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Master of Arts (M.A.)

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intellectuals, reforms, late Qing, Wuxi


This research examines the intellectuals’ reform activities in local society at the turn of twentieth century. Focusing on Wuxi, a city in south China, this study seeks to shed light on two major issues. First, it studies the reform activities in the areas of education and print media in such a transformative era. I come to argue that differences existed between reforms at a national level and the circumstances in local society. These reformers in Wuxi provided the common people more choices besides Chinese learning, rather than following the ti-yong formula. They connected their reform proposals with the common people. Second, this study scrutinizes the complexity of their local endeavors. The most profound challenge these reformers encountered, I argue, was whether they could compete in the urban space, which had become a site of conflict and contestation.


First Advisor

Lei Duan