Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2020

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

East Asian Languages and Culture: Chinese

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



In the modern history of human mobility and movement, modern Chinese people’s domestic and international travel experiences have helped to open the eyes and minds in reconstructing and reshaping modern Chinese people’s geographical and socio-cultural concepts of the nation and the world. Rather than treating travel as merely a part of human activity of moving around or a form of leisure-seeking and entertainment, this study reveals the political and cultural significance of domestic travel that unfolds into four aspects: the multifaceted role of the very first modern Chinese tourism magazine China Traveler, the rising importance of children’s travel education, the use of travel accounts during the wartime, and popularization of regional cultures through railway travel writings.

Modern Chinese tourism and travel culture can be examined in the theoretical framework of the (re)production, comprehension, and dissemination of knowledge, the discovery of modern Chinese children and consideration of their constructive roles in the society, and the experimental nature of modern Chinese travel writings. I reveal how the promotion, organization, regulation, and recollection of travel have been carried out by publishers, educators, politicians, writers, and college students. This dissertation demonstrates how Chinese people from all walks of life, in both rural and urban areas, have participated in modern Chinese domestic travel history.

In doing so, this study aims to examine the practices and politics of modern Chinese tourism and travel culture from the late Qing to Republican China, and highlights how travel can be more than just being informative and relaxing but can also contribute to identity formation, children’s cultivation, and extending people’s geographical imagination. This dissertation argues that travel, as a form of practice, has been greatly integrated into modern Chinese people’s everyday life, and should be studied alongside our understanding of revolutions and reforms in modern China.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Lingchei Letty Chen

Committee Members

Zhao Ma, Marvin Marcus, Steve B. Miles, Ji-Eun Lee,

Available for download on Monday, August 13, 2040

Included in

Asian Studies Commons