Ross Moncrieff



ross moncrieff rev




Ross Moncrieff

DPhil candidate, Faculty of History



I am an Examination Fellow at All Souls College and a DPhil student in History supervised by Dr Alan Strathern and Dr William Poole. I did my BA in Ancient and Modern History at Lincoln College, followed by an MPhil in Renaissance Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and an EMA (English Taught Master’s) in Chinese History and Culture at Fudan University, Shanghai. My research interests lie in early modern Anglo-Sino cultural exchange and diplomacy. More broadly, I am interested in comparative intellectual history, particularly with regards to early modern China and Europe.

DPhil topic

My DPhil research focuses on early modern British understandings of China from the late-seventeenth to the late-eighteenth century, aiming to reassess to what extent this period saw a growing hostility towards China amongst British intellectuals (what is sometimes called the shift from 'Sinophilia' to 'Sinophobia'). By examining a wide range of areas of early modern British knowledge about China, including Chinese botany, ethnography and philosophy, I aim to challenge the idea that the late-eighteenth century was a moment of radical discontinuity in British attitudes towards China. I am particularly interested in how a reassessment of this period’s conceptions of China might change our understandings of the context for the 1793 Macartney embassy to the Qianlong emperor, as well as the importance of early British sinology for debates surrounding the Enlightenment and Orientalism in eighteenth-century Britain.