18 February 2009

CALL FOR CHAPTERS - National Narrative and Country Branding: the US and China from a Comparative Perspective

Call for Book Chapters: National Narrative and Country Branding: the US and China from a Comparative Perspective

We are planning a book of essays that present fresh perspectives on the production of narratives about China in the United States (or about China-US relations) and about the United States in China. Obviously, this book would contribute to an already extensive literature, but there are always extraordinary episodes that change the process. We are in a post-Olympic, economic meltdown moment, and in a context with seemingly large scale political change. Who are the dominant actors and players, such as public intellectuals, media professionals, NGOs, the governments, business sectors, tourists and educators that tell such narratives and shape such perceptions and opinions? What are some of the most important processes in shaping stories and perceptions? What are the differences and similarities in terms of how actors shape perceptions and tell stories in both countries about each others?

We are calling for contributors to write book chapters that are historical, theoretical or include specific case studies. These could be about specific governmental efforts to alter public consciousness at home or in its counterpart on these questions. Ultimately, we seek varied voices on how national narrative toward the US in China and that toward China in the US are produced and reproduced by different players in social, political, economic, and cultural arenas in the context of increasing global information flows. The book should be about how the US and China produce and reproduce each other through various societal segments, including but not limited to educational programs, cultural exchange, economic sectors, the governments, non-governmental organizations, tourism and the media.

Now is an important moment to examine national narratives about the US in China and about China in the US. There are two overarching forces that motivate and shape this volume. The first is the continued rise of China as a global superpower, especially in the wake of the Olympics and in the context of the current, global financial crisis. The second is the Obama administration and its plans to re-engineer the image of the US abroad.

The book not only examines various narratives in flux, but also the processes and actors shaping the narratives. The three-part book volume will contain larger conceptual essays and detailed case studies. Part I deals with broader theoretical concepts regarding national narratives of the US in China and of China in the US by Chinese and American authors. In addition to general images, issues such as nationalism, patriotism, exceptionalism and universalism can also be addressed in this section. Part II discusses actors and processes in shaping national images and narratives and Part II are cases studies that are geared frameworks and concepts in Part I and Part II.

If you are interested, please send a 1000-word proposal to Hongmei Li and Monroe Price by March 5, 2009. We will make the final decisions by March 15. The book is planned for publication by the end of 2009.