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Title: China in Britain in the interwar period : Bertrand Russell, W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Shih-I Hsiung
Author: Qiao, Qingquan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 1040
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines representations of China and the Chinese in Britain in the interwar period. It selects key writers and texts that demonstrate the importance of genre, location and subjectivity in the imagination of China. This thesis tries to demonstrate that the genre of travel report and the Chinese subjectivity intervene in our rethinking of the relations between British modernism and China and of the very concept of modernism itself. Borrowing from recent theoretical discussions of transnationalism, this thesis looks at how the transnational flow of people, ideas and texts between Britain and China helps us identify modes of thinking of Sino-British relations beyond modernism-orientalism or imperialism-nationalism patterns. It argues for the interactive nature or mutual influence within the cultural contact zone by highlighting the role of the cultural translator or agency in the claim of cultural equivalence or transnational solidarity. I examine the ways in which Russell, Auden and Isherwood interact with and represent Chinese intellectuals to critique capitalism and imperialism. I also look at their ethical dilemmas in their cross-cultural and cross-class representations of the Chinese coolies and lower-classes that reflect how the establishment of socialist transnational solidarity has to face class and national barriers. I also examine the British Chinese writer Shih-I Hsiung's position as cultural translator in both the British and the Chinese contexts and how his works are a response to this inequality. To sum up, this study of the historical cross-border production, circulation and reception of these writers in question aims to demonstrate the interactivity in the cultural contact zone. It contributes to our rethinking of the Euro-centric notion of modernism and of the Western influence/local reception mode of cross-cultural relations. It argues for the positivity of the contact zone in which transnational solidarity is imagined in multiple ways to combat various forms of unequal power relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: China Scholarship Council ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; PR English literature