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Grant number like: FT-56939-09

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Robert Joseph Culp
Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-9800)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 8/31/2009

Publishing Circles and the Production of Culture in Post-imperial China

This project examines the dynamics of commercial publishing in early twentieth century China in comparison to Europe and the US and late imperial China (1368-1911). It focuses on how transitional intellectuals wrote, compiled, or edited textbooks, publication series, reference books, and journals for China's diverse print markets. These publications transformed China's culture by disseminating a modern vernacular language, delineating new academic disciplines and methods, and democratizing classical learning, even as commercial publishing companies profited. Through editing work, literate men helped to define what it meant to be an intellectual in modern China, and they crafted roles for themselves in an increasingly commercialized and industrialized publishing field. This project will help us understand the mechanized print medium's authority and influence in modern China and the complex relationship between author, publisher, and reading communities.