Ching May Bo (City University of Hong Kong), professeure invitée à l’EHESS

Ching May Bo 程美寶 (City University of Hong Kong), professeure invitée à l’EHESS par Xavier Paulès (CCJ-CECMC), présentera trois conférences en mai 2018.

Programme des conférences

  • Mardi 15 mai 2018 (13h-15h) : séminaire de Xavier Paulès, Delphine Spicq et Davis Serfass : La Chine républicaine 1912-1949 : nouvelles approches historiques (EHESS, 105 bd Raspail – 75006 Paris, Salle 4)
    A matter of taste: the Flow of Turtle Soup from the Caribbean via Europe to CantonThis article traces a transnational history of turtle soup through the flow of species, tastes, culinary techniques, and food technology across three continents over more than three centuries. It shows how the species, nested in the Caribbean, turned from a source of flesh for transatlantic seamen in the seventeenth century to a status dish for upper-class Europeans in the eighteenth century. The pleasure of eating turtle soup was underpinned by exotic references to « the West India Way » and national labels such as « the English fashion. » Such notions circulated via printed media across a variety of genres, constructing tastes that only a minority could afford; the less privileged consumed « mock turtle soup, » made with calf’s head at most. Around the same time, turtle soup in « the English fashion » was reproduced in Asia along with the trading activities and colonial endeavors of the British Empire. Into the second half of the nineteenth century, with the invention of canned food, the once upper-class dish became widely popularized in the United States. The disastrous result was that the sea turtle hunt evolved from occasional seizure to massive massacre, which did not come to a halt until the 1970s, when the practices were outlawed.
  • Mardi 22 mai 2018 (13h-15h) : séminaire de Xavier Paulès, Delphine Spicq et Davis Serfass : La Chine républicaine 1912-1949 : nouvelles approches historiques (EHESS, 54 bd Raspail – 75006 Paris, Salle 737)
    Studies of Chinese History in China: an insider/outsider’s point of viewBetween the 1980s and the 2010s, historians in China made pioneering attempts to develop alternative paradigms for achieving a new and holistic understanding of Chinese history. In the 1980s, social history first led this movement, but concurrently, a more regional approach began to gain favor. In the late 1990s, historical anthropology emerged as a novel approach. These approaches had in common the goal of exploring the paradox of unity and diversity of Chinese culture. Meanwhile, historians who used to concentrate on dynastic histories look for new perspectives to re-visit political and institutional histories. Now, in this age of cyberspace, students of China studies should be aware of the changing nature of source materials and the rise of a new generation of Chinese historians, and be able to appreciate the political implications of the possible arrival of the Chinese historiographical revolution that was envisioned by older generations of scholars.
  • Lundi 28 mai 2018 (13h-15h) : séminaire de Sophie Desrosiers et Annabel Vallard : Les objets comme source : les textiles – Séance supplémentaire couplée avec le séminaire de Xavier Paulès : Vers une histoire des jeux de hasard en Chine, le cas du fantan (EHESS, 105 bd Raspail – 75006 Paris, Salle 13)
    Possibly a « western » origin of « China Red »: the uses of grana (cochineal) in CantonInter-regional trade involves much exchange of species and products, and hence exchange of languages and vocabularies. Over time some species would go extinct, some products would disappear, and the original meaning of the terms for denoting particular species or products would also be forgotten. One such example is the Cantonese transliterated term “Nga Lan Tai”. It appears in Cantonese song books which are still available today. Yet people no longer know what the term stands for. Using a variety of source materials including as custom records, local gazetteers, commercial guides, language-learning kits, and stone inscriptions, this article suggests that “Nga Lan” is the Cantonese transliteration for grana, which is the Spanish name for cochineal, a red dye made from a crushed insect native to Latin America. Imported into Canton and other Chinese ports via Manila by Spanish merchants since at least the eighteenth century, the use of this dye was confined to superior silk for exportation. As late as the nineteenth century, because the trade was still monopolized by the Spanish, the British East India Company had to depend on Chinese hong merchants in Canton for a reliable supply of cochineal. In the twentieth century, the Cantonese transliterated term “Nga Lan mae” was gradually replaced by the modern Chinese translated phrase “Yanzhi chong” (crimson insect), and thence disappeared from people’s memory. The history of cochineal trade in Canton also becomes unnoticed side by side with the disappearance of the terminology.


  • Xavier Paulès :

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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