In 1948, a pretty young woman died under mysterious circumstances in the Manchurian city of Harbin. The case was widely reported in the press and inspired a comic book and a film. In this talk, I use the 1956 film The Murder Case of Xu Qiuying to illustrate the distinctions between spy thriller and detective fiction, and between "high justice" and "low justice" in the Chinese literary and political-legal traditions.
Haiyan Lee is professor of Chinese and comparative literature at Stanford University. She is the author of Revolution of the Heart: A Genealogy of Love in China, 1900-1950 (2007), winner of the 2009 Joseph Levenson Prize (post-1900 China) from the Association for Asian Studies, and The Stranger and the Chinese Moral Imagination (2014). In 2015-16, she was a Frederick Burkhardt Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences where she began research on a new project on Chinese visions of justice at the intersection of narrative, law, and ethics.