Drawing on extensive historical studies of the lives and works of distinctive yet understudied sinologists in the Czech Republic, Mongolia, Poland, and Russia, this volume takes readers on a journey of exploration and rediscovery of post-communist sinology—an important topic that we know surprisingly little about. After the end of the Cold War, the China Studies research agenda in these four countries has evolved divergently without any apparent shared orientation, despite the previously shared socialist and Communist legacies. Contributors draw on case studies to illustrate how sinologists in these countries actively use diverse approaches to map China’s modern evolution and deconstruct stereotypical notions of China’s rise in the twenty-first century. These hallmark studies also reveal sinologists’ deep engagement with the Chinese humanities. The conclusions in this volume have major implications for the evolution of intellectual history and its analysis, by emphasizing the importance of individualized agency to the practice of post-Communist sinology as both a statement of identity and a strategy for survival during tumultuous political times.
“China scholars in the West often forget that alternative traditions in sinology exist elsewhere. In Sinology in Post-Communist States, Chih-yu Shih has skillfully assembled twelve essays that discuss approaches to studying China in former Communist countries including the Czech Republic, Mongolia, Poland, and Russia. These essays range from personal recollections to analyses of interviews of leading scholars from these regions. They give powerful insights not only on the influence of political change on sinology, but more generally on what drives people to devote their lives to this scholarly pursuit. All those interested in China Studies will find this book enjoyable and illuminating.”—Kam Louie, Honorary Professor, The University of Hong Kong