Conference on Chinese 1911 Revolution

March 28, 2011 - March 30, 2011
Mānoa Campus, East-West Center, Imin Center, Keoni Auditorium Add to Calendar

“Rethinking the Chinese Revolution: 1911 in Global Perspective”

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, March 28–30, 2011

(An AAS-endorsed pre-conference of the 2011 AAS-ICAS annual convention)

*********************************************************************** Conference title: “Rethinking the Chinese Revolution: 1911 in Global Perspective”

Convener: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM); and Confucius Institute at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa*

Venue: East-West Center, Imin Conference Center, Keoni Auditorium

Dates: March 28 to March 30, 2011

Conference Chair: Frederick Lau, Director, Center for Chinese Studies, UHM; Organizing Committee: Shana Brown, Committee Chair (History, UHM), Cathy Clayton (Asian Studies, UHM), Jiang Hui (Peking University)

* With major support from the Confucius Institute at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

The 1911 Revolution and Its Significance

On October 10, 1911, the revolutionary members of an army unit stationed in Wuchang, a suburb of the central Chinese city of Wuhan, mutinied against local officials. Fearing preemptive arrest, the revolutionaries had acted precipitously. But after their victory, a chain of similar uprisings led to the capitulation of the Qing Dynasty. What began as a feeble insurgency resulted, in only a few short months, with the eradication of three centuries of Manchu rule and the establishment of the Republic of China.

Given its decisive end to the imperial system, the 1911 Revolution was a marked success that reverberated throughout Asia and the world. Yet at least in the short term, the revolution failed to achieve the broader objectives of territorial sovereignty, social and cultural development, and economic prosperity which motivated Sun Yat-sen and other advocates of republicanism. Instead, the events of 1911 launched a protracted struggle to accomplish these complex objectives. Its successes and failures—whether temporary or long-lived--remain critical foundations for the institutions and ideologies of modern China, and indeed, the world. Conference in Commemoration of the 1911 Revolution

At the centennial of the revolution, the legacies of 1911 remain critical points of engagement for scholars, political actors, and their constituents both in China and abroad. Understanding the revolution allows us to engage more fully with the shifting trajectories and meanings of Chinese modernity and the Chinese nation. At the same time, the revolution was a world-historical event, inspiring similar struggles for social and cultural change in Asia and the world in ways that offered an important alternative to similar programs derived from the European enlightenment.

In recognition of the significance of the Revolution to China and the world, the UHM Center for Chinese Studies plans a commemorative conference, preceding the 2011 national meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, that will bring together a diverse group of experts on Chinese history, politics, literature, anthropology, and law, among other fields from The People’s Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.

The goal of the conference is to consider the specific events of 1911 as well as the broader implications of revolution and change in modern China, including its global impact. At its conclusion, members of the conference will discuss the pedagogical implications of the 1911 Revolution. Participants in the conference will be asked to contribute materials such as paper drafts, abstracts, and suggested reading lists oriented towards undergraduate research and comprehension, with the goal of establishing a teaching-oriented website that will serve as an ongoing reference point for students and educators.

Open to the public, all are welcome.

Tentative Conference Schedule and Confirmed Invited Speakers

March 28, 2011 (Monday) Attendees/presenters arrive

7:30 pm Opening remarks, Edward Shultz, dean of SPAS, Dinner. Keynote address: R. Bin Wong (UCLA) March 29, 2011 (Tuesday)

8:00–8:30 Coffee

8:30–10:00 Panel 1: “New Reflections on 1911 and its Historical Legacies.” Moderator: Edward Shultz (UHM). Panelists: Shana Brown (UHM); Daniel Kwok (UHM); Jeffrey Wasserstrom (UCI).

10:00–10:30 Break

10:30–12:00 Panel 2: “The Idea of Revolution in 20th Century China.” Moderator: Hui Jiang (Peking University). Panelists: Zhang Xudong (NYU); Viren Murthy (University of Ottawa); Ban Wang (Stanford).

12:00–1:00 Lunch

1:00–3:00 Panel 3: “Nationalism, Historical Memory, and Democratization.” Moderator: Cathy Clayton (UHM). Panelists: Allen Chun (Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica); Carole Petersen (UHM); John Carroll (HKU).

3:00–3:15 Break

3:15–5:15 Panel 4: “The Gender of Revolution.” Moderator: Ming-Bao Yue (UHM). Panelists: Christina Gilmartin (Northeastern); Yan Haiping (Cornell University); Amy Dooling (Connecticut College); Tani Barlow (Rice University).

5:30 Reception at University Art Gallery, UHM. Exhibition: “The Reformer’s Brush: Modernity and Traditional Media in China”. Curator, Kate Lingley (Art History, UHM).

7:00 Film Screening: “Autumn Gem (Qiu Jin): A Documentary on China’s First Feminist.” Rae Chang, director.

March 30, 2011 (Wednesday)

8:00–8:30 Coffee

8:30–10:00 Panel 5: “1911 and its Global Context.” Moderator: Jerry Bentley (UHM). Panelists: Anthony Reid (Australian National University); Zhongping Chen (University of Victoria); Rebecca Karl (NYU), Peter Zarrow (Academia Sinica, Taiwan).

10:00–10:30 Break

10:30–12:00 Panel 6: “Teaching 1911: A Roundtable Discussion.” Moderator: Fred Lau (UHM). Panelists: Selected participants from panels.

12:00–1:30 Lunch. Concluding remarks: Shana Brown (UHM)

Ticket Information
free admission; open to the public

Event Sponsor
Center for Chinese Studies & Confucius Institute, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Daniel Tschudi, 956-8891,,, 1911 Conference flyer (PDF)

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