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The Blacks of Premodern China

By Don J. Wyatt

Premodern Chinese described a great variety of the peoples they encountered as "black." The earliest and most frequent of these encounters were with their Southeast Asian neighbors, specifically the Malayans. But by the midimperial times of the seventh through seventeenth centuries C.E., exposure to peoples from Africa, chiefly slaves arriving from the area of modern Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania, gradually displaced the original Asian "blacks" in Chinese consciousness. In The Blacks of Premodern China, Don J. Wyatt presents the previously unexamined story of the earliest Chinese encounters with this succession of peoples they have historically regarded as black.

A series of maritime expeditions along the East African coastline during the early fifteenth century is by far the best known and most documented episode in the story of China's premodern interaction with African blacks. Just as their Western contemporaries had, the Chinese aboard the ships that made landfall in Africa encountered peoples whom they frequently classified as savages. Yet their perceptions of the blacks they met there differed markedly from those of earlier observers at home in that there was little choice but to regard the peoples encountered as free.

The premodern saga of dealings between Chinese and blacks concludes with the arrival in China of Portuguese and Spanish traders and Italian clerics with their black slaves in tow. In Chinese writings of the time, the presence of the slaves of the Europeans becomes known only through sketchy mentions of black bondservants. Nevertheless, Wyatt argues that the story of these late premodern blacks, laboring anonymously in China under their European masters, is but a more familiar extension of the previously untold story of their ancestors who toiled in Chinese servitude perhaps in excess of a millennium earlier.

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Blood and History in China

The Donglin Faction and Its Repression, 1620-1627

by John W. Dardess

From 1625 to 1627 scholar-officials belonging to a militant Confucianist group known as the "Donglin Faction" suffered one of the most gruesome political repressions in China's history. Many were purged from key positions in the central government for their relentless push for a national moral rearmament under the Tianqi emperor. While their martyrs' deaths won them a lasting reputation for heroism and steadfastness, their opponents are remembered for fatally degrading the quality of Ming political life with their arrests and tortures of Donglin partisans. John Dardess employs a wide range of little-used primary sources (letters, diaries, eyewitness accounts, memorials, imperial edicts) to provide a remarkably detailed narrative of the inner workings of Ming government and of this dramatic period as a whole. Comparing the repression with the Tiananmen demonstrations of 1989, he argues that Tiananmen offers compelling clues to a rereading of the events of the 1620s. Leaders of both movements were less interested in practical reform than in communicating sincere moral feelings to rulers and the public. In the end the protesters succeeded in commemorating their dead and imprisoned and in disgracing those responsible for the violence. A work of unprecedented depth skillfully told, Blood and History in China will be appreciated by specialists in intellectual history and Ming and early Qing studies.<

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The Book Worlds of East Asia and Europe, 1450–1850

Connections and Comparisons

Edited by Joseph P. McDermott and Peter Burke

This volume provides the first comparative survey of the relations between the two most active book worlds in Eurasia between 1450 and 1850. Prominent scholars in book history explore different approaches to publishing, printing, and book culture. They discuss the extent of technology transfer and book distribution between the two regions and show how much book historians of East Asia and Europe can learn from one another by raising new questions, exploring remarkable similarities and differences in these regions’ production, distribution, and consumption of books. The chapters in turn show different ways of writing transnational comparative history. Whereas recent problems confronting research on European books can instruct researchers on East Asian book production, so can the privileged role of noncommercial publications in the East Asian textual record highlight for historians of the European book the singular contribution of commercial printing and market demands to the making of the European printed record. Likewise, although production growth was accompanied in both regions by a wider distribution of books, woodblock technology’s simplicity and mobility allowed for a shift in China of its production and distribution sites farther down the hierarchy of urban sites than was common in Europe. And, the different demands and consumption practices within these two regions’ expanding markets led to different genre preferences and uses as well as to the growth of distinctive female readerships. A substantial introduction pulls the work together and the volume ends with an essay that considers how these historical developments shape the present book worlds of Eurasia.

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The British Presence in Macau, 1635–1793

ROGÉRIO MIGUEL PUGA

For more than four centuries, Macau was the center of Portuguese trade and culture on the South China Coast. Until the founding of Hong Kong and the opening of other ports in the 1840s, it was also the main gateway to China for independent British merchants and their only place of permanent residence. Drawing extensively on Portuguese as well as British sources, The British Presence in Macau traces Anglo- Portuguese relations in South China from the first arrival of English trading ships in the 1630s to the establishment of factories at Canton, the beginnings of the opium trade, and the Macartney Embassy of 1793. Longstanding allies in the west, the British and Portuguese pursued more complex rela­tions in the east, as trading interests clashed under a Chinese imperial system and as the British increasingly asserted their power

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Building a Sacred Mountain

The Buddhist Architecture of China's Mount Wutai

by Wei-Cheng Lin

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The Canton Trade

Life and Enterprise on the China Coast, 1700-1845

Paul A. Van Dyke

This study utilizes a wide range of new source materials to reconstruct the day-to-day operations of the port of Canton during the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries. Using a bottom-up approach, it provides a fresh look at the successes and failures of the trade by focusing on the practices and procedures rather than on the official policies and protocols.

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The Capitalist Dilemma in China's Communist Revolution

Edited by Sherman Cochran

How can capitalists’ motivations during a Communist revolution be reliably documented and fully understood? Up to now, the answer to this question has generally eluded scholars who, for lack of nonofficial sources, have fallen back on Communist governments’ official explanations. But the essays in this volume confirm that, at least in the case of the Communist revolution in China, it is finally possible to make new and fresh interpretations. By focusing closely on individuals and probing deeply into their thinking and experience, the authors of these essays have discovered a wide range of reasons for why Chinese capitalists did or did not choose to live and work under communism. The contributors to this volume have all concentrated on the dilemma for capitalists in China’s Communist revolution. But their approach to their subject through archival research and rigorous analysis may also serve as a guide for future thinking about a variety of other historical figures. This approach is well worth adopting to explain how any members of society (not only capitalists) have resolved comparable dilemmas in all revolutions—the ones in China, Russia, Vietnam, Cuba, or anywhere else.

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Carl Crow - A Tough Old China Hand

The Life, Times, and Adventures of an American in Shanghai

Paul French

Carl Crow arrived in Shanghai in 1911 and made the city his home for the next quarter of a century, working there as a journalist, newspaper proprietor, and groundbreaking adman. He also did stints as a hostage negotiator, emergency police sergeant, gentleman farmer, go-between for the American government, and propagandist.

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Liang Cai

Contests long-standing claims that Confucianism came to prominence under China's Emperor Wu.

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Celluloid Comrades

by Song Hwee Lim

Celluloid Comrades offers a cogent analytical introduction to the representation of male homosexuality in Chinese cinemas within the last decade. It posits that representations of male homosexuality in Chinese film have been polyphonic and multifarious, posing a challenge to monolithic and essentialized constructions of both ‘Chineseness’ and ‘homosexuality.’ Given the artistic achievement and popularity of the films discussed here, the position of ‘celluloid comrades’ can no longer be ignored within both transnational Chinese and global queer cinemas. The book also challenges readers to reconceptualize these works in relation to global issues such as homosexuality and gay and lesbian politics, and their interaction with local conditions, agents, and audiences. Tracing the engendering conditions within the film industries of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Song Hwee Lim argues that the emergence of Chinese cinemas in the international scene since the 1980s created a public sphere in which representations of marginal sexualities could flourish in its interstices. Examining the politics of representation in the age of multiculturalism through debates about the films, Lim calls for a rethinking of the limits and hegemony of gay liberationist discourse prevalent in current scholarship and film criticism. He provides in-depth analyses of key films and auteurs, reading them within contexts as varied as premodern, transgender practice in Chinese theater to postmodern, diasporic forms of sexualities. Informed by cultural and postcolonial studies and critical theory, this acutely observed and theoretically sophisticated work will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students as well as general readers looking for a deeper understanding of contemporary Chinese cultural politics, cinematic representations, and queer culture.

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