Xin Liu

Dept of Anthropology
Research Expertise and Interest
history and/of anthropology, contemporary trends in social theory, social/cultural anthropology, comparative societies, capitalism and culture, America and China/East Asia
Research Description

Today the discipline faces a different task, for which anthropological studies of China may regain a new significance. My work, on the one hand, hopes to contribute to the necessary renovation of an old storehouse of assumption and conception in studying other cultures and, on the other, responds to an urgent need for anthrologicalizing China’s emergence onto the global stage. This double endeavor, i.e. renovation of our disciplinary tradition and innovation in our approaching a new leviathan, is an intellectual task of our times when locatable sociohistoric relations are no longer “local” but appropriated according to certain “global” categories, real or imagined. Today’s China has become a symptom of the world in which America continues to stand as a powerful symbol. Both the symbol and the symptom await an anthropological deciphering, which means, to my mind, the development of an ethnographic approach to the studies of conceptual formations in and as other histories.

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