2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Cao Fei Student Seminar

By Hantian Zhang

Cao Fei, winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2021) , is an internationally-renowned Chinese contemporary artist. She was the guest of the one of the three student seminars in 2021 Humanities Research Center’s Fall Conference. The prerequisite of this seminar was to watch two of Cao Fei’s films about the future of work and labor – 11.11 (2018) and Asia One (2018).

11.11 is a documentary that records the work overload of the entire JD.com logistics system before and after the “double eleven” shopping day in China and reflecting on the reality. Asia One focuses on art performance. It shows an emotional entanglement between the “unmanned” (intelligentized production), “human” and “non-human” (robot). In this seminar, Cao Fei answered a series of edgy and meaningful questions from students, which provided lots of inspiration in art realm.

“Art is so romantic but what is its realistic function?” Continue reading “2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Cao Fei Student Seminar”

2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Doc Lab Launch

By Peter (Yanming) Shen

On the last day of the Humanities Research Fall Conference, the newest lab under the Humanities Research Center, the DOC Lab, was initiated. The DOC Lab, co-established by Prof. Kolleen Guy, Prof. Seth Henderson, and Prof. Kaley Clements aims to explore and understand the world of documentary.

At first Prof. Henderson briefly introduced leading members of the DOC Lab, also appreciated the support from the HRC. The lab plans to promote documentaries in any form and documentary studies in various approaches. Other than directly funding student-led documentary making and documentary-based research, the lab is planning a series of activities, including screening salons, filmmaking workshops, and many more.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Wang Jianbao Student Seminar

By Xiaoliang Yang

On Saturday, November 13th, the student seminar hosted by Professor Jianbao Wang was held in the innovation building 1051, from 13:00 to 14:30 pm. The topic was “Entrepreneurship and Confucian Ethics.”

Professor Jianbao Wang is the Director of the Center for the Humanities and Business Ethics at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. His research focuses on Confucianism as well as developing new business models. His publications are published in renowned journals and other outlets including ChinaNews, Chuanshan Journal and People’s Daily. Before pursuing his doctoral degree in Philosophy at Peking University, Professor Wang had rich experiences in practicing entrepreneurship, from corporate group management to representing Pakistan Railway.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – HRC Labs & Student Projects

Humanities Research Center Labs & Student Research Projects Seminar

By Peter (Yanming) Shen

The HRC Labs & Student Research Projects presentations were held on November 12, 2021, at the Lecture Hall in the Innovation Building. The purpose of the event was to show the research work of the labs of the Humanities Research Center, especially featuring the outcome of student researchers and student-led projects. Due to travel restrictions, the speakers joined the event both in-person and online. All the projects were founded by HRC, the SELF (Student Experimental Learning Fellowship) program, and/or the SRS (Summer Research Scholar) project. Also, many of the programs are products or period products of students’ Signature Work.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Chen Qiufan Student Seminar

An Exploratory Science Fiction Journey of a Storyteller: Mr. Stanley (Qiufan) Chen’ s Student Seminar

By Dongkun Lyu

Started with a short introduction from the student leader, the whole seminar went smoothly in a peaceful afternoon. The student leader asked Mr. Chen a question as a brief introduction – which identity does he prefer among all the identities he has. His answer was, “a storyteller.”

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2021 Fall Conference Student Reports – Faculty Panel

November 12, 2021

Faculty Panel 1B: Literary and Virtual Reality
By Waner Shao

Ben Van Overmiere: Zen and the Art of Detective Fiction: The Case of Janwillem van de Wetering (1932-2008)

Few people have thought that there is a relation between detective fiction and Zen Buddhism. This research examined this relationship through the work of the Dutch writer Janwillem van de Wetering. Before he became famous as a detective writer, he also deeply explored Zen Buddhism. He drew his inspiration for detective fiction through Buddhism. This relation is considered important, and this research hypothesized that popular literature could immensely influence people’s impression of Buddhism.

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The Future of Work and Labor 劳动的未来 / 未来的劳动

Humanities Fall Conference

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The Humanities Research Center is pleased to announce its fall conference: The Future of Work and Labor 劳动的未来 / 未来的劳动. The conference features three renowned keynote speakers: multimedia artist Cao Fei; science fiction author Chen Qiufan; and professor of philosophy and business, Wang Jianbao. In addition to the keynote speeches, DKU faculty from a range of disciplines will introduce their research, and various labs from the Humanities Research Center will make presentations about their research over the past year. DKU students may register for the conference by filling in this registration form or scanning the QR code. Those who register after October 29 are welcome to attend the sessions, but will not be eligible to attend the dinners. Continue reading “The Future of Work and Labor 劳动的未来 / 未来的劳动”

Third Space Lab at SIETAR USA 2020 Conference

Recently, the three co-directors of the Third Space Lab presented at SIETAR USA to discuss the adaptations of their lab (its research agenda, workshops, training of research assistants, etc.) to the online context, in a session entitled Fostering Perspective Transformation in Third Spaces in Virtual Settings.

International education took an undeniable hit with Covid-19 and its consequences on mobility. While many institutions contemplate the possibility of offering in-person courses, others are reflecting on hybrid models or fully online programs to welcome their students this fall. A consequence of the situation is that pre-departure programs for study abroad sojourns and orientation for international freshmen, when not simply canceled, saw themselves reduced to the bare minimum. Rooted in the interventionist paradigm, which challenges the “immersion myth” that simply being abroad leads to positive intercultural growth and other deep changes, this Ned Talk addresses the virtual adaptations to interventions developed by a humanities research lab, the Third Space Lab(TSL) at a Sino-American higher education institution.

In light of uncertainty regarding study abroad semester for Chinese and international juniors to go to the US, as well as the arrival of incoming freshmen on campus in China, the Third Space Lab moved online to optimize students’ intercultural experiences by offering a series of online workshops, a series of online guest lectures, cultural events, and other resources for various cohorts of students. The virtual workshops address a series of topics including (1) learning about the host culture by creating their own research projects abroad, (2) learning how to reflect, (3) learning strategies for meaningful intercultural encounters, and (4) learning strategies for managing conflict experienced in their intercultural encounters. Guest lectures and cultural events showcase translingual and multicultural Third Spaces stories and encourage students to reflect on their own international education experience in cultural hybridity.

Showcasing TSL’s various virtual events, this Ned Talk addressed the conceptual and practical applications of Transformative Learning via intercultural sensitivity and Third Space personae development principles, as well as via conflict resolution.

For more information about these adaptations, you can watch the recording here:

Hum/Animal: Humanities Fall Conference Program

Hum/Animal is the theme of the Humanities Research Center’s fall conference and student film festival, which takes place from September 18-20 on the campus of Duke Kunshan University, and via Zoom.

The conference comprises five elements:

  • Keynote speeches by leading experts on the relationship between humans and other animals, from a range of perspectives, including bioart, philosophy, sociology and cultural studies
  • Parallel sessions featuring the research of new and returning DKU faculty in the humanities and social sciences
  • Parallel sessions featuring the research of undergraduate students from DKU and other universities, chosen via highly selective peer review process
  • Parallel sessions featuring the work of DKU’s Humanities Research Labs
  • A student film festival curated by Kaley Clements

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Undergraduate Conference 2020 Relaunches in September

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the undergraduate humanities research conference was postponed. Today we are happy to announce that the Humanities Research Center has decided to hold the conference from September 18 – 20, 2020.

The conference will be combined with our annual Fall conference, featuring keynote speeches, faculty panels, as well as student panels. Undergraduate students from universities in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are welcome to present papers on all topics broadly within the humanities and interpretive social sciences; the papers need not relate to the conference theme.


By April 30: Submit your application online. Applications must be written in English, and will require a paper title and an abstract (max 300 words). Each student may make only one application.

Abstract Writing Workshop
Monday April 27
9PM China Time / 9AM EST
Zoom Meeting ID: 695 290 0771

Note: If you have already submitted an abstract, there is no need to resubmit unless you want to revise what you previously submitted. For those who submit multiple abstracts, only the most recent one will be considered.
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