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PastimesFrom Art and Antiquarianism to Modern Chinese Historiography$
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Shana J. Brown

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834982

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834982.001.0001

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Wang Guowei—From Antiquarianism to History

Wang Guowei—From Antiquarianism to History

(p.121) 7 Wang Guowei—From Antiquarianism to History

Shana J. Brown

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how Wang Guowei both preserved and irrevocably transformed Qing antiquarianism in the 1920s, and specifically how he harmonized jinshi with emerging scholarly discourse and persuaded young historians that ancient artifacts were still critical to their research. The chapter first considers Wang Guowei's early interest in Western learning and his belief that scientific approaches could be fruitfully applied to a broad category of scholarship, including research on ancient Chinese history and language. It then explores Wang Guowei's use of antiquarianism to express his politics; his application of the social sciences to Chinese historiography; and his use of nonliterary sources in historical research. It also looks at Wang Guowei's use of a method known as as erchong zhengju fa, or double-proof method of judging literary sources against material artifacts, to argue for the continuing significance of ancient history. The chapter concludes by commenting on Wang Guowei's death and his legacy as a historian of antiquity.

Keywords:   jinshi, Wang Guowei, Qing antiquarianism, artifacts, historiography, historical research, literary sources, ancient history

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