China Through American Eyes: Early Depictions of the Chinese People and Culture in the US Print Media

Authors : Wenxian Zhang (Rollins College, USA)

Publisher : World Scientific

ISBN : 978-981-3202-25-2

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Cultural understanding between the United States and China has been a long and complex process. The period from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century is not only a critical era in modern Chinese history, but also the peak time of illustrated news reporting in the United States. Besides images from newspapers and journals, this collection also contains pictures about China and the Chinese published in books, brochures, commercial advertisements, campaign posters, postcards, etc. Together, they have documented colourful portrayals of the Chinese and their culture by the U.S. print media and their evolution from ethnic curiosity, stereotyping, and racial prejudice to social awareness, reluctant understanding, and eventual acceptance. Since these publications represent different positions in American politics, they can help contemporary readers develop a more comprehensive understanding of major events in modern American and Chinese histories, such as the cause and effect of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the power struggles behind the development of the Open Door Policy at the turn of the twentieth century. This collection of images has essentially formed a rich visual resource that is both diverse and intriguing; and as primary source documents, they carry significant historical and cultural values that could stimulate further academic research.
Wenxian Zhang has been a member of Arts and Sciences faculty at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida since 1995. He is a recipient of the Cornell Distinguished Faculty Service Award, Arthur Vining Davis Fellow, and a winner of the Patrick D. Smith Award for his academic work with Dr Maurice O'Sullivan on A Trip to Florida for Health and Sport (FHS Press, 2010). In addition to many articles on information studies, historical research, and Chinese business management, his recent monographs include The Biographical Dictionary of New Chinese Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders (Edward Elgar, 2009), A Guide to the Top 100 Companies in China (World Scientific, 2010), The Entrepreneurial and Business Elites of China: The Chinese Returnees Who Have Shaped Modern China (Emerald, 2011), and A Winter in the Sunshine (Shanghai University Press, 2012).
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