I am a historian of Modern Britain, with particular interests in progressive thought and social reform in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. My current research project focuses on how Anglophone progressives drew on elements of Chinese culture to formulate a “post-Christian” social ethics in the first half of the twentieth century.
I received my LL.B. and M.A. in history from National Taiwan University, where I completed a dissertation on the political thought of Victorian Oxford Idealist, T. H. Green, and his legacy to the New Liberalism. My doctoral study at Cambridge, fully sponsored by the Taiwanese government, led to a thesis titled “The Workers’ Educational Association and the Pursuit of Oxford Idealism, 1909-1949.” It looked at the WEA’s Idealist scheme of achieving good citizenship by providing university tutorial classes and campaigning for educational reform. I argued that from the outset the WEA struggled to realise its mission because its founding programme glossed over the irreconcilable tensions between Idealist philosophy and the professionalising aspirations embedded in universities and emerging academic disciplines, a crucial factor which contributed to the waning of the Idealist movement in the 1930s and 1940s.
While working as a full-time Assistant Research Fellow/Professor at IHP, I also give undergraduate lectures in Modern European History and Intellectual History of Modern Europe at the National Taiwan Normal University.