Tong Enzheng

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Tong Enzheng
Native name 童恩正
Born 1935
Died 1997 (aged 61–62)
Nationality Chinese
Occupation science fiction author
Notable work Cultural Anthropology
New Journey to the West
Death Ray on a Coral Island
Awards China's best short story
1978 Death Ray on a Coral Island
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tong.

Tong Enzheng (Chinese: 童恩正; 1935 – April 20, 1997) was a prominent Chinese archaeologist, historian, designer, and science fiction author.


Tong authored the textbook Cultural Anthropology and specialized in early southwest China. He also was involved in redesigning the Sichuan University Museum.[1] He also became noted for his criticism of the influence of Lewis H. Morgan on Chinese anthropology.[2][3] Tong also led the "Southern Silk Road Project.",[4] pursuing the study of links between ancient Southeast Asia and China. Not many of Tong's publications in Chinese have been translated. In English, one of his most widely cited articles is a review of Chinese archaeology under socialism.[5]

In science fiction he wrote the satirical New Journey to the West, and the short story Death Ray on a Coral Island. This won an award for "China's best short story" in 1978 and was later adapted to film.[6] Both his science fiction writings as well as his archaeological and historical scholarly writings were reprinted in a multi-volume set issued in 1998 from Chongqing Publishing House (Tong Enzheng wenji, 3 volumes, 1998, ISBN 978-7-5366-3871-6).

He died in the US after fleeing China following the Government crackdown on the protests at Tiananmen Square. At the time, he was a visiting scholar at Wesleyan University, which has instituted a lecture series in his name, an Enzheng Tong Archaeology Library located at its Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies.[7]


  1. ^ Society for East Asian Archaeology
  2. ^ Gladney, Dru. Muslim Chinese ethnic nationalism in the People's Republic, pgs 72, 74
  3. ^ Gender and Chinese archaeology by Katheryn M. Linduff, Yan Sun, pg 12
  4. ^ Ways of being ethnic in Southwest China by Stevan Harrell, pg 13
  5. ^ Tong, Enzheng. “Thirty years of Chinese archaeology, 1949-79,” in Nationalism, Politics, and the Practice of Archaeology, edited by Philip L. Kohl and Clare Fawcett; Cambridge [England]; New York; Cambridge University Press, 1996, 177-97.
  6. ^ Handbook of Chinese popular culture
  7. ^ "Brief biography of Enzheng Tong". Wesleyan University. Retrieved 2016-01-23.