A Companion to Chinese History (Wiley Blackwell Companions by Michael Szonyi

By Michael Szonyi

A Companion to chinese language historical past presents a suite of essays delivering a finished review of the most recent highbrow advancements within the research of China’s historical past from the traditional previous up till the current day.

  • Covers the most important developments within the learn of chinese language heritage from antiquity to the current day
  • Considers the most recent scholarship of historians operating in China and round the world
  • Explores numerous long-range questions and topics which serves to bridge the traditional divide among China’s conventional and sleek eras
  • Addresses China’s connections with different international locations and areas and allows non-specialists to make comparisons with their very own fields
  • Features dialogue of conventional themes and chronological methods in addition to more recent issues reminiscent of chinese language heritage with regards to sexuality, nationwide id, and the environment

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Additional info for A Companion to Chinese History (Wiley Blackwell Companions to World History)

Sample text

In addition, a considerable number of private communications were found 22 endymion wilkinson among the documents on bamboo slips and wooden tablets. They date from the Warring States to the Tang (about 500 contracts were found at Dunhuang and Turfan). Although nonofficial records and private documents were voluminous in the more commercialized society of the later empire, only a tiny number of these escaped the r­avages of time and the ups and downs of family fortunes and the impact of disasters, man‐made and natural.

It is perhaps even easier to change one’s professional identity by claiming a new territory, be it quantitative history, new cultural history, legal history, ecological or environmental history. As happened in many other areas, in the field of historical studies the post‐1980s era witnessed a process of importation, t­ransplantation, application, and quite often appropriation of western ideas, or, more precisely, an assortment of terms used in the anglophone and sometimes Japanese world of Chinese historical studies.

It intends to draw the reader’s attention to areas which may have appeared obscure at first but have gradually become the focus of debates. These debates, full of self‐reflection and experimentation, have involved s­cholars making pioneering attempts to distance themselves from conventional Chinese historiography and to develop alternative paradigms for achieving a new and holistic understanding of Chinese history on their own terms. The new paradigms may still be Marxist, but only in a sense that they continue to seek structural explanation for human actions; they are no longer the officially endorsed “Marxist” historiography of old.

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