Sue Chen – New Book – Children’s Literature in China

Congratulations to staff member Sue Chen, whose second bookChildren’s Literature and Transnational Knowledge in Modern China: Education, Religion and Childhood, has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan.

The book examines the development of Chinese children’s literature from the late Qing period to the early Republican era. It highlights the transnational flows of knowledge, texts and cultures during a time when children’s literature in both China and the West was developing rapidly.

Drawing from a rich archive of periodicals, novels, tracts, primers and textbooks, the author analyses how Chinese children’s literature published by Protestant missionaries and Chinese educators in the late 19th and early 20th centuries presented varying notions of childhood. In this period of dramatic transition from the dynastic Qing empire to the new Republican China, young readers were offered different models of childhood, some of which challenged dominant Confucian ideas of what it meant to be a child.

This volume sheds new light on a little-explored aspect of Chinese literary history. Through its contributions to the fields of children’s literature, book history, missionary history and translation studies, it enhances our understanding of the negotiations between Chinese and Western cultures that shaped the publication and reception of Chinese texts for children.