Is “New Culture” a Proper Translation of Xin wenhua?

Some Critical Remarks on a Long-Overlooked Dilemma


  • Joseph Ciaudo Ghent University, Belgium



New Culture Movement, historiography, conceptual history, culture, China


For several decades, we have been witnessing a profound renewal in our understanding of the “New Culture Movement”. However, the aptness of “new culture” as a proper translation for xin wenhua 新文化 has almost never been discussed. The present paper argues that uniformly translating xin as “new” and wenhua as “culture” tends to blur the picture instead of making it clearer, for by so doing one unconsciously endorses the narrative of radical Chinese intellectuals while silencing other voices. Furthermore, the article puts forward the idea that terms such as wenhua 文化 encompassed a “multiplicity of potential readings” that have much to do with the transformation of Chinese language at the beginning of the 20th century, and with the emergence of a new conceptual repertoire. In their attempts to appropriate xin wenhua and turn it into a seemingly coherent movement with an agenda, Chinese intellectuals were fighting a war over the topic of “civilization/culture”, but also, and perhaps primarily education. Yet, by employing the term “culture” in academic writing today, we tend to produce a historical dissonance for their use of this term is not our own: we thus fall into the trap of semantic transparency, and forget that the concept of “culture” has a problematic history in both China and the West. By questioning the use of wenhua with regard to the May Fourth Movement, I provide evidence that the accepted translation of culture can be problematic if one does not clearly spell out the meaning located behind it, as the Chinese wenhua often did not mean “Chinese culture” in our modern, all too modern, anthropological sense.


Download data is not yet available.


A Modern Dictionary of the English Language Translated into Chinese. 1913. Shanghai: Commercial Press.

Bal, Mieke. 2002. Travelling Concepts in the Humanities: A Rough Guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Be Duc, Georges. 2010. “Zhou Zuoren et la traduction.” In Les belles infidèles dans l’Empire du Milieu: Problématiques et pratiques de la traduction dans le monde chinois moderne, edited by Isabelle Rabut, 17–32. Paris: You Feng.

Bénéton, Philippe. 1975. Histoire de mots: culture et civilisation. Paris: Les Presses de Sciences Po.

Benveniste, Emile. 1974. Problèmes de linguistique générale. Paris: Gallimard.

Beßlich, Barbara. 2000. Wege in den “Kulturkrieg”: Zivilisationkritik in Deutschland 1890–1914. Darrmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

Beßlich, Barbara, and Olivier Agard, eds. 2018. Krieg für die Kultur? Une guerre pour la civilisation? Intellektuelle Legitimationsversuche des Ersten Weltkriegs in Deutschland und Frankreich (1914–1918). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Blitstein, Pablo Ariel. 2016. “From ‘Ornament’ to ‘Literature’: An Uncertain Substitution in Nineteenth-Twentieth Century China.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 28 (1): 222–72.

Chartier, Roger. 2009. Au bord de la falaise: L’histoire entre certitudes et inquiétude. Paris: Albin Michel.

Chen, Duxiu 陳獨秀. 1916. “Tongshu 通書 (Letters).” Xin qingnian 新青年 2 (3).

–––. 1920. “Xin wenhua yundong shi shenme? 新文化運動是什麽 (What is the New Culture(s) Movement(s)?).” Xin Qingnian 新青年 7 (5).

Chen, Huifen 陳瑋芬. 2016. “‘Wenming’ kaihua yu ‘wenhua’ baohu: Jindai riben yu gu yangren de dongfang xiandaihua jianyan 「文明」開化與「文化」保護──近代日本御雇洋人的東方現代化建言 (Deployment of “Civilization” and “Culture” Protection—The Construction of a Discourse on Oriental Modernisation by Western Advisors in Modern Japan).” In Jindai Dong Xi sixang jiaoliu zhong de xixue dongjian 近代東西思想交流中的西學東漸 (Modern Circulation of Knowledge between East and West, and the Transmission of the Tramission of Western Scholarship to the East), edited by Lin Weijie, 213–44. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyan Zhe yanjiusuo.

Chen, Jia’ai 陳嘉藹. 1919. “Xin 新 (New).” Xinchao 1 (1): 35–44.

Chen, Jiayi 陳嘉異. 1919. “Wo zhi xinjiu sixiang tiaohe guan 我之新舊思想調和觀 (My Opinion on the Harmonisation of Old and New Thoughts).” Dongfang zazhi 東方雜誌 16 (11).

–––. (1921) 1985. “Dongfang wenhua yu wuren zhi daren 東方文化與吾人之大任 (Oriental Culture and Our Responsabilities).” Dongdang zazhi 18 (1). Reproduced in Wusi qianhou Dong Xi wenhua wenti lunzhan wenxuan 五四前後東西文化問題論戰文選 (Selected Texts Regarding the Debates over Eastern and Western Cultures around the May Fourth Era), edited by Chen Song 陳松, 266–315, Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe.

Chen, Qixiu 陳啟修. 1920. “Wenhua yundong di xin shengming 文化運動底新生命 (The New Life of the Culture Movement).” Wenyi 文藝 2 (2).

Chen, Pingyuan. 2011. Touches of History: An Entry into ‘May Fourth’ China. Leiden: Brill.

Chen, Song 陳松, ed. 1985. Wusi qianhou Dong Xi wenhua wenti lunzhan wenxuan 五四前後東西文化問題論戰文選 (Selected Texts Regarding the Debates over Eastern and Western Cultures around the May Fourth Era). Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe.

Chow, Kai-Wing, ed. 2008. Beyond the May Fourth Paradigm: In Search of Chinese Modernity. Lanham, Md. Toronto: Lexington Books.

Chow, Tse-tsung. 1960. The May Fourth Movement: Intellectual Revolution in Modern China, 1915–1924. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ciaudo, Joseph. 2015. “Replacer Chen Duxiu dans son vocabulaire: La Nouvelle Jeunesse et le problème de la culture chinoise.” Oriens Extremus 54: 23–57.

–––. 2016. “Sinodicée en question: Essai d’histoire intellectuelle à partir des discours culturalistes de Zhang Junmai (1919–1931).” PhD diss., INALCO, Paris.

Cuche, Denys. 2016. La notion de culture dans les sciences sociales. Paris: La Découverte.

Culp, Robert. 2008. “Teaching Baihua: Textbook Publishing and the Production of Vernacular Language and a New Literary Canon in Early Twentieth-Century China.” Twentieth-Century China 34 (1): 4–41.

–––. 2019. The Power of Print in Modern China: Intellectuals and Industrial Publishing from the End of Empire to Maoist State Socialism. New York: Columbia University Press.

de Certeau, Michel. 1974 (1993). La culture au pluriel. Paris: Seuil.

Doak, Kevin M. 1998. “Culture, Ethnicity, and the State in Early Twentieth-Century Japan.” In Japan’s Competing Modernities, edited by Sharon A. Minichiello, 181–205. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i.

Doleželová-Velingerová, Milena, and Král Oldřich, eds. 2001. The Appropriation of Cultural Capital: China’s May Fourth Project. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

Du, Yaquan 杜亞泉 (Cangfu 傖父). 1919. “He wei xin sixiang 何謂新思想 (What is New Thought ?).” Dongfang zazhi 東方雜誌 16 (11).

Duara, Prasenjit. 2001. “The Discourse of Civilization and Pan-Asianism.” Journal of World History 12 (1): 99–130.

Elliot, Michael A. 2002. The Culture Concept: Writing and Difference in the Age of Realism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Elman, Benjamin. 2009. On Their Own Terms: Science in China, 1550–1900. Cambridge: Harvard Univeristy Press.

Fang, Weigui. 2003. “Genese und Wandel des modernen chinesischen Kultur- und Zivilisationsbegriffs.” Intercultural studies 1. Accessed April 16, 2015. ICS1/fang.htm.

Fisch, Jörg. 1992. “Zivilisation, Kultur.” In Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, vol. 7, edited by Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and Reinhard Koselleck, 679–774. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

Forster, Elisabeth. 2014. “From Academic Nitpicking to a ‘New Culture Movement’: How Newspapers Turned Academic Debates into the Center of ‘May Fourth’.” Frontiers of Chinese History 9 (4): 534–57.

–––. 2017. “The Buzzword ‘New Culture Movement’: Intellectual Marketing Strategies in China in the 1910s and 1920s.” Modern Asian Studies 51 (5): 1253–82.

–––. 2018. 1919—The Year that Changed China: A New History of the New Culture Movement. Oldenburg: De Gruyter.

Fröhlich, Thomas. 1998. “Theorie-Rhetorik im ‘Vierten Mai’: Hu Shi und die Bewegung für Neue Kultur.” In Autumn Floods: Essays in Honour of Marián Gálik, edited by Raoul D. Findeisen, and Robert H. Gassmann, 269–82. Berne: Peter Lang.

Fukuzawa, Yukichi 福澤 諭吉. (1875) 1967. “Bunmei ron no gairyaku 文明論之槪略 (An Outline of a Theory of Civilization) (1875).” In Fukuzawa Yukichi zenshū 福澤諭吉全集 (The Complete Works of Fukuzawa Yukichi), vol. 4. Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten.

Fung, Yu-Lan. 1922. “Review of Eastern and Western Cultures and their Philosophies by Liang Shuming.” The Journal of Philosophy 19 (22): 611–14.

Geng, Yunzhi. 2015. An Introductory Study on China’s Cultural Transformation in Recent Times. Heidelberg: Springer.

Gong, Gerrit W. 1984. The Standard of ‘Civilization’ in International Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hajime, Tanabe 田邊元. (1922) 1964. “Bunka no Gainen 文化の概念 (The Concept of Culture).” In Hajime Tanabe zenshū 田邊元全集 (Complet Works of Hajime Tanabe) (1964) vol. 1, 425–47. Tōkyō: Chikuma Shobō.

Harootunian, Harry. 2000. Overcome by Modernity: History, Culture, and Community in Interwar Japan. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hon, Tze-ki. 2008. “From Babbitt to ‘Bai Bide’: Interpretations of New Humanism in Xueheng.” In Beyond the May Fourth paradigm: In Search of Chinese Modernity, edited by Chow Kai-wing, 253–67. Toronto: Lexington Books.

––––. 2013. Revolution as Restoration: Guocui xuebao and China’s Path to Modernity, 1905–1911. Leiden: Brill.

Howland, Douglas R. 1996. Borders of Chinese Civilization: Geography and History at Empire’s End. Durham: Duke University Press.

Howland, Douglas R. 2003. “The Predicament of Idas in Culture: Translation and Historiography.” History and Theory 42: 45–60.

Hu, Shi 胡適. 1919. “Xin sichao de yiyi 新思潮的意義 (The Meaning of New Thought).” Xin Qingnian 新青年 7 (1): 12.

–––. 1926a. “Kindai seiyō bunmei ni Suru gojin no taido” 近代西洋文明に對する吾人の態度 (My Attitude toward Modern Western Civilisation).” Kaizō 改造 May 1926.

–––. 1926b. “Women duiyu Xiyang jindai wenming de taidu” 我們對於西洋近代文明的態度 (My Attitude toward Modern Western Civilisation).” Xiandai pinglun 4 (83), July 10: 3–11.

Hu, Shih. (1933) 1963. The Chinese Renaissance: The Haskell Lectures. New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp.

Huang, Philip. 1972. Liang Ch’i-ch’ao and Modern Chinese Liberalism. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Huang, Kewu 黃克武. 2018. “Wanqing shexue xue de fanyi” 晚清社會學的翻譯 (The Translation of Sociology in Late Qing). In Yazhou gainianshi yanjiu 亞洲概念史研究 (Research in the Conceptual History of East Asia), vol. 1, edited by Sun Jiang 孫江, 13–52. Beijing: Sanlian shuju.

Huang, Xingtao 黃興濤. 2006. “Wan Qing Min chu xiandai “wenming” he “wenhua” gainian de xingcheng jiqi lishi shixian 晚清民初現代文明和文化概念的形成及其歷史實現 (The Formation of Modern Concepts of “Civilization” and “Culture” and their Application during the Late Qing and Early Republican Times).” Jindai shi yanjiu 6.

–––. 2011. “The Formation of Modern Concepts of “Civilization” and “Culture” and their Application during the Late Qing and Early Republican Times.” Journal of Modern Chinese History 5 (1): 1–26.

Huang, Yushun 黃玉順. 2002. Chaoyue zhishi yu jiazhi de jinzhang –– “kexue yu xuanxue lunzhan” de zhexue wenti 超越知識與價值的緊張 –– “科學與玄學論戰” 的哲學問題 (Overcoming the Tension between Knowledge and Values—The Philosophical Question within the Debate over Science and Metaphysics). Chengdu: Sichuan renmin chuban she.

Ip, Hung-yok, Hon Tze-ki, and Lee Chiu-chun. 2003. “The Plurality of Chinese Modernity: A Review of Recent Scholarship on the May Fourth Movement.” Modern China 29 (4): 490–509.

Isay, Gad C. 2013. The Philosophy of the View of Life in Modern Chinese Thought. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Jenco, Leigh. 2013. “Culture as History: Envisioning Change Across and Beyond ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ Civilizations in the May Fourth Era.” Twentieth-Century China 38 (1): 34–52.

Jenks, Chris. 2005. Culture. New York: Routledge.

Jiang, Menglin 蔣夢麟. 1919. “Xin wenhua de nuchao 新文化的怒潮 (The Fury of New Culture).” Xin Jiaoyu 2 (1): 19–22.

–––. 1920. “He wei xin sixiang 何謂新思想 (What is New Thought?).” Dongfang zazhi 東方雜誌 17 (20).

Jin, Guantao 金觀濤, and Liu Qingfeng 劉青峰. 2008. Guannian shi yanjiu: Zhongguo xiandai zhongyao zhengzhi shuyu de xingcheng 觀念史研究: 中國現代重要政治術語的形成 (Studies in History of Concepts: The Formation of the Modern Chinese Important Political Terms). Hongkong: Chinese University.

Kaske, Elisabeth. 2004. “Mandarin, Vernacular and National Language—China’s Emerging Concept of a National Language in The Early Twentieth Century.” In Mapping Meanings: The Field of New Learning in Late Qing China, edited by Michael Lackner, and Natascha Vittinghoff, 265–304. Leiden: Brill.

Kawajiri, Fumihiko 川尻文彦. 2010. “Kindai Chūgoku ni okeru ‘bunmei’ 近代中国における「文明」 (‘Civilisation’ in Modern China).” In Higashi Ajia kindai ni okeru gainen to chi no saihensei 東アジア近代における概念と知の再編成 (Reorganising Concepts and Knowledge in East Asian Modernity), edited by Suzuki Sadami 鈴木貞美, and Ryu Kenki 劉建輝, 131–60. Kyoto: Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyū, Sentā.

Kim, Hyunjoo 김 현주. 2015. “Gyemong-gi munhwa gaenyeom-ui undongseong-gwa sahoeilon 계몽기 문화 개념의 운동성과 사회이론 (The Changing Concept of ‘Munhwa (文化)’ and Social Theory during the Korean Enlightenment).” Concept and Communication 15: 5–44.

Koselleck, Reinhart. (1979) 1995. Vergangene Zukunft: Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

Kroeber, Alfred, and Clyde Kluckhohn. 1952. Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. Cambridge (Mass.): The Museum.

Ku, In Mo. 2007. “‘Culture’ as an Imported Concept and ‘Korea’ as a Nation-State.” Korea Journal 47 (1): 152–76.

Kuo, Ya-pei. 2017. “The Making of the New Culture Movement: A Discursive History.” Twentieth-Century China 42 (1): 52–71.

Lackner, Michael. 1993. “Les avatars de quelques termes philosophiques occidentaux dans la langue chinoise.” Études chinoises XII (2), automne: 136–60.

Lackner, Michael, Iwo Amelung, and Joachim Kurtz. 2001. New Terms for New Ideas: Western Knowledge and Lexical Change in Late Imperial China. Leiden: Brill.

Lanza, Fabio. 2010. Behind the Gate: Inventing Students in Beijing. New York: Columbia University Press.

Lee, Ou-fan. 1991. “Modernity and Its Discontents: The Cultural Agenda of the May Fourth Movement.” In Perspectives on Modern China, edited by Kenneth Lieberthal, 158–77. Armonk: An East Gate Book.

Levenson, Joseph R. 1958 (1968). Confucian China and Its Modern Fate, vol. 3. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Li, Dazhao 李大釗. 1919 (1985). “Dong Xi wenhua genben zhi yi dian 東西文化根本之異點 (Fundamental Differences between Eastern and Western Cultures).” Yanzhi 言治 3. Reproduced in Wusi qianhou Dong Xi wenhua wenti lunzhan wenxuan 五四前後東西文化問題論戰文選 (Selected Texts Regarding the Debates over Eastern and Western Cultures around the May Fourth Era), edited by Chen Song, 56–69. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe.

Liang, Qichao 梁啓超. 1920a (1999). “Ouyou xinying lu 歐遊心影錄 (European Travelogue).” In Liang Qichao Quanji 梁啓超全集 (The Complete Works of Liang Qichao), 2968–3009. Beijing: Beijing chubanshe.

–––. 1920b (1999). “Zhi Liang Boqiang 致梁伯強 (To Liang Boqiang), letter of May 12. In Liang Qichao Quanji 梁啓超全集 (The Complete Works of Liang Qichao), 6027. Beijing: Beijing chubanshe.

–––. 1922 (1999). “Shenme shi wenhua 什麼是文化 (What is Culture ?).” In Liang Qichao Quanji 梁啓超全集 (The Complete Works of Liang Qichao), 4060–63. Beijing: Beijing chubanshe.

Lin, Yusheng. 1979. Crisis of Chinese Consciousness: Radical Antitraditionalism in May Fourth Era. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Luo, Jialun 羅家倫 (Yi 毅). 1919. “Wusi yundong de jingshen” 五四運動的精神 (The Spirit of the May Fourth Movement).” Meizhou pinglun 每週評論, May 16.

–––. 1920. “Yi nian lai women xuesheng yundong di chenggong shibai he jianglai ying qu de fangzhen 一年來我們學生運動底成功失敗和將來應取的方針 (The Sucesses and Failures of our Student-Movement over the Past Year and the Approach to be Taken in the Future).” Xinchao 新潮 2 (4).

Liu, Lydia H. 1995. Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity—China 1900–1937. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Luxun 魯迅. 1908. “Wenhua pian zhi lun 文化偏至論 (Discussion Regarding the Bias of Civilisation).” In Luxun Quanji 魯迅全集 (The Complete Works of Luxun), vol. 1, 45–64. Beijing, Renmin wenxue chubanshe.

Ma, Jun. 2013. “Liang Qichao et la trajectoire politique moderne de la Chine: Les aléas de l’institutionnalisation républicaine (1912–1917).” PhD diss., EHESS, Paris.

Manela, Erez. 2007. The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mao, Zedong 毛澤東. 1939 (1952). “Wusi yundong 五四運動 (May Fourth Movement).” In Mao Zedong xuanji 毛澤東選集 (Selected Works of Mao Zedong) (1952), vol. 2. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe.

Masini, Federico. 1993. The Formation of Modern Chinese Lexicon and its Evolution towards a National Language: The Period from 1840 to 1898. Berkeley: Journal of Chinese Linguistics (Monograph Series 6).

Mateer, Ada Haven. 1922. New Terms for New Ideas: A Study of the Chinese Newspaper. Shanghai: The Presbyterian Mission Press.

Mauviel, Maurice. 2011. L’histoire du concept de culture. Paris: l’Harmattan.

Mei, Guangdi 梅光迪. 1921. “Ping tichang Xin wenhua zhe 评提倡新文化者 (The Promoters of the New Culture). Xueheng 學衡 1.

Meissner, Werner. 1994. China zwischen nationalem „Sonderweg“, und universaler Modernisierung – Zur Rezeption westlichen Denkens in China. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag.

Messner, Angelika C. 2015. “Transforming Chinese Hearts, Minds, and Bodies in the Name of Progress, Civility and Civilization.” In Civilizing Emotions: Concepts in Nineteenth-Century Asia and Europe, edited by Margrit Pernau, and Helge Jordheim, 231–49. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mitter, Rana. 2004. A Bitter Revolution: China’s Struggle with the Modern world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Morier-Genoud, Damien. 2014. “Ecrire l’histoire vis-à-vis de la guerre: postures historiennes, conceptions et récits de l’histoire sous la République de Chine (1912–1949).” Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident 38: 169–206.

Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. 1995. “The Invention and Reinvention of ‘Japanese Culture’.” The Journal of Asian Studies 54 (3): 759–80.

Niehr, Thomas. 2007. “Schlagwort.” In Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik, edited by Gert Ueding, vol. 8, 496–503. Tübingen: M. Niemeyer.

Nishikawa, Nagao 西川長夫. 2001. Kokkyō no koekata : kokumin kokkaron josetsu 国境の越え方: 国民国家論序說 (Transcending National Borders: An Introduction to the Theory of the Nation-State). Tokyo: Heibonsha.

Ong, Chang Woei. 2004. “‘Which West are you Talking about?’ Critical Review: A Unique Model of Conservatism in Modern China.” Humanitas 17 (1): 69–82.

Ouyang, Junxi 歐陽軍喜. 2009. “Guomin dang yu xin wenhua yundong 國民黨與新文化運動 (The Nationalist Party and the New Culture Movement).” Journal of Nanjing University 1: 72–84.

Ouyang, Zhesheng. 2016. “Expanding the Discursive Domain of Research on the New Culture Movement: An Incomplete Review of Studies on the New Culture Movement.” Chinese Studies in History 49 (2): 90–101.

Owen, Stephen. 2001. “The End of the Past: Rewriting Chinese Literary History in the Early Republic.” In The Appropriation of Cultural Capital: China’s May Fourth Project, edited by Milena Doleželová-Velingerová, and Král Oldřich, 167–92. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

Peng, Peng 彭鵬. 2003. Yanjiu xi yu Wusi siqi xinwenhua yundong 研究系與五四時期文化運動 (The Research Clique and the New Culture Movement during May Fourth Era). Guangzhou: Zhongshan daxue chubanshe.

Perroncel, Morvan. 2016. Le Moment nipponiste (1888–1897): Nation et démocratie à l’ère Meiji. Paris: Belles Lettres.

Reed, Christopher A. 2004. Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876–1937. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Richter, Ursula. 1987. “La tradition de l’antitraditionalisme dans l’historiographie chinoise.” Extrême-Orient, Extrême Occident 9: 55–89.

Robinson, Michael Edson. 1988. Cultural Nationalism in Colonial Korea, 1920–1925. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Rohkrämer, Thomas. 2017. “‘The West’ in German Cultural Criticism during the Long Nineteenth Century.” In Germany and the ‘West’: The History of a Modern Concept, edited by Riccardo Bavaj, and Martina Streber, 201–15. New York: Berghan Books.

Sartori, Andrew. 2008. Bengal in Global Concept History: Culturalism in the Age of Capital. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Sand, Jordan. 2000. “The Cultured Life as Contested Space: Dwelling and Discourse in the 1920s.” In Being Modern in Japan: Culture and Society from the 1910s to the 1930s, edited by John Clarke, and Elise K. Tipton, 99–118. Sydney: Australian Humanities Research Foundation.

Sang, Bing 桑兵. 2015. “‘Xin wenhua yundong’ de Yuanqi’ 新文化運動”的緣起 (The Origins of the ‘New Culture Movement’.” Aomen ligong xuebao renwen shehui kexue ban 澳門理工學報. 人文社會科學版 4: 5–19.

Sanetō, Keishū 實藤惠秀. 1982. Zhongguoren liuxue Riben shi 中國人留學日本史 (Histories of the Chinese Studying in Japan). Translated by Tan Ruqian 譚汝謙, and Lin Qichan 林啓產. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.

Schneider, Laurence A. 1976. “National Essence and the New Intelligentsia.” In The Limits of Change: Essays on Conservative Alternatives in Republican China, edited by Charlotte Furth, 57–89. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press.

Schneider, Axel. 2010. “The One and the Many: A Classicist Reading … and Its Role in the Modern World—An Attempt on Modern Chinese Conservatism.” Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2: 7218–43.

Schneider, Julia C. 2020. “When the World Shrinks: Chinese Concepts of Culture, Identity and History.” Global Intellectual History, March 12, 2020. doi/abs/10.1080/23801883.2020.1738655.

Shimizu, Hitoshi 清水均. 2016. “Kindai Nihon ni okeru ‘bunka’ gainen no seiritsu 近代日本における「文化」概念の成立 (The Formation of the Concept of ‘Culture’ in Modern Japan).” Seigakuin daigaku ronsō 29 (1): 171–87.

–––. 2017. “Kindai Nihon ni okeru ‘bunka’ gainen no seiritsu 近代日本における「文化」概念の成立 (The Formation of the Concept of ‘Culture’ in Modern Japan).” Seigakuin daigaku ronsō 29 (2): 57–69.

Skinner, Quentin. 1979. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, vol. 2. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2 vol.

Spira, Ivo. 2015. A Conceptual History of Chinese –Isms: The Modernization of Ideological Discourse, 1895–1925. Leiden: Brill.

Sun, Lung-kee. 1986. “Chinese Intellectuals’ Notion of ‘Epoch’ (Shidai) in the Post-May Fourth Era.” Chinese Studies in History 20 (2): 44–74.

Suzuki, Shūji 鈴木修次. 1981. Bunmei no kotoba 文明のことば (The Language of Civilisation). Hiroshima: Bunka Hyōron Shuppan.

Tao, Ligong 陶履恭. 1917. “Renlei wenhua zhi qiyuan 人類文化之起源 (The Origins of Humanity).” Xin Qingnian 2 (5–6).

Tsin, Michael. 1997. “Imagining ‘Society’ in Early Twentieth-Century China.” In Imagining the People: Chinese Intellectuals and the Concept of Citizenship, 1890–1920, edited by Joshua A. Fogel, and Peter G. Zarrow, 212–31. Armonk and London: M. E. Scharpe.

Tylor, Edward B. 1871. Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art and Custom, vol. 2. London: John Murray.

Van den Stock, Ady. 2016. The Horizon of Modernity: Subjectivity and Social Structure in New Confucian Philosophy. Leiden: Brill.

van Ess, Hans. 2012. “Der Konfuzianismus und die globale Weltkultur: Überlegungen bei der Lektüre der Konfuzianismuskritik im frühen 20. Jahrhundert.” In The Globalization of Confucius and Confucianism, edited by Kaus Mühlhan, 63–71. Münster: LIT.

Vogelsang, Kai. 2012. “Chinese ‘Society’: History of a Troublesome Concept.” Oriens Extremus 51: 155–92.

Wagner, Rudolf G. 2001. “The Canonization of May Fourth.” In The Appropriation of Cultural Capital: China’s May Fourth Project, edited by Milena Doleželová-Velingerová and Král Oldřich, 66–120. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. 1990 (2010). “Culture as the Ideological Battleground of the Modern World-System.” In Cultural Theory, edited by David Oswell, 221–41. Londres: Sage.

Wang, David Der-wei. 1997. Fin de siècle Splendor: Repressed Modernities of Late Qing Fiction, 1849–1911. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Wang, Edward Q. 2019. “The Chinese Historiography of the May Fourth Movement, 1990s to the Present.” Twentieth-Century China 44 (2): 138–49.

Wang, Hui, 2013. “The Transformation of Culture and Politics: War, Revolution, and the ‘Thought Warfare’ of the 1910s.” Twentieth-Century China 38 (1): 5–33.

Wang, Qisheng 王奇生. 2007. “Xin Wenhua shi ruhe ‘yundong’ qilai de 新文化是如何“運動”起來的 (How has New Culture Risen as a ‘Movement’).” Jindai shi yanjiu 1: 21–40.

Wang, Shuqian 汪叔潛. 1915. “Xin jiu wenti 新舊問題 (The Question of New and Old).” Qingnian zazhi 青年雜誌 1 (1).

Werner, Michael, and Bénédicte Zimmermann. 2004. “Penser l’histoire croisée: entre empirie et réflexivité.” Annales, Histoire, Sciences Sociales 58: 7–36.

Weston, Timothy B. 1998. “The Formation and Positioning of the New Culture Community, 1913–1917.” Modern China 24 (3): 255–84.

–––. 2004. The Power of Position: Beijing University, Intellectuals and Chinese Political Culture. Berkeley: University California Press.

Williams, Raymond. 1976. Keywords: Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Glasgow: Fontana.

Wright, David. 1998. “The Translation of Modern Western Science in Nineteenth-Century China, 1840–1895.” Isis 89 (4): 653–73.

Wu, Mi 吳宓. 1922. “Lun xin wenhua yundong 論新文化運動 (Remarks on the New Culture Movement(s)).” Xueheng 4.

Wu, Xuezhao. 2004. “The Birth of a Chinese Cultural Movement: Letters between Babbitt and Wu Mi.” Humanitas 17 (1): 6–25.

Xie, Dikun. 2017. “The Eternal ‘May Fourth Movement’: Between Enlightenment and Tradition.” Social Sciences in China 38 (2): 165–74.

Yang, Nianqun 楊念群. 2009. “Wusi” jiushi zhounian ji – yi ge “wentishi” de huisu yu fansi “五四” 九十週年祭: 一個“問題史”的回溯與反思 (The 90th Anniversary of May Fourth: Retrospection and Reflection on the History of a Question). Beijing: Shijie tushu chuban gongsi.

Zarrow, Peter, ed. 2006. Creating Chinese Modernity: Knowledge and Everyday Life, 1900–1940. New York: Peter Lang.

Zhang, Dongsun 張東蓀. 1919a. “Tubian yu qianbian 突變與潛變 (Sudden and Latent Changes).” Shishi xinbao 時事新報 October 1.

–––. 1919b “Da Zhang Xingyan jun 答章行嚴君 (Response to Zhang Xingyan).” Shishi xinbao 時事新報 October 12.

–––. 1919c. “Di san zhong wenming 第三種文明 (The Third Type of Civilisation).” Jiefang yu gaizao 解放與改造 1 (1).

Zhang, Junmai 張君勱. 1921 (1981). “Xuanni zhi shehui gaizao tongzhi hui yijian shu 懸擬之社會改造同志會意見書 (Letters Submitted to the Comrades of the Association for Social Transformation).” Gaizao 4 (3). In Zhong Xi Yin zhexue wenji 中西印哲學文集 (Collected Works Regarding Chinese, Western and Indian Philosophies), 306–21. Taibei: Taiwan xuesheng shuju.

–––. 1922 (1981). “Ouzhou wenhua weiji ji Zhongguo xin wenhua zhi quxiang 歐洲文化危機及中國新文化之趨向 (Crisis of Culture in Europe and the Directions of our New Culture in China).” Dongfang zazhi 19 (3). In Zhong Xi Yin zhexue wenji 中西印哲學文集 (Collected Works Regarding Chinese, Western and Indian Philosophies), 218–27. Taibei: Taiwan xuesheng shuju.

–––. 1923 (1981). “Rensheng guan 人生觀 (The Outlook on Life).” Qinghua zhoukan 272, et Chenbao fukan 晨報副刊. Reproduced in Zhong Xi Yin zhexue wenji 中西印哲學文集 (Collected Works regarding Chinese, Western and Indian Philosophies), 907–15. Taibei: Taiwan xuesheng shuju.

Zhang, Junmai 張君勱 (Zhang Jiasen 張嘉森). 1925. “Lun jiaohua biaozhun: Guoli zhengzhi daxue xin xueshe chengli ji 論教化標準:國立政治大學新學舍成立記 (Remarks on the Standards of Civilisation: Discourse for the Establishment of a New School within the National Political University).” Chenbao qizhou jinian zengkan 晨報七週紀念增刊, December: 113–16.

Zhang, Pengyuan 張朋園. 1992 (2011). Liang Qichao yu Minguo zhengzhi 梁啓超與民國政治 (Liang Qichao and Politics under the Republic). Taibei: Zhongyan yuanjiu yuan jindai shi yanjiu suo.

Zhang, Qing 章清. 2002. “Yijiuerling niandai: sixiangjie de fenlie yu Zhongguo shehui de chongzu 1920年代: 思想界的分裂與中國社會的重組 (The 1920s: The Split in Thought and the Reorganization of Chinese Society).” In Yijiuerling niandai de Zhongguo 一九二零年代的中國 (China in 1920s), edited by Zhongguo shehui kexue yuan, Minguo shi shi, and Sichuan shifan daxue lishi wenhua xueyuan, 383–402. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue yuan.

Zhang, Shizhao 章士釗 (Zhang Xingyan章行嚴). 1919. “Xin shidai zhi qingnian 新時代之青年 (The Youth of a New Era).” Dongfang zazhi 東方雜誌 16 (11).

Zhang, Songnian 張崧年. 1926. “Wenming huo wenhua 文明或文化 (Civilisation or Culture).” Dongfang zazhi 東方雜志 23, 24: 25.

Zhang, Yunhou 張允侯. 1979. Wusi shiqi de shetuan 五四時期的社團 (The Societies of May Fourth Era), vol 4. Beijing: Sanlian shudian.

Zheng, Dahua 鄭大華, and Jia Xiaoye 賈小葉. 2005. “Ershi shiji jiuling niandai yilai Zhongguo jindaishi shang de jijin yu baoshou yanjiu pingshu 二十世紀九零年代以來中國近代史上的激進與保守研究評述 (A Review of Studies regarding Radicalism and Conservatism in Modern Chinese History since the 1990s).” Jindaishi yanjiu 4: 289–314.

Zheng, Yuan. 2001. “The Status of Confucianism in Modern Chinese Education, 1901–1949: A Curricular Study.” In Education, Culture, and Identity in Twentieth-Century China, edited by Glen Peterson, Ruth Hayhoe, and Lu Yongling, 193–216. Ann Arbor: The University Press of Michigan Press.

Zhou, Yuefeng 周月峰. 2019. “Ling yi chang xin wenhua yundong: Liang Qichao zhuren de wenhua nuli yu Wusi sixiang jie 另一場文化運動: 梁啓超諸人的文化努力與文化思想界 (Another Cultural Movement: The Works of Liang Qichao and His Colleagues Regarding Culture and the Intellectual Field).” Zhongyang yanjiu jindai shi yanjiu suo jikan 105: 49–89.

Zhu, Tiaosun 朱調孫. 1920. “Yanjiu xin jiu sixiang tiaohe zhi biyao jiqi fangfa 研究新舊思想調和之必要及其方法 (The Necessity of Reconciling Old and New Ideas and the Method to Do So).” Dongfang zazhi 東方雜誌 14 (4).




How to Cite

Ciaudo, J. (2021). Is “New Culture” a Proper Translation of Xin wenhua? Some Critical Remarks on a Long-Overlooked Dilemma . Asian Studies, 9(2), 13–47.