The Newsletter 89 Summer 2021

IBP 2021 Chinese Language Edition

Total number of books submitted: 46

Organizing Institute: National Chengchi University
Secretary: Hong-Yi Lien
Acting Secretary: Cha-Hsuan Liu
Reading Committee Members: Asami Yoji and Táňa Dluhošová (humanities); Hong-Yi Lien and Cha-Hsuan Liu (social sciences)
Sponsor of the IBP 2021 Chinese Language Edition: National Chengchi University

National Chengchi University



AUTHOR: Shao-Hua Liu 劉紹華

TITLE: Leprosy Doctors in China’s Post-Imperial Experimentation: Metaphors of a Disease and Its Control 麻風醫生與巨變中國:後帝國實驗下的疾病隱喻與防疫歷史

PUBLISHER: Acropolis, an imprint of Walkers Cultural Enterprises, Ltd. 衛城出版/遠足文化事業股份有限公司

To content the heavily stigmatised epidemic of Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) in China, People’s Republic of China (PRC) took the approach of “coercive humanitarianism”, a leprosy isolation policy that has urged the establishment of leprosy villages from the 1950s onwards. Liu Shaohua investigates the work of leprosy doctors in the time and space as an attempt to establish a post-imperial and socialist hygienic modernity, with special attention to the stigma attached to both lepers and healthcare professionals, and likewise suffered. It is a study of medical anthropology, a history of public health, a research of social policy, but also the concern and care for the disadvantaged groups. With sincerity and a rigorous attitude, Liu expounds the intricate relationship between diseases, individual groups, policies, and political systems. Under the two axes of time and topic, the book discusses the biopolitical power represented in public health and epidemic prevention, as well as the personal and collective destiny under this power. Today our world is under the public health emergency of COVID pandemic, the global political and economic system is experimenting various social controls to content the epidemic for rebuilding a "normal society." The reflection and implication of this book on the collective interests and individual rights and interests are specially inspiring for us to contemplate.


IBP 2021 Chinese Language Shortlist

Above and Apart: Gu Mengyu and His Search for an Alternative Path in Modern Chinese HistoryAUTHOR: Max Ko-wu Huang 黃克武 著

TITLE: Above and Apart: Gu Mengyu and His Search for an Alternative Path in Modern Chinese History 顧孟餘的清高: 中國近代史的另一種可能

PUBLISHER: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2020.

History is usually the story of the men in the limelight, not those in the shadows. Huang Kewu, however, proves otherwise. The strength of the book lies in the art of introducing a seemingly lesser and long-forgotten historical figure. By telling the story of Gu Mengyu, a respected voice differed from the mainstream ideology of KMT led by Chiang Kai-shek, Huang takes the reader all the way back to Republican China, shining a light on the political scene, the internal dynamics of the KMT in the late 1920s and 30s, but also on the workings of academia at the time and thus reveals the complex history of Republican China and the position of public intellectuals. By employing an extraordinarily wide range of sources such as contemporaneous newspaper reports in Chinese, English, and Japanese; archival sources both from Taiwan and the US; and ego-documents of Gu’s contemporaries, the author paints a rich picture of Republican history both in China and Taiwan.



Medicine as On-going MeaningsAUTHOR: Chen Hao (ed. Hu Wenbo) 陈昊 著 /胡文波 责编

TITLE: Medicine as On-going Meanings: The Order of Books, Physicians’ Body and the Emergence of Medical Identities in 6-8th Century China 身分叙事与知识表述之间的医者之意—6-8世纪中国的书籍秩序、为医之体与医学身分的浮现

PUBLISHER: Shanghai Chinese Classics Publishing House 上海古籍出版社, 2019.

This book is themed with the history of medicine of the 6th to 8th century. The author is not satisfied with the traditional discourse on factual level but strives to approach the topic from a sophisticated perspective along with multilevel analysis. Throughout all chapters, the following opposite viewpoints were presented. One is the comparison between upper class and lower class, another is between the presentation of entities and abstract image-shaping methods, the other is between the doctors as “individuals” and the “books/texts” that in turn shapes the images of individuals. In most of the chapters, the author puts efforts on the echoes of these basic contexts. On top of this, the author also interweaves knowledge and methodologies of narratology, codicology, grammatology, buddhology and other fields making the book magnificent and forming a picture of a solid and polished ancient medical world.


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood TaiwanAUTHOR: Chih-Heng Su 蘇致亨, 

TITLE: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Taiwan: The Life and Death of Taiwanese Hokkien Cinema 毋甘願的電影史:曾經,臺灣有個好萊塢.

PUBLISHER: SpringHill Publishing春山出版有限公司 , 2020.

This book fills a void in the historiography of Taiwanese cinema by telling the story of one sector of the Taiwanese film industry, reconstructed through intensive archival research and in-depth interviews. The author places Taiwanese-language films center stage that have been neglected for a long time. Not only does the author challenge many of the stereotypes that have informed our understanding of Taiwanese-language movies, but he also sheds a light on how political pressures in the post-war era impacted on local culture and how technical challenges influenced local filmmaking in particular. Not dwelling unduly on theory, the book’s witty and reader-friendly style throws light on a revealing aspect of Taiwan’s post-war cultural history while broadening its perspective to encompass political and economic transformations throughout East Asia as a whole, while nevertheless avoiding the pitfalls of political determinism. The book’s fluent style is both an inspiration and a challenge to the academic publication system.



Best Book Translation into the Chinese Language Accolade

Paths toward the Modern Fiscal State: England, Japan and ChinaAUTHOR: Wenkai He (trans. Jingling Wang) 和文凱 著 / 汪精玲 譯

TITLE: Paths toward the Modern Fiscal State: England, Japan and China 通向現代財政國家的路徑:英國、日本和中國

PUBLISHER: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2020.

Combining institutionalism, historical analysis, and economics, this book sheds light on the reasons and process of how modern fiscal states form and emerge through comparative historical research. The innovative and persuasive elucidation is impressive and inspiring. Making use of abundant historical data, the author probes into various variables that may lead to the result of whether states would transform to modern fiscal states or not, and then he eliminates variables that cannot give a clear explanation, leaving the critical ones—socio-economic environment and significant historical events. The systematical and deliberate analysis with clear logic makes an accomplishment and offers some insights in this field. With this book, the interaction between economy and politics is shown again, and the importance of path dependence and occurrence of credit crisis are emphasized, which helps us know better about the development and transformation from domain states or traditional fiscal states to modern fiscal states.