Intellectuals, Professions, and Knowledge Production in Twentieth-Century China

DATE: Friday-Saturday, October 16-17, 2009

TIME: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

PLACE: IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor

SPONSORS: This workshop is sponsored by a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies, funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange; the Li Ka-shing Foundation Program in Modern Chinese History at Berkeley; and the Center for Chinese Studies.



This conference examines the transformation of China's literati into modern professionals and intellectuals in the twentieth-century. The papers discuss careers and sources of knowledge in the legal, medical, academic, and technical professions. How these professions emerged and changed in contexts of state-building, revolution, socialism, markets, and globalization is a central focus. The conference also discusses ways that professionals and intellectuals engaged the state and the public, how they used their knowledge and influence, and how their work and livelihoods have been shaped by governments and other forces.



Note: For each panel, 20 minutes will be allotted to each paper. Presenters will have 10 minutes for a brief introduction and contextualization of their paper. The discussant for each paper will have 10 minutes to summarize, critique, and raise questions. After all the papers are presented, there will be 40 minutes of discussion for the panel as a whole.

Friday, October 16, 2009

8:45 AM - Registration and Coffee

9:00 - Welcome: Wen-hsin Yeh

9:15-9:30 - Themes and Issues: Robert Culp and Eddy U

9:30-10:00 - Opening Address: Ming-cheng Lo

10:00-10:15 - Break

Session 1 — Academia

Moderator — Nick Tackett

Zhihong Chen — "Frontier in Crisis: Constructing/Enacting a National Chinese Geography"
Discussant: Dan Shao

Tze-ki Hon — "Land versus Lineage: Historical Geography during the Nanjing Era (1927 — 1937)"
Discussant: Robert Culp

Clayton Brown — "Making Anthropology Official: The Role of the Republic in Institutionalizing Disciplines"
Discussant: Eddy U

J. Megan Greene — "The ROC State and Academic Professionalization"
Discussant: Zhihong Chen

12:30-1:30 - Lunch (Presenters, discussants, and moderators only)

Session 2 — Technical Professions

Moderator — Andrew Jones

Robert Culp — "Petty Intellectuals and the Production of Knowledge: Staff Editors at Republican China's Commercial Publishing Companies"
Discussant: Ling Shiao

Bryna Goodman — "Economics with Chinese Characteristics: The Production of Economic Knowledge in Early Republican Shanghai"
Discussant: David Luesink

3:00-3:15 - Break

Session 3 — Law

Moderator — Alexander Cook

Sun Huei-min — "From Literati to Lawyer: Western Legal Knowledge and the Change in Career Patterns of the Chinese Legal Profession, 1900-1937"
Discussant: Bridie Andrews Minehan

Klaus Mühlhahn — "'Intelligence Wars': Security, Sovereignty, and Information in China, ca. 1940"
Discussant: Timothy Cheek

Glenn Tiffert — "De prudentibus: the Arc of a Chinese Jurist, Yang Zhaolong (1904-1979)"
Discussant: Sean Lei

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Session 4 — Medicine, part 1

Moderator — Matthew Sommer

David Luesink — "West Gate Building, Shanghai, 1915: From Promoters to Professionals"
Discussant: Peter Zarrow

Bridie Andrews Minehan — "Training doctors versus building a medical profession: illustrations of the difference from modern China"
Discussant: Li Zhang

Sean Hsiang-lin Lei — "When Chinese Medicine Encountered the State: The Rise of Mongrel Medicine, 1928-1937"
Discussant: Glenn Tiffert

11:00-11:15 - Break

Session 5 — Medicine, part 2

Moderator — Xiaomei Chen

Dan Shao — "Doctors' Roles and State's Rules: Chinese Obstetricians from the Early Years of the PRC"
Discussant: Sun Huei-min

Li Zhang — "Bentuhua: Culturing Psychotherapy in Contemporary China"
Discussant: Clayton Brown

12:30-1:30 - Lunch (Presenters, discussants, and moderators only)

Session 6 — Definition of intellectuals

Moderator — John Lie

Peter Zarrow — "Learning and Politics in the Late Qing: Intellectuals and the State"
Discussant: Bryna Goodman

Ling Shiao — "A Tale of Three Cities: The May Fourth Intellectuals' Search for Identity"
Discussant: Tze-ki Hon

Eddy U — "The Making of the Intellectual in Revolutionary Yan'an"
Discussant: Klaus Mühlhahn

Timothy Cheek — "Making Maoism: Technologies of sixiang 思想 in the Yan'an Rectification Movement, 1942-1944"
Discussant: J. Megan Greene

Panel Discussion of Shared Themes and Issues

Moderator — Wen-hsin Yeh

Susan Mann

Thomas Mullaney

Liu Xin

4:00-4:15 - Break

General Discussion and Concluding Remarks (Wen-hsin Yeh)

5:00 - Reception



Clayton D. Brown, History, Rhodes College

Timothy Cheek, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia

Xiaomei Chen, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Davis

Zhihong Chen, History, Guilford College

Alexander Cook, History, University of California, Berkeley

Robert Culp, History, Bard College

Bryna Goodman, History, University of Oregon

J. Megan Greene, History, University of Kansas

Tze-ki Hon, History, SUNY Geneseo

Andrew Jones, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Berkeley

Sean Hsiang-lin Lei, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica

John Lie, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Xin Liu, Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

Ming-cheng Lo, Sociology, University of California, Davis

David Luesink, Ph.D. Candidate, University of British Columbia

Susan Mann, History, University of California, Davis

Bridie Andrews Minehan, History, Bentley University

Klaus Mühlhahn, History, Indiana University

Thomas Mullaney, History, Stanford University

Dan Shao, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Ling Shiao, History, Southern Methodist University

Matthew Sommer, History, Stanford University

Huei-min Sun, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica

Nick Tackett, History, University of California, Berkeley

Glenn D. Tiffert, Ph.D. Candidate, History, University of California, Berkeley

Eddy U, Sociology, University of California, Davis

Wen-hsin Yeh, History, University of California, Berkeley

Peter Zarrow, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica

Li Zhang, Anthropology, University of California, Davis



The Conference on Intellectuals, Professions, and Knowledge Production in Twentieth-Century China will be held in the IEAS conference room on the Berkeley campus.

Directions to IEAS

IEAS is located on the sixth floor of 2223 Fulton Street at the southwest corner of campus at the intersection of Kittredge and Fulton Streets. Please find IEAS in section D1 of this campus map.

Campus map

If traveling by BART, exit the Richmond-Fremont line at the Berkeley station (not North Berkeley). When you leave the BART station, walk south down Shattuck Avenue to Kittredge Street (one or two blocks depending on which station exit you leave from) and turn left. Walk one block to Fulton Street and you will be facing the 2223 Fulton Street Building.

From Interstate 80

To reach the site by car from Interstate 80, exit at the University Avenue off-ramp in Berkeley. Take University Avenue east to Oxford Street and turn right. Oxford becomes Fulton Street in a couple of blocks. We are located in the six-story beige building on the east (left) side of the street.

From Highways 24/13

To reach us from Highways 24/13, exit 13 at Tunnel Road in Berkeley. Continue on Tunnel Road as it becomes Ashby. Turn right at Telegraph and drive approximately one mile north to Bancroft Way and turn left. The 2223 Fulton Street Building is at the northeast corner of the Bancroft and Fulton intersection (right side).

Directions to campus are also available at:


There are various public parking lots and facilities near campus and in downtown Berkeley. This list includes municipal and privately owned parking lots and garages open to the public. Please consult signs for hours and fees prior to entering the facilities.

Other lots:

  • Underground parking on Kittredge Street near Fulton
  • Berkeley Way near Shattuck
  • Center Street near Shattuck
  • Allston Way near Shattuck
  • Kittredge Street near Milvia

More information is available on the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation page.