Call for Papers: The 3rd Oxford Graduate Conference on Contemporary China: “Beyond Boundaries: China in Disciplinary and Area Studies”

oxford-china-cfpOxford, UK
30th Jun – 1st Jul 2014
Deadline: 1st Jun 2014

Keynote Panellists: Professor Rosemary Foot, FBA (Oxford), Professor Vivienne Shue, FBA (Oxford), Professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies (UC Irvine)
Contemporary Chinese Studies is flourishing as the country is weighted more and more on the international stage. The rapidly expanding literature has seen two distinct strands:

some use China as a case to illustrate mainstream social scientific theories or as a counter-example to challenge them, while others consider China as an exception that has little to do with such theories. As the gap between the two strands appears to be getting clearer and wider, we invite fellow graduate students to join us at Oxford to discuss, debate, and develop ideas on how to place China within disciplinary studies and area studies in particular, and how to understand the relationship between disciplinary studies and area studies in general.


This conference intends to create a platform for graduate students of all social science disciplines to share their views on the actual and ideal ‘academic positioning’ of Contemporary Chinese Studies through their own research. In addition to the presentations on their specific research questions, participants are encouraged to present how, and why, they choose to use China as a case to illustrate mainstream social scientific theories, as a counterexample to challenge the theories, or simply as an exception that has little to do with the theories. We welcome presentations on any topic as long as they satisfy two criteria:

(1) The topic should be directly related to contemporary China (single-country studies and comparative studies with a China component are equally welcomed);

(2) The participant should be willing to at least devote a particular component of his or her presentation to introduce how, and why, he or she chooses to study China through the disciplinary or the area studies approach.

This conference welcomes students of contemporary China from all social science disciplines, and we encourage participants to demonstrate and justify their views on the relationship between Contemporary Chinese Studies, disciplinary studies, and area studies through their own methodological and theoretical contributions as well as empirical findings.

Building on the success of two previous graduate conferences on Chinese culture and state-society relations, this year’s conference aim to provide another opportunity for graduate students of contemporary China to build up academic networks and foster opportunities for future cooperation. The one-day conference will be held on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 at Oxford. On the evening of Monday, 30 June, there will be a roundtable discussion with prominent China scholars including Professors Rosemary Foot, Vivienne Shue, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom. All conference participants are invited to the discussion and to the wine reception afterwards.

Submission Deadlines:

Please submit an abstract (no more than 1 page, but please include a paragraph on its relevance to the conference theme) and a short bio by 01June 2014 to If a travel grant is required, please give us an estimate of the travel expenses.
The selection result will reach all applicants by 07 June 2014, and successful applicants are required to submit their completed papers by 23 June 2014.


Free accommodation is provided for participants from outside Oxford. Limited funding is available to cover student travel cost to and from the conference within the UK. Unfortunately, we are unable to reimburse international travelling cost due to the limited funding.
The conference is part of the Doctoral Training Interdisciplinary Networks funded by the University Oxford ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.

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