Eugenia Lean, Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China (University of California Press, 2007).
In 1935, a Chinese woman by the name of Shi Jianqiao murdered the notorious warlord Sun Chuanfang as he prayed in a Buddhist temple. This riveting work of history examines this well-publicized crime and the highly sensationalized trial of the killer. In a fascinating investigation of the media, political, and judicial records surrounding this cause célèbre, Eugenia Lean shows how Shi Jianqiao planned not only to avenge the death of her father, but also to attract media attention and galvanize public support. Lean traces the rise of a new sentiment—”public sympathy”—in early twentieth-century China, a sentiment that ultimately served to exonerate the assassin. The book sheds new light on the political significance of emotions, the powerful influence of sensational media, modern law in China, and the gendered nature of modernity. It was awarded the American Historical Association’s 2007 John K. Fairbank prize for an outstanding book in modern East Asian history.
Select Book Reviews:
- Henrietta Harrison (2008). Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. Eugenia Lean. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. xiv + 290 pp. $45.00. The American Historical Review, 113:2, 472-473.
- Susan Glosser (2008). Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. Eugenia Lean. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2007. xiv + 290 pp. $45.00; £26.95. ISBN 978-0-520-24718-5. The China Quarterly, 194, 454-455.
- Bryna Goodman (2008). Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. By Eugenia Lean. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. xiv, 290 pp. $45.00. The Journal of Asian Studies, 67:3, August 2008, 1062-1065.
- Santangelo, Paolo (2008). Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. By Eugenia Lean. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. xiv, 290 pp. $45.00. China Journal, Jul 2008, Issue 60, 222-223.
- Matthew Sommer (2008). Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. Eugenia Lean. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2007. pp. 304. $45.00 (ISBN 978-0-520-24718-5). Law and History Review, 26:3, Fall, 741-742.
- 鐘月岑 (Zhong Yuecen, Juliette Chung) (2007). <<從到 — 近代中國˹公共空間˺的形塑>>. <> 第15 期, 276-283 頁.
林郁沁, 施剑翘复仇案-民国时期公众同情的兴起与影响 (江苏人民出版社, 2011)
[Shi Jianqiao fuchou an – Minguo shiqi gongzhong tongqing de xingqi yu yingxiang] (Jiangsu Renmin Press, PRC, April 2011).
Chinese translation of Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China.
在本书中，林郁沁围绕着1935年施剑翘在佛堂射杀军阀孙传芳这一扣人心弦的历史事件，通过对媒体、政治和法律档案的详尽调查，展示了施剑翘设法为父复仇、吸引媒体注意并争取公众同情的策略。她认为这一事件之所以能引起轰动并激发同情，是因为它与性别规范之论争、法制改革与法外正义孰轻孰重以及国民党政府扩张威权统治等更、大的社会性问题联系了起来。在这次审判事件中人们关注的不仅仅是一个年轻妇女的命运，更是“情”能否超越“法治”、挑战民国之政治权威这一更大问题。(Order on Amazon)
Eugenia Lean, Vernacular Industrialism in China: Local Innovation and Translated Technologies in the Making of a Cosmetics Empire (1900-1940) (Columbia University Press, 2020).
The book project, Vernacular Industrialism in China: Local Innovation and Translated Technologies in the Making of a Cosmetics Empire (1900-1940), focuses on the colorful character Chen Diexian, a novelist and pen-for-hire, a professional editor/translator and dabbler in chemistry, and eventually, a patriotic captain of industry. It explores how lettered, if middlebrow, elites like Chen navigated a transitional period around the fall of the Qing empire (1644-1912) to emerge as savvy entrepreneurs who leveraged their classical education to find success in the newly commercial world of letters and emerging sphere of industrial manufacturing. Productive in the making and selling of words and things, Chen turned his literati-studio into a chemistry lab, shared brand name manufacturing formulas as “common knowledge” in newspapers, and utilized proceeds from his romance novels to manufacture “Butterfly Brand Toothpowder,” unique in its ability to double as face powder. In an era when words and things were not just mass-produced but also widely counterfeited, Chen vigorously protected his own brand and products by adapting emerging global laws on trademarks and patents, even while advocating the “emulation” (fangzhi) of foreign technologies. At a moment when China’s engagement with global commerce was deeply fraught in the face of economic imperialism, Chen’s industrious activities constituted a form of “vernacular industrialism” (xiao gongyi) that was local and “homegrown” (as opposed to imperialist or foreign), informal and part of China’s consumer culture (rather than state-sponsored or academia-oriented), and artisanal and family-run if eventually located in factories. This vernacular industrialism came to inform the National Products Movement, a “buy and manufacture Chinese goods” campaign at the time, and presaged PRC nativist industrial campaigns such as the Great Leap Forward. Overall, the project will contribute to our understanding of the emergence of industrial capitalism in China, the significance of informal practices of chemistry and manufacturing in modern China, and Chinese engagement with global circuits of law, science and commerce in the early twentieth-century.
The following Osiris Issue and article was published in Fall 2018:
Osiris Issue 33: Science and Capitalism: Entangled Histories
Series Editors: W. Patrick McCray and Suman Seth
Edited by Lukas Rieppel, William P. Deringer, and Eugenia Lean
Abstract: The historical relationship between science and capitalism has long stood as a central question in science studies. Taking inspiration from the recent surge of scholarly interest in the history of capitalism, as well as from renewed attention to political economy by historians of science and technology, this Osiris volume revisits this classic quandary, foregrounding the entanglements between these two powerful and unruly historical forces and tracing the diverse ways they mutually shaped each other.
- “Introduction to Science and Capitalism: Entangled Histories.” In Osiris. Co-authors, Rieppel, Lukas, Eugenia Lean and William Deringer.
- “The Making of a Chinese Copycat: Trademarks and Recipes in Early Twentieth-Century Global Science and Capitalism.” In Osiris Special Issue on “Science and Capitalism: Entangled Histories.” Eds. William Deringer, Eugenia Lean, and Lukas Rieppel.
The following publications are also listed on Weatherhead East Asian Institute:
- Eugenia Lean, “Recipes for Men: Manufacturing Make-up and the Politics of Production in 1910s China.” In Osiris. Special issue on “Masculinities in Science/Sciences of Masculinity.” Eds. Erika Milam and Robert Nye. 30.1 (Fall 2015): 134-157.
Abstract: In the first decade of Republican China (1911–49), masculinity was explored in writings on how to manufacture makeup that appeared in women’s magazines. Male authors and editors of these writings—some of whom were connoisseurs of technology, some of whom were would-be manufacturers—appropriated the tropes of the domestic and feminine to elevate hands-on work and explore industry and manufacturing as legitimate masculine pursuits. Tapping into time-honored discourses of virtuous productivity in the inner chambers and employing practices of appropriating the woman’s voice to promote unorthodox sentiment, these recipes “feminized” production to valorize a new masculine agenda, which included chemistry and manufacturing, for building a new China.
- Eugenia Lean, “The Butterfly Mark: Chen Diexian, His Brand, and Cultural Entrepreneurism in Republican China.” In The Business of Culture: Cultural Entrepreneurs in China and Southeast Asia, 1900-65. Eds. Christopher Rea and Nicolai Volland. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press (2015): 62-9
- Eugenia Lean, “Proofreading Science: Editing and Experimentation in Manuals by a 1930s’ Industrialist.” In Science and Technology in Republican China. Ed. Benjamin Elman and Jing Tsu. Leiden: Brill (2014): 185-208.