New Perspectives on Yenching University, 1916-1952

A Liberal Education for a New China

Essays in New Perspectives on Yenching University, 1916·1952 reevaluate the experience of China's preeminent Christian university in an era of nationalism and revolution. Although the university was denounced by the Chinese Communists and critics as an elitist and imperialist enterprise irrelevant to China's real needs, the essays demonstrate that Yenching's emphasis on biculturalism, cultural exchange, and a broad liberal education combined with professional expertise ultimately are compatible with nation-building and a modern Chinese identity. They show that the university fostered transnational exchanges of knowledge, changed the lives of students and faculty, and responded to the pressures of nationalism, war, and revolution. Topics include efforts to make Christianity relevant to China's needs; promotion of professional expertise, gender relationships and coeducation; the liberal arts; Sino-American cultural interactions; and Yenching's ambiguous response to Chinese nationalism, Japanese invasion, and revolution.

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Biographical Note

Arthur Lewis Rosenbaum, Ph.D. (1971), Yale University, is Associate Professor of East Asian History at Claremont McKenna College. His publications include edited volumes and articles on modern China, including State and Society in China: the Consequences of Reform (1992).


Those interested in modern Chinese history, higher education, Chinese Christianity, philanthropic foundations, cultural exchanges, Sino-American relations, missionaries, Chinese students, student movements, the Harvard-Yenching Institute, liberal arts, transfer of bodies of knowledge, and Yenching University.

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