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Call For Proposals–Berkeley Summer Research Institute

CALL FOR PROPOSALS Berkeley Summer Research Institute “Bordering China: Modernity and Sustainability”August 1-10, 2012 Institute of East Asian Studies University of California, Berkeley

The Berkeley Summer Research Institute, organized in partnership with the Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, is pleased to announce its call for proposals for an intensive residential research workshop that will take place in the summer of 2012 at Berkeley.

Themes and TopicsFor much of the 20th century China defined its quest for modernity in terms of the industrialization and the urbanization of its economy and landscape. State policies and private initiatives in pursuit of specific goals within this general framework have brought along significant transformations. China today is a land of gleaming towers as well as polluted air, of high-speed railroad connections as well as massive population dislocations, of an abundance of manufacturing wealth as well as a paucity of natural resources. A vibrant environmental discourse meanwhile has been on the rise. Under the general heading of “sustainability” this discourse calls attention to issues of social equity, the power politics of resource allocations, the humanistic constructions of people and nature, the globalization of world economies, and the contestations over ecological imperialism.

Drawing upon the imaginaries as described above, this Research Institute invites proposals that will contribute to a focused conversation concerning the following.”Bordering China”: Instead of works on China Proper, we invite proposals that examine happenings and issues that cut across the territorial boundaries of the Chinese nation. Bordering China are regions such as Northeast Asia, Mongolia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Maritime Greater China as well as the various Chinese territories of Northeast, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Southwest China, and Southeast China. We seek proposals that will permit a focused examination of environmental and resource issues that cut across conventional borders concerning any of these regions.

“Modernity”: The infrastructural “soft” and “hard” wares of modernity range from currencies to railroads, water wells and value systems to credit mechanisms and educational institutions, so that people and goods might be facilitated in their moves for border-crossing connections across long distance. Modernity in this sense also carries ramifications, usually of a disrupting nature, for embedded systems of networking, beliefs, ways of life, communities and identities. We seek proposals that speak specifically to the impact of modernity on communities and identities in the bordering regions of China.

“Sustainability”: Politics and pragmatics are as potent as history and philosophy in approaches to issues of sustainability. We seek proposals that will open up the discussion of “sustainability” in light of debates of social justice, discursive authority, politics of resources and global connections ≠ all in the context of communities and identities in the bordering regions of China.

Organization & Logistics

Youtien Hsing (Geography, UC Berkeley), Tsui-jung Liu (Academia Sinica), Robert Weller (Anthropology, Boston University) and Wen-hsin Yeh (History, UC Berkeley) will serve as the co-conveners of the Research Institute.

The Research Institute aims to convene senior scholars (post-PhD) in all stages of academic careers (post-doctoral researchers, lecturers, assistant professors through full professors) who are currently actively developing a book manuscript or research project on themes and topics as described above.

Invited participants are expected to make two presentations: a work of original research (chapter-length from a work-in-progress) based on one’s current project, and a primary text (or texts) pertaining to the source materials of one’s work.

Participants are also expected to serve as respondents to a doctoral student conference that will take place on August 4, 2011.

Other activities include a Sunday outing to the wine country and participation in a series of featured lectures that combine scholarly and social functions.

Papers presented at the Research Institute may be invited to appear in a special issue of the journal Cross-Currents jointly published by the Institute of East Asian Studies at Berkeley and the Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University.

Invited participants should plan to arrive at Berkeley by Tuesday, July 31, 2012 in time for a welcome reception, and to depart on Saturday, August 11, 2012. Full participation for the entire duration of the Research Institute is expected of all participants.

Participants are responsible for their roundtrip airfare to Berkeley. The Research Institute will cover all meals and lodging at a standard rate that provide full internet and library access and cleaning service from July 31 through August 11. Participants who wish to bring families and/or prefer hotel stay may choose to make up the differences in costs at their own expense. Details may be arranged upon invitation to participate

Deadlines and Notifications

Applicants are invited to submit a project description that is no more than 3 pages, single-spaced, in length, plus a bibliography of the project, and curriculum vitae, to the attention of Ms. Yu Welch ( at the Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), University of California, Berkeley, by January 20, 2012. Notifications of acceptance will be sent before March 1, 2012.

Please contact IEAS for further information about the Research Institute.


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