College: College of Humanities
I am currently a PhD student in the Department of English. Prior to studying at the University of Exeter, I was an English lecturer for over a decade and obtained a Master of Arts in Foreign Languages and Literature from National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan. This doctoral thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach to the dissemination of Western evolutionary thought in modern China. Due to the radical revolutions of modern China, Sun Yat-sen, Yen Fu, K'ang Yu-wei, Liang Qichao, Lu Xun, Hu Shih, Chen Duxiu and Mao Zedong would all be influenced by Darwinian evolutionary thinking in different periods of time respectively. These pioneering leaders justified revolution through evolutionary thinking in the context of China's long march to modernity. For instance, Yen Fu studied overseas in Great Britain from 1877 to 1879, where he endeavoured to learn the main currents of British thought with the aim of saving late Qing China from both domestic crises and the incursions of international imperialism. Most crucially, Yen Fu went on to write a paraphrastic Chinese translation of Thomas Henry Huxley's Evolution and Ethics (1893), published in 1898 under the title, Tien-yen Lun. This work can be viewed as a milestone in the widespread, formal interaction between Social Darwinism and China. Sometimes, the devil is in the detail. I think the exquisite details in primary sources can be analysed to interpret the evolution of China and Taiwan as they struggle for existence in the modern world. Accordingly, this study returns to the era of the Chinese revolution in order to assess the depths of their impacts on modern Chinese history and literature, philosophy, war and evolutionary thinking. A number of academic disciplines are integrated so as to achieve this dissertation's research objectives. Each of these disciplines can be applied to explore the interaction between Darwinism and modern Chinese writings.