Xiang Biao and Wu Qi

Jan 15, 2023

Self as Method

Thinking Through China and the World

Palgrave Macmillan 2022

Today I had the pleasure of talking to Professor Xiang Biao on his new book, Self as Method: Thinking Through China and the World, which was originally written and published in Chinese. The English translation has just come out with Palgrave Macmillan.

Self as Method provides a manifesto of intellectual activism that counsels China’s young people to think by themselves and for themselves. Consisting of three conversations between Xiang Biao, a social anthropologist, and Wu Qi, a rising journalist, the book probes how China has reached its current stage and how young people can make changes.

The Chinese version, 把自己作为方法, was named the “most impactful book of 2021” by Dou4ban4, China’s premier website for rating books, films, and music. The English version, which is entirely Open Access and downloadable for free, was translated by David Ownby. The book reached 157,000 downloads in just over a couple of months.

Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China.

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