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书评+音频解读 | 《记忆的性别》

梦读英文2018-05-09 13:06:43

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Introduction


The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past
《记忆的性别:农村妇女与中国集体主义历史》

西方学者涉及中国女性的研究不少,大名鼎鼎者包括史景迁以一个失贞私奔的妇女为中国明清之际民生缩影的著作《王氏之死》。美国加州大学圣克鲁斯分校历史学教授贺萧(Gail Hershatter)这本书则以农村妇女的口述史为一手材料,通过妇女的回忆透视上世纪50年代至60年代中国农村社会的情景。

为了写这本书,贺萧准备了15年,在陕西省搜集大量农村老年妇女的口述资料,征集她们对于新中国成立前后社会变迁的记忆。她从女性视角出发,用学术化的语境记载了农村社会转变对于妇女生活产生的影响。


Reviews 
-by He Mengyi

China's collectivism in the first half of the twentieth century has long been a central theme for many scholars engaged in Chinese studies. Among a series of works, the Gender of Memory by Gail Hershatter deserves our extra attention.
With resourceful materials gathered in fieldwork and interviews, this writing flows smoothly in a fluent narrative style. Between 1996 and 2006, Gail Hershatter and her colleague, Gao Xiaoxian, interviewed 72 women who were old enough to have had witnessed the social and political changes in rural China from 1940s to 1950s. A few of them were local cadres or role models for their co-workers, but the majority of them did not participate directly in any form of politics. Like jigsaw puzzles, every piece of their memory is part of the whole picture reflecting that particular age. Apart from these, Hershatter cites a wide range of other sources, like official publications, archives and periodicals. 
This chapter Frames focuses on “memory” and “time” as the key words in exploring the social and political changes of that period. Hershatter narrates each woman's life with sensitivity and respect. Instead of adjusting the women’s memories to fit the official trajectory, she identifies the externalities of the so-called "campaign time”. Then, she deconstructs it with the specific personal memories associated with Chinese-style horoscope. For example, in order to recall the events in a particular year, the women tended to pinpoint them with the help of a particular animal in Chinese zodiac. The author points out that, for many rural Chinese women, the chronicle of the children's birth is more useful than a calendar.
The opinions of the illiterate or semi-literate rural women are difficult to collect. But without them, we are sure to lose sight of a significant part of the revolutionary China. In this chapter, we are brought into a world where women’s voices are heard, with echoes from historical and ethnographic records. Together, they help us to better understand China's past. Indeed, without the knowledge about women, we cannot understand the real China.
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词汇

  1. collectivism 集体主义
  2. deserve extra attention 值得额外关注
  3. jigsaw puzzles 拼图游戏
  4. a wide range of 大量的,大范围的
  5. official trajectory 官方叙事轨迹
  6. Chinese zodiac 十二生肖
  7. illiterate 文盲
  8. lose sight of 忽略
  9. revolutinary 革命的,变革的
  10. ethnographic 民族志的

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