2019 CALA Jing Liao Award for the Best Research Announcement

It is our pleasure to announce that Professor Wenxian Zhang’s work, China Through American Eyes: Early Depictions of the Chinese People and Culture in the US Print Media, has been selected as the winner for the CALA Jing Liao Award for the Best Research 2019. The CALA Jing Liao Award for the Best Research aims to recognize excellence in Library and Information Science related research by CALA members and to honor the memory of Jing Liao, a long-time CALA member and a devoted and accomplished librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A full citation of the winning work is:

Zhang, Wenxian. China Through American Eyes: Early Depictions of the Chinese People and Culture in the US Print Media. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing (in partnership with the Peking University Press), 2018. https://doi.org/10.1142/10320.

Regarding the research work, as described by the author, “Cultural understanding between the United States and China has been a long and complex process. The period from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century is not only a critical era in modern Chinese history, but also the peak time of illustrated news reporting in the United States. Besides images from newspapers and journals, this collection also contains pictures about China and the Chinese published in books, brochures, commercial advertisements, campaign posters, postcards, etc. Together, they have documented colourful portrayals of the Chinese and their culture by the U.S. print media and their evolution from ethnic curiosity, stereotyping, and racial prejudice to social awareness, reluctant understanding, and eventual acceptance. Since these publications represent different positions in American politics, they can help contemporary readers develop a more comprehensive understanding of major events in modern American and Chinese histories, such as the cause and effect of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the power struggles behind the development of the Open Door Policy at the turn of the twentieth century. This collection of images has essentially formed a rich visual resource that is both diverse and intriguing; and as primary source documents, they carry significant historical and cultural values that could stimulate further academic research.”

The CALA Jing Liao Award for the Best Research Subcommittee has reviewed and evaluated many applications. The submitted proposals were very competitive which made it a challenge to pick the winners. The Subcommittee used the score table based on the award criteria and had an online meeting to discuss the merits of each submission to come to its final decision.

After the peer-review process, the CALA Jing Liao Award for the Best Research Subcommittee believes that the author Professor Wenxian Zhang has done a comprehensive and profound study of the images of China and Chinese as reflected in the western print media from mid-19th century to the early 20th century. The collected images have great breadth, accompanied with rich historical information, and reflect different aspects of the Chinese social, economic and political life and status, which reveal a biased yet changing view of the people and culture of China and the Sino-US relations. This research has its important and unique value in the Chinese Studies as well as archive study field.

The Subcommittee would like to thank Ying Zhang, the CALA President (2018-2019), and the support of the CALA Executive Committee and the CALA Awards Committee, who provide guidance and support for the operations of Subcommittee. The Subcommittee would also like to thank the CALA Web Committee as led by Minhao Jiang to update the award information (https://cala-web.org/awards/jingliao_award).

A special thank you goes to the CALA members who participated in this year’s CALA Jing Liao Award for the Best Research. Thank you for your participation and support and we look forward to seeing your applications in the future!


CALA Jing Liao Award for the Best Research Subcommittee (2018 – 2019)

Sai Deng, Co-Chair, saideng@gmail.com

YiPing Wang, Co-Chair, yiping4cala@gmail.com

Jia He, jiahe@southalabama.edu

Daniel Xiao, danxiao@library.tamu.edu

Jingshan Xiao, Xiao@uhcl.edu