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Documenting a Grassroots Revival of Tradition
HerausgeberIn: Sébastien Billioud
Although the development of a “popular” brand of Confucianism in China is today a massive phenomenon, research on the topic remains scarce. Based on fieldwork carried out by a team of scholars in different parts of the country, the ambition of The Varieties of Confucian Experience is to contribute to the limited body of ethnographic accounts that aim to document and understand the diversity of phenomena encapsulated under the label “Confucian revival” in the first two decades of the 21st century.
Perspectives on Contemporary Chinese-language Film Remakes
In Remaking Gender and the Family, Sarah Woodland examines the complexities of Chinese-language cinematic remakes. With a particular focus on how changes in representations of gender and the family between two versions of the same film connect with perceived socio-cultural, political and cinematic values within Chinese society, Woodland explores how source texts are reshaped for their new audiences. In this book, she conducts a comparative analysis of two pairs of intercultural and two pairs of intracultural films, each chapter highlighting a different dimension of remakes, and illustrating how changes in gender representations can highlight not just differences in attitudes towards gender across cultures, but also broader concerns relating to culture, genre, auteurism, politics and temporality.
Gender and Interiority in Chinese Painting and Poetry
In Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire, Lara Blanchard analyzes images of women in painting and poetry of China’s middle imperial period, focusing on works that represent female figures as preoccupied with romance. She discusses examples of visual and literary culture in regard to their authorship and audience, examining the role of interiority in constructions of gender, exploring the rhetorical functions of romantic images, and considering connections between subjectivity and representation. The paintings in particular have sometimes been interpreted as simple representations of the daily lives of women, or as straightforward artifacts of heteroerotic desire; Blanchard proposes that such works could additionally be interpreted as political allegories, representations of the artist’s or patron’s interiorities, or models of idealized femininity.
HerausgeberInnen: Letian Zhang und Yunxiang Yan
This rare unusual collection contains a total of 774 letters, most of which were written by a couple, Mr. Lu and Ms. Jiang, who lived apart for more than fifteen years between 1961 and 1986 and relied mainly on letter-writing to communicate. They passionately revealed romantic love and conjugal compassion to each other; they discussed mundane details of everyday family life including management of the household economy, efforts of interacting with in-laws, relatives, and friends, learning course of raising children, and strategies of coping with financial hardship. They also sincerely engaged each other in a soul-searching process of making themselves into socialist subjects and participating in various political campaigns.

The content of these letters is as rich and complicated as the flow of life itself in which the personal, economic and political are intermingled together. The degree of sincerity and honesty in these letters is greater than that in many other kinds of historical data because the authors are not writing for public consumption. This rare collection of personal letters presents not only a huge amount of original and disaggregated data but also constitutes an oral history of social life in China that is unintentionally being recorded by the authors.
HerausgeberInnen: Letian Zhang, Fuqun Xi und Yunxiang Yan
This book presents a complete set of the daily work journals by a village cadre, Mr. Zhou Shengkang (1926-2012), from 1961 to 1982. Mr. Zhou carefully—and almost religiously—recorded all the meetings he attended or chaired, the information he received from his superiors, the various speeches and work tasks he completed, records of good and bad behavior by fellow villagers, details on village elections and leadership changes, and political campaigns and other important events in the community, plus his personal observations and reflections on these events.

To date such a systematic, rich, and detailed set of original work journal records have never appeared in published form or been made available to the public. When used as records of social history, Zhou’s work journals allow researchers to delve more deeply, and when used for comparative purposes, researchers can explore more widely to gain additional insights. Regardless of how the journals are used, they contain a gold mine of information waiting to be explored and uncovered.
HerausgeberInnen: David Jones und Sarah Flavel
In The Humanist Spirit of Daoism, Chen Guying presents a concise overview of his understanding of the meaning and significance of Daoist philosophy. Chen is a leading contemporary Chinese thinker and spokesperson for a new Daoist approach to existential and socio-political issues. He was born in mainland China in 1935, but after having resettled to Taiwan, he received his education there and was a student activist in the 1960s. He became famous in the Chinese-speaking world with his writings on Nietzsche, Laozi and Zhuangzi. At present he is a Professor at Peking University. This volume collects representative essays from the past 25 years which not only outline Chen’s interpretation of Daoism as a deeply humanist way of thinking and living, but also show how he employs this philosophy in a critique of totalitarianism and neo-imperialism.
A Reader in Nineteenth-Century Chinese History
In The Peking Gazette: A Reader in Nineteenth-Century Chinese History, Lane J. Harris offers an innovative text covering the extraordinary ruptures and remarkable continuities in the history of China’s long nineteenth century (1793-1912) by providing scholarly introductions to thematic chapters of translated primary sources from the government gazette of the Qing Empire.

The Peking Gazette is a unique collection of primary sources designed to help readers explore and understand the policies and attitudes of the Manchu emperors, the ideas and perspectives of Han officials, and the mentality and worldviews of several hundred million Han, Mongol, Manchu, Muslim, and Tibetan subjects of the Great Qing Empire as they discussed and debated the most important political, social, and cultural events of the long nineteenth century.

This volume is related to the primary source database compiled by the author entitled Translations of the Peking Gazette Online and produced by Brill (2017).

For a video with explanation by the author, visit Brill's YouTube channel
Theories and Practices of Divination in East Asia
HerausgeberIn: Michael Lackner
Coping with the Future: Theories and Practices of Divination in East Asia offers insights into various techniques of divination, their evolution, and their assessment. The contributions cover the period from the earliest documents on East Asian mantic arts to their appearance in the present time.
The volume reflects the pervasive manifestations of divination in literature, religious and political life, and their relevance for society and individuals. Special emphasis is placed on cross-cultural influences and attempts to find theoretical foundations for divinatory practices. This edited volume is an initiative to study the phenomena of divination across East Asian cultures and beyond. It is also one of the first attempts to theorize divinatory practices through East Asian traditions.
Life in Shinjang Documented from Public Spaces
The current volume presents a selection of 126 texts in Uyghur posted in public spaces, translated, and annotated for this book. The author started photographing Uyghur texts in 2008 at the time of the Beijing olympics and continued to do so during 2009, the year of the so-called “Urumqi uprising” of July 5. This event generated a stream of texts posted in public spaces that reflected the efforts made by the authorities to re-establish control. In the course of his travels in the years thereafter the author continued to add to the corpus of photographed Uyghur texts. At the same time he started collecting, as comprehensively as possible, various types of folders, brochures, handouts, and product wrappings with texts illustrating aspects of Uyghur culture and society. The texts, published here for the first time, are primary source materials documenting a wide variety of aspects of daily life of the Uyghurs in Shinjang. The implicit messages or explicit references contained in many of these texts give them significance as clues towards an understanding of the existential realities they reflect or illustrate.
A Case Study of Two Deaths by the Red Guards
This book recounts two deaths, the murder of Mr. Wang Jin by 31 Red Guards in the Nanjing Foreign Language School, where the senior author was a young student at the time; and the earlier murder of Mrs. Bian Zhongyun of the Girls School affiliated with the Beijing Normal University in 1966. The book is a history of two small incidents in a massive social injustice and also an attempt to understand the Cultural Revolution (CR) within the framework of modern social movement theory. The book elaborates on the sources of violence in the CR, and the definition and periodization of the CR (that is, what was it, and when did it begin and end?).