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Lecture: Ong Chang Woei on “Building a New Chinese State from the Northwest: The Proposal of Liu Guangfen (1843-1903)”
03. Jun., 10:00 - 12:00
On Zoom: For registration (required), please use this Zoom link.
At the beginning of his book Origins of the Modern Chinese State, Kuhn asks, “What is Chinese about China’s modern state?” The answer, Kuhn explains, is not to be found by supposing that there are some distinctive cultural qualities that will ensure that “China will always be China.” Rather, it is to be found by probing how the Chinese in the recent past dealt with what he calls “constitutional issues” that had already presented themselves before the West made its impact felt. Using Liu Guangfen 劉光蕡 (1843-1903) as a case study, I would like to ask a follow-up question: “What is northwestern about China’s modern state?” My assumption is that whatever “Chinese” problems existed could be better understood if we take the regional perceptions of such problems into consideration. In this talk, I will demonstrate that Liu Guangfen’s vision of building a modern Chinese state allows us to examine how the concern over nation-state building was shaped by regional experiences. I will also try to show that by studying a particular regional version of the “Chinese” nation-state, we can learn something important about the dynamics that shape the quest for a strong nation-state in modern China in general.
This lecture series is jointly organized by
Prof. Dr. Axel Schneider, University of Göttingen
Prof. Dr. Thomas Fröhlich, University of Hamburg
CeMEAS – Centre for Modern East Asian Studies & Department of East Asian Studies, University of Göttingen
Asia-Africa-Institute, Department for Chinese Language and Culture, Hamburg University
Department of East Asian Studies, University of Göttingen