Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Cosmopolitan Publics

Cosmopolitan Publics: Anglophone Print Culture in Semi-Colonial Shanghai

Shuang Shen
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 204
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Cosmopolitan Publics
    Book Description:

    Early twentieth-century China paired the local community to the worldùa place and time when English dominated urban-centered higher and secondary education and Chinese-edited English-language magazines surfaced as a new form of translingual practice.

    Cosmopolitan Publics focuses on China's "cosmopolitans"ùWestern-educated intellectuals who returned to Shanghai in the late 1920s to publish in English and who, ultimately, became both cultural translators and citizens of the wider world. Shuang Shen highlights their work in publications such as The China Critic and T'ien Hsia, providing readers with a broader understanding of the role and function of cultural mixing, translation, and multilingualism in China's cultural modernity.

    Decades later, as nationalist biases and political restrictions emerged within China, the influence of the cosmopolitans was neglected and the significance of cosmopolitan practice was underplayed. Shen's encompassing study revisits and presents the experience of Chinese modernity as far more heterogeneous, emergent, and transnational than it has been characterized until now.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-4699-5
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Anglophone Periodicals as Cosmopolitan Publics
    (pp. 1-32)

    Can English be regarded as a Chinese language? What does it mean for English to become a Chinese language? In fact, what is a Chinese language after all? Does “Chinese language” refer to the actual languages spoken by people of Chinese descent, which in many cases are likely to be regional dialects, or does it refer to Mandarin Chinese as the national language? There are many ways of answering these questions. What I intend to highlight by raising them is the tension between addressing China as a nation-state and the history that emerges when one focuses on a linguistic medium...

  5. Chapter 1 The China Critic: Writing the City, the Nation, and the World
    (pp. 33-58)

    The China Criticwas founded on May 31, 1928, by a group of Chinese intellectuals who had studied in the United States and returned to China. It was an English-language weekly with a history of almost two decades, from 1928 to 1945. During the magazine’s existence, the editorial board had many changes, but the long-term members, such as Ma Yinchu, Pan Guangdan, Gui Zhongshu, and Zhang Xinhai, came from a similar background of intense Western education and solid grounding in classical Chinese culture. They graduated from the Qing Hua Preparation School for Chinese Students Going to the United States (Qinghua...

  6. Chapter 2 T’ien Hsia: Cosmopolitanism in Crisis
    (pp. 59-94)

    T’ien Hsia, an English-language monthly published in Shanghai from August 1935 to November 1941, was another Chinese-edited magazine that consciously practiced cosmopolitanism through translating in both directions between China and the outside world. Led by the literary critic Wen Yuanning as chief editor, the editorial board of this magazine consisted of the following: the legal scholar John C. H. Wu, the philosopher T. K. Chuan, literary critics Lin Yutang and Ye Qiuyuan, and the playwright Yao Hsin-nung (a.k.a. Yao Ke). All of the editors except Yao had worked onThe China Critic, butThe China Critic’s editorial board was a...

  7. Chapter 3 Internationalism as a Culture of Translation: Anglophone Internationalist Magazines and Literary Translation
    (pp. 95-134)

    Literary translation is a much-discussed subject in Chinese studies, but due to nationalist biases, translations of foreign literature into Chinese often get far more attention from Chinese studies scholars than translations of Chinese literature into foreign languages.¹ For example, there are few studies of English translations of modern Chinese literature published during the Republican era. However, according to Donald Gibbs and Yunchen Li’sA Bibliography of Studies and Translations of Modern Chinese Literature, 1918–1942, the works of at least thirty Chinese writers and poets of the contemporary period were translated into English within the three decades between 1919 and...

  8. Chapter 4 Migration and Diaspora: The Afterlife of Chinese Cosmopolitanism
    (pp. 135-160)

    Most of the magazines discussed in chapters one through three ended before the beginning of the second phase of Shanghai’s wartime history—the stage of total colonization. The discussions in the preceding chapters try to prove that in spite of the use of a foreign linguistic medium and the participation of foreign-trained Chinese or non-Chinese writers, the magazines themselves were by no means “unlocal” in the sense of being unrelated to such pressing social concerns as colonization, nation building, modernization, Japanese invasion, or the proletarian revolution. At the same time, the magazines also took advantage of the novelty value of...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 161-172)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 173-178)
  11. Index
    (pp. 179-181)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 182-184)
  13. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)