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Monday, October 27, 2014


Just stumbled across a SCMP article concerning a liberal journal I'd never heard of:  Yanhuang chunqiu.  Looks like grist for our mill.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ge Zhaoguang's English-language publications

(二)我的《宅茲中國》的引言部分,沒有翻譯成英文,但是,另外一篇內容大致相同,但較為簡明的文章,已經翻譯成英文,發表在Frontiers of History in China,Vol.9,No.1; March,2014,pp125-146,我 把譯文放在附件中(0-1),請您看一看。The text is here

(三)《宅茲中國》現在正在翻譯,兩位來自Minnesota University的博士正在翻譯,計劃在Brill出版。

(四)我另外有兩篇沒有發表過的英文文章,其中一篇就是那兩位博士翻譯的《宅茲中國》中的一章《邊關 何處》,另外一篇是新的,討論東亞面對西洋宗教的反應,沒有發表。都在附件中(2-7和2-3)。 The texts are here and here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sun Liping, "Toward a Sociology of Practice"

from David

So I finished a first draft of Sun Liping's article.  What I decided to do for the purposes of the project is to make available a warts-and-all version of the translation, including Chinese text, my own questions, etc., in Word form, so that other team members can make revisions, etc.  That version is here.  At the same time, for purposes of readability and eventual judgement of the utility of the piece to broader project goals, I also produced a second, moderately clean version in PDF.  That version is here.

My own reflections after spending 10-12 hours on the piece.  It is interesting, but I doubt its utility to the broader project (or at least to the documentary).  Sun is too theoretical here, which means that I am not sure I always understood him; his Chinese is clear--this is an interview after all--but I don't read widely in sociological theory and thus might have missed some nuance.  He mentions case studies that might be more appropriate for our project, although these would have been done prior to the publication of this interview in 2003 and thus are starting to get a bit dated.  The part of the interview dealing with market transition strikes me as quite dated.

If Sun is a prominent public intellectual, I'm not sure this piece demonstrates those qualities.  It's a bit too "inside baseball."

Having translated this piece, I have no idea where Sun fits on our schema of liberals, new Confucians and new authoritarians.

I also noticed while getting this done that the Chinese version of Google scholar does a citation count.  In other words, you can type Sun Liping or any other Chinese author into Chinese google scholar, and their articles and books come out in rank order decided by citation count.  This is surely at least a weak measure of the impact the piece had.  That said, the numbers are low, which probably means that not many Chinese scholars are using Google scholar.

I also discovered that Google translate is MUCH more useful for this kind of text than it is for the stuff I usually read.  Makes sense that whoever put it together would have started from modern China and maybe worked backward, rather than from religious scriptures and diaries of old gurus.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sun Liping

From David

Intrigued by Tim's introduction of Sun Liping and the concept of Chinese Communist civilization, I looked into it briefly this morning.  Here is part of what I learned.

There is a French scholar, Aurore Merle, who has worked considerably on Sun and his group.  François Lachapelle will certainly know of her.  Here's her cv.  Looks like she's still at Qinghua.

Here are a few articles:

Merle Aurore, « De la reconstruction de la discipline à l'interrogation sur la transition : la sociologie chinoise à l'épreuve du temps », Cahiers internationaux de sociologie 1/ 2007 (n° 122), p. 31-52
URL : 
DOI : 

Merle Aurore, « Sociologie de la transition, transition de la sociologie », Cahiers internationaux de sociologie 1/ 2007 (n° 122), p. 5-6
URL : 
DOI : 

Those links may or may not be live, depending on a variety of factors; if you're using your institution's university address, they should work.  Otherwise you may have to fiddle.

There's also this one:  Merle Aurore, "Vers une sociologie chinoise de la "civilisation communiste"
In: Perspectives chinoises. N°81, 2004. pp. 4-15, for which I found the pdf.  When you click on the link, you'll get the document.  And here it is in English.  The article is useful for us, but is really little more than a research note.  Here is Sun's article that Aurore cites on "Chinese communist civilization."  It is in fact a relatively short interview with a journalist from a review that I had never heard of.  Which is of course great to translate--and I will do so unless I find something better.

Sun Liping seems to publish about 10 articles a year.  Most are for his peers, and undoubtedly have all the charm of academic sociology articles anywhere in the world.  ONE of the things we need to look for in our choices of what to translate is readability:  no point in having the world's best documentary reader filled with turgid crap that no one can get through.  Still, how to pick the piece that best exemplifies Sun's role as a public intellectual may be a puzzle we won't always solve well. It would probably be best to find something readable and deal with other issues in the introduction and the notes, etc.  Even in the classroom, it does not work to say simply "this is really interesting!"  I at least have to tell the students WHY it's interesting.