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!
Month: June 2018
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.
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.
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.
I have a famous person to profile today! T. F. Tsiang (蔣廷黻, pinyin Jiǎng Tíngfú) was not only a student during the time of the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship program, but he went on to serve the Republic of China’s government and was a delegate to the United Nations. This means that there is a ton of information and newspaper articles available about him, his life, and his work, unlike many of my other Indemnity Scholars. To keep this from being an entire novel, and to avoid retreading the same ground that others have already examined thoroughly, in this post I will concentrate on T. F. Tsiang’s university life and studies, as well as his personal life.
I thought I’d start a new feature in the blog where I reprint some amusing/interesting/historically significant text from some of my primary sources, to give you a better idea of the cultural context of the students I profile. These will be presented with citations, photos, descriptive text, and very little editorializing. Here we go!