Contemporary Foreign Languages Studies ›› 2023, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (3): 33-42.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2023.03.004

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The Knowledge Construction and Circulation of the Conpect “Liberty” in the Late Qing Dynasty

LI Wenting()   

  • Online:2023-06-23 Published:2023-07-31


Transknowletology incorporates disciplinary terms, concepts and knowledge organically, which provides a new theoretical perspective for the study of translation history. The term “liberty”, which originally belonged to Western knowledge, was first translated and introduced to China by Shun Pao in the late Qing Dynasty, and encountered both positive and negative knowledge construction of various forces. Its connotations finally gained recognition after the Revolution of 1911, and were established and circulated in the public opinion. The visualization tool “Voyant Tools” is applied to analyze the frequency and fields of the term “liberty” in the newspapers and journals in the late Qing Dynasty. It is found that the translation and introduction of “liberty” in the newspapers and journals in the late Qing Dynasty can be divided into three stages: the embryonic stage (1896-1898), the steady-growth stage (1899-1910) and the rapid-growth stage (1911). The close reading of the text is also applied to explore the circulation of the term “liberty” within the texts of the newspapers and journals, and the ideological competitions outside the texts, thus presenting the historical picture of the construction and circulation of new knowledge on liberty in the context of the late Qing Dynasty.

Key words: transknowletology, liberty, Voyant Tools, knowledge construction

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