Vortrag@KI: Chinese early views of transnational cultural dialogue and their recent revival: 侨学 or Qiaology in the eyes of Li Shizeng 李石曾 and its new interpretation

22.01.2018 | 18:00

Prof. Dr. Marianne Bastid-Bruguière, Institut de France, Paris

It is not in the past forty years only that China has been deeply engaged in global cultural exchange and dialogue. In the first half of the 20th century, Chinese elites and many ordinary Chinese people experienced extended contacts with the world outside China and discussed about what should be borrowed or imitated in the foreign world of knowledge and techniques in order to improve their own living, or to enrich China. Some developed a broader and more original reflection about the actual working, use and meaning of international intercourse. The founders of this reflection were four friends and major figures of the late Qing and Republican period, Li Shizeng 李石曾 (1881-1973), Wu Zhihui 吴稚晖 (1865-1953), Cai Yuanpei 蔡元培 (1868-1940) and Zhang Jingjiang 张静江 (1877-1950). They looked at this reflection and investigation as both a new branch of learning and a new tool of social engineering, and called it qiaoxue 侨学, translatable as “overseas learning”. After having fallen into oblivion after 1950, the idea of qiaoxue has been rediscovered some ten years ago by Chinese scholars interested in comparative literature, modern thought and culture and was changed into the idea of qiaoyixue 侨易学, the study of changes brought about by expatriation.

The lecture discusses the concept of qiaoxue as shaped by Li Shizeng and his friends in the first half of the 20th century, and looks into its revival, its transformation into qiaoyi, and its significance in the early 21st century.


Marianne Bastid-Bruguière is a member of the Académie des Sciences morales et politiques of the Institut de France. She is Emeritus Research Professor at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. She taught contemporary Chinese history at Paris 7 University and at the School for Higher Social Sciences Studies (EHESS). She was Deputy-Director of the Higher Normal School, 1988-1993, President of the European Association of Chinese Studies, 1992-1996. She holds honorary membership at CASS Institute of Modern History, and honorary professorships at various Chinese universities. Her research and publications are on Chinese political, social and cultural history since the early 19th century.

Zeit & Ort

22.01.2018 | 18:00

Konfuzius-Institut an der Freien Universität Berlin
Goßlerstraße 2-4
14195 Berlin
Hörsaal 203 (1. Etage)

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