Book Announcement: The Challenge of Linear Time: Nationhood and the Politics of History in East Asia

The Challenge of Linear TimeThe Challenge of Linear Time: Nationhood and the Politics of History in East Asia

Edited by: Viren Murthy, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Axel Schneider, University of Goettingen
(Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2013)
302 pp
ISBN13: 9789004260139
E-ISBN: 9789004260146

The papers collected in this volume congeal around a debate about the ways and extent of the dominance of linear time and progressive history and the concomitant delineation of the nation in Chinese and Japanese historiography. As China and Japan entered the global capitalist system of nation states, the Chinese and Japanese regimes implemented a number of reforms, which resulted in transformations that affected everyday experience. In the face of imperialism and the perceived threat of being split up, the Meiji and late Qing governments radically reoriented policies in order to become wealthy and powerful in the global arena. People not only began to experience time and space in new ways, but elites also were increasingly exposed to Western theories of history and concepts of nationhood, which became dominant. These changes contributed to the production of new types of historical consciousness and collective identity. The essays in this volume each provide a perspective on the complex ways in which imagining national and regional identity in East Asia were and continue to be enmeshed with visions of time and history. This book should be of interest to all those who are interested in nationalism, modernity in China and Japan, global capitalism and the politics of time.

Table of contents

Viren Murthy, Axel Schneider
Time, History, and Moral Responsibility
1. Negativity and historicist time: facticity and intellectual history of the 1930s
Naoki Sakai
2. Ontological Optimism, Cosmological Confusion, and Unstable Evolution: Tan Sitong’s Renxue and Zhang Taiyan’s Response
Viren Murthy
3. Nation, history and ethics: the choices of post-imperial historiography in China
Axel Schneider
4. Reading Takeuchi Yoshimi and Reading History
Sun Ge
The Burden of the Past and the Hope for a Better Future
5. An Eschatological View of History: Yoshimi Takeuchi in the 1960s
Takahiro Nakajima
6. The Campaign to Criticize Lin Biao and Confucius and the Problem of ‘Restoration’ in Chinese Marxist Historiography
Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik
Recollection of the Past and the Popularization of History
7. Popular Readings and Wartime Historical Writings in Modern China
Long-hsin Liu
8. Figuring History and Horror in a Provincial Museum: The Water Dungeon, the Rent Collection Courtyard, and the Socialist Undead
Haiyan Lee
History and the Definition of Spatial, Cultural and Temporal Boundaries
9. Revolution as Restoration: Meanings of ‘National Essence’ and ‘National Learning’ in Guocui xuebao
Tze-ki Hon
10. Temporality of Knowledge and History Writing in Early Twentieth-Century China. Liu Yizheng and A History of Chinese Culture
Ya-pei Kuo

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About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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