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Reinventing Modern ChinaImagination and Authenticity in Chinese Historical Writing$
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Huaiyin Li

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836085

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836085.001.0001

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The Making of a New Orthodoxy

The Making of a New Orthodoxy

Marxist Historiography in the 1950s

(p.110) Chapter 4 The Making of a New Orthodoxy
Reinventing Modern China

Huaiyin Li

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the disciplinization of the writing and teaching of history, focusing on a debate from 1954 to 1956 on the periodization of modern Chinese history. This debate gave rise to a new interpretive scheme for modern Chinese history that would dominate the field in the decades to come; but, more important, it showed us how far the official historians departed from the pragmatic tradition in their quest for a “true” Marxist methodology in historical research, how the revolutionary discourse prevailing in the humanities and social sciences since “thought reform” in the early 1950s shaped historians' thinking, and the problems with the disciplinization of history that eventually led to the eruption of the “historiographical revolution” in the late 1950s and mid-1960s.

Keywords:   history teaching, modern Chinese history, thought reform, historical research, Marxist historiography, disciplinized history, history writing

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