The Magic of Concepts : History and the Economic in Twentieth-Century China
Rebecca E. Karl is Associate Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History and Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, and co-translator (with Xueping Zhong) of Cai Xiang's Revolution andIts Narratives: China’s Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949-1966, all also published by Duke University Press. She co-translated and coedited (with Lydia H. Liu and Dorothy Ko) The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory.
Introduction: Repetition and Magic
The introduction presents the “magic of concepts” as a critical analytical entry into historical inquiry. It explores some of the contours of an inquiry into magic and modernity as a matter of conceptual and ideological categorizations. It takes up occlusions of conceptual problems in modern historiography and begins to elaborate a critical mode of inquiring into historically-grounded and globally-informed local economic practice. It also summarizes the chapters and arguments that follow.