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From Cohong to Comprador: Tea, Merchant Capital, and the History of Capitalism in China
From Cohong to Comprador: Tea, Merchant Capital, and the History of Capitalism in China
WhenThursday, May 24, 2018, 12 – 2 p.m.
WhereEast Asia Library Seminar Room
Campus roomM 232
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars, Special Events
Event sponsorsTaiwan Studies Program at the Jackson School of International Studies 
Description

This talk analyzes how the early modern merchant became the modern “comprador.” It examines early twentieth-century anti-commercial criticisms within the context of the tea trade, one of China’s major export trades, and it argues that the cultural and political meanings assigned to the “comprador” were rooted in new conceptions of political economy and economic life. By connecting modern China with global political-economic thought, this talk aims to rethink the conventional markers of the history of capitalism in China and suggest new interpretations of the early modern and modern historical divide.

Andrew Liu is an assistant professor of history at Villanova University. His current manuscript, Tea War: a history of capitalism in China and India, explores the competition between Chinese and Indian tea producers during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a focus on labor and economic thought. Archival photograph courtesy of John Oswald Collection, School of Oriental and African Studies Archives, Historical Photographs of China project, University of Bristol.

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