Technology & Engineering

The Chinese Typewriter

Author: Thomas S. Mullaney

Publisher: MIT Press


Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 504

View: 657

How Chinese characters triumphed over the QWERTY keyboard and laid the foundation for China's information technology successes today. Chinese writing is character based, the one major world script that is neither alphabetic nor syllabic. Through the years, the Chinese written language encountered presumed alphabetic universalism in the form of Morse Code, Braille, stenography, Linotype, punch cards, word processing, and other systems developed with the Latin alphabet in mind. This book is about those encounters—in particular thousands of Chinese characters versus the typewriter and its QWERTY keyboard. Thomas Mullaney describes a fascinating series of experiments, prototypes, failures, and successes in the century-long quest for a workable Chinese typewriter. The earliest Chinese typewriters, Mullaney tells us, were figments of popular imagination, sensational accounts of twelve-foot keyboards with 5,000 keys. One of the first Chinese typewriters actually constructed was invented by a Christian missionary, who organized characters by common usage (but promoted the less-common characters for “Jesus" to the common usage level). Later came typewriters manufactured for use in Chinese offices, and typewriting schools that turned out trained “typewriter girls” and “typewriter boys.” Still later was the “Double Pigeon” typewriter produced by the Shanghai Calculator and Typewriter Factory, the typewriter of choice under Mao. Clerks and secretaries in this era experimented with alternative ways of organizing characters on their tray beds, inventing an input method that was the first instance of “predictive text.” Today, after more than a century of resistance against the alphabetic, not only have Chinese characters prevailed, they form the linguistic substrate of the vibrant world of Chinese information technology. The Chinese Typewriter, not just an “object history” but grappling with broad questions of technological change and global communication, shows how this happened. A Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute Columbia University

China's Conservative Revolution

Author: Brian Tsui

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


Category: History


View: 661

In this ambitious examination of the complex political culture of China under Guomindang rule, Brian Tsui interweaves political ideologies, intellectual trends, social movements and diplomatic maneuvers to demonstrate how the Chinese revolution became conservative after the anti-Communist coup of 1927. Dismissing violent struggles for class equality as incompatible with nationalist goals, Chiang Kai-shek's government should, Tsui argues, be understood in the context of the global ascendance of radical right-wing movements during the inter-war period. The Guomindang's revolutionary nation-building and modernization project struck a chord with China's reformist liberal elite, who were wary of mob rule, while its obsession with Eastern spirituality appealed to Indian nationalists fighting Western colonialism. The Nationalist vision was defined by the party-state's hostility to communist challenges as much as by its ability to co-opt liberalism and Pan-Asianist anti-colonialism. Tsui's revisionist reading revisits the peculiarities of the Guomindang's revolutionary enterprise, resituating Nationalist China in the moment of global radical right ascendancy.
Business & Economics

The Battle for Fortune

Author: Charlene Makley

Publisher: Cornell University Press


Category: Business & Economics

Page: 348

View: 794

Introduction : Olympic time and dilemmas of development in China's Tibet -- The dangers of the gift master -- The mountain deity and the state : voice, deity mediumship and land expropriation in Jima village -- Othering spaces, cementing treasure : concrete, money, and the politics of value in Kharnak village school -- The melodious sound of the right-turning conch : historiography and Buddhist counter-development in Langmo village -- Spectacular compassion : "natural" disasters, national mourning, and the unquiet dead -- Epilogue : the kindly solemn face of the female Buddha
Political Science

The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China

Author: Weiping Wu

Publisher: SAGE


Category: Political Science

Page: 1356

View: 209

Contemporary China is dynamic and complex. Recent dramatic changes in the Chinese economy, society, and environment pose numerous challenges for scholars of China. This Handbook will define contemporary China Studies for the social sciences: investigating how we can best study China; exploring the transformations of contemporary China that inform how we study China; presenting the breadth and depth of the China Studies field; and identify future directions for China Studies. In two volumes, the Handbook situates China Studies in history and context. Each chapter in Part One provides an overview and historiography of how scholars have conceptualized the Chinese state, nation, economy and environment, and analyzes trends in terms of different research approaches, types of sources, and trends in the study of these broad concepts. The next five parts cover substantive themes in China Studies, including economic transformations; politics and government; China as a global actor; urbanization and urban development; and Chinese society. In conclusion, the Handbook draws together critical discussions of emerging issues of transdisciplinary approaches to China Studies, the future of Chinese historical Studies, and the future of China in comparative contexts.
Language Arts & Disciplines

Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora

Author: Jing Tsu

Publisher: Harvard University Press


Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 306

View: 544

In this original and interdisciplinary work, Jing Tsu advances the notion of “literary governance” as a way of understanding literary dynamics and production on multiple scales: local, national, global. “Literary governance,” like political governance, is an exercise of power, but in a “softer” way - it begins with language, rather than governments. In a globalizing world characterized by many diasporas competing for recognition, the global Chinese community has increasingly come to feel the necessity of a “national language,” standardized and privileging its native speakers. As the national language gains power within the diasporic community, members of the diaspora become aware of themselves as a community. Eventually, they move from the internal state of awakened identity to being recognized as a community, and finally exercising power as a community. But this hegemony of the “national language” is constantly being challenged by different, nonstandard language uses, including various Chinese dialects, multiple registers, contested alphabet usage, and Chinese men and women who write in foreign languages. “Literary governance” reflects both the consensus-building power and the inherent divisiveness of these debates about language and is useful as a comparative model for thinking about not only Sinophone, Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Hispanophone literatures, but also any literary field that is currently expanding beyond the national.

The Buddha in the Machine

Author: R. John Williams

Publisher: Yale University Press


Category: Art

Page: 322

View: 872

The famous 1893 Chicago World’s Fair celebrated the dawn of corporate capitalism and a new Machine Age with an exhibit of the world’s largest engine. Yet the noise was so great, visitors ran out of the Machinery Hall to retreat to the peace and quiet of the Japanese pavilion’s Buddhist temples and lotus ponds. Thus began over a century of the West’s turn toward an Asian aesthetic as an antidote to modern technology. From the turn-of-the-century Columbian Exhibition to the latest Zen-inspired designs of Apple, Inc., R. John Williams charts the history of our embrace of Eastern ideals of beauty to counter our fear of the rise of modern technological systems. In a dazzling work of synthesis, Williams examines Asian influences on book design and department store marketing, the commercial fiction of Jack London, the poetic technique of Ezra Pound, the popularity of Charlie Chan movies, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the design of the latest high-tech gadgets. Williams demonstrates how, rather than retreating from modernity, writers, artists, and inventors turned to traditional Eastern technê as a therapeutic means of living with—but never abandoning—Western technology.