fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Author: Chien-Shou Chen 陳建守

Chien-Shou Chen 陳建守
Chien-shou Chen is the PhD candidate at National Taiwan University and is currently visiting fellow at Fairbank Center, Harvard University. Chien-shou Chen will be working on his dissertation, "The Making of Historical Terms: the Transmission and Appropriation of 'Renaissance' and 'Enlightenment' in Late Qing and Republican China." This project explores how the Western concepts of the “Renaissance” and the “Enlightenment” have been absorbed and appropriated in modern China, and how these concepts have, in turn, been transformed into an internal intellectual resource.  This project also probes the social context and time framework surrounding the terms. Modern Chinese intellectuals who appropriated the terms of the “Renaissance” and the “Enlightenment” used these conceptual terms to express experiences, expectations, and actions in ways that integrate and transcend social class, intellectual spectrum and political faction.

Translation of “Enlightenment” in Late Qing and Republican China Political Thought

My research as a Fulbright grantee at Harvard University concerns the appropriation of political terminology from the West in late Qing and Republican China. Here is a small section of my work, to give an idea of the research my Fulbright grant supports. In recent research, LuoZhitian 羅志田 has argued that during the integration of Western culture, modern China showed some ambiguity in the translation and utilization of imported words. Most understanding towards European historical events took place either through literal translation or through definitionof the meanings of terms, such as “qimeng yundong”(used most often to correspond to ‘Enlightenment’) andit became a core idea of the Chinese translation.The widespread usage of the word “qimeng yundong”started in the late 1920s, and hasbeen widely usedsince then. Most sinophone usage of “qimeng yundong”, refers to its meaning in the Chinese context rather than its original reference to the Enlightenment in European history.       “qimeng”+ “yundong” =“qimeng yundong” Three prevalent meanings circulated within the intellectual field of the late Qing dynasty for the term “yundong,”(運動), which could be translated ‘movement’ in Chinese today. The first meaning refers to physical movementor exercise form, the second “yundong”refers to movement relevant to the observer, as

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal