Sally Chengji Xing

Ph.D. Candidate, U.S. History, Columbia University

2020 to 2021
Research Fellow

“Pacific Crossings”: Paul Monroe, John Dewey and the Architecture of Modern Chinese Scientific Research and Education, 1913-1949

My dissertation examines how the American intellectuals influenced the establishment of modern Chinese scientific education and research, and were in turn, influenced by their encounters with China, through the China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture. The China Foundation, hand in hand with the Rockefeller Foundation, was a central force in developing modern science in China. Based on the second remission of the American returned Boxer Indemnity Funds to China, the China Foundation was committed to the development of scientific knowledge and to the application of such knowledge to the conditions in China through the promotion of technical training, scientific research, experimentation, and training in science teaching. With the multi-archival findings in China, Taiwan and the United States, my research analyzes the Sino-American intellectual exchange network that laid the foundation of the China Foundation, and explores how China Foundation’s blueprints were disrupted by war and revolution. Adding to the existing literature on China and the Rockefeller Foundation, it aspires to shift our perspective of US history, that focuses overwhelmingly on American interconnections with Europe, to the interconnected networks of “Pacific Crossings”.