Foreigners in Republican China

In a new review at JCA’s webpage, Tom Grunfeld of SUNY Empire State College, New York, has looked at the new Routledge book Foreigners and Foreign Institutions in Republican China, edited by Anne-Marie Brady and Douglas Brown.Republican China

As the publishers say, the collection brings together the work of a diverse group of scholars on Republican China, and adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of foreigners in China.

The reviewer adds to this, stating: “The essays are certainly wide-ranging, with the foreigners discussed in the collection ranging from ‘Soviet comrades and the institutions of the Comintern, to English teachers, women activists, a freelance female journalist and a Contessa, Western aesthetes and sexual tourists as well as Japanese, Koreans, colonial New Zealanders and Italians of both
elevated and humble rank’ (3). The contributors include ‘six historians, a political scientist, an anthropologist and four literary scholars of eight different nationalities’ (4).”

The reviewer concludes: “If nothing else this series of essays makes us aware of the extraordinary variety of foreigners who lived in China during these troubled times of no strong central government, imperialistic privilege and foreign invasion. What’s lacking is a better sense of the foreigner–Chinese interactions and how the Chinese perceived them, and what they took away, from these encounters. But, perhaps, that’s a different book.”

 

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