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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.   

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