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Beyond Citizenship focuses on the role of literacy in building a modern nation-state by examining the government provision of adult literacy training in early twentieth-century China. Based on untapped archives and diaries, Di Luo uncovers people’s strategic use of literacy and illiteracy in social interactions and explores the impact of daily experiences on the expansion of state power. Highlighting interpersonal and intergroup relations, Beyond Citizenship suggests a new methodology of studying literacy which foregrounds the agentive role of historical actors and so moves away from a more traditional approach that treats literacy itself as the key factor enabling social change.
In the past decades, the world has watched the rise of China as an economic and military power and the emergence of Chinese transnational elites. What may seem like an entirely new phenomenon marks the revival of a trend initiated at the end of the Qing. The redistribution of power, wealth and knowledge among the newly formed elites matured during the Republican period.
This volume demonstrates both the difficulty and the value of re-thinking the elites in modern China. It establishes that the study of the dynamic tensions within the elite and among elite groups in this epochal era is within reach if we are prepared to embrace forms of historical inquiry that integrate the abundant and even limitless historical resources, and to engage with the rich repertoire of digital techniques/instruments available and question our previous research paradigms.
This renewed approach brings historical research closer to an integrative data-rich history of modern China.
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Commissioned by the Qianlong emperor in 1751, the Qing Imperial Illustrations of Tributary Peoples (Huang Qing zhigong tu 皇清職貢圖), is a captivating work of art and an ideological statement of universal rule best understood as a cultural cartography of empire. This translation of the ethnographic texts accompanied by a full-color reproduction of Xie Sui’s (謝遂) hand-painted scroll helps us to understand the conceptualization of imperial tributary relationships the work embodies as rooted in both dynastic history and the specifics of Qing rule.
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In this book, Xiong Yuezhi and a team of distinguished scholars bring together cutting-edge research on the urban history of Shanghai and the diversity of its distinctive culture. Occupying an interstitial space between Chinese and foreign power, Shanghai from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century experienced almost unimaginably complex developments in its political, social, economic, and cultural history. To untangle this complexity, Xiong and his team have carefully constructed, in thematic and chronological fashion, the interactions between the imperialist powers, foreign settlers, and the Chinese community of Shanghai from the origins of the racially-segregated International Settlement in the 1840s to the internment of foreign settlers in Shanghai during World War II in the 1940s.
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In this volume Guo Yongqin provides an overview of the most important taxes, land and labor tax, in Imperial Qing China (1644-1912). The previously unpublished fiscal sources presented in this volume give a tremendous amount of information about Qing society and economy, like the bureaucratic system, political institutions, economic inequality, and environmental conditions. The data is accompanied by a detailed introduction, offering a valuable resource for further research on how the standardized tax system performed and affected the Qing regime.
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How did people solve their disputes over debt, compensation, inheritance and other civil matters in early China? Did they go to court? How did the authorities view those problems? Using recently excavated early Chinese legal materials, Zhang Zhaoyang makes the compelling argument that civil law was not only developed, but also acquired a certain degree of sophistication during the Qin and Han dynasties. The state promulgated detailed regulations to deal with economic and personal relationships between individuals. The authorities formed an integral part of the formal justice system, and heard civil cases on a regular basis.
Social and Cultural Constructs of Hakka Identity in Modern and Contemporary Fujian, China
Sabrina Ardizzoni’s book is an in-depth analysis of Hakka women in tulou villages in Southeast China. Based on fieldwork, data acquired through local documents, diverse material and symbolic culture elements, this study adopts an original approach that includes historical-textual investigation and socio-anthropological enquiry. Having interviewed local Hakka women and participated in rural village events, public and private, in west Fujian’s Hakka tulou area, the author provides a comprehensive overview of the historical threads and cultural processes that lead to the construction of the ideal Hakka woman, as well as an insightful analysis of the multifaceted Hakka society in which rural women reinvent their social subjectivity and negotiate their position between traditional constructs and modern dynamics.
Through an innovative interdisciplinary reading and field research, Igor Chabrowski analyses the history of the development of opera in Sichuan, arguing that opera serves as a microcosm of the profound transformation of modern Chinese culture between the 18th century and 1950s. He investigates the complex path of opera over this course of history: exiting the temple festivals, becoming a public obsession on commercial stages, and finally being harnessed to partisan propaganda work. The book analyzes the process of cross-regional integration of Chinese culture and the emergence of the national opera genre. Moreover, opera is shown as an example of the culture wars that raged inside China’s popular culture.