Fleming, Leslie, ed. Women’s Work for Women: Missionaries and Social Change in Asia. Boulder: Westview Press, 1989.
This edited volume provides a pan-Asian context for women’s missionary work in China. Articles by Marjorie King and Jane Hunter discuss the relationship between American models of domesticity and the message propagated to (and about) Chinese women.
Hunter, Jane. The Gospel of Gentility: American Women Missionaries in Turn of the Century China. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.
This book provides valuable information on the circumstances of female missionaries in China. Not only does it describe the conditions of these women’s lives in China, but it also delves into their motivations for undertaking missionary work.
Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London: Routledge, 1992.
A nice complement to Said, Pratt’s study of travel writing by Western authors provides insight into the tropes which have characterized the genre in the colonial and postcolonial periods. Although the author focuses on South America, her findings are applicable to the Asian case.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1979 .
The now classic text on how the West views the East, this book lays out a theoretical framework for understanding how Western accounts of Eastern societies should be read and interpreted.
Spence, Jonathan.The Chan’s Great Continent: China in Western Minds. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
This nicely written text provides a historical context for the interactions between the West and China. Beginning with Marco Polo, Spence traces the narrative evolution of “China” in Western texts through the centuries, ending with Nixon’s visit to China in 1972.