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Dr. Xin Fan


Fellow in the project "Conceptions of World Order and Their Social Carrier Groups" (May–August 2022)

Short Biography 

Xin Fan (Ph.D, Indiana University) is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York at Fredonia. His research areas include Chinese intellectual history, historiography, and global history. He is the author of World History and National Identity in China: The Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and he also coedited Receptions of Greek and Roman Antiquity in East Asia (Brill, 2018).


The World as A Historical Analogy

The rise of China is the single most important event in the history of the world at the opening of the twentieth-first century. With the rapid growth of its economy, China is expanding its influence in the globalized world. As a country, it has become visible in every aspect of global affairs. Yet scholars and political decision makers are debating how China views the world. As a historian, I have completed a manuscript on the study of world history in twentieth-century China. Through case studies, I expose the tensions between national identification and world-historical visions in the modernizing country. The end goal of this new research project is to complete another book manuscript. In it, I will look into some ontological and epistemological issues in framing the contemporaneous understanding of the world at various cultural positions through case studies on world-historical analogies. I will also underscore scholars and historians as a group of “social carriers” of global visions. I have completed some preliminary work on this project, including an analytical essay on historical analogy for Bloomsbury’s series on Theory, Method and Historiography, an article on the thesis of the existence of international law in ancient China, as well as an article on how world historians in China exemplified by Qi Shirong seek contemporaneity through globality. Over the summer of 2022, I plan to complete another chapter on the project discussing the entangled origins of the thought on international relations in late Imperial China. I will look into W. A. P. Martin’s interaction of Chinese scholars, and trace his works back into the development of Classical Studies in China as we as the protestant views on history in the late nineteenth century. I will also complete a book proposal and start to contact publishers by the end of the fellowship stay.