China and Inner Asia
To mark the centenary of 1919, Twentieth-Century China has planned a special issue, “A Century Later: New Readings of May Fourth”, slated for release in March 2019.
The intellectual impetus for the project stems from changes in the field over the past decades. Since the early twentieth century, May Fourth has been historicized as an event that profoundly shaped Chinese modernity. At the turn of the twenty-first century, this historicization, however, underwent a thorough reassessment. In its wake, scholars today are more than ever aware of the pitfalls in the received narrative, and are challenged to rethink the meaning of May Fourth.
The special issue represents an attempt to answer this challenge; the volume will comprise 9 pieces of scholarly writing on May Fourth from different angles. The roundtable constitutes the final and an important step in the collaboration. Celebrating the fruition of the special issue, it invites five contributors to reflect on the current state of May Fourth scholarship and the implications of their interventions. Each of them will highlight a different theme that has been central in their contribution.
• Transnationalism (Paul J. Bailey)
• Social history of the radical movement (Xuduo Zhao)
• Science and the market of knowledge (Bridie Andrews)
• Polarities and intellectual polemics (Ya-pei Kuo)
• Recent Chinese historiography (Q. Edward Wang)
Kristin Stapleton, the editor of Twentieth-Century China, will guide the conversation and serve as the chair of the session. In addition to the five discussants, participants in the special issue who are committed to other panel proposals will attend the session and join in the discussion as well.
For the benefit of enlarging the audience’s involvement, the publisher of Twentieth-Century China has given permission to circulate the five discussants’ contributions on the AAS website prior to the annual conference. Those who have access to the journal via Project Muse are encouraged to read the special issue before attending the session.