Historical Text: Young China, No. 5, pg. 14-15 (Aug. 1920)

A later Historical Text for this week! This one’s from 1920, a publication called “Young China”, which was published by The Publicity Bureau of the Chinese Students in the University of Illinois. The University of Illinois always had a large number of Chinese Students, especially Boxer Indemnity Scholars, because the president of the university, Edmund J. James, was integral in convincing the US government to set up the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship in the first place.

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S. N. Au-Young

Today’s post is on S. N. Au-Young (欧阳心农, pinyin Ōuyáng XīnNóng), who attended the University of Michigan, Brown, George Washington University, and Columbia University. The antithesis of Tony Stark, S. N. Au-Young was a lawyer economist philosopher-poet, as well as a descendant of the famous Song Dynasty intellectual Ouyang Xiu, and later in life he had an affair with modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis.

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Historical Text: Chinese Students’ Monthly, Vol. 4 No. 1, pg. 5 (Nov. 1908)

The Historical Text for this week is from the Chinese Students’ Monthly. It deals with the remission of the Boxer Indemnity by the United States, and the optimism by which this was greeted in both countries.

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The Chinese Students’ Monthly, Vol. 4 No. 1, pg. 5-6

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L. K. Wang (王麟閣)

Today’s student is Lingoh K. Wang (王麟閣, pinyin Wáng LínGé), a student who seemed to be on a mission to attend every single university in the United States in his seven years in the country, then visit every single country as Chinese consul after he graduated.

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Historical Text: Chinese Students’ Monthly, Vol. 4 No. 1, pg. 24 (Nov. 1908)

Today’s Historical Text comes from the Chinese Students’ Monthly of November 1908. The paragraph, on page 24 of the issue, addresses something that has been a difficulty of Chinese peoples for thousands of years: the diversity of languages among the different regions of China. What many in the US think of as “Chinese” is typically either Mandarin – a northern dialect – or Cantonese – a southern dialect – but in fact there are dozens of other languages within the borders of China. Although these languages all use the same Chinese characters, many are not mutually intelligible when spoken. Much like the solution the current People’s Republic of China has come up with, the CSA suggests using Mandarin as a lingua franca among the students of different dialects.

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Y. L. Chin (金岳霖)

Today I cover another Boxer Indemnity Scholar, and indeed another famous Chinese scholar in general: Yueh Lin Chin (金岳霖, pinyin Jīn YuèLín), who attended Tsing Hua University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University, and was one of the principal founders of the study of Western logic in China. He is still famous in China today, not only for his books on philosophy, which are still read in schools, but for his interesting personal life.

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Historical Text: “Tsing Hua College Commencement”, Peking Daily News, 28 June 1915, pg. 4

Today’s Historical Text is a news item from the English-language news in China. The article is about the graduation exercises at Tsinghua University in June of 1915. A note: about 50 non-associated people from Peking attended this graduation, just because they were interested in Tsinghua as a school . . . something completely unheard of at a modern graduation from a US university!

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S. K. Chow (周思敬)

My student for this week is Clarence Sze King Chow (周思敬, pinyin Zhōu SīJìng; courtesy name 仲久/Zhòng Jiǔ). Like many other Chinese students of this era, his travels were not limited to the United States, and he would serve as consul to Cuba and Australia under the Republic of China.

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Historical Text: Chinese Students’ Monthly, Vol. 11 No. 1 (Nov. 1915), pgs. 65-66

Today’s Historical Text is from the Chinese Students’ Monthly from 1915 and focuses on the changing role and policies at Tsinghua University. Founded just 4 years earlier with Boxer Indemnity funds, Tsinghua was meant to prepare Chinese students to study in US universities. It later added a university department of its own, and is currently one of the most prestigious universities in China.

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Historical Text: Mei zhou Liu xue Bao gao: Treasurer’s Report (1907), pgs. 199-204

I am REALLY EXCITED about this historical text, because it is a new one for me. I just connected with a colleague in China and we have been furiously exchanging information and documents. This is an edition of the “Mei zhou Liu xue Bao gao”, or “Newspaper of American Study Abroad”, which was published by the Chinese Students’ Association of the Western States (mainly California). This publication was meant to be released in 1906 – all the information in it is from 1905 – but it was delayed due to the San Francisco earthquake, so it was published in 1907 instead.

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