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Empires of the Mind I. A. Richards and Basic English in China, 1929-1979

by Rodney Koeneke

Empires of the Mind I. A. Richards and Basic English in China, 1929-1979 Synopsis

Empires of the Mind tells the story of I. A. Richards, Britain's foremost literary critic in the 1920s, and his effort to promote an 850-word version of global English in China. Examining the cultural milieu of Cambridge between the World Wars, where Richards's internationalist vision first arose, this book traces the heretofore-unexplored connections between Richards's literary theories and his political ideals. Richards's time in China covers a volatile period in Chinese history: the Japanese occupation, the Communist revolution, and the beginnings of the Cold War all feature prominently in the history of Basic English over a fifty-year period. Koeneke considers Richards's project in the light of current theories about imperialism: Did Basic English anticipate today's multicultural aspirations for global exchange? Or did it advance new empires of the mind whose spoils are language and information? Ultimately, the history of Richards's time in China offers a crucial window onto the postcolonial complexities of our own.

Empires of the Mind I. A. Richards and Basic English in China, 1929-1979 Press Reviews

Koeneke has produced a very detailed and informative account of Basic English in China....the story of Richards and Basic English in China is fascinating and it is worth reading the book just for that. -- Asian Studies Review

Book Information

ISBN: 9780804748223
Publication date: 25th November 2003
Author: Rodney Koeneke
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 272 pages
Categories: linguistics, Biography: general,

About Rodney Koeneke

Rodney Koeneke has a Ph.D. in History and the Humanities from Stanford University.

More About Rodney Koeneke

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