Dr. Chang Hao, the renowned Sinologist and scholar devoted to the intellectual history of modern China, died April 21 at age 85 in Albany, California. Dr. Chang was born in 1937 in Xiamen, and after living in Chongqing and Nanjing he moved with his family to Taiwan in 1949. He studied with well-known China scholars in both Taiwan and the United States, including Yin Hai-guang, Yang Lien-sheng (aka L.S. Yang), and Benjamin Schwartz. In 1966, Dr. Chang completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University. Two years earlier, he had begun his teaching career at Louisiana State University. He relocated to the Department of History at The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1968 and taught at OSU until 1998. After retiring from OSU, Dr. Chang moved for seven years to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, his final academic position.
Dr. Chang authored widely acclaimed books, articles, and chapters in both English and Chinese, including Liang Ch’i-ch’ao and Intellectual Transition in China, 1890-1907 (1971) and Chinese Intellectuals in Crisis; Search for Order and Meaning, 1890-1911 (1987). Both focused on what Dr. Chang called “the transitional generation” of late Qing intellectuals influenced by unorthodox Chinese thought along with modern Western thought, literature, and media. Both books were translated into Chinese and have influenced generations of scholars.
In February of this year, Dr. Chang donated his book and manuscript collection, an invaluable contribution to historical research, to the National Central Library (Taiwan). Comprised of 5,000 books, plus personal papers, the library plans to make this gift a separate, named collection honoring him. It will be open to the public after it has been catalogued.
During his distinguished career, Dr. Chang received numerous honors. He was elected to membership in Academia Sinica in 1992. Other honors and scholarly recognitions included grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. He was also honored with the Qian Mu History Lectureship and the Yu Ying-shih Lectureship, both at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, along with the Tseng Yueh-nung Lectureship on Comparative Study of Cultures at Tunghai University, Taiwan.
Remembrances have been held in America, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. A virtual commemoration of Dr. Chang’s life and accomplishments was held on June 27, 2022 in Menlo Park, CA. A recording of the service can be viewed on YouTube.
— Submitted by Philip C. Brown and Christopher A. Reed, The Ohio State University