No. 26, July 2001
Letters from Editor and President
European Centre for Digital Resources in Chinese Studies
New Study Programmes for China at the University of Newcastle
Call for Papers for Journals
In issue no. 25 of the EACS Newsletter members of our association were invited to take issue with the author of the featured article “Is Sinology a Science?” Alas, reactions in the EACS on-line discussion forum have been very limited. Instead, the author of the article apparently receives comments addressed to him personally. A culture of open debate in the ECAS forum has yet to develop, it seems.
This present issue of the Newsletter also lacks the usual amount of news and information. The Newsletter depends entirely on EACS members’ own initiative in contributing information or academic points of view. It would be lamentable if the Newsletter offered little but refrences to titles of new publications also available elsewhere. I hope for more firm support in the coming academic year.
For the future issues of the Newsletter I invite relevant articles that you think deserve a wider academic audience. More information on new study programmes within Chinese studies and language programmes is also highly welcome, as well as information under the usual headings.
A NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT
It will also soon be the time of year when your Board holds its annual meeting, by custom in the city where the next EACS conference will take place. Moscow, then, will be where the Board in September turns its thoughts to preparations for 2002. This will be our chance to discuss in detail the views and ideas brought up by members at our conference in Torino. Among them are those who wish to see the scope widened to include more interdisciplinary sessions: we shall look at some specific proposals. There is also a feeling that the next conference should develop a stronger pedagogical section alongside its traditional focus on research: this too we shall discuss. Much thought will be given to the detailed arrangements for accommodating our members in Moscow.
The Association’s main opportunity in Moscow will be to affirm its engagement with sinology in Eastern Europe, and to bring sinologists from all parts of the continent closer together.
On July 1st, 2001, the European Center for Digital Resources in Chinese Studies was opened at the Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg, Germany.
The digitization of texts and the Internet have dramatically changed Chinese Studies:
- Chinese language dictionaries installed in computers offer unprecedented ease and speed for searches;
- A large body of classical and modern Chinese sources is accessible in digitized form and often on the Internet.
- A substantial number of scholarly publications have become accessible in digitized form.
- On-line Public Access Catalogues allow worldwide searches for Chinese and sinological media.
- Through the Internet, China-related information can be retrieved from newspapers around the world.
- Specialized courses are being developed for teaching particular China-related subjects to participants linked through the Internet.
At the same time, communication among scholars has become much more globalized through e-mail and the ease of sending materials via the Internet, not to mention the change in work style, source organization, and publishing coming with the advent of computer programs able to handle Chinese- and Western-language inputs, desk-top printing, and e-publishing.
All this allows researchers to draw on resources far beyond the reach of a given institution. It makes possible advanced forms of research, and of up-to-date analysis of ongoing developments.
The “Digital Library”
Potentially, the digital revolution provides a level ground for international scholarly competition. Given the modest size as well as financial means of most European institutions involved in China-related research and teaching, they have the most to gain from this development.
The handling of these new options requires, apart from the technical equipment, new and complex skills as well as familiarity with a large and rapidly evolving body of information. Once relevant information is in principle accessible anywhere, no scholar need work in ignorance of it.
Information gaps have grown, however, between generations, regions, and research fields with regard to these new options. There is a certain urgency in speeding up the process of adapting to the new environment if the great and innovative intellectual potential of students and researchers in Chinese Studies in Europe is to be fully developed, and the danger of lagging behind in this new domain is to be avoided.
Obviously, no one individual or institution can meaningfully assemble and assess all relevant information, or accumulate all relevant resources. The development of a “virtual library” connecting the catalogues and other information resources on a regional, national, European and international level can only come about through the co-operation of all concerned, and this is even more true for the gigantic task of creating a “digital library” which would make digitized texts, images, and sounds located in very many different places accessible via the Internet.
The Heidelberg Center
Over the last 15 years the Institute for Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg has made efforts to contribute to the improvement of the research environment for Chinese Studies in Europe. It has developed its print and audio-visual resources in areas where Europe’s libraries are often weakest, namely Chinese newspapers, periodicals, and scholarly monographs in Chinese and Western languages, in film and music, and in digitized forms.
The result is a rapidly growing collection of 120,000 monographs including 25,000 Western-language works, 3,800 periodical titles, 1,300 Chinese feature and documentary films and a large holding of contemporary Chinese music. These collections are searchable in the Institute’s OPACs that are accessible over the Internet (http://www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/library/).
Besides, the Institute has contributed to the enterprise of developing a union catalogue of Sinological Serials in European Libraries (SSELP) (http://www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/sselp/). It has begun to develop a link between the on-line catalogues of different European sinological centers (http://www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/evocs/).
It is the host for the China-section of the Virtual Library, the Internet Guide to Chinese Studies at http://www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/igcs/.
It has assembled a fair amount of fully indexed databases (http://www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/database/) and of digitized texts. In the process of this work it has accumulated much valuable experience, and, needless to say, encountered enervating frustrations.
The Idea behind ChinaResource
In order to contribute to the improvement of conditions for China-related research and information access in Europe, with the long-term goal of linking up with and contributing to the evolving virtual and eventually digital library in this field, the European Center for Digital Resources in Chinese Studies has now set up “ChinaResource”, graciously funded by the Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation in Essen, Germany (http://chinaresource.org).
The aims of ChinaResource:
- offering on-site, and wherever possible via the Internet, access to the broadest possible array of China-related digital resources. These include fully indexed databases of classical and modern Chinese language primary sources; digitized classical and modern Chinese texts for free use by all scholars; searchable digitized texts of Chinese- and Western-language scholarly materials; search engines such as EVOCS and SSELP for China-related internet-accessible open public-access in Europe, even if these use different cataloguing routines; guides to Internet resources about China such as the Internet Guide to Chinese Studies (IGCS).
- support for making accessible via the WWW databases and research tools developed elsewhere.
- support for digitizing manually-compiled older data resources such as the complex name, place, and utensil Index to the Taoist Canon.
- facilitating and speeding up access to existing Chinese-language resources through the establishment of mirror-sites.
- archiving and keeping accessible digital information from Chinese or China-related newsgroups, mailing lists, and other forums.
- assisting other European China institutes in their development of Internet accessible public access catalogues through on-site and Internet-linked courses.
- helping scholars and students in Chinese Studies to develop the routines for handling digital resources through Internet and on-site courses and through opening a newsgroup to exchange information and promote mutual support.
ChinaResource will make efforts to promote an interlibrary loan system among sinological centers across Europe as it now informally exists between a few institute and state libraries.
ChinaResource will also make efforts to disseminate information on travel grants to Heidelberg (http://chinaresource.org/access.htm# traveling) and long-distance access to those digital resources as well as to the print and microfilm/microfiche resources only accessible in the Institute itself (http://chinaresource. org/access.htm#assistant).
To provide information about its activities, new acquisitions and new information resources, ChinaResource will publish an informationbulletin ChinaResourceNews at http://chinaresource.org/news.htm.
Director: Prof. Dr. Rudolf G. Wagner
Systems Operator: Michael Luedke
Content manager: Hanno Lecher
The University of Newcastle upon Tyne in North-East England was one of the successful bidders in the recent round of Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funding for Chinese studies in Britain. The proposal which the University submitted succeeded on the basis of its innovative and practical nature, although Newcastle was the only one among the successful bidders not to have a specialist department of Chinese studies. Up to now, Chinese has been taught in the University’s Language Centre (an academic service rather than a department), in the form of undergraduate Chinese language, which can be studied as part of a BA in Combined Honours, and a well-respected Diploma and MA course in Chinese-English, English-Chinese Translating and Interpreting.
From academic year 2001-2002, the teaching of Chinese – as well as Japanese and Korean, which are also taught at undergraduate level – will take place in a new Department of Applied East Asian Languages within the School of Modern Languages, alongside the European languages more traditionally designated as “modern languages”, French, German and Spanish. East and South-East Asian History are now also taught within the History Department. From next academic year, also, Chinese studies within Newcastle University will be further expanded by the introduction of the new degrees resulting from the HEFCE funding.
These will consist of a one-year MA in Chinese Language and Culture for Business, which will also be combined with a number of existing MSc’s in subjects such as Clean Technology, Computing Science and Agricultural and Food Marketing, to form a suite of new two-year MSc’s under the general title of Technology and Business for China. The courses are aimed at recent graduates wanting to increase their employability in the global economy, or people who have perhaps worked for a few years in China, and who wish to develop Chinese language skills and gain a better understanding of the impact of Chinese culture on business practices, in order to work more effectively in the Chinese context.
The course in Chinese Language and Culture for Business will consist of four modules. Chinese Language for Business, to be taught by a specialist language teacher, will concentrate on teaching the skills of speaking and listening, and will mainly use pinyin, while introducing a basic understanding of the structure of Chinese characters, so that students are able to use a simple dictionary on their own. The type of language taught will be as relevant as possible to the needs of technical and business people working in China. Students on this course will also work with the students on the “Translating and Interpreting” course to gain practical experience of working effectively with interpreters; this is something that can make a tremendous difference to the success of communication in a business or technical context.
Another module, “Chinese Society Today”, will introduce the historical background which has made China what it is today, and will cover social and cultural issues, with special emphasis on how these affect the way business is conducted, how technology is absorbed, and so on. The third taught module, “Doing Business in Today’s China”, will cover the Chinese economy, legal system, bureaucratic structure, regional issues and decision-making processes, and will also incorporate practical sessions on negotiating skills, which will enable students to integrate theoretical knowledge with actual business practice.
The final module will consist of a dissertation to be written on the basis of a project carried out during a short placement in China at the end of the course. It is intended that the placement will be within an industrial or commercial organisation in China, either international or local, although depending on the nature of the project, placement in an academic environment may also be considered.
The joint MSc courses in Technology and Business for China will take the form of a sandwich with the first and second semesters of the existing MSc’s as the two slices of bread, and the course in Chinese Language and Culture for Business as the filling in the middle, and the placement in China coming at the end of the two years. Because of the course structure, the Chinese Language and Culture for Business course will run from January to December each year (starting in January 2002). Integration between the two components of the Technology and Business for China MSc’s will be achieved by having the students work with their supervisors from the “technical” departments on developing their project while they are studying Chinese language and culture, and incorporating what they have learnt on the technical side into the coursework that they do on Chinese society and business practices.
Organisations in North-East England such as the regional development agency One NorthEast are actively involved in developing links between local and Chinese businesses, and have been remarkably successful in attracting inward investment from China and elsewhere in East Asia. Students on the new courses will benefit from the natural synergy between the University and the local business community, which has always been a feature of university life here.
The programme director will be happy to respond to any enquiries and can be contacted as follows:
Dr Alison Hardie
Director – Chinese Studies Project
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Old Library Building
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, U.K.
Tel. +44 191-222-6862
Fax +44 191-222-5239
CONFERENCE AND WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENTS
CHINESE ARTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA, CONFERENCE AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM, APRIL, 18-20, 2002
Chinese contemporary arts are fast becoming a formidable economic and cultural force, with widespread critical acclaim in the fields of film, literature and visual arts. The two-day conference will explore the historical and cultural framework of the current debate, considering the impact of economic and political forces, collecting and connoisseurship, migration and issues of identity, which have shaped and transformed both discourse and practice.
The conference will bring together artists, writers, curators, arts organisations, museums and academic institutions from different disciplines and international locations. It seeks to provide a platform for critical analysis and debates amongst delegates, speakers and panellists.
The conference will be organised thematically, based on the four main areas detailed below. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Cultural frameworks: Chinese modernism, aesthetics and cultural hierarchies. Contemporary Chinese art defies simple definition, but is rather characterised by plurality, diversity and at times contradiction. The artist occupies a pivotal position between past and present, local and global, modern and traditional means of expression. Western art and aesthetics are juxtaposed with traditional Chinese mores; modern and post-modern with traditional art forms. Participants are invited to explore these complex relationships, and question the relevance of traditional discourse in the global marketplace of contemporary society.
- The Markets; distribution, collecting and infrastructure. Commercial markets have traditionally played an important role in shaping and defining the arts of China. Participants may like to consider the role of collectors, dealers and distributors in Mainland China today, and the extent to which regional variation, such as the North/South Yangtze divide, has contributed to emerging market trends. The impact of art education might also be considered in the light of the recent establishment of new fine art, design and architecture courses at major Chinese Universities. Networks of communication between artists, collectors, curators and audiences at a local, national and global level have also helped define commercial markets. Participants may wish to examine the markets of Europe, America, South East Asia and Australia to establish the place of Chinese arts in the global art market.
- Traditional art forms and the roles of the curator, governments and artist. Museum and gallery collections in the East and West are dominated by traditional Chinese art. These collections tend to reinforce the notion of China as a homogenous totality, a belief supported by successive ruling elites to endorse the prevailing hegemony. Speakers might consider the role of the curator in contextualising and interpreting these collections, and the impact of government on the evolution of art in China, both in the recent past and in the present. Artists respond to their cultural heritage in different ways, at times incorporating elements of traditional Chinese arts alongside those of the modern era. Speakers may wish to examine current trends and how museum and gallery curators have responded to recent developments.
- The Chinese diaspora and Mainland China artists working in Mainland China and in diaspora communities overseas may share a similar cultural heritage, but the work they produce is as diverse as their geographical location. Artists may work in isolation, or in connection with networks of communication which operate at regional, national or international levels, which in turn influence the work they produce. Consider how issues of identity have shaped the art of contemporary artists, and how far the work of overseas Chinese artists has been informed by Chinese culture, or that of their country of domicile. As national and cultural boundaries are increasingly redefined, is it possible to identify new identities or speak of “global” art? Speakers may wish to focus on the experience of overseas artists working in the UK, Europe, America, Australia or South East Asia.
The conference is a collaboration between the Chinese Arts Centre, British Museum and Centre for Art International Research (CAIR), Liverpool John Moores University.
Outline proposals should be written in English and with a maximum of 750 words. In addition please provide relevant biographical information (max. 250 words) including recent research, publications and events that you have worked on and your current working role.
Selected speakers will be invited to contribute an essay based on their paper, in the context of issues arising from the conference, for inclusion in an edited book.
Proposals should be sent to:
Asian Education Officer
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG, UK.
Tel: + 44 20 7323 8938.
Fax: +44 20 7323 8855
Deadline for proposals: September 3rd, 2001.
The conference will be held at the British Museum, London. It is anticipated that 180 people will attend. The conference will be conducted in English.
THE BULLETIN OF THE MUSEUM OF FAR EASTERN ANTIQUITIES
The Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities is published in Stockholm, Sweden. Manuscripts are invited from scholars worldwide, on all aspects of ancient and classical East Asia and adjacent regions, including archaeology, art, and architecture; history and philosophy; literature and linguistics; and related fields and regions. Contributions seriously engaging contemporary critical thought in the humanities and social sciences are particularly welcome. All contributions are peer-reviewed.
The first issue of the BMFEA appeared in 1929, and the journal has been published annually ever since. The founding editor was Johan Gunnar Andersson, professor of East Asian archaeology, noted for his pathbreaking discoveries in Chinese prehistory. The famous Sinologist Bernhard Karlgren published many of his main works in the Bulletin, and also served as its editor. He was succeeded by Jan Wirgin, who was a distinguished specialist in Chinese art and ceramics. Many Swedish and international scholars have contributed towards establishing the Bulletin as an important international venue of publication in East Asian studies. The Bulletin is now edited by Magnus Fiskesjö, Director, MFEA, and Martin Svensson, Chinese Studies Dep., Stockholm University. A back list of previous issues and reprints for sale is available from the editorial office (credit cards accepted). A number of special thematic issues are planned – details of the first follow below.
CALL FOR PAPERS: Reconsidering “Correlative cosmology “
The BMFEA welcomes scholars of Chinese literature, philosophy, art, archaeology, and related fields, to submit manuscripts for a special thematic issue, “Reconsidering the Correlative Cosmology of Early China.” Ever since Marcel Granet, much Western Sinology has presumed a radical difference in philosophical presuppositions between China and the West. On this view, Western aesthetics and culture are imbued with Platonic metaphysics and its ontological distinction between an earthly world and an ideal, transcendent realm. Consequently, the Western critic is always searching for a meaning beyond the surface of the work of art.
By contrast, Chinese thought allegedly emerges from a doctrinal Correlative Cosmology, wherein all beings, objects, and celestial phenomena simultaneously interrelate and interact. For this thematic issue the BMFEA invites contributions of theoretically informed discussion, which develops, reassembles, or challenges the paradigm of Correlative Cosmology. An electronic copy of articles, submitted together with publication-quality illustrations, is required for final accepted versions. All manuscripts and inquiries should be sent to:
The Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities
SE-103 24 Stockholm, Sweden.
Tel.: +46 8-5195 5750, or +46 8-5195 5752
Fax: +46 8-5195 5755
Web: http://www.mfea.se (under construction)
SCHOOL OF HISTORICAL STUDIES, INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, USA
CHIANG CHING-KUO FOUNDATION LIBRARY TRAVEL GRANTS
Beltran, Joaquin and Amelia Saiz, Els xinesos a Catalunya. Familia, educacio i integracio. Barcelona: Editorial Alta Fulla/ Fundació Jaume Bofill, 2001. 157 pp. ISBN 84-7900-133-X.
Berg, Daria, Perceptions of Lay Healers in Late Imperial China, Durham: Department of East Asian Studies (Durham East Asian Papers 15), 2000. 39 pp. ISBN: 1 899294 14 7. GBP 5.00.
To order contact: Department of East Asian Studies, University of Durham, Elvet Hill, Durham DH1 3TH. Tel.: +44 (0)191 374 3231, Fax.: +44 (0)191 374 3242. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Führer, Bernhard, Vergessen und verloren. Die Geschichte der österreichischen Chinastudien. (Edition Cathay, vol. 42). Bochum: Projekt Verlag, 2001. 372 pp. ISBN 3-89733-017-2. €17,50.
Laozi. Daodejing. El llibre del “dao” i del “de”. Editors, introduction, translation and commentaries by Seán Golden & Marisa Presas. Barcelona: Edicions Proa, 2000. ISBN 84-8437-036-4. €10.
Martin, Helmut, Das kulturelle China und die Chinawissenschaften. Aufsätze 1996-1999. Texte aus dem Nachlass. Chinabilder VII. Bochum: Projekt Verlag, 2001. ISBN 3-89733-061-X. €25.
Osiander, Anja, Settings for East Asian Studies in Europe and the USA – an Explorative Study (Institute of Asian Affairs, no. 333). Hamburg: Institute of Asian Affairs, 2001. 108 pp. ISBN 3-88910-250-6. €14.
In the fall of 1999, the Institute of Asian Affairs in Hamburg, Germany, conducted a survey on settings for East Asian Studies in Europe and the USA. The survey was produced as a joint project of the “Strategic Alliance”, a network of institutes doing research on Asia. The Strategic Alliance was initiated by the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, The Netherlands.
The overall goal of the survey was to capture a snapshot picture of the current state of, and trends in, the institutionalization of East Asian Studies in the two continents.
The report features one chapter on general characteristics of the academic field of East Asian Studies in Europe vis-à-vis the USA. In addition, ten selected institutions for East Asian Studies are presented with details on their history, structure of governance and funding, resources, and academic organization.
More information on the survey, including the full texts of the introduction, chapter summaries and the overall summary are available at the IIAS-website http://www.iias.nl/iias/alliance/osiander/SettingsEAS_frontpage.html.
The Review of Bibliography in Sinology (2000). ISBN 2-7132-1374-6. €38.
The Review presents analyses of the most recently published books and articles in Chinese, Japanese and in European languages on all aspects of sinology: history, archeology, and the arts, music, linguistics, literature, philosophy, religion, and the history of science and techniques. The volume of 2000 offers abstracts of 245 books and 306 articles published in 88 periodicals. In addition there are bibliographical surveys on particular subjects that take into account works published over longer periods of time: Michel Cartier, Macau Studies on the Eve of the Retrocession to China (in, French); Fabienne Jagou, The Chinese Tibetological Review Zhongguo Zangxue (in, French); Christine Nguyen Tri, Education in China: Studies and Editorial Work (in, French); Paolo Santangelo, “Self” and Modern Society in Different Perspectives: Notes on Some Recent Contributions on the Understanding of “Private” and “Public” in China; R. Bin Wong, Benevolent and Charitable Activities in the Ming and Qing Dynasties: Perspectives on State and Society in Late Imperial and Modern Times.
To order contact: CID-Centre Interinstitutionnel pour la Diffusion de Publications en Sciences Humaines, 131 Boulevard Saint Michel, F-75005 PARIS, France. Tel.: +33 1 43 54 47 15. Fax: +33 1 43 54 80 73
Sunzi. L’Art de la guerra. Editors, introduction and translation by Seán Golden and Marisa Presas. Barcelona: Edicions Proa, 2000. ISBN 84-8256-841-8. €8.
Suárez Girard, Anne-Hélène, 99 cuartetos de Wang Wei y su círculo. (Chinese-Spanish version of 99 jueju poems of Wang Wei, his brother and friends, selected, translated and annotated by A.-H. Suárez Girard). Valencia: Col. Ls Cruz del Sur, Ed. Pre-Textos, 2000. ISBN: 84-8191-333-2. €17.