The Alienated Academy: Culture and Politics in Republican China, 1919-1937

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The enormous changes in twentieth-century Chinese higher education up to the Sino-Japanese War are detailed in this pioneering work. Yeh examines the impact of instruction in English and of the introduction of science and engineering into the curriculum. Such innovations spurred the movement of higher education away from the gentry academies focused on classical studies and propelled it toward modern middle-class colleges with diverse programs.

Yeh provides a typology of Chinese institutions of higher learning in the Republican period and detailed studies of representative universities. She also describes student life and prominent academic personalities in various seats of higher learning. Social changes and the political ferment outside the academy affected students and faculty alike, giving rise, as Yeh contends, to a sense of alienation on the eve of war.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674002845
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs Series , #148
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Wen-hsin Yeh is Assistant Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

  • Preface and Acknowledgements

  • Introduction

  1. Language and Learning

    • The Use of English in Chinese Colleges

    • Translation versus Composition: a Question of Cultural Priority Teaching English in the Hinterland

    • Qassical Learning in Beijing: 1920s

    • Chinese Learning in Republican Academia outside Beijing

    • High Culture and Philological Rigor
    • Decoding the Classicists: Culture, Nation, and Philology

    • Qinghua’s Chinese Examination Controversy of 1933

  2. St.John’s University and the Culture of the Shanghai Bourgeoisie

    • Shanghai: The Social Landscape

    • Shanghai: The Cultural Setting

    • The Founding of St. John’s: Sacred or Secular?

    • English Over Chinese: “A Christian Civilization of Commerce sod Science”

    • The Social Composition of St. John’s

    • “Espirit de Corps”: The Cultural Style of the Shanghai Bourgeoisie

    • The Challenge of Nationalism

  3. From Gentry Academies to Middle-Class Colleges

    • Communications University and the Rise of a Technocratic Elite

    • The Place of National Learning in an Engineering Program

    • The Genesis of Private Chinese Colleges in Shanghai

    • China College and the Commercialization of Private institutions

    • The Case of Fudan

    • Nanjing and the Political Climate of Higher Education

    • The Politics of Intellectual Networks

    • Confrontation with Nanjing: Middle Class Colleges and Liberal Politics

    • The Dilemma of Middle-Class Colleges

  4. Shanghai University and the Ideal of Revolution

    • Shanghai University as Myth and Reality

    • The Genesis of a Radical Institution

    • The Funding of a Revolutionary Experiment in a Pre-Revolution Society

    • To Link Classrooms to the Streets

    • A Radical Critique of Learning

    • The Intellectual Agenda of the Revolution

    • Popular Socialism and Its Radical Following

    • The Juxtaposition of Memory and Process

    • A Violent End

  5. Danghua: Under the Guidance of the Party

    • Laissez-Faire and Efflorescence: Shanghai before the Coming the Nationalists

    • Regulation and Allocation: The Role of the Nationalists in if Education

    • Danghua and the Model of Zhongshan University

    • Partification and State Penetration of the Colleges

    • Nanjing and the Provincial Outlook

  6. College Life and the Costs of Style

    • Unemployment and Unemployability in the Wake of the Great Depression

    • Tuition and Fees

    • Payment and Collection

    • Diploma Mills

    • Style as a Cultural and Political Question

    • The Structured Life on an Enclosed Campus: Yenching and Qinghua

    • In Loco Parentis: Student Life in Private Shanghai Colleges

    • Sports

    • Beijing University and the Poor Scholar in Chinese Gown

    • The Gown, the Suit, and the Uniform

    • The Juxtaposition of Images

  7. “This Alien Place”: Student Culture Beyond the May Fourth Movement

    • To the Depth of Despondency: A Literary Perspective

    • The Class Nature of Disillusionment and Loneliness: a Debate

    • The Hope in Love: Ba Jin’s Extinction

    • The Shape of Their Dismay: Two Views

    • The Absence of a Moral Community

    • In the Midst of a Cheerless Universe: College Students’ Views of Life

    • The Resurgence of an Aestheticism of Melancholy

    • A Different Kind of Iconoclasm

    • Unhappy Families

    • The Escape to Love and Science

    • The Polarization of Self and Society

    • Self, Society, Technology, and Modernization: The Nationalist Solution

    • The Fusion of the Public and the Private: The Revolutionists’ View

    • An Ethic of Aestheticism

    • The Ultimate Tragedy

  • Notes

  • Bibliography

  • Glossary

  • Index

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