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Ban Wang

Abstract

Liang Qichao's novel The Future of New China views culture and commerce in international contexts under the rubric of datong. While the novel begins with a scene of cultural exchange and commerce, it soon centers on the foreign education and travel of two young protagonists, who are to become the founding fathers of a constitutional nation-state. The urgency of nation building plays out in the two young men's over the political, moral or populist means of achieving the nation. How does nation-state building relate to the initial datong cosmopolitanism? This paper suggests that Liang's nation contains international dimensions. The new Chinese nation is situated in a geopolitical network of nation-states, but it also aspires to self-determination and equality with other nations. The nation is to be built by resorting to a moral reform that contains the idea of tianxia (all under heaven). In his Discourse on the New Citizen, Liang calls for personal outlooks based on culture and morality rather than institutions or actual politics. The novel analyzes China's debates on reform and revolution; the present paper traces the connection between this moral quality of a nation and internationalism. I contend that Liang's nation-building projects an international type of aspiration toward tianxia.

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Words and Their Stories

Essays on the Language of the Chinese Revolution

Series:

Edited by Ban Wang

As China joins the capitalist world economy, the problems of social disintegration that gave rise to the earlier revolutionary social movements are becoming pressing. Instead of viewing the Chinese Revolution as an academic study, these essays suggest that the motifs of the Revolution are still alive and relevant. The slogan “Farewell to Revolution” that obscures the revolutionary language is premature. In spite of dislocations and ruptures in the revolutionary language, to rethink this discourse is to revisit a history in terms of sedimented layers of linguistic meanings and political aspirations. Earlier meanings of revolutionary words may persist or coexist with non-revolutionary rivals. Recovery of the vital uses of key revolutionary words proffers critical alternatives in which contemporary capitalist myths can be contested.
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Edited by Ban Wang and Hui Wang

With China’s economic boom, continuous political stability, and increasing influence, it is time to ask if the trajectories of the Chinese Revolution--its troubled interaction with the world market, its national independence movements, its pursuit of egalitarianism, communism, and socialism, and its post-socialist reform—could be understood as a meaningful and consistent historical experience. It is important now to see how China’s past efforts have contributed or obstructed its progress since the Qing empire was thrust into the international system of nation-states in the late 19th century. This series aims to place the study of China in the contexts of the international system of nation-states, global capitalist and market expansion, imperialist rivalry, the Cold War, and recent waves of economic globalization. It welcomes analytical attempts to frame intellectual, historical, and cultural analysis conducive to dialectical relations between these categories. Ideas will not be studied in the abstract but be set in motion and intertwined with praxis through analysis of historical contexts and enriched by close analysis of aesthetic texts, such as literature, narratives, and phenomena of everyday life.

The series published an average of two volumes per year over the last 5 years.
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Series:

Ban Wang, Wang Hui and Geremie Barmé

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Series:

Ban Wang, Wang Hui and Geremie Barmé

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Series:

Ban Wang, Wang Hui and Geremie Barmé