On the Eve of 1911 Revolution – October 2011

Join us at on Thursday 27 Oct for an exploration of the historical-political arena of Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary attempt, the role of the new elites and the historical context leading up to October 10th, 1911 when Associate Professor Jia Jane SI from Fudan University will present this lunchtime talk till 3pm including Q&A. No booking is required for this event which will take place at the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

Holding a B.A in Literature and an M.A. in History from Fudan University and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Jia Jane SI’s career has taken her to the USA where she worked in St Joseph`s University, Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania. More recently she has worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Kansai University, Japan.

This talk will cover the chronological range from the last ten years of the Qing dynasty to the early Republican period, and aim to give a detailed exploration of the historical-political arena of Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary attempts. The talk will also examine the role of the new elites who led the revolution, as well as the historical context of the eve of October 10th, 1911, so as to offer a better understanding of the birth of a new China.

Defeated by Japanese navy on the sea in 1895, the Qing government eventually decided to learn from the West—yet the question was how? The three-decade long Self Strengthening Movement seemed not to bring fruitful results as expected, which in turn made Chinese officials and elites further reflect upon the so-called modernization issues. Although the Movement initiated the translation and learning of Western sciences and technologies, the majority of Chinese gentry-literati still lived in the mental universe of their own tradition. After 1896, a segment of the literati realized that China was facing a new situation. Not only the navy, industry, railway system, and cotton factory were included in the modernisation plan, the second step during the 1898 “Hundred Days” Reform introduced Western philosophy and thoughts on political institutions, as well as brought about changes for newspapers, school systems, and various channels related to local civil society.

The Empress Dowager Cixi’s coup d’état in September 1898 and the Boxers Uprising afterward jeopardized China’s future heavily, and meanwhile, anti-Manchu sentiments were fermenting among the revolutionary gentry-class, particularly in southern China. The concept of national sovereignty, an idea of political nationalism, was constructed in many revolutionary writings. Treaties signed with foreign powers lacked equality and thus national sovereignty was impaired. The new Nationalism aroused around 1900 marked the awakening of patriotism, based on which the idea of a new Republican China was elaborated.

Awards and Honours

2005-2006 Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Science, Univ. of Pennsylvania
2002-2004 William Penn Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania.
April 2004 Wason Collection Library Grant, Cornell University.
2001-2002 Haney Foundation Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
August 2000 “Young Scholar Award for Outstanding Academic Paper.” Issued by Scientific Committee of Chinese Historical Geography and Tan Qixiang-Yu Gong Foundation

Recent Publications (Primary Author):

2010 《麦都思〈三字经〉与新教早期在华及南洋地区的活动》,《学术研究》第12期,112-119页。

《见闻、谈资与讽刺诗 ——中国洋泾浜英语在十八至二十世纪初西方出版物中的流传》,载《九州学林》(Chinese Cultural Quarterly) 春夏季: 172-189.

2009 Circulation of English in China: Speakers, Historical Texts, and a New Linguistic Landscape. VDM Verlag, 2009.

“Collecting and Collection: Local Chinese Culture in Robert Morrison’s Dictionary” Fudan Journal (The Humanities and Social Sciences), 4 (Dec. 2009).

“Breaking through the ‘Jargon’ Barrier: Early 19th century missionaries’ response on communication conflicts in China. Frontiers of History in China, 4.3 (Sept. 2009): 340-357.


2008 “Life around English: The Foreign Loan Word Repertoire and Urban Linguistic Landscape in the Treaty Port of Shanghai.” Fudan Journal (The Humanities and Social Sciences), 1 (Mar. 2008): 126-143.