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postgraduate thesis: Wartime Chinese study abroad, 1937-1945 : "the grand ideal of national salvation"

TitleWartime Chinese study abroad, 1937-1945 : "the grand ideal of national salvation"
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Yu, X. [禹夏]. (2016). Wartime Chinese study abroad, 1937-1945 : "the grand ideal of national salvation". (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis project explores the motivations and lived experiences of Chinese overseas students who travelled to the West during the years of the Second World War (1937—1945). Unlike existing country-specific studies of the earlier waves of Chinese study abroad, this thesis highlights individuals who studied in both the United States and Great Britain, with additional examples drawn from continental Europe and Japan. The chronological gap in previous scholarship has also insufficiently addressed the international wartime climate, which allowed states and individuals to consider how education could be channelled as political diplomacy. In contrast to the bulk of state-centric scholarship on China in the Second World War, this thesis takes a prosopographical, bottom-up approach to link larger, national and international processes with personal stories, and separates this distinctive group from larger populations of Overseas Chinese and other wartime personnel. It makes comparisons between Chinese in the United States and the lesser-studied group in Britain. Using the Second World War as a “moment” from which to view critical developments in intellectual history, wartime migration, and the larger population of Overseas Chinese, the thesis argues that these students existed as a special group during an extraordinary period of time. The Second World War was a critical turning point for the status of professional, educated Chinese residing abroad. The preferential support and opportunities they received from China and their host countries, assisted by the improving diplomatic relationship between China and the West, were unprecedented. Chapter One gives historical context of Chinese study abroad. Chapter Two examines how the Guomindang justified its continued support for educational exchange, and how individual students responded to new policies. The next two chapters focus on students’ lives overseas, distinguishing them from diasporic counterparts and other wartime personnel. The research reveals that not only were experiences with discrimination not categorical, but that different diplomatic and academic developments also led to new opportunity. As the first study to focus on wartime Chinese overseas students as a distinct group, this thesis does reflect themes that previous scholars have explored with earlier generations of overseas students. However, its added social history approach to letters, memoirs, and government announcements and internal documents shows that it is valuable and necessary to construct a narrative the important historical episode of the Second World War through a closer, humanistic lens.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectHistory - Chinese students - Foreign countries - 20th century
Dept/ProgramHistory
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/241431
HKU Library Item IDb5864202

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYu, Xia-
dc.contributor.author禹夏-
dc.date.accessioned2017-06-13T02:07:52Z-
dc.date.available2017-06-13T02:07:52Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationYu, X. [禹夏]. (2016). Wartime Chinese study abroad, 1937-1945 : "the grand ideal of national salvation". (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/241431-
dc.description.abstractThis project explores the motivations and lived experiences of Chinese overseas students who travelled to the West during the years of the Second World War (1937—1945). Unlike existing country-specific studies of the earlier waves of Chinese study abroad, this thesis highlights individuals who studied in both the United States and Great Britain, with additional examples drawn from continental Europe and Japan. The chronological gap in previous scholarship has also insufficiently addressed the international wartime climate, which allowed states and individuals to consider how education could be channelled as political diplomacy. In contrast to the bulk of state-centric scholarship on China in the Second World War, this thesis takes a prosopographical, bottom-up approach to link larger, national and international processes with personal stories, and separates this distinctive group from larger populations of Overseas Chinese and other wartime personnel. It makes comparisons between Chinese in the United States and the lesser-studied group in Britain. Using the Second World War as a “moment” from which to view critical developments in intellectual history, wartime migration, and the larger population of Overseas Chinese, the thesis argues that these students existed as a special group during an extraordinary period of time. The Second World War was a critical turning point for the status of professional, educated Chinese residing abroad. The preferential support and opportunities they received from China and their host countries, assisted by the improving diplomatic relationship between China and the West, were unprecedented. Chapter One gives historical context of Chinese study abroad. Chapter Two examines how the Guomindang justified its continued support for educational exchange, and how individual students responded to new policies. The next two chapters focus on students’ lives overseas, distinguishing them from diasporic counterparts and other wartime personnel. The research reveals that not only were experiences with discrimination not categorical, but that different diplomatic and academic developments also led to new opportunity. As the first study to focus on wartime Chinese overseas students as a distinct group, this thesis does reflect themes that previous scholars have explored with earlier generations of overseas students. However, its added social history approach to letters, memoirs, and government announcements and internal documents shows that it is valuable and necessary to construct a narrative the important historical episode of the Second World War through a closer, humanistic lens.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshHistory - Chinese students - Foreign countries - 20th century-
dc.titleWartime Chinese study abroad, 1937-1945 : "the grand ideal of national salvation"-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5864202-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineHistory-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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