Published on 03/08/23
Students Jessie and Florence tell us about the History Society Talk by Dr Xin Fan.
Dr Xin Fan, an expert in modern Chinese history and professor at the University of Cambridge, came in to talk to the students from both the Sixth Form and the Senior School about China prior to Mao’s rise to power and several of the century’s important themes.
The talk focused on the period of 1840s to 1940s, which many historians considered it had been China’s ‘century of humiliation’. Dr Fan took an interesting and enthusiastic approach to debate to what extent this view is completely valid. He not only looked at all the damage that the Chinese government and people suffered during this period, but also introduced an alternative viewpoint, exploring how this ‘century of humiliation’ was actually a period of rapid social growth and was categorised by three themes: anti-traditionalism, anti-imperialism, and revolution.
The students, who studied a vast range of different subjects, not just humanities, from the Senior School and Sixth Form were highly enthusiastic - almost being late to lessons because they had so many eager questions. This allowed them to immerse themselves in the discussion and engage with Dr Fan to help expand their mind-sets when it comes to viewing history. The talk was very enlightening and intriguing, and it has encouraged us all to always consider different perspectives in both history and our day-to-day lives.
Thank you again for Dr Fan’s effort and expertise, also thank you for those who came to listen and enthuse.