Symposium: What is China?

Those scholars who are concerned with Chinese academic circles will notice that since 2010 China has published many different works about “China.” All of these works deal with the topic of “What is China?”. Why, since 2010, have Chinese academics, especially in history, been specifically concerned about the question of “what is China”? In other words, what is the historical, political and intellectual background behind the discussion of this question? Exactly what sort of historical contexts have given rise to this collective anxiety about “China”? According to my observation of Chinese history, the discussion of “what is China” often took place during times when China was undergoing huge changes. Among these times, the most important ones are: the Northern Song, the Late Qing and the present time. However, there are similarities and differences in the discussions about “China” during these three periods. I intend to discuss the historical backgrounds, intellectual orientations, and the goals of these views during these three periods from the perspective of intellectual history.

About the speakers:

Ge Zhaoguang is a Distinguished Professor of Fudan University, Shanghai, China. He received his BA and MA at Peking University.

Professor Wang Fan-sen is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Academia Sinica in Taipei. He received his BA and MA from National Taiwan University and his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Professor Dai Yan teaches at the Fudan University. She received her BA and MA from Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Social Science. She was visiting professor in Kyoto University and also City University in Hong Kong.


Sponsored by: Centre for Chinese Research, St. John’s College UBC, Asian Studies One Asia Forum, UBC Buddhist Studies Forum