Chinese expert lectures at Renmin University

By Li Jing ( ) Updated: 2014-03-17 15:40:29

Chinese expert lectures at Renmin University

[Photo by Xing Yi/for China Daily]

Jonathan D Spence autographs copies of his books for readers after giving a lecture at Renmin University of China on March 13.

Renowned Sinologist Jonathan D Spence capped his 10-day Beijing tour on March 13 with a lecture at Renmin University of China, and will then head to Xi’an and Shanghai, before going to Taipei on March 25.

This is the Yale professor’s first book tour in China. Spence is on a book tour for the Guangxi Normal University Press’ collection of his three books – Ts’ao Yin and the K’ang-hsi Emperor: Bondservant and Master, The Question of Hu and To Change China: Western Advisers in China, 1620-1960.

Ts’ao Yin and the K’ang-hsi Emperor, written in 1966, recounts the relationship between Emperor Kangxi (1654-1722) and his childhood playmate and then commissioner of imperial textiles Cao Yin (1658-1712). The book gives an insight into China’s social and political structure and events during the late 17th and early 18th century. Cao Yin was the grandfather of Cao Xueqing, the author of the Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber.

Spence’s 1987 book, The Question of Hu tells the story of John Hu, a devout Chinese Catholic who followed a missionary to France in 1722, and reconstructs an extraordinary episode in the early interactions between China and Europe.

Spence said his first two books are available in bookstores while the last book about Western cultural and political influences on China during the period between 1620 and 1960 is awaiting content approval by authorities.

Born in 1936, the Sterling professor of history at Yale University has a great following in China, as was evident by the crowds at each event in Beijing. During his stop at Renmin University of China, he lectured to a packed crowd inside one of the university’s largest multi-level lecture halls. The event was so popular that some students arrived two hours early to get a seat close to the academic star.


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