American Servicemen's Transnational Experience in the China Relief Expedition of 1900

CGS Brown Bag Lecture Series
Mar 28, 2018
12:15 PM to 01:15 PM
157 Burrowes

Xiangyun Xu, Penn State

In June, 1900, the United States, together with several other nations like Great Britain, Japan, Russia, France, and Germany, launched a joint operation to relieve the Chinese Boxers' siege of Western personnel and Chinese Christian converts in Tianjin and Beijing. After this multi-national forces accomplished the above goal, it occupied these two cities for more than a year. Although the United States withdrew its forces early in May, 1901 for the ongoing conflict in the Philippines, the time in China still left a mark on American servicemen. Fighting alongside other forces and encountering them on city streets during the occupation, American servicemen formed their unique opinions of other nationals, perceptions that resurged in later warfare like the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 and the First World War. Besides, they also interacted with Chinese officials and civilians, which both reinforced and modified the concurrent racial stereotypes of Asians in the United States.

Xiangyun Xu obtained both his BA and MA in history from Peking University, China. The course of study there developed his interest in the American encounters with the outside world in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century. Starting from Fall 2014, he has been in the Department of History, Penn State as a PhD student and passed his comprehensive exam in Spring 2016. Since then, he has conducted a number of archival trips for his dissertation. Meanwhile, he also writes some pieces on the American history and politics for the general audience in China.

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