"The Late Ascent of Darwin's Descent: Exploring Human Evolution and Women's Role for a New China, 1927-1958"
A lecture by Lijing Jiang, Ph.D.
Thurs., Nov. 12 at 5pm
In 1920, when first faithful translations of Charles Darwin’s works appeared in China, they took place amid waves of popular and academic learning in modern biology. In the late 1950s, however, two prominent intellectuals, eugenicist and sociologist Pan Guangdan (1899–1967) and embryologist Zhu Xi (1900–1962), revisited The Descent of Man for translational and educational purposes. The convergence of interest was a response to the communist state’s suppression of genetics in favor of Darwinism. Yet their views regarding Darwin’s concept of sexual selection and women’s role in society diverged significantly, revealing a lasting tension between alternative visions for the future of the nation.