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Redemption and RevolutionAmerican and Chinese New Women in the Early Twentieth Century$
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Motoe Sasaki

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451393

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451393.001.0001

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The New Woman and World History

The New Woman and World History

(p.1) Introduction: The New Woman and World History
Redemption and Revolution

Motoe Sasaki

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to trace the experiences of American New Women missionaries who went to China during the early twentieth century in order to uplift and modernize young Chinese women. By examining the transformations in the significance of American New Women missionaries' enterprises in China, it shows that views of historical progress on both sides of the Pacific were central to the formation and reformation of the subjectivities of New Women, American and Chinese alike. The book takes the position that the New Woman was also a source of agency tightly entangled with the competition for survival and the idea of historical progress in an age in which modernity was being adopted and incorporated in non-Western countries such as China. Consequently, the rationale for the existence of enterprises undertaken by American New Women missionaries and their relationship with Chinese New Women was contingent on the fluid relations and perceptions between the United States and China, which were shaped, negotiated, and contested within the paradigm of Hegelian variants of world history.

Keywords:   New Women missionaries, missionary women, Protestant American women, China, Chinese women, world history, modernity

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