Historian Zhao Weiqing (赵伟清) has contributed a new essay on the Virtual Shanghai platform on the process and underlying factors of change in the space of cinema in the foreign settlements of Shanghai before 1949. Written in Chinese and entitled 上海租界内电影院空间分布的演变过程及原因探析（1919-1943）[Shanghai zujie nei dianyingyuan kongjian fenbu de yanbian guocheng ji yuanyin tanxi], the papers offers original insight on the rise of cinema in the city. In the first decades of the 20th century, Shanghai became China’s most important film center, both for production and distribution. The city hosted the largest number of movie theaters in China. From the establishment of the first theater in 1908 by a Spanish national, the distribution of movie theaters gradually transferred and expanded from the Hongkou District, north of Soochow Creek (Suzhou River) to the south bank of the International Settlement. This paper uses geographic information system to document and examine the characteristics of the distribution of movie theaters in the city from the perspective of population, traffic, war and other aspects. It analyze a series of factors leading to the particular geographical distribution and discusses the possible links between the space of cinema and urban development and urban cultural space .
The Shanghai-based Wenhuibao (文汇報), one of the main newspapers in the East China metropolis, has published a long interview of Christian Henriot (安克强) by journalist Ren Siwen (任思蕴) on historical research on Shanghai, digital technologies and the use of GIS in history. The interview, entitled “地理信息系统是关涉到想象力的技术” (GIS is a technology that matters to the imagination) appeared in the “Wenhui scholars” (文汇学人) section of the newspaper.
通过此次培训，WMS项目组的法方成员对如何使用ACTOZ形成了深刻的理解，这将为其他同仁的学习与使用带来极大的便利。通过此次培训所得到的一些经验和心得，正在逐步转化为文字，发布在Virtual Cities Toolbox网站，大家可随时查看：
“洪堡研究奖” （Le prix Humboldt de la recherche）是一种面向所有研究领域的科研人员颁发的奖项，旨在表彰他们杰出的学术工作。奖项的获得者在各自领域的发现、理论或视角具有重大影响，并被认为可能开启未来的研究方向。该奖项每年颁发给100位杰出学者。所有学者，无论是在大学内任职或独立于国家机构，都有机会获得提名。“洪堡研究奖”的评审团由德国具有国际影响力的学者和已经获得过“洪堡科学奖”的研究人员组成。“洪堡研究奖基金会”尤其鼓励对于女性学者的提名。
相关内容可参看ENS DE LYON 官方网站：http://www.ens-lyon.eu/recherche/christian-henriot-laureat-du-prix-humboldt-197502.kjsp?RH=ENS-LYON-FR
The coordinators (Prof. Ma Jun 馬 軍 and Chr. Henriot 安克強) and the members of the SASS team (Prof, Jiang Wenjun 江文君, Li Zhiming 李志茗, and Mou Zhenyu 牟振宇; Ph.D graduates Lu Ye 陆烨 and Yue Qintao岳钦韬) of the “Wars made Shanghai” project have held three work sessions in the course of April 2013 to get the joint research project started. Moreover, one of the members of the IAO team, Prof. Christine Cornet, will soon be in Shanghai for research in the archives and will team up with the SASS scholars.
The first session held on 10 April was devoted to an overview of the project, the presentation of each participant’s past and current research, the set of tools to be used in the implementation of the project, as well as the modes of collaborative work. All the participants contributed to a lively discussion of the challenges ahead.
During the second session on 17 April, Christian Henriot made a presentation of the French institutional setup, especially the system of joint research units (UMR) and the unusual mix of institutions that characterizes French research units. Henriot took the opportunity of this presentation to introduce a mind-mapping application (X-mind) to demonstrate the flexibility of this application for “brain-storming”. This was followed by Feng Yi’s (馮藝) presentation of the digital resources for research at the Institut d’Asie Orientale, especially BN-IAO (IAO’s digital library), which the participants will use in the course of the project.
Finally, Henriot introduced the participants to one of the major digital applications to be used, Actoz, designed and developed by Prof. Jean-Pierre Dedieu in France. Actoz is a Filemaker-powered application. It is based on a thorough analysis of what constitutes historical data and how such data can to be broken down into significant units. Actoz is a most powerful tool not just to store historical data, but to establish multiple links, many unforeseen or invisible to the human mind, through the data, to keep track of all the original sources and documents, to establish elaborate genealogies, to handle all kinds of cultural objects in relation with their contributors, and to integrate spatial data. This short description does not make justice to the many features to be found in Actoz, but it seemed important to highlight what amounts to a serious attempt at historical modelling. Training sessions on Actoz are to take place in Lyon in the spring and the fall, with follow up sessions in Shanghai.
In the last session held on 25 April, the participants turned to a presentation of their proposed main lines of inquiry in the joint project. They formulated research directions based on their previous scholarly achievements that can match the objectives of the project. While each will pursue one’s own line of work, each will contribute to the collaborative platform based on Virtual Shanghai. Since collaborative work also requires both discussion and coordination, participants will avail themselves of a closed-circuit Wiki for internal discussions and well a regular meetings, real or online, every two months. One of the major features of the “Wars made Shanghai” project, aside from substantive research, will definitely be the use of a large array of dedicated digital instruments to promote a new approach to history in both China and France.
2013年4月10日下午，由上海社会科学院历史研究所现代史研究室主任马军研究员，与法国里昂东亚学院（Institut d’Asie Orientale）安克强（Christian Henriot）教授合作申请成功的法国国立研究基金会（National Research Agency）三年项目——“战争塑造上海”（Wars made Shanghai，1840—1952）在历史所小会议室举行启动会议。双方就研究计划、合作方式、运用工具以及预期成果，进行了广泛而深入的研讨。到会的还有作为该项目中方成员的李志茗、江文君、牟振宇、陆烨（以上为本所同人）和岳钦韬（复旦大学研究生）。其间，历史所副所长王健研究员亦曾莅临指导。
‘Wars made Shanghai’: Toward a spatial history of 19th-20th-century Shanghai (1842-1952)” is a new collaborative project between the Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO) and the Institute of History of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. This project was selected by the French National Research Agency (ANR) under its 2012 Open Call for Projects. It will develop over 2013-2016. One segment of the project also received the financial support of the Rhône-Alpes Region under its CMIRA Research Grant Program. This blog will serve as a platform to present and discuss issues and highlights during the course of the project. English and Chinese will be the two mediums in which we shall communicate.
The P.I.s of the project are Prof. MA Jun (马 军), senior research fellow at the Institute of History (SASS) and Prof. Christian Henriot (安克強), professor at the University of Lyon and research fellow at the Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO). Prof. Ma and Prof. Henriot have a shared interest in the social history of Shanghai in the XXth century and have initiated collaboration on various projects in the past. The research team involved in ‘War made Shanghai’ includes a dozen scholars and Ph.D. candidates. Their profile will soon be available on the Virtual Shanghai platform.
In this project, we plan to address two challenges, one in terms of work hypothesis and one in terms of methodological approach. The history of Shanghai has been told from the angle of modernization, westernization, and astounding economic development. In other words, Shanghai appears in most narratives as a « success story ». A success indeed it was. And precisely, an even more astonishing success when one looks closely at the history of warfare and violence in the city. In this project, we argue that the development of Shanghai as an urban territory was conditioned by issues of defense and conflict. Shanghai thrived and prospered out of war. From the initial military foray and brief occupation by British troops in 1842 to the civil war (1945-49) and its ripples in post-war China, all through the civil rebellions (1853-55, 1860-61), revolutionary movements (1911, 1925-1927), and Sino-Japanese conflicts (1932, 1937), the city was the seat of forms of violence that affected both the spatial configuration, the distribution, composition and activities of the population, and the whole economic structure.
Wars have a tremendous impact on territories and their populations. Many cities were, at one point in their history, subjected to the grueling consequences of warfare. Some have suffered repeated assaults, successive cycles of destruction and reconstruction, displacement of population, and as a consequence, a remolding of their environment. Yet only a few large modern metropolis have gone through such cycles of sudden and thorough destruction, followed by periods of more or less rapid reconstruction, involving a massive regeneration of their populations. In this project, we plan to demonstrate that Shanghai represented an exceptional – though unfortunate — case of an urban space that from the mid-19th century to the late 1940s was engulfed in several conflicts. The city can also claim the sad record of having been the first city in the world to be exposed to and ravaged by the most modern weaponry and to have suffered from heretofore unknown levels of violence.
From a methodological perspective this project proposes to explore the history of war and civilian violence in Shanghai over a long century (1842-1952) from the perspective of spatial history and seeks to establish the determinants and modes of transformation of the city that resulted from warfare. It sits at the interface of history and geography. The methodological approach to be adopted fits in the realm of “digital humanities”, in particular digital history. It will rely on the use of digital instruments tailored for and by historians in the collection and processing of historical data, as well as in historical narratives.