Cultural identity and local self-government : A study of Liu Yizheng's History of Chinese Culture

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

12 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-542
Journal / PublicationModern China
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


Until recently, the study of Chinese historical writings ofthe 1920s and 1930s has centered on "the May Fourth approach to history," especially the Doubting Antiquity Movement (yigu yundong) led by Gu Jiegang. By privileging their historical writings as modern or progressive and labeling their opponents as traditional or regressive, we fail to see the full scope of the modern Chinese historical debate and overlook its social and political underpinnings. In this article, based on a close reading of History of Chinese Culture (Zhongguo wenhua shi) of Liu Yizheng (1880-1956), the author seeks to contextualize the historical debate in terms ofthe political and social change in post-1911 China. Written in the early 1920s when intellectuals still could express different views of the nation without the fear of state censorship, Liu's History of Chinese Culture gave renewed emphasis to local self-government, thereby challenging the expansion of the state. © 2004 Sage Publications.

Research Area(s)

  • Cultural identity, Doubting antiquity movement, Liu Yizheng, Local self-government