Framing the Syrian Monument of Xi’an in The Chinese Repository (1832-1851): American Beatitudes of Commercial Christendom, from the Foundation to Destruction of the Canton Mission Press
Dr. Kendall A. Johnson (University of Hong Kong)
Part of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Race and Transimperialism Workshop Series
This fourth workshop in our series will focus on the materiality of periodical production in the anglophone missionary press in Canton (Guangzhou). The first American missionaries to China were keen to use metallic fonts in printing the Chinese language. To appreciate why metallic fonts mattered, this talk considers how the The Chinese Repository (1832-1851) juxtaposed articles on China’s deep history while reporting on turbulent news of the present. Today The Chinese Repository offers much more than a first-hand record of events. The antiquarian research in its pages recalls an American brand of commercial Christendom that fixed attention on China’s ancient past while rationalizing gunboat diplomacy in the present, all the while investing faith in future powers of print technology to redeem China (full abstract at https://rs4vp.org/blog)
Dr. Kendall A. Johnson is Professor of Literature in the School of English at the University of Hong Kong where he researches material print culture in a transnational and global historical frame. His most recent single‐authored book is The New Middle Kingdom: China and the Early American Romance of Free Trade (Johns Hopkins University Press 2017). Other publications include Henry James and the Visual (Cambridge University Press 2007; 2011), Oceanic Archives, Indigenous Epistemologies, and Transpacific American Studies (Hong Kong University Press 2019, with O. Heim and Y. Shu); Narratives of Free Trade in Early US-China Relations (Hong Kong University Press 2010; contributing editor), and The Critical Companion to Henry James (FactsOnFile 2009, with E.L. Haralson).