Culture as History

Leigh Jenco

in Changing Referents

Published in print November 2015 | ISBN: 9780190263812
Published online October 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190263843 | DOI:
Culture as History

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After the 1911 Revolution failed to secure stable republican government, intellectuals of the May Fourth movement turned attention to the problems of Chinese culture. Conservatives and radicals both saw Eastern and Western cultures as situated in time, leading them to ask how they might collectively reproduce (in the future) the conditions under which knowledge has been produced (in the past) in various Western locales. These questions were centered, for both radical participants such as Chen Duxiu as well as more moderate voices such as Du Yaquan, on how China’s past might be situated as “global” or at least understood as part of a larger world. By articulating their place in this global, shared history, both radical and moderate May Fourth thinkers forged diverse connections to Euro-American communities heretofore seen as culturally distant.

Keywords: May Fourth movement; culture; global history; radicalism; conservatism; Chinese culture; Chen Duxiu; Du Yaquan

Chapter.  7528 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics ; Political Theory

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