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“Shashen” and “Xiushen”: A Study on Liang Qichao’s Body Thoughts

Posted By admin On 03:45 PM In Past Events 2017-18 | Comments Disabled

2016/2017 School of Chinese Research Students Seminar

“Shashen” and “Xiushen”: A Study on Liang Qichao’s Body Thoughts

李詩男 Li Shinan

Date and Time: April 28 2017 (Friday), 5:30-6:45pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
Language: Putonghua


This talk focuses on Liang Qichao’s thinking on the issue of “body”, making a tentative exploration on the making and transformation of body discourse in China during late Qing and early Republic years. It argues that Liang aimed to build a kind of “nationalized body” since the age of Reform Movement, by the logic of “making a strong nation through building a strong human body”. Many of his articles concerned were composed during his “Discourse on the New Citizen” period. Yet a close examination shows there are two different ideas within his body thoughts—One is derived from the ideas of “self-sacrifice” (shashen), which involves a cult of martial prowess and various resources such as the spirit of chivalry (xiayi) from traditional Chinese culture and the bushidō (way of the warrior) discourse from Japan, and the other inherits the traditional Confucian “self-cultivation” (xiushen) thoughts as the antithesis. Based on Liang’s relevant works, this talk aims to analyze the differences and similarities between the two views of Liang, and to explore the knowledge transformation and culture reconstruction behind the body discourse.



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