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Human Agency and the Self in Thought and Poliltics
Conventional wisdom has it that the concept of individualism was absent in early China. In this uncommon study of the self and human agency in ancient China, Erica Fox Brindley provides an important corrective to this view and persuasively argues that an idea of individualism can be applied to the study of early Chinese thought and politics with intriguing results. She introduces the development of ideological and religious beliefs that link universal, cosmic authority to the individual in ways that may be referred to as individualistic and illustrates how these evolved alongside and potentially helped contribute to larger sociopolitical changes of the time, such as the centralization of political authority and the growth in the social mobility of the educated elite class. Starting with the writings of the early Mohists (fourth century BCE), Brindley analyzes many of the major works through the early second century BCE by Laozi, Mencius, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, and Han Feizi, as well as anonymous authors of both received and excavated texts. Changing notions of human agency affected prevailing attitudes toward the self as individual—in particular, the onset of ideals that stressed the power and authority of the individual, either as a conformist agent in relation to a larger whole or as an individualistic agent endowed with inalienable cosmic powers and authorities. She goes on to show how distinctly internal (individualistic), external (institutionalized), or mixed (syncretic) approaches to self-cultivation and state control emerged in response to such ideals. In her exploration of the nature of early Chinese individualism and the various theories for and against it, she reveals the ways in which authors innovatively adapted new theories on individual power to the needs of the burgeoning imperial state. With clarity and force, Individualism in Early China illuminates the importance of the individual in Chinese culture. By focusing on what is unique about early Chinese thinking on this topic, it gives readers a means of understanding particular "Chinese" discussions of and respect for the self.
The Perspective from the People's Republic
China’s enormous size, vast population, abundant natural resources, robust economy, and modern military suggest that it will emerge as a great world power. Inside China’s Grand Strategy: The Perspective from the People’s Republic offers unique insights from a prominent Chinese scholar about the country’s geopolitical ambitions and strategic thinking. Ye Zicheng, professor of political science in the School of International Studies at Peking University, examines China’s interactions with current world powers as well as its policies toward neighboring countries. Despite claims that repressive domestic policies and an economic slowdown are evidence that the country’s efforts toward modernization will fail, Ye points to China’s inclusion in the G-20 as an indicator of success. Ye compares China’s global ascension, particularly its emphasis on peace, to the historical experiences of rising European superpowers, providing an insider look at a country poised to become an increasingly prominent international power.
Explores the new literary and interpretive milieu that emerged in the years following the decline of China’s Han dynasty. Covering a time of great intellectual ferment and great influence on what was to come, this book explores the literary and hermeneutic world of early medieval China. In addition to profound political changes, the fall of the Han dynasty allowed new currents in aesthetics, literature, interpretation, ethics, and religion to emerge during the Wei-Jin Nanbeichao period. The contributors to this volume present developments in literature and interpretation during this era from a variety of methodological perspectives, frequently highlighting issues hitherto unremarked in Western or even Chinese and Japanese scholarship. These include the rise of new literary and artistic values as the Han declined, changing patterns of patronage that helped reshape literary tastes and genres, and new developments in literary criticism. The religious changes of the period are revealed in the literary self-presentation of spiritual seekers, the influence of Daoism on motifs in poetry, and Buddhist influences on both poetry and historiography. Traditional Chinese literary figures, such as the fox and the ghost, receive fresh analysis about their particular representation during this period.
Funerals in the Cultural Exchange between China and Europe
The death of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci in China in 1610 was the occasion for demonstrations of European rituals appropriate for a Catholic priest and also of Chinese rituals appropriate to the country hosting the Jesuit community. Rather than burying Ricci immediately in a plain coffin near the church, according to their European practice, the Jesuits followed Chinese custom and kept Ricci's body for nearly a year in an air-tight Chinese-style coffin and asked the emperor for burial ground outside the city walls. Moreover, at Ricci's funeral itself, on their own initiative the Chinese performed their funerary rituals, thus starting a long and complex cultural dialogue in which they took the lead during the next century.
Soft Power in Regional Diplomacy
In international relations today, influence is as essential as military and economic might. Consequently, leaders promote favorable images of the state in order to attract allies and win support for their policies. Jing Sun, an expert on international relations and a former journalist, refers to such soft power campaigns as "charm offensives." Sun focuses on the competition between China and Japan for the allegiance of South Korea, Taiwan, and other states in the region. He finds that, instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, the Chinese and the Japanese deploy customized charm campaigns for each target state, taking into consideration the target's culture, international position, and political values. He then evaluates the effectiveness of individual campaigns from the perspective of the target state, on the basis of public opinion polls, media coverage, and the response from state leaders. A deep, comparative study, Japan and China as Charm Rivals enriches our understanding of soft power by revealing deliberate image campaign efforts and offering a method for assessing the effectiveness of such charm offensives.
Vol. 39 (2009) through current issue
Journal of Song-Yuan Studies is an annual publication devoted to promoting scholarship in all disciplines related to middle period China, with an especial focus on the Song, Liao, Jin, Xia, and Yuan dynasties.
Print-only subscriptions to the journal are handled by the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley:
Florence Ayscough in Shanghai
Florence Ayscough -- poet, translator, Sinologist, Shanghailander, “sensual realist”, avid collector, pioneering photographer and early feminist champion of women's rights in China. Ayscough's modernist translations of the classical poets still command respect, her ethnographic studies of the lives of Chinese women still engender feminist critiques over three quarters of a century later and her collections of Chinese ceramics and objets now form an important part of several American museums’ Asian art collections. Raised in Shanghai in an archetypal family in the late nineteenth century, Ayscough was to become anything but a typical foreigner in China. Encouraged by the New England poet Amy Lowell, she became a much sought-after translator in the early years of the new century, not least for her radical interpretations of the Tang dynasty poet Tu Fu published by the renowned literary critic Harriet Monroe. She later moved on to record China and particularly Chinese women using the new technology of photography, turn the Royal Asiatic Society's Shanghai library into the best on the China Coast and build several impressive collections featuring jars from the Dowager Empress Ci Xi, Ming and Qing ceramics. By the time of her death, Florence Ayscough left a legacy of collecting and scholarship unrivalled by any other foreign woman in China before or since. In this biography, Lindsay Shen recovers Ayscough for posterity and returns her to us as a woman of amazing intellectual vibrancy and strength.
Vol. 1 (1965) through current issue (with gaps in vols. 1, 2, and 4)
Formerly called Ch'ing-shih wen-t'i through Volume 5 (Print ISSN: 0577-9235)
Late Imperial China is the principal journal for scholars of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties. The journal presents methodologically innovative work in political and intellectual history, social, economic, cultural, and gender history, as well as historical demography, art history, religious studies, philosophy, and literature. Late Imperial China regularly features new work by scholars working all over the globe, including North America, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China.
A Turning Point
This volume explores major developments in Japanese law over the latter half of the twentieth century and looks ahead to the future. Features the work of seventeen of Japan's leading legal experts and seventeen foreign experts on most of the major fields of Japanese law, with special attention to the increasingly important areas of environmental law, health law, intellectual property, and insolvency.