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Before China Studies: Private Foundations and Cold War Politics in Colonial Hong Kong

July 2023 @ 18:15 - 19:45

6. July (Thursday), 18:15 – 19:45

VG 2.103



The founding of the University Service Centre in Hong Kong in 1963 was a significant event in the development of China studies. Thanks to the city’s adjacency to mainland China and the Carnegie Corporation’s funding support, the Centre since its very beginning has become the “go-to” place for aspiring researchers to obtain first-hand information to study contemporary China. Yet in what way did U.S. government, private foundations, and the British Colonial government collaborate on founding this important institution? This is the central question of this talk. By using American and British archives, I will investigate the complicated relationship between state and society in the production of China-related knowledge in the Cold War era.



Dr Xin Fan is Teaching Associate in Modern Chinese History at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, and he is also a fellow at Lucy Cavendish College of the university. Prior to the move to the UK, he was a tenured associate professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia. As a historian of twentieth-century China, he is the author of World History and National Identity in China: The Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and the second editor of Receptions of Greek and Roman Antiquity in East Asia (Brill, 2018). He also serves as book review editor for China and Asia: A Journal in Historical Studies. He is currently working on a book project tentatively titled, “The Right to Talk about China: The Rise of Emotions of Politics, 1900s–1949.” He is collaborating with Kristin Stapleton and Els van Dongen on editing “The SAGE Handbook of Interpreting Chinese History.” In addition, he is writing about nationalism, historiography, and the history of concepts.


July 2023
18:15 - 19:45


Prof. Dominic Sachsenmaier, University of Göttingen


VG 2.103