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Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing ChinaXue Shaohui (1866-1911) and the Era of Reform$
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Nanxiu Qian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804792400

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804792400.001.0001

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The 1897–98 Shanghai Campaign for Women’s Education

The 1897–98 Shanghai Campaign for Women’s Education

(p.123) Four The 1897–98 Shanghai Campaign for Women’s Education
Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China

Nanxiu Qian

Stanford University Press

One of the major themes of the 1898 reforms was women’s education, yet for leading male reformers women’s issues tended to be subordinated to larger nationalistic concerns. They expected women to abandon their age-long intellectual adherence to the writing-women tradition and turn to more pragmatic professional training, so as to change “useless” women into laborers to empower the nation. In contrast, women reformers gave priority to self-improvement over national empowerment, as exemplified in the 1898 Shanghai campaign for women’s education. The campaign established the first women’s association in China (Nü xuehui), published the first Chinese women’s journal (Nü xuebao), and opened the first Chinese school for young elite women (Nü xuetang), all run by women. Via this triad, women instigated debates on reform with men and among themselves to promote their own agenda, agency, organizations, and specific strategies for achieving self-cultivation and national strengthening.

Keywords:   Nü xuehui, Nü xuebao, Nü xuetang, Jing Yuanshan, Liang Qichao, cainü Young J. Allen, Timothy Richard, Maria-Adèle Lardanchet (Lai Mayi), Shen Ying

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