SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

Recent Publications by SCI members

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Chiang Yee and His Circle: Chinese Artistic and Intellectual Life in Britain, 1930–1950

Edited by Paul Bevan, Anne Witchard and Da Zheng
Hong Kong University Press, 2022

This book, Chiang Yee and His Circle: Chinese Artistic and Intellectual Life in Britain, 1930–1950, celebrates the life and work of Chiang Yee (1903–1977), a Chinese writer, poet, and painter who made his home in London, England during the 1930s and 1940s. It examines Chiang’s relationship with his circle of friends and colleagues in the English capital, and assesses the work he produced during his sojourn there. This edited volume, with contributions from eleven distinguished scholars, tells a story of a Chinese intellectual community in London that up to now has been largely overlooked. It portrays a dynamic picture of the London-based émigré life during the years that led up to the war and during the conflict that was the catalyst for many of them moving on. In addition, the book broadens our understanding of cultural interactions between China and the West in Hampstead, one of the most vibrant artistic communities in London.

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The Adventures of Ma Suzhen: 'An Heroic Woman Takes Revenge in Shanghai'

Paul Bevan
Palgrave Macmillan, 2021

The comic novel, The Adventures of Ma Suzhen, was written during a highpoint in the popularity of xia “knight-errant” fiction. It is an action-packed tale of a young woman who takes revenge for her brother, Ma Yongzhen, a gangster and performing strongman, who has been murdered by a rival gang in China’s most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai. After publication of the book in 1923, the character of Ma Suzhen appeared on stage, and subsequently in a film made by the Mingxing Film Company. The book version as translated by Paul Bevan displays a delightful combination of the xia and popular “Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies” genres, with additional elements of Gong’an “court case” fiction. The translation is followed by an essay that explores the background to the legend of Ma Suzhen – a fictional figure, whose exhilarating escapades reflect some of the new possibilities and freedoms available to women following the founding of the Chinese Republic.

Complete Mandarin Chinese

Complete Mandarin Chinese

Zhaoxia Pang and Ruth Herd
Teach Yourself, 2021

On 9th December, an all-new edition of Complete Mandarin Chinese from the Teach Yourself series was released. This comprehensive work, written by Zhaoxia Pang (SOAS University of London) and Ruth Herd (Imperial College), comes complete with online audio language support and takes learners from beginner to intermediate level.

Suitable for self-study learners as well as classroom teaching, Complete Mandarin Chinese can also be used as a refresher course book. The progression of vocabulary and grammatical points is skilfully structured to lead learners to function with confidence in Mandarin, and maps both to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and HSK reference benchmarking.

Taiwan's Economic and Diplomatic Challenges and Opportunities

Taiwan's Economic and Diplomatic Challenges and Opportunities

Edited by Mariah Thornton, Robert Ash, Dafydd Fell
Routledge, 2021

This book offers a diverse set of perspectives on the current state of Taiwan’s economy and international relations, equally considering the challenges and opportunities that could forge Taiwan’s future.

Featuring a range of interdisciplinary approaches, this edited volume has been written by some of the leading scholars on Taiwan’s economy and international relations, as well as emerging scholars and writers with practical diplomatic, political, and civil society experience. Contributors cover themes from political economy and international relations to gender studies and civil society-led LGBT diplomacy. Readers will benefit from chapters outlining both the historical overview of Taiwan’s development and more recent developments, with several chapters offering focused case studies into Taiwan’s economy and international space. A balanced set of conclusions are reached, affording scope for both optimism and pessimism about Taiwan’s prospects.

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Taiwan's Green Parties: Alternative Politics in Taiwan (1st Edition)

Dafydd Fell
Routledge, 2021

Examining the Green Party Taiwan (GPT) since its establishment through the aftermath of the most recent national elections in January 2020, this book focuses on Taiwan’s most important movement party over the last two and a half decades. Despite its limited electoral impact, its leaders have played a critical role in a range of social movements, including anti-nuclear and LGBT rights campaigns.

Plotting the party’s evolution in electoral politics as well as its engagement with the global green movement, this volume analyses key patterns of party change in electoral campaign appeals, organisation and its human face. The second half of the volume concentrates on explaining both the party’s electoral impact and why the party has adjusted ideologically and organisationally over time. Based on a wide range of material collected, including focus groups, interviews and political communication data, the research relies heavily on analysis of campaign material and the voices of party activists and also considers other Green Parties, such as the splinter Trees Party and GPT-Social Democratic Alliance.

Applying a wide range of theoretical frameworks to plot and explain small party development, this book will appeal both to students and scholars of Taiwan’s politics and civil society but also to readers with an interest in small parties and particularly environmental parties and movements.

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The Great Decoupling: China, America and the Struggle for Technological Supremacy

Nigel Inkster
Hurst, 2020

For much of recorded history, China was a leading science and technology power. But just as the West rose, China turned in on itself, and missed the Industrial Revolution. The result was the ‘Hundred Years of Humiliation’, and a long struggle for a modern, yet distinctly Chinese, civilisational identity. Today, technological innovation has returned to the core of national pride and ambition.

Since the 1980s, reforms have transformed China into the world’s second largest economy and a major global power. Cyber space and other advanced technologies have become a battleground for international dominance; but today’s world relies on global supply chains and interstate collaboration—at least, for now. Growing tension between the USA and China could result in the two superpowers decoupling their technology—with significant consequences for humanity’s future.

The Great Decoupling shows that this technology contest, and how it plays out, will shape the geopolitics of the twenty-first century.

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The Construction of Guilt in China: An Empirical Account of Routine Chinese Injustice

Grace (Yu) Mou
Hart (Bloomsbury), 2020

Drawing on insights from the author's own empirical data obtained from systematic observation of the daily routines within Chinese criminal justice institutions, this ground-breaking book examines the functional deficiency of the criminal justice system in preventing innocent individuals from being wrongly accused and convicted. Set within a broad socio-legal context, it outlines the strategic interrelationships between key legal actors, the deep-seated legal culture embedded in practice, the deficiency of integrity of the system and the structural injustices that follow. The author traces criminal case files in the criminal process – how they are constructed, scrutinised and used to dispose of cases and convict defendants in lieu of witnesses' oral testimony. This book illustrates that the Chinese criminal justice system as a state apparatus of social control has been framed through performance indicators, bureaucratic management and the central value of collectivism in such a way as to maintain the stability of the authoritarian power.

The Construction of Guilt in China will appeal to academics, researchers, policy advisers and practitioners working in the areas of criminal law, comparative criminal justice, criminology and Chinese studies.

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Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam

Rachel Harris
Indiana University Press, 2020

China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is experiencing a crisis of securitization and mass incarceration. In Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam, author Rachel Harris examines the religious practice of a group of Uyghur women in a small village now engulfed in this chaos. Despite their remote location, these village women are mobile and connected, and their religious soundscapes flow out across transnational networks. Harris explores the spiritual and political geographies they inhabit, moving outward from the village to trace connections with Mecca, Istanbul, Bishkek, and Beijing. Sound, embodiment, and territoriality illuminate both the patterns of religious change among Uyghurs and the policies of cultural erasure used by the Chinese state to reassert its control over the land the Uyghurs occupy. By drawing on contemporary approaches to the circulation of popular music, Harris considers how various forms of Islam that arrive via travel and the Internet come into dialogue with local embodied practices. Synthesized together, these practices create new forms that facilitate powerful, affective experiences of faith.

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Affective Encounters: Everyday Life among Chinese Migrants in Zambia

Di Wu
Routledge, 2020

Against the background of China's rapidly growing, and sometimes highly controversial, activities in Africa, this book is among the first of its kind to systematically document Sino-African interactions at the everyday level.

Based on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork at two contrasting sites in Lusaka, Zambia—a Chinese state-sponsored educational farm and a private Chinese family farm—Di Wu focuses on daily interactions among Chinese migrants and their Zambian hosts. Daily communicative events, e.g. banquets, market negotiations, work-place disputes, and various social encounters across a range of settings are used to trace the essential role that emotion/affect plays in forming and reproducing social relations and group identities among Chinese migrants. Wu suggests that affective encounters in everyday situations—as well as failed attempts to generate affect—should not be overlooked in order to fully appreciate Sino-African interactions.

Deeply researched and with rich ethnographic detail, this book will be relevant to scholars of anthropology, international development, and others interested in Sino-African relations.

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Handbook on Religion in China

Edited by Stephan Feuchtwang
Edward Elgar, 2020

Informative and eye-opening, the Handbook on Religion in China provides a uniquely broad insight into the contemporary Chinese variations of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. In turn, China's own religions of Daoism, of filial piety and transmissions of rites have spread beyond China, a progression that is explored in detail across 19 chapters, written by leading experts in the field.

Utilising a historical focus to emphasize developments and highlight the transformations of ritual practices, festivals, divination and traditions, this Handbook deals with the emergence of new attitudes to selfhood and the great diversity of civic and other rituals. Traditional ways of forming relationships and conducting life-cycle rituals are also considered. This comprehensive Handbook investigates the ways in which all of these changes are affected by governmental controls that have intriguing unintended consequences.

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'Intoxicating Shanghai' – An Urban Montage: Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age

Paul Bevan
Brill, 2020

In Intoxicating Shanghai Paul Bevan explores the work of a number of Chinese modernist figures in the fields of literature and the visual arts, with an emphasis on the literary group the New-sensationists and its equivalents in the Shanghai art world, examining the work of these figures as it appeared in pictorial magazines. It undertakes a detailed examination into the significance of the pictorial magazine as a medium for the dissemination of literature and art during the 1930s. The research locates the work of these artists and writers within the context of wider literary and art production in Shanghai, focusing on art, literature, cinema, music, and dancehall culture, with a specific emphasis on 1934 – ‘The Year of the Magazine’.

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Transnational Chinese Theatres: Intercultural Performance Networks in East Asia

Rossella Ferrari
Palgrave Macmillan, 2020

Transnational Chinese Theatres is the first systematic study of networks of performance collaboration in the contemporary Chinese-speaking world and of their interactions with the artistic communities of the wider East Asian region. It investigates the aesthetics and politics of collaboration to propose a new transnational model for the analysis of Sinophone theatre cultures and to foreground the mobility and relationality of intercultural performance in East Asia. The research draws on extensive fieldwork, interviews with practitioners, and direct observation of performances, rehearsals, and festivals in Asia and Europe. It offers provocative close readings and discourse analysis of an extensive corpus of hitherto untapped sources, including unreleased video materials and unpublished scripts, production notes, and archival documentation.

Xiaoning Lu - Moulding the Socialist Subject: Cinema and Chinese Modernity (1949-1966)

Moulding the Socialist Subject: Cinema and Chinese Modernity (1949-1966)

Xiaoning LU
Brill, 2020

What role did cinema play in the Chinese Communist Party’s political project of shaping ideal socialist citizens in the early People’s Republic? In Moulding the Socialist Subject, Xiaoning Lu deploys case studies from popular film genres, movie star culture and rural film exhibition practices to argue that Chinese cinema in 1949–1966, at once an important political instrument, an enjoyable yet instructive form of entertainment, and a specific manifestation of the socialist society of the spectacle, was an everyday site where the moulding of the new socialist person unfolded. While painting a broad picture of Chinese socialist cinema, Lu credits the human agency of film professionals, whose self-reflexivity and individual adaptability played an intrinsic role in the Party’s political project.

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Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past, 1st Edition

Christina Maags, Yujie Zhu
Routledge, 2020

Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past studies the impact of heritage policies and discourses on the Chinese state and Chinese society. It sheds light on the way Chinese heritage policies have transformed the narratives and cultural practices of the past to serve the interests of the present.

As well as reinforcing a collective social identity, heritage in China has served as an instrument of governance and regulation at home and a tool to generate soft power abroad. Drawing on a critical analysis of heritage policies and laws, empirical case studies and interviews with policymakers, practitioners, and local communities, the authors offer a comprehensive perspective on the role that cultural heritage plays in Chinese politics and policy. They argue that heritage-making appropriates international, national, and local values, thereby transforming it into a public good suitable for commercial exploitation. By framing heritage as a site of cooperation, contestation, and negotiation, this book contributes to our understanding of the complex nature of heritage in the rapidly shifting landscape of contemporary China.

Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past is essential reading for academics, researchers and students in the fi elds of heritage studies, cultural studies, Asian studies, anthropology, tourism and politics.

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Central Asiatic Journal 61 (2018) 1 - Special issue: Old Tibet and its Neighbours

Edited by Lars Peter Laamann
Harrassowitz Verlag, 2019

The Central Asiatic Journal is devoted to the linguistic, cultural, and historical heritage of Central Asia. Most contributions relate to the geographical remit of the Central Asian core region, i.e. Mongolia, Turkestan/Xinjiang, Tibet, Siberia, and Manchuria. By extension, however, this definition can include a secondary sphere extending into all of western Asia, the Himalayas, China’s Han-majority provinces and the Pacific fringe region (Korea, Japan, and eastern Siberia). Articles are published in English, German, French, Russian, and Chinese. The Central Asiatic Journal is fully peer-reviewed.

The journal has started publishing contributions in thematic clusters, and after focuses on Mongolia, its surrounding regions and the historical implications of Mongolian expansion in issue 56 (2012/2013), and on the Tangut people and the Xi-Xia (His-Hsia) state in issue 57 (2014), the focus in issue 58 is on the contribution of the Manchus to China’s more recent history.

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A Modern History of Hong Kong: 1841-1997

Steve Tsang
Bloomsbury Academic, 2019 (re-issue)

This major history of Hong Kong tells the remarkable story of how a cluster of remote fishing villages grew into an icon of capitalism. The story began in 1842 with the founding of the Crown Colony after the First Anglo-Chinese war - the original 'Opium War'. As premier power in Europe and an expansionist empire, Britain first created in Hong Kong a major naval station and the principal base to open the Celestial Chinese Empire to trade. Working in parallel with the locals, the British built it up to become a focus for investment in the region and an international centre with global shipping, banking and financial interests. Yet by far the most momentous change in the history of this prosperous, capitalist colony was its return in 1997 to 'Mother China', the most powerful Communist state in the world.

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State Formation in China and Taiwan: Bureaucracy, Campaign, and Performance

Julia C. Strauss
Cambridge University Press, 2019

This is an ambitious comparative study of regime consolidation in the 'revolutionary' People's Republic of China and the 'conservative' Republic of China (Taiwan) in the years following the communist victory against the nationalists on the Chinese mainland in 1949. Julia C. Strauss argues that accounting for these two variants of the Chinese state solely in terms of their divergent ideology and institutions fails to recognise their similarities and their relative successes. Both, after all, emerged from a common background of Leninist party organization amid civil war and foreign invasion. However, by the mid-1950s they were on clearly different trajectories of state-building and development. Focusing on Sunan and Taiwan, Strauss considers state personnel, the use of terror and land reform to explore the evolution of these revolutionary and conservative regimes between 1949 and 1954. In so doing, she sheds important new light on twentieth-century political change in East Asia, deepening our understanding of state formation.

East Asian Gender Studies

Routledge Handbook of East Asian Gender Studies

Edited by Jieyu Liu, Junko Yamashita
Routledge, 2019

The Routledge Handbook of East Asian Gender Studies presents up-to-date theoretical and conceptual developments in key areas of the field, taking a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach. Featuring contributions by leading scholars of Gender Studies to provide a cutting-edge overview of the field, this handbook includes examples from China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong and covers the following themes:

theorising gender relations; women’s and feminist movements; work, care and migration; family and intergenerational relationships; cultural representation;
masculinity; and state, militarism and gender.

This handbook is essential reading for scholars and students of Gender and Women’s Studies, as well as East Asian societies, social policy and culture.

Dafydd Fell - Taiwan Studies Revisited

Taiwan Studies Revisited

Edited by Dafydd Fell, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao
Routledge, 2019

This book examines and reviews some of the key figures in Taiwan Studies to plot the development of the field by revisiting their earlier influential books and bodies of work.

Often autobiographical in detail, each chapter asks the author to discuss the origins of their research and how their engagement with the field has developed since. The contributors then discuss their methodologies, fieldwork and arguments, as well as how their work was received at the time. They also go on to reflect on their chosen methods and core findings, assessing whether they have stood the test of time. Reflecting the diversity of the Taiwan Studies field, subjects covered in this volume include sociology, musicology, linguistics, comparative politics, international relations and anthropology. As such, this comprehensive overview adopts a distinctly interdisciplinary approach to understanding Taiwan.

Painting a picture of the changing state of international Taiwan Studies through the work of leading scholars, this book will be invaluable to students and scholars of Taiwan Studies, Chinese Studies and Asian politics, culture and society.

Positioning Taiwan in a Global Context: Being and Becoming - Bi-yu Chang

Positioning Taiwan in a Global Context: Being and Becoming

Edited by Bi-yu Chang, Pei-yin Lin
Routledge, 2019

Positioning Taiwan in a Global Context examines modern Taiwanese culture through the prism of global cultural interactions. Challenging the view of Taiwan as a product of transience and displacement, it highlights Taiwan’s subjectivity, viewing the island as a site of a global development that epitomizes both resistance and negotiation in the process of cultural flows.

The fourteen contributions by an international team of scholars investigate the multi-layered and multidirectional interplays between the island and the outside world, exploring the impact of complex cultural encounters on the construction, writing and rewriting of Taiwan in a global context. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the topics covered range from Taiwanese literature, cinema, food culture and tourism to cultural geography, colonial history, and folk religion, with comparisons made with Japan, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the West.

Focusing on continuous cross-cultural interplays, this book affords readers a deeper understanding of identity politics and a better insight into the fluidity, changeability, and constructionist nature of culture. As such, it will be will be of great interest to students and scholars of Taiwan Studies and Cultural Studies, as well as Asian film, literature and popular culture.

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Civilisation Recast: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives

Stephan Feuchtwang, Michael Rowlands
Cambridge University Press, 2019

Civilisation is a debated concept and is often associated with the prerogatives of the 'West', colonial histories, and even emerging global politics. In this book, Stephen Feuchtwang and Michael Rowlands use the examples of Africa and China to provide a new conceptualisation that challenges traditional notions of 'civilisation'. They explain how to understand duration and continuity as long-term processes of transformation. Civilisations are best seen as practices of feeding and hospitality, of rituals and manners of living and dying, of entering the portals into the invisible world that surrounds and encompasses us, of healing and the knowledge of the encompassing universe and its powers, including its ghosts and demons. Civilisations furnish the moral ideals for people to live by and aspire to and they are changed more by the actions of disappointed grassroots and their little traditions than by their ruling authorities. Just as they revitalise and change their civilisations, this book revitalises and changes the way to think about civilisations in the humanities, the historical and the social sciences.

George Magnus Book Red Flags

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy

George Magnus
Yale University Press, 2018

Under President Xi Jinping, China has become a large and confident power both at home and abroad, but the country also faces serious challenges. In this critical take on China’s future, economist George Magnus explores four key traps that China must confront and overcome in order to thrive: debt, middle income, the Renminbi, and an aging population. Looking at the political direction President Xi Jinping is taking, Magnus argues that Xi’s authoritarian and repressive philosophy is ultimately not compatible with the country’s economic aspirations.

Thorough and well researched, the book also investigates the potential for conflicts over trade, China’s evolving relationship with Trump, and the country’s attempt to win influence and control in Eurasia through the Belt and Road initiative.

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Chinese Heritage in the Making: Experiences, Negotiations and Contestations

Edite by Christina Maags, Marina Svensson
Amsterdam University Press, 2018

The Chinese state uses cultural heritage as a source of power by linking it to political and economic goals, but heritage discourse has at the same time encouraged new actors to appropriate the discourse to protect their own traditions. This book focuses on that contested nature of heritage, especially through the lens of individuals, local communities, religious groups, and heritage experts. It examines the effect of the internet on heritage-isation, as well as how that process affects different groups of people.

Becoming China

Becoming China: The Story Behind the State

Jeanne-Marie Gescher
Bloomsbury, 2017

One of the two most powerful states in the world, China continues to be seen as a mystery even after decades of an open door. How does China work, what does it want, why does it want it, and what does its rise to global power mean for the rest of the world? As the twenty-first century looks set to be the stage for a battle about competing geopolitical ideals, these are urgent questions for everyone with an interest in what the future might bring.Despite decades of a relatively open door relationship with the rest of the world, China is still a mystery to many outside it. A world of its own, China is both a microcosm and an amplification of questions and events in the wider world. China's story offers us an opportunity to hold a mirror to ourselves: to our own assumptions, to our values, and to our ideas about the most important question of all: what it means to be human in the world of the state.Epic in scope, this is the story of how China became the state it is today and how its worldview is based on what has gone before. Weaving together inspirations, ideas, wars and dreams to reveal the heart of what it means to be Chinese and how the past impacts on the present.

Frauke Urben Book cover

Chinese Hydropower Development in Africa and Asia: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Global Dam Building

Edited by Frauke Urban, Giuseppina Siciliano
Routledge, 2018

In recent years, both Chinese overseas investment and hydropower development have been topics of increasing interest and research, with Chinese actors acting as financiers, developers, builders and sub-contractors.Chinese Hydropower Development in Africa and Asia explores the governance and socio-economic implications of large Chinese dams’ development in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa and asks how these big infrastructure projects promote sustainable local and national development in the recipient countries. The book first discusses general aspects of Chinese involvement in hydropower development in Africa and Asia, looking at political and economic aspects, before presenting selected case studies from large dams built and financed by Chinese actors in Asia and Africa. Based on these results, the book further makes recommendations on how to improve the planning, implementation and governance of large dams for sustainable global dam-building.This volume is a valuable resource for academics, researchers and scholars in the areas of Development, Environmental Studies, Politics and Economics.

Louise Tythacott Book Cover

Collecting and Displaying China's “Summer Palace” in the West: The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France

Louise Tythacott
Routledge, 2018

In October 1860, at the culmination of the Second Opium War, British and French troops looted and destroyed one of the most important palace complexes in imperial China—the Yuanmingyuan. Known in the West as the "Summer Palace," this site consisted of thousands of buildings housing a vast art collection. It is estimated that over a million objects may have been taken from the palaces in the Yuanmingyuan—and many of these are now scattered around the world, in private collections and public museums. With contributions from leading specialists, this is the first book to focus on the collecting and display of "Summer Palace" material over the past 150 years in museums in Britain and France. It examines the way museums placed their own cultural, political and aesthetic concerns upon Yuanmingyuan material, and how displays—especially those at the Royal Engineers Museum in Kent, the National Museum of Scotland and the Musée Chinois at the Château of Fontainebleau—tell us more about European representations and images of China, than they do about the Yuanmingyuan itself.

Jieyu Liu - Gender, Sexuality and Power in Chinese Companies
Gender, Sexuality and Power in Chinese Companies: Beauties at Work

Liu, Jieyu
Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2017

This book offers the first ethnographic account of the experiences of highly educated young professional women, hailed by the Chinese media as ‘white-collar beauties’. It exposes the organizational mechanisms – naturalization, objectification and commodification of women – that wield gendered and sexual control in post-Mao workplaces. Whilst men benefit from symbolic and bureaucratic power, women professionals skilfully enact indirect power in a game of domination and resistance. The sources of women’s subversion are grounded in their only-child upbringing which breaks the patrilineal base of familial patriarchy fostering an unprecedented ambition in personal development, gender as inherently relational and a role-oriented system, and inner-outer cultural boundaries as signifiers of moral agency. This raises a new feminist inquiry about the agents for social change. Through a nuanced analysis grounded in the socio-cultural locality, this book throws fresh light upon the ways in which gender, sexuality and power could be theorized beyond a Euro-American reality.

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Taiwan's Impact on China: Why Soft Power Matters More than Economic or Political Inputs

Edited by Steve Tsang
Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

This book is about the basis and scope of impact that Taiwan – a democracy with a population of around 23 million – has on China, the most powerful remaining Leninist state which claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has a population of over 1.3 billion. It examines how Taiwan has helped China in its economic transformation, but argues that the former exercises greatest influence through its soft power. The expert and timely contributions in this book demonstrate how Taiwan exerts real influence in China through admiration of its popular culture, be it in music or literature, as well as its reach into politics and economics. As mainland Chinese visit Taiwan, they are most impressed with civility in everyday living based on a modernized version of the traditional Chinese culture. However, discussions in the book also reveal the limits of Taiwan’s impact, as the Chinese government tightly controls the narrative about Taiwan and does not tolerate any Taiwanese posing a threat to its monopoly of power.

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China in the Xi Jinping Era

Edited by Steve Tsang, Honghua Men
Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

This book examines the driving forces behind national-level politics, changes to the judiciary, social control, economic reform, environmental protection, urban development, the management of ethnic relations, as well as foreign and security policy orientation in China under Xi Jinping. It explains Xi's ambition, examines the limitations he has to confront, and maps the direction of reform he pursues. The book starts off by examining how the consultative Leninist nature of the political system continues to shape politics and policy in China under Xi, and what the China dream Xi advocates actually entails domestically and beyond China. It ends by highlighting the megatrends that will prevail in the decade when Xi is expected to stay in power. The book also includes contributions from five Central Party School professors whose views are taken seriously by the Chinese leadership.

Dr Tian Yuan Tan - 1616: Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu's China

1616: Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu's China

Edited by Dr Tian Yuan Tan 
London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2016

The year is 1616. William Shakespeare has just died and the world of the London theatres is mourning his loss. 1616 also saw the death of the famous Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu. Four hundred years on and Shakespeare is now an important meeting place for Anglo-Chinese cultural dialogue in the field of drama studies. In June 2014 (the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth), SOAS, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the National Chung Cheng University of Taiwan gathered 20 scholars together to reflect on the theatrical practice of four hundred years ago and to ask: what does such an exploration mean culturally for us today? This ground-breaking study offers fresh insights into the respective theatrical worlds of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu and asks how the brave new theatres of 1616 may have a vital role to play in the intercultural dialogue of our own time.  

Sinologists as Translators in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries

Sinologists as Translators in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Edited by Lawrence Wang-chi Wong and Bernhard Fuehrer
Asian Translation Traditions Series

The Chinese University Press, Research Centre for Translation, CUHKThis is a collection of eleven papers from the first and second international conferences “Sinologists as Translators in the 17–19th Centuries.” With a focus on the historical context of contributions by early Sinologists and their translations of works in Chinese, papers within this volume explore why certain works were chosen for translation, how they were interpreted, translated, or even manipulated, and the impact they made, especially in establishing the discipline of Sinology in various countries. This book aims to reconstruct a wider historical and intellectual context from which certain translations emerged, and also to further expand the field through the extensive use of hitherto overlooked archive material so as to open up fresh avenues for research.

A Modern Miscellany by Paul Bevan

A Modern Miscellany - Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938
Vol. 12 in the series: Ideas, History, and Modern China (IHMC): series editors Wang Hui and Ban Wang

Paul Bevan
Leiden: Brill, 2015

In A Modern Miscellany: Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938 Paul Bevan explores how the cartoon (manhua) emerged from its place in the Chinese modern art world to become a propaganda tool in the hands of left-wing artists. The artists involved in what was largely a transcultural phenomenon were an eclectic group working in the areas of fashion and commercial art and design. The book demonstrates that during the build up to all-out war the cartoon was not only important in the sphere of Shanghai popular culture in the eyes of the publishers and readers of pictorial magazines but that it occupied a central place in the primary discourse of Chinese modern art history.

Internet Literature in China
Internet Literature in China

Michel Hockx
Columbia University Press, 2015

Since the 1990s, Chinese literary enthusiasts have explored new spaces for creative expression online, giving rise to a modern genre that has transformed Chinese culture and society. Ranging from the self-consciously avant-garde to the pornographic, web-based writing has introduced innovative forms, themes, and practices into Chinese literature and its aesthetic traditions.Conducting the first comprehensive survey in English of this phenomenon, Michel Hockx describes in detail the types of Chinese literature taking shape right now online and their novel aesthetic, political, and ideological challenges. Offering a unique portal into postsocialist Chinese culture, he presents a complex portrait of internet culture and control in China that avoids one-dimensional representations of oppression. The Chinese government still strictly regulates the publishing world, yet it is growing increasingly tolerant of internet literature and its publishing practices while still drawing a clear yet ever-shifting ideological bottom line. Hockx interviews online authors, publishers, and censors, capturing the convergence of mass media, creativity, censorship, and free speech that is upending traditional hierarchies and conventions within China--and across Asia.

Dr Tian Yuan Tan - Passion, Love, and Qing

Passion, Romance, and Qing

Edited by Dr Tian Yuan Tan and Paolo Santangelo
Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2014

Passion, Love, and Qing examines the vitality of Peony Pavilion, the most famous drama in Ming China (1368-1644), through four essays (by Isabella Falaschi, Paolo Santangelo, Tian Yuan Tan, and Rossella Ferrari) and an extensive Glossary of specific terms and expressions related to the representation of emotions and states of mind. It explores the evolution and permanence of the universal message about passion or emotions contained in the language of the play. Written in the late Ming, Peony Pavilion embodies the new trends in the ‘cult of passions’ and new sensibility of the times. It is also a rich intertext of love that both inherits the legacy of earlier literary traditions and influences later amatory literature and theatrical performances.  Accompanying video material to the work can be found here.

 Bernhard Fuehrer - Europe  meets Chine - China meets Europe. The Beginnings of European-Chinese  Scientific Exchange in the 17th Century
Europe Meets China - China Meets Europe: The Beginnings of European-Chinese Scientific Exchange in the 17th Century

Shu-Jyuan Deiwiks, Bernhard Fuehrer and Therese Geulen (eds.)
Monumenta Serica, 2014

This volume consists of selected papers from a cross-disciplinary symposium, held by the Ostasien-Institut (OAI, East Asia Research Institute) as part of the project “Europe meets China – China meets Europe.” It presents studies on the early encounters between two highly heterogeneous groups, European missionaries and Chinese literati, employing a cultural-psychological framework. Based on research in primary sources, the contributions elaborate on the cultural conditions and psychological interactions which influenced these encounters, thus providing new insights into the history of the Jesuit mission in China. 

Southern Hokkien: An introduction by Bernhard Fuehrer

Southern Hokkien: An Introduction (3 volumes and 3 CDs of audio material)

Bernhard Fuehrer and Yang Hsiu-fang  
Taipei: National Taiwan University Press, 2014

Southern Hokkien: An Introduction is a research-based textbook originally designed for non-heritage learners who acquired a reasonably good proficiency level of Mandarin and wish to learn the Southern Hokkien language outside its natural linguistic environment.It uses a situation-based approach in which dialogues are designed to reflect scenes in real life rather than classroom situation. Grammar and vocabulary explanations follow a primarily contrastive approach, focussing on similarities and differences between Mandarin and Southern Hokkien. Though mainly based on dialect variants spoken in Taiwan, Southern Hokkien also includes references to dialect variants spoken in other Hokkien speaking areas.The textbook is complemented by a number of excursions and explanatory comments which help not only to follow required linguistic rules and cultural conventions but also to gain a basic understanding of the reasons behind some of these rules and conventions. 

The Mongol Century: Visual Cultures of Yuan China, 1271-1368
The Mongol Century: Visual Cultures of Yuan China, 1271-1368

McCausland, Shane 
Reaktion Books, 2014

The Mongol Century explores the visual world of China’s Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), the spectacular but short-lived regime founded by Khubilai Khan, regarded as the pre-eminent khanate of the Mongol empire.This book illuminates the Yuan era – full of conflicts and complex interactions between Mongol power and Chinese heritage – by delving into the visual history of its culture. Shane McCausland considers how Mongol governance and values imposed a new order on China’s culture and how a sedentary, agrarian China posed specific challenges to the Mongols’ militarist and nomadic lifestyle. He also explores how an unusual range of expectations and pressures were placed on Yuan culture: the idea that visual culture could create cohesion across a diverse yet hierarchical society, while balancing Mongol desires for novelty and display with Chinese concerns about posterity. 

Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World

Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World

Jung, Yuson and Klein, Jakob A. and Caldwell, Melissa L., eds. 
University of California Press, 2014

Current discussions of the ethics around alternative food movements--concepts such as "local," "organic," and "fair trade"--tend to focus on their growth and significance in advanced capitalist societies. In this groundbreaking contribution to critical food studies, editors Yuson Jung, Jakob A. Klein, and Melissa L. Caldwell explore what constitutes "ethical food" and "ethical eating" in socialist and formerly socialist societies. With essays by anthropologists, sociologists, and geographers, this politically nuanced volume offers insight into the origins of alternative food movements and their place in today's global economy. Collectively, the essays cover discourses on food and morality; the material and social practices surrounding production, trade, and consumption; and the political and economic power of social movements in Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Lithuania, Russia, and Vietnam. Scholars and students will gain important historical and anthropological perspective on how the dynamics of state-market-citizen relations continue to shape the ethical and moral frameworks guiding food practices around the world.

An Early Chinese Commentary on the Ekottarika-agama

An Early Chinese Commentary on the Ekottarika-āgama: The Fenbie gongde lun 分別功德論 and the History of the Translation of the Zengyi ahan jing 增一阿含經

Palumbo, Antonello
Taipei: Fagu Wenhua – Dharma Drum, 2013

This study reassesses an old problem in the history of Chinese Buddhism, the origins and nature of the Zengyi ahan jing 增一阿含經 (Taishō 125). It does so by a close investigation of the Chinese translation of the Ekottarika-āgama at the end of the fourth century and of its most important witness, the Fenbie gongde lun 分別功德論 (Taishō 1507). It is argued that the latter document, whose original title was Zengyi ahan jing shu 增一阿含經疏, should be seen as an unfinished commentary to the newly translated collection, produced within the original translation team (including Dao'an 道安, Zhu Fonian 竺佛念 and the Indo-Bactrian master Dharmananda) during the tumultuous end of the Later Qin 後秦 empire in A.D. 385. This reconstruction yields further insights into the cultural origins of the Chinese Ekottarika-āgama, and its broader significance for the history of Buddhism. 

Christopher A. Daily (2013). Robert Morrison and the Protestant Plan for China.
Robert Morrison and the Protestant Plan for China

Daily, Christopher A
Hong Kong University Press, 2013

This book critically explores the preparations and strategies behind this first Protestant mission to China. It argues that, whilst introducing Protestantism into China, Morrison worked to a standard template developed by his tutor David Bogue at the Gosport Academy in England. By examining this template alongside Morrison’s archival collections, the book demonstrates the many ways in which Morrison’s influential mission must be seen within the historical and ideological contexts of British evangelism. The result is this new interpretation of the beginnings of Protestant Christianity in China.

IMG - Steve Tsang Book Cover 3

Governing Hong Kong: Administrative Officers from the 19th Century to the Handover to China, 1862-1997

Steve Tsang
I.B. Tauris, 2007

Hong Kong is at the heart of modern China's position as a regional - and potential world - superpower. In this important and original history of the region, Steve Tsang argues that its current prosperity is a direct by-product of the British administrators who ran the place as a colony before the handover in 1997.The British administration of Hong Kong uniquely derived its practices from the best traditions of Imperial Chinese government and its philosophical, Confucian basis. It stressed efficiency, honesty, fairness, benevolent paternalism and individual freedom. The result was a hugely successful colony, especially in industry and finance, and it remains so today with its new status of Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Under British imperial administration, Hong Kong grew from a collection of fishing villages to an international entrepot, an industrial power and an international financial centre. British and Chinese interests dovetailed and the Chinese population was satisfied by the welfare reform and economic advancement perpetuated by Britain's administrative officers.
Demand for constitutional reform and a sense of Hong Kong Chinese identity grew only as the handover to China approached. This definitive history of the colourful individuals who administered the colony on behalf of the British government sheds light on two empires inextricably linked in nature and on the philosophy of government.