New Book: Knowledge, Power, and Networks. Elites in Transition in Modern China
The ENP-China project is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of the first book resulting from the ENP-China team’s work and the meetings and discussions that we organized with a group of international “like-minded” historians.
At the level of the chapters written by the members of the team, we are indebted to the collaborative work carried out with our colleagues in computer science/NLP/data science.
The contributors include a broad array of young and seasoned historians: Cécile Armand (Aix-Marseille University), Peter E. Hamilton (Lingnan University), Christian Henriot (Aix-Marseille University), Marilyn Levine (Central Washington University), Ling-ling Lien (Academia Sinica, Institute of Modern History), Yi-tang Lin (University of Geneva), Henrike Rudolf (University of Göttingen), Brett Sheehan (University of Southern California), Huei-min Sun (Academia Sinica, Institute of Modern History).
This volume was co-edited with two historians who belong to the next generation of China scholars, Sun Huei-min and Cécile Armand. I am particularly proud, on the book cover, to be framed between these two talented women.
The book is advertised on the website of Brill. We hope it will be a milestone in rethinking historical research in the direction of an integrated, data-rich history. It should be the first of a series of collective works that explore original, even unpublished sources, with innovative methods.
In the past decades, the world has watched the rise of China as an economic and military power and the emergence of Chinese transnational elites. What may seem like an entirely new phenomenon marks the revival of a trend initiated at the end of the Qing. There distribution of power, wealth and knowledge among the newly formed elites matured during the Republican period.
This volume demonstrates both the difficulty and the value of re-thinking the elites in modern China. It establishes that the study of the dynamic tensions within the elite and among elite groups in this epochal era is within reach if we are prepared to embrace forms of historical inquiry that integrate the abundant and even limitless historical resources, and to engage with the rich repertoire of digital techniques/instruments available and question our previous research paradigms. This renewed approach brings historical research closer to an integrative data-rich history of modern China.