CEAS China Brown Bag
Tie Xiao Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Indiana University
While now it is often written off as a “pseudo”-scientific hoax, the widespread engagement with hypnotism (cuimian shu) in early twentieth-century China was integral to what was most self-consciously “modern.” Its early practitioners claimed to hold the miraculous cure for the spiritual and bodily ailments of the nation and positioned themselves as part of an enlightened vanguard. The diffusion of the imported psychological knowledge of somnambulism and thought-transference was intrinsically bound up with the contemporary preoccupation with new dimensions of subjectivity and interiority as well as the politics of awakening. This study traces the variegated pathways along which the transposed knowledge of hypnotism acquired meaning in modern China.
Free and open to the public.