British Journal of Chinese Studies

dragon mural beijing 2018 copyright Gerda Wielander
Published July 27, 2019

Issue Description

Issue 9.2 provides and exciting collection of articles showcasing the diverse range of British Chinese studies. Leon Rocha addresses the history and historiography of sexual knowledge during the May Fourth New Culture Movement, focusing on Zhang Jingsheng's "Beauty Bookshop" in Shanghai of the 1920s, shedding light on sexology and entrepreneurship in the publishing field of the time. Amanda Zhang stays in Shanghai, focusing on the self-portrayals of dance hostesses as they wrote about politics, aspirations, and personal tragedies in the period leading up to the Sino-Japanese War. Tian Gu follows with an investigation into the construction of Chinese literatary discourse on tragedy, demonstrating the particular features of the Chinese perception of "the tragic" in the 1930s and the socio-political factors manipulating intellectual practices at the time. In today's China, on the other hand, the focus is on positive energy, and Francesca Triggs seeks to understand the functions the term has served in the political sphere. She analyses the use of the term zheng nengliang in the People's Daily and shows how positive energy discourse has encouraged a popular consensus around CCP hegemony due to its grassroots origins, association with positive psychology, and in-built connotations of happiness. Finally, the winner of the 2018 BACS Early Career Researcher Prize, Ros Holmes, illuminates the relationship between contemporary art and visual representations of civility in post-socialist China. Focusing on work by Wang Jin and Zhou Tiehai, she shows how civility plays an important role in their works in making and unmaking citizens. 

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