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  • The West As the Other

The West As the Other

A Genealogy of Chinese Occidentalism

Mingming Wang

English , 2014/01 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Anthropology

229 x 152 mm , 400pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-996-489-4

  • US$55.00

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Long before the Europeans reached the East, the ancient Chinese had elaborate and meaningful perspectives of the West. In this groundbreaking book, Wang explores their view of the West as other by locating it in the classical and imperial China, leading the reader through the history of Chinese geo-cosmologies and world-scapes. Wang also delves into the historical records of Chinese “world activities,” journeys that began from the Central Kingdom and reached towards the “outer regions.” Such analysis helps distinguish illusory geographies from realistic ones, while drawing attention to their interconnected natures.

Wang challenges an extensive number of critical studies of Orientalist narratives (including Edward Said’s Orientalism), and reframes such studies from the directionological perspectives of an “Oriental” civilization. Most significantly, the author offers a fundamental reimagining of the standard concept of the other, with critical implications not only for anthropology, but for philosophy, literature, history, and other interrelated disciplines as well.


MINGMING WANG is Professor of Anthropology at Peking University. He was trained in archaeology, ethno-history, and anthropology, and has a PhD from the University of London. He is the author of numerous works (in both Chinese and English) on Chinese anthropology, history, and sociology, including Grassroots Charisma (co-authored with Stephan Feuchtwang, Routledge, 2001), Empire and Local Worlds: A Chinese Model for Long-Term Historical Anthropology (Left Coast Press, 2009), and Histories of Complete Lives and Anthropology (SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2010, in Chinese).

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