Regional Logic vs. Global Humanities: Where To from Here?

Regional Logic vs. Global Humanities: Where To from Here?

Ping-chen Hsiung, Director of the Research Institute for the Humanities and Professor of History, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Friday, November 30, 2012
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
UCLA Faculty Center
Hacienda Room

UCLA Asia Institute and the UCLA Dean of Humanities present the

Asia in the Humanities/Humanities in Asia Inaugural Lecture

Revisiting the intellectual and institutional roots of Asian Studies, this talk will examine the disciplinarity of regional studies vs. interdisciplinary humanities on both sides of the Pacific, so as to invite a dialogue and the opportunity for deepening collaboration. Looking back at the tradition of Sinology and Oriental Studies in 19th Century Europe as a familiar example, Prof. Hsiung will review the cultural politics as well as the national and imperial aspirations behind the Humboldtian universities in establishing the “Orient” as a subject of investigation. Political and conceptual frameworks of Asian Studies in post–war America serves as another reminder to the organizational forces behind academic developments. Changing circumstances in global politics and global economy in recent decades, and over the past few years, however, threaten to alter drastically this balance of power, academically and institutionally. Active engagements of Asian foundations and continuous investments in higher education from Asian countries at a time of financial challenges and changing policies in the western hemisphere may create conditions for table-turning in the global academy, especially regarding practices of the knowledge industry. Cross-institutional collaboration and innovative inter-disciplinary connections appear more critical than ever, therefore, for the safe operation and healthy nurturing of humanistic concerns beyond the old regional logic.

At the conclusion of Prof. Hsiung's formal remarks, she will engage in a dialogue with Asia Institute Director Bin Wong about the future of transnational and interdisciplinary humanities. A light reception will follow.

Professor Hsiung Ping-chen is currently the Director at the Research Institute for the Humanities and Professor of History at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interest lies in the areas of women’s and children’s health, gender and family relations, and intellectual and social history of early modern/modern China and Europe. She served as Director of the Humanities Centre at the Central University in Taiwan, and played an instrumental role in founding the interdisciplinary group ‘Ming-Ch’ing Studies’ at the Academia Sinica.

The Asia Institute's initiative on the Humanities in Asia/Asia in the Humanities brings together scholars from the fields of history, literature, religion, and the arts working across time periods and Asian spaces to develop new frames of research and pedagogy. For further information about the initiative and its programs, click here.


Sponsor(s): Asia Pacific Center