“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Finding Rewi Alley: Following the footsteps of China’s most loved Kiwi

Posted: July 6th, 2020 | No Comments »

A short documentary on Rewi Alley from Andy Boreham that dodges a few elephants in the room (presumably as the director is involved in Chinese state media), but is an interesting watch all the same…Click

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The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures

Posted: July 3rd, 2020 | No Comments »

An excellent looking new book from Justin M Jacobs, out in August….

From the 1790s until World War I, Western museums filled their shelves with art and antiquities from around the world. These objects are now widely regarded as stolen from their countries of origin, and demands for their repatriation grow louder by the day. In The Compensations of Plunder, Justin M. Jacobs brings to light the historical context of the exodus of cultural treasures from northwestern China. Based on a close analysis of previously neglected archives in English, French, and Chinese, Jacobs finds that many local elites in China acquiesced to the removal of art and antiquities abroad, understanding their trade as currency for a cosmopolitan elite. In the decades after the 1911 Revolution, however, these antiquities went from being “diplomatic capital” to disputed icons of the emerging nation-state. A new generation of Chinese scholars began to criminalize the prior activities of archaeologists, erasing all memory of the pragmatic barter relationship that once existed in China. Recovering the voices of those local officials, scholars, and laborers who shaped the global trade in antiquities, The Compensations of Plunder brings historical grounding to a highly contentious topic in modern Chinese history and informs heated debates over cultural restitution throughout the world.

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RAS History Club 9 July: Paul Bevan on Intoxicating Shanghai…

Posted: July 2nd, 2020 | No Comments »

A must for all old Shanghai people…

In this talk, Paul Bevan will introduce his new book ‘Intoxicating Shanghai’ – An Urban Montage: Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age. Loosely based around one year, 1934 – “The Year of the Magazine” – the book explores a montage of ideas, images and sounds that were current in the transcultural melting pot that was Shanghai during the Chinese Jazz Age. An introduction and discussion will be moderated by Andrew Field, author of Shanghai’s Dancing World: Cabaret Culture and Urban Politics, 1919–1954.
Paul Bevan (@Sinobevan) has taught modern Chinese literature, history and visual culture at the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and the School of Oriental and African Studies. His primary research interests concern the impact of Western art and literature on China during the Republican Period (1912–1949), particularly with regard to periodicals and magazines. His research on artists George Grosz, Frans Masereel, and Miguel Covarrubias, all of whom worked for Vanity Fair, has resulted in extensive research on both Chinese and Western pictorial magazines. Paul’s first book A Modern Miscellany – Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926–1938, (Leiden: Brill, 2015), was hailed as “a major contribution to modern Chinese studies.”

If you have any problems signing up online, just send the RAS an email at bookings@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn and they’ll will add you to the list.

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Sneak Peek – City of Devils…Chinese Cover…

Posted: July 1st, 2020 | No Comments »

Out soon in China after a mammoth and serious translation job by the Social Sciences Academic Press (aka Oracle) in Beijing….

With Midnight in Peking….
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Video – Talking City of Devils at Felixstowe Book Festival 2020…

Posted: June 30th, 2020 | No Comments »

If you have an hour to kill here’s my talk about City of Devils and underworld old Shanghai at the (this year sadly online) Felixstowe Book Festival 2020….click here

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Talking City of Devils at FELIXSTOWE BOOK FESTIVAL 2020 today…

Posted: June 27th, 2020 | No Comments »

I’m live on facebook and the Felixstowe festival’s ite today at 2pm UK time for anyone interested – all free this year as all online…more details here

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WildChina Book Club With Paul French…Youtube

Posted: June 24th, 2020 | No Comments »

Here’s a recording of me discussing my Auduible Original Murders of Old China with Emma Clifton of WildChina recently….click here

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Strangers on the Praia in the Asian Review of Books…

Posted: June 23rd, 2020 | No Comments »

A first review for my slim volume available this month and the |jewish refugees and resistance of Macao in WW2….from Blacksmith Books (here) – the review is on the Asian Review of Books site here.

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