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The Australian National University

China Heritage Quarterly

China Heritage Quarterly is an e-journal established in 2005 and edited by Geremie R Barmé. It covers recent developments and scholarship in areas related to China's heritage, culture, history and society.

Each issue of China Heritage Quarterly provides readers with a particular focus on an aspect of the Chinese world. The Focus is amplified in detail in the Editorial which is followed by Features, a section containing articles related to the theme of the issue. Articles contains scholarly and other studies of various aspects of China's cultural heritage or pieces on topics of relevance or interest, while New Scholarship introduces recent scholastic endeavours, conference reports, book reviews, material on recent monographs and, when appropriate, bibliographical material related to the focus of the issue.

This online quarterly is produced under the aegis of the China Heritage Project in the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW), which is itself within the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific. The project provides a focus for university-wide research on traditional China, its modern interpretations and recent scholarship. Under the direction of Geremie Barmé, the Project advocates a 'New Sinology' that builds on traditional Sinological strengths while emphasising a robust engagement with the complex and shifting realities of contemporary China.

To view the latest issue please visit the China Heritage Quarterly website.

Latest Issue

Combined Issue 30/31 (June/September 2012)

This combined June/September 2012 issue of China Heritage Quarterly introduces readers of the early twenty-first century to an important, but now little known, journal of the early twentieth century. Appearing at a time of patriotic concern and social change, intellectual cosmopolitanism and local contestation, the weekly English-language journal The China Critic 中國評論週報 published its first issue in Shanghai in May 1928. Its editors and writers confronted the issues of day with urgency and fluency.

The era of The Critic was also one of mounting international conflict and patriotic fervour. It is timely to reconsider The Critic and also to make available some of the insightful and controversial writing that appeared in its pages over a fourteen-year period.

In our 're-publishing' of The China Critic I have been joined by William Sima and Christopher Rea. A range of other scholars—Shuang Shen, Qian Suoqiao, Michael Hill, Frank Dikötter, Leon Rocha, Fan Liya—have also kindly offered work on various aspects of the era in which The China Critic was published. In New Scholarship, Shuge Wei also introduces her recently completed doctoral thesis on Republican era English-language propaganda. This body of recent scholarship provides new insights into the extraordinary period known as 'the Nanjing Decade'. It is fortuitous since the December 2012 issue of China Heritage Quarterly takes as its focus the city and world of Nanjing/Nanking (an issue devoted to 'Fakes, Phonies, Forgeries and Follies' previously scheduled for September 2012 will appear instead in 2013).

In T'ien Hsia we reproduce an essay by Lin Yutang, the irrepressible 'Little Critic', on censorship. It is a piece that, like so much of the material presented in these virtual pages from The China Critic era, reads as though it is addressing the realities of today's China, and not merely those of eighty years hence. Jeffrey Wasserstrom remarks on the American literary ingénue, Emily Hahn, who has previously featured in our work on Shanghai and T'ien Hsia, and we conclude Pierre Ryckmans' 1996 Boyer Lectures with his meditation on 'going abroad and staying home'.

In Articles Tina Kanagaratnam introduces the M Literary Festivals of Shanghai and Beijing which, in recent years, have become a feature of the neo-cosmopolitan cultural life of those two cities, and we reprint a chapter from Randall Gould's 1946 book, China In the Sun. New Scholarship continues our discussion of the Qing reformer/Republican thinker Kang Youwei. Also in this section David Brophy, an historian with the Australian Centre on China in the World, offers an update on Frontier (Inner Asian) Studies. Our colleague Duncan Campbell and his team of young scholars conclude this issue with a selection of letters from the great late-Ming writer of belle-lettres, Yuan Hongdao.

The Dragon Year of 2012-2013 marks a major moment of national political transition in China. Like so many dragon years in the past, this year has been witness both to high drama and to political farce. It has also been a period when, as in The China Critic years, Sino-Japanese tensions have featured prominently. As work on this combined issue of China Heritage Quarterly was drawing to an end, the Australian Centre on China in the World, under whose aegis this e-journal appears, launched The China Story Project, along with a yearbook (see: The Project attempts to provide varying accounts of The China Story. It is a story that has been told, debated, retold and contended since the end of the Qing dynasty over a century ago. Reconsidering The China Critic some eighty-five years since its debut is also timely as China confronts many of the issues that relate to that country's 'unfinished twentieth century'.

Geremie R. Barmé
Editor, 'China Heritage Quarterly'

Further Reading

The Forbidden City, by Geremie R. Barmé, London: Profile Books/Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Updated:  12 June 2014/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World