Rewriting modern chinese history: echoing the modern during the early 1990s
重写中国近代史：二十世纪九十年代早期对现代性的回应 "Chongxie Zhongguo jindaishi: ershi shiji jiushi niandai zaoqi dui xiandaixing de huiying"
van Dongen, Els
Date of Issue2013-05-01
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The end of the Cold War and the implosion of the Soviet Union, the Tiananmen Incident of June 1989, and the initiation of the second reform period with Deng Xiaoping’s Southern Tour (nanxun) in early 1992 urged Chinese intellectuals to rewrite modern Chinese history. Even though scholars such as Li Zehou and Liu Zaifu famously said “goodbye to revolution” (gaobie geming) in 1995, the rewriting of history also took the form of rejections of “radicalism” (jijin zhuyi) as a reform strategy. Several scholars identified “radicalism” as the core trait of what is perhaps twentieth-China’s most famous intellectual, cultural, and political movement: the May Fourth Movement. Disclaiming the May Fourth heritage, rejections of “radicalism” characterized the thought of neo-conservatives, New Confucians, and cultural nationalists alike. The chapter discusses some of the manifestations of “anti-radicalism” of the early 1990s and argues that even though they are not representative of a conservative trend because the notion of progress remained unquestioned in the context of transition and crisis, they do reveal an important turn towards the concern with historical continuity that is still visible today.
May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
© 2013 National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies (复旦大学文史研究院). This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies (复旦大学文史研究院). It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document.