China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Perception of foreign peoples in Qing and Republican China was often dualistic. They were alternately scorned as barbarians and seen as potential sources of valuable knowledge. In other words, foreigners were simultaneously perceived as a threat and a model. Such contradiction was reflected in Shanghai's cartoon magazines, the high tide for which were the 1930s. Shidai Manhua 時代漫畫, Shanghai Manhua 上海漫畫, Wanxiang 萬象, Manhua Shenghuo 漫畫生活, etc. (published between 1934 and 1937), imitated the overall style of Western magazines, such as Punch, Vanity Fair or Vogue. At the same time, these Shanghai pictorials strived to produce a view of events that would be relatable to their Chinese readers. Not surprisingly, the calamities of the 1930s inspired an intensely pessimistic vision both of the domestic and of international affairs, with world powers becoming a threat not only to China, but to the whole planet.