Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Melissa Biddinger
ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Symposium to mark 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China

Oct. 11, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will join with many other celebrations being held worldwide during the first two weeks in October in marking the 100th anniversary of start of the Xinhai Revolution, a pivotal event in the founding of the Republic of China.

To mark this significant event in Asian history, the IU East Asian Studies Center and the ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, with significant support from the Institute for Advanced Study, will host a day-long symposium from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 14) in the Faculty Room at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. The event is free and open to the public.

Other celebrations, being held in places as varied as Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Honolulu and Vancouver, mark the start of the Xinhai Revolution. It began with the Wuchang Uprising on Oct. 10, 1911 and ended on Feb. 12, 1912, with the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and the founding of the Republic of China.

Three renowned historians will explore the significance of the Xinhai Revolution to Greater China's present and future by exploring how it shaped China's "rise" through a century of "humiliation" by Western powers, civil and world wars, revolution, economic and political transformation, shifting cross-border identities, and the pursuit of global influence and social harmony.

Kristin Stapleton

Kirstin Stapleton

Print-Quality Photo

"Just like subjects do not become citizens overnight, the Xinhai Revolution wasn't one dramatic event. It's an epic, and like all epics its significance has played out over time -- and very differently, depending, for example, on what side of the Taiwan Straits you stand," said Heidi Ross, director of IU's East Asian Studies Center, co-director of the ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute and a professor of education.

"This symposium will help us understand the significance of the Xinhai Revolution in Greater China's past, present, and future," she added.

Geremie Barmé, 2011 Institute for Advanced Study Branigin lecturer and director of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University, will open the symposium with a talk titled "China's 1911 Xinhai Revolution: After the Future of the Past."

Barmé will be followed by Kirstin Stapleton, director of the Asian Studies Program at the University at Buffalo, who will reflect on the impact the 1911 events had on the lives of those who experienced them through the lens of Chinese novelist Li Jieren. Jieren's 1930s trilogy of several interconnected families from different social backgrounds underscores the emotional atmosphere that surrounded the politics, both national and regional, of the times.

Jeff Wasserstrom

Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Print-Quality Photo

Jeffrey Wasserstrom, chair of the Department of History at the University of California-Irvine and former director of the IU East Asian Studies Center, will conclude with a discussion, "China from 1911 to 2011: Thoughts on Sun's Dreams and Hu's Reality." He will explore how much or how little Sun Yat-sen's plans and the Three People's Principles fit in with today's modern China. Sun was the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded in 1912.

Further details about this public event may be found at or by calling the East Asian Studies Center at 812-855-3765 or the ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute at 812-855-0269.