Description de l'atelier / Panel description
Daniel Hausmann  1@  , Pierre Fuller  2@  , Matthias Schumann  3@  , Emily Mokros  4@  
1 : SFB 1095 Schwächediskurse und Ressourcenregime, Goethe University Frankfurt  (SFB 1095)  -  Website
2 : The University of Manchester
3 : Goethe University of Frankfurt
4 : Albion College


Panel presentation :

This panel analyzes the interplay of nationalism and charity in the late Qing and early Republic. We argue that traditional religion, that is spiritual retribution (baoying) and practices of ethical self-cultivation in particular, and also a strongly political interpretative framework of crisis contributed to merge charity and nationalism. Moreover, we stress that missionary relief and at later stages the Red Cross were an important stimulus to organize, but also to differentiate Chinese charity from Western efforts. While universal values contained in those traditional world views eventually pointed beyond the confines of the nation, charity also became a screen to project fervent national emotions onto.

The factors contributing to the rise of nationalism are disputed. Some theories argue that it was a modern invention, others charge that a mere invention could not explain how nationalism was capable to capture the hearts of men and women. The latter often point to long persistent ethnicities. Studies on philanthropy in the late Qing often use the label “nationalism,” but they fail to substantiate the concept. However, this panel seeks to locate the rise of nationalism within the specific context of charitable practices in order to provide a critical foundation to discuss the uneasy relation between nationalism and charitable movements.

The first paper details the emergence of charity-nationalism in the context of the Great North China Famine (1876-78) (Daniel Hausmann). Second, Matthias Schumann demonstrates how philanthropists in the 1920s integrated the mission to save the nation into a universal religious framework inherited from the 19th century. Third, Pierre Fuller shows how the impact of the Gansu earthquake in December 1920 and the North China drought famine were instrumental in the formation of Chinese national identity in the midst of the May 4th movement.

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