1st Edition

From Missionary Education to Confucius Institutes Historical Reflections on Sino-American Cultural Exchange

Edited By Jeff Kyong-McClain, Joseph Tse-Hei Lee Copyright 2024
    258 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    From Missionary Education to Confucius Institutes examines the history and globalization of cultural exchange between the United States and China and corrects many myths surrounding the incompatibility of American and Chinese cultures in the higher education sphere.

    Providing a fresh look at the role of non-state actors in advancing Sino-American cross-cultural knowledge exchange, the book presents empirical studies highlighting the diverse experiences and practices involved. Case studies include the U.S.-initiated missionary education in modern China, the involvement of private foundations and professional associations in education, the impact of Chinese and American laws on student exchanges, and the evaluation of the experience of U.S. Confucius Institutes.

    This book will appeal to students and scholars of U.S. and Chinese higher education from the past to the present, as well as international admission officers and university executives who are concerned about the global educational partnership with China and questions around the internationalization of education more broadly.

    Introduction: Trajectories of the History of Sino-American Educational Exchange  

    Jeff Kyong-McClain and Joseph Tse-Hei Lee  


    PART I: Student-Faculty Exchanges in Late Qing—Early Republican Era  


    1. The World’s Chinese Students’ Journal and American-influenced Education Reforms on the Eve of Revolution in China, 1905–1911  

    Daniel Barish  


    2. The Emerging Chinese Public Intellectual: Ma Yinchu in the United States, 1907–1914  

    Austin Dean  


    3. Sailing to China: The Transnational Experience of Gregory Dexter Walcott at Tsinghua  

    Huaiyu Chen  


    PART II: Curriculum Development and Campus Experience in the Nanjing Decade  


    4. Being Human: Yenching Educator Wu Leichuan and a Struggling China  

    Sin-Jan Chu  


    5. Trans-Pacific Development Agents: Chinese Female Students and American Rural Extension Education in the Republican Period  

    Helen Schneider  


    6. Educational Crisis in Shanxi: An Analysis of Brethren Mission Schools in Republican China  

    Jeff Bach and David Kenley  


    PART III: Co-opting Students in the Cold War/Maoist Era  


    7. The International Education Constituency and the Student Turn in Sino-American Relations in the Mid-Twentieth Century  

    Yanqiu Zheng  


    8. Preaching Anti-Americanism on Campus: College Students and the Propaganda State in Revolutionary China  

    Zhao Ma  


    9. Churchman, Banker, Educator: Lam Chi-Fung and American Church Resources in the Making of Hong Kong Baptist College  

    Michael Wing-Hin Kam  


    PART IV: Confucius Institutes in the United States  


    10. China’s Soft Power Strategy at the Confucius Institutes in the United States  

    Shao-cheng (Michael) Sun  


    11. Confucius Institutes in the United States: Legal Considerations  

    Huichun Liu  


    12. [Un]Free Speech: Constructing Modernity in the Confucius Institutes  

    Jennifer Hubbert  



    Edward A. McCord  



    Jeff Kyong-McClain is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Habib Institute for Asian Studies at the University of Idaho. His research focuses on the history of academic disciplines, Sino-American educational exchange, and Christianity in Sichuan. He is coeditor of Chinese Cinema: Identity, Power, and Globalization and Chinese History in Geographical Perspective.

    Joseph Tse-Hei Lee is Professor of History and Director of the Global Asia Institute at Pace University in New York, and his research focuses on Christianity in China. He recently coedited Empire Competition (2022) and The Church as Safe Heaven (2019).

    ‘Through empirical studies of Sino-American educational exchange in a historical perspective, From Missionary Education to Confucius Institutes captures the human stories, institutional support, and state power that shaped the opportunities and challenges for international higher education. This volume serves as a valuable contribution to both China Studies and international education.’

    Wing-kai To, Assistant Provost for Global Engagement, Bridgewater State University, USA

    From Missionary Education to Confucius Institutes provides a most important link between the current geo-political situation and the deep and mutually beneficial links which the cooperation between China and America has produced over the "long twentieth century." Focused on educational history, this volume provides useful lessons to academic experts as well as to the general public.’

    Lars Peter LaamannSenior Lecturer, History Department, SOAS, University of London, UK


    ‘At a time when US-China educational exchanges have been limited by political tensions, From Missionary Education to Confucius Institutes offers an instructive and expansive historical overview. Those exchanges have sometimes been difficult to implement and politically controversial, but they have also had remarkable results that point to their importance in the worst as well as the best of times.’

    Mel Gurtov, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Portland State University, USA

    'This book has a number of unique features in that it deals with Sino-American educational interaction over a period of more than a century. ... The changing contexts of the four periods covered in this book show fruitful forms of mutual learning in the initiatives of a wide range of individuals and institutions that give us hope for greater openness in future and the kind of balance between strengths on both sides that could nurture our younger generation as cosmopolitan citizens.'

    Ruth Hayhoe, University of Toronto, Canada