China Review International Vol. 24 No. 2 (2017)

Volume 24 Number 2 of China Review International begins with one feature review and 19 more reviews of scholarly literature in Chinese Studies.

FEATURE REVIEW

A Matter of Life and Death: The Translator Fou Lei (reviewing Mingyuan Hu, Fou Lei: An Insistence on Truth)
Reviewed by John Minford

REVIEWS

Roger T. Ames and Jinhua Jia, editors, Li Zehou and Confucian Philosophy
Reviewed by Anna Ghiglione

David G. Atwill, Islamic Shangri-La: Inter-Asian Relations and Lhasa’s Muslim Communities, 1600 to 1960
Reviewed by Morris Rossabi

Rostislav Berezkin, Many Faces of Mulian: The Precious Scrolls of Late Imperial China
Reviewed by Daniel L. Overmyer

Franck Billé and Sören Urbansky, editors, Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World
Reviewed by David Martinez-Robles

Renee Y. Chow, Changing Chinese Cities: The Potentials of Field Urbanism
Reviewed by Perry P. J. Yang

Stephen Durrant, Wai-yee Li, Michael Nylan, and Hans van Ess, The Letter to Ren An & Sima Qian’s Legacy
Reviewed by Allan H. Barr

Rania Huntington, Ink and Tears: Memory, Mourning, and Writing in the Yu Family
Reviewed by Cathy Silber

Roger B. Jeans, editor, The Letters and Diaries of Colonel John Hart Caughey, 1944–1945: With Wedemeyer in World War II China
Reviewed by Peter Chenmain Wang

Pei-Chia Lan, Raising Global Families: Parenting, Immigration, and Class in Taiwan and the US
Reviewed by Yu-chin Tseng

Gina Marchetti, Citing China: Politics, Postmodernism, and World Cinema
Reviewed by Yingjin Zhang

Max Oidtmann, Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet
Reviewed by Yingcong Dai

Patrick Fuliang Shan, Yuan Shikai: A Reappraisal 

Reviewed by Qiang Fang

Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia, A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976
Reviewed by Adam Cathcart

Wendy Swartz, Reading Philosophy, Writing Poetry: Intertextual Modes of Making Meaning in Early Medieval China
Reviewed by Ping Wang

Kenneth M. Swope, On the Trail of the Yellow Tiger: War, Trauma, and Social Dislocation in Southwest China during the Ming-Qing Transition
Reviewed by Jodi L. Weinstein

Cai Xiang, Revolution & Its Narratives: China’s Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949–1966
Reviewed by Yiju Huang

Victor Cunrui Xiong, Capital Cities and Urban Form in Pre-modern China: Luoyang, 1038 BCE to 938 CE  

Reviewed by Dong Wang

Xiaowei Zheng, The Politics of Rights and the 1911 Revolution in China
Reviewed by Edward McCord

Li Zhi, edited and translated by Rivi Handler-Spitz, Pauline C. Lee, and Haun Saussy, A Book to Burn & a Book to Keep (Hidden): Selected Writings
Reviewed by Nanxiu Qian

Works Received 


About the Journal

Every quarter, China Review International presents timely, English-language reviews of recently published China-related books and monographs. Its multidisciplinary scope and international coverage make it an indispensable tool for all those interested in Chinese culture and civilization, and enable the sinologist to keep abreast of cutting-edge scholarship in Chinese studies.

Subscriptions

Individual and institutional subscriptions available through UH Press.

Submissions

China Review International publishes reviews of recent scholarly literature and “state-of-the-art” articles in all fields of Chinese studies. Reviews are generally published by invitation only; however, unsolicited reviews will be considered for publication based on merit and guidelines can be found here.

China Review International
Vol. 24. No. 2 (2017)

UH Press at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 27-30, Philadelphia

AAS-2014-meetingUniversity of Hawai‘i Press is exhibiting at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 27-30, held this year at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown hotel.

We have a larger than usual contingent attending: UHP director Michael Duckworth; editors Patricia Crosby, Pamela Kelley, and Stephanie Chun; marketing director Colins Kawai; and sales manager Royden Muranaka. Please visit us at booths 110-116 to see our latest titles and take advantage of the conference offer of a 20% discount and free shipping in the U.S. (Free shipping applies only to orders received or placed at the conference.) Our new Asian Studies print catalog will also be distributed.

Exhibiting across the aisle from us are publishing partners: Cornell University East Asia Program (booth 111), MerwinAsia and Seoul Selection (booth 113), NIAS Press-Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (booth 117), and NUS Press-Singapore (booth 115).

See you in Philly!

Exhibiting the Past Examines Exhibitionary Spaces in Postsocialist China

Denton-Exhibiting-the-PastIn Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China, Kirk Denton analyzes types of museums and exhibitionary spaces: from revolutionary history museums, military museums, and memorials to martyrs to museums dedicated to literature, ethnic minorities, and local history. He discusses red tourism—a state sponsored program developed in 2003 as a new form of patriotic education designed to make revolutionary history come alive—and urban planning exhibition halls, which project utopian visions of China’s future that are rooted in new conceptions of the past. Denton’s method is narratological in the sense that he analyzes the stories museums tell about the past and the political and ideological implications of those stories.

Focusing on “official” exhibitionary culture rather than alternative or counter memory, Denton reinserts the state back into the discussion of postsocialist culture because of its centrality to that culture and to show that state discourse in China is neither monolithic nor unchanging. The book considers the variety of ways state museums are responding to the dramatic social, technological, and cultural changes China has experienced over the past three decades.

UH Press Author Roger Ames Wins 2013 Confucius Culture Prize

Warm congratulations to philosophy professor Roger T. Ames on being awarded a 2013 Confucius Culture Prize at the Sixth Annual World Confucian Conference in Shandong, China. The Confucius Culture Prize was established in 2009 to honor both institutions and individuals for their exceptional contributions to Confucian studies. Dr. Ames is the first non-Chinese to receive the award. His most recent book is Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary; among several previous titles that he has coauthored or edited are: The Chinese Classic of Family Reverence: A Philosophical Translation of the Xiaojing and Focusing the Familiar: A Translation and Philosophical Interpretation of the Zhongyong.

For more information, read the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa news release and visit the UHM College of Arts & Humanities and the UHM Center for Chinese Studies websites (the latter also has links to a video documentary about Dr. Ames, or click here).

RogerAmes-ConfuciusCulturePrize

Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia: A History of Diplomacy and War

Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia

Using a synthetic narrative approach, this ambitious work uses the lens of multipolarity to analyze Tang China’s (618–907) relations with Turkestan; the Korean states of Koguryŏ, Silla, and Paekche; the state of Parhae in Manchuria; and the Nanzhao and Tibetan kingdoms. Without any one entity able to dominate Asia’s geopolitical landscape, the author argues that relations among these countries were quite fluid and dynamic—an interpretation that departs markedly from the prevalent view of China fixed at the center of a widespread “tribute system.”

To cope with external affairs in a tumultuous world, Tang China employed a dual management system that allowed both central and local officials to conduct foreign affairs. The court authorized Tang local administrators to receive foreign visitors, forward their diplomatic letters to the capital, and manage contact with outsiders whose territories bordered on China. Not limited to handling routine matters, local officials used their knowledge of border situations to influence the court’s foreign policy. Some even took the liberty of acting without the court’s authorization when an emergency occurred, thus adding another layer to multipolarity in the region’s geopolitics.

The book also sheds new light on the ideological foundation of Tang China’s foreign policy. Appropriateness, efficacy, expedience, and mutual self-interest guided the court’s actions abroad. Although officials often used “virtue” and “righteousness” in policy discussions and announcements, these terms were not abstract universal principles but justifications for the pursuit of self-interest by those involved. Detailed philological studies reveal that in the realm of international politics, “virtue” and “righteousness” were in fact viewed as pragmatic and utilitarian in nature. Comprehensive and authoritative, Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia is a major work on Tang foreign relations that will reconceptualize our understanding of the complexities of diplomacy and war in imperial China.

2013, 480 pages, 7 illustrations
$65.00 ISBN: 978-0-8248-3644-3, Cloth
The World of East Asia

The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan

The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern JapanEccentric artists are “the vagaries of humanity” that inhabit the deviant underside of Japanese society: This was the conclusion drawn by pre–World War II commentators on most early modern Japanese artists. Postwar scholarship, as it searched for evidence of Japan’s modern roots, concluded the opposite: The eccentric, mad, and strange are moral exemplars, paragons of virtue, and shining hallmarks of modern consciousness. In recent years, the pendulum has swung again, this time in favor of viewing these oddballs as failures and dropouts without lasting cultural significance.

This work corrects the disciplinary (and exclusionary) nature of such interpretations by reconsidering the sudden and dramatic emergence of aesthetic eccentricity during the Edo period (1600–1868). A study of impressive historical and disciplinary breadth, The Aesthetics of Strangeness also makes extensive use of primary sources, many previously overlooked in existing English scholarship. Its coverage of the entire Edo period and engagement with both Chinese and native Japanese traditions reinterprets Edo-period tastes and perceptions of normalcy. By wedding art history to intellectual history, literature, aesthetics, and cultural practice, W. Puck Brecher strives for a broadly interdisciplinary perspective on this topic. The Aesthetics of Strangeness demystifies this emergent paradigm by illuminating the conditions and tensions under which certain rubrics of strangeness— ki and kyō particularly—were appointed as aesthetic criteria. Its revision of early modern Japanese culture constitutes an important contribution to the field.

2013, 272 pages, 26 illustrations; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3666-5, Cloth $42.00

Two New Titles in the Spatial Habitus Series

Architecture and UrbanismAlthough modernization in Korea started more than a century later than in the West, it has worked as a prominent ideology throughout the past century—in particular it has brought radical changes in Korean architecture and cities. Traditional structures and ways of life have been thoroughly uprooted in modernity’s continuous negation of the past. Architecture and Urbanism in Modern Korea, by Inha Jung, presents a comprehensive overview of architectural development and urbanization in Korea within the broad framework of modernization.

“Inha Jung has written a fine volume, full of very well informed accounts of events, insightful analyses of projects, and nuanced ideas about the unique flow of architectural and urban modernization in Korea. Jung is a mature scholar who delivers a well-balanced and original account that is both ambitious in scope and delivered in unencumbered and economical prose, with lavish documentation should one want to go further into particular aspects. It is a book that can easily be read and appreciated by people outside the field, in, say, cultural or Korean studies, as well as by those without disciplinary affiliation who are simply interested in Korea.” —Peter G. Rowe, Raymond Garbe Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Harvard University

July 2013
ISBN 978-0-8248-3585-9 / $42.00 (CLOTH)

China's Contested CapitalWhen the Chinese Nationalist Party nominally reunified the country in 1928, Chiang Kai-shek and other party leaders insisted that Nanjing was better suited than Beijing to serve as its capital. For the next decade, until the Japanese invasion in 1937, Nanjing was the “model capital” of Nationalist China, the center of not just a new regime, but also a new modern outlook in a China destined to reclaim its place at the forefront of nations. Interesting parallels between China’s recent rise under the Post-Mao Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalist era have brought increasing scholarly attention to the Nanjing Decade (1927–1937); however, study of Nanjing itself has been neglected. In China’s Contested Capital: Architecture, Ritual, and Response in Nanjing, Charles Musgrove brings the city back into the discussion of China’s modern development, focusing on how it was transformed from a factional capital with only regional influence into a symbol of nationhood—a city where newly forming ideals of citizenship were celebrated and contested on its streets and at its monuments.

China’s Contested Capital provides a nuanced, holistic view of the political, spatial, and social dimensions of Nanjing as the Guomindang capital. The grandiose plans for the governmental complex and the strikingly novel architecture of individual buildings aimed to promote Nanjing, Sun Yat-sen’s ‘Three Principles of the People,’ and the ROC’s governmental structure as modernist templates to the rest of the world. Musgrove’s chronicle of the optimism that propelled the city’s transformation and its eventual disappointment allows us to apprehend as never before the lively drama of Nanjing urban space.” —Peter J. Carroll, Wayne V. Jones Research Professor in History, Northwestern University

July 2013
ISBN 978-0-8248-3628-3 / $49.00 (CLOTH)

Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture
Published in association with Hong Kong University Press

Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics Book Review Seminar

Chinese ModernitySheldon Lu will be participating in a book review seminar of his recent book Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in Literature and Visual Culture, at City University of Hong Kong on Friday, June 28, 4:30-6:30 pm. For more information, go to: http://ctl.cityu.edu.hk/NewsCentre/f_usr/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1356&FORUM_ID=8&CAT_ID=1&FORUM_TITLE=Upcoming+Events.

Professor Lu is also the editor (with Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh) of Chinese-Language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics and Transnational Chinese Cinemas: Identity, Nationhood, Gender.

UH Press Titles Make the 2013 ICAS Book Prize Short List

Two UH Press titles have been short listed for the 2013 ICAS (International Convention of Asia Scholars) Book Prize in the humanities and the social sciences. Winners will be announced during the ICAS Book Prize Awards Ceremony on June 25, 2013, in Macao. Press director Michael Duckworth, marketing manager Colins Kawai, and acquisitions editor Pamela Kelley will be attending this year’s meeting.

Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-ArtsChinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts, edited by Jeffrey W. Cody, Nancy S. Steinhardt, and Tony Akin

“[The] fascinating and under-appreciated cross-pollination of Eastern and Western architecture is thoroughly examined in [this] absorbing new book. . . . Although filled with handsome photos contemporary and historic, Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts is no coffee-table book — this volume is a thoughtful and far-ranging account of international trends in architecture, which have been too little known in the U.S. It fills an important need and is certain to find its place in every serious library of architectural history.” —Traditional Building (2011)

Burning MoneyBurning Money: The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld, by C. Fred Blake

“Blake fully illustrates the common practice of burning paper money in the daily lives of many people throughout China, exploring the forces that have continued and transformed this old tradition from old times up to the present. His book is innovative and comprehensive in its interpretation of this common custom in China and will be welcomed by anyone interested in the living traditions and cultures of China.” —Asian Ethnology (71:2, 2012)

Faking It in China – Original Copies at the NYR Blog

Original CopiesWhat drives China’s obsession with foreign styles? In a New York Review of Books blog post, “Faking It in China,” Ian Johnson provides some answers in his discussion of Bianca Bosker’s Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China:

“In her fascinating new book . . . Bosker focuses on the suburbs for the upper class that began to be built in the late 1990s, following the privatization of real estate. These are not just individual buildings but entire streetscapes, with cobblestone alleys, faux churches (often used as concert halls), towers, and landscaping designed to reproduce the feel of European and North American cities. . . . Original Copies is filled with analysis about why these developments flourish.”

Original Copies is part of the Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture series and is
published in association with Hong Kong University Press.

For more on China’s architectural mimicry:
Copycat Architects in China Take Aim at the Stars: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/pirated-copy-of-design-by-star-architect-hadid-being-built-in-china-a-874390.html
China’s Copycat Cities: http://uhpress.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/foreign-policy-article-on-chinas-copycat-cities/

Living Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village

Fighting for BreathNumerous reports of “cancer villages” have appeared in the past decade in both Chinese and Western media, highlighting the downside of China’s economic development. Less generally known is how people experience and understand cancer in areas where there is no agreement on its cause. Who or what do they blame? How do they cope with its onset? Fighting for Breath: Living Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village, by Anna Lora-Wainwright, is the first ethnography to offer a bottom-up account of how rural families strive to make sense of cancer and care for sufferers. It addresses crucial areas of concern such as health, development, morality, and social change in an effort to understand what is at stake in the contemporary Chinese countryside.

Fighting for Breath is a well-written, ethnographically grounded, and anthropologically compelling book. It is theoretically sophisticated and clearly the work of a serious China scholar and first-rate medical anthropologist. Cancer has received much less attention in these fields than it deserves, so this volume fills an important niche.” —Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University

May 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3682-5 / $52.00 (CLOTH)