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Translocal Melancholy: Ba Jin’s Anarcho-Humanism in Republican Shanghai
March 8, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Ba Jin (1904-2005) is one of the most celebrated authors of twentieth-century China. Most widely known for his novel Family (first serialized in 1931), Ba Jin was an anarchist inspired by Kropotkin and Bakunin who corresponded with such prominent international figures as Emma Goldman (1869-1940), Alexander Berkman (1870-1936), and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1883-1927).
This lecture examines the earliest period of Ba Jin’s output, from 1929-33, in light of his anarchist commitments. Attention to the martyrologies of Japanese, Italian-American, and Russian revolutionaries Ba Jin wrote in this period reveal the way in which his short stories and novels combined letters and memoir into ostensible fiction. Burton-Rose argues that Ba Jin’s internationalist anarchist vision was predicated on continual return to a small repertoire of emotions that he conceived of as universal, and seek to unify the early stage of his oeuvre through the appeal to common humanity underlying his fiction and non-fiction.
Daniel Burton-Rose is a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow at the North Carolina State University and a participant in the collaborative project “Accounting for Uncertainty: Prediction And Planning in Asia’s History” organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. He is currently working on a book manuscript on elite religiosity in the city of Suzhou in the early Qing dynasty based on his doctoral dissertation in the Department of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. He has
published in the peer-reviewed journals Asian Medicine: Tradition & Modernity and Daoism: Religion, History, and Society, contributed to the conference volume Transgender China (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012), and authored the American Studies volume on global Maoisms Guerrilla USA: The George Jackson Brigade and the Anticapitalist Underground of the 1970s (University of California Press, 2010).
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