Vol 3.2 Historical Memory and Changing Paradigms Has been Published

日期: 2017-12-27 浏览: 12806

Journal of Chinese Humanities  

Vol 3.2 Historical Memory and

Changing Paradigms has been Published



Zhang Xiaojun

The Paradigmatic Crises in China’s Minzu Studies: Reflections from the Perspective of Human Development

The field of minzu 民族 studies is currently in a state of disarray. This article proposes to discuss three paradigmatic crises—the one-dimensional interpretation, problematization, and de-ethnicization of the term minzu—from the perspective of human development. Although the meaning of minzu is, as this article argues, ambiguous, it has mostly been reduced to its political and ideological meaning. To solely rely on this one-dimensional interpretation in an academic discussion has led to a paradigmatic crisis in minzu studies. From the perspective of human development, minzu is the carrier and basic cultural unit of a pluralistic global culture. Although the concept of minzu is not inherently problematic, the word is being problematized by subsuming a number of extraneous issues. Problematization thus constitutes another paradigmatic crisis in current minzu studies. Opposing the current trend of de-ethnicizing the minzu question, this article proposes to de-problematize the concept of minzu instead, thereby preventing it from being used as a political tool. This article intends to shed light on the current state of crisis in China’s minzu studies, discuss a suitable research methodology, and provide an academic basis for ethnic research and policy implementation.

Wang Xuedian

Where Is China Headed? New Tendencies in the Humanities and Social Sciences


China as a whole is facing a marked trend toward indigenization. The past thirty years have seen rapid and profound changes in the social sciences, heralding a new season in the humanities, in which the study of traditional culture has shifted from the sidelines to the center of academic research. Traditional culture, especially Confucianism, with its worldly orientation, is bound to play a central role in deepening and expanding the ongoing conversation with liberalism. At the same time, however, it must still develop values for structuring society and everyday life that are as influential as those of liberalism. The three main challenges to a Confucian revival today are the ruling ideology in China (namely, Marxism), the dominance of Western sociopolitical theory, and the current practices of disciplinary organization.


Johannes Kaminski

Toward a Maoist Dream of the Red Chamber: Or, How Baoyu and Daiyu Became Rebels Against Feudalism

Mao Zedong’s views on literature were enigmatic: although he coerced writers into “learning the language of the masses,” he made no secret of his own enthusiasm for Dream of the Red Chamber, a novel written during the Qing dynasty. In 1954 this paradox appeared to be resolved when Li Xifan and Lan Ling presented an interpretation that saw the tragic love story as a manifestation of class struggle. Ever since, the conception of Baoyu and Daiyu as class warriors has become a powerful and unquestioned cliché of Chinese literary criticism. Endowing aristocratic protagonists with revolutionary grandeur, however, violates a basic principle of Marxist orthodoxy. This article examines the reasons behind this position: on the one hand, Mao’s support for Li and Lan’s approach acts as a reminder of his early journalistic agitation against arranged marriage and the social ills it engenders. On the other hand, it offers evidence of Mao’s increasingly ambiguous conception of class.



Liu Megan

Can the Past Serve the Present? The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

The memorialization of the Nanjing Massacre, constructed almost fifty years after the event, poses challenges for historians. This article asks the simple question: why? Why has the evolution of memory in China and Japan circumvented the issues of Nanjing for nearly half a century before letting it erupt onto the international stage in the past few decades? By examining the circumstances surrounding the opening of Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall and its ensuing impact, this article not only attempts to shed light on how the memorial has been misconstrued in global historical memory, and the fundamental historiographical debates surrounding it, but also the utility of memory in historical narrative. When dealing with the ghosts of the past in the politics of the present, is it ever possible to purge historiography and memory of government?



Joshua Mason
Huang Yushun, Voice from the East: The Chinese Theory of Justice 

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