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Chinese Diaspora Charity and the Cantonese Pacific, 1850-1949$
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John Fitzgerald and Hon-ming Yip

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528264

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528264.001.0001

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The “Letter Should Not Beg”

The “Letter Should Not Beg”

Chinese Diaspora Philanthropy in Higher Education*

(p.99) 5 The “Letter Should Not Beg”
Chinese Diaspora Charity and the Cantonese Pacific, 1850-1949

Dong Wang

Hong Kong University Press

Through a comprehensive examination of worldwide philanthropic efforts for Canton Christian College (Lingnan University, 1888-1951), this chapter seeks to trace modern practices of diasporic Chinese philanthropy in higher education. At the core of modern institutions taking root in China, Christian universities and colleges fashioned new possibilities and new depths of support among contacts across urban communities in Asia, Oceania, and North and South Americas. National identity, welfare sovereignty, and state-philanthropy relations have been important analytical concerns of other scholars. My foci, however, are the ideas and strategies of domestic Chinese, diasporic Chinese, and Westerners that have shaped the liberal form and content of Chinese philanthropy in higher education, the “on-going enterprise of the human spirit.” I argue that cultivating overseas Chinese philanthropy for Lingnan University involved the packaging and repackaging of higher education as a fluid symbol of opportunity, hope, native-place, Christianity, modernity, progressiveness, nationalism, and worldism, depending on the specific donor base.

Keywords:   Chinese philanthropy, higher education in modernity, Chinese diaspora, Lingnan University, Canton Christian College, overseas Chinese

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