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Book Launch: Tracing China: A Forty-Year Ethnographic Journey. (踏跡尋中:四十年華南田野之旅)

Book Launch: Tracing China: A Forty-Year Ethnographic Journey. (踏跡尋中:四十年華南田野之旅)

4 January 2023 at 6:00:00 am

Tracing China’s journey began from exploring rural revolution and reconstitutions of community in South China. Spanning decades of rural-urban divide, it finally uncovers China’s global reach and Hong Kong’s cross-border dynamics. Helen Siu traverses physical and cultural landscapes to examine political tumults transforming into everyday lives, and fathom the depths of human drama amid China’s frenetic momentum toward modernity. Highlighting complicity, Siu portrays how villagers, urbanites, cadres, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals—laden with historical baggage—venture forward. But have they victimized themselves in the process?


This essay collection, informed by critical social theories and shaped by careful scrutiny of fieldwork and archival texts, is woven by key historical/anthropological themes—culture, history, power, place-making, and identity formation. Siu stresses process and contingency and argues that culture and society are constructed through human actions with nuanced meanings, moral imagination, and contested interests. Challenging the notion that social/political changes are mere linear historical progressions, she traces layers of the past in present realities.


Helen F. Siu is professor of anthropology at Yale University, and founding director of the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong.


“No one has woven the threads of ethnography, social structure, and cultural performance so brilliantly together as Helen Siu has in Tracing China. This rich tapestry of her finest scholarship illuminates how culture, power, and history can be deployed to yield wholly original and convincing understandings of southern China.”—James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University


“Helen Siu is one of the world’s leading specialists on Chinese rural and urban society. Her essays, collected here, cover a wide range of topics of interest to anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, economists, and political scientists. Siu focuses on the ‘underside’ of social life in South China, a quality so often missing in the work of others. She writes with great skill and empathy.”—James L. Watson, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, Harvard University


《踏跡尋中》的寫作始於幾近半世紀對華南農村革命和社區重構的探索,最終揭示了中國的無遠弗屆和香港的跨境動力。人類學家蕭鳳霞穿越文化與物理景觀,審視老百姓在政治起伏下的日常生活,並在中國縱身躍向現代的狂潮中探尋他們的悲喜劇。她突出共謀的概念,描繪了村民、都市人、幹部、企業家和知識分子如何背負歷史包袱匍匐前行。但與此同時,他們在這個過程中是否也使自己成為受害者?


本書將文化、歷史、權力、地方營造和身份形塑等歷史/人類學核心主題融而為一,並以批判的社會理論、田野調查和檔案文本為基礎,仔細推敲而得。蕭鳳霞尤其強調過程和適然性,認為文化和社會是由人類行為所構建,其中浸染了細緻而微妙的意蘊、道德想像和利益競逐。她挑戰社會/政治變化的線性歷史觀,並在當前諸種實相中,理出過去的層層肌理。


蕭鳳霞,美國耶魯大學人類學系教授,曾任耶魯大學東亞研究理事會主席,並受邀出任歐洲、亞洲和香港等多個學術研究撥款委員會成員,2001年於香港大學創建香港人文社會研究所,推動跨學科、跨地域研究課題。她一直致力探討南中國的文化、歷史和政經變遷,在珠江三角洲進行廣泛田野考察,近年聚焦研究香港邁向國際大都會過程中的文化轉變、亞洲互聯,以及中非交往。近作包括Tracing China: A Forty-Year Ethnographic Journey (Hong Kong University Press, 2016)以及三卷本Asia Inside Out (Harvard University Press, 2015–2019)。


蕭鳳霞以歷史為經、田野探索為緯,編織出層層疊疊的華南故事,裏面有邊緣族群與女性的堅韌、革命的熾熱、傳統的應對、商人的機智、宗族的保守。貫穿其中的是細膩的歷史人類學理論分析,盡顯作者四十年來為了「在日常中尋覓意義」所下的功夫。作者說此書乃一段「知性之旅」,但細心的讀者不難看出它其實也是這位國際知名的香港學者自己的故事,是她在長年體驗香港與華南生活後對故土的感性反思。


——梁其姿,台灣中央研究院院士、香港大學香港人文社會研究所所長


蕭鳳霞的《踏跡尋中》,高明地糅合了民族誌、社會結構和文化展演的線索,以其湛深學養展示了豐碩的學術成果,清晰闡明如何援用文化、權力和歷史,為華南提供嶄新且令人信服的理解角度。


——斯科特(James C. Scott),耶魯大學政治科學斯特林講席、人類學教授


蕭鳳霞是有數的研究中國城鄉社會的專家。本書所涉題材廣泛,涵蓋人類學、地理學、經濟學和政治科學諸領域學者都感興趣的主題。鮮有人像她一樣深入華南社會生活的「底細」,既能用細膩筆法,又能以同理心娓娓道來。


——華琛(James L. Watson),哈佛大學中國社會費正清講席、人類學榮休教授

 

Book Launch: Tracing China: A Forty-Year Ethnographic Journey. (踏跡尋中:四十年華南田野之旅)

Date: January 4, 2023 (Wed)

Time: 2:00PM – 3:45PM

Venue: CPD-2.42

Speaker: Prof Helen F. Siu

Registration: https://bit.ly/tracingchina

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