地图-东晋东官郡、宝安县示意图

bounded histories

Yesterday, I went to the Bao’an Archives Office (深圳市宝安区档案馆) and met with one of the editors of the Bao’an Gazetteer (宝安史志). The conversation turned to the paradoxical dependency of historical narratives on a sense of immortal China and actual historical archives. This paradox might be glossed as a contradiction between “emotional” and “documented” history. On…

shenzhen publications

In the hope that they may be useful, I am uploading five academic papers from the dark ages of Shenzhen studies. Be aware: much has changed, although much has not. In chronological order: 1999: Path Breaking(on how gendered nationalism facilitated the construction of SZ) 2001: Becoming Hong Kong (on how Shenzhen emerged through globalizing urbanization)…

gate

tianmian celebrates 20 years of incorporation

Yesterday evening, Tianmian Industries Ltd (田面实业股份有限公司) celebrated 20 years of incorporation, simultaneously confirming the group’s new status as a corporation and the corporation’s status as the continuation of Tianmian Village. The celebration achieved this sense of historic continuity through the sequencing of socialist and traditional customs, including the presentation of and speeches by Tianmian, Fuhua Precinct, and…

deng xiaoping’s inscriptions

Deng Xiaoping was born Deng Xiansheng (邓先圣) on August 22, 1904 in Guang’an, Sichuan (四川广安). To commemorate his birthday, below I have translated his calligraphic inscriptions, which suggest the contours of reform and its social terrain.     October 1, 1983 for the Beijing Jingshan School: “Education must be oriented to modernization, the world, and the future…

deng mice

cat theory: contextualizing deng xiaoping’s pragmatism

The historical background to each of the three guiding theories of early reform —  feel theory, cat theory, and don’t debate theory — illuminate the dialectic of political debate and economic reform in and through China more generally and Shenzhen specifically. Importantly, the moral rhetoric of the debate reminds us that the Chinese revolution and…

futian river

reforming rhetoric 1: 摸论

“Feeling stones to cross the river” is one of the more famous sayings of early reform. Western pundits often interpret this phrase as a straight forward description of the uncertainties inherent in reforming the Maoist system and concomitant trepidation about moving toward – what? – xiaokang with capitalist features? However, this expression belongs to a…