1900 to 2017: An Overview of Chinese Historiography

By Charlotte Kelsted

There are few similarities between historians’ approaches to Chinese history in the early twentieth century and today. Initially the pursuit of missionaries, diplomats and customs officials, the study of Chinese history only became an academic profession in the years following the Second World War, with two approaches dominating the field: the impact-response and modernisation approach. In the late 1960s, however, largely as a backlash against American involvement in the Vietnam War, an alternative imperialist framework was put forward. In the 1980s, all three of these approaches came under attack from Paul Cohen, a pioneering scholar who sought to minimise the Western-centrism of existing approaches to Chinese history.[1] Cohen argued that Chinese society ought to be seen “in its own terms and from its own point of view, rather than as an extension of Western history”; a framework which came to be known as the China-centric approach.[2] This approach continues to bear fruit today, inspiring the comparative approach to Chinese history and the regional framework.[3] It has also led to work on China’s non-Han communities and studies of Chinese emigrants, additionally ushering in a more human-centred approach to Chinese history, including work on women, gender and sexuality.[4] This article seeks to detail and explain these changing approaches to Chinese history from the early twentieth century to the present day.

Cohen has described the early twentieth century as the “amateur phase” of Chinese history writing.[5] During this period Chinese history was documented by missionaries, diplomats and customs officials who had “little formal training as scholars and none as historians of China”.[6] These individuals were unable to access many of the most important collections and sources in China, and limited language skills prohibited any meaningful engagement with the small number of sources available.[7] Cohen points out that these individuals’ equation of ‘modern’ with ‘Western’ and ‘Western’ with ‘important’ led to a preoccupation with “aspects of the recent Chinese past with which the West itself had been most concerned”: the Opium Wars of 1839-42 and 1856-60; the Taiping rebellion of 1850-64; the Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1901 and other “Western-related facets of Chinese history”.[8] A key example of this “amateur phase” of Chinese history writing is William Martin’s The Siege in Peking, China Against the World, first published in 1900.[9] Martin was an American Presbyterian missionary in China and his work focused exclusively on the siege of the International Legations during the Boxer Rebellion. Another example of this approach to Chinese history is Alleyne Ireland’s China and the Powers, published in 1902.[10] Exclusively focused on facets of Chinese history concerning the United States, England and Russia, this neglected periods of Chinese history that did not feature the European powers. Similarly, Edward Alsworth Ross’ The Changing Chinese: The Conflict of Oriental and Western Culture in China of 1911 only examined periods of Chinese history that involved the West, dedicating a whole chapter to the Opium Wars of 1839-42 and 1856-60.[11]

In the two decades that followed the Second World War, however, a “true professional field” of Chinese history writing was “for the first time, now constituted”.[12] Building on the work of “a tiny handful of trained historians who had studied in China in the 1930s”, the study of Chinese history “came of age” in the post-war era.[13] This was partly due to the new opportunities for language training in both the United States and Europe as a result of the Second World War which allowed historians to meaningfully engage with Chinese sources for the first time.[14] Cohen notes that this was also attributable to the improved accessibility of important collections and sources in China in the period after World War Two.[15]

As the writing of Chinese history became professionalised during this period, two key approaches dominated the field: the impact-response and modernisation approach. As the name suggests, the impact-response approach focused on the impact of the Western world on China and China’s response to this challenge.[16] The modernisation approach also explored the impact of the West on China, although it focused more specifically on the “impact of modernisation on China’s traditional culture and society”.[17] A notable exponent of both of these approaches was John Fairbank, recently described by Merle Goldman as the “West’s doyen on China” during this period.[18] In The United States and China, first published in 1948, Fairbank employed both an impact-response and modernisation approach to Chinese history, focusing predominantly on the impact of the United States on China.[19] Similarly, in Joseph Levenson’s Liang Ch’i-ch’ao and the Mind of Modern China of 1954 and Mary White’s The Last Stand of Chinese Conservatism of 1957, the focus is on the impact of the Western world on China and China’s response to the West.[20]

In the late 1960s, however, both the impact-response and modernisation approach came under attack. Condemned by historians who were “influenced by classical theories of imperialism”, both approaches were criticised for depicting “Western expansion in positive terms” and Chinese resistance to the West in “negative language”, implying that “China’s problems in the last 150 years stemmed from weaknesses or deficiencies in Chinese society and culture”.[21] Instead, an imperialist approach to Chinese history was advocated. By re-examining the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century, the Boxer Rebellion and other instances of Western imperialism in China, the imperialist approach sought to draw attention to the “negative, stunting effects” of Western imperialism.[22] Cohen explains that this attempt to draw attention to the damage of Western imperialism was born of the feeling of shame and disillusionment in the West that accompanied American involvement in the Vietnam War.[23] This disenchantment with Western powers encouraged American historians to “abandon Western norms” and thus rethink imperialism.[24]

In 1984, the impact-response and modernisation approach came under attack again. But this time, the imperialist approach was also under fire. The criticism came from Paul Cohen, who argued in Discovering History in China that “all three approaches, in one way or another, introduce Western-centric distortions into our understanding of nineteenth and twentieth century China”.[25] The impact-response approach only featured aspects of Chinese history that involved the West, deeming aspects of the Chinese past with “no obvious connections with the Western presence … unimportant”.[26] This in turn led to an over exaggeration of the role of the West in shaping China.[27] The modernisation approach was no better. By focusing specifically on the effect of modernisation on China’s traditional culture and society, the modernisation approach only explored facets of change in China that Western scholars recognised, thereby imposing an “external and parochially Western definition of what change is and what kinds of change are important”.[28] The modernisation approach assumed that the Western trajectory of progress was the norm, questioning whether or not China would have “generated its own modern scientific tradition and industrial revolution” and failing to recognise change in China that did not conform to the Western notion of modernisation.[29] Wong and Pomeranz have recently developed this critique further in ‘China and Europe, 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is ‘Modern’?’ by arguing that the term ‘modern’ is highly problematic and is in fact of little use when investigating histories of the non-European world.[30] The term ‘modernity’ has become synonymous with nineteenth century European political, social and economic development, and the use of the term ‘modernity’ when studying Chinese history is thus a form of “conceptual tyranny”.[31] Similarly, although the imperialist framework of the late 1960s was fundamentally anti-imperialist, it also only examined aspects of the Chinese past that concerned the West.[32] It once again assumed a Western-centric trajectory of development for China, had Western imperialism not taken place, once again constituting a fundamentally Western-centric approach to Chinese history.[33]

It is worth noting that Cohen’s restlessness to escape the confines of Western-centric history writing in 1984 was part of a broader historiographical shift in the 1980s “from an external – often ‘colonial history’ perspective to a more internal approach, characterised by a vigorous effort to see the history of any given non-Western society in its own terms”.[34] This was partly initiated by Edward Said’s Orientalism of 1978 which had brought to light the Western-centrism of European and American histories of the non-Western world.[35] Similar shifts can be seen in the histories of Africa, the Muslim Middle East and other non-Western areas in the 1980s.[36] A notable example of this is the rise of the Subaltern Studies group from 1982 onwards, whose focus at this time was peasant movements in colonial India. The Subaltern Studies group was described by Gyan Prakash as a branch of postcolonialism which sought to “undo the Eurocentrism produced by the institution of the West’s trajectory, its appropriation of the Other as History”, and whose critique of the West was “not confined to colonial exploitation, but the disciplinary knowledge and procedures it authorized – above all the discipline of history”.[37]

But Cohen did not only expose the Western-centrism of these approaches in 1984, he also put forward an alternative approach for the study of Chinese history: the China-centric approach.[38] This involved viewing the history of Chinese society “in its own terms and from its own point of view, rather than as an extension of Western history”, reducing these Western-centric distortions to a “minimum”.[39] This approach met with much success, with Paul Cheek describing how it “dominated” the writing of Chinese history from the 1970s onwards and praising the approach for its “thorough grounding in Chinese language, history, arts and culture”.[40] The China-centric approach has undoubtedly inspired many of the more recent approaches to Chinese history. It has encouraged more even-handed comparisons between China and the West by the likes of Wong and Pomeranz, as well as Hamashita’s regional approach to Chinese history.[41] Furthermore, it has led to increased attention being paid to China’s non-Han minorities, particularly the Manchus and Chinese Muslims, as well as China’s emigrant population.[42] It has also inspired the growth of a more human-centred approach to Chinese history of late, and led to increasing attention being paid to the history of women, gender and sexuality in China.[43] Each of these new approaches to Chinese history will now be explored in turn.

The first of these approaches to be examined is the comparative approach. The work of Roy Bin Wong and Kenneth Pomeranz has been the most significant in this field in recent years.[44] Particularly interested in comparisons between China and Europe, Wong and Pomeranz set out in the late 1990s to discover why it was that China did not experience the same Industrial Revolution as Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Troubled by the Western-centrism of previous approaches to Chinese history and determined to avoid the Western-centric assumption that the “European trajectory of change was the norm”, Wong and Pomeranz asked not what went ‘wrong’ in China, but instead why there was such a difference between the way China and Europe developed during this period.[45] Pomeranz has spoken of drawing “reciprocal comparisons” between China and Europe, while Wong has used the term “symmetric perspectives” to describe his own approach.[46] Both Wong and Pomeranz have concluded that Europe’s Industrial Revolution was a result of technical innovation and the increased availability of new, cheap sources of energy in the 1700s and 1800s. However in China Transformed, published in 1997, Wong has identified an additional cause of the Industrial Revolution: Europe’s unique political economy at this time, which laid the foundations for capitalist development.[47] In contrast, Pomeranz’s influential publication of 2000, The Great Divergence, argues that it was Europe’s ability to cultivate fertile land in the Americas, thus freeing up land in Europe for industrialisation, which gave Europe the competitive edge.[48] Andre Gunder Frank, another important contributor to the field of Chinese comparative history, has similarly concluded in ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age, published in 1998, that the Industrial Revolution would not have occurred in Europe without this financial input from the Americas.[49] This comparative approach to Chinese history remains relevant in the twenty-first century, with Robert Allen publishing The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective in 2009.[50] Allen’s work similarly seeks to move away from Western-centric comparisons between Europe and elsewhere, taking the example of the differences between the “round, up-draft kilns” in Britain and the “down drafting kilns” in China to demonstrate that each region was ‘modern’ in its own way during this period.[51]

A further approach to Chinese history that has seen much growth in recent years is the regional approach. Meng Fandong has identified Takeshi Hamashita as one of the main advocates of this approach.[52] In Hamashita’s chapter ‘The Intra-Regional System in East Asia in Modern Times’, published in Peter Katzenstein and Takashi Shiraishi’s Network of Power: Japan and Asia, he identifies three key features of this regional system.[53] First, the “tributary system”, described as “a loose system of political integration embracing East and Southeast Asia”, of which China was a part.[54] Second, “the network of commercial relations, operating symbiotically with the tribute system, developed in East and Southeast Asia”.[55] And third, the sea, which was “as an important a locus and determinant of historical activity as land” in East Asia.[56] Hamashita has argued that an understanding of the tributary and economic systems of East Asia, combined with a “sea-centred geographical perspective”, makes it “easier to understand why intra-Asian political relationships developed as they did over the centuries”.[57] Two further advocates of this region-centric approach are Mark Selden and Giovanni Arrighi, both of whom worked alongside Hamashita to produce The Resurgence of East Asia: 500, 150 and 50 Year Perspectives in 2003.[58] The Resurgence of East Asia once again employed this regional framework to explore the economic history of East Asia over the last 500 years.[59]

Another facet of Chinese history with a recently “burgeoning literature” concerns the Manchus, who ruled their Qing empire from 1636 until the early 1900s.[60] Prior to the 1990s, historians had attributed the success of the Manchus to their “wholesale adoption of China’s culture and institutions” which “enabled them to govern its vast territories and populations”.[61] This traditional interpretation was challenged in the 1990s, however, because of the “new accessibility of Chinese and Manchu-language archives”.[62] The sources in these archives disproved the long-held belief that the success of the Manchus lay in their “total assimilation” into Chinese culture and institutions.[63] This led to calls for a re-evaluation of the Qing empire, termed ‘New Qing history’.[64] Cohen notes that this historical approach has gone from strength to strength in recent years, encouraging research on Manchu identity, rulership and institutions, as well as the Manchus’ “contribution to twenty-first century nationalism”.[65] Notable contributions to this scholarship include Evelyn Rawski’s The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions of 1998, Pamela Crossley’s A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial History of 1999 and Mark Elliot’s The Manchu Way: Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China of 2001.[66] These scholars have been warmly praised by Kent Guy for instigating a move away from a Han-Chinese dominated history of the Qing dynasty.[67] Likewise, Cohen has pointed out that evaluating the history of the Manchus from a Han-Chinese viewpoint incurs the same distortions as analysing Chinese history from a Western-centric perspective.[68] Jonathan Spence has accordingly adjusted the 2013 edition of The Search for Modern China, noting in the preface that exploring the history of the Manchus from a Manchu perspective is now a “major factor in our understanding of China’s late imperial period”.[69]

It should be noted that the Manchus are not the only ethnic minority in China to have received increasing attention from historians since the 1990s. In 1991 and 1997 respectively, Dru Gladney and Jonathan Lipman examined the history of China’s Muslim population, and groups such as the Uyghurs, Mongols, Tibetans and Yi have similarly received attention in recent years from scholars including Stevan Harrell, Uradyn Bulag, Melvyn Goldstein and Gardner Bovingdon.[70] Cohen identifies two reasons for this move away from a Han-Chinese perspective: first, the “growing interest and sensitivity to multicultural and multi-ethnic issues globally”; secondly, the “Han-minority tensions on China’s peripheries” since the 1990s.[71] The rise of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and their numerous attacks on China in the 1990s, as well as the continuing problems in both Inner Mongolia and Tibet have not only brought the struggles of these groups to global attention, but have also encouraged this move away from a Han-Chinese dominated perspective of Chinese history.

Since the 1990s, the history of China’s emigrant population has likewise “attracted growing interest in the scholarly world”.[72] In Adam McKeown’s article ‘Conceptualising Chinese Diasporas, 1842-1949’, he explains that the “revival of the idea of diaspora” in recent years has “centred mobility and dispersion as a basis from which to begin analysis, rather than as steams of people merely feeding into or flowing along the margins of national and civilizational histories”.[73] McKeown has been particularly influential in this field, largely through his emphasis on understanding migration as a “process”, rather than as a combination of push and pull factors.[74] The recent work of Elizabeth Sinn has also been noteworthy. In Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of Hong Kong, published in 2013, Sinn explored the experiences of Chinese migrants who travelled between California and Hong Kong in the nineteenth century.[75] Sinn sought to “address a lacuna in migration studies by putting forward the concept of an ‘in-between place’”.[76] Sinn identified Hong Kong as one of these ‘in-between places’ which was uniquely shaped by the comings-and-goings of Chinese migrants in the nineteenth century.[77]

Another approach to Chinese history which has gained prominence of late is the human-centred approach. Described by Cohen as a move away from both “exaggerated Western claims of Chinese and Western cultural difference” and “cultural essentialization – the radical reduction of a culture to a particular set of values or traits that other cultures are believed incapable of embodying”, the human-centred approach seeks to bring to light patterns of thought and behaviour in China’s past that reflect “transcultural, inherently human characteristics” and thus “overlap or resonate with the thought and behaviour of peoples elsewhere in the world”.[78] Cohen argues that this is essential “if we are to gain a fuller, more shaded, less parochial understanding of the Chinese past”.[79] The human-centred approach builds on the work of Amartya Sen, who argued in ‘East and West: The Reach of Reason’, that we need to move away from specific values (such as tolerance and liberty) being “culture-specific” and “break the claim of ‘cultural boundary’”, which has in the past led to the belief that there are overwhelming cultural differences between the East and the West.[80]  A key example of Chinese history writing that has sought to incorporate this human-centred approach is Cohen’s History in Three Keys, The Boxers as Event, Experience and Myth, published in 1997.[81] In the preface to History in Three Keys, Cohen explains that he seeks to “probe the thought, feelings, and behaviour of the immediate participants” of the Boxer rebellion.[82] He aims to “humanize” their “thought and behaviour”, thereby exposing the flaws in the “exaggerated Western claims of Chinese and Western cultural difference”.[83] Xu Guoqi’s recent Chinese and Americans: A Shared History has similarly sought to move away from this traditional belief in a “fundamental contrast” between the culture of the East and the West, showing how cultural exchanges between the two countries “have contributed to each other’s national development”.[84]

In a similar vein, historians such as Susan Mann and Beverly Bossler have recently been part of a shift towards exploring the history of women, gender and sexuality in China.[85] Inspired by both the “new social history” of the mid-twentieth century which brought the history of women and gender to the fore, and Jennifer Holmgren’s rewarding work with the official biographies of imperial women, studies of the history of women, gender and sexuality in China have gone from strength to strength in recent years.[86] Susan Mann’s Gender and Sexuality in Modern Chinese History has shown that women were “far from being irrelevant to the male world of politics and governance” and Beverly Bossler’s Gender and Chinese History: Transformative Encounters has demonstrated that although women have traditionally been seen as “hapless victims of an oppressively patriarchal society”, they were instead “active agents” within families, businesses and artistic communities.[87] Priscilla Ching Chung’s Palace Women in the Northern Sung, 960–1126 has also shown that the Song dynasty “employed an extensive and highly specialised bureaucracy of female officials to manage life within the imperial palace”.[88] Additionally, since the 1990s several historians have “begun to consider how the Chinese gender system affected men”, building on the work of Bret Hinsch whose Passions of the Cut Sleeve of 1990 examined the male homosexual tradition in China.[89]

In conclusion, approaches to Chinese history have changed dramatically – and no doubt for the better – over the last 116 years. Originally the pursuit of American missionaries like William Martin, the study of Chinese history is now a well-established and rapidly expanding academic discipline. But it has not been plain sailing. Widely criticised by American historians disenchanted with American interference in Vietnam, the impact-response and modernisation framework were joined by the new imperialist approach in the late 1960s. This new approach was, however, no less prone to criticism. In 1984, Paul Cohen’s influential Discovering History in China exposed the Western-centric assumptions of all three approaches to Chinese history, arguing that the history of Chinese societies must be seen “in its own terms”, ushering in the new China-centric approach.[90] This has given rise to a variety of new approaches to Chinese history since the 1980s, inspiring Wong and Pomeranz’s comparative approach, as well as Hamashita’s regional framework. It has led to greater attention being paid to the history of China’s non-Han communities and China’s emigrant population. An increasingly human-centred approach to Chinese history has also developed since the 1990s in a move away from “exaggerated Western claims of Chinese and Western cultural difference”.[91] Additionally, greater attention has been paid of late to women, gender and sexuality in China. This essay has outlined several reasons for these changes. The improved accessibility of Chinese archives after World War Two led to the professionalisation of Chinese history while “new accessibility of Chinese and Manchu-language archives” resulted in the emergence of New Qing history in the 1990s.[92] Han-minority tensions on China’s peripheries have recently brought the history of the Uyghurs, Mongols and Tibetans to the attention of historians, and criticism from within the field of Chinese history itself led to the development of the imperialist framework in the 1960s and the China-centric approach of the 1980s. Broader historiographical shifts, including a move away from Western-centric histories, the rise of the ‘new social history’, and the revival of the idea of diaspora, have also altered approaches to Chinese history. This ability of historians of China to be self-critical, open to change, and aware of broader historiographical shifts promises a bright future for the study of Chinese history.

 

[1] P. Cohen, Discovering History in China: American Historical Writing on the Recent Chinese Past (New York, 1984).

[2] Ibid, p. 7.

[3] B. Wong, China Transformed (Ithaca, 1997); K. Pomeranz, The Great Divergence (Princeton, 2000); T. Hamashita, ‘The Intra-Regional System in East Asia in Modern Times’ in P. J. Katzenstein and T. Shiraishi (eds.), Networks of Power: Japan and Asia (Ithaca, 1997).

[4] E. Rawski, The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions (Berkeley, 1998); P. Crossley, A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial History (Berkeley, 1999); M. Elliot, The Manchu Way: Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (Stanford, 2001); D. Gladney, Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People’s Republic (Cambridge, 1991); J. Lipman, Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China (Seattle, 1997); S. Harrell (ed.), Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China (Berkeley, 2001); U. Bulag, Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia (Oxford, 1998); M. Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet, 1931-51: The Demise of the Lamaist State (Berkeley, 1989); G. Bovingdon, ‘The History of the History of Xinjiang’ Twentieth-Century China 26 (2001) 95-139; A. McKeown, ‘Conceptualising Chinese Diasporas, 1842-1949’ Journal of Asian Studies 58 (1999) 306-337; E. Sinn, Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, 2013); P. Cohen, History in Three Keys, The Boxers as Event, Experience and Myth (New York, 1997); X. Guoqi, Chinese and Americans: A Shared History (Cambridge, 2014); S. Mann, Gender and Sexuality in Modern Chinese History (Cambridge, 2011); B. Bossler, Gender and Chinese History: Transformative Encounters (Seattle, 2015); J. Holmgren, ‘Family, Marriage and Political Power in Sixth Century China: A Study of the Kao Family of Northern Ch’i, c. 520-550’ Journal of Asian History 16 (1982) 1-50; P. Chung, Palace Women in the Northern Sung, 960–1126 (Leiden, 1881); B, Hinsch, Passions of the Cut Sleeve (Berkeley, 1990).

[5] Cohen, Discovering History, p. 2.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] W. Martin, The Siege in Peking, China Against the World (New York, 1900).

[10] A. Ireland, China and the Powers (Boston, 1902).

[11] E. Ross, The Changing Chinese: The Conflict of Oriental and Western Culture in China (New York, 1911).

[12] Cohen, Discovering History , p. 2.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] J. Fairbank and M. Goldman, China: A New History (Cambridge, 2006).

[19] J. Fairbank, The United States and China (Cambridge, 1948).

[20] J. Levenson, Liang Ch’i-ch’ao and the Mind of Modern China (Cambridge, 1954); M. White, The Last Stand of Chinese Conservatism (Stanford, 1957).

[21] Cohen, Discovering History , p. 3.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid, p. 7.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid, p. 3.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid, p. 4.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Wong, B and K. Pomeranz, ‘China and Europe, 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is ‘Modern’?’, http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/chinawh/web/help/about.html (Last accessed 25 November 2016).

[31] Ibid.

[32] Cohen, Discovering History , p. 4.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid, p. 7.

[35] E. Said, Orientalism (London, 1978).

[36] Cohen, Discovering History , p. 7.

[37] G. Prakash, ‘Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Critique’ The American Historical Review 99 (1994) 1475; Ibid, 1483.

[38] Cohen, Discovering History , p. 7.

[39] Ibid, p. 1.

[40] P. Cheek, The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History (Cambridge, 2015), p. xv.

[41] Wong, China Transformed; Pomeranz, The Great Divergence; Hamashita, ‘The Intra-Regional System’.

[42] Rawski, The Last Emperors; Crossley, A Translucent Mirror; Elliot, The Manchu Way; Gladney, Muslim Chinese; Lipman, Familiar Strangers; Harrell, Perspectives on the Yi; Bulag, Nationalism and Hybridity; Goldsein, A History of Modern Tibet; Bovingdon, ‘The History of the History of Xinjiang’; McKeown, ‘Conceptualising Chinese Diasporas’; Sinn, Pacific Crossing.

[43] Cohen, History in Three Keys; Guoqi, Chinese and Americans; Mann, Gender and Sexuality; Bossler, Gender and Chinese History; Holmgren, ‘Family, Marriage and Political Power’; Chung, Palace Women; Hinsch, Passions of the Cut Sleeve.

[44] Wong, China Transformed; Pomeranz, The Great Divergence.

[45] P. Cohen, Discovering History in China: American Historical Writing on the Recent Chinese Past (New York, 2010), p. xliii.

[46] Pomeranz, The Great Divergence; Wong, China Transformed.

[47] Wong, China Transformed.

[48] Pomeranz, The Great Divergence.

[49] A. Frank, ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age (Berkeley, 1998).

[50] R. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2009).

[51] Ibid, p. 145-6.

[52] M. Fandong, ‘Takeshi Hamashita’s Research on Regional Chinese History’ Chinese Studies in History 49 (2016) 39.

[53] Hamashita, ‘The Intra-Regional System’.

[54] P. Cohen, China Unbound: Evolving Perspectives on the Chinese Past (London, 2003), p. 7.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid, p. 8.

[57] Ibid.

[58] G. Arrighi, T. Hamashita and M. Selden (eds.), The Resurgence of East Asia: 500, 150 and 50 Year Perspectives (London, 2003).

[59] Ibid.

[60] Cohen, Discovering History , p. lxiii; J. Waley-Cohen, ‘The New Qing History’ Radical History Review 88 (2004) 193.

[61] Waley-Cohen, ‘The New Qing History’, 193.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Cohen, Discovering History (2010), p. lxii.

[66] Rawski, The Last Emperors; Crossley, A Translucent Mirror; Elliot, The Manchu Way.

[67] K. Guy, ‘Who were the Manchus? A Review Essay’ The Journal of Asian Studies 61 (2002) 162.

[68] Cohen, Discovering History (2010), p. xlvii.

[69] J. Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York, 2013), p. 4.

[70] Gladney, Muslim Chinese; Lipman, Familiar Strangers; Harrell, Perspectives on the Yi; Bulag, Nationalism and Hybridity; Goldsein, A History of Modern Tibet; Bovingdon, ‘The History of the History of Xinjiang’.

[71] Cohen, Discovering History , p. xlix.

[72] Cohen, China Unbound, p. 11.

[73] McKeown, ‘Conceptualising Chinese Diasporas’.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Sinn, Pacific Crossing.

[76] Ibid, p. 9.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Cohen, Discovering History , p. liii.

[79] Ibid, p. liv.

[80] A. Sen, ‘East and West: The Reach of Reason’ New York Review of Books 47 (2000) 34.

[81] Cohen, History in Three Keys.

[82] Ibid, p. 3.

[83] Cohen, Discovering History , p. liii.

[84] Guoqi, Chinese and Americans; C. Desnoyers, ‘Chinese and Americans: A Shared History: A Review Essay’ Journal of Asian Studies 75 (2016) 825.

[85] Mann, Gender and Sexuality; Bossler, Gender and Chinese History.

[86] Bossler, Gender and Chinese History, p. 3-5; Holmgren, ‘Family, Marriage and Political Power’.

[87] Mann, Gender and Sexuality; Bossler, Gender and Chinese History, p. 6.

[88] Bossler, Gender and Chinese History, p. 5; Chung, Palace Women.

[89] Hinsch, Passions of the Cut Sleeve.

[90] Cohen, Discovering History , p. 7.

[91] Cohen, Discovering History , p. liii.

[92] Waley-Cohen, ‘The New Qing History’, 193.

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