On Pain and Suffering in Chinese History

Angelika Messner, Assistant Professor, Kiel University

Innumerable bloody attacks on the civil population of China during the period 1620s to 1670s were not only initiated by the Manchu but often by armed marauding armies, local bandit bands. Thugs that were roped in, lake, river and ocean pirates, indigenous rebels as well as by troops of the Ming government.To be sure, these phenomena and events easily can interpreted in terms of trauma – denoting a situation which destroyed the social textures, the interpersonal relations as well as the networks, and denoting a process of an interplay between the social field and the (subjective) conditions of people.What is at stake when dealing with the issue of pain in history? Pain is an issue of emotion history as well as of social practices. How can we possibly open some window to the ways people dealt with unbearable pain and suffering in the Chinese past? 

Thursday, April 04, 2013 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm | RSVP
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies