[Blueboard] A CHINESE LESSON FOR NEW ORLEANS

CHINESE STUDIES PROGRAM chinese at admu.edu.ph
Mon Nov 24 17:45:48 PHT 2008


The Chinese Studies Program 

cordially invites you to a special lecture on

A CHINESE LESSON FOR NEW ORLEANS
by Dr. Helen Dunstan

on Friday, 28 November 2008
at 4:30-6:00 p.m. 
at the Social Sciences Case Study Room
Ateneo de Manila University

This talk presents a case study of the bureaucratic response to devastating 
floods that struck northern Jiangsu and Anhui provinces in 1746.  It is based 
on the detailed official directives preserved in an anonymous casebook of 
administrative correspondence.  The work offers revealing glimpses into the 
world of a senior official striving to balance correct bureaucratic procedure 
with prompt, meticulous attention to the pressing needs of over 800,000 flood 
victims.  The empirical part of the talk highlights some noteworthy features 
of the approach to flood relief reflected in the casebook, focusing on the 
treatment of the landless, implementation of the system of “reception centers 
and assisted passage home” for famine refugees, and the form in which relief 
was given.  The concluding reflections take as starting point the common 
instinct to characterize certain features of imperial Chinese governance 
as “surprisingly modern.”  After critiquing the assumptions about the nature 
of modernity that this instinct presumably reflects, the talk notes the 
potential of historical research to liberate normative discussions about the 
state-society relationship from the ideological fetters of the nineteenth and 
twentieth centuries. It also makes some observations about human rights.

Helen Dunstan is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney. She 
is a specialist in the economic and environmental history of late imperial 
China. She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and is 
presently a visiting professor at the Chinese Studies Program where she is 
teaching History of China and Classical Chinese.



> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
ELLEN H. PALANCA, Ph.D.
Director
CHINESE STUDIES PROGRAM
School of Social Sciences, Loyola Schools
Ateneo de Manila University
Room 200, 2/F, Ricardo and Dr. Rosita Leong Hall
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108
Philippines
Tel. (632) 426-6001 locals 5208, 5209, 5280
Fax  (632) 926-5118; 929-5397
Email <chinese at admu.edu.ph>



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