Here in ‘China’ I Dwell is a historiographical account of the formation of Chinese historical narratives in light of outside pressures on China — the view from China’s borders. There is a special discussion of the inf luence of Japanese historians on the concept of China and its borders, including the nature of their sources, cultural and religious and more. In Ge’s comparative account, a new portrait of Chinese historical narratives, along with the views and assumptions implicit in these narrat ives, emerges in the context of East Asia, a similarly constructed concept with its own multitudes of frontiers and peoples.
Shifts of Power: Modern Chinese Thought and Society, Luo Zhitian brings together nine essays to explore the causes and consequences of various shifts of power in modern Chinese society, including the shift from scholars to intellectuals, from the traditional state to the modern state, and from the people to society. Adopting a microhistorical approach, Luo situates these shifts at the intersection of social change and intellectual evolution in the midst of modern China’s culture wars with the West. Those culture wars produced new problems for China, but also provided some new intellectual resources as Chinese scholars and intellectuals grappled with the collisions and convergences of old and new in late Qing and early Republican China.
The European view on history was shaken to its foundations when missionaries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries discovered that Chinese history was older than European and Biblical history. With an analysis of the Chinese, Manchu and European sources on ancient Chinese history, this essay proposes an early case of “intercultural historiography,” in which historical texts of different cultures are interwoven.
It focusses on the ways Chinese and European authors interpreted stories about marvellous births by the concubines of Emperor Ku. These stories have been the object of a wide variety of interpretations in Chinese texts, each of them representing a different historical genre. They are excellent case-studies to illustrate how the Chinese hermeneutic strategies shaped the diversity of interpretations given by Europeans.