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America Through Chinese Eyes: The Role of Nationalism Peter Gries THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA EAI / NCTA The Old and New China Merge Tulsa, OK 15 November.

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Presentation on theme: "America Through Chinese Eyes: The Role of Nationalism Peter Gries THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA EAI / NCTA The Old and New China Merge Tulsa, OK 15 November."— Presentation transcript:

1 America Through Chinese Eyes: The Role of Nationalism Peter Gries THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA EAI / NCTA The Old and New China Merge Tulsa, OK 15 November 2014

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25 Victimization and Mourning

26 Heroism and Resistance FDNY UA 93 passengers who fought the terrorists

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28 China’s Trauma: The “Century of Humiliation” Narratives of past exploitation and anti-imperialist nationalism today

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40 The Maoist “Victor” Narrative Heroism –Lin Zexu 林则徐 Resistance –“War of Resistance Against Japan” 抗日战争 –“War to Resist America and Aid Korea” 抗美援朝

41 The victor narrative today

42 The post-Mao “Victim” Narrative Death Dismemberment

43 1997: A Year of Some Significance? Victor narrative hegemonic under Mao –Narrative of anti-imperialist resistance and triumph needed for PRC nation-building. 1997: victim narrative becomes hegemonic? –Summer 1996-Winter 1997: “China Can Say “No’!” sensation. –Spring, Summer 1997: “Hong Kong’s Return.” –Fall, Winter 1997: 60 th Anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.

44 Eichmann’s trial, 1961 Israel

45 The “Victim” Narrative in China: The Trope of Rape Iris Chang’s 1997 The Rape of Nanking

46 Narrative (Re)definitions of national identity are both constrained and enabled by the narratives or stories we tell about our national pasts. “Pastism” –E.g. W.J.F. Jenner’s Tyranny of History (1992): “6/4” and the weight of the past. “Presentism” –E.g. Paul Cohen (1997): Chinese historians “draw on [the past] to serve the political, ideological, rhetorical, and/or emotional needs of the present.”

47 Backwards / Beaten 落后挨打 The backwards will be beaten. – 落后就要挨打 Backwards because beaten. – 落后因为挨打

48 The 1999 Belgrade Embassy Bombing and the 2001 “Spy Plane” Collision: Why were so many Chinese so angry?

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52 Seen as insults 羞辱 : “Fellow Chinese, this is actually Americans humiliating us! The American desire to humiliate us is no mere recent event. Blocking our hosting of the Olympics was a humiliation. Boarding the Milky Way by force to search its cargo was a humiliation. Recent allegations that we stole their [nuclear] secrets are a humiliation. The motive for the bombing of our embassy was also to humiliate China.” - 欧阳桦 to GMD in 1999.

53 May 1999 People’s Daily editorial “This is not 1899 China” “This is 1999, not This is not… the age when people can barge about in the world just by sending a few gunboats… It is not the age when the Western powers plundered the Imperial Palace at will, destroyed the Old Summer Palace, and seized Hong Kong and Macao… China is a China that has stood up; it is a China that defeated the Japanese fascists; it is a China that had a trial of strength and won victory over the United States on the Korean battleground. The Chinese people are not to be bullied, and China’s sovereignty and dignity are not to be violated. The hot blood of people of ideas and integrity who opposed imperialism for over 150 years flows in the veins of the Chinese people. U.S.-led NATO had better remember this.”

54 Obama in China, 2014


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