Lagging

Mohammad Fadel, in Islamic Monthly (h/t Naheed Mustafa) chides critics of Islam who take contemporary Western ideals of egalitarianism and personal freedom as their measure, saying: In this respect, Maher and Harris reflect the all too common historical amnesia common among liberals, who are too quick to forget the recentness of the egalitarian achievements of […]

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Why go to college?

Tea Leaf Nation has a post up on a micro-trend of Chinese kids not going to college, or at least one parent not being willing to pay for it, on the grounds that “Today, even peddlers who collect garbage…make more money than many graduates.” This is also something of a trend in the U.S., where […]

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Nationalism sucks

A very sad post from the Economist on the problem of the zodiac heads. Basically, a wealthy Frenchman has agreed to donate two of the bronze heads stolen from the Summer Palace in 1860 back to ‘China’. What I find most depressing is the use of the Summer Palace as a symbol of foreign oppression […]

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Thurify yourself

One of the things we have read for the May Fourth class I am teaching is Liang Qichao’s On the Relationship between Fiction and the Government of the People (論小說與羣治的關係)1  It is a good reading if you want to explain to students why May 4thers cared so much about literature, and also why everyone should […]

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Daiyou Islands: New Sources, New Clarity?

NYT reporter Nick Kristof brought in a guest blogger, Han-Yi Shaw of Taiwan, to examine some new mid-Meiji documentation about Japan’s relationship with the contested Senkaku/Daiyou islands. The core of Shaw’s findings is the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership of the islands back in 1885. After several abortive attempts to survey the islands, the Japanese […]

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Life imitates The Office

As someone who is a member of an academic department and of two University-wide committees I think a lot about bureaucracy. Since I am teaching Modern China this semester I am also thinking about the history of bureaucracy. Actually, I’m not sure it -has- a history, since the basic principles seem to be timeless and […]

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