Wang Hui (trans. Michael Gibbs Hill)
China from Empire to Nation-State
Harvard University Press 2014
Michael Gibbs Hill‘s new translation renders into English, for the first time, the introduction and overview to Wang Hui‘s 4-volume Rise of Modern Chinese Thought (Xiandai Zhongguo sixiangde xingqi, 2004). China from Empire to Nation-State (Harvard University Press, 2014) thus makes available to an English-reading audience a fascinating perspective on the history and historiography of modern China in the context of a larger global frame. Hill’s translation offers a view of Chinese history that’s very different from some dominant contemporary approaches to the modern, early modern, colonial, and imperial histories of China. In doing so, it opens up a more richly textured way of thinking about modern China, and offers a tool for creating useful dialogue among local historiographies of empire, nation-state, modernity, and much more. In the course of our conversation Hill and I also discussed his craft as a translator, so this interview will be of particular interest to listeners engaged with practices and histories of translation. Enjoy!