SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

Recent Publications by SCI members

 

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

Frauke Urban and 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.


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, CUHK

This 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.