New This Month in Asian Studies - June 2024

New This Month in Asian Studies - June 2024

This month we have two books from our Chinese Philosophy and Culture series to share. The series provides a broad consideration of Chinese philosophy and culture, encompassing both historical sinological research and more purely philosophical work. It covers material from early China to the modern period, and includes philosophy, religion, literature, the arts, and culture generally. A well-regarded and prominent component of the series is work in comparative East-West philosophy.

Myth and the Making of History: Narrating Early China with Sarah Allan, edited by Constance A. Cook, Christopher J. Foster, and Susan Blader, sheds new light on the relationship between myth and history in ancient China and the central role they have played in shaping early Chinese thought. 

A topic that has been explored by American paleographer and scholar of ancient China Sarah Allan throughout her career. Allan has worked at a crucial and sensitive intersection, where myth and history collide at the very heart of China's origin story. Her work has created an intellectual space in which the disciplines of philosophy, history, anthropology, archeology, philology, and literature have come together, helping to change the way scholars conceive of historical patterns in China's past. In Myth and the Making of History, eleven senior and emerging scholars, from both China and the West, respond to the intellectual challenge raised by Allan's theoretical model of analysis of mythologized and historical figures (and even dynasties) that have intrigued scholars for generations and play a central role in the Chinese historical imagination. The book will be of great interest to all scholars and students of China—of whatever level and discipline—and, indeed, those concerned with other early civilizations as well.

New in paperback, Confucian Iconoclasm: Textual Authority, Modern Confucianism, and the Politics of Antitradition in Republican China, by Philippe Major, challenges deep-seated assumptions about the traditionalist nature of Confucianism by providing a new interpretation of the emergence of modern Confucianism in Republican China.

"Major's work has the capacity to liberate twentieth-century Chinese philosophy as well as history from the interpretative shackles of the tradition/modernity dyad, thereby making possible intellectual life no longer subject to the hegemony of May Fourth ideology." — Lionel M. Jensen, University of Notre Dame

"Philippe Major offers a systematic engagement with and intervention in May Fourth historiography by reinterpreting Confucian conservatism as Confucian iconoclasm, with its radical and antitraditionalist stance and worldview. It's high time we had such a book." — On-cho Ng, Pennsylvania State University

Happy reading and come back and see what's new next month!