China Seminar | 17 February 2000

Saying “No” and Not Saying “No”: About Authors and Readers in China

Daniel W. Y. Kwok Daniel W. Y. Kwok

The latter half of the 1990s witnessed the emergence of “say ‘no’” sentiment in China. It appeared as an anti-American assertion of the narrow, Chinese variety of nationalism. Now, China is once again in the “say ‘no’” mood. (For the third time, some would argue.) Many scholars and observers have attempted to disassociate themselves from this sentiment. Perhaps the most eloquent expression of this distancing is seen in the unusual writings of Yu Jie. Few writings by the “say ‘no’” authors or by Yu Jie have been translated into English. Professor Kwok will introduce and analyze both sides in this China Seminar talk.

D.W.Y. Kwok is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Hawaii, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Chinese history, Chinese intellectual history, and world civilizations. He has concurrently served in numerous administrative posts, including chair of Asian Studies, chair of the Department of History, and director of the Center for Chinese Studies. He also directs the university’s Asia Fellowships Program for Journalists. Among his publications are: Scientism in Chinese Thought, 1900-1950 (1965, 1971); Cosmology, Ontology, and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought (with Richard J. Smith, 1993); his translation and editing of Yan Jiaqi and Gao Gao’s Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution (1996); and The Urbane Imagination: Ideas of Civilization in the Chinese Garden (1997).