Redemption and Revolution: American and Chinese New Women in the Early Twentieth Century by Motoe SasakiRedemption and Revolution: American and Chinese New Women in the Early Twentieth Century by Motoe Sasaki

Redemption and Revolution: American and Chinese New Women in the Early Twentieth Century

byMotoe Sasaki

Hardcover | November 1, 2016

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In the early twentieth century, a good number of college-educated Protestant American women went abroad by taking up missionary careers in teaching, nursing, and medicine. Most often, their destination was China, which became a major mission field for the U.S. Protestant missionary movement as the United States emerged to become an imperial power. These missionary women formed a cohort of new women who sought to be liberated from traditional gender roles. As educators and benevolent emancipators, they attempted to transform Chinese women into self-sufficient middle-class professional women just like themselves. As Motoe Sasaki shows in Redemption and Revolution, these aspirations ran parallel to and were in conflict with those of the Chinese xin nüxing (New Women) they encountered.

The subjectivity of the New Woman was an element of global modernity expressing gendered visions of progress. At the same time it was closely intertwined with the view of historical progress in the nation. Though American and Chinese New Women emphasized individual autonomy in that each sought to act as historical agents for modern progress, their notions of subjectivity were in different ways linked to the ideologies of historical progress of their nations. Sasaki's transnational history of these New Women explores the intersections of gender, modernity, and national identity within the politics of world history, where the nation-state increased its presence as a universal unit in an ever-interconnecting global context.

Motoe Sasaki is Associate Professor on the Faculty of Intercultural Communication at Hosei University.
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Title:Redemption and Revolution: American and Chinese New Women in the Early Twentieth CenturyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:November 1, 2016Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801451396

ISBN - 13:9780801451393

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Editorial Reviews

"Motoe Sasaki's account of the U.S. missionary enterprise in China around the turn of the twentieth century is informed by the insights of recent scholarship on gender, cultural relations, and global modernity. U.S. and Chinese 'new women’ shared common assumptions about progress and civilization but brought local concerns and sensibilities to their search for modernity. ‘New women’ in the United States who found an outlet in missionary activity were products of the turn-of the-century search for a unique but universalist imperial U.S. modernity. Xin nüxing in China sought in modernity answers to their concerns for China’s survival. Their voices would fade from memory by the 1930s, both in the United States and China, with the ascendancy of masculinized paradigms of world history."—Arif Dirlik, author of Culture and History in Postrevolutionary China: The Perspective of Global Modernity