Hybrid Voices: The Famine and Jiangnan Activism

Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley

in Tears from Iron

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520253025
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934221 | DOI:
Hybrid Voices: The Famine and Jiangnan Activism

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Among all the observers of the Incredible Famine, it was Chinese philanthropists and journalists in Shanghai and other cities in the wealthy Jiangnan region whose perspectives on the disaster were most significantly shaped by cross-cultural conversation. In their concerted effort to limit the famine's pernicious effects, influential members of the Jiangnan elite drew ideas not only from Chinese texts and philanthropic traditions but also from foreign discussions of relief campaigns overseas and of the benefits of Western technology. Relief activities in the Lower Yangzi region were spearheaded by philanthropists in inland cities such as Suzhou, as well as by members of Shanghai's treaty-port elite. Shanghai, however, was the locus of China's first Western-style press, and the place most influenced by foreign critiques of Qing relief efforts and by the foreign presence itself.

Keywords: Incredible Famine; Chinese philanthropists; Jiangnan region; relief campaigns; Western technology; Shanghai

Chapter.  9556 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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