Monthly Archives: September 2009

New wine in old bottles – October 2009

Event Date: 14/10/2009

In this second talk in the series of six on The PRC at 60, Paul Bailey, Professor in Modern Chinese History at the University of Edinburgh will address the topic: “The 1950s in China: New Wine in Old Bottles.`

The event is free but ticketed. To secure your seat at this second lecture in this series of six please book online here

This event will be held in the Raeburn Room, Old College, South Bridge, University of Edinburgh. Starting at 6pm with a few words of welcome this event will be followed by a drinks reception.

Should you have any questions please call us on 0131 662 2180

First lecture: PRC at 60 – Prof Rana Mitter, Uni of Oxford – October 2009

“How China`s Wartime Past is Changing its Present – and Future” is the title of this first talk scheduled for Wed 7 Oct from 6pm.

ADDITIONAL SEATS ARRANGED TO INCREASE CAPACITY – please retry if previously notified fully booked

Our internationally renowned first speaker is Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University. His most recent book is `Modern China: A Very Short Introduction` (OUP, 2008). He also regularly presents the arts and ideas show ‘Night Waves’ on Radio 3, and his writing and reviews have appeared in publications including the Financial Times, London Review of Books, and History Today

`China has always drawn on its past to draw lessons for the contemporary political scene. We`ve been transfixed by the Olympics, but China is changing and opening to the world in a whole variety of other new and often unexpected ways.

What does the new interest in wartime history in China mean for its new status as a global power? Using a combination of historical analysis of wartime China and an assessment of China`s future goals in domestic and foreign policy, the talk will give a new insight into ways to rethink how China operates as a global power in the 21st century.”

The event is free but ticketed. To secure your seat at this first lecture or any of the following in this series of six please book online here.

This event will be held in the Raeburn Room, Old College, South Bridge, University of Edinburgh. Starting at 6pm with a few words of welcome this event will be followed by a drinks reception.

Should you have any questions please call us on 0131 662 2180.

Guest Lecture: Confucius – The Humourist – October 2009

Prof Christoph Harbsmeier, Oslo University, will speak on “Wit and Humour in Confucius: The Rhetoric of the Analects” at Abden House on Monday 19 October.

Confucius is well known as the founder of Chinese moral philosophy and teacher of strict etiquettes. This lecture will introduce a different face of Confucius the philosopher with an – ambiguous – smile.

`The Confucian Analects are read by commentators ancient and modern as an authoritative foundational text of `Confucianism`. Philologists have often claimed the Analects as an early document of conversational colloquial Chinese.I shall set out to show that the Analects are full of rhetorically highly sophisticated non-colloquial artistic prose.
I shall demonstrate how the Analects are basically pre-Confucianist in spirit. The Analects will be shown to be full of material that is manifestly ill-suited to an authoritative foundational text of a school of philosophy.

In particular, the Analects will be shown to be suffused with a delightful subtle sense of humour and self-humour in many places. It is this subtle humour which is the main subject of the present lecture.`

Christoph Harbsmeier studied Chinese at Merton College in Oxford. In addition to his position as Professor of Chinese at the University of Oslo, he serves as Adjunct Professor of Chinese at Peking University, Fudan University in Shanghai, and Zhejiang University

This special lecture will be held at Abden House, home of the Confucius Institute from 6.30-7.30pm and will be followed by a drinks reception. This event is free but ticketed. Please book your ticket through the Confucius Institute by email to info@confuciusinstitute.ac.uk.

Dancer in Residence-Insight Evening – October 2009

Join us at Abden House to discover the current state of modern dance in China today. Together Janis Claxton, of Janis Claxton Dance and Ding Qi Rui will reflect on the current state of modern dance in China today.

Modern Chinese dance, combining the physical skills of traditional Chinese training with modern artistic expression is a pioneering and most exciting new field of exploration. Ding Qi Rui, from Beijing Dance Academy, together with the choreographer Janis Claxton, of Janis Claxton Dance, present insights on the most current developments.

Under a sponsorship from the Confucius Institute, Ding Qi Rui has been brought to Edinburgh for three weeks to participate in an international dance workshop sponsored by British Council, New Zealand and Dance Base.

This free insight evening will run from 6.00-7.00pm followed by a drinks reception. The evening is free but as seats are limited, please email info@confuciusinstitute.ac.uk or call on 0131 662 2180 to request seats.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Ding Qi Rui is one of the rising stars in the new wave of Chinese contemporary dancers working in both Chinese and international contexts. Based in Beijing he is currently an MA student at Beijing Dance Academy.

Choreographer, Dancer and Teacher Janis Claxton, is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is Artistic Director of Janis Claxton Dance. Please click here to visit Janis Claxton Dance website

VIDEO LINKS

The clips here show short samples of workshop activity led by Janis Claxton during her visit to Beijing this summer where she met Ding Qi Rui.

Video 1 July 09 LDTX and Janis Claxton
Video 2 July 09 LDTX and Janis Claxton

Silver Moon over China – October 2009

Event Date: 03/10/2009

Join in the 60th Anniversary celebrations by attending ECSSA`s special programme `Silver Moon over China` on Sat 03 October. This event will be held at Heriot-Watt University from 7-10pm with the support of the Confucius Institute.

A special performance in the evening entertainment programme will be given by Ding Qi Rui, a rising young contemporary dancer from LDTX Beijing, China who has been brought to Scotland by the Confucius Institute to attend an international dance workshop programme.

The event will also mark the Mid-Autumn festival with both traditional and contemporary performances taking place.

在新中國的第60個中秋夜, 讓我門在愛丁堡共同慶祝祖國的60歲生日。表演將向我們打開歷史的畫卷,在這月圓之夜讓我門在異地他鄉,同世界各地的朋友一同載歌載舞!超女歌曲演唱 、街舞、古典音樂等節目使晚會雅俗共賞。之後還將會有After-party,讓我們盡情狂歡,結識更多的朋友。

Tickets are priced at £5/£4 for students and can be reserved by email to eacssa@googlemail.com

Venue: James Watt Centre 1, Heriot-Watt University. Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS.

Transport: Lothian Bus Nos 25 and 34 go directly to Riccarton Campus.

The PRC at 60: Lecture Series – October & November 2009

This commemorative lecture series marks the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the PRC. Each lecture will examine a different aspect of China. This is part of a wider programme of activities marking this anniversary.

`How China`s Wartime Past is Changing its Present – and Future`

Wed 7th October: Professor Rana Mitter, University of Oxford:

“China has always drawn on its past to draw lessons for the contemporary political scene. We`ve been transfixed by the Olympics, but China is changing and opening to the world in a whole variety of other new and often unexpected ways.

What does the new interest in wartime history in China mean for its new status as a global power? Using a combination of historical analysis of wartime China and an assessment of China`s future goals in domestic and foreign policy, the talk will give a new insight into ways to rethink how China operates as a global power in the 21st century.”

Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University. His most recent book is Modern China: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2008). He also regularly presents the arts and ideas show ‘Night Waves’ on Radio 3, and his writing and reviews have appeared in publications including the Financial Times, London Review of Books, and History Today.

To book this lecture click here

“The 1950s in China: New Wine in Old Bottles?”

Wed 14th October, Professor Paul Bailey, University of Edinburgh

This talk will explore the nature of the early People`s Republic, and the Chinese Communist Party`s attempt to `remake` Chinese society. At the same time, it will ask to what extent political, economic and cultural developments in the early 1950s represented a continuation of long-term trends first observed during the period of Nationalist (Guomindang) rule before 1949.

Paul Bailey is Professor of Modern Chinese History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. His current research interests are in the fields of gender, educational and social history of modern China. His latest book, Gender and Education in China (RoutledgeCurzon, 2007), explores the beginnings of public schooling for girls in early twentieth century China. He is currently writing a study of Chinese workers in France during World War One, entitled The Sino-French Connection: A Sociocultural History of Chinese Labour in WW1 France. He has also begun a new research project on crime, gender and modern state-building in twentieth-century China, while future writing projects include two narrative and analytical histories: Women and Gender in Twentieth Century China and A History of Vietnam.

To book this lecture click here

“Opening Pandora`s Box: the Cultural Revolution and its repercussions on the ‘Reform and Opening Period’ of the 1980s”.

Wed 21st October, Professor Natascha Gentz, University of Edinburgh

The Cultural Revolution (1966-76) has been described as a period of `ten chaotic years`. All governmental efforts after the death of Mao Zedong aimed at reuniting society and encouraging contribution to the new opening and reform policy. The lecture will discuss the intricacies involved in this process and why the Cultural Revolution still poses problems for Chinese society today.

Natascha Gentz is Professor of Chinese Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh. Her publications include a monograph on the history Chinese journalism and two edited volumes, on transcultural knowledge transfer in Late Qing China, and on how global media are shaping cultural identities. She has also published a book on contemporary Chinese historical drama as well as dozens of articles on Late Qing and contemporary Chinese drama, literature and media. She has also translated a novel and two volumes of short stories by the Chinese nobel laureate Gao Xingjian.

To book this lecture click here

“The China Challenge: Models, Visions and Global Futures”

Thurs 29th October,Professor Jane Duckett, University of Glasgow

China`s economic power and global influence have led commentators to suggest that it has a model of development and modernity that will challenge the West`s. This lecture looks at the models that China has embraced since 1949 and considers both their origins and very different economic and social outcomes. It argues that having rejected both Maoism and neoliberalism, China may now be at an important crossroads. As it reconsiders its development strategy its government has the opportunity to forge a new model. But will it have the vision and will to overcome formidable opposition?

Jane Duckett is Professor of Chinese and Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics at the University of Glasgow. She studied modern Chinese at Leeds University in the 1980s, and Chinese politics at SOAS, University of London, in the early 1990s. She first lived in China in 1984 and has travelled widely there. Her early work on the Chinese state under market reform included a book-length study, The Entrepreneurial State in China (Routledge 1998). Jane also (with Bill Miller) made a comparative study of public attitudes to economic openness in East Asia and Eastern Europe, published as The Open Economy and its Enemies (Cambridge, 2006). Her current research is concerned with China’s social and health policy and politics. She is now completing two books, The Chinese State`s Retreat from Health, and (with Beatriz Carrillo) China`s Changing Welfare Mix.

To book this lecture click here .

“China’s Rise in Africa”.

Wed 4th November, Professor Ian Taylor, University of St Andrews

China`s rise in Africa is arguably the most momentous development on the continent since the end of the Cold War. China is now Africa’s second most important bilateral trading partner, behind only the United States, with Sino-African trade hitting over $100 billion in 2008 (up from $5 billion in 1997). Yet this rise has been met with some criticism in the West and in Africa. This lecture seeks to discuss whether such scepticism is wholly justified.

Ian Taylor is Professor in International Relations at the University of St. Andrews’ School of International Relations and a Professor Extraordinary in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He is also Honorary Professor in the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, China and Joint Professor in the Centre for European Studies, Renmin University of China. He is interested primarily in Africa`s political economy and its international relations and in Chinese foreign policy. These two strands come together in an extensive body of work, conducted since 1994, on China`s emerging relationships with Africa. Ian Taylor’s most recent books include China’s New Role in Africa (2009) and China and Africa: Engagement and Compromise (London Routledge, 2006).

To book this lecture click here 

“Understanding China’s Economic Transformation”.

Wed 11th November, Dr Felix Boecking, University of Edinburgh

In the last three decades, the People’s Republic of China has experienced a successful market transition with impressively high GDP growth rates. As average incomes have risen dramatically, hundreds of millions of Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty. Equally important is China’s new position as a key player in today’s world economy. However, the increased social inequality and environmental depredation associated with economic reforms in the PRC raise the question of their sustainability. In this talk, Dr Boecking will trace some of the key features of China’s economic development since 1978, and consider the question of China’s economic future.

Felix Boecking is Lecturer in Modern Chinese Economic and Political History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests focus on China’s political economy in its historical context, as well as material culture and consumption in 20th-century China. Felix’s PhD thesis “Tariffs, Power, Nationalism and Modernity: Fiscal Policy in Guomindang-Controlled China 1927-1941” fundamentally challenged the widespread idea that the key to the Communist seizure of power in China lies in the incompetence of the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-shek (1927-1949) by demonstrating the strength of Nationalist state-building in the crucial area of taxation and fiscal policy.

To book this lecture click here 

VENUE: Raeburn Room, Old College, University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL

TIMING: 6pm-7.30pm followed by drinks reception

BOOKING: There is no charge for admission but places must be booked in advance. Please use the online booking system to request places. A confirmation email will be sent to acknowledge your booking.

Muslim Communities in China – September 2009

Prof Fan Ke will present “Negotiating Space and Identity by Muslim communities in China: a case study” on Monday 14th September from 1730-1900 at Abden House.

In recent decades the Muslim minority community of Hui in Quanzhou, a coastal city in Southern Fujian, China, have engaged in projects to help build a Muslim identity. This presentation shows that the local government and the local Hui people have together worked on the same purpose but with different ideas in mind. Through examining Muslim identity construction manifested by architectural representation, among other things, this presentation will unfold the intricacies involved in the process of negotiating space and community identities in China.

Fan Ke received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Washington. He is a Professor teaching anthropology at Nanjing University and the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing Center. He is also the director of Institute of Social Anthropology, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. His research specialises in ethnicity and Muslims in south China. He has just started a new project focusing on citizenship and minority issue in China.

To reserve a place for this talk and the drink reception which follows, please email info@confuciusinstitute.ac.uk or call us on 0131 662 2180.

Fudan University Guest Talks – September 2009

Visiting professors from Fudan University, Chinese partner institution of the Confucius Institute for Scotland, will present two talks on the morning of Friday 11 September.

10.00am-11.00am Professor Liu Xinming
Investigating Chinese Grammar through Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

11.15am-12.15am Professor Tan Zheng
Wang Xiaobo: A Groundbreaker in Contemporary Chinese Writing

Professor Liu Xinming is Vice Director of the Language and Culture section of the Int`l Cultural Exchange School in Fudan University. He is also the academic adviser of Chinese Teaching Centre at Ningxia University. Professor Liu specialises in Chinese grammar and Chinese teaching. His major publications includes `A study on chinese sentence generation` and `Language and language teaching.`

Professor Tan Zheng is Director of Centre for Studies in Foreign Literature in Fudan University. His research interests focus on Aesthetic and Shakespearean studies. He will talk on Wang Xiaobo as a groundbreaking writer and consider his writings which reflect the social changes in the last half of the 20th century in China.

The Confucius Institute is pleased to welcome our partner institution from Shanghai`s Fudan University.

Both talks which will be given in English will be held in the Confucius Institute for Scotland. To reserve a seat please email info@confuciusinstitute.ac.uk or call us on 0131 662 2180.