Fake News and Information Leaks: Constructing Documentary Authority in Late Imperial China

Thu, Sep 28, 2017, 4:30 pm

In seventeenth-century China, the Qing dynasty inherited a troubled information order. Within the bureaucracy, lengthy procedural correspondence buried urgent messages and covert networks troubled official hierarchies. Beyond the reach of the state, gossip and rumor endangered the stability of the new dynasty. This paper analyzes the negotiation of information scandals in the first century of Qing rule in China. It argues that in their attempts to restore the information order, Qing political agents established new boundaries between influence and authority, clerks and officials, and conversations and texts. The Kangxi and Yongzheng courts promoted gazettes and digests as authoritative foils to the rumors, tabloids, and forgeries that made up the “fake news” of early modern China. In so doing, by the mid-eighteenth century the Qing state shifted the material basis of politics from talk to text, and from story to document.

202 Jones
Event category: 

Upcoming Events

Site: The Impossibility of Remembering the Past at Nanjing

Tue, Mar 27, 2018, 12:00 pm
Location: 202 Jones

Time: The Memory of an Assassin and Problem of Legitimacy in the Wang Jingwei Regime (1940-45)

China in WWII: Wartime Everydayness and the Globalization of the Second World War

Return to River Town: Twenty Years in the Life of a Chinese City

Wed, Apr 4, 2018, 4:30 pm
Location: 202 Jones

Gender, Genre, and the Everyday: Analyzing Queer 'Lesbian' Potentialities across Japanese Media

Factory Girls: Reporting Among the Working Women of China and Egypt

Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 6:00 pm
Location: Prospect House, Room G

The Linguistics of Chinese Philosophical Keywords

Wed, Apr 11, 2018, 4:30 pm
Location: 202 Jones

Painting in Murderous Times, 885-975: A Discussion about the Tenth Century

The Twelfth Annual Marius Jansen Memorial Lecture: The Politics of the Japanese Emperor’s Abdication

A (Presumably Chinese) Tantric Scripture and Its Exegetical Practices: The Yuqijing (Yogin Sutra) in Medieval Japan