China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
The spectrum of sentiments spread among Chinese public towards foreign people and countries during Qing and Republican periods varied from contempt and ridicule to admiration and envy, depending on historical, political, cultural, economic and social circumstances. By presenting four examples of the discourse on foreigners and their ideas in Chinese fiction and periodic press, the panel aims to look at Chinese perceptions of foreign-ness from the point of view of mass readership.
The panel starts with a discussion on how foreigners were described in a collection of humorous stories by Yuan Mei, where it becomes evident that foreigners, non-Chinese and non-humans were closely interconnected. The second paper shows the way foreign literature, although welcomed as a source of inspiration and education, had to be masked as Chinese in origin and morale when published in Shenbao. The third presentation follows the evolution of anti-Communist propaganda in Shanghai-based foreign press of the late 1920s and its spread to Chinese mass media. The last speaker aims to demonstrate the way these dualistic sentiments evolved into premonition of a planetary catastrophe caused by world powers in the visual satire of the 1930s.