Matthew Mosca's review of China's Transition to Modernity in the first issue of Journal of Chinese History
Professor Mosca is a meticulous reader. His summary of my book intrigues me, and I agree with his identification of all ambivalent and ambiguous parts of my interpretation. I truly appreciate this review.
Cosmopolitanism in China 1600-1950 has its seeds in a conference held in 2012 at UC Santa Cruz that brought together scholars from the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica, Taiwan and scholars from universities in North America, mainly from the fields of history and religion. A selection of the fruits of the conference has now been polished and packaged in this handsome volume consisting of altogether eight research articles, organized chronologically and by topics, accompanied by a short introduction by the editors plus a useful index. The volume maintains two main points. The first is that cosmopolitanism in China is not a new phenomenon developed in the late nineteenth century when foreign ideas and theories were the focus of Chinese intellectuals’ discussions. Q…
I am reading some recent scholarship with six graduate students in the fall quarter. The first set of readings includes Frederic Wakeman's “China and the Seventeenth-century World Crisis," the first two chapters of Wai-yee Li's Women and National Trauma in Late Imperial Chinese Literature, and James Frankel's chapter “Making Manchus and Muslims” in the edited volume Cosmopolitanism in China.
The Chinese collaborationFor the previous millennium (1000–2000), China was twice conquered by an alien minority. The first time was Mongol conquest and the second the Manchu. The Mongol Yuan dynasty was short-lived because, among other reasons, the Mongol rulers displaced the Chinese elites institutionally and deprived them of political power. The Manchu, on the other hand, shared power with the Chinese elites, kept their land and privilege, and promised them more. Wakeman provides the following statements regarding how the ethnic Chinese elites who worked for the new Manchu regim…