of the PRC at its fiftieth anniversary, the appraisal of the Mao era has been focused, as usual, on the happenings in the political realm. In this project, they look at not only the large political events, but also other matters that constituted their everyday life. The challenge for them is to carefully trace how, prior to the Cultural Revolution, the generation was consciously groomed for its subsequent "Red Guard" role, on the one hand, and not to discard those experiences that could point to other directions. Otherwise it would be hard to explain why this generation was able to regenerate itself in the reform era. The project also recounts in detail their unique experiences as young women during Mao’s years.

The retelling of the growing-up experiences of the "Cultural Revolution generation" is an effort to claim subjectivity on their own terms, and to transmit personal memory of important parts of the past into history, which have been forcefully invalidated by the commercialized world.


Session 202: Confucian Martyrdom and Its Uses in Late Imperial and Modern China

Organizer and Chair: Kenneth J. Hammond, New Mexico State University

Discussant: Patricia Ebrey, University of Washington

Keywords: China, premodern, modern, history, anthropology.

The lives and deaths of certain individuals sometimes take on, or are attributed, significance greater than that of most members of their society. In imperial China individuals who chose to die in the name of beliefs associated with the broad field of Confucian values often became the subjects of posthumous careers over many generations or centuries. Their lives and deaths became funds of cultural capital which were drawn on and deployed by actors in various ways according to specific circumstances of time and place. This process continued throughout the late imperial era, and in some instances is reappearing in China’s post-communist society today.

This panel combines historical and anthropological investigations of three cases of Confucian martyrdom in the Song and Ming dynasties, and traces the complex cultural and political trajectories of appropriation and association through which later groups made use of these figures in the articulation of their own interests and agendas. James Watson reports on the recent development of putative ancestral claims, by various Man/Wen lineages in Hong Kong, Guangdong and Jiangxi, to the heritage of Wen Tianxiang, the Song dynasty minister executed by the Mongols. Peter Ditmanson explores the development and usage of the cult of the early Ming martyr Fang Xiaoru in later Ming political culture. Kenneth Hammond discusses the posthumous appropriation of the image of Yang Jisheng, executed in 1555, by later emperors, capital based literati, and Yang’s natal village descendants, from the late sixteenth century through the present.

Reinventing the Clan in South China: The Wen Tianxiang Connection in Jiangxi, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong, 1283–1999

James L. Watson, Harvard University

This presentation tracks the long, convoluted history of various Man/Wen lineages and clan organizations in South China. The focus is the putative ancestor Wen Tianxiang—a poet, military commander, statesman, and martyr, who died resisting the Mongol invaders, executed by direct order of Kubilai Khan. Wen has become a powerful political resource, the very stuff of myth and history.

This paper is the result of a multi-sited ethnographic field project, spanning some thirty years, in three primary locations: (1) Ji’an, Jiangxi, Wen Tianxiang’s native place; (2) Shenzhen SEZ, the site of five Wen (Man) localized lineages; and (3) San Tin village, Hong Kong, perhaps the richest and most notable Wen (Man) lineage settlement.

The presentation discusses the invention of a trans-regional, trans-national clan organization based upon a putative (claimed) descent from Wen Tianxiang. This is a "new" development in the sense that earlier, late imperial era Wen (Man) clans were organized on entirely different principles. The driving force behind this "new" Wen clan is a group of local Communist Party cadres in Ji’an, none of whom is surnamed Man.

Reconstructing Fang Xiaoru: Shifting Concerns in Mid-Ming Thought

Peter Ditmanson, Colby College

This paper explores the shifting context of intellectual and political culture in 15th- and early 16th-century China through the image of Fang Xiaoru. Fang (1357–1402) was one of the most famous martyrs of the 1402 usurpation of the throne by the Yongle emperor (r. 1402–25) from his nephew Jianwen (r. 1398–1402). A prominent statesman in the Jianwen court, Fang refused to serve the new emperor, and was put to death along with a purported 800 relatives and disciples, his writings proscribed. Fang had been one of the most authoritative claimants to the legacy of the partisan daoxue Neo-Confucian movement. He was executed by an emperor who aspired to the same claim.

Although the process of exonerating Fang began soon after Yongle’s death, it took until the latter decades of the 15th century for his works and a comprehensive biography to resurface. By then, the political contours of the Ming were transformed, the imperium diminished by eunuch domination and an invigorated and independent literati culture.

The reconstruction and celebration of Fang’s life and writings marked the confluence of varied interests. His image was used by some to promote his native place of Taizhou. Others drew upon his example for broader political and philosophical claims, ranging from those of the traditionalist Cheng-Zhu adherents to the radical stances of the Wang Yangming school. Fang’s legacy proved malleable enough to accommodate a range of these positions, and cast a long shadow across the discourse on politics and morality in mid-Ming society.

The Posthumous Career of a Ming Martyr: Yang Jisheng, 1555–1999

Kenneth J. Hammond, New Mexico State University

In 1553 a rising junior official named Yang Jisheng submitted a memorial attacking the chief grand secretary Yan Song for corruption and abuse of power. Yang was imprisoned and, two years later, executed. Over the following centuries various groups within Chinese political society made use of Yang’s image as a "righteous martyr" to promote their own values and interests. Late Ming and Qing emperors praised Yang’s loyalty to the throne. Capital based literati presented him as a fearless spokesman for the moral authority of their class. Yang’s descendants in his natal village in Hebei developed an ancestral shrine validating the lineage as a prominent family.

This paper uses architectural sites in Beijing and in the village of Beihezhao, Hebei, as focal points for exploring how two particular groups deployed Yang’s image to enhance their own status. In Beijing Yang’s former residence, the Songyun’an, became the seat of a shrine to Yang as a righteous literati martyr from the late 18th through the early 20th centuries. Scholars and officials gathered to honor Yang’s memory, and to engage in a program of "virtue by association," to advance their own political agendas. In Beihezhao Yang’s family received imperial patronage to establish a shrine in 1567, and maintained it through the rest of the imperial age. This shrine was destroyed in the Cultural Revolution, but a new shrine was built in 1997, and the family, which constitutes 80 percent of the village population, is once more using Yang’s image to promote their own social position.


Session 203: Mediating Global Flows: Sexuality and Subversion in Small Town China

Organizer: Beth Notar, Trinity College

Chair: Emily Chao, Pitzer College

Discussant: Susan D. Blum, University of Notre Dame

This panel explores the ways in which communities from southeast, southwest and northwest China negotiate global flows of people, products and popular media. All of the papers highlight the importance of investigating an interlocking configuration of sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and social status in order to adequately understand these flows. Key questions for discussion include: What new forms of agency and marginality, production and consumption arise from these flows? How do people interpret and appropriate various flows to construct new cultural realities? Chao observes the ways in which ethnic Naxi intellectuals have used a televised version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a forum for expressing their own concerns about rapidly changing local life brought about by mass tourism. Friedman analyzes global and local debates concerning the mainland short story Shuangzhuo (Twin Bracelets), based on the lives of Hui’an women in Fujian province, and its more sexualized Taiwan-produced film version. In the Tibetan Buddhist monastery town of Labrang, in Gansu, Makley investigates conflicts surrounding female sexuality in the context of foreign tourists and global media. Notar examines the ways in which local officials in Dali, Yunnan have used Jin Yong’s Hong Kong martial arts novel Tianlong babu (Heavenly Dragons) to market Dali to overseas Chinese tourists, and the ways in which local village women have used rumors to attempt to subvert this process. In order to allow ample time for discussion, the presenters and discussant will limit their comments to fifteen minutes each. Presentations will be accompanied by visual media.

Heavenly Dragons and Earthly Demons: Marketing and Subverting Hong Kong Popular Culture in Dali, Yunnan

Beth Notar, Trinity College

In 1963, Hong Kong author Jin Yong set much of his martial arts novel Tianlong babu (Heavenly Dragons, for short) in 12th-century Dali. The novel describes Dali as a Buddhist "wild, wild west" of martial monks, philandering princes, and wayward women. Three decades later, Dali town officials have started using Jin Yong’s popular novel to market Dali to overseas Chinese tourists. This marketing process has included inviting Jin Yong to Dali and constructing tourist sites based on scenes from the novel. While local officials have been busy marketing, some local village women have attempted to subvert this marketing process by spreading rumors of tourist sites haunted by legendary demons. This paper illustrates the ways in which the novel serves as a catalyst for conflicts about reform era development and who will profit from it. While international investors, local officials and entrepreneurs see tourism as a way to a prosperous future, local village women worry that they will become displaced and dispossessed. At a more general level, the paper suggests that we not only conduct critical readings of texts and look at them in the context of their production and consumption, but also examine the later appropriations and manipulations of texts and their material consequences.

Pride and Prejudice in Lijiang

Emily Chao, Pitzer College

This paper explores changing constructions of prestige, sexuality, and marriage as expressed by ethnic intellectual Naxi audiences in Lijiang, Yunnan as they watched and commented on Aoman yu Pianjian, a televised version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Debates among Naxi intellectuals over the morality, femininity and masculinity of downwardly mobile 19th-century English gentry indicated more immediate concerns about local morality, marriage, and social differentiation. The designation of Lijiang as a Unesco World Heritage Site has brought a flood of national and international tourists, as well as an influx of ethnic Chinese and Bai entrepreneurs into a once quiet market town populated by the Naxi community. Naxi interpretations of Pride and Prejudice reflected new experiences of marginality among intellectual and state-sector workers, and the contradictions they have faced in crafting modern identities in the context of an economy dependent on maintaining an aura of antiquity and ethnic authenticity.

Sexuality and Culture in the Global Media Market: The Film Shuang Zhuo and Debates over Representing "the Hui’an Woman"

Sara Friedman, Harvard University

Recent discussions of globalization often assume a unidirectional flow of images and goods, typically from the "developed" core to the "developing" periphery. Popular media representations of women from Fujian’s Hui’an county challenge this assumption by revealing the complex exchange of images among multiple actors, including artists, media producers, and consumers in the PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States. The 1980s and 1990s witnessed an explosion of national and international media portrayals of "the Hui’an woman." Emphasizing the women’s colorful attire and unusual marriage customs, these representations created an exotic, ethnic image of Hui’an women (despite their official Han status), while also depicting them as mired in feudal backwardness. This paper analyzes the Taiwan-produced film Shuang Zhuo (Twin Bracelets), based on a 1986 short story by the male Hui’an author Lu Zhaohuan. The paper examines how the story’s main theme of repressive, feudal marriage customs took on sexual overtones in the internationally marketed film version (in the United States, Shuang Zhuo was openly promoted as a lesbian film), which sparked considerable debate within mainland China. By comparing the original story, the film, and published responses from the author, the paper explores the changing meanings of gender, ethnicity, and sexuality in a global media market. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Hui’an, the paper asks whether and how such meanings affect Hui’an women themselves, particularly as an expanding tourism industry brings in growing numbers of national and overseas tourists attracted by the "exotic" image of "the Hui’an woman."

Commodifying Corporeality: Sexuality and Social Change on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier

Charlene Makley, Reed College

This paper explores the gendered nature of religious revitalization in the famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery town of Labrang in Gansu Province. It focuses on contestations surrounding sexuality in the town which places the huge monastery and its monks at the center of its economic and ritual life under the wary supervision of the Chinese state. With the recent influx of international tourists and the unprecedented reach of global media, changing sexualities and related understandings of the body, purity and pollution have been a crucial aspect of contested gender practices that both challenge and reinforce traditional ethnic and religious boundaries among Tibetans, boundaries that relied in part on the prestige of commitments to lifelong celibacy in monasticism. Drawing on fieldwork conducted among Tibetan laity, monks and nuns between 1992–1996, this paper examines the ways in which contemporary state-local and inter-ethnic conflicts were played out through competing efforts to negotiate and control sexuality. In the post-Mao era of "reform and opening", the altered and ambiguous nature of celibate monasticism under Chinese rule and changing gender roles in household and work meant that notions of bodily and sexual purity took on new importance for Tibetans as a way to maintain essential ethnic differences vis-à-vis the state and tourists. This played out through a convergence of state and local Tibetan efforts to control, contain, and regulate female sexuality, as the recent influx of unmarried women and new demands of married women for leisure and career opportunities drew attention to public spaces as dangerously sexualized.


Session 204: The Signification of the Other: Translation and Cross-Cultural Exchange between China and Europe, 1550–1850

Organizer: James St. André, National University of Singapore

Chair: David T. Roy, University of Chicago

Discussant: Longxi Zhang, City University of Hong Kong

These three papers seek to re-examine attempts by Europeans and Chinese to understand each other through translation practice. The first two papers focus on the strategies adopted by Jesuits in the Ming and early Qing to translate religious and literary texts into Chinese. While much work has been done on the influence of scientific and mathematical treatises, the Jesuits’ adaptation and remolding of Greek and Latin Fabula in their religious work has heretofore received little attention. Yet it is in these practices that the Jesuits reveal innovative strategies for dealing with problems in cross-cultural understanding. On the other hand, the second paper deals with some of the limitations which the Jesuits encountered in their transcultural project, grounded in universal assumptions. The third paper looks at translation in the opposite direction in a later period by men of letters, merchants, and civil servants. This paper hopes to revisit the question of oriental discourse by examining linguistic practices in certain early translations into English from Chinese. Together, these three papers deal with the possibility for and problems involved in cross-cultural understanding through various translation practices.

History as Rhetoric: The Jesuit Use of Chreia in Late-Ming China

Sher Shiueh Li, Academia Sinica

Traditionally, the missionary work of the Late-Ming Jesuits has been conceived as primarily a scientific movement. This paper, however, tries to re-examine the movement from a literary perspective, in the conviction that religious teaching is rhetorical, and hence literary, in nature. My investigation finds that what was brought to China by the Ming Jesuits included European chreia, a particular sub-genre of anecdote in the line of Greco-Roman rhetoric. A concise tale generally focusing on the witty, pointed, and gnomic sayings of a historical figure in classical antiquity, chreia can be generically taken as the European counterpart to certain stories in the Shihshuo xinyu of Liu Yiqing. I approach the massive corpus of Jesuit chreia in Chinese by the Aphtonian definition of the genre in order to fathom the borderline between history and fiction and conclude that rhetoric constitutes its textuality. I suggest in the line of the present paper that Jesuit chreia, a terra incognita whose study may enrich our understanding of Ming biji anecdotes, should be taken as part of "Chinese literature."

Forging Chinese Equivalents for God: Matteo Ricci’s Translation in 16th-Century China

Dongfeng Xu, University of Chicago

This paper argues that Matteo Ricci’s (1552–1610) effort and practice in translating the term or concept of Deus into Chinese enacts both the impossibility and necessity of translation. Ricci’s theology convinces him that the name of God represents the most proper of all proper names that need not and cannot be translated for the simple reason that this name, together with God’s doctrines, has been from the very beginning innate in every culture and language. But because he believes that Chinese culture represents a fallen system that has drifted away from God, ignoring and forgetting God’s teachings, Ricci insists that what the Chinese should do, rather than start from scratch, is retrieve their knowledge of God. As a result, in his Tianzhu shiyi, a catechism he composed in Chinese, Ricci elaborates on Christian ideologies, including his translation of the word "God," making it look like a process in which he has recovered for the Chinese what they have forgotten or lost. Finding and coining phrases such as Shangdi or Tienzhu for God from various Chinese classics, he attempts to prove to the Chinese that the idea of God, far from being a new, foreign or translated concept, is in fact a universal absolute reference, already indigenous in Chinese language and culture. As this paper argues, Ricci’s desire to prove God to be a universal absolute reference cannot succeed. It is true that the Christian God has been known as Shangdi since Ricci. But Ricci cannot keep the same signified while adorning it with other signifiers. The problem haunting Ricci’s translation is that each time Shangdi is used, it generates a violence of difference putting side by side the newly added meaning of a Christian God and the images of Chinese ghosts and spirits.

Translation and the British Imagination of China

James St. André, National University of Singapore

This paper explores the extent to which Said’s concept of Orientalism is useful in explaining 18th–19th-century British translation practice from Chinese into English. Much has been written by Lydia Liu, Edward Gunn, and others concerning the role of translation from English, Japanese, French, and German into Chinese in the transformation of Chinese society. But apart from bemoaning the poor quality of English translations (in the context of discussion of why no Chinese writer has ever been awarded the Nobel prize), little work has been done on the impact of translation from Chinese into English on British and American culture. Besides examining how these early translations affected and were effected by British and American culture in a variety of ways, my paper also takes the opportunity to explore how early Chinese-English translation practice also poses certain interesting methodological questions, mainly that of "travelling theory," to use Said’s own term, and the applicability of a theoretical model to political and cultural situations different from those which it was developed to explain. The paper will thus have a double focus: looking at once backward toward past translation practice and sideways toward contemporary theoretical modeling practice.


Session 205: Individual Papers: Pursuing Truth, Beauty, and Health in Republican China

Organizer and Chair: David Strand, Dickinson College

Theatrical Self and the Early Republican Subjectivity: Zhou Shoujuan’s Pillow Talk "In the Nine-Flower Curtain"

Jianhua Chen, Harvard University

How to define the modern Chinese essay? Is it modern because it is written in baihua? Does the modern Chinese essay start from its naming of sanwen? While scholars asserted that the form of the modern Chinese essay was born in the May Fourth period, the complicated trends of literary modernity in the first two decades of the twentieth century was neglected.

My reading of Zhou Shoujuan’s "In the Nine-Flower Curtain" reveals that this 1917 baihua "pillow talk" (qinghua) in the wedding night comes out of chaotic conditions of literary genre before the generic system is established in the May Fourth period. Obsessed with the first person narratives it hybridizes autobiography, diary, love-letter, and journalist report. I will argue that this "Butterflies" obsession with subjective genres in the early twentieth century lays a foundation for the growth of modern Chinese prose.

The theatrical devices used in this work create a double self in the narrative space the self as a performer and the self in the beholders’ gaze. This paper emphasizes that the rhetoric of theatricality is indebted to repertoires of traditional poetry and drama, which become unavailable later when the New Literature triumphs. Furthermore, I will elaborate how the theatricality helps to construct an early Republican subjectivity based on divisions between the individual, family, and nation-building.

From Protecting Public Morals to Protecting Public Health: Changing Governmental Attitudes towards the Ban on Prostitution in Nanjing, 1928–1937

Zwia Lipkin, Stanford University

My paper will discuss the evolution of the ban on prostitution, the first social policy adopted by the Nanjing municipal government, from its implementation on September 1, 1928, throughout the Nanjing Decade. Bans on prostitution were experimented with in other cities in China at various times (see note 1), but only in Nanjing was such a ban persistently maintained over a long period. This was so, since the implementation and preservation of the ban were essential components of the Nationalists’ efforts to reconstruct Nanjing, a sleepy, backwards town, into a national capital that could serve as a model for a new China.

Nanjing of the 1920s and 1930s had many other pressing social problems, yet the government chose prostitution as its main target for attack. I will explain why the fight against prostitution took precedence over other social problems and why it became such an important part of reshaping Nanjing into a capital. The government’s ideals regarding the revolution, the creation of the capital and a society befitting a capital, along with practical financial, institutional and other difficulties it encountered, all influenced its policies toward prostitution and were reflected by them.

By looking at the process that led to the banning of prostitution in Nanjing and at efforts to keep the ban, I will discuss issues related to state-society relations on a local level as well as the relations between the state and the bodies of individual citizens. I will sketch changes over time in governmental discourse regarding the ban on prostitution: from justifying it as a way to protect public morals to defending it as means to protect the nation’s health. I will explain what the municipal government’s changing policies say about the government itself, and lay out the local and national factors which led to this change in discourse.

1. See, for example, Gail Hershatter, Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Shanghai (University of California Press, 1997), 287–88.

A "Modern" Traditional Connoisseur: Wu Hufan’s (1894–1968) Use of Photographic Techniques in His Inscriptions on Paintings and Calligraphies

Clarissa von Spee, Heidelberg University, Germany

While the importance of connoisseurial colophons for the identification and interpretation of a work of art has been demonstrated, colophons can also be analyzed as part of the oeuvre of a single connoisseur. This is done in the present paper. It explores the way in which modern reproduction techniques were used by an early-twentieth-century connoisseur to visualize and underpin his argumentation

Wu Hufan (1894–1968) was one of the leading traditional connoisseurs and art collectors in Shanghai during the first half of the twentieth century. Many famous Chinese calligraphies and paintings in museums and private collections all over the world bear his colophons, in which he identified, authenticated and judged the work of art. They give evidence of his extensive and accurate historical research. In order to illustrate and document his inscriptions, Wu Hufan mounted photographic reproductions of related material directly on the handscroll Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, Beginning Part by Huang Gongwang (1269–1354) as well as into the calligraphy album Rubbing of the Huadu Temple Stele Engraving by Ou Yangxun (557–641). Both pieces were in his collection.

The two artworks exemplify and demonstrate, how Wu Hufan, as one of the most respected connoisseurs of his time and an authority in his field, challenged and extended the aesthetic dimension of the genre of connoisseurial colophons and tried to find a persuasive solution in combining historical accuracy and modernity in the transmission of Chinese art to future generations.

A Modern Challenge to Modernism from the Village: The Chinese Rural Educational Movement and Village Teachers’ Schools in the 1920s

Xiaoping Cong, University of California, Los Angeles

Much of Western scholarship on the development of modern education in China recounts the implantation of Western-style schools and curricula in urban areas. In these accounts, local riots against Western-style schools, the refusal of families to send their children to these schools, and experiments that revived the traditional role of the school in the community are often simply viewed as a reactionary defense of tradition or are left out altogether. This paper examines the ideas and practice of Xiaozhuang Village Teachers’ School founded by Tao Xingzhi in 1927. The Xiaozhuang experiment challenged the universalistic model of Western-style schools favored by mainstream Chinese educators at that time, which Tao criticized as urban and elite oriented, isolated from the community, and focused on bookish study of knowledge irrelevant to the rural population. The Xiaozhuang model was inspired by John Dewey’s "school is society" philosophy, but inverted it, proposing to make society a school. In conditions of political disorder, rural economic decline and village disintegration, it placed village teachers’ schools in the center of a rural reconstruction movement with teachers as community leaders. This hybrid model promoted the practical and scientific spirit of modern education, while attempting to revive the traditional social integration of the school in the village community. Although the Xiaozhuang School existed only three years, the principles it advanced became a focal point for contentious debate among educators, influencing the fledgling regular system of village teachers’ schools built by the Guomindang government in the 1930s and the radical rural education programs carried out by the Communist government after 1949.


Session 215: Between Mission and Empire: Protestant Missionaries in Nineteenth-Century China

Organizer: Wah K. Cheng, Mills College

Chair: Guy S. Alitto, University of Chicago

Discussants: Robert Entenmann, St. Olaf College; Guy S. Alitto, University of Chicago

One indelible reality of the full resumption of Christian mission in nineteenth-century China was that its possibility was created by its intimate complicity with imperialist expansion. While the missionary enterprise in China was determined to realize its evangelical intention, it must also attend, in one degree or another, to the needs of empire. A major form of service that fulfilled both obligations was what can be broadly described as travel and research, particularly in the act of personal exploration of Chinese names and places, geography and culture, to produce categorizable knowledge useful for the purposes of mission and empire. The relation between mission and empire, however, was never unequivocal, and divergent opinions on where to place the balance often led to profound tensions within the missionary enterprise.

The three papers in this panel propose to investigate the realities of this tension between mission and empire through the career of three prominent nineteenth-century missionaries. K. F. A. Gützlaff was often accused of being too subservient to the demands of empire at Christianity’s expense, but it was also Gützlaff who vociferously argued that Christian success in China hinged on a bold movement of indigenization. James Gilmour’s Mongolian mission was by all measures a failure, yet support for his work was sustained because his sociological investigations served imperial needs. John Macgowan devoted his career to understanding the Chinese to facilitate the missionary endeavor. In the end he found that the goal of mission was better served by the logic of empire.

For God and Queen: James Gilmour in Mongolia

Kathleen L. Lodwick, Pennsylvania State University

Critics often charge that the nineteenth-century missionary endeavor in China was simply a guise for imperialism. Although the charge might be difficult to substantiate or refute, the career of James Gilmour, London Missionary Society representative to Mongolia, would clearly support the side that argues imperialist aims.

Arriving in Peking in 1871, Gilmour quickly departed for Mongolia to avoid the hostilities the foreigners anticipated after the attack on Catholic missionaries in Tianjin. For the next 20 years, Gilmour traveled extensively in various parts of Mongolia, proclaiming his religion and handing out medicines, but making not a single convert. Gilmour was just becoming known to churchgoers at home when David Livingstone died and, in many ways, Gilmour replaced Livingstone as the missionary icon—serving alone in an extremely remote region of the earth, just as Livingstone had done in Africa. Although he labored year after year without a convert, no one in London suggested he give up, even though they refused to protest when those sent to assist him decided to work in Beijing instead. Gilmour, the missionary, became Gilmour, the sociologist, with his insightful descriptions about Mongolian society, his books have been reprinted nearly a century after they were written. Clearly, the LMS, as a Dissenting church, wanted to demonstrate that it, too, supported the Establishment (government and church) in its imperial aims, and it was this patriotic impulse, rather than any religious one, which explains the support of Gilmour in such a difficult field for two decades.

Missionizing Conquest: John Macgowan and the Construction of China Knowledge

Wah K. Cheng, Mills College

Protestant missionaries working in China were often lauded as "cultural brokers" who served as "agents of change" in introducing progressive, secular knowledge to aid China’s reforms. Yet, their role as "cultural brokers" consisted of a second and equally intriguing dimension, i.e., as purveyors of knowledge of China for their home audience. Their anthropological explorations of the Chinese geographical and cultural landscape served to support not only the missionary undertaking but also, in the broader context, imperial enterprise. In this capacity, as John King Fairbank has noted, Western missionaries shared the same pattern of aggressiveness with Western merchants and officials, with the added advantage of being the only group of Westerners in China who sought "direct contact with the common people in the two civilizations."

The paper examines the writings of John Macgowan (d. 1922), a British missionary from the London Missionary Society, who relayed his personal experience in China directly to the general public at home. A somewhat successful popular writer, some of his representative works were reprinted multiple times. Interestingly, a careful examination of Macgowan’s writings indicates that his personal knowledge of China and the Chinese was constructed with a set of epistemological strategies strikingly in line with the popular and stereotypical perceptions of China then prevalent in the West. Macgowan’s China knowledge, therefore, can be seen as symptomatic of certain persistent and ingrained strands within the Western popular imagination about China—a sort of popular Orientalism—that ultimately drove the engine of Western imperialism.

K. F. A. Gützlaff: Missionary Maverick or Visionary?

R. G. Tiedemann, University of London

Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff (1803–1851) is one of the most colorful and controversial figures in the history of the Protestant evangelistic enterprise in China. His intense desire to "save" China’s millions took him to bold initiatives to make Christianity more accessible to the Chinese. In the early 1830s he made several trips on merchant ships along the Chinese coast to preach and distribute Christian literature beyond the confines of Guangzhou. In the 1840s, while in British government service in Hong Kong, Gützlaff came to realize that "China can be evangelized only by the Chinese" and consequently formed the controversial "Chinese Union" of indigenous colporteurs and evangelists.

These innovative and aggressive methods were not appreciated by his conservative missionary detractors. They found the following objectionable: (1) the reckless methods, especially his association with opium smugglers; (2) his engagement as an independent missionary; (3) his career in British government service during and after the First Opium War; (4) his apparent lack of Christian faith, as evidenced by his failure to attend missionary meetings; and (5) his reliance on untrustworthy Chinese associates.

This paper looks at the similarities and differences between his methods and those of his more conventional missionary contemporaries. It argues that Gützlaff’s radical millennial expectations represented a significant minority strand of Protestant revivalist activity in early-nineteenth-century China. The essay concludes with a discussion of Gützlaff’s effectiveness as cultural mediator between East and West and the extent to which his progressive approach to an indigenized Christianity was emulated by later missionaries.


Session 216: Popular Media, Popular Bodies

Organizer: Lisa Claypool, Stanford University

Chair and Discussant: Richard Vinograd, Stanford University

Keywords: Late Imperial China, art history.

This panel raises two broad questions: How were representations of the human figure inflected and shaped by the media through which they circulated? To what kinds of audiences were these representations targeted, and how were they made meaningful and understood? Integral to each of the papers are the themes of the body as social surface, public and private arenas of appreciation for it, and the manipulation of figural images in self-fashioning projects by individuals and communities.

Lauren Nemroff analyzes the Ming painter Tang Yin’s multi-dimensional portrayal—in painted image and performance—as the Tang romantic hero Zheng Yuanhe. Tang’s project, she argues, is one of self-mythologizing, drawing heavily from contemporary dramatic, literary and pictorial tropes.

Larissa Heinrich traces the development of the Orientalist stereotype of China as the "Cradle of Smallpox" from its roots in the selective interpretation of a Chinese medical text to its popularization as images of the "sick" Chinese body in European medical encyclopedias from the nineteenth century.

Lisa Claypool studies the 1897 edition of the Jieziyuan huazhuan figure painting manual. She posits it as a conceptual museum space which invited particular ways of organizing and looking at the world, and asks how figural representations fit into this new order of things.

Beggars Can Be Choosers: Tang Yin’s Portrayal of Zheng Yuanhe and the Practice of Self-Mythologizing

Lauren Nemroff, New York University

Given the fundamental role of theatre within the social and cultural life of Ming Suzhou, it is not surprising that one of that city’s most celebrated artists, Tang Yin (1470–1523) painted characters drawn from popular operas. His portraits of Cui Yingying, the heroine of the Xixiangji, and his tableaux from operas featuring Sima Xiangru, Lu Mengzheng, and other romantic heroes testify to the impact of theatre on Ming picture making. In seeking to identify the traces of Ming theater in Tang Yin’s artistic production, compelling biographical symmetries between the artist and these dramatis personae emerge as well. This relationship is exemplified by Tang’s representations of the beloved romantic protagonist Zheng Yuanhe, a legendary Tang dynasty scholar who was reduced to singing m the streets of Chang’an for food. Tang’s empathetic portrayal of the destitute scholar bears the imprint of his own experience of physical and psychological duress brought on by economic hardships. Intriguing in this context are personal letters and historical anecdotes describing Tang’s impersonation as an itinerant performer in the streets of Suzhou. These antics, when seen in conjunction with his portrait of Zheng Yuanhe, suggest a multidimensional practice of self-mythologizing in which the social identity of the pinshi, "impoverished scholar," is self-consciously romanticized and projected for public consumption.

This paper examines aspects of self-portraiture in Tang Yin’s representation of the dramatic hero Zheng Yuanhe, and explores its relationships to the broader mid-Ming discourse on the pinshi which was taken up in the media of painting, drama, and literature.

A Case of Mistaken Identity: How Europeans Learned about Smallpox in China

Larissa Heinrich, University of California, Berkeley

Sometime in the late 1760s, the French Jesuit missionary Martial Cibot sat in his Beijing compound composing an essay called "De la petite Vérole," or "On Smallpox in China." Partially a discussion, and partially a précis translation of Chinese medical texts on smallpox and inoculation, the piece would later be widely circulated as part of the Mémoires concernant les chinois.

While Cibot was writing, a debate raged back home in Paris. Enlightenment thinkers advocated for the practice of inoculation as a means of stemming the spread of smallpox. But the Church and royal family rallied against inoculation, arguing that it interfered with the will of God; smallpox, for them, was a divine scourge. Naturally Cibot agreed with the Church.

In this paper I will use Cibot’s essay to talk about the process by which Europeans learned about smallpox and inoculation in China in the eighteenth century, and how this process subsequently shaped European ideas about Chinese character and identity. First I will give a brief background of Cibot’s essay, discussing how it was produced and what kind of impression of Chinese inoculation practice it eventually communicated. Next, I’ll discuss examples of "mistranslation" of the original Chinese medical texts that contributed to the misperception of China as the so-called "Cradle of Smallpox." Finally, I will discuss how the images likewise "mistranslated" the Chinese medical illustrations they were based upon, communicating an idea of China as something fundamentally unhealthy.

Painting Manual as Museum Space: The 1897 Jieziyuan huazhuan

Lisa Claypool, Stanford University

Late-nineteenth-century Shanghai was the site for the translation of a phenomenon new to China: the museum. The Shanghai Museum, established by the Royal Asiatic Society in 1874, proved wildly popular. But the museum gained shape in the public imaginary through other forms as well: published jottings and travel diaries of intellectuals and statesman who visited European and Japanese museums, the missionary press, and articles in Shenbao and the Dianshizhai illustrated news. For the most part referred to as bowuyuan, halls of natural science or places to investigate things, towards the turn of the century they also were referred to as bolanguan, a hybrid library-museum, and a space that invites bolan, a particular way of seeing. Within this period, in 1897, the fourth edition of the Jieziyuan huazhuan was published.

In this paper I will examine the figure painting manual as a conceptual museum space. First I will briefly examine the Shanghai Museum with an eye to the ways in which the objects in them were arranged to produce particular ways of knowing and seeing the world. Next, I will locate the manual in this order by analyzing its modes of display and organizational underpinnings. I will then turn to a more nuanced exploration of the linguistic and social underpinnings of the word "museum." Finally, I will raise some questions about the place of representations of the human figure in a conceptual museum context, and what it may tell us about shifts in ways of seeing the body.


Session 218: Love and Romance, Virtue and Valor: The Politics of Passion in Modern China

Organizer: Eugenia Y. Lean, University of California, Los Angeles

Chair: Yue Meng, University of California, Irvine

Discussant: Dorothy Ko, Rutgers University

This interdisciplinary panel examines the complex ways in which modern emotions were defined, constructed and rendered significant for both the individual and the larger collective in twentieth-century China. Whereas a great deal of scholarship on emotions in pre-modern China has been done (most notably, on the Cult of Qing), the topic has received remarkably little attention in the modern era. This panel hopes to redress this situation from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Adopting the central methodological premise that there is nothing "natural" about emotion, we inquire into how passions in twentieth-century China have been culturally constructed and became significant in the imagining of political communities and in the establishing of commodity culture. Haiyan Lee studies the literary backlash to May Fourth romanticism and highlights the implications this critique of love had for imagining revolution and republic. Eugenia Lean conducts an historical analysis of the adjudication of crimes of passion in the Republican era to show how the judicial system sought to link certain female sentiment with the moral order of the Chinese nation. Kathleen Erwin focuses on post-Socialist China from the discipline of anthropology to inquire into the commodification and consumption practices of romance (langman). Discussant Dorothy Ko, a pioneering scholar of the history of emotions in the late imperial period, will provide a longer historical perspective to our twentieth-century inquiry. Meng Yue, a scholar of passions in twentieth-century theater, will serve as chair. Together, panel participants trace the shift from the politicized nature of passions in the early twentieth century to the decidedly commodified emotions of contemporary China.

The Republic of Virtue: Freedom, Ethics, and the Education of Love in the Post-May Fourth Era

Haiyan Lee, Cornell University

In the 1920s, the much celebrated May Fourth ideal of free love (ziyou lian’ai) became the object of distrust, derision, and critique. Educators, professional editors and writers, as well as common readers all sought to re-evaluate freedom and the role of love in personal and social life. Many authors went beyond the trope of romantic rebellion to depict betrayal, disappointment, and disillusionment as the price of freedom. Others projected free love as the futile daydream of airy-headed youth or as the fig leaf for material and salacious cravings. Still others censured love for wrecking the family and social order. How do we account for this pervasive backlash? What salvation did the detractors propose for the lost souls of May Fourth romanticism?

This paper addresses these questions by examining three types of texts: (1) fiction, e.g., Lu Xun’s "Regret for the Past" (1925) and Luo Chen’s "Love and Duty" (1924); (2) The Ladies Journal’s special issue on love (1926); and (3) the best-selling Italian children’s story Cuore (translated into Chinese under the title The Education of Love, 1924) and the barrage of readers’ responses to it. I will show that, in addition to the prescription of revolution as antidote to May Fourth romanticism, many also sought alternative paths of redemption in the ethical life of the conjugal family or in the vision of the republic as an intimate community bound by virtue and universal love.

Adjudicating Female Sentiment: Crimes of Passion in 1930s China

Eugenia Y. Lean, University of California, Los Angeles

In this paper, I focus on two highly sensational crimes of passion committed by women during the Nanjing decade: one, a case of a wronged woman who killed the lover of her husband; the other, a devoted daughter who assassinated a warlord to avenge the wrongful death of her father. Both trials wound their way through Republican China’s newly established judicial system. At every step of the way, they generated media sensation and drew public sympathy. By examining legal arguments of lawyers, court-issued verdicts, and the near-verbatim coverage of courtroom sessions in the media, I ask the following questions: How were these highly personal motivations and private acts of passion judged? Why was the sentiment of women in particular subject to such legal scrutiny? In what manner were these passions deemed relevant to larger moral and political concerns including public morality and national virtue? Why did the legal system grant certain passions (e.g, filial piety) judicial leniency and not others (e.g., love)? By answering these questions, this paper will show that the legal system sought to determine the modern relevance of female sentiment for the Chinese nation. At the same time, I will also argue that female passion played a role in informing modern judicial procedure of the Chinese nation. Overwhelming public sympathy for the passionate motivations of female perpetrators came to play a formative role not only in determining the legal outcome of the two individual cases, but also notions of modern justice.

Consuming Desires: The Meanings of Romance in Post-Socialist China

Kathleen Erwin, University of California, Berkeley

Love-based marriages have represented the modern ideal, if not typical practice, in China since the early twentieth century. Romance, in contrast, has been viewed as a decadent and irresponsible distraction from the pursuit of stable, virtuous marriages. In recent years, however, romantic images and practices have become ubiquitous in the streets, shops, and restaurants of cosmopolitan cities like Shanghai: young lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day with roses, chocolates, or expensive dinners out, and bridal photography studios drum up business by plastering romantic photos on billboards throughout the busy commercial districts. Romantic practices in urban China thus appear to be direct products of Westernization and rampant consumerism.

The notion of romantic love, however, is fraught with complex, often conflicting, meanings for many of Shanghai’s young, upwardly mobile, professional women. Its association with the West implies a challenge to the "traditional" and more strategic considerations upon which Chinese marriages often have been founded. At the same time, the associations between romance, openness, and modernity allow women to imagine, and sometimes create, the companionate unions that many feel were unavailable to previous generations. Despite its modern connotations, then, many young women see romance as allowing them to fulfill a "traditional" ideal of virtuous womanhood based on devotion to marriage and family. This paper examines the mutually embedded practices associated with romance, marriage, and consumerism in Shanghai, China, and argues that romantic love and consumerism serve as dual foundations for modern marriage that allow women to simultaneously fulfill ideas of openness and virtuous Chinese womanhood.


Session 219: "How to Speak in a Time of Crisis"? Early Modern Chinese Discourses on Language

Organizer: Alexander Mayer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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

In the research on the cultural and intellectual transformations in China during the late Qing, some of the important assumptions and reflections on language by contemporary thinkers have not been given due attention. More consideration has so far been given to the protagonists of language change, rather than to its opponents. Accordingly, questions of transmission of modern vocabularies and concepts to China, i.e., lexical aspects of language transformation and its application in literary and political contexts, have received a disproportionate amount of study. It is not without irony that the virtual disregard for the opponents of language change is largely due to verdicts going back to interpretations of Chinese history as proposed by the very protagonists of change.

While much consideration has thus been given to questions of language application, we find a dearth of attention to the more reflexive discourses and their philosophical and epistemological implications. Therefore it has become necessary to, first, re-address issues of language and its application by May Fourth protagonists hitherto simplistically subsumed under the notion of iconoclasm, and simultaneously to revisit some of the assumptions underlying arguments against the indiscriminate adoption of foreign words and concepts and their implications for "national" and/or "cultural" identity. Such an inquiry will be conducive to further elucidate traditional and modern resources of critically approaching language, and will show how even those positions in favor of protecting traditional conceptions by their very contextualization acquired a different meaning.

Compromise, Incorporation, and Confrontation: Language and Politics in the May Fourth Era

Timothy B. Weston, University of Colorado, Boulder

Predicated on the general assumption that in ideological contest language serves two fundamental purposes, namely first it is the instrument of combat, and second it is the object of contest itself, I will study May Fourth intellectuals’ responses in 1919 and 1920 to Zhang Shizhao’s little-studied "theory of compromise" (tiaohe lun). Zhang’s theory, which was quite influential during the 1910s, dealt with politics and the process of cultural exchange (including linguistic exchange). I will discuss the reception of the "theory of compromise" in order to measure the process of intellectual and political radicalization in the 1910s. In particular, I will look at the language that opponents of Zhang’s theory used to combat him, at the logic upon which their arguments were based, and at their alternative concepts of politics and cultural exchange. Finally, I will contrast the reception given to Zhang’s theory with the far more positive reception given to Cai Yuanpei’s concept of jianrong bingbao, or "the incorporation of diverse outlooks and approaches." I hope to come to a better understanding of the way radical May Fourth intellectuals worked to marginalize those with whom they disagreed, and in particular of the way they employed language to help them do this and the concepts of language implicit in this discursive confrontation.

The Disintegration of Meaning? Conservative Reflections on Language

Axel Schneider, Leiden University

We are accustomed to think of the development of modern Chinese from the perspective of the proponents of language and script reform. Written Chinese (wen-yen) and traditional Chinese characters since long are perceived of as obstacles to the alphabetization and the spread of a "national language," and hence to the modernization of China. Intellectuals opposed to the vernacular and the script reform were by and large characterized as conservative or even reactionary.

The aim of this paper is to show, first, that there existed a variety of positions opposing reform, ranging from simple opposition against change (Lin Shu, etc.) to rather sophisticated arguments in favor of protecting wen-yen or developing a "national language" based on wen-yen (Zhang Taiyan, post-May Fourth Zhang Shizhao, and Chen Yinque). Second, some opponents of language reform went far beyond the simple equation of wen-yen with "the continuity of Chinese culture" and "the privileges of the literati," but rather reflected on the philosophical nature and epistemological status of language. Some not only argued for the national and/or cultural particularity of language, but went even further by claiming that philosophical and ethical terms and concepts central to a certain culture cannot be indiscriminately translated or transplanted into other cultural contexts.

Buddhist Aspects in the Modern Chinese Discourse on Language

Alexander Mayer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The Western presence in the early twentieth century confronted Chinese intellectuals with a need to reconsider the foundations of their culture. While reflections on language generally did not rank high in this context, they nevertheless surfaced as part of a discourse on a modern Chinese cultural identity. For some members of the educated elite it became clear at an early stage that the only Chinese option offering a high level of theory capable to measure up to Western philosophy was offered by Buddhism, which seemed to possibly serve as a pivot between Chinese particularities and the more universal modern requirements.

This paper aims at exploring some early modern, Buddhism based Chinese reflections (mainly by Ouyang Jingwu and Zhang Taiyan) on the nature of language, in order to show how the store of traditional knowledge was considered to offer a genuine alternative to modern Western discourse. I will focus on reflections on the applicability of Western notions such as "religion" within the Chinese cultural field. It will be observed how these reflections remain inextricably bound to what they fight. It is particularly in areas which were thought to contain what is essential to Chinese culture, in discourses intended to refute the Western discursive predominance, that the gradual self-re-assessment in the light of the "other" took place.


Session 220: Nature, Culture, Text: Citing Feminine Values in Imperial China

Organizer: John A. Rapp, Beloit College

Chair and Discussant: Judith Zeitlin, University of Chicago

In searching for feminine values within a heavily patriarchal culture, one has to be wary of mistaking male idealizations of the feminine for authentic female voices and interpretations. Through their varied disciplines and subjects, the members of this panel all try to distinguish, so far as is possible, between male and female depictions of feminine values and outlooks in imperial China.

Maureen Robertson examines important ways in which male and female writers have represented feminine aspects of the natural world in Chinese lyrical poetry, focusing on gender-marked representations of landscape in shi lyrics by late imperial women. Beata Grant examines a group of eminent Buddhist abbesses of the Linji school of Chan Buddhism to explore, among other things, how they tried to articulate a genuine expression, within the Buddhist tradition, of the difficulties, contradictions and occasional triumphs of their own lives. Anita Andrew examines how the Empress Ma of the early Ming dynasty was used by her husband, Zhu Yuanzhang, as an important part of his social control plan, both by praising her own real actions and by idealizing her as a model of feminine behavior. John Rapp examines how philosophical Daoism may serve as either a genuine feminist critique of authoritarian, patriarchal societies or as an idealized version of the feminine, serving to uphold ancient Chinese patriarchal culture in its passive acceptance of oppressive state authority. He concludes that, whatever its potential flaws, Daoism may be utilized as a genuine feminized attempt to restore balance to an overly patriarchal society. Judith Zeitlin, whose research has centered on Chinese conceptions of the body and sexuality in late imperial China, will serve as discussant.

Loyalty and Lineage: Female Buddhist Monastics of the Ming-Qing Transition

Beata Grant, Washington University

This is a study of an extraordinary group of eminent Buddhist abbesses of the Linji school of Chan Buddhism—Jizong Xingche, Zhiyuan Xinggang, Baochi Jizong and others—all of whom lived during roughly the same time period, the late Ming and early Qing. Fortunately, these women left behind a small but significant body of writings—including poetry, brief autobiographical pieces, gatha, sermons, prefaces, painting inscriptions, etc. Just a few of the questions that these textual sources allow us to explore, if only tentatively, are the following: the varied backgrounds and religious histories of these women; their relationships with their fellow religious, the nuns under their care, lay disciples both male and female, and local literati officialdom; their perceived literary and dharmic connections with male religious mentors from the Linji lineage both contemporary and from the past; and last by no means least, their use of the poetic expression of Buddhist ideas, ideals and images not only to teach and proselytize, but also to articulate, if only very indirectly, the difficulties, contradictions and occasional triumphs of their own lives.

Gendered Landscapes

Maureen Robertson, University of Iowa

Gender has been implicit in the representation of the physical world in texts in China from earliest times, from the numinous and eroticized landscapes of the Chuci and images and commentaries of the Yijing to the Shanglin fu with its assertion of masculine power, the Gaotang fu with its feminized atmospheric moisture, and the Loushen fu, which further elaborates the yin/feminine aspect perceived in the physical world. With the development of an artistic "landscape" concept in the Six Dynasties period, literati writers, in representing the physical world, began to endow "scenes" with more artistic complexity and also to treat the natural world as a space of self-representation in poetry, essays (ji), and travel writings. In doing so, they established conventions of engagement with the natural world through which gendered interests of the literati viewing subjects were expressed. Landscape features could be coded to allegorically signify viewers’ specifically masculine concerns and values (e.g., Tao Qian’s ethical valorization of rural landscape as he works out the logic of his withdrawal from political life). Alternatively, landscape may serve as an "other" to the male human observer, against which the identity of the subject can be defined and confirmed. The gendered character of these relationships was not an issue that was subject to inquiry in Chinese literary criticism; rather, it was taken for granted, as such representations were authored almost exclusively by men.

However, with the greater numbers and greater visibility of women writers during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the possible effects of authorial gender upon the composition of literary landscapes can become a legitimate historical and critical issue. This paper first briefly reviews some important ways in which the natural world has been read and represented in Chinese lyrical poetry. The main body of the paper explores selected gender-marked representations of landscape in shi lyrics by late imperial women, commenting on the positioning of the viewing subjects, and suggesting how such positioning may dictate terms of engagement with the physical world in representation on the one hand, and with poetic convention on the other.

Mother of the Empire: The Influence of the Empress Ma on Early Ming Autocracy

Anita M. Andrew, Northern Illinois University

Empress Ma (1332–1382), was the primary wife of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty (r. 1368–1398) and perhaps imperial China’s greatest autocratic activist. Their marriage proved to be a powerful union. Empress Ma came from an important military family which aided Zhu Yuanzhang’s rise to power. She also proved to be Zhu Yuanzhang’s closest political partner and adviser.

This paper focuses on the Ming founder’s efforts to utilize Empress Ma as an important part of his social control plan, both by her own actions and the way in which she figured as a model of behavior. Zhu Yuanzhang carefully crafted the portrayal of Empress Ma in various records of the early Ming to serve as the most identifiable model of ideal womanhood. Zhu Yuanzhang put much emphasis on the emulation of models to transform society according to his own specifications. The end result for the Ming founder was to greatly increase his personal power and also his ability to directly influence his subjects.

Daoism and Feminism: A Three-Way Critique

John A. Rapp, Beloit College

Philosophical Daoism and feminism are related in three ways. First, Daoism may serve as a kind of feminist critique of an authoritarian, patriarchal society, a critique that can perhaps be revived in contemporary Chinese and East Asian debates. The question to be examined in this critique relates to the ability of a democratized Chinese political culture to open itself up to fuller gender equality. Second, one can construct a basic feminist critique of philosophical Daoism, setting up a test case of Daoism as the flip side of ancient Chinese patriarchal culture in its passive acceptance of oppressive state authority. Here one can examine the limitations twentieth-century Chinese thinkers found in Daoism as a proactive source for a democratic critique of authoritarianism. Finally, one can construct a rudimentary Daoist critique of modern feminism based on an examination of internal disputes within the Western feminist movement. Here one can construct a critique suggesting how Western dualism may infuse even some feminist theorists with prejudices toward certain types of democratic political attitudes, and how an approach based on the Daoist concept of the relativism of opposites to each other (not cultural relativism) would lead to a more inclusive, open politics that would help radical feminists appeal to a wider audience.