No. 24, November 2000
Reports from the EACS General Assembly
Attending the Torino Conference
The EACS Website
Conference and Workshop Announcements
Workshop and Conference Reports
News Around Europe
The EACS Newsletter is published three times a year: in spring, summer and autumn. All contributions should be sent to the Editor by E-mail or on a diskette. Please remember to check your copy carefully before sending it. Workshop and conference reports should not exceed 600 words. Calls for papers should not exceed 100 words. Remember to include all relevant information when contributing new book titles (author, title, publication place, publisher, year, pp., price in EURO and ISBN). Names and titles in non-Latin script such as Cyrillic are welcome provided that the author’s name is in transcription and a short content summary is included.
Every effort is made to include all relevant news, but the Editor reserves the right to edit all contributions for publication.
Mette Thunø, Department of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen, Leifsgade 33, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark.
NEXT COPY DEADLINE:
Feb. 1, 2001
Next issue: March, 2001
Report by the President
Colleagues and Friends,
Here we are in the fine city of Torino, some of us for the second time, since last year the members of our Board met here. We enjoyed generous hospitality from our hosts here then, and now we are back to take part in the huge event they have organized for our Association. We are enormously grateful to Stefania Stafutti and her colleagues for the energy, hard work, good humour and style they have put into their task, and we’re looking forward to a lively and successful occasion as our conference unfolds.
In the two years since we all met in Edinburgh the Board too has plunged into the task of developing the Association in a variety of ways, and I want to thank all its members for the serious and positive way they have done this. We owe great thanks to our Secretary Christian Henriot and our Treasurer Hans van Ess for their efforts and skill in handling many aspects of our work; to Torbjörn Lodén and Mette Thunø for their labours as editors of the Newsletter; and to Michel Hockx for his creative dexterity in setting up our new website. For me it has been a pleasure to work with these committed colleagues, and very little that follows in this report would have come to pass without them. Three stalwarts from former years, Marianne Bastid-Bruguière, Brunhild Staiger and Roderick Whitfield, have continued to serve the Association by refereeing the applications for Library Travel Grants. The Association heartily thanks these colleagues one and all.
At the Edinburgh conference in 1998 my predecessor Rudolf Wagner presented a vigorous Presidential Report which looked boldly towards the future over a wide range of the Association’s interests. Reading it again now, I find that our Board has taken forward many of his ideas, often in a more radical fashion than he sought. It appears to me that several of the concrete topics raised on that occasion have now moved ahead within the context of bigger themes. Certainly the largest task handled by this Board, the drafting of a new constitution for the Association, takes up many issues raised by members during recent years. That piece of business, broad-ranging and fundamental as it is, must be dealt with at a separate session of our General Assembly. But let me point out certain other current themes in the life of our Association.
Access and contact
Our membership remains at a stable level (as the Treasurer’s statistics will reveal), but it is clear that many or most of us wish it to grow. In the view of this Board the doors of EACS should be opened more widely to younger members, particularly to graduate students. So among the changes proposed in our new draft constitution comes a redefining of membership categories and requirements that makes the Association far more accessible than before. Together with that come decisions on membership dues which offer discounts for students. (As the Treasurer will explain, the new rates of EURO 20 for ordinary members and EURO10 for students come into effect after this General Assembly.) This Board has also begun to discuss ways to use its considerable financial reserve for supporting student participation – a topic to which the new Board may wish to return.
The financial complexities of paying dues across many currencies have been simplified by our introduction of credit-card facilities, already in effect for some time now, and should have been smoothed for many members by the institution of the Euro in 1999. It seems that the banking system of Europe has yet to open the sluice gates that will let the currency flow sweetly and easily between accounts in different countries, but members of our Association will certainly be among the first eager customers when it does so. In any case, our finances will now be computed in Euros. The Treasurer will explain the impact of the multiple-year membership dues scheme he has introduced.
Beyond these strategic and executive measures we have been concerned to put our members much more fully in touch with one another. We inherited a well-established newsletter tradition and have aimed not simply to maintain it, but to present it in an even more clear and attractive format. The results, which first came before you last April with No. 22, have drawn positive comments from members who have written to me. We thank Mette Thunø for this creative input. I hope, too, that you have admired the Association’s new logo on the front cover, handsomely designed for us by Federico Greselin. The newsletter, appearing three times a year, remains the Association’s major organ of communication, and we regard it still as an ideal medium for announcements and reports of academic and professional activities in Chinese studies throughout Europe. But the newsletter is now much more fully complemented by the EACS website, which has been redesigned and strongly developed within the lifetime of the present Board. In many ways the website can duplicate the function of the newsletter with conference announcements, membership documentation, the text of past newsletters, and so on, but there are certain functions which it performs more effectively. Among them I would include the announcement of job advertisements. Since these usually appear without much warning and with limited time for applications they clearly require the web’s facility for constant updating and immediate access. I’m sure too that members will have valued the steady supply of information on this Torino Conference through its own website, mediated by the EACS site, finally building up to abstracts of all the papers. But websites really come into their own through providing links, and we have aimed to build up a comprehensive service for our members through which, with a few clicks, they can find their way to any sinological institution or library in Europe that maintains a site or online facility on the web. I have no very clear idea of how widely the website is used by our membership: I have certainly met members who have never visited it, and have heard from others who didn’t know the site had moved to SOAS in London. There may even be members who are not aware that we have a website. But I have great confidence in the future of this engine of communication: we Europeans are slowly but surely getting accustomed to the web and what it has to offer. Speaking for myself, I use the EACS site constantly as the first resort to gather data about institutions, colleagues, library catalogues and books around Europe, including my own country. Starting from this point the whole of sinological Europe lies waiting behind your screen! And if you have information to broadcast about Chinese studies, our site gives you access to the world.
Although time and effort go into building these facilities they are of course imperfect and incomplete. Errors creep in; information falls out of date; old links go dead and need replacing with current links; new institutions come into being, new sites appear around the continent. To keep pace with this, and to improve the level of service we provide, we need lively and constant input from our members and users. Communicate with us, and everyone will be better off! As part of the newly restyled website we now have an online discussion forum which has already drawn a contribution from the distant shores of California. Hits on our site from around the world have been rising to levels of 30 to 60 a day. Do please join in!
Relations with other institutions
A big topic in the air at our last conference was the interest of the IIAS and the European Science Foundation’s Asia Committee in setting up a European Association of Asian Studies. It was the subject of a serious discussion by the Board here in Torino last year, and I was given clear guidance on how to respond on behalf of EACS when the proposal was put. It went like this. The China field is already large enough to engage the full attention of EACS members, and the Association has already grown to a size which makes our biennial conferences unwieldy affairs lacking the intimacy of earlier generations; but it is a community of individual members electing their officers and boards from among people they know professionally and pursuing goals they adopt communally. So EACS should preserve its identity, not lose it in a larger federation. We should look at other ways to enhance communication and contacts with the ESF and its Asia Committee. When I attended a meeting of the Committee in November I found that most of the European Asian associations represented there had similar feelings. What emerged from that meeting was not an all-enveloping Association of Asian Studies, but a much more compact body to be called the Conference of Presidents. It will meet once a year to bring together the officers heading six European associations and representatives of the Asia Committee: they will exchange information and ideas and work towards shared goals.
One of these is coming up quite fast — the second International Convention of Asia Scholars to be held in Berlin next year. When the first such event took place in the Netherlands in 1998 there was a feeling among our membership that two huge conferences coming so close together in the same year detracted from the participation in our EACS conference in Edinburgh. That problem will at least be avoided next time, since the ICAS conference falls in our in-between year. We have, at our own request, two places on the Programme Committee. You will be represented there by Rudolf Wagner and by me. You can watch the progress of this event on its website, which has a link on our own home page.
Our relations with the sinological librarians’ group EASL have now happily been restored to the point that their representatives will attend this Torino conference to report on library developments. We shall hear about new plans for online union catalogue access to materials in sinological libraries, plans that began with EACS support for the periodicals catalogue SSELP and are now branching out in various directions. Through the EACS website you can already find your way quickly to online catalogues of Chinese books around Europe, but soon you may be able to do this even more quickly through a central point of access.
The ESF Asia Committee has been generous enough, both last year and this year, to give us FF10,000 to help with general expenses. But our most generous benefactor has of course been the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. Alongside all the grants it gives each year to institutions, conferences and individuals around Europe, the Foundation has maintained its funding for Library Travel Grants, which is entrusted to our Association for administration. And once again it has supported workshops recommended directly by EACS: in the last session there have been workshops on “Text and commentary” in Heidelberg, and “Field-work practice” in Oxford; in the current session one on “Literary periodicals of the 1910s” in Marburg; together, of course, with the CCK’s support for the present conference. Not every Asian association in Europe has a patron as munificent as this.
One topic on which the new board will need to form a policy is national surveys of Chinese Studies. The printed series that began with France in 1988 and led on to the United Kingdom in 1998 has tended to become out of date and unobtainable almost as soon as the numbers appear. Previous boards decided that the printed series would end with one last number (Benelux, Switzerland and Austria) before migrating into digital form. That number has been in its editor’s hands for some two years now, and we still hope to see it appear soon. But meanwhile the UK survey is already online on our website. It may be that the website will provide the solution that we need to sustain this series and keep it up to date in future.
The new board may also want to come back to the question of relations with the AAS. So far we have not followed other European associations in setting up arrangements for mutual membership with AAS. The question needs looking at more carefully in future.
In general we are conscious of handing over responsibility for an association which is growing in self-confidence, learning to communicate more effectively, and ready to expand. It has support from generous patrons and is developing contact with parallel bodies. Its talents and achievements will be on display at this conference. As we set out on it now and look forward to more to come, I hope we will aim at setting new standards in our field.
Report by the Treasurer
In 1999 at an EACS-Board meeting in Torino, it was decided that the membership fees should be raised to EURO 20 for ordinary members and EURO 10 for student members. Student members should send a copy of their student-card when making their payments.
The acceptance of the possibility to pay by credit-cards (American Express, Visacard and Euro/ Mastercard) introduced in 1999 has been enthusiastic. More than 90% of all non-German membership-fees are paid this way, and I hardly receive any cheques any more. I would like to remind those of you who still want to pay with cheques that Euro-cheques are even cheaper for us than credit-cards. We do not have to pay any bank-charges for Euro-cheques coming from EU-countries.
There is a second problem which I should like to address: payment by credit cards is much more liable to produce errors on both sides than other means are. It happens quite often that I receive forms that have not been filled out in a correct way. Sometimes the card has expired or someone forgot to fill out the expiry date. Moreover, we had cases of receiving money through our bank without being able to find out who the esteemed donor was. This involves a lot of work on our side. When you fill in the forms, please do it in a diligent way! And, please, not only when paying by credit card, always write clearly whose fee you are actually paying!
As you all will have noticed, I have decided to make it possible to pay membership fees in advance for up to 3 years. The reason for this was originally that I wanted to save bank charges. The interest rates were very low in 1999 and are still comparatively low this year, and receiving much money seemed to be a good means to increase EACS funds. On the other hand, this means that we might receive a little less money next year although I am optimistic that we will remain on a high level.
All in all the funds of EACS have increased greatly during the last year. EACS owned EURO 30,326 in securities and had EURO 3,582 in its current account on July 31, 2000. On August 15, 1999 it owned DM 56,675 (EURO 29,064) in securities and had DM 3,021 (EURO 1,549) in its current account. One reason for the increase is that after sending out invoices at the beginning of the year 2000 we had an unusually high income of membership fees. The other reason is that from September 1998 to August 1999, we only had to pay for one newsletter. We will probably have slightly less money at the end of the next fiscal year, because many members have paid their fees in advance and because we plan to publish three newsletters per year.
A few words about membership: According to a list of all EACS members as of January 1999, EACS had altogether 659 members. The biggest share of our members, slightly more than 25%, were living in Germany (175), followed by Great Britain (75=11%), Russia (61=9%), France (58=9%) and Italy (51=8 %). All in all, members were living in 32 countries, seven of which are non-European (USA, Canada, PRC, Taiwan, Japan, Brunei and Malaysia). EACS has won more members than it lost during the last two years, and especially during the EACS conference at Torino many new members joined the association. Our new membership list that was made available at the last day of the conference now includes more than 700 names.
Brunhild Staiger is continuing to handle the Chiang Ching-kuo funds for Library Travel Grants. All in all EACS received between September 1998 and August 2000 US$ 36,980 for travel to European Sinological centres. There is still money left that can be applied for by eligible persons (see the EACS web-page). For the Dynamic Data Base in Heidelberg EACS received between July 1998 and June 1999 altogether DM 60,890.
Important: The newsletter is the most expensive item occurring at the expenditure side of our balance sheet. During the conference several members told me that they are happy with the electronic version of the newsletter and that they do not need to receive a printed copy. To those members who do not want to receive the printed newsletter anymore I can arrange an E-mail version. Please notify me.
Hans van Ess
New Constitution — Voting
The voting on proposed revisions to the EACS Constitution was done by secret ballot. Total number of ballots: 102; in favour of Constitutional amendments: 101; not in favour: 0; invalid ballot: 1. The text of the new Constitution is available in Newsletter, No. 23.
The New EACS Board, 2000-2002
The New EACS Executive Committee
President: G. Dudbridge
Treasurer: H. van Ess
Secretary: Chr. Henriot
Vice-chairman: A. Cheng
Vice-chairman: A. Ostrovskiy
Assistant Secretary: R. Svarverud
Addresses of EACS Board members are available on the EACS webpage. (Click here to see them.)
Introduction of New EACS Board Members
Maghiel van Crevel (1963- )
Professor of Chinese language and literature at Leiden University. Research on modern poetry from the PRC. Publications include Language Shattered: Contemporary Chinese Poetry and Duoduo. Leiden: CNWS, 1996.
Hans Kühner (1950-)
Dr. phil. in Chinese Studies in 1977 from Munich University. Dr. phil. habil. in 1994. At present Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Civilization, Humboldt-Universität Berlin. Publications: Die Lehren und die Entwicklung der “Taigu-Schule” (1996); Die Chinesische Akademie der Wissenschaften und ihre Vorläufer 1928-1985 (1986); Abenteuer der Dialektik in China (1978); Die Reisen des Lao Can (1989). Research interests: modern Chinese literature, intellectual history of the late Qing and early Republican period.
Associate Professor at the Institute of East Asian Studies, Charles University, Prague in history of Chinese literature and classical Chinese. Author of Tang poetry reader and monograph on Wang Wei’s language and style (in Czech). Translator of traditional and modern Chinese fiction. Recent research: late Six Dynasties poetry.
Guido Samarani (1950-)
Professor of East Asian History at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy. Has been Visiting Researcher/Professor at the universities of Harvard, Waseda, and Heidelberg. Guest Professor of Nanjing University. Member of the editorial board of journals like Minguo yanjiu (Nanjing), Asiatica Venetiana (Venice), Mondo Cinese (Milan). Coordinator of the Erasmus Programme and a member of the Academic Committee for International Relations at Ca’ Foscari University.
When, at the end of the EACS conference in Torino, the Editor asked me for a brief report on the past few days, my first reaction was to suggest that other participants, having greater experience than me in academic gatherings such as the one we had attended, would be far better qualified for the job. However, once reassured that a newcomer’s account would be just the right thing, the occasion did seem to me to offer a good opportunity for expressing some thoughts which had occurred to me during those four days in Torino.
Torino itself is really the first impression that comes to my mind. The subject of the conference was “The Spirit of the Metropolis”, and more to the point than the much laboured association between this title and the Chinese transliteration of the host city’s name, was the vivid presence around us of a town of one million inhabitants, a former Savoyard capital and the venue of Italy’s unification. For those who have seen them (it was not all that easy to find your way downtown from the slopes of Villa Gualino), the baroque palaces and never-ending arcades of Turin will surely remain as the immediate visual image, a picture which will continue to surface before one’s eyes for years to come. It is customary to thank the organizers for having successfully negotiated their way through the mire of logistic detail that such a large undertaking necessarily implies; in this case, though, one wonders who had the happy idea to bring us sinologists to Turin in the first place. There will, of course, be much to see and to learn in Moscow 2002, but then Moscow is not the kind of town which you would usually need to discover with the help of the EACS.
Moving from late-summer academic tourism (which, as you have seen, can be a very pleasant experience) to the reason for which we have all gathered in the Villa Gualino: present the results of our own research, and try to learn from the work of others. Looking through my copy of the “Volume of Abstracts”, and the comments, which I have scribbled on its margins, a number of excellently researched and highly stimulating lectures come to my mind. Since I am sure that I also missed a great deal of such lectures by simply not being able to attend more than one panel at a time, I will not name any of my personal favourites (and will only add my voice to the many who found “Crime and the City: the Criminal Underworld in 16th Century Peking”, Roger Greatrex’s enthralling presentation, to have provided one of the main highlights of this conference). However, I would like to devote a few words to some lectures, which I attended only to find them an unfortunate waste of time for both the listeners and the speaker. The reason for this mutual disappointment was almost always the same: written papers, which would probably have made good articles, have at the same time proved unsuitable for oral presentation. In combination with an abstract subject, long winding sentences read in not always articulate voices acquired lethal soporific powers. Add to this the occasional frustration produced by the fact that Chinese names, terms and book titles are not always pronounced with unfailing clarity by those of us who are not native Chinese speakers, as well as the disturbing effect on intelligibility that a foreign accent causes in those of us who are not native speakers of English (the present author fits into both these categories), and the picture becomes evident: the listeners’ capacity for attention is exhausted at the end of five minutes, and by the time he or she is done there will be little if any feedback to reward the lecturer for his or her efforts. It is of course possible, as some speakers have done, to prepare and read out a paper which takes into consideration (by a modified sentence construction and formulation of the arguments) the difference between an article and a lecture. It seems to me, however, that a presentation limited to twenty or thirty minutes is best delivered in spoken, rather than written English. If such a presentation has a key point or a central message, which the speaker wishes to convey to his audience, no method should be considered too crude to have that point or message carried through (visual aids, of any variety, may often prove helpful). Special Chinese terms, and names not readily familiar to everyone present, should either be written on the blackboard or included in a handout – which it is in any case a good idea to distribute among the audience, to better allow listeners to keep track.
Thinking back to a stimulating, and in many ways enriching experience, it is only to be hoped that our next conference will be as successful. One of the newly accepted revisions to the EACS constitution now makes the Association more accessible to students, and we can be looking forward to an even more numerous attendance in two years time.
The EACS website has been completely redesigned over the past summer. It now conforms in many ways to accepted standards of usability, and working with it should be considerably more pleasurable than before. Most importantly, the web pages no longer appear in frames, which had been causing problems for some users. The new design makes use of a so-called Cascading Style Sheet, which might create some problems for older web browsers, in the sense that colours and fonts might not display correctly. The site is best viewed using Internet Explorer 4 or higher, but it looks all right in Netscape as well. If you are using a different or older browser and you have problems viewing the site, please let me know, so that I can try to amend the problem. All the links have been checked and should be working, but if you detect any mistakes, or have any other comments or suggestions, by all means let me know. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply by clicking on the word “webmaster” on the website. For those of you who have never used the website, here is a short overview of its current contents:
Contains the main menu, the Association’s mission statement, and links to the websites of SSELP, the ICAS 2 conference, and the Internet Guide for Chinese Studies. Also contains links to a page with a short history of the website, and to a legal disclaimer.
Contact addresses of all EACS officers, and e-mail addresses of all board members.
Announcements of conferences in the field of Chinese Studies.
An on-line discussion forum, where you can raise questions or leave comments related to our field or to the association. It is very easy to use. Why not give it a try?
Links to institutions of Chinese Studies in European countries. This is the single most comprehensive list of links to such institutes available anywhere on the Internet. It is regularly updated and currently contains 85 links to institutions in 20 different countries. If your institute is not on it, and you do have a website, please let me know!
Copies of or links to advertisements for positions in Chinese Studies in Europe.
List of links to sinological libraries (and, where available, online catalogues) in Europe. Again, this is the most comprehensive list of such links available anywhere on the Internet. It is regularly updated and currently contains 83 links to libraries in 14 different countries.
Here you can apply for a new membership, download the Credit Card payment form, and, most importantly, take part in our online EACS MEMBERSHIP SURVEY. Please take a few moments to fill out and send the online form. It will not take you more than five minutes. Filling out the form will provide the EACS officers with vital information it needs to be able to serve you even better.
List of links to websites of museums with collections of Chinese art.
Online archive of past issues of the EACS Newsletter dating back to No. 9 (March 1996)
Links to other Europe-wide and national associations in the field of Asian Studies.
Online versions of EACS country surveys and links to websites of sinological publications in Europe.
The EACS website has already become a very valuable academic resource, which was recently awarded a “four star” rating from the WWW Asian Studies Monitor. With your help, the site could become even better. I am looking forward to receiving your comments and updates.
CONFERENCE AND WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENTS
2nd conference on “Trade, Exchanges, Ethics & Markets Europe-Asia”, Seman-Gear-Asia Pacific Institute, Dec. 11–12, 2000, Université de La Rochelle, France
The aim of the conference is to answer questions regarding the relevance of the discourse on “Asian values” to explain the development of emerging economies in Asia and whether or not Europe and Asia share ethical values with similar consequences. Deadline for submission of abtracts: 5 October 2000. For more information please contact by E-mail: email@example.com.
“Dark Side of Life in Asia and the West”, Jan. 4–6, 2001, Dept. of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna
In this workshop the social perceptions and constructions of sleeping time and the night will be addressed. The theme will be approached from different historical and cultural perspectives, on the basis of both Western and Asian attitudes and practices. For further information please contact one of the organizers: Brigitte Steger, Dep. of East Asian Studies, Uni. of Vienna. E-mail: Brigitte.Steger@univie.ac.at.
“Taiwan in her cultural dimensions”, March 7, 2001, Research Unit on Taiwanese Culture and Literature, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
More information is available on the conference website or by contacting Ines-Susanne Schilling, FNO 1/115, Universitätsstr. 150, D-44780 Bochum. Fax: +49 234-3214265, tel.: +49 234-3228876, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Second Int. Convention of Asia Scholars” (ICAS2), August 9–12, 2001, Berlin, Germany
Across continents, disciplines, regional specializations and conceptual approaches, the main purpose of ICAS2 will be to present both a formal platform and an academic stimulus to improving the exchange of scholarly contacts in Asian Studies. After the success of the first convention, ICAS2 is thus meant to be another major step towards a continuous improvement of internationalization and cooperation in all fields of Asian studies. ICAS2 is co-organized by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and the European Science Foundation (ESF) Asia Committee, representing the following six European Associations: Association for Korean Studies in Europe (AKSE), European Association for Chinese Studies (EACS), European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS), European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), European Society for Central Asia Studies (ESCAS), and European Association for South East Asian Studies (EUROSEAS). Involved is also the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, as the organizing unit of ICAS1. (ICAS2 Website)
“Chinese Concepts of Privacy”, May 31–June 2, 2001, Leiden University and the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies, Wassenaar
This workshop will investigate ways in which Chinese people experience and conceptualise privacy, now and in the past. Privacy contents, mechanisms, functions and values may be analysed from any disciplinary (or interdisciplinary) perspective. Papers which focus on methodologies that avoid the imposition of Western values and concepts will be particularly welcome. Abstracts should be sent by email to B.S.McDougall@NIAS.KNAW.NL by December 15, 2000; acceptances will be notified by 1 February 2001. The abstract should include surname, personal name or initial, title, contact addresses (E-mail, postal, fax and telephone), academic affiliation, short title and a summary of no more than 250 words. The workshop is jointly organised by Bonnie S. McDougall, Prof. of Chinese, Univ. of Edinburgh, & Fellow-in-Residence, 2000/01, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, and Maghiel van Crevel, Prof. of Chinese, Univ. of Leiden. For all enquiries please contact by E-mail: B.S.McDougall@NIAS.KNAW.NL.
More information on conferences and calls for papers are available on the EACS webpage. (Click here to go there.)
"Globalization – Regionalization – Fragmentation: New Political, Economic, and Social Contexts in East and Southeast Asia", Center for East-West Relations, Conf. for Graduate Students, May 8-11, 2000, Brühl (near Cologne), Germany
In recent years, discussions on appropriate designs for Asian Studies have grown more and more intensive throughout Europe and the USA. Germany is no exception to this trend. The time is ripe for new experiments. One such experiment was recently conducted at the Center for East-West Relations near Cologne.
The Center is financed by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education. It is located in Brühl. The Center mainly organizes seminars on topics in East-West Relations for teachers, other public servants, or military officers. Most events are also open to the general public. Last year, the Center added a new feature to its program: a conference for graduate students specializing on contemporary affairs in East or Southeast Asia. The first conference of this kind was held in May 1999. In May 2000, the second such conference took place at the Center.
The main purpose of these conferences is to offer a forum for tomorrow’s specialists on East and Southeast Asia. About 40 graduate students are invited each year, with the Center assisting in travel expenses and supplying accommodation during the conference. The panels in which the students present their work are grouped in comparative fashion: case studies of different regions are presented under a common topic. Senior scholars are invited as discussants, as keynote speakers, and as panelists in a closing round-table discussion.
At this year’s conference, students presented work-in-progress on Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Japan, and on the ASEAN Regional Forum. The presentations were grouped in seven panels, discussing social and political change, challenges to political systems, economic aspects (especially with regard to banking and foreign exchange policy and with regard to effects of globalisation on economies in the region), the development of the media in the region, issues of security, and the comparison of trends of globalisation with trends of regionalisation.
Overall, nine papers dealt with recent developments in China and Taiwan. Among the topics analysed by the students were: mechanisms for the dissemination of new life styles in the PRC; the evolution of organized interest groups in China; the development of the DPP; the prospects for the evolution of a private banking sector in the PRC; the fervent growth of the Internet in the PRC; the development of print media after the introduction of elements of a market economy in China; Theatre Missile Defence and the strategic options for Taiwan; and the role of energy supply in security and foreign policy of the PRC.
The main thrust of the findings presented served to illustrate an interpretation of globalisation, which was suggested by Professor Hermann-Pillath, a specialist from the University of Witten-Herdecke on evolutionary economics and on the Chinese economy, in his keynote presentation. According to Hermann-Pillath, globalisation is mainly a matter of perception – an idea transcending the simple integration of markets and of trade and which manifests itself in many diverse institutional settings. However, it is not a uniform phenomenon. Rather than fuelling global convergence of institutional arrangements, globalisation stimulates competition, adoption, and innovation of institutional arrangements around the globe, both in local settings and across national boundaries. Thus, it remains important to analyse local particularities in order to grasp the dynamics and the diversity of globalisation.
Papers (in German) presented at the conference can be viewed on http://www.biost.de/Nachwuchs/nachw.htm.The webpage also offers contact information on the participants as well as information on next year’s conference. A conference reader can be obtained free of charge from Christoph Mueller Hofstede, Program Officer for East Asia at the Center of East-West Relations. The German Association for Asian Affairs offers support in disseminating information about the conferences. If you would like to learn more about the conferences or if you have any comments or suggestions, please contact one of the persons mentioned below.
Christoph Müller-Hofstede, M.A.
Program Officer (East Asia)
Center for East-West Relations (Ost-West-Kolleg)
Günter Schucher, Ph.D.
German Association for Asian Affairs
Anja Osiander, Ph.D. Candidate
Uni. of Cologne
“Text and Commentary in Imperial China”, Heidelberg, June 2000
Lecturers and 17 students from Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Russia and USA took part in the workshop. The lectures included: Jeffrey K. Riegel (Berkeley), “The Zuo zhuanLecture of Physician He on Passion and Disease”; Joachim Gentz (Heidelberg), “Introduction into the exegetic context of the Gongyang zhuan“; Rudolf G. Wagner (Heidelberg), “Exegetical Perspectives on the Hexagram ‘fu'”; Stephen Bokenkamp (Indiana), “Subcommentary to a God’s: The Principle of Linguistic Indeterminacy and Commentarial Wiggle Room”; Alexander Mayer (Illinois), “The Chinese Buddhist Sutra Commentary and its Transformation”; Martin Lehnert (Freiburg), “On the exegetical application of Kumârajîvas technical language in a Vajracchedikâ-Commentary from early Ming-time (1377/8)”; Michael Schimmelpfennig (Heidelberg), “Intended, repaired or refurbished? Wang Yi’s commentary to the Lament for Ying (“Ai Ying”)”; Achim Mittag (Marburg), “‘Intentions’ (yi) vs. ‘Emotions’ (qing). Song Shi-jing Exegesis Reconsidered”; Hanno Lecher and Michael Lüdke (both Heidelberg), “Introduction to the library and to Digital Resources for Commentary Studies” and “A Hands-on Crash Course in Handling the Heidelberg On-line Resources”.
A few remarks on the workshop “Text and Commentary in Imperial China”
In June this year I had the pleasure of participating in the workshop "Text and Commentary in Imperial China". The workshop took place in Heidelberg under the auspices of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and was led by Prof. Rudolf Wagner. The aim of the workshop was challenging – to approach and try to analyse the Chinese commentary tradition. My purpose, however, is very simple – to give an overview of the workshop and comment upon it. The main questions raised during the workshop were as follows: What is the correlation between a Chinese text and a commentary on it? How can the text be understood according to different commentary traditions? What renders a commentary acceptable and reliable? They were posed in order to understand the true nature of a commentary and its role in explaining the text. On opening the workshop, Prof. Wagner emphasized the importance of commentary studies. A commentary shows how Chinese scholars and exegetes actually understood a given text. Therefore it is very important to analyse different techniques and methods employed by the authors of commentaries. Drawing a comparison between the grammar and terminology of different commentaries on the same passage enables an extrapolative translation of the text and helps rediscover its true meaning. With regard to the organisation of the workshop, I would like to say that it was very efficient. Every lecture was followed by a discussion and joint reading of related texts in Chinese, which enabled the participants to concentrate, contribute, and learn by the experience. Thus the workshop fulfilled its basic role of ensuring active participation. Another great advantage was the impressive variety of topics covered by the lecturers so that all the participants dealing with different disciplines and fields of Sinology could feel satisfied. Many exegetical methods and various sorts of commentaries were presented, discussed and analysed, from Confucian classics to Taoist, Buddhist and literary texts. Every participant could find something relevant to his or her particular field of study and also had the opportunity to learn about the Chinese commentary tradition in a broader sense. All the lectures and texts presented during the workshop were creative, original and thought-provoking. As a person dealing with Chinese religion in the context of the Chunqiu and Zuozhuan I found it particularly interesting and inspiring to listen to "The Zuozhuan Lecture of Physician He on Passion and Disease" by Prof. J. Riegel and to Dr. J. Gentz’s "Introduction into the Exegetic Context of the Gongyang Zhuan". Both lectures shed a new light on my studies and encouraged my efforts to pursue them. Prof. Riegel showed the exegetical potential and diversity of the Zuozhuan in the context of archeological discoveries and other literary works like the Shijing or the Guoyu. He also addressed the problem of what can actually be perceived as a commentary. Very often a mere commentary becomes a text and other commentaries are written on it, or a given text can be considered a commentary on another text. The lecture by Dr. Gentz and subsequent conversations with him were very helpful in my understanding of the nature and use of the Chunqiu annals. I appreciated the passionate discussions facilitating the exchange of scholarly views and ideas. I am very grateful to Prof. R. Wagner, Prof. J. Riegel, Prof. S. R. Bokenkamp, Dr. J. Gentz, Dr. A. Mittag and other participants of the workshop for their help, attention and precious advice. This workshop was a great opportunity to learn as well as to share opinions in a friendly and scholarly atmosphere. It was also an inspiration for the future.
Piotr Gibas, Warsaw University
Textual Scholarship in Chinese Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, June 30 – July 2, 2000
The scope of this workshop was deliberately broad: it covered all problems and procedures to be encountered when working with texts, such as paleography, bibliography, textual criticism, scholarly editing etc. It was intended to bring together scholars from diverse fields of study, focusing on different periods in time and yet united by one concern: to deal with Chinese texts in a methodologically sound way.
Well aware that textual scholarship is a sadly neglected field in Chinese studies, the hosts were overwhelmed by the response to their invitation. Fifteen scholars assembled in the Institut für Ostasienkunde, which was, considering the limits of time and space, the maximum possible. The agenda was as follows:
Opening words by Herbert Franke (München)
Robert Gassmann (Zürich): To emend or not to emend: On determining the integrity of texts
Wojciech Simson (Zürich): Applying Stemmatology to Chinese Textual Traditions
Ulrich Unger (Münster): Lao tsï 16
Rudolf Pfister (Zürich): Zur verschriftlichung von worten: schreibsysteme in manuskripten aus dem heilkunde-korpus von grab nummer drei in Mawangdui
Matthias Richter (Kiel): Cognate Texts? Technical Terms as Indicators of Intertextual Relations and Redactional Strategies
William Boltz (Seattle): Myth and the Structure of the Shiji
Michael Friedrich (Hamburg): The So-Called Yao Passports
Glen Dudbridge (Oxford): Questions concerning the reconstruction of lost books from the Tang
Joachim Mittag (Bielefeld): Shaping Historical Space: Sidelights on a Song Historical Atlas (Li-dai di-li zhi-zhang tu, twelfth century)
Hans van Ess (München): On Ssu-k’u ch’üan-shu Editions of Sung-dynasty texts
Hermann Tessenow (München): Editing the Huangdi neijing suwen
Kai Vogelsang (München): Textual Bibliography in Ch’ing Studies
Dennis Schilling (München): The Making of T’an Ssu-t’ung’s Jen-hsüeh
Raoul David Findeisen (Bochum): Towards a Critical Edition of Lu Hsün’s Letters
Through the diversity of texts and methodological approaches there ran some distinctive leitmotifs. One such leitmotif was the effects of the bibliographical carrier on the contents of texts. The question arose whether one can speak of an ‘original’ or a ‘final intention’ of Chinese texts at all. Far from being resolved, this question provided ample evidence that some basic problems in textual scholarship remain the same in all fields of Chinese studies.
Report from the Postgraduate Workshop on Fieldwork Research Methods in Contemporary Chinese Society, Oxford, Sept. 18-21, 2000
How has our understanding of Chinese society changed as increasing numbers of researchers conduct first-hand field work investigations? How can field work research methods be improved? Where is modern China studies heading? These were just some of the questions discussed in depth when postgraduates and senior lecturers recently gathered in Oxford. Sponsored by EACS with a grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, the workshop was organised by Dr. Frank Pieke, Institute for Chinese Studies at Oxford University, and Dr. Stig Thøgersen, Department of East Asian Studies at Aarhus University.
This is the second workshop held in Oxford within a short time for the benefit of students. Postgraduate students specialising in China from various disciplines (political science, anthropology, economics, sociology, history, sinology, art history, religious studies) and from different European countries (U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland) were given the opportunity to get in touch with senior scholars in the field who are experts on different aspects of modern China. The formula for the workshop is simple but very successful from the perspective of students. Lectures, panel discussions and individual tutorials are combined. On the first day of the workshop, the more general issues setting the agenda of the workshop were brought up. Dr. Frank Pieke outlined the recent developments in modern China studies. Dr. Jean Philippe Bèja tackled the min’gan wenti in the PRC and fieldwork in political science. Dr. Lina Song described her experience in conducting quantitative surveys in China. Dr. Stig Thøgersen shared his knowledge on how to make good use of written sources in local studies. In the evening, Stig Thøgersen introduced Xuanwei, Yunnan province, as a research location for European students and scholars set up by himself and Frank Pieke.
On the second day, participants split up in three separate panels (Culture, Politics and Economy) for presentation of their individual projects with a special focus on how field research methods and problems have influenced their major findings and the direction of projects. The third day was spent on individual tutorials. These tutorials gave students the opportunity to carry on the panel discussion and receive advice with senior scholars on a one-to-one basis. For students who feel isolated because of only limited access to China expertise in their home departments this was a rare opportunity both in terms of learning what “the state of the field is” and to get in touch with the experts in the field. Needless to say, we continued exchanging invaluable fieldwork experience during the coffee breaks, dinners and pub evenings.
Opening the concluding session, Dr. Stephan Feuchtwang talked about Chinese ethnography as a theoretical challenge and a challenge to theory. The focus of the workshop on field work methodology was here linked up with the direction of modern China studies. In Europe, modern China studies has mainly been carried out in the institutes of Chinese or East Asian studies, which continue to be dominated by sinology. While Europe still has not integrated modern China studies into the social science disciplines, research on China is becoming mainstream within the disciplines and China emerges as an important case for generalists. As a result, the US has become the leader in the field of modern China studies. One way to counter the American dominance is to tie modern China specialists both to institutes of Chinese studies and to their own discipline, which is the English model. Setting up a fieldwork location for European scholars fits into this scheme. Xuanwei has the potential to become for European modern China studies what Zouping was for the American modern China studies: the breeding ground for new models and an increasing understanding of the dynamics of China’s development and interactive processes.
In view of the success of the workshop, it would be very desirable if such an event became a regular feature on the European landscape. Organizing a workshop on field research in China every three years in different locations in Europe will much encourage the dialogue among future generations of scholars and will help foster a sense of community that European Chinese studies still sorely lacks. Particularly important will be to tie younger scholars of modern China from Eastern Europe into this enterprise.
Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden
Prof. Barend ter Haar, Heidelberg University, has received and accepted the chair of classical Chinese Studies at Sinologisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden.
Dr. Axel Schneider, Heidelberg University, has received and accepted the chair of modern Chinese Studies at Sinologisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden
Allès, Élisabeth, Musulmans de Chine: Une anthropologie des Hui du Henan.Recherches d’histoire et de sciences sociales, 89. Paris, Éditions de l´École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 2000. 336 pp. ISBN 2-7132-1350-9. FF 200.
Barlow, John S.A Pocket Chinese-Russian-English Dictionary (arranged by the Rosenberg Graphical System). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2000. 416 pp. ISBN 0-8248-2294-3. US$28.00.
Bulletin de la Société des Amis de l’École Normale Supérieure Vol. 216 (April-May 2000). FF 65.
Articles in this issue include a historical survey based on archival material of the relations with China of the institution and its alumni, by M. Bastid-Bruguière; and contributions about their own intellectual experience and pursuits by Anne Cheng, Antoine Gournay, Zhang Yinde and Karine Chemla. The issue can be ordered from the Société des Amis de l’ENS, 45 rue d’Ulm, 75230 Paris Cedex 05, France or by E-mail: email@example.com
Cadonna, Alfredo, Il Taoista di Sua Maestà. Dodici episodi da unmanoscritto cinese di Dunhuang, Venice: Cafoscarina, 1998. 161 pp. ISBN 88-85613-95-0. Lire 20.000.
This is a revised edition of the 1988 edition, with an updated bibliography. It includes an Italian translation with annotations and an introduction of the Dunhuang MS S 6836.
Cadonna, Alfredo ed., India, Tibet, China: Genesis and Aspects of Traditional Narrative. Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1999. 328 pp. ISBN 88-222-4713-2. Lire 62,000.
Cadonna, Alfredo, “Quali parole vi aspettate che aggiunga?” Il commentario al Daodejing di Bai Yuchan, maestro taoista del XIII secolo. Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 2000. pp. 199. ISSN 0394-266x.
Gänßbauer, Monika, ed., Christsein in China. Chinesische Stimmen aus Kirche und Forschung. Beklum: Siehel, 2000. ISSN: 1436-2058. Free of charge.
Ghiglione, Anna, La Pensée chinoise ancienne et l’abstraction, preface by Léon Vandermeersch. Paris: You Feng, 1999. ISBN 2 84279 078 2. 160 FF.
Ibáñez Gómez, Daniel, Sanzijing. El Clásico de Tres Caracteres. Madrid: Trotta, 2000.
Jansen, Thomas, Höfische Öffentlichkeit im frühmittelalterlichen China. Debatten im Salon des Prinzen Xiao Ziliang (Rombach Wissenschaft/ Reihe historiae; 11) Freiburg i. Br.: Rombach, 2000.
Loewe, Michael, A Biographical Dictionary of the Qin, Former Han and Xin Periods (221 BC – AD 24). Leiden: Brill, 2000. 850 pp. ISBN 90 04 10364 3. €200, US$245.
Lu, Hanchao, Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2000. 473 pp. ISBN 0-520-21564-8. US$50.
Пивоварова, Э. П. (Pivovarova, Eleonora), Сочиализм с китайской спецификой: итоги теоретического и практического поиска [“Socialism with Chinese specific character”: issue of the theoretical and practical search]. Moscow: Издательская Фирма “Химия и бизнес”, 1999.
In this book “break-throughs” in economic theory of socialism made by Chinese scholars during the last 20 years are analysed. The book also highlights the evolution from traditional perceptions of socialism to the ideas of “mixed economies” or “construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
Richter, Frank-Jürgen, The Dragon Millennium. Chinese Business in the Coming World Economy. New York: Quorum, 2000.
Richter, Frank-Jürgen, The East Asian Development Model: Economic Growth, Institutional Failure and the Aftermath of the Crisis. London: Macmillan Press, 2000.
Ptak, Roderich, Zhang Weimin and António Graça de Abreu, Sinica Lusitana: Chinese Sources in Portuguese Libraries and Archives (1668-1871). Lisbon: Fundação Oriente, 2000. ISBN 972-785-013-0. €20. Orders can be placed by E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or URL http://www.foriente.pt.
Voeckler, Kai and Dirk Luckow, eds., Peking Shanghai Shenzhen. Staedte des 21. Jahrhunderts. Beijing Shanghai Shenzhen. Cities of the 21st Century. Frankfurt: Campus, 2000. 604 pp. Richly illustrated catalogue of the exhibition with the same theme in Dessau, Germany.
Whitfield Roderick and Wang Tao, eds., Exploring China’s Past: New Discoveries and Studies in Archaeology and Art. London: Saffron Books, 2000. 286 pp. 170 ill. Softback ISBN 1-872843-20-4. £24.95. Hardback ISBN 1-872843-25-5.
Zdeněk Hrdlička passed away on March 22, 1999
Czech sinologist and japanologist, born 12 July, 1919 in Prague, a pupil of J. Prusek, Charles University and J. K. Fairbank, Harvard University, member of EACS and holder of the golden medal of the Masaryk Academy of Arts. Received his Ph.D. at Charles University and was active in his field as researcher, writer and diplomat. Served 14 years in China and Japan as cultural counsellor and ambassador. Did research on Chinese oral literature, published in cooperation with his wife Vena Hrdličkova more than 30 books on Chinese and Japanese art, history and culture, several of which were translated into English, German, French, Polish and Hungarian. Lectured at Charles University and other Czech and foreign institutions.
Isabelle Robinet passed away in Paris on June 24, 2000
She was born on October 18, 1932 in Paris and was the student of important French sinologists of the 20th century like Max Kaltenmark, Michel Soymié, Rolf Stein and Léon Vandermeersch. It was under the direction of Léon Vandermeersch that she wrote her Ph. D. thesis later published under the title La révélation du Shangqing. In this masterly work she analysed the content of Taoist sources in order to create the sort of comprehensive view that characterized all her work. As she wrote in the preface: “I did not limit myself to observing or recounting but also wanted to comprehend and attempted to obtain an overall view (…). This implies that I did not reject the subjectivity, and even less the interiority, of the texts themselves”. Conscious of the singularity of her own approach, she added at the end of the preface: “I hope that by my approach I do not hurt too much those who mistrust the mind which above all is not the object of ‘scientific’ study.” As a woman independent of any church or school of thinking ” a rarity in the French academic world ” she was “banished” to the University of Aix en Provence where she was appointed Professor and later Director of the Centre of Letters and Human Sciences (Aix-Marseille 1). Far from the power struggles of French Sinology in the capital, she was able to devote herself completely to ground-breaking research on Laozi and his commentaries, the Shangqing school, alchemy, and finally Chinese cosmology. Through her work, Isabelle Robinet became one of the world’s most recognized scholars of Taoism, a scholar whose brilliance was far more recognized abroad than in her own country.
Ferenc Tökei passed away August 14, 2000
He was born in 1930 and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. A student of the Marxist philosopher György Lukács, he became one of Hungary’s outstanding China scholars of the 20th century. Graduating from Eotvos Lorand University of Arts and Sciences (ELTE), Budapest, Tökei worked for ten years as an editor of Europa Publishing Company. In 1967, he became a research fellow, and in 1969 director, of the HAS Institute for Philosophy. He became professor of philosophy at ELTE from 1971 to 1990 and professor of Sinology from 1990. He is best known for his influential book on the Asiatic mode of production (translated into French and English), and for his study of genre theory in China from the 3rd to 6th centuries.