Xin FanJun 7, 2023
World History and National Identity in China
The Twentieth Century
Cambridge University Press 2021
Nationalism is pervasive in China today. Yet nationalism is not entrenched in China's intellectual tradition. Over the course of the twentieth century, the combined forces of cultural, social, and political transformations nourished its development, but resistance to it has persisted.
In World History and National Identity in China: The Twentieth Century (Cambridge UP, 2021), Xin Fan examines the ways in which historians working on the world beyond China from within China have attempted to construct narratives that challenge nationalist readings of the Chinese past and the influence that these historians have had on the formation of Chinese identity. He traces the ways in which generations of historians, from the late Qing through the Republican period, through the Mao period to the relative moment of 'opening' in the 1980s, have attempted to break cross-cultural boundaries in writing an alternative to the national narrative.