CHINA HERITAGE QUARTERLY China Heritage Project, The Australian National University ISSN 1833-8461
Nos. 30/31, June/September 2012


Quentin Pan in The China Critic | China Heritage Quarterly

Quentin Pan 潘光旦 in The China Critic

Leon Antonio Rocha
Emmanuel College
University of Cambridge*

We are to-day, like Hercules, facing a crossroad. The newer points of view beckon us from one direction, while the older ones are yet powerful enough to attract us from another; and many of us are unable to reach a decision.

—Quentin Pan[1]

The American-trained evolutionary biologist, sociologist and eugenicist Quentin Pan (Pan Guangdan 潘光旦, 1899-1967) was a founding editor of and regular contributor to The China Critic. A prolific scholar whose collected works number some fourteen volumes, Pan was a pioneer in the fields of sociology, ethnology and anthropology, and his name is familiar to many scholars of modern China. Pan repeatedly appears in histories of social and human sciences in China, though a full English-language study of him has yet to be written.[2] This study introduces Pan's life and work, in tandem with a close reading of a selection of articles that he wrote for The China Critic in the late 1920s and early 1930s. These articles offer an excellent point of entry into Pan's ideas on population and eugenics, his polemics on family and marriage, and his intellectual positioning and self-fashioning.

From Tsinghua to Cold Spring

Pan Guangdan 潘光旦 (originally known as Pan Guangdan 潘光亶, honorific name Zhong'ang 仲昂) was born on 13 August 1899 in Baoshan 寶山, Jiangsu province. The Pan family was influential in the Baoshan region and was involved in both the scholarly and mercantile worlds. Pan's father, Pan Hongding (潘鴻鼎, 1863-1915), was awarded the status of 'Presented Scholar' 進士 in the 1898 Palace Examination, and was appointed a Junior Compiler of the Hanlin Academy 翰林院編修. Pan's father was particularly interested in new-style pedagogy; he was sent to Japan to inspect modern educational institutions and later set up a number of schools in the Baoshan area. Pan Guangdan himself attended an old-style private school 私塾 only briefly and was enrolled in a modern academy 學堂, graduating in 1912. In 1913, at the age of fourteen and in accord with the wishes of his father, Pan Guangdan entered Beijing's Tsinghua School 清華學校. Tsinghua, the precursor of the national university (established in 1929), had been founded using the Boxer Indemnity funds that America received from the Qing government. Tsinghua's eight-year curriculum prepared Chinese students for study in the United States. Upon graduation, the best were awarded scholarships to study at an American university, usually entering into the second or third year of an undergraduate programme.

At Tsinghua, Pan studied English and some German, and enjoyed an American-style liberal education. He pursued a wide range of subjects: natural and agricultural sciences, politics and diplomacy, mathematics and economics, history and social thought, literature and philosophy, business and commerce. During these formative years at Tsinghua he met the poet Wen Yiduo (聞一多, 1899-1946)—with whom he developed a lifelong friendship—and the ethnologist Wu Zelin (吳澤霖, 1898-1990) through a discussion group called the 'Shang Society' 丄社.[3] Pan would later record that his interest in human sexuality was sparked when he discovered English sexologist Havelock Ellis' (1859-1939) magnum opus Studies in the Psychology of Sex (then six volumes, 1897-1920) in the Tsinghua library. He said that he read each volume from cover to cover and became a 'minor expert' 小權威 among his peers in matters related to sex and reproduction. This encounter with Ellis' work also fuelled a lifelong passion for sexology. In fact, Pan identified himself as a sishu 私淑 or sishu dizi 私淑弟子 of Ellis—a disciple who had not studied directly under the master itself.[6] In a 1933 essay, Pan described Ellis as his personal hero:

Mr Ellis is no philosopher, yet he is a profound thinker, one of the profoundest whom the passing generation has yet witnessed. He is no scientist, yet the method and the spirit with which he approaches the forbidden precincts of sex will put to shame the efforts of many who styled themselves scientists. He is no physician; he has never practised in spite of his strenuous medical training and his certificate; yet he has been a curer of many souls of the maladies which an ordinary physician does not even have courage to talk about. He is no moralist, yet by his sane attitude toward sex, his wholesome conception of purity, his discountenance both of 'vulgar prudence' and 'categorical imperatives', he […] rightly, becomes one of the most important moral teachers of his time. He is indeed none of these types of savants, but had it not been for his humanist outlook and convictions, Mr Ellis would not have contributed as much as he actually has.[7]

Pan later translated two chapters from the sixth volume of Studies in the Psychology of Sex; these were published as two pamphlets entitled Sexual Education 性的教育 and Sexual Morality 性的道德 in 1934.[8] In 1946, Pan published Psychology of Sex 性心理學, a translation of Ellis' book of the same title (1933), which was Ellis' own condensation of his Studies in the Psychology of Sex.[9]

In around 1921, Pan also encountered Freud's A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis—most likely the English translation by G. Stanley Hall published in New York in 1920—and also became fascinated with psychoanalysis. He wrote a piece of psychoanalytic criticism on the legendary late-Ming poet Feng Xiaoqing (馮小青, 1595-1612), based on the biography by Zhi Ruzeng (支如增, fl. late-seventeenth century), extending Freud's theories on narcissism and perversion to offer a general analysis of the sentimental life and sexual repression of women in traditional Chinese societies.[10] This psychoanalytic study was submitted as a research assignment for a class at Tsinghua called 'A Bird's Eye View of Five Thousand Years of Chinese History' 中國五千年歷史鳥瞰, taught by none other than the famous intellectual Liang Qichao (梁啟超, 1873-1929). Liang is said to have praised Pan's work highly:

If you apply the same kind of close and meticulous observation here to all your other studies, you will never go astray. Your crystal-clear reasoning could make you a scientist; your deep sensibilities could make you a literary scholar. I hope you can focus your efforts on one of your interests, and do not allow yourself to become as superficial as I am.[11]

Pan graduated from Tsinghua and was selected for a scholarship to support his studies in the United States. In 1922, he enrolled in the third year of the biology program at Dartmouth College and skipped to senior year after one semester. He obtained a bachelor's degree and was elected Phi Beta Kappa in 1924. He then enrolled at Columbia University, where he studied zoology, palaeontology and heredity, earning a master's degree in 1926. During summer vacations, and in between Dartmouth and Columbia, Pan attended a number of training courses—classes on endocrinology and cellular biology at the Carnegie Institute Department of Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor, and on eugenics, anthropology and the sciences of human measurement at the Centre for the Study of Eugenics and Eugenics Record Office, directed by Charles Davenport (1866-1944). While in the United States, Pan also dabbled in psychology and forensics, and listened to lectures delivered at the New School of Social Research by sociologist W.I. Thomas (1853-1947) and on behaviourism by John B. Watson (1878-1958).

'Helping the [Chinese] Race to Reach Maturity'

According to the historian Sakamoto Hiroko 坂本ひろ子, Pan was inspired by the ideas of Francis Galton and particularly Charles Davenport.[12] While studying at the Eugenics Record Office he composed a number of state-of-the-field reports on eugenics in the United States, including: 'An Overview of Eugenics' 優生概論 (1924) published in The Chinese Students Quarterly 留美學生季報; and 'The Eugenics Problem in China' 中國之優生問題 (1924) and 'The Eugenics Movement Around the World in the Last Twenty Years' 二十年來世界之優生運動 (1925), both of which appeared in Eastern Miscellany 東方雜誌. All were subsequently republished in Pan's 1928 volume An Overview of Eugenics 優生概論.[13]

Broadly speaking, Pan regarded eugenics as a science founded on the genetic and hereditary theories of Gregor Mendel and Francis Galton. It held promise as a 'specialist knowledge aimed at investigating the inheritance of human traits, and the strengths and weaknesses of cultural selection, in order to seek improvements to methods of propagation that would contribute to the progress of humanity'.[14] The goal of eugenics was to increase the population of the middle and upper-middle classes by ensuring that they married suitable partners and produced an adequate number of strong and intelligent offspring. As Sakamoto points out, Pan advocated regulating marriage and childbirth to improve the 'racial stock'. He was sceptical about the possibility of advancing the race through social reform or the transformation of the physical environment. The environment mattered insofar as it was an agent of natural selection; famines and diseases helped to eliminate those with inferior genes while the strongest ones survived. Pan believed that traits such as physical strength and intelligence were strictly inherent and inherited.[15] For instance, in 'An Athropological [sic] View of China's Troubles' (The China Critic, 14 June 1928) Pan discusses the distinction between the people of Northern and Southern China. He quotes approvingly from The Character of Races (1928) by Yale geography professor Ellsworth Huntingdon (1876-1947): 'An investigation during a recent famine made it seem probable that the people of these villages [in the northern Chinese regions] are as a whole subnormal mentally. They are little more than morons apparently'.[16] Pan comments that 'judging from my own observation', this is by no means an 'overdrawn' statement.[17] Even if one were to improve the conditions of life in the northern countryside, to eliminate 'underfeeding and malnutrition', Pan believed it would not improve the mental character of those northerners.[18] Pan directly inherited this conservative outlook, Sakamoto argues, from Charles Davenport.[19]

In 1926, upon graduating from Columbia, Pan returned to China and lived in Shanghai until 1934, working as a teacher and administrator at various universities, many newly established by friends and associates.[20] He taught classes on eugenics, evolution, sociology, and subjects such as the 'family problem', 'women problem' and 'racial problem'. Like most Chinese intellectuals operating in Shanghai in the late-1920s and early-1930s, Pan also participated in what Leo Ou-fan Lee has called the 'business of enlightenment'.[21] In addition to becoming a founding editor of The China Critic, for which he commissioned and wrote book reviews, he served as editor of Light of Learning 學燈, the literary supplement of the major newspaper China Times 時事新報. Pan also joined the editorial board of New Crescent 新月, the mouthpiece of New Crescent Society 新月社—a collective of intellectuals that included Xu Zhimo (徐志摩, 1897-1931), Hu Shi (胡適, 1891-1962), Liang Shiqiu (梁實秋, 1903-1987), Wen Yiduo and others. Through their New Crescent Bookstore 新月書店, Pan published works such as: an extended version of the Feng Xiaoqing study; The Family Problem in China 中國之家庭問題 (1928); An Overview of Eugenics 優生概論 (1928); A Comparative Study on the National Characteristics of the Japanese and the Germans 日本德意志之比較的研究 (1930).[22] In the early 1930s, he started his own journals Eugenics 優生 and Huanian 華年, the latter title an abbreviation of the phrase 'helping the [Chinese] race to reach maturity' (cu [Zhonghua] minzu da chengnian 促[中華]民族達成年).[23] As the historian of medicine Howard Chiang argues, Pan emulated Anglo-American eugenicists in prioritising 'the making of an "eugenic-minded" public' through his publishing and popularisation projects.[24]

After eight years in Shanghai, Pan was invited in 1934 by the chancellor of Tsinghua University, Mei Yiqi (梅貽琦, 1889-1962), to teach at his alma mater. He was appointed Professor of Sociology and later a Dean of Faculty. He wrote works on eugenics and race such as The Characteristics and Hygiene of Nationalities 民族特性與民族衛生 (1937) and produced dizzyingly elaborate genealogical studies, such as: Eminent Lineages of Jiaxing during the Ming and Qing Dynasties 明清兩代嘉興的望族 (completed 1937 and published 1947); Cunren Bookhouse's Family Trees of Historical Figures 存人書屋歷史人物世系表稿 (1937-1938); and Research on the Pedigrees of Chinese Actors 中國伶人血緣之研究 (1941). In the midst of the Sino-Japanese War, Pan followed the Kuomintang retreat to south-western China and taught at the National Southwest United University 西南聯合大學 in Kunming, returning to Tsinghua in 1946 and resuming his professorship as well as serving as University Librarian. During this stint at Tsinghua, he published The Principles of Eugenics 優生原理 (1949), translated foreign works including Friedrich Engels' The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (originally published in German in 1884) and parts of Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means (originally published in English in 1937).[25]

From 1952 until his death, Pan was professor at the newly-established Central Institute for Nationalities 中央民族學院 (now known as the Minzu University of China 中央民族大學), and researched, among many other subjects, the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng, the Tujia 土家 minority in Hunan, and the ancient Ba 巴 people in the Sichuan region.[26] During the Anti-Rightist Campaign and the Cultural Revolution, Pan was persecuted, branded a 'Rightist' and an authority of 'bourgeois and reactionary science'. He died of illness in 1967. In the late 1970s and under Deng Xiaoping's regime, Pan was one of the many intellectuals victimised during the preceding decades to 'have their case re-opened' 翻案 and to be rehabilitated平反. Hu Yaobang (胡耀邦, 1915-1989), in his capacity as Communist Party General Secretary (1981-1987) and earlier as head of the Party Organisation Department (1977-1978)—the body of the Secretariat of the Communist Party's Central Committee responsible for personnel—oversaw the rehabilitation of thousands of intellectuals and scientific experts. One result was a proliferation of eulogies of previously condemned thinkers and that paid tribute to their achievements. Conferences and meetings commemorating their birth or death were organised, often by their descendants, and collected or complete works were printed or reprinted by prestigious publishers.[27]

Pan Guangdan's daughters Pan Naigu 潘乃谷, Pan Naimu 潘乃穆 and Pan Naihe 潘乃和—all scholars of anthropology and sociology—began editing their father's published works and surviving manuscripts around 1978. On 10 June 1980, with the blessing of the Communist Party, the Central Institute for Nationalities and the China Democratic League—one of the few legal minor political parties in China—co-organised a memorial service on the thirteenth anniversary of Pan's death. In 1983, his and Hu Shouwen's 胡壽文 translation of Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man, which was completed in 1966 but not published in Pan's lifetime, was printed by Shanghai's Commercial Press.[28] As Frank Dikötter points out, in the 1980s, Pan came to be 'hailed as China's father of eugenics', and his works from the Republican period 'uncritically recommended for their "scientific value" even in Hereditas [遺傳], the leading journal of the genetics community' in China.[29] Pan's rehabilitation was complete with the release of the fourteen volumes of Collected Works of Pan Guangdan 潘光旦文集 in 2000 by Peking University Press. Around 1999 and 2000, a number of edited volumes were published, including Collected Essays Commemorating the Hundred-Year Anniversary of Mister Pan Guangdan's Birth 潘光旦先生百年誕辰紀念文集 and Equilibrium and Harmony, Order and Cultivation: Commemorating the Hundred-Year Anniversary of Pan Guangdan's Birth 中和位育: 潘光旦百年誕辰紀念. These works contain articles discussing Pan's contribution to eugenics, to research on genealogies and ethnic minorities, and his general significance to the development of the social sciences in China. Anecdotes from contemporaries, reminiscences from famous students such as Fei Xiaotong, and stories from family members praised Pan's personality, scholarly integrity and his body of work.[30] Pan was lauded as a hero, patriot, pioneer, consummate scholar and teacher, an ideal father and husband, a role model for all.

'Non-Descript, Like the Bat in the Old Fable'

To peel back the hagiography, I now turn to several articles that Pan Guangdan wrote for The China Critic in the late-1920s and early-1930s. 'The Problem of the Cultural Hybrid' (1928) is a good place to start, as it is perhaps the best summary of Pan's self-fashioning as a young intellectual establishing a career.[31] Chiefly, this self-fashioning involves establishing a position on that very familiar question of Westernisation and 'Chinese-ness'. How should one navigate through the thicket of foreign ideas? Is it desirable, or indeed possible, to retain some kind of 'Chinese' identity or 'essence' in the process of becoming modern?

By 'cultural hybrid' Pan means the 'returned student'—a young Chinese person who has returned to China after studying Europe, America or Japan—much like Pan himself. He writes:

In public life, [the returned student] had always been an important factor—an a priori indispensable factor; but it has been asserted that unless he served in the capacity of some strictly technical expert and was thus able to stay on his job for longer periods and with fewer distractions, he has not infrequently heaped confusion upon the state of affairs already advanced in confusion. This has been true in politics, in public finance, in education and in any other field of activity where, according to old Chinese usage, technicality is not such a necessary condition for tolerable success.

While the 'more sedentary' type of returned student might be less likely to take part in public life, for Pan they nevertheless cannot be ignored as they represent a threat. They introduce and disseminate theories of social reform 'often of doubtful value and soundness' and amass a Chinese following to their dubious notions 'ranging from nationalism at one end to anarchism at the other, with all brands of socialism dispersed in between, each championed by its introducer as the nostrum for China's evils'. Pan fiercely criticises this situation as 'appalling', 'immature' and 'reckless'. The problem, as Pan diagnoses it, is that the return student is 'neither sufficiently Chinese nor sufficiently foreign or non-Chinese to stand by himself as a harmonious, integrated, self-confident cultural entity. He is a non-descript, like the bat in the old fable. In short, he is a hybrid'. For Pan, hybrids in 1920s China 'violate the principle of continuity and established harmony' because they do not adhere to 'rational discrimination and selection'. What the returned students do is to 'plunge headlong into the process known as Westernisation', and the result is nothing but chaos and confusion. Pan most likely has his associate Hu Shi or Chen Duxiu (陳獨秀, 1879-1942) in mind—May Fourth intellectuals who have called for 'out-and-out Westernisation'全盤西化—when he attacks the 'wholesale substitution of cultural modes and patterns' which comes 'at the cost of sacrificing our original individuality altogether'.

To Pan, this is dangerous for two reasons. First, from an anthropological and evolutionary perspective, once a culture has achieved some kind of 'individuality', it should be 'left alone to maintain and develop, to the ultimate enrichment of the cultural stuck of the whole of mankind'. More pressingly, Western social and ethical standards and institutions are not necessarily any better than China's. A better model is Japan, which began the process of 'Westernisation' and sent students abroad earlier than China, but nevertheless managed to '[hold] dear certain guiding principles'. Despite Japan's rapid industrial development and its advancement in science, medicine and technology, 'the social life of Japan has in its more fundamental aspects remained what it was before 1868'. Gesturing towards the writings of Nitobe Inazō (新渡戸稲造, 1862-1933) and Dai Jitao (戴季陶, Tai Chi-tao, 1891-1949)—the former's Bushidō: The Soul of Japan (originally published in English in 1900) and the latter's On Japan 日本論 (1928)—Pan affirms that 'bushidō is still the national code of conduct; the Japanese family is as intact as ever; the same old ideals of womanhood hold today as they have held for centuries'. Japanese women are 'still impermeable to the frivolities of modernity, for instance, voluntary childlessness and hair-bobbing', and in Japanese society 'the social and moral order of the people [are left] practically unmolested'. Pan then draws a somewhat strained analogy between the intellectual climate in 1920s' China and the transmission of Buddhism from India to China: Buddhist students who travelled to India between the fifth and eighth centuries never sought to transplant to China the social habits of Indians. Even though 'the grosser elements in Buddhism did at times cause serious social disturbances', Pan argues that ultimately 'a review of the incidents [… would] show us that our ancestors knew better what social and cultural unity and continuity means to national solidarity'.

Pan's conservative position boils down to a variation of 'Chinese (ethical) knowledge as the foundation, Western knowledge (and technology) for practical application' 中學為體, 西學為用. There can be 'no compromise as regard the relative positions of the host and the guest'. Western science, medicine and technology (the guest) can be appropriated to build a more prosperous and efficient nation, but China (the host) must not 'let our land be the dumping ground for all kinds of ungrounded social theories, and ourselves the raw material for false reformers to experiment with'. Pan mocks unnamed 'faddists' who have brought back from the West 'anything ranging from the acknowledgement of a fictitious heavenly father at the expense of the earthly parents who gave birth to him, to the eating of fish on Fridays'. For Pan, 'the movement for sending students abroad is no more than a humiliating concession', and in the 'fundamental matter of knowledge, of thought, of scientific discoveries', Pan chides that the Chinese 'rest satisfied in being second and third rate imitators, and there is absolutely no prospect of when our obsequious mimicking is going to cease and a new era of cultural autonomy and independence will be ushered in'.

What is the solution to this problematic state of affairs then? Pan's answer is simple: studying abroad must cease to be the 'cultural ideal of many well-to-do families and aspiring youths', and any student travelling abroad must have some degree of 'intellectual maturity'. Most importantly, all Chinese must adopt a 'more discriminating attitude' in order to guard against 'the assimilation of anything frivolous, superficial, [or] promising to be disruptive of our own social and moral order'. This is Pan's self-identity in a nut-shell: a discriminating and deliberate thinker whose sensible and realistic proposals are supported by careful and scrupulous research, an immovable rock breaking wave after wave of faddish thinking coming from the West. Pan contrasts himself to radical and iconoclastic hotheads incapable of pinpointing the 'vertex' of social malaises, who are prone to making unsustainable generalisations based on limited evidence and narrower observations, and whose idealistic and utopian pronouncements turn out to be 'false intelligence', totally divorced from the political reality in China and utterly unsuited to the in-built traits of the Chinese.

The depth of Pan's own research in some major works is indeed impressive. His genealogical researches from the 1930s, for instance, are astonishingly complex and time-consuming projects that demonstrate his mastery of both Chinese 'official' sources and 'wild' or 'unofficial' histories 野史. He painstakingly tracks the lineages of 'eminent families' 望族 from the Ming and Qing dynasties, constructs family trees of famous political figures from the Three Kingdoms period to the North-South dynasties, and attempts to prove the inheritance of artistic talent by following the pedigrees of Peking Opera performers.[32] That said, a good deal of Pan's writings—including those in The China Critic—do not seem that different from the sloppy and superficial thinkers he dismisses. Essentially, Pan summons all sorts of 'authoritative sources' for polemical purposes. He bolsters his opinion on how social life and the political world should be organised with intermittent episodes of 'scientific' argumentation constructed around highly selective citations of Anglo-American literature—Charles A. Ellwood's Sociology and Modern Social Problems (1910), Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller's Eugenics and Politics (1926), and the work of sociologists Ernest Russell Mowrer and Charles Horton Cooley, to name a few.

Another example of Pan's self-fashioning comes from one of his earliest articles in The China Critic, 'An Athropological [sic] View on China's Troubles'.[33] It begins with a parody of the typical discussions involving 'professional men' in China:

A: Why is China such an invalid for years?

B: The cause is to be found in the absence of a stable government.

A: But how is it that such a government is not yet formed, we started on the task some two decades ago?

C: I believe it is only because the people are not prepared for it. We need to educate the people first. A democracy without education is one built on sands.


B: As most of the gentlemen have spoken, may I come back at this point? Mr E has only thrown all the faults on others, true to the spirit of our people! But has also mistaken cause for effect and effect for cause. The absence of a stable government, I insist, is at the root of all evils including foreign aggrandizement, nay, it invites it.

Pan suggests that these men may have pointed towards the urgent issues facing China—the lack of a unified central government, poverty, illiteracy and poor educational structures, foreign imperialism and so forth—but their discussions invariably generate a 'vicious circle'. These men are unable to identify the root of the problem, which is racial degeneration. For Pan, the civil examination 科舉 system, abolished in 1905, used to provide China with 'political and cultural leadership' and 'insured the survival and advancement of the best bloodlines in the country'. The traditional Chinese family, however, was 'not only responsible for the stability and order in our social life in the relative absence of legal and religious restrictions, but also for the conservation and development of many great families, which represent some of the most valuable strains of the race'. Through contact with the West, these 'social forces as institutions lost their hold' and so the 'social and cultural agencies' that helped the Chinese to guard against 'adverse natural selection' were removed.

Pan reaches these stark conclusions by appealing to a variety of 'factors': the 'vitality' of the Chinese population; the Chinese race's lower metabolic rate and blood tension; the superiority of the intelligence of the Japanese; the Chinese 'pilegmatic [sic] make-up' and temperament. Throughout Pan gestures towards a hodgepodge of sources: Edward Murray East's Mankind at the Crossroads (1924); Raymond Pearl's work on the 'vital index'; James Shirley Sweeney's The Natural Increase of Mankind (1926); Alfred Friedlander on hypotension; William Bateson on the variability of the Chinese race versus Europeans; Stanley Porteus' 'Porteus Maze Test'; Ellsworth Huntingdon's The Character of Races (1928); John Morley's 'On Compromise' (1874); Roland B. Dixon's The Racial History of Man (1923); Griffith Taylor's work on environment and inheritance, and so forth. This demonstrates Pan's familiarity with American scholarship on racial science. But it also displays Pan's modus operandi—which is, again, similar to those faddish thinkers he attacks or dismisses: essentially Pan is driven by a culturally conservative agenda and cherry-picks examples to support his case, presenting complex social research as entirely self-evident. To state the rather obvious, then, Pan's self-fashioning as a serious, 'calm', academically-minded intellectual is a 'strategy' that he uses to publicise himself in the highly competitive literary field and the marketplace of ideas in 1920s China.[34] Just as there is capital to be gained by adopting the position of a revolutionary and radical, there is equally capital to be gained by selling oneself as 'moderate' and 'steadfast'.

Confucius, the Socio-Biologist

Quentin Pan's promotion of 'traditional' values can be further seen in the fascinating two-part article 'Socio-biological Implications of Confucianism', published in two April 1933 issues of The China Critic.[35] This fascinating piece essentially reworks Confucius as a kind of 'forefather' of socio-biological and eugenic thinking. In this respect, Quentin Pan contrasts sharply with other promoters of eugenics, such as Zhou Jianren (周建人, 1888-1984), who argues that 'traditional values' in China are entirely incompatible with eugenics and must be superseded by a new ethics.[36] Pointing out that it will be far-fetched to 'read into the teachings of Confucius and his school any plain and direct injunctions bearing on the problem of racial welfare', Quentin Pan nevertheless suggests that Confucianism must be 'accredited with a good deal of socio-biological common sense', because 'primitive peoples [took] considerably more care of their racial health than those farther advanced in civilisation'.[37] Some of these old mentalities and practices with 'socio-biological implications' were 'preserved because of their efficacy which the race, in the course of its history, could not fail […] to feel'. Moreover, Pan endeavours to show what Confucius did teach and did not teach, contrary to popular belief: 'much has been unwittingly but wrongly ascribed to Confucius'—a swipe at the late-Qing reformers like Kang Youwei (康有為, 1858-1927) and Tan Sitong (譚嗣同, 1865-1898), who put forward a version of Confucius as a social reformer promoting democracy and equality. In part one of 'Socio-biological Implications of Confucianism', Pan reads The Analects for answers to three questions of socio-biological importance: 'the goodness or badness of human nature, equality among men, and the efficacious role of environment in progress'.[38]

On human nature, Pan cites two passages:

[Zi Gong] said: 'The Master's personal displays of his principles and ordinary descriptions of them may be heard. His discourses about man's nature and the way of Heaven cannot be heard'.

子貢曰 夫子之文章 可得而聞也 夫子之言性與天道 不可得而聞也 (公冶長13)

The Master said: 'By nature, men are nearly alike; [by practice——omitted by Pan], they got to be wide apart'.

子曰 性相近也 習相遠也 (陽貨 2)

The first quotation shows that Confucius was notably silent on the problem of human nature—not a particularly controversial interpretation. The second for Pan is 'just a statement of a common fact—a fact […] of developmental biology based on common sense [… which] in and by itself certainly does not imply any moral judgement as to goodness or badness of human nature'. Pan goes on to explain that the doctrine that human nature is essentially good really comes from Mencius 孟子, citing the famous passage in which the philosopher Gaozi 告子 engages in a protracted argument with Mencius on the nature of human nature. Gaozi flatly states that the appetite for food and sex is the core of human nature, while Mencius rejoins that human nature, which is endowed by heaven, consists of man's capacity to act morally and not of basic, animalistic needs for nourishment or procreation. Pan comments that, with the acceptance of this optimistic view of human nature as essentially good and moral, 'there soon came a corresponding growth in our emphasis upon the importance of the human will […] The belief, or make belief, that will power conquers everything is as indispensable a corollary to the doctrine of natural goodness of Mencius as that of absolute surrender to the doctrine of natural depravity, to this day preached by many Christians'.

Moving on to the question of equality, Pan points to the multiple instances when Confucius contrasts the 'superior man' 君子 (also translated as 'exemplary person', 'noble man', 'gentleman') and the 'inferior man' 小人 (also 'small and petty person'):

[The Master said:] 'There are only the wise of the highest class, and the stupid of the lowest class, who cannot be changed'.

子曰 唯上知與下愚不移 (陽貨3)

[The Master said:] 'To those whose talents are above mediocrity, the highest subjects may be pronounced [Legge: 'announced']. To those who are below mediocrity, the highest subjects may not be pronounced [Legge: 'announced']'.

子曰 中人以上 可以語上也 中人以下 不可以語上也 (雍也 21)

[The Master said:] 'The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it'.

子曰 民可使由之 不可使知之 (泰伯9)

[Zi Lu] said: 'Does the superior man esteem valour?' The Master answered: 'The superior man holds righteousness to be of the highest importance. A superior man having valour without righteousness will be guilty of insubordination; an inferior man having valour without righteousness will commit robbery'.

子路曰 君子尚勇乎 子曰 君子義以為上 君子有勇而無義為亂 小人有勇而無義為盜(陽貨23)

The Master, having come to Wu Cheng, heard there the sound of stringed instruments and singing. Well pleased and smiling, he said: 'Why use an ox-knife to kill a fowl?' [Zi You] replied: 'Formerly, Master, I heard you say, "When the superior man is well, he loves men; when an inferior man is well educated, he is easily ruled".' The Master said: '[My disciples—omitted by Pan], [Zi You's] words are right. What I said was only in sport'.[39]

子之武城 聞弦歌之聲 夫子莞爾而笑 曰 割雞焉用牛刀 子游對曰 昔者偃也聞諸夫子曰 君子學道則愛人,人學道則易使也 子曰 二三子 偃之言是也 前言戲之耳

(陽貨 4)

Pan thus argues that, in the Confucian scheme, the difference between a junzi and a xiaoren was something 'more than the want or possession of a moral and intellectual culture. Education at its best is not only to produce leaders, who will be mindful of the welfare of those under them, but to produce good followers, who will realise their own inferiority in intellect and ability and will be contented with their corresponding positions in the social scale'. Again, the notion of natural equality, Pan argues, was invented by Mencius.

Thirdly and finally, Pan analyses the role of environment in Confucius' teaching. For Pan, Confucius was a 'great educator' but 'entertained no illusions as to the moulding power of education'. Education, however necessary and powerful, could not eradicate those distinctions that nature had made. Pan quotes from the Analects:

[Confucius said:] 'Those who are born with the possession of knowledge are the highest class of men. Those who learn and so readily get possession of knowledge are the next. Those who are dull and stupid, and yet try to learn [Legge: 'yet compass the learning'] are another class next to these. As to those who are dull and stupid and yet do not learn, they are the lowest of the people'.

孔子曰 生而知之者 上也 學而知之者 次也 困而學之 又其次也 困而不學 民斯為下矣


Pan again argues that Mencius seemingly reversed Confucius' position, by suggesting that education—or 'proper nurture'—could indeed lead all men to do good. Pan attributes the differences between Confucius and Mencius to their different social backgrounds. Confucius lived in a time 'when the feudal system was still operative, and the social classes under the system had not changed to such an extent as to confuse greatly the biological gradations obtaining in relatively primitive communities'. Thus Pan argues that, in Confucius' Spring and Autumn, 'aristocrats and common people were such owing not so much to shifts of social and economic circumstances as to qualities based on natural endowment'. By the Warring States period, during which Mencius was active, the feudal system was on the verge of collapse and thus class distinctions 'became much more blurred'. Political and economic changes resulted in the 'downward diffusion of much of the blood of the higher classes, and the diffusion of that of the lower classes in the opposite direction'. The averaging out of physical and mental abilities in the Chinese population then led Mencius to promote equality—the inherent goodness of all people.

With this astonishing, socio-biological reinterpretation of pre-Qin history, Pan endorses Confucius over Mencius. In part two of 'Socio-biological Implications of Confucianism', Pan further elaborates what he thinks is the underlying principle in Confucius' philosophy—'the principle of differentiationism'—from which develops 'the system of gradation and selection of able and intelligent men by the government—a system which had always proved a source of national strength'. He quotes from the Doctrine of the Mean中庸:

Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity, and the greatest exercise of it is in loving one's relatives. Righteousness is the accordance of actions with what is fitting and proper, and the greatest exercise of it is in honouring the worthy. The decreasing measures of love due to relatives, and the gradations in honour due to the worthy, are produced by the principle of propriety.

仁者人也 親親為大 義者宜也 尊賢為大 親親之殺 尊賢之等 禮所生也 (中庸 20)

By means of the ceremonies in the ancestral temple, the [royal——omitted by Pan] people distinguished their kindred according to their order of descent. By ordering the parties present according to their rank, they distinguished the more noble and the less. By the arrangement of the services, they made a distinction of talents and worth. In the ceremony of the general pledging, the inferiors presented the cup to their superiors, and thus something was given to the lowest to do. At the concluding feast, places were given according to the hair, and thus was made the distinction in age.

宗廟之禮 所以序昭穆也 序爵 所以辨貴賤也 序事 所以辨賢也 旅酬下為上 所以逮賤也 燕毛 所以序齒也 (中庸 19)

Pan argues that the various references in Confucian texts to differentiation—according to blood relation, seniority, official position, personal character and ability—point to an important injunction: 'it is the primary duty of the state, then represented by the ruler and the chief minister, to pick up and properly place in office individuals of great ability and virtue, or to pay honour and respect to them without burdening them with any official duty'. This Pan suggests eventually evolved into the civil examination system, persisting until the end of the Qing dynasty. The system according to Pan ranked the intelligence of the population and allegedly a sort of meritocracy, a 'class system based largely on talent and ability' emerged. The 'innumerable great families responsible for the making of Chinese History' were preserved through 'assortative mating' within these classes.

From this rosy portrayal of the civil examination system and the historic domination of imperial courts by prominent families, Pan moves on to the Chinese family, describing it as the 'very basis of social and national solidarity'. The 'racial significance' of the family system is 'yet to be fully grasped by many enthusiastic aspirants to individualism and freedom among [the] younger generation'. For Pan, features of the Chinese family include: 'educational influences embodying as they do the religious veneration of deceased forebears, filial piety to the living, the premium put upon age and experience, the ideals of marriage perfectly unintelligible to an average Westerner, the almost duty-bound bearing and rearing of the young within the ancestral health'. And it is precisely these features, which Pan argues stems directly from Confucius, that anticipate the prescriptions of Euro-American eugenics movements. So Confucianism (or the 'orthodox' Confucius from The Analects), associo-biology avant la lettre, is now properly vindicated by Western racial science (or at least shown to be absolutely compatible with it). Confucius is now the man whom the entire modern world needs. For Pan it is actually the destruction of the Chinese civil examination system and the disruption of family organisation, along with the propagation of (Western) sentimentalism—'a form of diffused and undifferential affection' that the Confucian thinkers warned against—that intensified social disintegration and thus national decline. Reversing the conventional wisdom of other May Fourth New Culture intellectuals—that the civil examination and the organisation of the traditional family in China hindered progress and modernisation—Pan argues that they were the mechanism for the selection of the 'fit' among the population and the cradle to propagate strength and talent.

'Reverse Sour-grapes' and 'Racial Deserters'

The third and final set of The China Critic articles that I discuss here sheds more light on Pan's disdain for Western 'sentimentalism', 'romanticism' and 'individualism', and his desire to promote a kind of 'socio-biological Confucianism' that resurrects and recasts traditional Chinese values in the service of eugenics.

The two essays concern marriage and birth control. In 'Notes on Modern Marriage', published in the 28 January 1929 issue of The China Critic, Pan expresses his wish to 're-install in place' an 'age-old institution' by cultivating a 'greater biological as well as sociological appreciation' of marriage.[40] For Pan, the object of marriage is straightforward. It provides a socially acceptable outlet or suitable setting for one of the major instincts of human beings—sexual satisfaction. Moreover, the function of marriage is for him the production and protection of offspring. Pan argues that with the advancement of culture and the increase in importance in 'individuals', a 'new and secondary function' is attached to marriage, particularly in Western societies—romance and companionship. In Europe and America, this secondary function, Pan suggests, has begun to overshadow the primary aim of sex and reproduction. Two other Western developments are, first 'Platonic love'—which according to Pan involves the dissociation of sexual satisfaction and romantic love, and second the separation of sexual satisfaction and reproduction which is enabled by contraception. Both of these are for Pan abnormal and entirely detrimental to the health of the nation, race, and ultimately all humankind.

In 'Oriental societies' like China, Pan argues that there is an additional, unique function to marriage—marriage is 'contracted partly for the sake of serving the aged parents, or rather, parents-in-law'. Marriage and reproduction are then both embedded in the system of Chinese family ethics , encapsulated in the word xiao 孝, or 'filial piety'. The bearing of offspring is the most important tribute to a family's elders and deceased ancestors, as in Mencius' slogan: 'of the three unfilial acts, providing no heir is the worst'不孝有三 無後為大. Until the early twentieth century, Pan argues, the Chinese were only really cognisant of three aspects of marriage—sexual gratification, reproduction, and service to parents and family—and not romantic love. With the influx of ideas from Europe and America, however, Pan claims that the situation has become one of utter confusion. The young generation of Chinese men and women, especially those who 'lend an ear to false social prophets', has become 'at a loss to pin properly' the functions and objectives of marriage.

Pan cites a survey he carried out in 1927 through Light of Learning 學燈, the supplement of the Shanghai-based China Times 時事新報.[41] Pan received roughly 300 responses to his questionnaire, which covered lineage, marriage, family, and production of children. For the section on marriage and relationships, Pan's respondents ranked the importance of his four functions of marriage: 'bearing and rearing of good children', 'service to parents', 'romantic life and companionship' and 'sexual gratification'.[42] He has also obtained information regarding his respondents' background, chiefly the level of education (which for Pan is a measurement of how much people have been converted to Western ideas and standards). Pan arrives at the conclusion that 'speaking generally, the higher is a man's educational attainment, greater importance does he attach to romantic life and companionship as a function of marriage'. He expresses his disapproval of this lamentable development:

Western ideas and standards including those relative to marriage have indeed come in like tides and people are simply wafted in them. Many progressive thinkers of the day have endeavoured to show that a whole-hearted acceptance of them will be profitable. Perhaps they are right. But upon closer examination, the position of these thinkers is really one of rationalisation, it is the reverse of the one represented by the sour-grape fable, it is like saying 'Since we have to eat it no matter how unpalatable, let's say it is sweet'. And many there are who think it is sweet.

The Chinese youths, because they are 'misled' by the 'false intelligence' from those 'false prophets', have found themselves in a predicament: maintaining that love and individual happiness must be the basis of a true and enduring marriage, they are 'willing to sacrifice anything else for which the institution is also intended'. Pan thinks that romantic love really belongs to 'the category of unknowns and unknowables', and that it is ridiculous for love to be extolled. The Chinese youths have even forgotten that, 'had their parents come under the influence of the same philosophy [of individualism and the pleasure principle]', and had the means to indulge and live out this kind of selfish mentality, 'the world would have waited in vain to be graced by their presence'. Pan thus states that 'the primary functions of marriage are best left to keep their primary places', and that it is 'enlightened people'—presumably people like Pan himself—who have come to realise that the bearing and rearing of healthy and intelligent children will always remain the most important function of marriage. If only the 'average men' can understand this, and if only everyone 'lives by mere instincts' or 'lives by intelligent guidance', then there will be 'really little need for the biologist and eugenicist to raise the alarm that the human racial heritage is at stake'!

In a 1935 The China Critic article, 'Eugenics and Birth Regulation', Pan's tone is even more strident. He begins by attacking the use of the terms 'birth control' and 'birth limitation', terms that for Pan suggest that the 'curtailment of births is almost necessary under all circumstances'.[43] Rather Pan proposes that, for the sake of racial welfare, the term 'birth regulation' should be adopted and put into circulation, for there are 'situations and cases in which limitation is not only unnecessary, but altogether uncalled for'. Pan criticises those involved in the birth control movement for not making clear that 'control implies adjustment' and entails 'limitation as well as augmentation, restraint as well as release'.

The problem is the 'abuse' of contraceptive methods around the world. In the West the 'unhappy' results of the indiscriminate use of contraception can already be seen. This is due to two problematic philosophies: 'individualism on the part of those who are personally using the methods' and 'the mania for social service on the part of others who have been beguiled into thinking that a real panacea has been found to purge mankind of all its social ills'. The combination of these two modes of thinking has led to contraception becoming the 'special prerogative of a relatively few who are in the position to acquire a knowledge of their use and to realise the immediate conveniences that such use confers'. The result, for Pan, is nothing short of disastrous: the steady decline of the birth rate of the educated classes until the trend becomes 'decidedly dysgenic'—a truly 'undesirable' state of affairs that Pan says has already been acknowledged by the progressive sociologist Edward Alsworth Ross (1866-1951) in the United States and by philosopher Bertrand Russell in Britain. The only way to solve this debacle in Europe and America is to make contraceptive knowledge as widely available as possible, and to make contraceptive technologies cheaper and more effective—to counterbalance the elimination of 'superior elements' in a given population by reducing more of the 'inferior elements'.

Fortunately, the situation in China is not as hopeless as the West, as the birth control movement is still in its infancy. Nevertheless a 'small class of people who, by virtue of their better social and economic position and greater educational advantages, are making free use of contraceptive knowledge and are unduly limiting the size of their families'. Although individually, these people might achieve 'great fame and success' by having a smaller family, and socially, they might be 'doing a great deal of good', in racial terms they are 'nothing short of deserters'. The answer is the implementation of, first and foremost, 'selective ministration'—families in which mothers are of ill health will be 'individually ministered to'—and once the Chinese population has developed a greater level of education, a better public health system, then more general dissemination of birth control can follow.

'Like Hercules, Facing a Crossroad'

To conclude, I want to return to the quotation at the beginning of this study: why did Pan believe that China's young urban generation in the early twentieth century was 'like Hercules, facing a crossroad'?[44] This is because the 'newer points of view' pulled these young men and women in one direction, while older ideas and ideals continued to assert powerful influences on the way that they saw the world, their meaning in life, their relationships with others. They were unable to 'reach a decision', to form a harmonious worldview, to balance these forces, to pick their path. Zhou Zuoren (周作人 , 1885-1967), a literary critic and the younger brother of Lu Xun (魯迅 , Zhou Shuren, 1881-1936), and a contemporary of Pan's, likened this situation, this 'extreme fluctuation and confusion in thought', to being like in 'a village grocery store': How could one reconcile everything from Tolstoy's Christian anarchism, Nietzsche's Übermensch, communism, eugenics, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Western science and medicine?[45] Or, to move from such big ideas to the more pragmatic concerns of young Chinese men and women: How would one know whether one ought to have more or fewer children, when to practise birth control, how to choose the right mate, determine the rules of engagement between men and women, or figure out the meaning of marriage? How to sort out this mess? What should be kept, discarded, or combined?

Pan offered a fixed point: 'this was what had to be done, this was what was good, follow me—in the uncertainty in which you all find yourselves, here is the fixed point, here where I am'.[46] He wrote with authority and conviction, his proposals fashioned to be modest and moderate, sensitive to Chinese sensibilities yet based on scientific evidence. Pan gave the simplest of all responses to the problem of confronting and negotiating with 'modernity'—he argued that, essentially, the Chinese had been right all along. The Chinese had nothing to worry about, because they had always already done the right thing. Their current troubles had arisen because they had deviated from their 'natural' path. Confucius was shown to be a socio-biologist and eugenicist 'before the letter', entirely vindicated by the most cutting-edge insights from racial and population science. Confucius was, Pan argued, not the theorist of democracy and equality that late-Qing reformist thinkers portrayed, nor the purveyor of 'useless superstition' or 'feudal morality' that revolutionary intellectuals accused him to be. Eugenics was not a plot to unsettle Chinese culture, and the implementation of eugenics did not entail a radical uprooting of familiar values; the Chinese were already doing eugenics through their family ethics and social institutions, and these had now been validated by Western science. He had embraced eugenics not just because it was scientific or a 'universal truth', but because it was already Chinese. And it was actually a handful of wasteful and selfish Western ideas like 'individualism' and 'free love', popular among Chinese youths, that were the greatest danger to national progress and racial advancement. The cure to social problems in China, Pan argued, was to return to what the Chinese had always known, to go back to what they once were—with minor modifications.

The ironies are striking. Quentin Pan believed that the civil examination system had created a genuine meritocracy, despite never having himself taken part in a civil examination, despite his family's involvement in 'new-style education', despite his liberal education in a feeder school for American institutions, and despite of his two degrees from Ivy League universities. He wrote that the movement for Chinese students to study abroad had to cease without a hint of irony, without noting that his privileged position and his voice as an intellectual was endowed and empowered precisely by his foreign experiences and qualifications. Pan wanted to return to a conservative gender ideology and resist 'individualism' and 'free love', and he expressed admiration for the large wealthy, patriarchal gentry families whose genealogies he meticulously traced to prove that their domination in social and political life was due to their innate talent. Furthermore, Pan wrote about all of this as a 'scientist' in The China Critic, an English-languagepublication, consisting of a readership of other 'cultural hybrids' in treaty-port Shanghai—people with backgrounds similar to Pan himself.

A generous interpretation would be that Pan's conservative outlook was strategic packaging to make eugenics appeal to an urban, wealthy elite who identified with more traditional, 'Chinese', 'Confucian' values. But his boisterousness also betrays anxiety and nostalgia for an epoch that may have never really existed, a melancholy invention of a time when Chinese just 'followed their instincts' and did the right things. Quentin Pan at the crossroads: What did he do? He chose a path to the West, glancing backwards, all the while insisting that the East had been walking down that path all along. In that, Pan's agenda is similar to other editor-contributors of The China Critic, such as Lin Yutang (林語堂, 1895-1976), who were keen in reviving classical thought and in establishing foreign ideas as 'old news from afar', to prove that everything wise and useful to the modern world was most likely already said by a philosopher-sage in China centuries if not millennia ago.

Finally, I want to emphasise that Pan's significance was far more than just a symbol of curious or outmoded ideas. He is still very much read in China; a cursory search reveals a plethora of recent academic work engaging seriously with his diverse ideas and their applications to contemporary Chinese society. Pan's putative conversion from 'bourgeois scientist' to 'socialist-capitalist prophet' is complete. These studies of point out his fusion of Confucian 'humanism' 人文主義 and population science, as well as his emphasis on the importance of the cultivation of the Chinese population's 'quality' 素質, and the 'harmonisation' 和諧 of man and nature.[47] The keyword that these authors use is weiyu 位育 (literally, 'order cultivation')—Quentin Pan's preferred translation of 'adaptation' and 'adjustment'.[48] Pan adopted weiyu 位育 from a phrase in the Doctrine of the Mean 中庸:

Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.

致中和,天地位焉,萬物育焉 (中庸 1, James Legge's translation)

For instance, Li Yanqiu 李艷秋, a sociologist from Anhui Normal University 安徽師範大學, argues for a combination of Quentin Pan's Confucianism with Communist Party policies favouriing 'Harmonious Society' 和諧社會 and the 'Scientific Development Perspective' 科學發展觀. Pan's 'scientific' theories, Li argues, must be revisited as they provide the verification for and precedence to Hu Jintao's 胡錦濤 political ideology.[49] Similar, Li Guojuan李國娟, an associate professor at the Shanghai Institute of Technology 上海應用技術學院, pinpoints Pan as the pioneer who successfully reconciled something as 'fundamentally Chinese' as Confucianism with 'Socialism with Chinese Characteristics'.[50] In other words, Quentin Pan remains an important point of reference for the continuous project of reviving and repackaging multiple versions of Confucius' as wisdom for modern men and women around the world, as well as legitimation of the political regime, economic development, and education policies for the 'Chinese race'. From Quentin Pan's articles from The China Critic then, we can trace out a longer genealogy of the uses of 'Confucius', the manufacturing of 'Chineseness', and the complex politics of modern eugenic and racial theories.

The author is also affiliated with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and the Needham Research Institute.


* I would like to thank Geremie Barmé and Christopher Rea for their invitation to write this article and for their advice. I am very grateful to William Sima for his kind assistance with articles from The China Critic. Over the last few years, I have benefited enormously from discussing Pan Guangdan's work with Howard Chiang, Susan Daruvala, David Luesink, Malcolm Thompson and Hans van de Ven. Anna Kathryn Schoefert read through drafts of this article.

[1] Quentin Pan, 'Notes on Modern Marriage', The China Critic 2 (February 28 1929): 169-172 at 171.

[2] The following is a partial list of English-language scholarship referring to the different aspects of Pan's work. On Pan and eugenics: Frank Dikötter, Imperfect Conceptions: Medical Knowledge, Birth Defects and Eugenics in China, London: Hurst, 1998; Yuehtsen Juliette Chung, Struggle for National Survival: Eugenics in Sino-Japanese Contexts, London: Routledge, 2002; Sakamoto Hiroko. 'The Cult of "Love and Eugenics" in May Fourth Movement Discourse', positions: east asia cultures critique 12 (2004): 329-376; Sihn Kyu-hwan 신규환, 'Eugenics Discourse and Racial Improvement in Republican China (1911-1949)', in Korean Journal of Medical History 의사학 19 (2010): 459-486. For an excellent summary of the history of eugenics in China in the late-Qing and Republican periods, see: Yuehtsen Juliette Chung, 'Eugenics in China and Hong Kong: Nationalism and Colonialism, 1890s-1940s', in Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine, eds, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp.258-273.

On Pan and the 'problem' of race and hygiene, including his investigations on the Kaifeng Jews in China: Frank Dikötter, The Discourse of Race in Modern China, London: Hurst, 1992; Gerald Lee, 'Pan Guangdan and the Concept of "Minzu" ', unpublished master's dissertation, University of Cambridge (1996); Ye Weili, Seeking Modernity in China's Name: Chinese Students in the United States, 1900-1927, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001, pp.109-113; Zhou Xun, Chinese Perceptions of the 'Jews' and Judaism: A History of the Youtai, London: Curzon Press, 2001, pp.101-115.

On Pan, sexology, same-sex love and his studies on homoeroticism in Chinese history: Frank Dikötter, Sex, Culture and Modernity in China: Medical Science and the Construction of Sexual Identities in the Early Republican Period, London: Hurst, 1995; Cheryl Barkey, 'Gender, Medicine, and Modernity: The Politics of Reproduction in Republican China', unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Davis (2000); Tze-lan Deborah Sang, The Emerging Lesbian: Female Same-Sex Desire in Modern China, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003; Ruth Rogaski, Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-Port China, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004, pp.240-244; Lee Haiyan, Revolution of the Heart: A Genealogy of Love in China, 1900-1950, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007; Kang Wenqing, Obsession: Male Same-Sex Relations in China, 1900-1950, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009; Howard Chiang, 'Epistemic Modernity and the Emergence of Homosexuality in China', Gender and History 22 (2010): 629-657; Zhihong Chen, ' "Climate's Moral Economy": Geography, Race, and the Han in Early Republican China' in Thomas S. Mullaney, James Leibold, Stéphane Gros and Eric Vanden Bussche, eds, Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation, and Identity of China's Modernity, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012, pp.73-91 especially pp.89-90.

On Pan, his intellectual associates and his general 'habitus', see brief discussions in Charles A. Laughlin, The Literature of Leisure and Chinese Modernity, Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2008, pp.105-106; and, Shuang Shen, Cosmopolitan Publics: Anglophone Print Culture in Semi-Colonial Shanghai, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009, pp.45-47. See John Israel, Lianda: A Chinese University in War and Revolution, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999, for mentions of Pan Guangdan's work at the National Southwest Union University during the Sino-Japanese War. The famous sociologist and anthropologist Fei Xiaotong (費孝通, 1910-2005) was a protégé of Pan's; on their relationship see R. David Arkush, Fei Xiaotong and Sociology in Revolutionary China, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 1981.

Some of the more detailed work on Pan in Chinese has been done by Lü Wenhao 呂文浩, an associate researcher at the Institute of Modern History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), including: A Pictorial Biography of Pan Guangdan 潘光旦圖傳, Wuhan: Hubei Renmin Chubanshe, 2006; and, Pan Guangdan in the History of Modern Chinese Thought 中國現代思想史上的潘光旦 , Fuzhou: Fujian Jiaoyu Chubanshe, 2009; Taiwanese edition: The Continuity and Rethinking of May Fourth Enlightenment Thought: Researches on Pan Guangdan's Social Thought 五四啟蒙思想的延續與反思: 潘光旦社會思想研究, Taipei: Showwe Information, 2012. A popular biography of Pan Guangdan is Wang Yanni 王燕妮, Guangdan's Splendour: The Master of Sociology—Pan Guangdan 光旦之華: 社會學大師-潘光旦, Wuhan: Changjiang Wenyi Chubanshe, 2006. My biographical profile of Pan relies on the above secondary sources, as well as Pan Naimu 潘乃穆, 'A Chronology of the Life and Work of Pan Guangdan' 潘光旦生平和著作年表, in Pan Naimu 潘乃穆 and Pan Naihe 潘乃和, eds, The Collected Works of Pan Guangdan 潘光旦文集, Beijing: Beijing Daxue Chubanshe, 1993-2000, vol.11, pp.674-739. The Collected Works of Pan Guangdan is hereinafter referred to as PGDWJ.

[5] Note that '丄' is an older character for '上'; the name of the Society is intended as a learned joke.

[6] See Pan Guangdan, 'Translator's Preface' 譯序 in PGDWJ, vol.12, pp.205-210, as well as Pan's poem on the translation on pp.199-200.

[7] Quentin Pan, 'Havelock Ellis as a Humanist' in The China Critic 6(7 September 1933): 879-881 at p.881.

[8] Pan Guangdan, Sexual Education 性的教育, Shanghai: Qingnian Xiehui Shuju, 1934, a translation of Havelock Ellis' Studies in the Psychology of Sex Volume VI: Sex in Relation to Society, Chapter 2, London: F.A. Davis, 1910. Pan Guangdan, Sexual Morality 性的道德, Shanghai: Qingnian Xiehui Shuju, 1934, a translation of Studies in the Psychology of Sex Volume VI: Sex in Relation to Society, Chapter 9, London: F.A. Davis, 1910; reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.12, pp.1-99 and pp.101-195 respectively.

[9] Pan Guangdan, Sexual Psychology 性心理學, Kunming and Chongqing: Shangwu Yinshuguan, 1956; reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.12, pp.199-745, a translation of Havelock Ellis, Psychology of Sex: A Manual for Students, London: William Heinmann, 1933. See Kang Wenqing, Obsession: Male Same-Sex Relations in China, 1900-1950, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009, pp.52-59 on Pan's reinterpretations of same-sex relations documented in Chinese historical records using Ellis' sexological theories. For Fei Xiaotong's 費孝通 reflections on Pan's translation project, see PGDWJ, vol.12, pp.737-745.

[10] For brief analyses of Pan's work on Feng Xiaoqing, see Lee Haiyan, Revolution of the Heart, pp.193-199; Jing Tsu, Failure, Nationalism, and Literature: The Making of Modern Chinese Identity, 1895-1937, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005, pp.149-152. On psychoanalysis in China, see Lee Haiyan, Revolution of the Heart and Zhang Jingyuan, Psychoanalysis in China: Literary Transformations, 1919-1949, Ithaca: Cornell University East Asia Program, 1992; Wendy Larson, From Ah Q to Lei Feng: Freud and Revolutionary Spirit in Twentieth Century China, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009. For current scholarship on Feng Xiaoqing, see Dorothy Ko, Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994.

[11] See Lü Wenhao 呂文浩, The Continuity and Rethinking of May Fourth Enlightenment Thought, p.3. Quotation from PGDWJ, vol.1, plate 9: '對於部分的善為精密觀察, 持此法以治百學, 蔑不濟矣. 以吾弟頭腦之瑩澈, 可以為科學家; 以吾弟情緒之深刻, 可以為文學家. 望將趣味集中, 務成就其一, 勿如鄙人之泛濫無歸耳.' My translation, with thanks to Christopher Rea for his suggestions.

[12] Sakamoto Hiroko, 'The Cult of "Love and Eugenics" in May Fourth Movement Discourse', positions: east asia cultures critique 12 (2004): 329-376 at 361.

[13] Pan Guangdan, An Overview of Eugenics 優生概論, Shanghai: Xinyue Shudian, 1928; reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.1, pp.243-412.

[14] Pan Guangdan, An Overview of Eugenics, 254: '優生學為學科之一, 其所務在研究人類品性之遺傳與文化選擇之利弊以求比較良善之繁殖方法, 而謀人類之進步.' My translation here differs slightly from Sakamoto, 'Cult of "Love and Eugenics" ', p.361.

[15] Sakamoto, 'Cult of "Love and Eugenics" ', p.362. See also Zhihong Chen, ' "Climate's Moral Economy" ', pp.89-90.

[16] Quentin Pan, 'An Athropological [sic] View on China's Troubles' in The China Critic 1 (June 14 1928), pp.53-56 at p.54. According to Zhihong Chen, Pan was very familiar with the work of Ellsworth Huntingdon and partially translated The Character of Races into Chinese under the title Natural Selection and Chinese National Characteristics 自然淘汰與中華民族性, Shanghai: Xinyue Shudian, 1929. Zhihong Chen, ' "Climate's Moral Economy" ', p.89, n92. This then became Section 3 of his book National Characteristics and National Hygiene 民族特性與民族衛生, Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1937, reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.3, pp.1-247.

[17] Ibid., p.54.

[18] Ibid., p.55.

[19] Sakamoto, 'Cult of "Love and Eugenics"', p.362.

[20] Pan taught at the following institutions: Wusong National University of Political Science 吳淞國立政治大學; Jinan University 暨南大學, which was based in Shanghai in the late-1920s; Dongwu University 東吳大學, the precursor of Suzhou University; Daxia University 大夏大學, dissolved in 1951; Guanghua University 光華大學; China Public College 中國公學. Pan also briefly lectured at Fudan University 復旦大學 andthe University of Shanghai 滬江大學. See Pan Naimu 潘乃穆, 'A Chronology of the Life and Work of Pan Guangdan', in PGDWJ, vol.11, pp.674-739 at pp.678-712.

[21] Lee's use of the term appears in the context of the involvement of Shanghai's Commercial Press in the making of modern Chinese nationalism, and more generally the Shanghai treaty-port print culture that was integral to the dissemination of self-consciously modern literary, philosophical, political and scientific discourses throughout the Republican period. See Leo Ou-fan Lee, Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban China, 1930-1945, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999, p.47. Lee appropriated the term from Robert Darnton's The Business of Enlightenment: A Publishing History of the Encyclopédie: 1775-1800, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1968.

[22] All of which were reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.1.

[23] Yuehtsen Juliette Chung, Struggle for National Survival: Eugenics in Sino-Japanese Contexts, 1896-1945, London: Routledge, 2002, p.69 and Yuehtsen Juliette Chung, 'Eugenics in China and Hong Kong: Nationalism and Colonialism, 1890s-1940s' in Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics, pp.258-273 at p.261.

[24] Howard Chiang, 'Epistemic Modernity and the Emergence of Homosexuality in China' in Gender and History 22 (2010): 629-657 at 640.

[25] The Characteristics and Hygiene of Nationalities,reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.3, pp.1-247; Eminent Lineages of Jiaxing during the Ming and Qing Dynasties in PGDWJ, vol.3, pp.249-408; Cunren Bookhouse's Family Trees of Historical Figures in PGDWJ, vol.4 (entire volume); Research on the Pedigrees of Chinese Actors in PGDWJ, vol.2, pp.73-303; The Principles of Eugenics in PGDWJ, vol.6, pp.217-461; Engels and Huxley translations in PGDWJ, vol.13, pp.1-81 and 83-470 respectively.

[26] The works are The Chinese Jews of Kaifeng 開封的中國猶太人 and The 'Tujia' in Northwest Hunan and the Ancient Ba People 湘西北的'土家'與古代的巴人. Reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.7, pp.123-410 and pp.411-598 respectively.

[27] On the rehabilitation of intellectuals generally in China in the late-1970s and early-1980s see, for instance, Vera Schwarcz, 'Afterword' in Merle Goldman, Timothy Cheek and Carol Lee Hamrin, eds, China's Establishment Intellectuals, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1985, pp.257-256; Vera Schwarcz, 'Behind a Partially-Open Door: Chinese Intellectuals and the Post-Mao Reform Process', Pacific Affairs 59 (1986):577-604; Merle Goldman, 'The Intellectuals in the Deng Era' in Michael Ying-Mao Kau and Susan H. Marsh, eds, China in the Era of Deng Xiaoping: A Decade of Reform,New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1993, pp.285-326; Timothy Cheek, Propaganda and Culture in Mao's China: Deng Tuo and the Intelligentsia, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997. I have briefly discussed Pan's rehabilitation in my doctoral dissertation, 'Sex, Eugenics, Aesthetics, Utopia in the Life and Work of Zhang Jingsheng (1888-1970),' unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge (2010), pp. 28-32.

[28] Reprinted as PGDWJ, vol.14.

[29] Frank Dikötter, Imperfect Conceptions: Medical Knowledge, Birth Defects and Eugenics in China, London: Hurst, 1998, p.167. On the discourse of eugenics in 1980s-1990s China, see Dikötter, Imperfect Conceptions;and, Yuehtsen Juliette Chung, 'The Postwar Return of Eugenics and the Dialectics of Scientific Practice in China', The Middle Ground Journal 3 (2011):1-50. Available at (accessed 30 June 2012).

[30] Essays were entitled, for instance: 'In Remembrance of Master Pan Guangdan: Push Forward the Cultivation of Talented Individuals', 'Learn from Master Pan Guangdan: Sort Out the Business of Educating the Race', and 'The Model Spirit of Truth-Seeking: Remembering the Contributions of Master Pan Guangdan in the Research of Ethnic Minorities'. See Chen Li 陳理, Guo Weiping 郭衛平 and Wang Qingren 王慶仁, eds, Collected Essays Commemorating the Centenary of Mister Pan Guangdan's Birth 潘光旦先生百年誕辰紀念文集, Beijing: Zhongyang Minzu Daxue Chubanshe, 2000. See also Pan Naimu 潘乃穆 et al eds., Equilibrium and Harmony, Order and Cultivation: Commemorating the Centenary of Pan Guangdan's Birth 中和位育: 潘光旦百年誕辰紀念, Beijing: Zhongguo Renmin Daxue Chubanshe, 1999.

[31] For the source of subsequent direct quotations and paraphrases, see Quentin Pan, 'The Problem of the Cultural Hybrid' in The China Critic 1 (August 1928): 248-251.

[32] For an English article in which Pan discusses genealogical research, see: Quentin Pan, 'Genealogy in China: A Neglected Phase of Historical Study' in The China Critic 3 (18 September 1930): 893-897.

[33] For the source of subsequent direct quotations and paraphrases, see Quentin Pan, 'An Athropological [sic] View on China's Troubles' in The China Critic 1 (June 14 1928): 53-56.

[34] For extensive analysis of the 'literary field' in Republican China, see for instance Michel Hockx (ed.), The Literary Field of Twentieth-Century China, Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999; and, Michel Hockx, Questions of Style: Literary Societies and Literary Journals in Modern China, 1911-1937, Leiden: Brill, 2003.

[35] Cheryl Barkey has discussed Pan Guangdan and Confucius in an unpublished paper entitled '"Superior Birth": Pan Guangdan and Eugenics as Confucian Family Values', which was presented at the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) meeting at Honolulu in 1996, in a panel on 'Paradoxes of Modernity: Gender, Morality, and Health in Republican China'. Unfortunately at the time of writing of this article, I have not been able to consult Barkey's paper.

[36] On the debates between Pan Guangdan and other promoters of eugenics, see Sihn Kyu-hwan 신규환, 'Eugenics Discourse and Racial Improvement in Republican China (1911-1949)'.

[37] For the source of subsequent direct quotations and paraphrases, see Quentin Pan, 'Socio-biological Implications of Confucianism: I. What Confucius Did Not Teach' in The China Critic 6 (6 April 1933), pp.352-356 and 'Socio-biological Implications of Confucianism: II. What Confucius Did Teach' in The China Critic 6 (13 April 1933), pp.376-379. The Chinese text following quotations does not appear in Pan's articles.

[38] Pan quotes from James Legge's translation of The Analects, with some minor modifications.

[39] James Legge's translation: 'The Master, having come to Wu Cheng, heard there the sound of stringed instruments and singing. Well pleased and smiling, he said: "Why use an ox-knife to kill a fowl?" Zi You replied: "Formerly, Master, I heard you say, 'When the man of high station is well instructed, he loves men; when a man of low station is well instructed, he is easily ruled'." The Master said: "My disciples, Zi You's words are right. What I said was only in sport".'

[40] For the source of subsequent direct quotations and paraphrases, see Quentin Pan, 'Notes on Modern Marriage' in The China Critic 2 (28 February 1929), pp.169-172.

[41] Pan at that time served as the editor of 'Light of Learning'. For a detailed account of this survey, its results and Pan Guangdan's analysis, see Pan Guangdan, The Family Problem in China 中國之家庭問題, Shanghai: Xinyue Shudian, 1928, reprinted in PGDWJ, vol.2, pp.67-241.

[42] Quotations here and below are from Pan, 'Notes on Modern Marriage', p.170.

[43] For the source of subsequent direct quotations and paraphrases, see Quentin Pan, 'Eugenics and Birth Regulation' in The China Critic (18 April 1935): 57-59.

[44] Quentin Pan, 'Notes on Modern Marriage' in The China Critic (28 February 1929): 169-172 at p.171.

[45] Zhou Zuoren 周作人, 'Assorted Letters from the Mountains' 山中雜信 in Morning Daily Supplement 晨報副刊, 5 June 1921. Reprinted in Zhou Zuoren Self-Selected Essays: Books on a Rainy Day 周作人自編文集—雨天的書, Shijiazhuang: Hebei Jiaoyu Chubanshe, pp.132-135 at p.133.

[46] I am paraphrasing this from Michel Foucault, who spoke of the intellectuals' dream of having the 'legislative function', of being the 'fixed point'. Translated by and quoted in John Forrester, The Seductions of Psychoanalysis: Freud, Lacan and Derrida, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, p.316. Originally from Michel Foucault's interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, 12 March 1977.

[47] The following is only a partial list from China Science and Technology Journal Database 中文科技期刊數據庫 (accessed on 30 June 2012): Tang Runqian 湯潤千, 'Pan Guangdan and 'Equilibrium and Harmony, Order and Cultivation' 潘光旦與'中和位育' in Journal of Hebei University (Educational Science Edition) 河北師范大學學報(教育科學版) 3 (2000): 44-51; Li Yue 李玥, 'Pan Guangdan's Theory of Chinese Society: Research on Chinese Society Using the "Weiyu Paradigm"' 潘光旦的中國社會論: '位育范式' 解析下的中國社會研究, unpublished master's dissertation, Jilin University 吉林大學 (2004); Sun Zhili 孫志麗, 'Pan Guangdan's Theory of 'Equilibrium and Harmony, Order and Cultivation' and the Construction of the Harmonious Society in Northeast Old Industrial Base' 潘光旦的'中和位育'論與東北老工業基地和諧社會的構建, The Journal of Harbin Committee School of the CCP 哈爾濱市委黨校學報 2 (2005): 19-21; Li Guojuan 李國娟, 'The Value of "Equilibrium and Harmony, Order and Cultivation" to Contemporary Society: On Traditional Confucian Thought and Socialist Harmonious Society' '中和位育'的現代社會價值: 論傳統儒家思想與社會主義和諧社會 in Journal of Liaoning University (Philosophy and Social Science Edition) 遼寧大學學報 (哲學社會科學版) 4 (2006): 11-15; Wang Liyan 王麗艷, 'Studies on Pan Guangdan's Pedagogical Thought' 潘光旦教育思想研究, unpublished master's dissertation, Hebei University 河北大學 (2006); Zhang Shiya 張詩亞, 'The Way of "Weiyu": Directions in Education for the Chinese People in the Midst of Globalisation' '位育'之道: 全球化中的華人教育路向, Journal of Southwest China Normal University (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition) 西南師範大學學報 (人文社會科學版) 6 (2006): 53-55; Li Yanqiu 李艷秋, 'Pan Guangdan's "Weiyu" Theory and the Construction of a Harmonious Society' 潘光旦的 '位育'論與構建和諧社會, Journal of Huangshan University 黃山學院學報 6 (2007): 61-64; Qiao Donghua喬東華, 'Searching for the Chinese Way of Weiyu' 尋求中國人的位育之道, unpublished master's dissertation, Shandong Normal University 山東師範大學 (2007).

[48] Pan rejected the more common translation for 'adaptation' (shiying 適應, a return graphic loan from Japanese), because he felt that it was too 'passive'. See the discussion of weiyu 位育in Pan Naigu 潘乃谷, 'Pan Guangdan on "weiyu"' 潘光旦釋'位育', in Chen Li 陳理, Guo Weiping 郭衛平and Wang Qingren 王慶仁, eds, Collected Essays Commemorating the Centenary of Mister Pan Guangdan's Birth 潘光旦先生百年誕辰紀念文集, Beijing: Zhongyang Minzu Daxue Chubanshe, 2000, pp.233-256. On Fei Xiaotong's endorsement see, from the same volume, Fei Xiaotong 費孝通, 'Thinking About Teacher Pan's Theory of Weiyu' 想起潘老師的位育論, pp.1-3.

[49] Li Yanqiu 李艷秋, 'Pan Guangdan's "Weiyu" Theory and the Construction of a Harmonious Society' 潘光旦的 '位育'論與構建和諧社會 , Journal of Huangshan University 黃山學院學報 6 (2007): 61-64

[50] Li Guojuan 李國娟, 'The Value of "Equilibrium and Harmony, Order and Cultivation' to Contemporary Society: On Traditional Confucian Thought and Socialist Harmonious Society' '中和位育'的現代社會價值: 論傳統儒家思想與社會主義和諧社會, Journal of Liaoning University (Philosophy and Social Science Edition) 遼寧大學學報(哲學社會科學版), 4 (2006): 11-15.