East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

April 3, 2011
by campus

Spring 2011 Schedule

Spring 2011 Workshop Schedule
April 5
“The Ambivalence of Modernity: Body Discipline in Early Tsinghua College, 1911-1928”
Chen Chen
Doctoral Student, Anthropology, University of Chicago
April 19
“Territorialization, Military Reorganization and Mongolian Nationalism in Hulun Buir, 1900-1930”
Liping Wang
Doctoral Candidate, Sociology, University of Chicago
May 3
“Invest for Advancement: Political Incentives and Investment Growth in Post-Reform China”
Xin Sun
Doctoral Student, Political Science, Northwestern University
May 17
“Recasting the State: Feminist Trajectories in India and China”
Professor Dongxiao Liu
Assistant Professor, Sociology, Texas A&M University
May 31
“The Growing Impact of the CCP as an Organization in the Chinese Communist Revolution”
Jin Xu
Doctoral Candidate, Sociology, University of Chicago

The workshop meets on alternative Tuesdays 4:30-5:50pm at Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Avenue. Papers or abstracts are typically available on our website http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/ .
Questions and comments should be directly addressed to the coordinator Jean Lin jeanlin@uchicago.edu.

Faculty Sponsors
Dali Yang (Political Science) daliyang@uchicago.edu
Dingxin Zhao, (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

April 3, 2011
by campus

April 5

Workshop on East Asia:
Politics, Economy and Society Presents

“The Ambivalence of Modernity: Body Discipline in Early Tsinghua College (1911-1928)”

Chen Chen
Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
4:30-5:50pm, Tuesday
April 5, 2011
Pick Lounge
5828 South University Ave.

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/
Student coordinator: Jean Lin (jeanlin@uchicago.edu)
Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao
The workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance, please contact the student coordinator in advance.

Abstract: Supported by America’s returned indemnity funds, Tsinghua College was established to educate a generation of Chinese elites in the hope that they would embraced the cultural ideals of western modernity and develop a friendly attitude towards American Open Door policies. Discipline, I argue, was an important mechanism for inscribing ideals like rationality, civility, hygiene and efficiency onto the bodies of Tsinghua students. Discipline colonized space and time at Tsinghua, introducing a structured timetable to regulate daily the routines of students according to clock time and transforming a space of national humiliation into a modern disciplinary institution. The disciplinary space and time, however, never ceased taking on hybrid forms and evoking students’ self-contradictory feeling towards colonization and modernity. Ironically, Tsinghua students internalized disciplinary order. They perceived self-discipline as a type of Confucian self-cultivation and as a means to increase their chances of survival in international and interracial competition. This hybrid body discourse on self-discipline and self-governance revealed students’ ambivalent political subjectivity: on the one hand, they imagined their “modernized” bodies to be models for other “unenlightened” Chinese individuals. On the other hand, they were aware of their identity as the subjects to the superior West. The cultural politics of students’ resistance, however, were trapped in the discourses of Chinese modernity, full of contradictions, heterogeneities and ambivalences.

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