This is Sam Crane's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Sam Crane's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Sam Crane
Interests: Chinese philosophy, Chinese politics, East Asian international relations, international relations, international political economy, disability studies, old New York teams (Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Rangers).
Recent Activity
Thanks for the response, Matthew. Yes, I get the need for critique of contemporary American society. What I want to resist, however, are critiques that lay the groundwork for centralized authoritarianism (I do not mean to imply that that is what you are doing...). This is my problem with Daniel Bell, for one. I see him as a Western communitarian bereft of meaningful models in North America and, thus, inventing a notion of a "China model" as a supposedly humane counterpoint to the failures of American democracy. And that plays into the hands of one of the most powerful centralized authoritarian structures in the world. I am further dismayed when Chinese intellectuals reinvent "Confucianism" in similar styles, all of which conveniently bolster centralized power (I know Jiang's work is banned in the PRC, but that only demonstrates the Party's jealousy in controlling the narrative). I tend to be more sympathetic to Yu Ying-shih: Seems to me that we cannot get to "localist and communitarian alternatives" without Parliamentary ones. Localism is simply not possible under a Confucian inflected Leninist Party as in the PRC now. Also, not sure how you feel about this, but my sense is that a revival of Confucianism that requires the re-imposition of classical gender stereotypes is neither a good thing, nor a thing that will be politically viable in China:
Yes, generally. It may have political significance but this is best enacted in conditions of relative freedom. I blogged this idea here:
In my ongoing work to understand what Confucianism can mean in modern American contexts, I am returning to a paper I wrote for an academic conference a couple of years ago. My thinking on the topic has expanded since then,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2015 at The Useless Tree
I'm back in Beijing teaching a course, "Confucianism in America," for the International Summer School at Renmin University of China, just like last year. We got started on Monday: thirty students, most all Renda undergraduates, reading and thinking about how... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at The Useless Tree
Thanks for the comment. Interesting to hear about your school. BTW, some time ago I closed comments after a week because of horrible spam infestation. I'm going to keep comments open for a month now with sign in and moderation to see if things are better. So, please comment, if you're so inclined.
China went large at the recent Book Expo America in New York but, for the most part, American readers did not notice. Maybe they were turned off by marketing language like this: "provides visually perceptive materials for education in patriotism... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at The Useless Tree
What a crazy conclusion to the Super Bowl! A circus catch followed by perhaps the worst play call in the history of the game. Wow. And it looks like both Sunzi and the Yi Jing got it wrong. But not... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at The Useless Tree
Following up on my Sunzi Super Bowl analysis, I thought it might be good to consult the Yi Jing about the outcome of tomorrow's big game. This was made easier last evening by a group of friends who urged me... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2015 at The Useless Tree
Posted Jan 29, 2015 at The Useless Tree
It is not often that I am palpably excited to read a conceptually complex book on Chinese philosophy and politics, but that is precisely how I felt as I worked my way through Jiwei Ci's new work: Moral China in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at The Useless Tree
Last month I did a talk at the US China Institute at the University of Southern California. They were most gracious hosts and they have now put a video of the talk up on their youtube channel. I will embed... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at The Useless Tree
Here's something that just ran over at The Conversation: By Sam Crane, Williams College The media spotlight has shifted away from Hong Kong and toward President Obama’s visit to Beijing, but students and activists remain in Admiralty and Mong Kok,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at The Useless Tree
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at The Useless Tree
I have been totally captivated by the extraordinary events in Hong Kong this past week. Twitter has been my medium of choice, allowing, as it does, real time contact with people on the scene. Here are some thoughts. Having followed... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2014 at The Useless Tree
At his news conference yesterday President Obama set the foreign policy commentators aflutter with this statement: But I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet. I think what I've seen in some... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at The Useless Tree
What a pleasant way to end a great month... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at The Useless Tree
Had a good time yesterday with John Artman and Xiao Hua, hosts of a talk show, "Roundtable," on China Radio International. We discussed teaching Confucianism in China, what Confucianism might be in China today, and a little bit of Daoism... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at The Useless Tree
Well, I finally made it to Qufu, the hom... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2014 at The Useless Tree
I went to Baiyunguan - White Cloud Temple - today, a place where Daoism is practiced as a religion. It's an important location, a key site for the Quanzhen sect of Daoism. I have to admit, I do not know... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at The Useless Tree
One of the great things about being here... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at The Useless Tree
Another busy week in the classroom here. I want to respond to a couple of comments from my last post (I close comments after one week because of spam attacks) about my experience teaching Confucianism here now. First up, J... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at The Useless Tree
I've been here over a week and have hardly had time to even think about blogging. It turns out that getting my class, "Confucianism in America," up and running has been a lot more time-consuming than I realized. The central... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at The Useless Tree