Interpretative and investigative
The emergence and characteristics of modern scholarly personae in China, 1900–30
in How to be a historian
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Intellectual life experienced a dramatic change in China after the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), leaving an indelible impact on the shaping and structuring of the scholarly persona among Chinese historians. Examining the careers of four scholars – Zhang Taiyan (1869–1936), Liang Qichao (1873–1929), Hu Shi (1891–1962) and Fu Sinian (1896–1950), this chapter discusses two types of persona that at once reflected and embodied the transformation of historical scholarship, and intellectual life in general, in modern China. Blending traditional and modern elements, these two personae were shown not only in where and how the scholars conducted their research and teaching, but also in how they pursued and displayed sociopolitical virtues through their scholarly careers. The author notes that while internal disposition played a primary role in forming a persona, it also negotiated with external factors, resulting in the alternating appeal of a particular persona in a given period while a scholar adjusted his/her predisposed interest in and inclined aptitude for scholarship.

Editor: Herman Paul


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