Blended Wish Images: Chinese and Western Exemplary Women At The Turn of the Twentieth Century

In: NAN NÜ

Abstract

Authors intent on raising the level of Chinese women's basic and global literacy at the turn of the twentieth century took an archaeomodern approach to history—archaeo in their appropriation of ancient models and modern in their self-conscious break with the recent past and their embrace of foreign figures and ideas. This approach was manifest in the addition of Western heroines to the two-millennia-old repertoire of exemplary Chinese women in new-style textbooks and women's journals of the period. An examination of the ways the Western and Chinese biographies functioned in these materials provides important insights into the complex process of accommodating foreign ideas in this period, a process which defies the binaries of tradition/modernity, and East/West, and is crucial to our understanding of twentieth-century China.

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