Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - The Asiatic Society of Shanghai: Sino-Indian Intellectual Cooperation in the Interwar Period

Saturday, July 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Gulmohar, First Floor

 


Rabindranath Tagore’s 1924 tour of China divided the Chinese elite. Many intellectuals were frustrated with Tagore’s attack on nationalism and support for an Orientalist ideal of Eastern civilization based in spirituality and in opposition to materialism. However, some were supportive of Tagore’s vision and his visit led to further cooperation between Chinese and Indian intellectuals.


Through the resources of Silas Aaron Hardoon, one of Shanghai’s richest businessmen, Chinese and Indian intellectuals regularly gathered for music, writing, and spiritual matters. After Tagore’s visit, Hari Prasad Shastri and Cai Xiaobai utilized these same resources to create the Shanghai Asiatic Society and the multilingual journal The Asiatic Review for Indian and Chinese residents of Shanghai to cooperate and exchange their views on worldly and spiritual matters.


This paper examines contemporary discussions of the Asiatic Society as well as Chinese and English writings from The Asiatic Review, showing the efforts made by these writers to accommodate the divergent views of Tagore and Sun Yat-sen in imagining a united Asia. 

Craig A. Smith

Australian National University, Australia

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1 - The Asiatic Society of Shanghai: Sino-Indian Intellectual Cooperation in the Interwar Period



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