A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology

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University of California Press, 1999 - 403 pages
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In this landmark exploration of the origins of nationalism and cultural identity in China, Pamela Kyle Crossley traces the ways in which a large, early modern empire of Eurasia, the Qing (1636-1912), incorporated neighboring, but disparate, political traditions into a new style of emperorship. Drawing on a wide variety of primary sources, including Manchu, Korean, and Chinese archival materials, Crossley argues that distortions introduced in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century historical records have blinded scholars to the actual course of events in the early years of the dynasty. This groundbreaking study examines the relationship between the increasingly abstract ideology of the centralizing emperorship of the Qing and the establishment of concepts of identity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, before the advent of nationalism in China. Concluding with a broad-ranging postscript on the implications of her research for studies of nationalism and nation-building throughout modern Chinese history, "A Translucent Mirror" combines a readable narrative with a sophisticated, revisionary look at China's history. Crossley's book will alter current understandings of the Qing emperorship, the evolution of concepts of ethnicity, and the legacy of Qing rule for modern Chinese nationalism.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Ideology Rulership and History
9
Conquest and the Blessing of the Past
29
Imperial Universalism and Circumscription of Identity
36
THE GREAT WALL
53
Trial by identity
57
A Discourse on Ancestry
58
Political Names in Nurgan
74
Generating Imperial Authority
185
Authenticity
192
Surpassing Limits
205
THE CELESTIAL PILLAR
217
The WheelTurning King
223
The Center
224
Debating the Past
246
The Power of Speech
262

The Liaodongese
84
The Character of Loyalty
89
The Early Nikan Spectrum
90
Conquest and Distinctions
99
Personifications of Fidelity
116
THE FATHERS HOUSE
129
Boundaries of Rule
135
Origins of the Khanship
138
The Collegial Impulse
157
The Reinvention of Treason
167
Empire and Identity
177
Subjugation and Equality
178
The Unive1sal Prospect
281
The Banner Elites
285
Shady Pasts
290
Manchuness
296
Following Chinggis
311
The Empty Constituency
327
Race and Revolution at the End of the Empire
337
Bibliography
363
Abbreviations
389
Index
391
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Pamela Kyle Crossley is Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Helen Siu is Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. Donald Sutton is Professor of History and Anthropology at Carnegie Mellon University.

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