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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation and Identity of China's Majority

January 24, 2012

It's a pleasure to announce the arrival of "Critical Han Studies: The
History, Representation and Identity of China's Majority," now out on
University of California Press (on the GAIA series). The volume was
edited by Thomas S. Mullaney, James Leibold, Stéphane Gros, and Eric
Vanden Bussche.

The open-access online edition can be found here:

The print edition can be found here:

****Short Description****

Constituting over ninety percent of China's population, Han is not
only the largest ethnonational group in that country but also one of
the largest categories of human identity in world history. In this
pathbreaking volume, a multidisciplinary group of scholars examine
this ambiguous identity, one that shares features with, but cannot be
subsumed under, existing notions of ethnicity, culture, race,
nationality, and civilization.

****Advanced Reviews****

"This collection of trenchant, penetrating essays interrogates what it
means to be 'Han' in China, both historically and today. It will make
a valuable and enduring contribution to our understanding of the
uniqueness and complexity of Chinese history and culture."
- Dru Gladney, Pomona College

"A great book. By examining the social construction of hierarchy in
China, Critical Han Studies sheds light on broad issues of cultural
dominance and in-group favoritism."
- Richard Delgado, author of Critical Race Theory: An Introduction

"A powerful, probing account of the idea of the 'Han Chinese'--that
deceptive category which, like 'American,' is so often presented as a
natural default, even though it really is of recent vintage. . . . A
feast for both Sinologists and comparativists everywhere."
- Magnus Fiskesjö, Cornell University

"This deeply historical, multidisciplinary volume consistently and
fruitfully employs insights from critical race and whiteness studies
in a new arena. In doing so it illuminates brightly how and when ideas
about race and ethnicity change in the service of shifting
configurations of power."
- David Roediger, author of How Race Survived U.S. History

"Addressing the problem of the 'Han' ethnos from a variety of relevant
perspectives - historical, geographical, racial, political, literary,
anthropological, and linguistic - Critical Han Studies offers a
responsible, informative deconstruction of this monumental yet murky
category. It is certain to have an enormous impact on the entire field
of China studies."
- Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania

****Table of Contents****

Critical Han Studies: Introduction and Prolegomenon
Thomas S. Mullaney

01. Recentering China: The Cantonese In and Beyond the Han
Kevin Carrico

02. On Not Looking Chinese: Does “Mixed-Race” Decenter the Han from Chineseness?
Emma J. Teng

03. “Climate’s Moral Economy”: Geography, Race and the Han in Early
Republican China
Zhihong Chen

04. Good Han, Bad Han: The Moral Parameters of Ethnopolitics in China
Uradyn E. Bulag

05. Understanding the Snowball Theory of the Han Nationality
Xu Jieshun

06. Antiquarian as Ethnographer: Han Ethnicity in Early China Studies
Tamara Chin

07. The Han Joker in the Pack: Some Issues of Culture and Identity
from the Minzu Literature
Nicholas Tapp

08. Hushuo: The Northern Other and the Naming of the Han Chinese
Mark Elliott

09. From Subjects to Han: The Rise of Han as Identity in
Nineteenth-Century Southwest China
C. Patterson Giersch

10. Searching for Han: Early Twentieth-Century Narratives of Chinese
Origins and Development
James Leibold

11. Han at Minzu’s Edges: What Critical Han Studies Can Learn from
China’s “Little Tibet”
Chris Vasantkumar

Thomas S. Mullaney
Assistant Professor
Department of History
Stanford University

Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China - NOW IN PAPERBACK
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