2009-2011 HYI Past Events

2009-2011 HYI Past Events

The Moon-window as interface with ancestral altars

Wang Yuan (Art History, Shanghai Jiaotong University; HYI Art History Training Program Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Prof. Eugene Wang (Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art, Harvard University) 

Date: Friday, December 16, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Harvard University

The traditional Chinese interface with ancestor sacrifice space normally has a specific and consistent modality. In this talk, Wang Yuan will take a particular motif, the moon-window, which appeared in the residential ancestor hall of a Hakka immigrant village in south Zhejiang province during the Qing Dynasty, as an example. Her talk will look at how and why the sacrificial space took on an innovative form, and will trace the innovation of the moon-window back to a long tradition in Chinese etiquette and custom. Professor Wang also seeks to restore the relationship between the use of moon-windows in different contexts and the illusion of natural moon.


Yunnan and the Bengal Bay

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Yang Bin (History, National University of Singapore; HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussant: Prof. Michael Witzel (Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University) 

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Harvard University

Yunnan, a frontier province in southwest China, has long been placed in Chinese historical narration. This talk aims to bring back its medieval connections to Southeast and South Asia.  It first introduces the use of cauri (cowrie or cowry) currency in Yunnan and other areas around the Bay of Bengal, and then construct historical routes linking the Bengali world and Yunnan, both by land and sea. The spread of Buddhism into Yunnan will be discussed to highlight the Bengali cultural influence. Keeping these reflections in perspective, Yang Bin calls for a reconsideration of the current so-called Chinese frontier studies.


The Rise of Industrial Policy in China: Japanese Lessons, Chinese Adaptations, 1980-2012

Co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

Sebastian Heilmann 
Professor of Comparative Government and the Political Economy of China, University of Trier, Germany

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Time: 12:15 pm                  
Location: S050, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Harvard University

This talk will present new findings on the emergence of large-scale industrial policy programs in China during the past decade and their proliferation since 2009. Two processes will be at the center of the presentation: the absorption and accommodation of Japanese industrial policy experiences by Chinese economic planners that started in the 1980s (explaining transnational policy adaptation); the failure of pioneering industrial policies during the 1990s and the forceful comeback of targeted national programs in China in recent years (explaining domestic policy breakthroughs and advocacy coalitions).


Political Legitimacy in China: A Confucian Approach

Co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies 

Daniel Bell (Jiaotong University and Tsinghua University)

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Time: 4:15 pm                  
Location: CGIS South, Belfer Case Study Room (S020), 1730 Cambridge Street, Harvard University

More information: http://fairbank.fas.harvard.edu/event/daniel-bell


Whose Xinjiang? The Transition in Chinese intellectuals’ imagination of the “New Dominion” during the Qing dynasty

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Jia Jianfei (History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussant: Prof. Mark Elliott (Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History, EALC, Harvard) 

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Time: 11:30 am
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Harvard University

Though Xinjiang (literarily the “New Dominion”) was incorporated into China’s territory permanently in mid-18th century during Emperor Qianlong’s reign, Jiayu Guan (嘉峪关) still marked a boundary between Xinjiang and China proper, much like Yang Guan (阳关) and Yumen Guan (玉门关) in the Han and Tang dynasties. Such a boundary was infused with cultural meaning since ancient times: it separated different cultures, and territories beyond the pass should accordingly not be regarded as part of China. This understanding of cultural boundaries deeply influenced Han Chinese officials and intellectuals; no wonder few Han Chinese supported the Qing emperors’ military plans in Xinjiang during the conquest. Even after the Qing conquest of Xinjiang, such conceptions remained relevant and fueled controversy over Xinjiang, lasting to the end of Qing dynasty and even to the Republic. However, these ideas gradually weakened over time, resulting in the re-conquest of Xinjiang during the 1860s and 1870s by Zuo Zongtang (左宗棠), a Han Chinese, the establishment of Xinjiang province in 1884, and the swift development of Xinjiang-studies during the Guangxu reign period (1875-1908). Indeed, the place of Xinjiang in Han Chinese intellectuals’ imagination had changed significantly, and this change played a key role in the final formation of modern China’s boundaries.


Reshaping Collective Consciousness Towards Trauma: Hebrew and Chinese Narrative on the Holocaust and the Nanking Massacre (1960-1980)

Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Zhong Zhiqing (Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussants: Prof. David Wang (Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature, EALC, Harvard) and Prof. Ruth Wisse (Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University)

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Harvard University

This presentation will survey how historical trauma such as the Holocaust and Nanking Massacre was transferred into Hebrew and Chinese national literatures in post-Holocaust and post-Nanking Massacre periods. The focus will be on how literature functions in reconstructing national past and reshaping collective consciousness through viewing the relevant novels from the early 1960s to 1980s created by the authors who appeared on the literary scene starting from the 1960s.


Politics of Life and Science: The Introduction of Hans Driesch’s Vitalist Biology and Philosophy to Post-WWI China

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Kevin Chang (History, Academia Sinica; HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussant: Prof. William C. Kirby (T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies, Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School)

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA

Infected by the pessimism about Western Civilization and the value of science and technology that resulted from the destructive First World War, leading Chinese intellectuals started a debate about the limit and validity of science. One side of the debate asserted that there were subjective realms in human life that were not subject to scientific rule. The other side charged that the skepticism about science and the Western civilization would further delay China from embracing modernization. Both sides consisted of reform-minded intellectuals, and both resorted to Western authorities in science, philosophy and political institutions, including the model recently introduced by the Bolshevik Revolution.

Hans Driesch was noted in Europe and the US for his discovery in embryology and his vitalist philosophy that asserted the fundamental difference between the living organism and inorganic substances or machines. His stature in experimental biology lent him particular credibility in his assertions about science and life. His vitalism was used by his Chinese advocates to maintain that mechanical science could govern everything, not least human life. His Western origin served as a credential against the domestic proponents for the unlimited validity of Western science. He was among the international intellectual heavyweights--Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, and Tagore included--who were invited to and indeed visited China in the early 1920s.

This talk looks at the introduction of Driesch’s work and its different reactions in early 20th-century China in the global context in which political and scientific ideas were brought into action.


Segmented Incorporation: The Second Generation of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in Shanghai

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Lan Pei-chia (Dept. of Sociology, National Taiwan University; Radcliffe Fellow in Residence and HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussant: Prof. Martin Whyte (Sociology, Harvard University)

Date: Thursday, October 27, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA

Based on in-depth interviews conducted in Shanghai, Lan examines how second-generation rural migrants in urban China experience spatial, social segregation and channeling effects in the receiving context of education. Lan argues that the case of Shanghai characterizes a new regime of “segmented incorporation.” Hukou (household registration) is still a crucial social boundary embedded in educational institutions, shaping uneven distribution of educational resources and opportunities as well as hierarchical recognition of differences between urban citizens and rural migrants. Systematic exclusion has given way to more subtle forms of institutional segmentation and channeling, reproducing cultural prejudices and reinforcing group differentiation.


New Perspectives on Chinese Art -- An Auspicious Thing: The Bronze Tripod in the Eye of a Diviner

Jointly sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Fairbank Center

Tao Wang, University College London

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Time: 5:00 pm                                 
Location: CGIS South, Belfer Case Study Room (S020), 1730 Cambridge Street, Harvard University

Professor Wang will examine a divinatory text in the Zhou Yi (Book of Changes), in which the bronze tripod ding was described and used as a metaphor, and he will highlight the close link between the text and the real objects. For more details, go to:http://fairbank.fas.harvard.edu/event/tao-wang


Constructing National Forms in 20th century China: Visuality, Aesthetics and Literature

A panel held at the New England Asia Studies Association (AAS)

Date: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Time: 10:45 am - 12:45 pm
Location: Pendleton West Room 117, Wellesley Campus, Wellesley, MA

Panel organizer: Dr. Tang Hongfeng

Panelists: Tang Hongfeng, Harvard-Yenching Institute
Ji Xiaoqian, University of Pittsburgh
Xia Fan, Columbia University
Lang Jin, University of Massachusetts
Chen Si, Harvard University

Discussant: Song Mingwei, Wellesley College

More information about the conference: http://web.wellesley.edu/web/Info/NEAAS


Sociological Approaches to Contemporary Chinese Social Issues

A lecture series co-sponsored by the University of Social Sciences and Humanities - Ho Chi Minh City and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: October 3-8, 2011 (morning and afternoon sessions)
Location: The University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Due to their specific historical, cultural and socio-political backgrounds, contemporary Chinese and Vietnamese societies share a number of social issues in common. Boundary-crossing sociological approaches can help to understand these social issues within national, regional, and global contexts. The final session of the lecture series will consist of a roundtable discussion between Chinese and Vietnamese scholars.


Women Playing Men: Same-Sex Relations in Republican Shanghai

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Jiang Jin (Dept. of History, East China Normal University; Radcliffe Fellow in Residence and HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussant: Prof. Elizabeth Perry (Government Department, Harvard University; Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute)

Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA

Although we have pretty good knowledge about the homoerotic and homosocial world of Beijing opera of the late Qing, we know very little about the same-sex culture of women’s Yue opera that flourished in Republican Shanghai. This talk looks at the homosexual aspects in women’s Yue opera against the background of the general Republican reformation of sex and gender relations. By juxtaposing the opera’s stage representations of heterosexual love by the same-sex cast with the off-stage homoerotic and homosocial relationships within women's opera circles, we will explore a spectrum of possibilities for women in Republican-era Shanghai.


International Conference on the Prehistory of the Tibetan Plateau

Organized jointly by the Center for Tibetan Studies of Sichuan University and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and funded by Harvard-Yenching Institute and Center for Tibetan Studies of Sichuan University.

Date: August 21-24, 2011
Location: Sichuan University, China

The Tibetan Plateau is one of the most challenging areas for human life, and also a region little understood by modern archaeology. Despite a series of explorations in recent decades, political and linguistic barriers make academic exchange extremely difficult. Therefore, the purpose of this international conference is to pull together current research focused on the prehistory of the Tibetan Plateau. Through this gathering we hope to provide a forum for direct exchange between scholars that crosses national, ethnic and political boundaries. We are especially interested to include research from Nepali, Pakistani, and Indian archaeologists and thereby build a foundation for future cooperation among the participants.

For more information, please contact Prof. Lu Hongliang (scottscu@gmail.com) or Prof. Li Yongxian (yongxianli212@hotmail.com).

To view the conference report, please click here.


Social Stratification and Mobility in China:Urban Migration and Growth of the Middle Class

A Training Program organized by the Harvard-Yenching Institute; China Studies Center, University  of Sydney; The Center for Modern China Studies, Nanjing University; and the Department of History, Nanjing Univeristy

Location: Nanjing University
Dates: June 16 - 30, 2011

For additional information, please visit: http://wxy.seu.edu.cn/humanities/sociology/article.asp?M_ID=37&A_ID=5005


Creative Forms of Public Participation in China: From Everyday Politics to Media Agendas

A workshop sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, 2011
Time: 9-5 pm (Saturday), 9:30-12 pm (Sunday)
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Avenue

China has often been considered to be a country that has enjoyed rapid economic growth while suffering from very strict political constraints. Yet in recent years, many creative forms of public participation have emerged, especially from the grassroots level, which include not only significant media agendas but also everyday politics in rural and urban life. A fragile, nascent civil society and other various social players are now actively interacting with the state. Sometimes, they even successfully change the state's policy-making process.

How can we understand these creative forms of public participation in China? Who are the emerging players? What strategies and discourses are they using to mobilize public participation and promote policy pluralization? And what are the political potentials and limitations of these creative forms?

This workshop brings together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds. Based on empirical research, it aims not only to illustrate new patterns of public participation and civil society development, but also to trace their impacts on the  political institutions in a country undergoing a transition from socialism to a market economy, and from administrative vertical integration to social horizontal solidarity.

Workshop Program


Asian women and education: Asian, European and Other Perspectives

Hosted by the Vietnam Institute for European Studies
Co-sponsored by the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: June 3-4, 2011
Location: Institute of History, Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences, 1 Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi

The workshop is a chance for scholars from Asia (Vietnam, China, Hongkong, Korea, Japan), Europe (Denmark, France, Russia) and America to discuss issues related to Asian women and education in historical, sociological, gender, ethnical and religious perspectives. The workshop aims at seeking answers for questions:
-    How did Asian women access education/learning in the past and how can they at present?
-    Can education change and improve women’s lives in modern Asia? Can educated women change their economic, social, political status?

Contact: tranphhoa@yahoo.com


Social Assistance in Urban China and its Effects

Zhou Fenghua (Dept. of Public Policy, Huazhong Normal University; HYI Grassroots Program Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Professor Nara Dillon (Government, Harvard University)

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

This talk will first give a broad view of the development of the major social assistance scheme—the dibao program—in urban China, and then analyze its features in design and implementation. It is argued that, although this poverty-reduction program works well in terms of targeting the poor, it actually aggravates gender, regional and rural-urban inequality due to its drawbacks in design and implementation. In the long run, the program hampers the truly disadvantaged to lift themselves from poverty.  The implications of the dibao program and its implementation for family structure, social solidarity, and the legitimacy of the state are also discussed in the talk.


Japan in Crisis: From Aftershock to Aftercare

Date: Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, 2011
Time: 9:30-5:00 pm (Friday), 2-4:30 pm (Saturday)
Location: Room 105, William James Hall, Harvard University

The Heisei Era in Japan so far has experienced numerous crises on different dimensions, ranging from political, financial, and social turmoil to natural disasters, as if it has inherited the turbulence of the eventful Showa history. In the face of calamity, however, the Japanese people have always amazed the world with their extreme resilience and stoicism. It has been generally suggested that the Japanese people are impressively responsive to disasters, given their all too frequent experience of calamity in an island country. Although it is still too soon to comment on whether the recent catastrophe caused by the 3/11 Earthquake would be able to push the nation to change, it at least provides a good opportunity to re-examine the various crises that have haunted the modern Japan, and explore how the Japanese people have sought different ways of aftercare and overcoming the aftershocks. This workshop therefore aims to revisit both natural and man-made disasters from Meiji to Heisei, in order to investigate how Japanese reacted to or overcame these crises, and how these crises have shaped Japan’s national psyche and individual minds.

Conference website: http://www.kinnia.com/hyiworkshop2011


Connections are Not Always Corruption: Vertical Ties and Civic Participation in Rural China

Jointly sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Lily Tsai (Associate Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Date: Monday, May 9, 2011
Time: 4:15pm
Location: CGIS South, Doris and Ted Lee Gathering Room (S030), 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Having “connections” to government officials is typically equated with the ability to pursue one’s interests through informal, and often illicit, channels.   If someone mentions that they “know someone” who works in government, we often assume that they have the kind of informal access to power and resources that, in the extreme, fall in the realm of cronyism, clientelism, and corruption.  This paper argues, however, that our current understanding of vertical ties between citizens and officials may be too simplistic.  Instead, vertical ties to government officials can be a valuable resource for civic participation concerned with public issues as well as for clientelistic activity motivated by particularistic concerns.  Particularly in transitional systems, vertical ties to government officials can provide political information and support that helps to overcome the risks and uncertainties of voicing one’s opinions in contexts where democratic institutions are unstable and the right to participate is insecure.  This paper draws on evidence from survey data on villagers in China to show that individuals who have vertical ties with higher-level officials are (1) just as likely as or more than individuals without these ties to express civic attitudes and support for democratic reforms and (2) more likely than individuals without these ties to participate in ways that make their concerns known to the government.


Staging the Modern: Theatre, Intermediality, and Chinese Drama

Cosponsored with the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Date: May 6-7, 2011 (Friday afternoon, full day Saturday)
Location: CGIS South Building Room S050, Harvard University

Organizers: Professor David Der-wei Wang, Tarryn Chun

More information: http://fairbank.fas.harvard.edu/event/staging-modern-theatre-intermediality-and-chinese-drama


How Ecology is Forgotten During the Process of Ecological Relocation: A Case Study of S Banner in Inner Mongolia from a Sociological Perspective

Co-sponsored with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Bao Zhiming (Department of Sociology, Minzu University of China; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Professor Mark Elliott, Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

Based on fieldwork carried out in Inner Mongolia’s S Banner region, Professor Bao’s study reveals that the implementation of ecological relocation policy is a social process involving the participation of multiple social agents including the central government, local governments, market elites, farmers and herdsmen. Their complicated interaction embodies the nexus of power and interests between government, the market and local people. Local governments occupy a central position in the relationship network which forms during the process and their conflicting dual roles of “agent political operator” and “profit-seeking political operator” causes great uncertainty for the direction of top-down government-led environmental policy.


Neighborhood Governance in Urban Taiwan: Democratic Deepening in the Roots of the State

Benjamin Read (Assistant professor of politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz)

Jointly sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Harvard-Yenching Institute.

Date: Monday, April 18, 2011
Time: 4:15pm
Location: S050, CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge St.

Taiwan's system of neighborhood-level governance has origins in institutions of social control employed by both the Republican-era Kuomintang and the Japanese colonizers. In more recent times, its local agents have been known for buying votes on behalf of politicians and mobilizing constituents in exchange for patronage. Yet over the past 25 years, elections for the "borough wardens" have become hotly contested, voter turnout has risen to remarkably high rates, and KMT dominance has given way to political pluralization. Neighborhood leaders of a new generation, with more women in their ranks than ever before, have taken on new roles and have different relationships with their communities, parties, and city governments compared to those of the older, often clan-based bosses. Drawing on ethnographic research, interviews, opinion surveys, public records, and other sources, Professor Read argues that the evolution of Taiwan's neighborhood organizati ons has deepened democratic practices at the grassroots level, even though they remain a highly statist institution.

For more information, please visit http://fairbank.fas.harvard.edu/calendar/upcoming


Information technology and Public Protest in China

(信 息技术与中国民众的抗议行为)

Dr. Yu Jianrong (Professor and Director of the Rural Development Institute’s Social Issues Research Center, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Jointly sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Harvard-Yenching Insititute

Please note: this talk will be conducted in Chinese

于建嵘教授在这一演讲中试 图回答这么一个问题,即在目前信息技术革命背景下,中国民众的抗议行为是否发生了变化,并且这种变化将对中国政治发展产生何种影响。于教授借此机会与大家 探讨,在网络时代,中国政治是否有一条新的发展道路,并将如何利用互联网和新科技作为重构中国政治的力量。

Date: Friday, April 15, 2011
Time: 12:00 noon -- 2:00 p.m
Location: Room S250, CGIS, 1730 Cambridge Street, Harvard University


Out of Place: The New Woman and Chinese Cinema

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Mao Jian (East China Normal University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Prof. David Der-wei Wang, EALC, Harvard University

Date: Thursday, April 14, 2011
Time: 12:15 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

This is a study of the relationship between young women and the long Chinese revolution as portrayed on screen. From "revolution plus beauty" to "The Red Detachment of Women", from the "New Woman" to the "New Revolutionary Artist", from "the barefoot doctor" to "the bad female cadre", this talk, centering on Ruan Lingyu's and Xie Jin's films, attempts a typology of female characters by comparing young women characters from the left cinema of the thirties and forties with those of the socialist and post-socialist eras.


Nation as an "Imagined" and "Melancholy" Community: Folklore and Ambivalent Cultural Unity in William Butler Yeats and Sowol Kim

Co-sponsored by the Korea Institute

Yoon Il Hwan (Pusan National University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Prof. David McCann, EALC, Harvard University

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

This talk aims to examine the ambivalent relationship between nationalism and myth and folklore in the works of William Butler Yeats(1865-1939) and Sowol Kim(1902-1934), one of Korea's most beloved and well-known poets. Drawing upon a varied range of materials from their poems, prose, essays, and letters, it attempts to demonstrate two distinct interplays between folklore and national consciousness. Under the yoke of colonization, both Yeats and Sowol sought after the link between literature and national identity, and found in myth, folklore, and symbolic landscape a subject ideally suited to express their respective efforts towards discovering a national character and spiritual foundation. Prof. Yoon argues that in regards to national identities Yeats substantially relies on the operation of a comprehensive and coherent system of symbols in folklore, as opposed to Sowol who struggles to create a core of national identity, despite keenly recognizing the absence of any master symbol in folklore to forge national identity. Yeats favors folklore imbued with spiritual power and creates Ireland as an "imagined community." Sowol, conceiving a sense of spiritual deprivation in folklore, substantially locates the nation's suffering under colonial state and paradoxically animates national spirit. While both poets try to create a cultural nexus around which various forces can congeal to resist colonialism, they also offer violent and irresolvable conflict behind such a nexus. Their assumption of a national identity does not fall into a national essentialism; their turn to folklore and symbolic landscape for nationalism contains ambivalent struggle between their efforts at cultural unity and the uncontainable problems of modernity, nation, community, and the role of culture in nationalism. To illustrate this ambivalence, Prof. Yoon adopts a few ideas from Benedict Anderson's "imagined community," Sigmund Freud's melancholy, and Jean-Luc Nancy's "the unsacrificeable."


HYI Reception at The Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting

Date: Friday, April 1, 2011 
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm 
Location: Room 317B, Hawaii Convention Center, 1801 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI

Every year in the spring, the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) holds its annual four-day conference devoted to planned programs of scholarly papers, round table discussions and panel sessions on a wide range of issues in research and teaching, and on Asian affairs in general. The conference is one of the most important annual scholarly events in Asian Studies. The HYI will host a reception at the meeting. The reception is an excellent opportunity for meeting other scholars as well as learning about new programs and opportunities at HYI.


Jawaharlal Nehru and China: A Study in Failure, or Misrecognition?

Co-sponsored by the South Asia Initiative

Ramachandra Guha

Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, Harvard University

As both Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru closely directed his country's foreign policy in the crucial years after independence. In this period, India's relations with China moved from friendship to hostility, culminating in the war of 1962 in which Chinese troops put to flight their Indian counterparts. That military fiasco deeply damaged Nehru's standing and may have hastened his death. Within India, Nehru's China policy is widely regarded as his greatest failure. This lecture will argue that while Nehru undeniably made major errors of judgement, the conflict is best viewed in structural rather than personal terms, as emanating from the simultaneous emergence of two ambitious nationalisms which, as they expanded outwards, met and clashed on their contested borders.

For a bio of Ramachandra Guha, click here


Asian Varieties of Socialism: China, India, Vietnam

Co-sponsored by HYI & the Harvard Asia Center

Organized by the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: Monday, March 28, 2011
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Location: Lower Level Conference Room, Busch Hall/Center for European Studies, 27 Kirkland St., Cambridge, MA

These days the rapidly rising nations of China and India are often contrasted as examples of "authoritarian" versus "democratic" paths of (capitalist or quasi-capitalist) development. But when their current political systems were first established, some sixty years ago, leaders in both countries were strongly attracted by the promises of socialism. The same was true of the reunified Vietnam in 1976, which – like China and India – subsequently embarked upon an impressive economic reform program. What did these various countries initially find so appealing about socialism? To what extent did their interpretations reflect Asian, as opposed to European, experiences and values? And what influence, if any, do such socialist legacies exert on contemporary practices in the three countries?

This roundtable brings together an inter-disciplinary group of distinguished international scholars and public intellectuals – based in India, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US -- to offer their perspectives on these complex questions.


Perception of the Past and Reflection of the Present: World War II on Japanese, American and East Asian Screens

Co-sponsored by the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

Kinnia Yau Shuk-ting (Chinese University of Hong Kong; HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)
Discussant: Professor Andrew Gordon, Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Harvard University

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

More than half a century has passed since the end of the Second World War. While there are worries that the series of events are going to be forgotten, we are actually more aware of the fact that the war is still being reconstructed and transformed by filmmakers, provoking widespread discussion and controversy. This presentation aims to examine how Japan, the United States and other East Asian regions such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea have presented WWII in their movies since the 1990s, and to investigate how politics influences the representation and dissemination of popular culture.


Literary Theories and their Application: A Lecture Series

Co-organized by the Vietnam Institute of Literature and the Harvard-Yenching Institute
Co-sponsored by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: March 16-19 (mornings and afternoons), 2011
Time: Mornings 8:30 - 11:30 am; Afternoons 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Location: Vietnam Institute of Literature, 20 Ly Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

This series of lectures will take place after the March 14-15 workshop, providing its participants with in-depth knowledge of specific issues in the field of literary studies (or comparative literature). Harvard University Professors Stephen Owen, David Damrosch, and Karen L. Thornber will participate. The lectures will furnish young researchers, who are the majority in Vietnamese research institutes and universities but have not had a chance to study overseas, with excellent opportunities to approach new knowledge.

For more information, please contact haiyenti@yahoo.com 


Functional categories in Korean agrammatism

Co-sponsored by the Korea Institute

Lee Miseon (Department of English Language and Literature, Hanyang University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Professor Jesse Snedeker (John L. Loeb Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Harvard University)

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

This talk will review experimental data from Korean-speaking patients with agrammatism and a theoretical interpretation. After a brief introduction to agrammatism and the Korean language, Professor Lee's talk will focus on Korean agrammatic patients' use and understanding of functional categories (i.e., sentence enders, tense markers, and complementizers).


[Pre]Modern Asian Literature Read through Modern Western Theories: Applications, [In]Compatibilities, Challenges, and Opportunities

Organized by Vietnam Institute of Literature, Co-sponsored by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the Harvard-Yenching Institute, and the Japan Foundation

Date: March 14-15, 2011
Time: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Hall #3D, 1 Lieu Giai Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Workshop Objectives: Since the last century, literary studies in Vietnam have received, adopted, and applied Western theories and methods to reconstruct and interpret national cultural and humanistic values on the one hand, and to introduce and approach world literature on the other hand. However, reviewing the long road that we, Vietnamese literature scholars, have traveled, and broadening our view toward an international picture of the field, we find our approaches and applications entailing a series of questions: At which levels have Western theories been introduced into Vietnam? Is this introduction reasonable and sufficient? How should we receive and apply Western theories as efficient tools to explore and understand Eastern literary bodies, such as Vietnamese literature? (in other words, how (in)compatible are Western theories in the study of Eastern literature?) Are there any limits or shortcomings in such applications and approaches? What experiences and lessons should Vietnamese literat ure scholars learn from their Chinese, Japanese, and Korean counterparts, when carrying out their Western-theory based literary research? The workshop will serve as a forum to discuss case studies on specific premodern and modern East Asian literary works in the light of Western theories. Organizing the workshop in this line, we hope to balance its practical and theoretical aspects. Findings and conclusions drawn from the "close readings" of these case studies will surely enrich the applied theories and provide inspiring research models for future practices.

In efforts to bring the current state of Vietnam's literary studies up to regional and international levels, the Vietnam Institute of Literature has endeavored to introduce Western theories (in Vietnamese translations) to the circle of Vietnamese literary scholars (for example, the two-volume set Western Literary Theory and Criticism of the 20th Century published in 2007). The recent publication Literary Study in Vietnam: Possibilities and Challenges (funded by the Harvard-Yenching Institute, 2009) is also in line with our search for compatibilities between Western theories as research approaches and Eastern (or Vietnamese) literature as research objects.

For more information, please contact haiyenti@yahoo.com


Reinterpreting Liang Shuming's Conception of Confucian Responsibility

Gu Hongliang (Department of Philosophy, East China Normal University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Michael Puett (Professor of Chinese History, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University)

Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

How are we to understand the idea of Confucian responsibility in modern China? Liang Shuming, a forerunner of the twentieth-century New Confucian Movement, offers a unique perspective regarding this issue. This talk aims to evaluate Liang's conception of responsibility in terms of a relationality that focuses on three dimensions of responsibility in his Confucianism. In so doing, we can come to see the complexity of Confucian responsibility. This talk also seeks to examine Liang in comparison to Emmanuel Levinas so as to enrich our understanding of these thinkers and their thoughts on the ethics of responsibility.


Islam in a Cross-Cultural Zone: Notes on Rev. Carter Holton's Photos in the Gansu-Tibetan Region

Wang Jianping (Department of Philosophy, Shanghai Normal University; HYI Coordinate Researcher)

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

The Tibetan plateau by the up-reach of the Yellow River is a land of vast ethnic-racial, religious, social and economic diversity. Central Asian Muslims migrated into the region in the 13th century. Turkic Salars interacted with the Tibetans, Mongols, Han Chinese, Tus, and the Uighurs, Hui, Dongxiang and Bao'an Muslims have developed a hybrid complicated social-culture pattern. Regional Islam and Muslims have expanded into an extremely coherent Islamic communal structure, resulting in a hotbed of Islamic resurgence in northwest China. Pressured by external and internal environments, the people of this land have witnessed frequent arbitrary interference from inland China, Muslim insurgences, political turmoil, warlords' fighting, social riots, looting, famines and inter-ethnic massacres. The photos of Muslims in Xunhua and Linxia, taken by the American missionary Rev. Carter D. Holton, provide a recording of the tremendous vibrations in the spheres of religion, society, politics, economics and culture during the period of the Republic. They also illustrate a dynamic relationship between the local Muslims and the different forces from within and without.


A Strange Encounter: "Blackness" and Postcoloniality in Korean Literature and Culture

Co-sponsored by the Korea Institute

An Jee Hyun (Associate Professor of English Literature at Seoul National University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Professor Karen Thornber (Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University)

Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room

This talk will examine the racial representations of African Americans in a subgenre of Korean literature grouped under a loose rubric calledgijichon (military camptown) literature, and also in popular culture. Based on close textual analyses of racial representations in Song Byoung Soo's "Shori Kim" (1957), Cho Hae Il's "America" (1972), Lee Moon Koo's "Haebyuk" (1974), Kang Suk Kyoung's short stories and finally Moon Soon Tae's "Moonshineuh Ttang" (1987), Professor An will discuss the significance of "blackness" and the ways in which racialized postcolonial subjectivity are negotiated in these textual representations. Going beyond identifications of racist depictions and portrayals of African Americans, Professor An will argue that these racist representations reveal an emergence of a complicated postcolonial subjectivity as the US presence looms over the Korean peninsula.


Campaign Finance Regulations and Their Role of Consolidating a Representative Democracy: Evidence from the American States

Co-sponsored by the Korea Institute

Kihong Eom (Department of Political Science and Diplomacy, Kyungpook National University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Professor James Alt (Frank G. Thomson Professor of Government, Harvard University)

Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Location: Yenching Common Room
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Do campaign finance regulations help a representative democracy consolidate? The rationale of campaign finance regulations is to reduce political corruption, or at least the perception of political corruption, thereby reinforcing the level of trust and participation in a representative democracy. After a brief review of political corruption literature, Professor Eom will theorize how campaign finance regulations work on political corruption and the assumptions of a representative democracy. After providing the preliminary results of analyses in the American states, he will conclude the talk with a discussion of the future direction of his research.


Booming Associational Cooperation and the Development of Civil Society in China

Gao Bingzhong (Sociology, Peking University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Elizabeth Perry, Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute; Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government, Harvard University

Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.
Time: 12:00 pm

By paying attention to cooperation between and among NPOs, instead of asking questions such as 'how many NPOs exist' and 'how do they legitimize their existence and activities', we see a different landscape of Chinese civil society. This talk will present recent cooperation in Chinese NPOs, such as, the event against dam construction in Nujiang (反对怒江建坝) and the New Citizen project(新公民计划). Professor Gao will then discuss how these horizontal links are important for Chinese civil society.


Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Conference website: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~eaah/conferences/fresh_ink/introduction.html


Research on Local Social Structure under Urbanization: Ethnographical Research in Xiqiao Town, Pearl River Delta

Yang Xiaoliu (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Sun Yat-sen University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Professor Michael Herzfeld, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

Talk synopsis: The Pearl River Delta is one of the most developed and financially active regions of China. Prof. Yang's research looks for new explanations of the process of urbanization in the region based on her anthropological background. She has conducted fieldwork in the town of Xiqiao in Foshan, a town famous for its textile industry since the Ming and Qing Dynasty. Her research aims to review urban change in Xiqiao during the 30 plus years of reform and opening up, and to reveal the interactive relationship between Xiqiao's economic development and social structure change. Prof. Yang will mainly focus on the local structure under urbanization in order to present the complex changes that have occurred in Xiqiao and to trace the integration of local people.


Peasants, the Village World, and Beyond: The Living Space of a Peasant Family in Late Qing Huizhou, Middle China, 1838-1901

Liu Yonghua (Professor of History, Xiamen University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Professor Michael Szonyi, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

Until recently the common image of late imperial Chinese peasantry is that their world was principally village bound, with little connection to the world beyond their villages and neighboring market towns. To what extent does this image fit historical reality? How were Chinese peasantry connected to distant villages, market towns, and sacred sites? How did socio-economic changes in the nineteenth century transform their living space? Based on a close reading of a group of diary-like documents penned by a peasant family in late Qing Huizhou, Professor Liu Yonghua will map out the living space of the peasant family and reconstruct the transformation it participated and experienced during the late nineteenth century.


New Directions in the Study of Chinese Drama

Date: Wednesday November 10, 2010
Time: 9:00am-5:00pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

This workshop brings together prominent scholars from Mainland China, Taiwan, and the United States to discuss their latest research projects and new methods for the study of Chinese drama, both traditional and modern.

Speakers include: Bao Weihong 包卫红(Fairbank Center An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University), Chen Fang 陳芳 (National Taiwan Normal University), Cheng Yun 程芸 (EALC Visiting Scholar, Wuhan University), Huang Lin 黃霖 (Fudan University), Huo Jianyu (EALC Visiting Scholar), Lin Hong Lam (Fairbank Center An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University), Liu Zhen 劉禎 (China Art Academy, Beijing), Wang Ayling 王璦玲 (Academia Sinica), Tsai Hsin-hsin 蔡欣欣 (Fulbright Scholar, National Cheng-chi University, Taipei), Tseng Yong-yih 曾永義 (Shih-hsin University, Taipei), Ye Changhai 業長海 (Shanghai Academy of Theater), and Zhao Shanlin 趙山林 (Emeritus, East China Normal University).

Most papers will be presented in Chinese.

For more information and a detailed schedule, please visit the workshop website at: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k75571

Sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinology.

Please contact Tarryn Chun (tchun@fas.harvard.edu) with questions.


“We the People” and the Post-1945 Constitutional Founding in Asia: A Comparative Perspective

An international workshop co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: October 29-30, 2010
Location: Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, The Hague, Netherlands

Click here to read a report from the workshop.


Kantian Cosmopolitanism

Co-sponsored by the Asia Center

Qu Hongmei (Associate Professor, Dept. of Philosophy, Jilin University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussant: Christine M. Korsgaard, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University

Date: Thursday, October 28
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Asia Without Borders: a Workshop

Date: October 8-10, 2010
Location: Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea


Grammaticalization in Japanese

Co-sponsored by the Reischauer Institute

Heiko Narrog (Linguistics, Tohoku University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11)
Discussants: Professor James Huang, Linguistics, Harvard University and Professor Emeritus Susumu Kuno, Linguistics, Harvard University

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm 
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Exploring the Ancient Ba-Shu Relationship from the Perspective of World-System Theory

Co-sponsored by The East Asia Archaeology Seminar Series and The Harvard-Yenching Institute

Chen Pochan, National Taiwan University, HYI Visiting Scholar 2010-11

Date: Friday, September 17, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Peabody Room (14A), Peabody Museum


Burmese Lives: Ordinary Life Stories under the Burmese Regime

Organized by Wen-Chin Chang (Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan) and Eric Tagliacozzo (Department of History, Cornell University, USA), and co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies, Academia Sinica

Date: June 4-5, 2010
Time: 9 am - 5 pm (June 4), 9 am - 12:30 pm (June 5)
Location:Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Harvard University

This conference will gather together a group of eminent scholars who work on Burma to study the stories of Burmese people from different walks of life, using interdisciplinary approaches. Although Burma/Myanmar has been partially opened to foreign visitors since 1988, academic studies have largely centered on the ruling regime. What emerges is a lack of exploration of ?different versions of reality? as seen from the perspectives of the diverse ethnic groups that make up the Burmese people. Research into the life stories of Burmese people of different ethnicities, occupations, ages, and genders will help to reveal the multiplicities of Burma?s modern social history.

The conference will be open to the public.

Agenda


18th Annual International Association of Chinese Linguistics Conference

Hosted under the joint auspices of the Department of Linguistics and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Insitute, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and the International Association of Chinese Linguistics, and further supported by the Fairbank Center and Asia Center of Harvard University, and the Haide Foundation of Hong Kong.

Date: Thursday, May 20 - Saturday, May 22, 2010
Location: Harvard University
Conference Website: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~iacl18/Site/index.html


The Issue and Role of Xunzi Studies for the Articulation of the Confucian Values for the 21st Century

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Sato Masayuki, Professor of Philosophy, National Taiwan University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Professor Michael Puett, EALC, Harvard University

Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Vanserg Common Room, Vanserg Building, 25 Francis St.


Social Suffering, the Culture of Compassion, and the Divided Moral Experience in China

Co-sponsored by the Asia Center

Date: Friday, May 7 - Saturday, May 8, 2010
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Avenue


Early Korea and Japan Interactions: New Perspectives on Old Issues

Date: Monday, May 3 - Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Time: 9 am - 5 pm (May 3), 9 am - 5 pm (May 4)
Location: Day 1 (May 3) - Room S250, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge Street
Day 2 (May 4) - Room S153, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge Street

This workshop is planned and hosted by the Early Korea Project (EKP) at Harvard. Generous funding is from the Northeast Asia History Foundation in Seoul, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard, and the Harvard Yenching Institute. Please note that presentations will be given in Korean and Japanese and will be supplemented in some cases with PowerPoint presentations that have English subtitles on the slides. Translated papers will be available on the day of the workshop sessions so that those who use English can follow.

Conference schedule


HYI Literature Symposium: Culture at Intersection

Date: Saturday, May 1, 2010
Time: 9 am - 5 pm
Location: William James Hall 1550, Harvard University

Symposium Schedule


Development of the legal and institutional concept of property in Cambodia, China and Vietnam

Kuong Teilee, Professor of Law, Nagoya University, Japan; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Professor Duncan Kennedy

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Politicization of Association in Modern China

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Feng Xiaocai, Professor of History, Fudan University, China; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Professor Elizabeth Perry (Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute; Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government, Harvard University)

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Inner Asia and China: Cultural and Historical Connections

Date: April 24-25, 2010
Time: April 24, 9:50 am - 5:45 pm; April 25, 10 am - 6:20 pm
Location: Belfer Room S020, CGIS South Building, 1727 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA

Conference website: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~sanskrit/conference2010/conference2010.html


Antique Jades in Antiquity: Heritage? Collectible? or Material Resource?

Co-sponsored by the Harvard East Asian Archaeology Seminar and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Jenny So (Professor of Fine Arts, Director, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Harvard-Yenching Coordinate Research Scholar)

Date: Friday, April 23, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Room 14A Peabody Museum

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~anthro/eaas/


The Morpheme SU -- Determiner and Complementizer in Nuosu Yi Language

Hu Suhua, Professor at the Institute for Chinese Minority Languages, Minzu University of China; Harvard-Yenching Visiting Scholar 2009-10
Discussants: Professor James Huang, Linguistics Department, Harvard University and Professor Feng Shengli, EALC Department, Harvard University

Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010
Time: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Trans-Himalayas Interaction during the First Millennium BC

Lu Hongliang, Professor of Archaeology, Sichuan University, China; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Professor Rowan Flad, Anthropology Department, Harvard University

Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Case Study of a Lesbian Health Hotline in a Peripheral Chinese City

Cao Jin, Professor, School of Journalism, Fudan University, China; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussants: Joan Kaufman (Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and founding Director of the AIDS Public Policy Training Project, Harvard Kennedy School) and Bradley S. Epps (Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University)

Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: HYI-Vanserg Common Room, Vanserg Building, 25 Francis Ave., Cambridge


The Sinic World in Perspective

A symposium in honor of Tu Weiming, Harvard Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy and of Confucian Studies, on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Organized by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, in cooperation with The Harvard University Asia Center, The John K. Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and The Harvard-Yenching Institute.

Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time: 9 am - 5 pm
Location: Boylston Hall (Fung Auditorium and Ticknor Lounge), Harvard University


East Asian Programs Graduate Reunion

Date: Friday, April 9, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: Harvard Faculty Club, 12 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA

For a schedule of events and information, visit: http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/alumni/east_asian_graduate_programs_reunion.php


High Precision of Radiocarbon Dating for the Key Project of Origins and Development of Chinese Civilization in China

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Wu Xiaohong, Professor of Archaeology, Peking University, China; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Professor Rowan Flad

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location:Vanserg Common Room, 25 Francis Ave., Suite 20


How the East Was Won: "Imposed Constitutionalism" in Postwar Japan and Postcolonial Korea, 1945-1948

Co-sponsored with the Korea Institute and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

Kim Sung-ho, Professor of Political Science, Yonsei University, South Korea; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussants: Professors Carter Eckert and Andrew Gordon

Date: Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Explaining the Rise of China: A Challenge to Western Social Science Theories?

Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Date: Monday, April 5, 2010
Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Lower Level Conference Room, Busch Hall/Center for European Studies, 27 Kirkland St., Cambridge, MA

What explains China's stunning economic record and continued political stability decades after most other Communist systems in the world collapsed? Does the Chinese case pose a challenge to certain basic social science assumptions about the relationship between economic and political change?

Is the People's Republic of China simply an example of "delayed democracy"? Or is China on a trajectory that defies standard Western predictions about the connection among markets, civil society, and democratization? If the Chinese case does indeed depart significantly from standard models of transition and transformation, what wider lessons can we draw from its experience -- for other developing countries as well as for social science theory?

This roundtable brings together an inter-disciplinary group of distinguished international scholars -- from China, Taiwan, Japan, Germany and the United States -- to offer their perspectives on these complex questions.

Following the panel, please join us for a reception in the lobby of Busch Hall.

This event is open to the public. Registration is not required.

Event poster


Red Legacy in China: An International Conference

Co-sponsored by the CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinology, the Harvard-Yenching Institute, and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Date: April 2-3, 2010
Location: Belfer Case Study Room, S020, CGIS South Building 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Red Legacy in China is a two-day conference that seeks to bring together an international group of scholars from various disciplines in Chinese studies to promote a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives. "Red legacy" refers to remainders and reminders of the Chinese Communist revolution in the post-Mao era. It encompasses three types of manifestations: remnant traces of the Communist revolution, contemporary reinventions inspired by the Socialist past, and ongoing process of the Socialist experience. Associated with persons and artifacts, texts and sites, politics and capital, individual and collective memory, red legacy has been exerting its influence on various dimensions in contemporary China: intellectual and mundane, spiritual and material, spatial and temporal, socio political and commercial.

Conference website


Seeing Utopia, Past and Future: Wang Di and Xing Danwen Art Exhibit, Panel Discussion, and Lectures

Date: Wednesday March 31, 2010 (opening event)
Location: Fairbank Center office area (CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge MA)

This will be a week-long series of events, including an exhibition of photographs by two contemporary artists, Wang Di and Xing Danwen. Lectures and panel discussions will feature Yin Jinan, Dean of the School of Humanities, Central Academy of Fine Arts, as well as Wang Di and Xing Danwen.


Re-examining the Relations between the Imperial Diet of Japan and Colonial Korea

Co-sponsored with the Korea Institute and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

Lee Sung Yup, Professor of History, Kyoto University, Japan; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Andrew Gordon, Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History

Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Location: Vanserg Common Room, 25 Francis Ave., Suite 20


HYI Reception at The Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting

Date: Friday, March 26, 2010
Time: 7 pm - 9 pm
Location: Liberty Ballroom Salon B, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market St., Philadelphia


What is Chinese Philosophy? Four Expositions on its Characteristics by Scholars from National Taiwan University

Date: Friday, March 19, 2010
Time: 10 am - 4:15 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, was once known among scholars of Chinese philosophy as one of the two major "bases" of contemporary Neo-Confucianism. However, changes in the domestic socio-political environment and a drastic increase in international scholastic activities have caused considerable diversification in research topics and methods. In particular, there has been remarkable development in research on Daoism and Buddhism over the past twenty years, a trend best represented by the scholars from the philosophy department of the National Taiwan University (NTU).

This workshop will complement the "International Workshop on the Research of Chinese Philosophy: Critical Retrospection and Prospects", to be held at the Harvard-Yenching Institute on March 20-21, 2009. In that workshop, four NTU scholars will be reviewing the current issues and problems of Chinese philosophy research in Taiwan and Japan. In contrast, in this workshop, these four scholars will expound upon the characteristics of Chinese philosophy through discussions of the following four major subjects:

  1. On Self-cultivation (by Bau-ruei Duh)
  2. On Meaning of Life and Death (by Yao-ming Tsai)
  3. On Language and Knowledge (by Wim De Reu)
  4. On State and Society (by Masayuki Sato)

These lectures, while engaging topics close to the heart of scholars of Chinese philosophy, and both graduate and undergraduate students of the EALC and philosophy departments, also target a more general audience, and those who want a comprehensive introduction to the subject of Chinese philosophy are most welcomed.

Program Agenda


International Workshop on the Research of Chinese Philosophy in Japan and Taiwan: With Critical Retrospections and future Prospects

Co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Date: Saturday, March 20 - Sunday, March 21, 2010
Time: Saturday 10:00 - 5:00 pm; Sunday 10:00 am - 5:40 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Avenue

In the last several years, scholars in many fields have benefited from a worldwide exchange of research, and have begun to share their new findings and novel ideas with their colleagues in other countries. Yet the field of Chinese philosophy in East Asia has unfortunately lagged behind in this respect. Over the past few decades, scholars in this field have failed to take advantage of the resources offered them by the emerging global research environment, and have become more insular than ever before. This workshop aims to respond to this situation by providing Western scholars with comprehensive yet critical accounts of research on Chinese philosophy in Japan and Taiwan in four major research fields: early Chinese philosophy, Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism, Buddhist philosophy, and Contemporary Neo-Confucianism. The workshop will be momentous for Japanese scholarly circles in this area because it will be the first such workshop in which six Japanese scholars on Chinese philosophy will all present papers in English.

Program agenda


The Impact of Market Reforms on the Health of Chinese Citizens: Examining Two Puzzles

Martin Whyte, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

Date:Thursday, March 11, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Vanserg Common Room, 25 Francis Ave., Suite 20


Institutions, Institutionalization, and Governance in China

Joseph Fewsmith

Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

There are many reasons to expect political reform of some sort to take place in China - the economy has grown rapidly over three decades, new generations of leaders have come to power, there are many demands for greater public participation, and there are numerous "mass incidents" that can seemingly be addressed only through political reform. By looking at a number of reforms, this talk will try to lay out the logic of the ever increasing number of political reforms in China as well as the limits to such reforms.


Variation and change in language: an East Asian perspective

C.T. James Huang, Professor of Linguistics, Harvard University

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010
Time: 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Humanistic Buddhism and Its Global Philanthropic Reach

Professor Khun-Eng Kuah-Pearce
Discussant: Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University and Professor of Medical Anthropology in Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Director, Harvard University Asia Center.

Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Time: 12:00 - 1:30
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Is the Past Always Behind Us? A Past-Oriented Model for the Chinese Perfective Aspect Marker "Le"

Wang Wei, Professor of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussants: Professors Gennaro Chierchia and James Huang

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Time: 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

It is generally believed that temporal meanings in human languages are universally construed in terms of space, and that almost equally universally, the past is construed as the world behind us whereas the future is the one in front of us. Professor Wang's talk, however, points out that in Chinese, it is very hard to associate the word qian (前 front/before) with the meaning of 'future' and the word hou (后 behind/after) with the meaning of 'past'--it is actually always the other way around. The underlying schema of the so-called 'universal' spatial construal of time involves a moving-ego metaphor in which time is a road the ego moves on. The talk manages to point out that the Chinese perfective aspect le (了) prefers the other metaphor of moving-object, in which time is a flowing river beside which the ego stands still.


The Politics of "Illicitly Brewed Liquor" in Colonial Korea

Co-sponsored by the Korea Institute

Itagaki Ryuta, Professor of Anthropology, Doshisha University, Japan; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Andrew Gordon, Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Harvard University

Date: Friday, December 11, 2009
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Ethnographic Biography: How the Personal Connects with the Professional

Liu Heng, HYI Coordinate Researcher 2009-2010
Discussant: Michael Herzfeld, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

Date: Friday, November 20, 2009
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


The Alchemy and Jouissance of Death: Sichuan Sarcophagi in New Perspective

Eugene Wang, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art, Harvard University

Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Proba's Virgilian Cento

Gao Fengfeng, Professor of Literature, Peking University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Richard Thomas, Professor of Greek and Latin, Classics Department, Harvard University

Date: Monday, November 16, 2009
Time: 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.


Harvard-Yenching Institute Panel at the Beijing Forum: Grassroots Mobilization in 20th Century China: A Rural-Urban Comparison

Date: November 7, 2009
Time: 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: Beijing, China

This panel will be part of the session: Crisis and Mobilization in Twentieth Century China (under the sub-theme "Crisis and Opportunity -- Historical reflection on Contemporary Challenges").

Panel Chair: Elizabeth Perry
Panel Discussants: Michael Herzfeld and Elizabeth Perry
Presenters: Jeong Jong-Ho, Liu Jundai , Liu Chun (Brenda), Yan Xiaojun, Yu Jianrong, Zhou Yi


Social Consequences of Rapid Expansion of Higher Education in South Korea

Co-sponsored by the Korea Institute

Han Joon, Associate Professor of Sociology, Yonsei University, South Korea; HYI Visiting Scholar 2009-2010
Discussant: Frank Dobbin, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

Date: Friday, November 6, 2009
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

During the 1980s and 1990s, South Korea experienced an exceptionally rapid expansion of higher education, reflecting a sharp increase in demand for higher education among Korean parents. In this presentation, the social consequences of higher education expansion will be discussed, with a focus on inequality. Professor Han's research has investigated whether the expansion of higher education has affected class mobility among Korean males, finding that a mechanism of class inheritance has changed from direct inheritance to one mediated by education. He has also examined inequality among college graduates in the labor market and has found a substantial wage gap among different groups of college graduates. Results from previous research indicate that expansion of higher education in Korea did not alleviate the degree of inequality but rather modified the mechanism of generating inequality.


"The Spirit of the Chrysanthemum" (Kiku no sei monogatari) and Flower Personification in Medieval Japanese Art

Melissa McCormick, Professor of Japanese Art and Culture, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Date: Friday, October 30, 2009
Time: Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

Co-sponsored by the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

From as early as Ovid's representation of the goddess Flora, the personification of flowers by women appears throughout Western art and literature, signifying seasonal regeneration, fertility and reproduction, beauty, and its ephemeral nature. An equally common visual and literary trope in medieval Japan, however, is the flower who materializes in masculine form. "The Spirit of the Chrysanthemum", a sixteenth-century Japanese illustrated narrative scroll, provides the starting point for a consideration of how flower personification structures medieval Japanese illustrated narratives, metaphorically, allegorically, and symbolically.


Harvard-Yenching Institute Alumni Conference: Multiple Perspectives on the Meaning of Community and Citizenship

Sponsored by Peking University and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: October 31-November 2, 2009
Location: Beijing, China

This conference aims to promote active discussion among scholars from universities and research institutes in East Asia on the topics of citizenship and community. The fast pace of economic and information globalization in the latter half of the 20th century has greatly influenced human development. In China, after 1949, and particularly after reform and an open policy were implemented in 1978, the fast pace of modernization has lead to rapid changes of the social structure. This conference will look at China's social progress and social development from the perspectives of community construction, citizenship, and civilian society. At the same time, the conference will enhance international understanding of China's situation by offering international comparisons. Scholars will further explore the ideas of community and citizenship development and evolution, and discuss contributions to world development and cooperation in the 21st century.

For more information, contact Guan Shijie, guansj@pku.edu.cn


Religion and the Public Good in Modern Chinese Societies

Robert Weller, Professor and Chair of Anthropology and Research Associate, Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, Boston University

Date: Friday, October 23, 2009
Time: Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

While during much of China's twentieth century religion was separated from broader society, the last few years have brought a reversal in all Chinese societies. Based on case studies from China, Malaysia, and Taiwan, this talk examines the new rise of religious philanthropy. It focuses on four core questions: (1) the influence of denomination (with particular attention to local temples, Buddhists, and various forms of Christianity), (2) the role of scale (the effects of large scale institutions vs. local and less institutionalized groups), (3) the power and ability of varying state/society relationships to affect the public role of religion, and (4) the revival of ritual, with its important implications for managing social relations between individuals and groups in a pluralist context.

Please feel free to bring your lunch with you; coffee and beverages will be served.


Comparative World Literature: China and the United States

Professor David Damrosch, Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University

Date: Friday, October 9, 2009
Time: Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm 
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.

World literature is often regarded today as a global phenomenon, sometimes even seen as a cultural expression of an emerging "world system." Yet any view of the world is a view from somewhere, and in practical terms, world literature is experienced very differently in different places. It consists first and foremost of the body of material that is available to actual readers: works that are assigned in schools, sold in bookstores, and reviewed and analyzed in a country's journals. In this talk, the speaker would like to explore the shaping of world literature in a national cultural and institutional environment, looking at the United States and then at China. He will argue that the American and Asian cases show reciprocal possibilities and limitations and have much to learn from study of each others' approaches.

Please feel free to bring your lunch with you; coffee and beverages will be served.


Self-reflection by Mirroring : Understanding the culture of China from Japanese and Korean Literature

Ge Zhaoguang, Fudan University (2009 HYI Coordinate Researcher)

Date: Friday, October 2, 2009
Time: 11:30 am -1:30 pm
Location:Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.
Talk will be given in Chinese.

Please feel free to bring your lunch with you; coffee and beverages will be served.


Twenty-First Century Urbanization: Social Science Perspectives on China's Urban Transformation

Sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, the Association for Asian Studies and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Preliminary program schedule


Meanderings Between Borders--Cultural Transmission and the Production of Knowledge in Contemporary East Asia

Held under the joint administration of the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature at National Taiwan University and the Harvard-Yenching Institute, with the assistance and backing of Taiwan's Ministry of Education as well as the National Science Council.

Date: Sept. 10-11, 2009 
Location: National Taiwan University

Twenty papers will be presented over the course of the conference from scholars in Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. Two round table discussions will also be held, the first of which, "Revisiting Formosa," will focus on the issue of East Asian cultural transmission in Taiwanese literature.

The other round table discussion, "Borders, Meanderings, and Interdisciplinary Talks," will be a interdisciplinary forum. During this forum Harvard-Yenching Institute fellows involved in different fields of study will explore questions concerning the transmission of East Asian culture and the production of knowledge in and around East Asia.

For more information, contact Mei Chia-ling, meicl@ntu.edu.tw.


13th Harvard (Biennial) International Symposium on Korean Linguistics

Co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: August 8-9, 2009
Location: Science Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

For more information on Harvard-ISOKL, visit http://www.harvard-isokl.org/


Ideas, Networks, Places: Rethinking Chinese History of the Middle Period

Sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University Asia Center and the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Date: July 7-8, 2009
Location: CGIS South, Room S020, Harvard University

Over the past few decades, there have been significant advancements in the scholarship of middle period China (roughly 8th-17th centuries), particularly in the areas of 1) intellectual history, 2) the study of social networks, and 3) local history. Although these approaches have often developed separately and with their own sets of paradigms, connecting them leads to new insights into the patterns of historical change. Professor Peter K. Bol has been a leading figure in the attempt to fuse the historical study of ideas with research on society and culture. On the occasion of Professor Bol's sixtieth birthday this conference aims to bring together these various approaches, delineating how the articulation and promotion of ideas influenced social structures, and how intellectual discourse in turn was shaped by historical and social developments. The papers for the conference not only will deepen our understanding of middle period history through the analysis of rarely used sources such as maps, architectural images, and archeological sources, but also will provide new perspectives on the significance of local dynamics within broader geographical and political configurations and the definition and status of the literati.

Program agenda


Approaches to Chinese Material Culture: an Interdisciplinary Discussion

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Time: 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave.
Program agenda


Media in Chinese Politics

Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009
Time: 8:30 am-4 pm

Introduction: In recent years a growing body of scholarship has emerged that examines the evolving role of media in Chinese politics. While traditionally the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, mass media have periodically performed a watchdog role by exposing governmental misconduct. The rising popularity of new media has also expanded public awareness of environmental problems, health threats, and natural disasters.

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University and the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies have invited scholars researching media and politics in the People's Republic to present papers at a workshop held at Harvard on 25 April 2009 for publication in a special issue of a refereed journal. Themes of particular interest include the effect of commercialization on media content, propaganda and public opinion, political expression and new media, interaction between new media and traditional media, governmental use of the internet technology, and journalists as actors in political and legal processes.

In addition to advancing scholarship, the workshop aims to increase awareness of the role of media in Chinese politics in the Boston area by hosting a round table discussion open to the public and the press.

For a program agenda and list of participants, please visit http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~fairbank/events/Postdoctoral_Workshops_Ashley.html


East Asian Studies and Science & Technology: Towards Productive Cross-fertilization

Date: Friday, April 24, 2009, 12:00-6:00 PM
Location: Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA 
Program agenda

This conference aims to encourage interaction between EAS (East Asian Studies) and Science & Technology Studies, to appreciate the importance of science and technology in understanding the histories of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, to incorporate the multifaceted perspective of EAS into the analysis of science and technology phenomena in East Asian countries, and to promote the study of science and technology phenomena in East Asia.


Asian Neighborhoods Research Group: "Mobility and Territory" Workshop

Date: April 17-19, 2009
Location: Yenching Common Room
Directed by Prof. Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University), Workshop
Assistant Chiara Kovarik

Click here for program agenda.